Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 9.
Proposed New Cooperative for Conisborough.
A meeting was held last Saturday night in the Board Schools, Conisbrough, for the purpose of forming a Working Man’s Cooperative Society.
The promoters state that the idea is not new as some may think, as it has been discussed now the past two years, but nothing definite has been arrived at.
On Saturday last it was determined to hold a public meeting, and see how the idea would work. A good number attended.
Mr A Dickinson was voted to the chair.
Mr Dickinson said he thanked them for the honour of presiding over that meeting. The object of the meeting was to try and form a Working Man’s Cooperative Society in Conisbrough, without any further remarks he would ask Mr Winpenny to give his views on the question
Mr Winpenny said he was glad to see that there were plenty of Conisbrough women present. One or two of them had the idea of getting a Cooperative Society together some 12 months ago, and the result was to try and form a Working Men’s Cooperative Society.
The could raise the money, if they could raise £100 to £150.
That was if members will pay one pound down one shillings entrance fee he thought they could raise a Cooperative Society (hear, hear).
For instance, they could take the Mexborough Cooperative society which had been floated by working people; their last division was 2/3 in the pound. Pontefract paid 2/3 and Barnsley 2/5. If they went to Huddersfield they will find the dividend 2/7 in the pound, Kilnhurst 2/8, Dewsbury 3/- that place could put 1000 to the reserve fund. Morley, where they had just finished a large building 3/- in the pound. Then they came to Leeds, where they were giving 3/3; Heckmondwike gave 3/4.
Middleton were giving 5/6 in the pound while there in Conisbrough they received at the last balance a dividend of 1/9 in the pound.
What they wanted to start a Working Man’s Cooperative Society for was to promote unity among the working men.
If 100 or 150 persons would find one pound each they could float a Cooperative Society. Perhaps the society would not flourish at first, as everything would be new, but after the first quarter he was sure it would be successful. It only wanted a start. There could be a limit that members could not draw less than £5 out and not over £50.
Some reference was made by one person in regard to the Doncaster Cooperative Society letting £2000 out to members on purchases, but the Chairman stated that they did not want to discuss the Doncaster Society, but to get a Working Men’s Corporative society. He wanted a resolution that they form a Society in Conisborough.
It was eventually moved and seconded that a Working Man’s Cooperative Society be formed in Conisbrough.
An individual who seemed to be half intoxicated kept interrupting the proceedings. He said he thought the Doncaster Co-operative Society was a very sound society, and most of them there that evening were members only, but if they were going to start a Co-operative Society you would support it. He moved an amendment. (Laughter.)
No regard, however, was taken to his so-called amendment, as most probably he did not know what he was saying. The chairman told him if he did not know he was a teetotaller he should say he was drunk. (Laughter.)
A Voice: I certainly do not see where £150 will float the society.
Another voice: it is plenty.
The resolution was carried unanimously.
The next business was to elect a secretary pro tem to take the minutes of the meeting. Mr Hirst moved Mr Fisher and he was elected.
Mr first move that a committee of 12 be appointed to report at the next meeting, which will be held in a fortnight, and also to draw up a code of rules. Mr R Winpenny seconded.
16 this candidates were nominated and the voting resulted as follows:
Elected – Messrs A Dickinson 32 votes, G. Singleton 22, W Carter 22, R. Winpenny 21, H. Hirst 21, T Harrison 20, , G Mason 19, C Norbron 19, Beaumont, 19, W Blackburn 18, W Gibson 16, W Moore, 16
Not elected – Goose 15, J Roadhouse 14, G Briggs 13, F Wright 13
The individual mentioned above kept interrupting, and said” Do you want a Butcher – a broken down old Butcher, who work for you fair? If somebody will give you a pig. You can start tomorrow; I have a shop to let.” (Laughter.) He made use of other similar remarks.
Mr Dixon said they wanted a shop, and the one of Mr Lowes, he thought, was the best they could get – the matter was eventually left in the hands of the committee – Mr Wright said that seeing that the room was so expensive he thought they might take a collection.
This was done and the sum of 13/6 was realised.