In the previous issue of Yetton News I mentioned that a second co-op was formed in the village in the 1860’s. This was the Kirkheaton Town Top Society. In a newspaper report dated the 1st February 1868 The Huddersfield Chronicle reported:-

The Kirkheaton Town Top Society held a public tea party and meeting on Tuesday. This was the first meeting of the society and the first co-operative tea party ever held in Kirkheaton. Nearly two hundred people partook of a knife and fork tea in the Fields School arranged by John Thornton, the storekeeper. In the evening a public meeting was held in the same room, presided over by James Thornton. The room was filled with an attentive audience and the accounts for the last two years and five months were read by the secretary David Garthwaite. The dividend declared was 1s-6d in the pound for members’ purchases and 6d in the pound for non-members.

This tradition continued for the next 18 years then the society asked the Huddersfield Co-operative Society to take them over. On the 1st January 1884 the business was transferred and the society became branch number 18 of the Huddersfield Industrial Society Ltd. In 1887 tenders were invited for the erection of a new store at Town Top, comprising of a three story grocery building with attached single story butchers shop. The business prospered until the 1960’s when increasing competition from supermarkets led to its demise. For a time afterwards it was a washeteria before Kirklees Karpets took over [later renamed Green’s Furnishings ]. The building still retains many original features on the north side.

John Taylor               Kirkheaton History group