These mugs depict two different images of Toad Lane and show the extent of the expansion that took place between 1844 and 1867. From the opening of their shop in 1844, the Pioneers’ business expanded very quickly. In 1849, they took a twenty-one year lease of the whole of 31 Toad Lane at the cost of £23 a year. The first floor became a library and meeting room where classes could take place and on the second floor there was a drapery department and a boot and shoe repair shop. In the 1860’s trade expanded further and so the Pioneers rented more buildings on the lane. By 1867 it became clear that a new building was required and so a central store was built further up the street at the cost of £10 000 and this brought together all of the existing departments. 31 Toad Lane was used as a pet shop for many years until it was bought back by the co-operative movement in 1925 and opened as a museum in 1931.
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