A new exhibition at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum reveals the hidden buildings of co-operation that can be found across Greater Manchester. The #Coopography exhibition is made up of photographs submitted by members of the public of their favourite co-operative buildings. Museum Officer Clare Hirst who co-ordinated the exhibition says “photographs were submitted by Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or by email and we were delighted by the response which included submissions by professional photographers and also smartphone snappers!”
The exhibition includes images of former co-operative stores in the Stockport area including Edgeley, Woodley, Marple, Reddish and Merseyway in Stockport Town Centre. Stephen Marland who submitted many images from the Stockport area said “my favourite is the image of Merseyway as I remember taking my children there to meet Father Christmas.” Museum Manager Jenny Mabbott says “I really like the images of the Edgeley and Reddish stores as they include an image of a beehive in the stonework. The co‑operative movement uses the beehive as a symbol as it is as natural for bees to co‑operate with each other as it is for co‑operators.”
Photographs were also received from across the country and even internationally with images from France and Italy featuring in the exhibition. Jenny Mabbott continues “the range of photographs we received shows the strength of the national and international co-operative movement and it seems fitting that an exhibition of these photographs be held in Rochdale, the global capital of co-operation. The exhibition doesn’t just include photographs of co-operative stores it also features co-operative housing, factories, restaurants and hotels, showing the breadth of the co-operative movement.”
The Rochdale Pioneers Museum is housed in the original building where, on 21 December 1844, the Rochdale Pioneers opened their co-operative store selling honest food at honest prices. The #Coopography exhibition runs until 28 February 2015 and admission is free. You can visit any time during Museum opening hours which are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. For further information including Christmas opening hours visit http://www.rochdalepioneersmuseum.coop, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01706 524920. If you have a favourite co-operative building you can join in by posting an image on the Museum’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RochdalePioneersMuseum or sharing a photo on Twitter or Instagram using #Coopography.