These candles are a reminder of the opening night of the Rochdale Pioneers’ shop in 1844. The shop began trading at 8pm on December 21st and for the opening, the Pioneers had purchased a number of candles to sell along with the other goods (oatmeal, flour, butter and sugar). The Pioneers soon discovered however, that the gas company had cut off their supply after hearing that they had no money to pay the bills. The men therefore had no other option but to use their candles not to sell, but to light the shop.
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