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Last updated:23 March 2018

Capturing the heritage of the workers' co-operative movement, 1970s-1990s

Event location: Working Class Movement Library

Date: 23rd May 2018

Event time: 14:00 to 16:00

Talk by Philippa Lewis.

The 1970s-1990s saw a wave of new workers’ co-operatives set up. These were businesses owned and controlled by the workers, with an emphasis on fairness and shared decision making. Although developing partially from the older UK co-operative productive societies, this period of workers’ co-operatives is distinct within the wider co-operative movement, and the legacy from these years remains an important one for the co-operative movement as a whole.

Cooperative workers illustrationIn order to capture and preserve this distinct period in the history of the co-operative movement the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported workers’ co-operative project has been set up at the National Co-operative Archive. This project aims to identify and make accessible for the first time key records from some of the major workers’ co-operatives of the 1970s-'90s alongside co-operative support agencies.

This informal session will offer the opportunity to view the exhibition boards created as part of the project to showcase its findings. This will include case studies of some of the key workers’ co-operatives of the period. Original material collated as part of the project will also be on display for visitors to view.

At the beginning of the session, project archivist, Philippa Lewis, will speak briefly about the project, outlining some of the findings, as well as the process of collating an archive of a movement that has not been expressly recorded until now.

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This is part of the Invisible Histories series of free talks. Light refreshments afterwards; all welcome.