Based on childhood recollections
of shops in Edmonton, north London in Edwardian times.
CWS stood for Cooperative Wholesale Society, and its shop was generally
known as the Co-op.
The Co-op making a horse-drawn delivery, Edmonton, 1910.
The Co-op would issue chits which were little perforated squares
listing the amount you spent at any given visit to the shop. Customers had a
Co-op number which was written onto each chit. Every quarter of the year the Co-op gave its
customers what was called a dividend, which was a certain amount back for every
pound spent. Dividend was given on everything that the shop sold, including
deliveries of milk and bread. My mother also bought her shoes there under the
brand name of 'Wheat sheaf'. Dividend was a good incentive to shop at the Co-op.
If you have an old photo which illustrates
the way of life that my mother describes, I would very much appreciate a copy.
Pat Cryer, webmaster,
and daughter of the author
Co-op delivery bicycle. Photographed in the
Museum of Nottingham Life
This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in early to mid 20th century Britain, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times. It is © Pat Cryer.