The Co-op or “stores” as it was known was once a major retailer in Walkden catering for every need, including the last, their services included undertaking.
The Society was founded in 1871, and in 1872 occupied premises on the corner of Bolton Road and Wardley Street. This eventually included a bakery, draper,  and boot and shoe department.

Mr David Allen in the grocery department.

When the large central premises were built on the corner of Bridgewater Road and High Street in 1889 the business transferred there. In 1902 a large warehouse and central depot was built on Sandwich street, which became the base for their coal and milk round.

In 1911 a “pop” works was added and in 1926 a bakery was opened on Holyoake Road.

The first branch store was opened in 1881 at Whittlebrook and eventually a network of stores served the various parts of the district sited as follows.

No.1 branch at Whittlebrook

No 1 Whitlebrook, 1881
No 2 Worsley Road, opened 1882, rebuilt 1911
No 3 Mosley Common, 1882
No 4 Manchester Road East, opened 1885, rebuilt on the corner of Hilton Lane 1891
No 5 Walkden Road/Edgefold, 1897, replaced 1914
No 6 Hill Top c.1897
No 7 Junction Park Road/Bridgewater Road
No 8 Bolton Road, corner of Drill Street.
No 9 Junction of Hodge Road/Walkden Road, 1909
No 10 Boothstown, 1913, rebuilt 1921
No 11 Birch Road, c.1926
No 12 Greenleach Lane, 1929. Formerly Roe Green Society
No 13 Ellenbrook Road, 1932

The last branch to open was on Rydal Crescent in the 1950’s.


Grocery as an Art Form - display in No 9 Branch, junction of Hodge Rd and Walkden Rd. c.1920

Increasing competition led to a decline, branches closed throughout the 1960’s and early 1970’s. the supermarket in the central buildings closed in 1984, the end of a retailing tradition that had lasted over century.