Talk by historian, David Macey and a representative of the Midcounties Cooperative at the Swindon Civic Trust
Thursday 11 November, 7.30pm – Central Library, Regent Circus. Non-members invited to make a donation of £5.
Important archive needs permanent home
A local historian is looking for a home for his collection of irreplaceable memorabilia from Swindon’s Co-operative Societies.
David Macey, from Park South, pictured, has spent twenty years researching societies and has filled two bedrooms in his home with packaging and photographs.
Mr Macey, who worked for the Co-op Funeral Service for thirty years until retiring 2004, began collecting funeral service memorabilia. Later his interest broadened to cover the whole of the local co-operative movement. He said, “I’ve spent many evenings and weekends in the reference library digging the information out. It’s part of Swindon’s history and closely connected to the railway. The Co-op existed long before there were any supermarkets in the town.”
The evocative collection including tins, boxes and soap powder boxes is popular with older people who can remember the Co-ops in their heyday. There were once 35 branches around Swindon, selling everything from groceries and meat to confectionery and drapery.
Mr Macey takes examples from the collection to illustrate talks but would like to find a suitable place to create a permanent display. An approach to the Midlands Co-Op which now covers Swindon, has had little success and he is also in discussion with Swindon Museum and Steam.
To book a talk on this fascinating part of the town’s history, call 01793 530734.