The Old Co-Op has had a varied and interesting history, and a wander round the building will reveal some of the many changes that have taken place here.
29 Rochdale Road was originally one of a stretch of four known as The Strand, built in the 1860s. It was first occupied by Messers. Fairbourne Bros., a linen, wool and silk drapers, who took the shop in the late 1800s. The back wall shows a bricked-up arched window where a hoist once existed to lift fabrics into the shop.
Todmorden Industrial Co-operative Society took over the shop in about 1910, where it sold haberdashery and underwear. The Society put in the beautiful staircase that still leads up to the first floor, and the TICS monogram can be seen carved into the large banisters at the foot of the stairs. The Art Nouveau style of the shop front remains today along with the gold lettering that proudly spelled out the society’s name. In the shop porch, an oval display case ran from ground to ceiling, the outline of which can be seen outside the front door.
In the 1960s, the shop became a delicatessen run by a Ukranian family. The Old Co-Op, previously based at 17 Water Street (now the stationers), moved in in 1990, and has lived here ever since.