A Short History of the Township of Tyldesley


Lancashire. Tyldesley Co-operative Society opened its first shop in High Street, April 16, 1850, and was then called the Tyldesley Commercial Co-operative Society. The founders met with success, and using the capital of purchasing members they bought in January, 1861, a shop and three cottages from Joseph Harwood, for £760, which were situate in Shuttle Street. In 1864 the concern was known as the Tyldesley Co-operative Provision Society. The prosperity which had aided the new society in 1850 was not sustained, and on August 17, 1864, Tyldesley was in such difficulties that it sought to escape them by becoming absorbed in the more efficiently managed Leigh Friendly Co-operative. There were some 200 members and after negotiations had at first fallen through, in October, 1865, Leigh Friendly took over the Shuttle Street shops, which they still control. James Dickinson was the first manager; he was dismissed by the Society, and William Johnson followed. In 1885 the Tyldesley and District Industrial Co-operative Society began modestly in a building opposite to the present central premises, now occupied by Isherwoods. R. F. Unsworth was part-time secretary in 1894, and from 1900-1904 Arthur Boardman was full-time. This second association prospered and there are now 12 branch shops serving the township and immediate districts: from a membership of 1,000 in 1900 there are now over 6,000. Thomas Markland has been secretary since 1919 and general manager from 1934. Besides Leigh Friendly there are two other societies which trade within the township—Hindsford and Atherton at Shakerley, and Walkden Provident Industrial at Mosley Common.

The Old House in Alma Street

This small holding, once part of the Ormerod lands, covered seven Cheshire acres in 1838, when it was farmed by Joseph Cottom, who was still here in 1847. Its historic name has been forgotten, but it is now called Bank House. Development has taken much of the meadow and pasture on which its prosperity once rested. In 1838 besides its shippon and barn there was a cowhouse in the meadow.

The Public Library, 1851

On the site of the library in Stanley Street was originally the Temperance Hall and Mechanics Institute, which dates its existence from this year. Caleb Wright laid the first stone. William Lomax was one of its enthusiastic promoters, and John Buckley was for a time secretary of the Temperance Society. The hall cost £550 and was used not only for occasional meetings, but for organised classes as well. In this way arose the Mechanics Institute and a library of several hundred volumes was got together. It is recorded that the Institute library had 400 volumes in 1856. In 1908 the Town Council took advantage of the terms of a Carnegie grant to erect a more

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