The Queen Visits Rochdale


ICA News: Issue No 6/1994

Editor: Mary Treacy
Address: 15, route des Morillons - 
         1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland.
Tel: (41 22) 798 41 21 - Fax: (41 22) 798 41 22
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British Co-operators were enchanted when their Queen visited Rochdale
to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Rochdale Pioneers.

After visiting the "Co-operative 150" exhibition in the town's Arts
and Heritage Centre, she toured the "Co-operative 150" exhibition
with the Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal couple  visited a replica of
the Pioneers' first shop where they were fascinated by a
demonstration of the methods which the Pioneers used to measure,
weigh and sell their stocks of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and
candles. The most direct link with the Movement's past came as the
Queen was presented with a posy by the 11-year old descendant (the
great, great, great grandaughter) of Benjamin Rudman, one of the
original 28 Rochdale Pioneers.

Hughie Todner MBE, President of the 1994 UK Co-operative Congress
and Chairman of the Co-operative Union, escorted the Queen on her
visit while the Duke was escorted by Lloyd Wilkinson, Chief
Executive and General Secretary of the Co-operative Union.

The Queen and the Duke were presented with commemorative Royal Mint
silver medals, specially designed to mark the 150th anniversary and
a specially commissioned print entitled "The Spirit of

The Royals signed the original Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society
Visitors' Book before leaving. The book dates back to June 1862.