The Rochdale Pioneers

I am so inspired when I read about the Rochdale Pioneers.

Back in the 1800s most of the people working in factories were at the mercy of unscrupulous shop keepers. They couldn’t get fair prices and the food was often adulterated to bulk it up and increase profits – there was often powdered glass in sugar, white lead in flour and mahogany shavings or red lead in tea.

In Rochdale some 28 people struggled to pool £1 per person so they could buy food wholesale 14 miles away in Manchester. On 20 December 1844, a few of them walked the 28 mile round trip with a wheelbarrow to buy the food and the next night they opened their store with some butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles.

Here is a video with more details: