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I GLOUCESTER CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY. I Branch Opened at Newent. The Gloucester Oo-operative and Industrial Society, Ltd., opened a branch store at Newent on Saturday afternoon. This is the Society's No. 17 branch, and there is every prospect of the new venture proving a great success, as the number of members resident in and around Newent is already very considerable, and many fresh accessions are anticipated now that a store has been established in the locality. There has long been a demand for such a branch, and the way the demand has at length been met is a source of much gratification to Co-operators not only in Newent, but also in Dymock, Taynton, Tibberton, and other places that will be served by the new store. The premises are situate in Church-street, Newent, and occupy a site having a frontage to that thoroughfare of 70 feet and extending back 100 feet. Of attractive exterior appearance, the suite of shops erected consists of a grocery and provisions department, 20 feet by 46 feet, a department for drapery, boots and shoes, furniture, etc., of the same dimensions and a butcher's shop with cold room and boiling room behind. All the shops are fitted up in the best and latest style, and there is internal com- munication between them, enabling customers to pass from one to the other without going out of doors. Most of the fittings have been made by the Society's own workpeople. Faience facings adorn the shop fronts, and the roof is a flat one, allowing for a second storey to be easily added if required. In the rear of the shops are two-storey store-rooms, and a spacious yard, with a splendidly-equipped steajn bakery on one side, and a van shed and stabling for three horses beyond. The buildings are provided throughout with every modern convenience, while the floors and ceilings are rendered practically fire-proof by the use of reinforced concrete. Mr E A Pryer, L.R.I.B.A., of Clarence-street., Gloucester, was the architect for the new store, and Messrs Gorton and Shapcott, also of Gloucester, carried out the building contract. The cost of the land and buildings (exclmsive of fittings) was about £ 2,000. The formal opening of the store (of which Mr H L Roberts has been appointed manager) was an event that aroused a good deal of local interest, and drew-together- a considerable crowd. Mr A Burlton, the President of the Society, was to have performed the cermony, but was prevented by a sad bereavement—the death of his wifg. In his absence (to which all who part in the proceedings referred in sympathetic terms), Mr J T Jackson, the Society's general manager, discharged the pleasing function, and had the support of a large body of Co-operative Society representatives not only from Gloucester, but from Bristol, Stroud, Cainscross, Chelten- ham, Cinderford, Bream, South Cerney, and elsewhere. Mr F Wakefield, as chairman of the Works Committee, presided over the ceremon y. The band of the 5th Batt. Gloucester Regiment had been engaged for the occasion, and after playing through the town, occupied the flat roof of the new store. The Chairman, in his introductory remarks, said they regarded that as a red-letter day for Newent, and they were encouraged by seeing such a large gathering present at the opening of that store. It was an undertaking designed for the benefit of the people, particularly the working class, and he trusted they would appre- ciate it and make it a success. After a short address on the principles of Co- operation by Mr Wilkins, who congratulated the Gloucester Society on their enterprise and complimented all concerned on the character of the premises, Mr Pryer, the architect, handed to Mr Jackson a handsome gold key (inscribed with the name of Mr Burlton) with which to open the store. Mr Jackson reminded them that the Glou- cester Co-operative Society was a concern of no mushroom growth, but had a record of 54 years' continuous progress, and a present membership of 10,000, and was doing a trade of a quarter of a million per annum. He emphasised the democratic nature of the Co-operative move- ment. To the strains of the National Anthem, Mr Jackson unlocked the doors, and the assembled throng entered the pieaiises and made a tour of inspection. Expressions of admiring approval were general, and as the people passed out they were the recipients of surprise packets- free samples of bread, jam, tea, etc. Subsequently the Committee and officials of the Society, together with visiting friends and others, numbering in all about 70, sat down to a substantial tea at the George Hotel, under the chairmanship of Mr Goddard. After tea there were congratulatory speeches by Messrs Miles, Perkins, Wilkins, Bryant, Justham, and Hobley, who all praised the pluck and enterprise of the Gloucester Co-operative Society and wished its latest venture every success. Mr Goddard (who has been connected with the Society for 53 years), and Mr Jackson (about whom many complimentary things were said) responded. It was agreed to request the Secretary to send a letter to Mr Burlton expres- sing the company's sympathy and condolence with him in his bereavement. Later in the evening there was a free public concert in the Assembly Room, Culvert-street, when an excellent programme was rendered by Messrs. William Wills, F Merrett, Syd Capener, F Trigg and Bob Manning, all of Gloucester, with Mr H C Baldwin as piaiaist. Mr J T Jackson presided, and addresses were delivered at intervals by the Chairman and Messrs Bryant, Laidler, Blackwell and others.












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