The grandest building is on the corner of Queen Street and Albion Street. The main entrance stairwell is boarded up now (as the stairs were removed to form Candyman in later years). There is a comparatively simple scrolled carving above the door, but at pediment level are the words LABOUR AND WAIT , the motto of the movement.
Next to the first Co-op premises on the corner of Commercial Street and Albion Street there is an archway then a substantial mill-like building. It was actually the warehouse for storage and distribution of goods to the branch shops. The last use for it was as a fitness club (currently empty) and the basement (& an annexe) are a bar called Stush (until recently known as the Townhouse).
The carved stonework above the main entrance has the beehive logo, along with two corner roundels; one of scales and the other a handshake (& what looks like a heart above) denoting fairness and cooperation.
A local history book was published in Morley back in January, looking back at the golden days of the Co-op. I bought it mostly out of wanting to support local history projects but it considerably exceeded my expectations.
The book charted the social and architectural jigsaw of the rise and fall of the Cooperative Society in the town. At its peak there were five distinct sets of adjoining retail premises along with twenty-one branch shops in outlying areas, warehouses and even a pie factory.
The book can be bought at Co-op travel and Co-op pharmacy in town and you can read a review here.
There are still snippets of history around the town un-noticed to most. This photo shows where it all began 141 years ago on the corner of Albion Street and Commercial Street, the premises now belonging to a firm of Solicitors.