These words associated with the Co-operative Women's Guild are embroidered on the banner of the Cheadle Hulme Branch of the Guild, a recent donation to the Co-operative Heritage Trust. The banner is a simple and light banner with a bunch of cornflowers embroidered. This is the flower of the Lancashire section of the Guild to symbolize hope.

But how did we get it and what will we do with it?


Our Trust collects material relating to the Co-op Movement in the UK and although we have some international material, we don't actively collect this. Women's Guild is one of our most popular collections and we have items  from various branches, photographs, pamphlets, thimbles, banners and chains of office. You can read an earlier blog post here about how the organization began.

Donations come in a variety of ways, business records from various co-op societies and auxiliary groups, from individuals and also from other museums and archives who may have material which is better suited to our collections. 

At this year’s 'Margaret Ashton'* lecture, held at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester, Dr Alison Ronan mentioned to the archivist that she and academic Janet Batsleer were in possession of a banner acquired when undertaking a project which needed a home. 

*Margaret Ashton was a Suffragist and Campaigner - the first Woman elected to Manchester City Council in 1908


Images of the banner were sent to the collections manager at the museum who could see if it fitted in with the collection policy and was something that would help to enhance the banner collection - we thought the Cheadle Hulme banner, would be a fruitful addition to our collection. 

We do sometimes have to reject offers of items due to the fact we have so many similar examples. We have to make decisions to keep our acquisitions strictly within our collections policy, as often the financial implications to upkeep the management and preventative conservation of items can be a strain on the trust. The storage of textiles requires an environment that is monitored against pests (rodents and insects), temperature controlled to ensure damp is at bay and also wrapping in ways that provide complete protection from dust and other contamination. 

We hope to display the banner at some stage but items like this cannot be displayed for long periods - so we try to rotate them.


The museum is open to the public and there are a number of exhibits on display. Check out the website for opening times. [email protected]
If you wish to visit the archive and view material then this will need to be requested in advance of a visit as items are kept in storage for protection. If you have any questions please email [email protected]