Blantyre Co-op Tokens

Jack Byres shared this photo of some Blantyre Co-Op Tokens. The Co-operative Society has long played a vital part in Blantyre’s commerce since the 1880’s. It was such a monumental part of everyday life in in this town that it’s worth touching upon their history further.

Although the Co-op, as an enterprise has roots as far back as 1844, I discovered in this research that Blantyre’s first co-operative was actually opened at Stonefield Road, near the junction of Glasgow Road in the 1860’s, but it failed (most likely due to lack of population). It did not take off and was gone by 1870.

Blantyre’s Co-operative tried again and was opened on 7th September 1883 at 142 Station Road, expanding into other locations in Blantyre and the rest, as they say is history!

Such tokens were originally made of celluloid and of course were in “auld money”, but later in the 20th Century became the more familiar plastic ones as pictured. Having first served a young lad named Alexander McCluskey in late August 1883, after almost 90 years of trading and about 75 years of handling checks, it all came to an end on Tuesday 25th July 1972, when the Society was officially wound up.

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