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British Co-op tokens denominated in bread

Started by redwine, December 30, 2014, 08:55:02 AM

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andyg

The milk tokens you apparently left outside, so when the milkman came he knew what milk to leave - since bread was delivered too could these be similar?
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

africancoins

(andyg posted whilst I was composing my reply...)

The bread tokens and milk tokens  - I seem to think were always pre-payment tokens...

Then the van comes round to you door and delivers whatever amounts of things you had left tokens out for.

Depending how a particular co-op did things for the dividend... you would perhaps have paid 10 shilling for some such food denominated tokens and at that point you might also have received a 10 shilling token to keep track of how much you had spent with the co-op.

Thanks Mr Paul Baker

FosseWay

What you both suggest makes more sense, I think. I hadn't realised bread was delivered in the same way as milk (on regular rounds, rather than as a one-off delivery together with other groceries).

Figleaf

#18
Pre-payment tokens is fine, but that includes two other aspects than absentee delivery. One is that pre-payment allows you to sell the tokens to co-op members only at a lower price than the normal shop prices. Indeed, I learned that during a strike, co-ops could choose to sell only to those having tokens, i.e. co-op members.

Also, co-ops had a social function. This means that the co-op could choose to hand out tokens to needy members, e.g. those newly out of work, sick or the family of a member killed in a working accident.

In other words, the tokens allowed price stratification by social position. That this was done can be seen as in other countries (notably Belgium) co-ops were heavily opposed by the Roman catholic church, who counted caring for the poor as one of its traditional tasks and used it to oblige the poor to come to mass. If the Anglican church did not react the same, that can easily be explained by the fact that the poor, war invalids and orphans became wards of their local Parish, which was normally incapable of accomplishing the task.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Figleaf

Around 1900, Maidstone's traditional function as transport hub for agricultural goods produced in Kent, destined for London was supplemented by industries in need of large quantities of fresh water: paper mills, brewing and the cloth industry. Quarrying for construction in London also took flight. These heavy industries were supplanted by light industry and services after 1945.

The Maidstone co-op dates from 1887, but the tokens were issued much later. They came in two series: bronze and aluminium. Note that on the small loaf token the central legends of both sides are horizontal but clearly not aligned in the same way with the flan. See also the placement of the E of Maidstone relative to the nearest corner of the flan.  In 1962, the co-op ended up as part of Co-operative Retail Services (CRS)

Peter

Maidstone 11 Small.jpeg
Maidstone 14 Large.jpeg 
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Figleaf

Pentre was added to Ton (meadow in Welsh) to distinguish the place from nearby Tonypandy. At the time the tokens were issued, it was in Glamorganshire. Today, it is a county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

When it became viable to mine anthracite coal in deep shaft pits in the mid-19th century, David Davies & Partners sunk a pit in 1864 in Ton Pentre: the Maindy Colliery. It was immediately the major employer in the area. The mine was near closure in 1866 when a new seam was discovered. This sustained production of coal until 1948, when mining ceased at the colliery, though it remained open as a ventilation shaft for other mines.

The Ton Pentre co-op opened its doors in 1889, first shortening its name to Ton, later adding industrial. The co-op joined the Mid Rhondda co-op in 1968.

Peter

Ton 13 Large.jpeg
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Figleaf

Just as Mid Rhondda was big on bread, the Rhondda valleys were big on mines. Coal mining in one of the world's most important coal mining regions at the time wouldn't make you rich and would often mean an early grave.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Figleaf

Skewen was another mining town in South Wales, but the area also boasted a blast furnace and an oil refinery.

The co-op was established only in 1934. It ceased to exist in 1981, when it was taken over by Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), specialised in taking over failing retail consumer co-operatives. CWS developed into Co-operative Retail Services, now merged back into Co-operative Wholesale Society, forming Co-op. The Skewen shop is at 37, Neath New Road.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Figleaf

Burslem, now part of Stoke-on-Trent was an important part of the Staffordshire potteries that included a name as well known as Wedgewood (now a Finnish-owned property producing in Indonesia).

As in the case of coal, working in an important branch of the economy, even producing high quality products, did not translate into wealth for the workers, but into dirty and dangerous jobs that shortened life expectation. The co-ops and their social activism were an antidote.

Peter

Burslem 8.jpeg

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.