A co-operative society was established in Newcastle in 1860. The Newcastle Society first acquired property in Newgate Street in 1864. The art deco building currently standing at 95-103 Newgate Street was opened in 1932. It was designed by L.G. Ekins (an architect working for the Co-operative Wholesale Society). On the right-hand tower, the word ‘cooperative’ replaces numbers on the clock face. The General Cooperative Survey Committee, appointed at the Co-operative Congress of 1914, recommended that individual co-operative societies establish large ‘emporia’ or department stores. Many urban-based societies did so, and by the interwar years the co-operative movement was able to provide a network of large department stores. The Newcastle Society’s iconic department store remained open for over seventy years, closing in 2007(although the food hall stayed open until 2011).
J. Birchall, Co-op: The People's Business (1994); Lawrence Black and Nicole Robertson eds), Consumerism and the Co-operative Movement in Modern British History: Taking Stock (2009); G.D.H. Cole, A Century of Co-operation (1944); Bill Lancaster, The Department Store: A Social History (2000); P.Gurney, Co-operative Culture and the Politics of Consumption in Britain 1870-1930 (1996); Nicole Robertson, The Co-operative Movement and Communities in Britain 1914-60: minding their own business (2010).