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© bacuptimes.co.uk 2004
From it's very early days Bacup's town centre was a hub for shopping for the whole of  the area. From Drapers to Jewellers, Pork butchers to Watchmakers, Hairdressers to  Musical instrument makers and beyond....Bacup's selection of shops provided an  excellent selection of local stores that satisfied the needs of everybody. Prior to the  building of the Railway all goods coming into Bacup had to be transported by carrier.   Some of the carriers in those days were, James Pickup, Thomas Barrowclough,  Abraham and George White, and James Cropper otherwise known as "Old Cropper"  a  farmer of Lower Rockliffe. The market hall was the venue of toy stalls, iron­mongery, butchers, toffees, delicatessen  and cafes. The part in front of the Police Station was devoted mainly to fruit, vegetables  and fish, with a regular stallholder who sold floor coverings. The cloth market was held  by the side of the Police Station, open to the skies in those days and, as the name  implies, it consisted mainly of curtaining, drapery and other household goods.Closing  time wasn't until 10pm in those days, and they were nearly as busy at that time as at any  part of the day. Money being scarce, many bargains were to be obtained as the  stallholders preferred to sell up rather than have to pack bits back onto their carts.  In 1956 the market was moved to what had been a car park  at Temple Court, opening  there on May 30th, 1956, its former home, the market hall and shops which were opened  by Mr. James Maden Holt of Stubbylee in August 1867 and referred to at the time as the  “Lion of Bacup” now stands empty and derelict, a shadow of their former splendour. The  news article from August 1867 describes the hall as “being erected of stone of a very  durable kind, walled in rock face, and with tool dressings. The interior is lined with brick,  so as to avoid the use of plaster for the walls, which are coloured”. Read more of the  report HERE. 
The Bacup Co-operative was born from fourteen persons who had met together for a time  to improve their writing, reading, and mathematic skills. Using a room above the old Co-op  for a sum of fifteen pence  a week rent. Each of the fourteen put six shillings into the kitty  and with this  they purchased coffee from a merchant in Todmorden. Having purchased it  at a cheaper rate and divided it equally they went onto to purchase other household  necessities, tea, coffee, sugar, soap and using the cart from the corn mill they brought the  goods from Todmorden to Bacup with a friend lending his scales for  weighing out.  Following thier success they found they needed much bigger premises and so it was that  in 1863 the Co-op  store was built on Rochdale Road.   As the movement grew so did the number of stores being opened and in 1865  the No1  store at  Weir was opened. The No 2 store at Britannia Village was opened in 1866. The  No 3 store at Lee Mill was opened 1867.Two years later in 1868 the No 4 branch store  was opened at Change. Followed nine years later by the Market street store No 6. Vale  street store No 7 The Underbank store known as No 5 branch opened in 1878.  In 1881 the Boot. Shoe & Clogging departments were added to the Union street store in  1881. In 1865 the prices of clogs were: Mens Clogs 2/10 per pair, Womans 2/3 per pair  Boys 1/10 per pair. Clogging Costs Mens 1/- Boys 10d Women's 11d. A pair of Mens  shoes 4/6 per pair Ladies 3/6 per pair. In 1899 Ladies Button shoes 2/11 per pair Ladies  Kid Button and Lace 3/11 to 6/11 per pair. Ladies High leg lace boots 5/11 per pair. Mens  lace boots, light & strong from 4/11 to 9/11. 
Old Bacup Market Shepherds Grocers Todmorden Road Bridge Street florists A Rothwell Grocer Todmorden Road Union Street shops Bradley's Clothiers Market St Bacup Co-op Number 5 Cooper Street First C0-op delivery cart on Burnley Rd Inside Market Hall Marks & Spencers Bridge Street St James Street Temple Court Market