CWS Architects Department

architects department

Established in 1864, The Co-operative Wholesale Society was the wholesale provider for the 1,200 or so retail societies affiliated to it. By the end of 1874 it had become a mercantile, banking, and manufacturing federation working on a national scale. Branches were subsequently set up at West Blandford Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Leman Street, London, E. Until the establishment of an Architects Department and the appointment of F E L Harris, the C.W.S. plans were drafted by or for the head of the building department, otherwise the services of an architect were commissioned in the usual manner.

The CWS Architects Department was formed on 2 January 1896 at Balloon Street Manchester. To provide the necessary professional expertise, the architect F E W Harris was appointed to take charge in 1897. Henceforth all the buildings erected and the extensions made by the C.W.S. at home or abroad offices, warehouses, flour mills, weaving sheds, boot factories, and so on have been built from the designs and under the supervision of Mr. Harris and his department. The Dunston Soap Works forms the only exception, inasmuch that the architect was L G. Ekins, who had gone to Newcastle from the architects' office at Manchester, to establish a branch office there. He would later take charge of the branch office in London (1916-1945). In 1917 the Newcastle office had eight staff and the London office four. In 1905 the head office at Balloon Street had 13 staff but by 1917 this had tripled to 42 staff.

The CWS also offered their architectural services to the retail societies, although such societies were still at liberty to appoint an architect of their own choosing. During the early months of 1913 some sixty plans were in preparation at the Manchester headquarters for the retail societies. From Cambridge to Colne, and from Walsall to Hull, central premises for societies have been designed in this manner, while the credit for Holyoake House, the headquarters of the Co-operative Union, also belongs to this department.

CWS Chief Architect
1897-1918   F E L Harris (qv)
1918-19      W A Johnson (qv)
1961           G S Hay

Balloon Street, Manchester

Buildings and Designs

Building Name District Town/City County Country
CWS Flour Mill Silvertown London Silvertown London Greater London England
Business Premises Kimber Ley Nottinghamshire Kimber Ley Nottinghamshire England
Co-operative Buildings Barleigh Street Cambridge Cambridge Cambridgeshire England
Business Premises High Street Aylesbury Aylesbury Buckinghamshire England
Business Premises Parish Lane Penge Penge England
Three storey Stabling West Blandford Street Newcastle-upon-Tyne Newcastle-upon-Tyne Tyne and Wear England
Dining Room and Four Cottages Pelaw Gateshead for CWS Gateshead Co Durham England
Drapery Warehouse (E Block) Federation Street Manchester Central Manchester GMCA England
Hanover House Corporation Street Central Manchester GMCA England
Co-operative Bank etc. Corporation Street Manchester Central Manchester GMCA England
C W S Hosiery Factory Huthwaite Huthwaite Sutton-in-Ashfield Nottinghamshire England
Co-operative Society Factory Rushden Rushden Northamptonshire England
Proposed new Co-operative Store Pershore Street Birmingham Birmingham West Midlands England
Warehouse Sheds etc CWS Ironworks Keighley Keighley Yorkshire England
Grain Silo Silvertown London Silvertown London Greater London England
Holyoake House Hanover Street Manchester Central Manchester GMCA England
Federation Building Balloon Street Manchester Manchester GMCA England
Premises Peak Forest Peak Forest Derbyshire England
Bakery Crossfield Street Blackburn Blackburn Lancashire England
Additions to Bakery and Shop Basford Basford Lancashire England
Co-operative Premises Penygraig Penygraig Wales
(Co-op?) Premises at Diggle Diggle Oldham GMCA England
22 Cottages. Ulverston Ulverston Cumbria England
15 Cottages. Haslingden Haslingden Lancashire England
Shop Premises Willis Street Warrington Warrington Cheshire England
Co-operative Premises Burslem Burslem Staffordshire England
Bakery Scarborough Scarborough Yorkshire England
New Co-operative Premises Vine Street Stafford Stafford Staffordshire England
Alterations: Warrington Co-operative Society Premises. Warrington Cheshire England
Warehouse and Hall Clitheroe Clitheroe Lancashire England
Nine pairs of semi-detached houses: Baroldswick Barnoldswick Lancashire England
Uppermill Co-operative Society Ltd New Central Premises Uppermill Oldham GMCA England
Dairy and Stables. Wigan Wigan GMCA England
Alterations to premises for Aberdare Co-operative Society Limited Aberdare Wales
New Premises for the Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd. Cardiff Cardiff GMCA England
Branch Stores Ffrith Road Brymbo Flintshire Brymbo Clwyd England
Shop Premises and Public Hall. Platt Lane Rusholme Manchester GMCA England
Alterations to Central Premises Harrogate Harrogate Yorkshire England
New Branch Premises Byron Street Buxton Buxton Derbyshire England
Old Bank Building Corporation Street Manchester Central Manchester GMCA England
New Shop and alterations to existing premises Penketh Warrington Penketh Warrington Cheshire England
Alterations and Extensions to Premises Goulden Street Warrington Warrington Cheshire England
Shop-fitting Orford Lane Warrington Warrington Cheshire England
New Model Bakery Winwick Road Warrington Warrington Cheshire England
Reconstructing Shop Stockton Heath Warrington Stockton Heath Warrington Cheshire England
12-Stall Stable (two storey) Erwood Street Warrington Warrington Cheshire England
New Store, Birch Lane and Blocksage Street, Dukinfield Dukinfield Tameside GMCA England
CWS Tea Warehouse Ordsall Lane Port of Manchester Ordsall Salford GMCA England
Additions to Dairy Bosworth Street Bradford Manchester Bradford Manchester GMCA England
Extension:: Hull Co-operative Society Dairy, Great Thornton Street, Hull Hull Yorkshire England
Shops and Offices, Bury New Road, Prestwich Prestwich GMCA England
Bakery. Warwick Road Prestwich Prestwich GMCA England
Garage. Knot Lane, Prestwich Prestwich GMCA England
Emporium Market Street Bury Bury GMCA England
CWS Soap Factory Irlam Irlam Salford GMCA England
Packing Factory Trafford Park Trafford Park Stretford GMCA England
Extension to Tobacco Factory Manchester GMCA England
Co-op 8 Eastbank Street Southport Southport GMCA England
Sunwin House Department Store Sunbridge Road Bradford Bradford GMCA England
Redfern Building Dantzic Street Central Manchester GMCA England
Dantzic Building 29 Dantzic Street Central Manchester GMCA England
Co-operative Store Lancaster Road Preston Preston Lancashire England
Huddersfield Co-operative Huddersfield Yorkshire England
CWS Factory Northampton (no date) Northampton Northamptonshire England
Office building Manchester Manchester GMCA England
CWS Fresh-produce Warehouse Rochdale Road Manchester Manchester GMCA England
Proposed Extension to Preserve Works Middleton Middleton GMCA England
Proposed Perfumery factory at Droylsden. Droylsden. GMCA England
Bomb Proof Shelter Mayes Street and Dantzic Street Central Manchester GMCA England
Dairy, Birdhall Lane, Cheadle Heath Cheasle Heath Stockport GMCA England
Premises at (Station Road?) Waunlwyd Waunlwyd Ebbw Vale Blaenau Gwent Wales
Assembly Hall and Bakery, Barehill Street, Littleborough Littleborough Rochdale GMCA England
Shop and Stables, Ewloe, Flintshire Ewloe Flintshire (Clwyd) Wales
Sixteen Cottages, Leylands Road, Birstall Birstall Leeds Yorkshire England
Factory: Portland Road, Rushden Rushden Northamptonshire England
CWS Flour Mill, Avonmouth, Bristol Avonmouth Bristol England
Co-op premises, High St, Chippenham Chippenham Wiltshire England
Bacon Factory Trallee Trallee Co. Kerry Ireland
CWS Soap and Candle Works, Irlam Irlam Salford GMCA England
Central Offices: Warwick Street, Prestwich Prestwich Bury GMCA England
Central Premises for Co-operative Society, Kings Road, Melton Mowbray Melton Mowbray Leicestershire England
New Premises, Palmer Street, Frome, Somerset Frome Somerset England
Co-operative Central Premises, Bridge Street, Walsall Walsall West Midlands England
Extension to Co-operative Central Premises, Burleigh Street, Cambridge Cambridge Cambridgeshire England
Co-operative Premises, Bridge Street, Andover Andover Hampshire England