14 thoughts on “Unknown Co-op Building – any ideas?

  1. Hi, I think there is a good chance this is Stockton, NSW. I’m with the Stockton Historical Society and I’d love to get in contact with the owner of the image. We don’t have an image of this building and would love to talk about getting a copy. As others have said, this building is very typical of the sort built in the area at the time. Some remain, but most have been lost over time.


    • A couple of years ago I stayed for a night in Newcastle on the way to an engagement party in the Hunter Valley area. We visited Stockton the next day for breakfast in a beach side café. Stockton is across the Hunter River from Newcastle and is easily visited by ferry. (The ferry boats look just like the Liverpool to Birkenhead ferry boats)
      Stockton seemed to be a newish residential area with lots of bungalows and very little evidence of ‘old’ buildings. Stockton has miles of sandy beaches and a residential/holiday atmosphere.
      The Newcastle area is industrialised with chemical plant, steelworks , ship building and docks exporting coal by sea. The coal comes from open cast mines inland and is transported in by rail.
      If the COOP building in the photograph is in New South Wales, I believe it could have been in Newcastle perhaps on Hunter Street.
      Good luck with your search.


  2. This Co-op was erected at the corner of Dovecote Street, Stockton on Tees, when Stockton was a famous frontier town in Durham Territory, Northern England, not far from this building was the Church Road cattle coral, famous in its day for many a shoot-out with outlaws, rustlers, and quick draw gunmen. Because of this a town constable Gary Cooper (the Gt, gt, gt, grandfather of Major Edward Cooper, VC) was appointed to control the coal miners who attended Stockton market, his job was to ensure that they didn’t get too much out of hand.

    By the turn of the 19th century, and following the arrival of the Stockton and Darlington railway, Stockton had just about given up on being a cattle rustling centre, but, believing that his political clout as Sherriff gave him the right to defy the local cattle barons, (Cooper called them free rangers) Sherriff Cooper began to complain about the land encroachments taken by them on Stockton homestead land by the cattlemen, unfairly to some, Cooper then passed a local law that unbranded calves found on the open range between Stockton and Billingham Swamp became the exclusive property of the Town Sheriffs Association, in effect himself. Complaints were made by the cattlemen, many of whom met at Stockton Market Cross near this co-op to debate this issue – which put them at immediate odds with him. Finally, with a new governor being elected the Durham Legislature under pressure from the Stockton cattle and landowners association repealed Sherriff Cooper private law, which stopped Cooper rounding up range strays and branding them as his own property. Cooper was famous for writing a series of letters to the Northern Echo, venting his feelings against the cattle barons and after they had accused him of running a “rustlers ranch in Darlington back lane these comments did become heated at time. *(Would I kid you?)*


    • Bob, I am fascinated with your knowledge of Stockton-on-Tees. Could we grab a coffee sometime and you can tell me all about our lovely town? I’ve just read a comment on the Romeo and Juliet next to the HSBC building, and about the owner of the Green dragon pub. I live on The Groves, opposite Ropner Park. I’d love to know any history of our house!? The deeds say it was built eat 1890’s but I’m not sure. We still have the original roll top bath and japkap pull toilet, we also have lots of other original Victorian features and have been really lucky with them, just not so much the history of it. I look forward to hearing from you. Pippa.


  3. Has anybody else noticed the similarities of the Society House Wellington Street 1993 posted Feb. 2013. Same shape, same window locations, same side delivery door on the right and what looks like a similar building next door on the right. It could have been renovated and a 3rd floor added


  4. Alan,
    Do you have any family history frim Australia? This photo seems to have its roots in Stockton, NSW. I have looked online and there is a Stockton coop society in NSW. Looking at the colonial features of your photo it is similar to buildings in Stockton, NSW in the same historical time. The upper veranda iron fence is also the same design as used in other properties in the same area. Check it out on google: stockton cooperitive society NSW and hit images.


  5. If you enter in Google Images ‘Old Stockton, Au.’ (Australia) you’ll find many images of buildings exhibiting the same 1st floor verandahs and decorative cast-iron balustrade panelling.


      • I think it is Stockton New south Wales Australia. I have seen almost identical picture on flickr. There is also Newcastle and Wallsend in same area. it also says Stockton Cooperative on the signage. There would be more than one shop in the town, belonging to co-op. The style is very much the Queenslander with the lacework verandas. Judy heslop


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