The Co-op Divi!

Dividend payments in 2011
The Co-op at Forest Town, on Main Avenue. Just one of the Mansfield & Sutton Co-op Stores
Mansfield Co-op Headquarters on Queen Street, Mansfield, was this where the dividens were worked out?


This week I received my Co-op Membership Dividend in the form of vouchers which can be spent in any participating Co-op outlets. While not for a large amount they will come in handy when making new purchases and they are valid until 31st August 2012.

The amount spent, and points gained towards this dividend was recorded with a plastic membership card, swiped through a machine each time a purchase was made.

These vouchers set me thinking of Co-op Membership in the past, in the days when anyone shopping at the Co-op was asked for their membership number.

If my memory serves me right this number was written down in a duplicate book with the total amount of goods purchased and you were given the top copy  Рa flimsy bit of paper to save for your own records.

If we were sent on an errand to the Co-op for mum, the final reminder was “don’t forget my number.”

For families in the ‘Good Old Days’ the Co-op Divi was something looked forward to, as this was paid out near Christmas in the form of cash at your local store – I think! This money added to the housekeeping was really important to many families as it helped them to buy that little bit extra for the festive season.

I cannot recall my mum or grandmothers Co-op number, but I know many people still do – can you?


Comments about this page

  • The “Divi” always makes me laugh when I hear this. Conclusive proof that it is easier to get a pound from a million people, than it is to get a million pounds. Do people not realise they are only getting a small fraction of their own money back which they have spent on possibly over priced goods in the first place?

    By John (25/12/2014)
  • I too remember my Mother’s Co-op number 51031. Forever engraved on the memory from when I was first sent to fetch bread from our local shop at the age of 5 or 6. Also queueing for the divi at the shop in Mansfield. That was over 60 years ago.

    By Aileen Rawding (Craggs) (08/04/2013)
  • One of those numbers forever remembered. 27867

    By JohnVanags (20/01/2013)
  • I still remember my parents and grandparents Co-op number as I recited them often enough when sent to the Co-op in Rosemary Street.They were imprinted on my brain by the time I was eight years old in the mid 1950s. My grandmother’s number was 1149 and my parent’s was 20651. I also remember it being like Berisford Jones says queuing up that long staircase with my mother. The queue sometimes was so long it spilled out onto Queen Street up to the Queens Head. The Divi was cash in those days. I’m sure my parents opened an account at the Co-op bank and had their Divi payed into that because I can only recall queuing a couple of times.

    By Peter Bowler. (19/01/2013)
  • I too remember standing in line up the stairs with my mother to collect our divi, I think the number was 42107. Regards Gordon

    By Gordon Ball (16/01/2013)
  • I remember very well my Mothers Divi Number and the Queues on Queen Street to collect your money, and it is a number you never forget. Although it is over 70 years ago my Mothers Number was 23236 and later my own was 4155. Also if you served in the Armed Forces you never forget that Either————– Remarkable Dividend was always paid out if my memory serves me right prior to the Whitsuntide Holiday and from a brick building ajacent to the Main Store, and it Was Cash not tokens in those days

    By M g r (10/05/2012)
  • In the 60’s, living at the top of Ladybrook we didn’t have a local Co-op store, instead we had a grocery ‘Mobile’, every Thursday. Mansfield & Sutton Cooperative ran 2, both Morris trucks the size of a single decker bus (they looked like large horse boxes) painted in the Co-op livery, dark green with gold scrolled lettering. A small platform at the back provided shelter for those being served. It was always the same two fellows, dressed in long white jackets, one of was called Les and I think he went onto become the manager at the Carsic branch.

    Anyway, I digress, as such our ‘divi’ was paid out from the top floor / Queensway suite at Mansfield and it was like a military operation! A Long queue formed down the stone spiral staircase onto Queen St and when you eventually made it into the top floor room further queues formed depending on your (59760!) membership number. Scores of staff manned large ledgers with the payment details and your ‘share book’ was duly marked. I think you are correct Pauline, the ‘shilling in the pound’ rebate was a vital savings club for many, many folk in those days. As an aside, the Mansfield Co-op on Queen St. features in an short amusing 1966 Pathe News reel that can be view on their site;

    By Berisford Jones (19/12/2011)
  • Co-op divi yes everything so true, in fact me mother had us bring the white ticket back every time, she saved everyone! I to can remember the divi number you had too. Yes it was the “good old days” the local co-op in “woodus” was called “THE STORES” in those days, counter service also not like today. Can some of the readers remember the chair the shops provided for people to sit on while waiting to be served ! Happy memories now long gone

    By "former wood us lad" (17/12/2011)

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