|The first High St. Co-op building |
The object of this little work is to trace the course of one of these springs from its source to the broad dimensions it has reached at the present day—in a word, the now 150 years history of Carluke Cooperative Society. The simile is striking and the story is interesting. Great movements are like great rivers; commencing as a mere trickle, they gather volume as they fiow; here pushing their way past obstacles, there gliding smoothly, but ever making their way to the greater movement beyond.
lt is highly questionable if the nineteen men who, 150 years ago, combined to form the Carluke Cooperative Society fully realised the great potency of the movement in which they were taking part, although, as we shall see, they were not altogether blind to its immense possibilities. It is a maxim of history that we are often led by humble means to great ends. Far reaching movements can never be understood apart from their times. To see them in their proper perspective and proportion we must see them against the background of the period in which they originated.