|Bakery Building 1987|
The meeting was held in the Crown Inn Hall, in the autumn of 1861. Mr George McQueen presided, and in his address eloquently portrayed the work which had been done by the Rochdale pioneers, and the success which had attended their efforts. The same result, he said, could take place in Carluke if they were determined. They had only to possess a shop of their own. `I belong to the upper reaches of the Clyde, he continued; ` it is there so insignificant that one can step across it; but as it flows along, receiving tributary after tributary, it becomes a great river ere it reaches the sea, carrying on its bosom mighty ships trading to all parts of the world. So, too, will cooperation, as society after society unites, become a great federation, a potent factor in the every-day life of the people.
That evening it was decided to establish a society, and rent a shop for the sale of groceries and provisions, under the name of Carluke Equitable Pioneer Society. The shares were fixed at £5 each, paid at once or by instalments. George McQueen was appointed chairman, Mr Nicolson was appointed secretary, and Mr Alexander Smellie treasurer. Mr Nicolson did not long hold the position of secretary, however, and was succeeded by Mr Henry Andrew, the schoolmaster. A strong committee was also appointed, and steps were at once taken to secure a shop. And thus was beheld an unprecedented departure from the established social order - working men looking for a shop.
`Who is going to be responsible for the rent? was the question with which they were invariably met, for it did not appear that the original founders of the Carluke Cooperative Society had amassed enough of the worlds wealth to give this guarantee. Herein lay the first hurdle, and the manner in which it was said to have been overcome was symbolic of the success of the whole movement. James Good, one of the Brothers Good, and a miner by occupation, we are told,came forward and guaranteed the rent, be the undertaking a success or a failure. A shop was secured in those premises at the junction of Rankin Street and Market Road, and known later as the Market Tavern.
In the bottom flat of those premises commenced Carlukes first ` Cooperative Store. The building was the property of Dr Rankin, and what is now known as Rankin Street was then known as North Lane.