Across from the Museum and Art Gallery in Salford is the Working Class Movement Library, which houses some very important documents about co-operative societies, including records on the Fenwick Weavers, a very early society:
‘Early societies tended to operate separately and did not come together to form a movement until the early 19th century, during the Industrial Revolution. Industrialisation brought the rapid growth of towns and fewer people producing their own food.’
Robert Owen is viewed as a founder of the movement, paying higher wages for shorter hours in the factory, much like the Fielden family over on the Yorks-Lancs border. The movement then blossomed in places such as nearby Rochdale, a place now on it knees, which is attempting some desperate revivification of the area around the train station.