In addition to its business and trading commitments, the co-operative movement actively sought to establish a presence in the social life of the towns and cities in which it was based. Yet the cultural life of the labour movement in twentiethcentury Britain has suffered relative neglect compared to research into the laboursocialist cultural life of other European countries. Academic attention has been given to the network of recreational clubs and association life that contributed to the ‘alternative culture’ of the German Social Democratic Party in Germany.1 The co-operative movement, however, also offered its members a rich cultural life comprising a variety of clubs, events and educational activities designed to appeal to all its members.