Free screening of pioneering movie to take place in Northampton

February 01, 2013

A free screening of an inspirational movie telling the true story of a battle to overcome the poverty and harsh conditions of the mid 19th century is to take place in Northampton later this month (28 February).

“The Rochdale Pioneers” is a 52 minute movie set in 1844 telling of 28 working men whose vision for a better social order inspired them to lay down the principals which are recognised as the birth of the co-operative movement.

Starring John Henshaw - known for roles in “Born and Bred” and “Looking for Eric” and John McArdle - of “Gallowglass” and “Prime Suspect” fame - the film, which will be screened at The Picturedrome, Northampton, was made by The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy to mark the 2012 United Nations Year of Co-operatives. 

There has been a near ten per cent increase in UK co-operative enterprises over the past two years, up from 5,450 in 2010 to approaching 6,000 (5,933) and, the evening also provides an opportunity to hear from three Northamptonshire co-operatives; Daily Bread; Umbrella Fair and South Court Environmental (SCE).

Sabina Crouch, The Co-operative’s Membership officer for Northampton, said: “”In 1844 the Rochdale Pioneers set out the principles that became the basis for how co-operatives around the world still operate to this day – it is a remarkable story of struggle against adversity that remains just as relevant today.

“From humble beginnings, co-operatives worldwide now have an estimated one billion members and, make significant contributions to world-wide socio-economic development, in particular; poverty reduction, community cohesion, employment generation and social integration.”

Tickets for the screening are limited and are available from Enterprise Solutions Northamptonshire – which works to develop social enterprises and co-operatives in the area and, is helping to stage the event - by visiting

Additional Information:

Event details: Thursday 28th February 2013, The Picturedrome, Kettering Road, Northampton NN1 4BN. 6.30 pm doors open. 7.00 pm film showing. Film and talks end around 8.45 pm.

Further information about the Northamptonshire co-operatives speaking at the event:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 07702 505551