Heritage Open Days at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum

Pioneers graves tourEach September, historic buildings across the country throw their doors open to the public with a range of events and activities for the nationwide Heritage Open Days.

Special activities organised by the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of co-operation, during the four-day festival, include a tour of Rochdale Cemetery, where fifteen of the 28 original Rochdale Pioneers are buried, with museum staff sharing stories about the lives of the individuals buried there (Thursday 11 September, 2-3pm, meet at Rochdale Cemetery mina entrance on Bury Road, book by calling 01706 524920 or emailing museum@co-op.ac.uk).

On Friday 12 September (10am-3pm), visitors can learn about the experiences of co-operative employees during the First World War by browsing material from the National Co-operative Archive. There will also be a chance to see a demonstration of the new, free online learning resource ‘From Factory Floor to Front Line’.

Also on Friday 12 September is a tour of the museum’s current ‘Co-operation on Wheels’ exhibition (1.30pm-2.15pm, book by calling 01706 524920 or emailing museum@co-op.ac.uk), which explores the links between cycling and co-operation, from team sponsorship to co-operative cycling clubs.

Finally, on Saturday 13 September (10.30am-11.15am, book by calling 01706 524920 or emailing museum@co-op.ac.uk), find out how Rochdale changed the world with a tour of 31 Toad Lane, the historic premises of the Pioneers museum where 28 working people set up shop for the first time on 21 December 1844, inspiring a global movement.

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