Special ceremony held at Chesterfield funeral home to mark the town’s historic links to the co-operative movement

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield have helped unveil a special plaque at the town’s oldest Co-op site which has served the area for well over a century.

The Mayor Councillor Stuart Brittain and Mayoress Anne Brittain attended the unveiling ceremony at Central England Co-operative Funeralcare’s West Bars Funeral Home, which has recently undergone an £80,000 revamp to improve the look and facilities at the historic building.

The building plays an important role in the history of the co-operative movement in Chesterfield after its purchase in 1901 by the Chesterfield & District Co-operative Provident Society, just seven years after the Society was founded in New Square in 1894.

Members of the Chesterfield Co-operative Party and Chesterfield Civic Society, who helped fund the plaque, were also on hand for the unveiling along with colleagues from the Funeral Home and President of Central England Co-operative Elaine Dean.

Elaine said: “I am honoured to have been able help unveil this plaque which marks the historic links of West Bars to the co-operative movement and this building’s place in Chesterfield’s co-op story. It was also wonderful to see how the improvements to the home have really enhanced its historic surroundings.

“I would like to thank the Mayor and Mayoress for kindly joining us for this special occasion, as well as Chesterfield Co-operative Party and Chesterfield & District Civic Society for funding the plaque.”

Chairman of Chesterfield & District Civic Society Philip Riden said: “The Civic Society is delighted to see another blue plaque going up on a prominent local building. We are especially grateful to the Chesterfield Co-operative Party and Central England Co-operative for their support which has made this possible.”

As well as the unveiling of the plaque, the ceremony also saw Margo and her team joined by local clergy for a special blessing to rededicate the home following its revamp.

Funeral Director at West Bars Margo Gasston added: “We are really proud to be part of the community in West Bars and are delighted with the improvements which have created a vastly superior look and feel for families.

“Our first priority is to enhance memories and love for all of our families and we are very pleased to offer that at West Bars Funeral Home. We feel it reflects our commitment to providing excellent standards of care for our families during their time of need.”

The revamp of the home included a fully-redecorated, welcoming reception area including new furniture and LED Lighting.

The funeral home offers a 24-hour service, seven days a week. In addition to arranging funerals, Margo and her team are also able to offer advice on floral tributes, monumental masonry, funeral stationery, pre-paid funeral plans and probate advice. The team can be contacted on 01246 220201.


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK. 

It is a modern, forward-looking organisation employing over 8,000 staff, with the Society’s principal areas of activity being food, funeral services, and property.

The company’s funeral business consists of over 120 funeral homes across 16 counties, nine florists, masonry production and administration, Bretby Crematorium and Terry Smiths coffin factory.

Central England Co-operative has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including; West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

The Society has an ambitious food store and funeral home development programme for 2019.

Central England Co-operative is proud of its reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.  It is a member of Business in the Community, the membership organisation that stands for responsible business, and has also won many business awards for excellence.  The Society supports a number of charities including Dementia UK and invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities.

Becoming a member of Central England Co-operative offers a whole host of benefits ranging from collecting points every time you spend in store to earn a share of the profits, access to members activities and community initiatives including the Community Dividend Fund, which hands out grants of up to £5,000 to charities and good causes across the Society’s trading estate.

Find out how to become a Central England Co-operative member by calling 0800 0501 601, emailing members@centralengland.coop or visiting https://www.members.coop

For more information visit www.centralengland.coop, follow Central England Co-operative on Twitter: @mycoopfood, @mycooplife and on Facebook: facebook.com/centralenglandcooperative

Rob Smyth and James Brindle at Central England Co-operative on 01543 414140

Email – publicrelations@centralengland.coop