Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,777 pages of information and 210,006 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
C.W.S of Balloon Street, Manchester. Telephone: Manchester, Blackfriars 1212. Cables: "Wholesale, Manchester". Branches at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, London, Bristol and Cardiff. (1947)
The Co-operative Group, the trading name of Co-operative Group (CWS) Ltd, is a United Kingdom consumers' co-operative, the world's largest consumer-owned business. Co-operative Group (CWS) Limited was formerly called the Co-operative Wholesale Society Limited.
1844 The Co-operative movement started with the Rochdale Pioneers. The original shop is preserved as the Rochdale Pioneers Museum.
In 1863, twenty years after the Rochdale Pioneers opened their co-operative, the North of England Co-operative Society was launched by 300 individual co-ops across Yorkshire and Lancashire.
1864 The North of England Co-operative Wholesale Society was created to buy and manufacture goods for all the co-operatives.
The Co-operative Group formed gradually over 140 years, from the merger of many independent retail societies, and their wholesale societies and federations.
By 1872, after the North of England was dropped from the title, the society became known as the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), based in Manchester.
1874 John Thomas Whitehead Mitchell became chairman.
Late 1880s: the annual turnover of the CWS exceeded £6 million, its warehouse at Manchester was a small town, and it was administering nearly £1 million of funds in shares, loan capital, and reserve.
By the late 1890s the CWS employed 8407 people, working in the distributive departments and in the bank as well as in the productive works and services.
1947 British Industries Fair Advert for: Domestic Textiles; Ladies', Maids' and Children's Wear; Men's Wear. Manufacturers of Ladies' Coats, Costumes, Gowns, Furs, Corsetry, Lingerie, Umbrellas, Handbags, Hosiery, Underwear, Men's, Youths', Boys' Ready to Wear Clothing, Shirts, Pyjamas, Hats, Raincoats, Dressing Gowns, Woollen Cotton Piece Goods, Handkerchiefs, Spinners. (Textiles Section - Earls Court, Ground Floor, Stands No. 284 and 285) and Manufacturers of Leather; All classes of Footwear and Slippers; Ladies' Handbags, Dressing Cases and Fancy Leather Goods; Travelling Requisites; also Brooms, Household, Paint, Toilet, and Tooth Brushes. Cutlery and Garden Tools. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stands No. A.1299 and D.1660 and Earls Court, 1st Floor, Stands No. 149 and 466a) 
An excellent account of the business history of the Co-operative Group was published in 2013
See CWS Bell
The CWS had a foundry in Keighley, whose products included 'Provident' mangles.