Midlothian’s 100 Objects - PenicuikCo-op Women’s Guild

A banner belonging to the Scottish Co-operative Women's Guild, Penicuik branch. Photo: Scottish Co-operative Women's Guild, Penicuik Branch/Scran
A banner belonging to the Scottish Co-operative Women's Guild, Penicuik branch. Photo: Scottish Co-operative Women's Guild, Penicuik Branch/Scran

Members of the Penicuik Women’s Guild were meeting prior to its registration with the Co-op movement in 1909.

The Golden Jubilee of the Guild, in 1959, saw it presented with this banner, and each member received an engraved cup and saucer.

The banner

The banner

However, falling membership saw the Guild close around 1984, but its banner is still displayed at the annual conference by Mrs May Donnelly, now a member of the Gorgie Guild.

The text on this banner notes that it belongs to the Women’s Guild of the Penicuik Co-operative Association. The Penicuik coat of arms shows a bird below which sits one of the town’s archaic names - Pen-y-coe.

The Co-operative Women’s Guild was formed in 1883. The Scottish section was instituted nine years later. Its primary motives were to teach and spread the principles of co-operation. Crucially, it gave women a network to counter isolation and provide a voice in democracy previously denied.

Photo: Scottish Co-operative Women’s Guild, Penicuik Branch/Scran