It’s interesting to note that the investors who created one of the largest buildings in Carshalton village, can most likely be attributed to the South Suburban Co-operative Society Ltd. They are now simply known as the Co-Op but at this time were formed by merging with the Croydon Co-operative (and others) in 1918.
When the South Suburban Co-operative Society came to Carshalton is unclear. However, I’ve tracked down some images which could narrow down when it was.
Look below, and you’ll see the Co-Op building. We know the photo is post-1940, because of the big gap to the right of the Co-Op. This is where the King’s Head pub once stood, and it was destroyed in the Blitz of World War Two.
The side of the Co-Op building is not brick, but looks plainly decorated (though it could also be stone), which may suggest it may have once butted up to another building – the pub. The other side of the building on the corner of Carshalton Place is brick-faced.
The Co-Op building wasn’t on maps in the mid-30s, but was at least by the mid-1950s. There’s a possibility it was built sometime between the mid-1930s and before the start of the second-world war in 1939 – particularly when you see the surviving mosaic step designs.
Alternatively, it could have been built circa mid-1940s when the bomb site had been cleared, or perhaps later still in the early 1950s.
No doubt, information survives somewhere to confirm when it was built, and it’s possible someone reading this now would know for certain too. As always, when new facts comes to light we’ll update this post. Thanks for reading.
🗝️ Interestingly the co-operative is also a political party, and considered to be the 4th largest party in the UK.
With thanks to Martin Weselby for sharing the old photo of Co-Op on the Facebook Secret Carshalton Group.