Co-Op celebrates a centenary in Campile

The facade of the Shelburne Co-Op Agricultural Society at Campile that opened in 1919.

The Shelburne Co-Operative Society in Campile is 100 years old and to celebrate an Open Day on Friday, May 31st takes place 1 pm until 9 pm.
Huge discounts on offer for all the family, with 20% off all pots and double loyalty points on plants, huge savings throughout the Agri-business and CountryLife Campile store, plenty of giveaways, on the spot prizes and a raffle.
In addition, there will be 15% off all GAIN pet food, clothing and footwear, garden hand tools, lawn care and plant food for your green fingered gardeners. For those planning to enjoy the outdoor life, there will be price drops on BBQs and garden furniture.
For agri customers there will be 10 plus one free on all bagged agri-feeds, plus 15% off all farm equipment and animal health products.
In addition, the refurbished Campile Allcare Pharmacy will be marking the occasion with 20% off almost everything in store, vouchers, more spot prices and giveaways. Plus, there is the chance to get a free blood pressure check or pick up some top tips from a visiting make-up artist, Laura Waters.
There will be plenty happening on the day for all the family, the BEAT Fleet will be there from 2 pm with plenty of give-aways, free refreshments to mark the occasion, children’s face painting, art competitions and treats such as the popular Avonmore Mooju drinks.
An evening BBQ and music will kick-off from 4 pm, while Wexford strawberries and Avonmore summer cream will be among the tasty refreshments. The offers will run on Friday, May 31st and Saturday, June 1st.
With the GAA season heating up, there’ll be visits from Wexford GAA Players sponsored by GAIN Animal Nutrition.
It’s a chance to catch up with staff and friends and reminisce over the years gone by with the unveiling of a new book on the centenary of the Shelburne Co-operative put together by Michael Walsh for the occasion.
It takes in the tales of the Co-op through the decades. It paints a picture of the difficult era in which the Co-op was set up as it shows determination to give farmers a better price for their produce after the price of grain and livestock had plummeted following the end of World War I.

It spurred farmers in the area to band together to create the Co-op in 1919 to service the vast area stretching from the Hook to the White Mountain.
However, there were many notable occasions throughout the century as the 1930s saw the Co-Op blossom. The rise of the Co-Op saw the installation of a seed cleaning plant by a German firm, a rise in staff numbers and it became an agent for most of the leading brands of agricultural machinery.
During World War II, it faced the same travails as all businesses as the War brought difficulties including a shortage of fertilisers, animal feeds and coal.
Yet it was in August 1940 that the reality of the War was really brought home when a German plane dropped four bombs on the Co-Op. Tragically, three female members of staff – Kathleen Hurley, Kitty Kent and Mary Ellen Kent – lost their lives. The bombing saw a massive community effort to save the women as the staff, people from Campile, army, fire service and Red Cross all rushed to the site.
The Co-Op went on to overcome a fire at the start of the harvest season in the early 1950s that nearly spelled disaster for it. However, it resulted in the installation of a new clean modern plant which could deliver 5,000 barrels a day.
The staff at the Co-Op helped bring about its evolution over the decades as it expanded and grew into the facility that stands on the site today.

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