Rochdale is a town in the north-west of England. Lying along the
course of the River Roch, with a population of 95,796 (2001 census).
Historically part of Lancashire, Rochdale rose to prominence during the 19th
century as a major centre of textile manufacture. Rochdale was a boomtown of the
Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns.
Rochdale is perhaps best known for being credited as the birthplace of the
Co-operative Movement. The Rochdale Principles, a set of ideals for the
operation of cooperatives, takes its name from the town.
Rochdale was amongst the most productive cotton spinning mill towns in the
Rochdale is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of the Co-operative
Movement; a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled system of enterprise.
A few poor weavers joined together to form the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers
Society at the end of 1843. The Rochdale Pioneers, as they became known, set out
the Rochdale Principles in 1844, which have been highly influential throughout
the cooperative movement.
Rochdale's location as a crossroads for trade between east and west England
saw the building of George Stephenson's Summit Railway Tunnel and the Rochdale
Canal from Manchester to Yorkshire (re-opened in 2003) supporting local textile
industries of cotton, wool and silk.
The Manchester and Leeds Railway opened a station serving Rochdale, but the
line passed about a mile south of the town centre.
Trains run from Manchester Victoria to the south, Halifax, Bradford and Leeds
to the east, and is also on the Manchester to Rochdale via Oldham Line.