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The Rochdale Pioneers film

Still from Men of Rochdale

Classic 1944 co-operative filmMen of Rochdale, which was made in 1944 to celebrate the centenary of the Rochdale Pioneers opening their first in Toad Lane, Rochdale, is the inspiration for a new film being made about the Rochdale Pioneers by young people from the Co-operative’s British Youth Film Academy.

The film, which is funded by the Co-operative Group, is being made to coincide with 2012, International Year of Co-operatives. People who live in Rochdale today were given the opportunity to appear in the new film, which is called simply The Rochdale Pioneers. Filming locations included Toad Lane, home to the Rochdale Pioneers Museum (closed for refurbishment until spring 2012), as well as Rochdale Town Hall.

Actor John Henshaw, who has appeared in Early Doors, Born and Bred, Looking for Eric and Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, plays John Holt, one of the original members of The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers.

The film also stars stage and TV actor John McArdle, who is known for his roles in Brookside, Merseybeat and Gallowglass, as Dr. Dunlop who agreed to rent his premises – an old woollen warehouse – to the Rochdale Pioneers.

The film will be distributed internationally and screened at the ICA (International Co-operative Alliance) world expo at Manchester Central in autumn 2012.

Find out more about the British Youth Film Academy at

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