Greaves, Dorothy., 1931-2010

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Dorothy was a Warden at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum for a period during the 1980s and later from 1994 until her health failed, and spent much of her spare time over the years researching the 28 Men of Rochdale. She developed a knowledge of her boys as individuals, and as people, not just as historical names and visitors to the Museum loved her descriptions of their characters as well as their lives. Dorothy traced the families of the Pioneers to the present day, sometimes contacting people to ask if they knew that they were descendents.

Her research on the Pioneers included a survey of their graves, including finding those that had been lost for generations - once even uncovering a gravestone that had become grassed over. This research was vital to work done by Co-operative Funeralcare in renovating the graves in time for the 150th anniversary celebrations for the Rochdale Pioneers in 1994.

Following her move to Rochdale in 1975 with her husband Freddy and daughters Lesley and Christine, Dorothy became involved in a range of community activities, including being Chairman and Secretary of the Civic Society, member of the Rochdale Music Society, the Community Arts Committee, the Friends of Rochdale Art Gallery, the Culture Committee and, since their inception in 1990, organiser of the Heritage Weekends that have become a special feature in Rochdale in early September, negotiating the opening of buildings not normally open to the public.

Dorothy’s service to the communities of the Rochdale Borough was recognised not only by her being awarded Rochdale Woman of the Year in 1997, but also in 2009 being presented with a certificate of appreciation and a crystal vase at a reception in her honour at Rochdale Town Hall. She told a journalist from the Rochdale Observer at the time If you’re interested in something you do something about it. She was a Blue Badge Guide, qualified to guide groups around all of the towns of Greater Manchester and made full use of her encyclopaedic knowledge of the heritage of the region.

One of Dorothy’s lasting legacies is the generations of Rochdale school children who enjoyed their visits to the Museum, remembering years later both the story of the Pioneers and the fun and enthusiasm with which it was portrayed. Dorothy’s work with the Museum brought her into contact with co-operators from all over the world, and tens of thousands over the years felt the inspiration of her tours of the Museum.

From the guide to the Papers of Dorothy Greaves (Museum Warden at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum), 1838-2008, (National Co-operative Archive)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Papers of Dorothy Greaves (Museum Warden at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum), 1838-2008 National Co-operative Archive
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allsop, Thomas., 1795-1880 person
associatedWith Ashworth, Samuel., 1825-1871 person
associatedWith Babbage, Charles., 1792-1871 person
associatedWith Bamford, James., 1825-1879 person
associatedWith Bent, John., 1817-1894 person
associatedWith Brierley, John. Rochdale Pioneer person
associatedWith Brooks, David., 1803-1882 person
associatedWith Byron, Anne Isabella., 1792-1860 person
associatedWith Byron, George Gordon., 1788-1824 6th Baron Byron Poet person
associatedWith Collier, John., 1808-1883 person
associatedWith Co-Operative College corporateBody
associatedWith Co-Operative Insurance Society Limited corporateBody
associatedWith Co-Operative Retail Services Limited corporateBody
associatedWith Co-Operative Wholesale Society Limited corporateBody
associatedWith Co-Operative Women's Guild, 1883- corporateBody
associatedWith Cooper, William., 1822-1868 person
associatedWith Daly, James., 1812-1849 person
associatedWith Duckworth, James., 1840-1915 Mayor of Rochdale, 1910-1911 person
associatedWith Fields, Dame Gracie., 1898-1979 person
associatedWith Garratt, Roy., 1931-1994 person
associatedWith Garside, John., 1799-1862 person
associatedWith Greenwood, Abraham., 1824-1911 CWS President, 1863-1870 person
associatedWith Healey, George., 1817-1899 person
associatedWith Holt, John., 1778-1852 person
associatedWith Holyoake, George Jacob., 1817-1906 person
associatedWith Howarth, Charles., 1818-1868 person
associatedWith Jordan, Benjamin., 1825-1904 person
associatedWith Kershaw, John., 1818-1893 person
associatedWith Maden, James., 1803-1873 person
associatedWith Mallelieu, William., 1796-1863 person
associatedWith Manock, James., 1798-1877 person
associatedWith Mitchell, John Thomas Whitehead., 1828-1895 person
associatedWith Nicholson, Hamlet., 1810-1899 person
associatedWith Owen, Robert., 1771-1858 person
associatedWith Rochdale Equitable Pioneers' Society corporateBody
associatedWith Rudman, Benjamin., 1813-1876 person
associatedWith Scowcroft, John., 1785-1870 person
associatedWith Smithies, James., 1819-1869 person
associatedWith Smith, Joseph., 1823-1888 person
associatedWith Standring, James., 1804-1872 person
associatedWith Taylor, Robert., 1800-1877 person
associatedWith Taylor, William., 1814-1854 person
associatedWith Tweedale, James., 1819-1886 person
associatedWith Wilkinson, James., 1787-1858 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale


Birth 1931

Death 2010

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Ark ID: w6g315xr

SNAC ID: 30110112