A Co-op Token

I recently came across this token amongst my possessions. I had forgotten about it and I’m not quite sure where it came from. It has nothing to do with my early life although similar items may well have done.

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Well, it is clear what it is (I hope). It’s a trade token issued by the Frome C0-0p Society Ltd and its value is a half quarter loaf. Its size is similar to the present British 50p coin (that only has seven sides).

Frome (it’s pronounced froom) is in Somerset some 25 kilometres in a straight line from where I now live and about 150 kilometres from my childhood home.

I can’t find out much about the Frome Co-operative Society but a half quarten loaf is what we now call a large loaf.

When I was a child, I seem to remember our local co-op bakery van calling and I’m sure my mum had tokens for bread. In my mind they were round and not octagonal like this Frome one. I was never quite sure what the advantage was of tokens. Perhaps, with their specific purpose they were deemed less likely to be stolen if left out for the baker.

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