Winter-cold salty kisses – how six thousand co-ops help people to come together

I wrote in August about the inspiring story of Hastings Pier and how it could be renewed through community ownership, after the research we published by Jess Steele on piers and heritage assets.

There is a new chapter now, as the call has gone out to raise community shares for the pier. This is an open offer, allowing people to invest co-operatively in the renewal and participate in the future life of the pier.

They have raised 20% of the share capital they need, which is a brilliant start.

One person who has contributed is Chris. He worked on the pier itself many years ago, calling bingo numbers.

He also had his first kiss beside it – what in a poem he sent in, he called “winter-cold salty kisses huddled up on the shingle, under the shelter of wood and iron.” A lot more went on for others under the pier, he added as a comment to me, but without elaborating.

Meanwhile, the Kings Arms in Shouldham has raised all the member investment it needs, with the backing of Stephen Fry, to save a very special community pub. Success.

Co-operatives are in the news at the moment, but meanwhile six thousand co-ops across the UK help people to come together.

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