Lewis Crofters Ltd, one of the longest-running and most successful co-operatives in the Highlands and Islands is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary this July - and it’s appealing to customers to help it mark the occasion with photographs to highlight the changes since the business first started.
Established in 1958, Lewis Crofters Ltd started as a co-operative supported by the crofters of Lewis and Harris. It was set up to supply crofters with everything from animal feed to fencing staples. Over the years the range of products has grown to include animal health medicines, hardware, footwear, clothing, tools, pet and garden supplies
Manager Alasdair MacLean said the 60th anniversary presented them a great opportunity to showcase the wide range of goods on offer, but more importantly to say thanks to many loyal customers. “Crofting has changed over the years and the range of materials we supply has changed with it,” he said.
“When Lewis Crofters first started, most islanders were actively working their crofts and would have taken home their peats with horses. We still supply core crofting materials for fencing, drainage, agriculture and stock feeding, but we are also supplying the requirements of many people who are now diversifying their crofting activities.”
Mr MacLean said that they were keen to involve their customers to mark the anniversary on Friday 13th July.
He explained: “We are planning a range of promotional activities in the store on that day, including discounted products and prizes. We would also like to get photographs of crofting activities through the decades to mark the ways in which crofting activity has changed, but also to show that some of the work is still very similar to the way it was in the 1950s.
"We will be running a competition on Facebook to help collect these images and would be very grateful if our customers could help with this, the photographs will be used in a variety of ways including; an exhibition and a special calendar.
"We will be running a competition for the best photo with a £100 hamper prize. We plan to scan photos on site and return to customers immediately- we’ll get the photographs displayed at the store to create a talking point as customers move around the store.”
A wide range of other activities are also at the planning stage, which will be out in place for the month of July, including an event for the public on the anniversary date itself.
Mr MacLean said: “More details of these events will be released once they are finalised, but we want to mark this occasion to say thank you to the customers who have supported us for the past 60 years and also to the suppliers who provide us with an excellent range of products.”