Former Co-op boss from Southcourt stands by its values

Dinah Winfield
Dinah Winfield

A former top boss at the Cooperative Group has told how despite its current problems the business is in her blood.

Dinah Winfield, 90, who lives in a modest maisonette in Prebendal Avenue, Aylesbury, started her career as a shop girl after leaving school.

She and her family moved to Aylesbury in 1940 to escape the bombing in London, but Mrs Winfield’s support for the movement continued.

She sat as chairman of the Cooperative’s southern arm from 1972 to 1995, and also sat as a board member for Co-op Retail.

And Mrs Winfield says that despite recent scandals involving the banking arm’s chairman Paul Flowers, and the business posting a loss of £2.5billion, the core beliefs of the business remain and she is proud to still be a shareholder.

She said: “The business has changed over time and has got much bigger – but I had a letter thanking me for my 
support at this time, and I thought that was lovely.

“The Co-op is something that I have grown up with, , it has been a very big part of my life.

“Co-op members come from all walks of life.”

After moving to Aylesbury Mrs Winfield met her husband Edmund, who was serving in the Polish Airforce.

The couple married and have two daughters, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Mrs Winfield added: “My mother was always active in the Cooperative movement when we were up in London and I was part of the childrens’ circle.

“You could say the Cooperative is in my blood and it has done very well considering.”