WELL-KNOWN Sheffield publisher – and former South Yorkshire county councillor – Terry Cooper has died aged 71.
His imprint, Sheaf Publishing, specialised in the publication of books and booklets about transport history, especially trams and buses. His first book was the biography of a London tram driver “The wheels used to talk to us” in 1977.
He also published many books about Sheffield and South Yorkshire. These included Peter Harvey’s Sheffield, a series of books of photographs and articles by the Sheffield Telegraph columnist ‘showing how the city used to look before traffic cluttered the streets’.
His print company, Sheaf Graphics, designed and printed booklets and leaflets for a wide range of South Yorkshire businesses and community organisations.
For more than 30 years, he had printed and published leaflets – certainly more than 10 million - and other materials for the Labour Party in Sheffield and South Yorkshire.
Terry Cooper was elected as a Labour councillor – for Manor, Park and Castle – on South Yorkshire County Council at a by-election in 1977 and served until 1986 when the council was abolished. He was well-liked across the political spectrum because of his thoughtful, principled but pragmatic, approach to issues.
He used his specialist knowledge of transport policies – in particular, the history and development of public transport systems throughout the world – to promote a number of improvements and innovations in local bus and rail services, as a member of the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority.
His love of public transport was also reflected in his private life. He always tried to travel by rail, bus or tram – only ever owning a succession of VW vans for his business. He visited and supported a large number of transport museums and organisations. He collected transport memorabilia and artefacts, much of which he donated to historical societies and museums.
He had catholic musical tastes, especially enjoying opera, classical music and jazz. Inevitably in attendance at concerts by the Halle Orchestra at Sheffield City Hall, he was also regularly to be found at the Barbican, Royal Festival and Albert Halls in London and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
He is survived by a daughter Lucie and son Tom. An older son, Paul, pre-deceased him. His funeral took place on Thursday at Grenoside Crematorium, Sheffield.