Sheffield councillor who helped create Park Hill flats dies at 98

Former Sheffield councillor George Cooper, who has died aged 98

Former Sheffield councillor George Cooper, who has died aged 98

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Tributes have been paid to a former steelworker who played a key part in shaping Sheffield’s skyline.

Former Labour councillor George Cooper, who has died aged 98, had a key role in the building of Park Hill flats during his time as chairman of the authority’s housing committee.

He served the Walkley ward between 1952 and 1965, going on to become a full-time official of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation.

Self-educated George was born in 1916, and started work at 14 at Firth Vickers Steel Works in Brightside. During World War II he was part of a team at the site that helped develop the famous Dambusters’ bouncing bomb with Barnes Wallace.

His granddaughter Stephanie Harrison said: “I have not known anybody else who commanded such respect from people who knew him. He was self-effacing and shy, but utterly committed as a councillor to improving the life chances of the people he represented.

“He is what was brilliant about Sheffield in that era, where there were such strong communities based on respect for each other.”

Stephanie said her grandfather had been passionate about housing, and ‘heavily involved’ in the building of Park Hill flats and Gleadless Valley.

George and his wife Evelyn had four children, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. The couple were married for 52 years.

George lived in Suffolk in the final years of his life, and died peacefully on September 4.

The funeral is to take place on September 22 at City Road Crematorium from 1.15pm, with a wake at the Town Hall. Donations welcome for the Community Development Forum in Parson Cross, where George lived in the 1950s and 1960s.

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