Peter’s still shining after half a century

Retiring pewter polisher Peter Cooper, of Woodhouse, who will be 74 in April.
Retiring pewter polisher Peter Cooper, of Woodhouse, who will be 74 in April.
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Pewter polisher Peter Cooper has shined up thousands of pieces in a 50-year career – and he’d do it all over again.

The 73-year-old grandfather enjoys the job so much he is still working part time at Sheffield pewter producer A R Wentworth Ltd.

Peter, who was honoured as the longest-serving member of staff with a special presentation, said: “It doesn’t seem like 50 years, more like two or three, but it has all gone.

“I’d still do it all again if I could choose any career.

“You just get used to the people and enjoy working with them.

“I can remember all the people coming and going, all the gaffers. The people I work with are great, I can’t knock any of them.

“I haven’t got plans to retire just yet but sometime in the near future.”

Peter was a teenager when he followed in the footsteps of his father to start his career in 1955 with Sheffield firm Walker and Hall. He moved to Wentworth, based in Darnall, in 1964.

And he has seen the job change dramatically thanks to new technology.

Peter, of Woodhouse, added: “My father used to do the same job, that’s how I got into it. I started off on spoons and forks then moved across to pewter.

“There have been a lot of changes over the years.

“When I first started it was hard work and long hours, the machines were done with bolts rather than electric, and they have made it a lot easier.

“There were quite a few businesses in the industry then, now there’s only about half a dozen in Sheffield.

“I must polish 40 or 50 pieces a day and they go all over the world so there is still a demand for them.”

Colleagues presented Peter with a certificate from The Worshipful Company of Pewterers.