Maverick Sheffield industrialist's new book records 40 years of struggle

A veteran Sheffield steelmaker has published a book which chronicles the ‘failings, nonsenses, inadequacies and injustices’ affecting manufacturers.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 2:51 pm

Sir Andrew Cook has frequently railed against inadequate transport and communications, the high cost of energy, the unfairness of EU competition and the economic risk of leaving the single European market.

As a supporter of the Conservative party, his opposition to Brexit was intensely newsworthy at the time of the 2016 referendum.

Now, he has produced Collected Writings which contains letters and articles published in titles including The Times, the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Week, Standpoint and The Star, from the 1990s to the 2020s.

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Sir Andrew Cook at the William Cook steelworks in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

Sir Andrew said: “For much of my adult life I have tried to draw attention in writing to the failings, nonsenses, inadequacies and injustices which affect Sheffield and Yorkshire manufacturers.

“In general, there are two sorts of industrialist: those who speak out and try to do something, and those who just keep their heads down and go with the flow. I am in the former category, despite those in the latter category often riding on the coat tails of the former and doing better as a consequence."

He added: “I may occasionally have regretted writing, but I have almost always regretted remaining silent.

“Even if few read them, my writings serve both as a permanent record and a summary of the important issues affecting Yorkshire and Britain over the past 40 years.”

The collection was compiled by journalist Bernard Ginns, former business editor of The Yorkshire Post and founder of communications consultancy Branksome Partners Ltd.

William Cook Holdings, on Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, is a castings specialist with a ‘Precision Foundry’ based on 3D printing patterns. The fifth generation company also has operations in Leeds and County Durham.

The collection was compiled by journalist Bernard Ginns, former business editor of The Yorkshire Post and founder of communications consultancy Branksome Partners Ltd.

Mr Ginns said: “In a world of staid corporates, Andrew Cook is a maverick and an outsider. This collection of writings contains some jewels for students of history and indeed philosophy, politics and economics as the correspondent addresses the issues of the day in distinctive style.”

It is available from William Cook Publishing Ltd, Parkway Avenue, Sheffield S9 4UL. email [email protected] Price £27.50 including post and packing (UK), £30 (Overseas). Payment in advance by cheque, or by credit card on: 0777 584 2554.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.