New Master Cutler: ‘We should not undervalue Sheffield’

Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke in the Master's Study at Cutlers' Hall where portraits of previous Master Culters decorate the walls. Picture Scott Merrylees
Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke in the Master's Study at Cutlers' Hall where portraits of previous Master Culters decorate the walls. Picture Scott Merrylees
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The new Master Cutler has urged Sheffield not to undervalue itself after his city-based technical education helped him become a self-made man.

Ken Cooke was installed as the 379th Master in a ceremony at the opulent Cutlers’ Hall on Church Street.

Sheffield's new Master Cutler  Ken Cooke (front middle) leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke (front middle) leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

In a speech to the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, mayors and hundreds of members, freemen, friends and guests, he said he had to pinch himself to make sure the “great honour” was real.

Mr Cooke is boss of CTW Hardfacing, a successful Neepsend machinery repair company.

He said: “As a young boy in the east end of Sheffield kicking a football against a wall, of course in my blue and white shirt, I could never have dreamed of being here following in the footsteps of our city’s major industrialists such as the Firths, the Browns and the Wards and I have to pinch myself to make sure it is real.

“Looking back, I feel I was very fortunate to be educated at a local engineering-based technical school. This grounding encouraged me to take every opportunity available, to listen and learn from all walks of life, never to look backwards, to never give in and have faith in my abilities - and here I am.

3 Oct 2017...... Sheffield's new Master Cutler  Ken Cooke leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

3 Oct 2017...... Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

“Sheffield is my city and we shouldn’t undervalue it.”

The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire in the County of York was incorporated in 1624 and is 393 years old.

After the installation, top-hatted members of the company walked in procession to Sheffield Cathedral for a service. They returned to the hall for lunch.

Mr Cooke grew up in Attercliffe and was educated at the Central Technical School. He went on to study at Granville College.

3 Oct 2017...... Local dignitaries follow Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke as he leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

3 Oct 2017...... Local dignitaries follow Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke as he leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

He served his apprenticeship with Edward Pryor & Sons in Sheffield. Aged 22, he joined with two partners to form their own engineering and welding company. Over the years he bought them out and acquired other businesses and today CTW works with firms around the world.

He added: “I am a great believer in education, training and apprenticeships so they will be close to the top of my agenda. In manufacturing and industry there should be a place for everyone to develop.”

3 Oct 2017...... Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees

3 Oct 2017...... Sheffield's new Master Cutler Ken Cooke leads the prosession from the Cutlers' Hall to the Cathedral. Picture Scott Merrylees