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Sydney Cooper 1942 - 2017

10. July 2017 | Comments (2)

We have received the sad news that well known Hewden depot manger and crane industry veteran- died earlier this month at the age of 75.

Asked what he did his response was always :“I am only a paddy crane driver” although he was of course far more than that. His passion was cranes began in his 30s when he became a crane operator, and over the years he worked for several crane companies including Greenhams, Mobile Lifting, Taylor Woodrow and Hewden Stuart. Over the years he was helped train a large number of crane operators, and was always confident enough to refuse some lifts moves that he considered to be simply too dangerous.

He thoroughly enjoyed his work and had countless stories of the many challenges he faced and memorable lifts he had carried out, including a large number of jobs for English Heritage, moving some of the nation’s treasures to or from restoration, including Eros in Piccadilly Circus, the Albert Memorial and work on Powis Castle to name just a few.

Sydney Cooper
Sydney Cooper

His last contract as a crane operator was at Heysham Power Station, where his crane was dismantled and reassembled in an elevated location 55 metres up. The initial contract was for 12 weeks, but he ended up working there for more than three years, working in that time with 17 trainee operators, all of whom went on to operate their own cranes.

After Heysham he was promoted to sales rep at Stanley Davis, which merged into Hewden Stuart, six months later he was promoted to depot manager in Walsall, a job he loved which lasted for 17 years until ill health caused him retire at 61. Retirement did not stop him however, and he became a operator training and health & Safety consultant. He was asked by Ainscough Crane HIre to write method statements for the suitability of cranes for sites, until eventually his deteriorating health forced him to quit.

Those that knew him well said: ”He always had time for anyone, was highly respected and always told it how it was, no matter how elevated a director he was speaking too. He was without question a man of principles.”

In addition to his cranes , he enjoyed darts and fishing and after his final retirement purchased a caravan, touring the country with his wife of 52 years, who he leaves behind, along with three daughters, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at Streetly Crematorium, West Midlands, (West Chapel) on the 20th July at 2.15pm.

Syd Cooper
Syd Cooper


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Ray Ledger
10. July 2017 21:11

I was so sad to learn of Syds passing. I worked with Syd in Hewden Stuart for many years where he was a very popular colleague as he was not only respected for his knowledge but for his attitude, experience and for being such a lovely genuine person.Syd did not have a bad or political bone in his body. I send my deepest sympathy to Arlene and his family he will be greatly missed.

Barry Barnes
10. July 2017 17:49

Very sorry to hear about Syd. My fondest wishes to his family. He was always a gentleman and made us very welcome at Walsall. He always gave time and was a credit to the Company. Barry Barnes




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