Tim Cooper’s new book celebrates the spirit of Sheffield’s people

Sheffield’s story of independence and revolutionary spirit has been celebrated in a book that held its launch last night.

Tim Cooper’s ‘The Story of Sheffield’ tells the tale of the Steel City from its industrial origins to its reinvention as a centre of education, innovation, and creativity.

Dr Cooper, 60, said when he first came to Sheffield “It was collapsing in a heap”, but now it is considered one of the best city break destinations in Europe.

Over 40 people attended the event, which was online due to social distancing.

The writer began the launch by inviting the audience to join him in raising a glass and apologised for the lack of canapes.

The book, which took 5 years to write, was commissioned by The History Press as part of their ‘Story of’ series.

Dr Cooper, who completed his PhD in medieval and modern history at the University of Birmingham, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Sheffield from 1990-1995 said the commission “came out of the blue.”

He was chosen because of the local Sheffield history tours that he runs, as part of the Global Campus Programme at the University of Sheffield.

Over the years, Dr Cooper said that he had read numerous histories of Sheffield, but that what was missing from them is that they always seemed to get off track about Sheffield itself and Sheffield’s people.

In ‘The Story of’, Dr Cooper, wanted to keep the people of Sheffield very central to it. He focused on the working people, as “very few cities, are so solidly, culturally, working class” he said.

“I wanted to tell their story” He added.

The book was released on the 19th of November.

‘The Story of Sheffield’ can be found in all major bookstores.

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