King’s Lynn’s Cooper Bearings honoured in history book

Coopers has been featured in a book commemorating the 750th anniversary of English Parliament. ANL-150107-152248009

Coopers has been featured in a book commemorating the 750th anniversary of English Parliament. ANL-150107-152248009

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Lynn’s Cooper Bearings has been honoured by being chosen as one of the “Best of British” companies featured in a book commemorating two significant anniversaries.

The Lynn firm has been included in a section of the book, The Story of Parliament: Celebrating 750 years of Parliament in Britain, published by St James House.

Cooper’s marketing and UK distribution manager, David Burns, and director of HR and administration, Paul Leggett, were invited to the launch of the book last month in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, which was attended by more than 300 VIP guests, including prominent historians, politicians and senior public figures.

The book commemorates both the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 750th anniversary of the first English Parliament established by Simon de Montfort.

Said David: “Besides being an academic, chronological history of the Parliament itself, there is a section in the book highlighting the Best of British companies and organisations in a number of fields, including education, fashion and engineering.

“We are proud that Cooper Bearings was approached by the publisher to feature in the engineering section.”

The article on Cooper’s explains how British engineer and inventor Thomas Cooper was a pioneer in his field and that his work had a major impact on the world today. He founded Cooper Bearings in 1894 and his first significant creation was an agricultural steam digger for use in arable farming.

Following on from this, he invented self-priming bombs in the First World War, which saved the lives of several British pilots.

However the main reason that Cooper’s name became famous the world over was his ground-breaking invention of the split bearing in 1907. This combined flexibility and reliability, important for running cost-effective machinery.

Today Cooper Bearings maintains a strong international profile, with representation in each continent, from its Lynn base.

David said: “We have many people who work here for over 30 years. It’s therefore important that we recruit apprentices on a regular basis. Our apprenticeship scheme is a well respected one.”

In the first year candidates learn practical skills and work towards the NVQ levels 2 and 3 at college. For the next two years they continue at college to work on full technical certificates. Over the last eight or nine years with 40 apprentices, the success rate of the company is incredibly high and ensures that Cooper Bearings will continue to be a world leader in its field.

The History of Parliament Trust, which worked with St James House to produce the book, is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics. It is regarded as one of the most authoritative and well-researched projects in British history.