Remembering Kathleen Cooper-Joel

24 Apr 2023

Kathleen Cooper-Joel, a former Mayor and successful businesswoman, passed away peacefully at Harnham Croft Care Home, with her family by her side, on 6th April 2023.

Known to everyone as “Kay”, she was born in Moreton, near Birkenhead in 1927. Daughter Jill describes her mother’s childhood home as “very humble but loving.”

Kay was Mayor of Salisbury from 1990 until 1991 and started several companies during her lifetime. She played an active part in local politics until her late 80s and was an active member of Salisbury Methodist Church until her death.

She arrived in Salisbury after the 2nd World War as a 21-year-old Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) Secretary at Southern Command, Wilton. It was here that she met her first husband, Cecil Cooper JP. He was a prominent local Liberal, businessman and Magistrate,

In 1955 the couple opened the Tinkerbell Service Station, at Barford St Martin, near Wilton. For Kay it was the first of five successful businesses. Sadly Cecil Cooper died in 1981.

Kay went on to own Bobbies Boutique in New Street and The Washing Well launderette in Salt Lane until her “retirement” at 72. She then launched a series of property ventures.

Mrs Cooper-Joel was first elected to represent Fisherton & Bemerton Village Ward as a Liberal Councillor on Salisbury District in May 1982.

She served 12 years on the District Council and played an active part in the Planning Committee - campaigning successfully for more “Flats above Shops” to ease the housing problems for young families in the City.

During her Mayoral Appeal, she raised a new record amount of money to provide respite breaks for carers and their families coping with disabilities through The Breakaway Trust.

No stranger to Royal visits, Mrs Cooper-Joel met Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second at Salisbury train station. She hosted Princess Diana for lunch and held an exhibition for His Majesty King Charles 3rd.

Even at the age of 90 she was campaigning to replace credit card only parking in Salt Lane Car Park with cash and card.

Kay was a loving Mother to Jill, Peter and Mark and a much-loved Nan to Rob, Caroline, Troy and Ruby and Great Granny to Madeline, Fletcher and Cecily.

A private Committal service will be followed by a Thanksgiving Service for Kay’s life at Salisbury Methodist Church on Friday 28th April at 2.30pm to which all are welcome. Flowers and donations, please, to Salisbury Methodist Church.

Here is a link for the livestream of Kay's Thanksgiving service:

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