Originally established in Somerset by Colin Heard in 1977, the name 'Cooper' derived from the maiden name of Colin's mother. Before starting the business, Colin had worked as tool maker (making the moulds or "tools" that fit on injection moulding machines) for Peco at Beer in Devon, and for the Kemtron Corporation (an American model railway manufacturer) in Los Angeles.
In 1989, Colin moved to the Isle of Man to look after the family business interests and took Cooper Craft with him to an industrial unit near the centre of the island. In 1991 ownership was transferred to Tony Brown in East London, where the company operated and grew until 2008. Cooper Craft has now moved back to its original county of Somerset, with the ownership now having been taken over by Paul Dunn.
Mailcoach was established by Ian Kirk and Morag MacDougall in the 1980's and was located in Fife, Scotland. Originally intended as a Mail Order outlet for Ian Kirk's own range of coach kits plus the products of other small local manufacturers it eventually grew to be able to fund the production of its own exclusive range of kits.
When Morag took on other commitments in 1990, she no longer had time to run the business. Tony Brown took over the Mailcoach range in 1991, and it is now mostly manufactured by Cooper Craft, although some parts are common to the Kirk Coaches ranges. Mailcoach still retains its former identity for continuity.
Ian Kirk also established the Kirk Coaches range. This was later taken over by Colin Ashby in Leeds. In 2003, the LNER portion of the Kirk range was acquired by Tony Brown and has now been put back into production at the Cooper Craft premises. Colin Ashby still owns the Southern range of Kirk Coaches, however these are currently out of production.
In addition to Mailcoach, LNER Kirk Coaches, Blacksmith 4mm and our own rang of Cooper Craft kits we are agents for the Slater's 4mm wagon and Coach kits and Morgan Design wagon chassie kits,
In 2008 Cooper Craft moved to its new West Country premises in Somerset. All the machines are now in action again and the existing range of kits are all in production. We are now attending more exhibitions, enabling customers to be able to buy kits in person and also have the opportunity to meet with us.
A review of our ranges in all scales is also taking place to enable us to respond to customer demand; if you have a favourite not already catered for please don't hesitate to contact us.