Obituary: Margaret Tranter, 1947-2023

The former Lincolnshire Co-op and Co-op Press director has died aged 76

Margaret Tranter, a former colleague, director and president at Lincolnshire Co-operative, has died aged 76, after a long illness. 

Born in Livingston, West Lothian, she began working for Lincolnshire Co-op as a supervisor in the member accounts department in 1987, retiring in 2002. She was elected as a director in May 2003 and served until May 2012.

During her first term, she was an active member of Lincolnshire Co-op’s Beewise Credit Union Committee. She was also elected to the board of the Co-op News, where she enjoyed meeting others from the movement.

She was extremely proud to serve as Lincolnshire president during 2008/2009, which highlights included meeting HRH Princess Anne when she visited Lincolnshire Co-op’s stand during the 2009 Lincolnshire Show.

Margaret with former Lincolnshire CEO, Ursula Lidbetter, and HRH Princess Anne at the 2009 Lincolnshire Show

She was re-elected in May 2014 for a second term, stepping down in May 2022 because of ill health.

“I speak on behalf of my fellow board members when I say that Margaret was a great co-operator, totally committed to Lincolnshire Co-op,” says Lincolnshire chair, David Cowell. “She was well known for her wit and humour, loyalty and friendship and will be missed by all our colleagues and those across the wider movement.”

Her funeral at Lincoln Crematorium was attended by many Lincolnshire Co-op colleagues and fellow co-operators, including Elaine Dean, chair of Co-operative Press.

“I first met Margaret Tranter in 2008 when we were both elected to the board of Co-operative Press, she on behalf of Lincolnshire Co-op and myself from what was then Midlands Society,” remembers Elaine. “From the minute our eyes met and we smiled at each other as ‘the newbies’ I knew we were going to get on well.

“That was an understatement, we became great friends and always sought each other out at various conferences, dinners and events. When we took our members on heritage visits to Lincoln, Margaret would come and meet up with us. She was absolutely committed to Lincolnshire Co-op, to co-op values and principles and of course to Co-operative Press where she was an excellent board member.”

Margaret loved dogs and took great pleasure in walking her own pets. She also enjoyed visiting her family in France, and when she could, Australia. 

“She was always full of stories of her children; Ged in Australia and Alexis and her grandchildren near Carcassonne in France,” adds Elaine. “When she received her terminal prognosis two years ago she faced up to it with dignity and inevitability and her very strong faith sustained her.

Elaine Dean and Margaret Tranter

“Her funeral was well attended. During the service there was a sudden cacophony of sound from outside – it was ducks quacking on the water. Former Lincolnshire CEO Ursula Lidbetter and I looked at one another and said simultaneously ‘Margaret would have laughed at that!’

“It was a very sad occasion and there were many tears for such a lovely lady – and when we left to The Skye Boat song reflecting her proud Scottish heritage it was very emotional.”

Margaret leaves husband Gerry, daughter Alexis, son Ged and their families.