Video: Sheffield Women Of Steel return to foundry to see statue cast in bronze

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IT'S more than 70-years since Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt dressed to man the munitions factories along with hundreds of other “Women Of Steel”.

But the ladies, now in their 90s, have returned to the the acrid smell and bright orange glow of molten metal.

They watched with pride as liquid bronze was poured into moulds to cast a statue honouring them and all the women who kept Sheffield's steel mills going to help win two world wars.

360-degree photo of Kathleen and Kit watching the bronze statue being made inside the Pangolin Editions foundry, near Stroud in Gloucestershire

It will be unveiled in Barkers Pool, outside the blitz marked Sheffield City Hall where they had tea dances, on Friday, June 17.

Kathleen, aged 94, and Kit, 96, made the six hours round trip to the Pangolin Editions foundry, near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt

Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt

"We've waited a lifetime for this. It's kept us going these last few years. To see the statue being made is a dream come true," said Kathleen.

Kit added: "We can't thank everybody enough and we can;t wait to see it in Sheffield."

The two heroines, with Ruby Gascoigne and Dorothy Slingsby,have been figureheads of the campaign.

The foundry is where sculptor Martin Jennings cast other notable works, including hisstatue of poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, for St Pancras Station and of Charles Dickens, sited in Portsmouth.

How the statue will look

How the statue will look

He explained: "The foundry casts various parts of the sculpture and puts it together. I can't wait for people to see it in Sheffield."

• Women of Steel or their families who would like a medal can apply at www.sheffield.gov.uk/womenofsteel.

Sheffield steelworks in days past

Sheffield steelworks in days past

The statue being cast

The statue being cast

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