City Women of Steel in appeal for £150,000

fundraisers were today due to launch a campaign which aims to raise £150,000 for a bronze statue to commemorate a Yorkshire city’s Women of Steel.

Sheffield Council has drawn up plans for the work, which will stand near the City Hall in Sheffield city centre, but needs public donations to make it a reality.

Sculptor Martin Jennings, who is famous for his statue of former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman in London’s St Pancras Station, has agreed to make the piece.

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The Women of Steel were a group of women who worked in Sheffield’s steelworks and factories during the two world wars, only to return to home life when conflict ended.

Coun Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield Council, said: “We all owe it to these amazing women to make the statue a reality.

“If everyone in the city gave as little as 30 pence we’d have enough for the Women of Steel statue. That’s half the price of a first class stamp.”

Kathleen Roberts, one of the surviving women who worked in the steelworks, said: “I know people haven’t got a lot of money at the moment but we just want people to give what they can.

“I think Sheffield industry could give more because they give so freely to others. I don’t think people appreciate what we did.

“I worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. I only had Saturdays off and I was 20. I gave up my youth to work in the factories.”

“It breaks my heart that we haven’t been recognised and everyone else has been, I just want people to please give what they can so we can have a lasting memory of what we did.”

For more information about the project go to www.sheffield.gov.uk/womenofsteel