Memories of wartime steelworks are sought

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WOMEN who worked in Sheffield’s steel industry during the two World Wars are wanted to share their memories of the period with Sheffield Council.

The local authority is calling upon the women themselves, as well as their friends and family, to get in touch and help create a “Women of Steel” sculpture.

Artist Martin Jennings has been commissioned to create the figurative memorial in Sheffield city centre.

On Wednesday, May 30, between 2pm and 4pm, people have been invited to Sheffield Town Hall to meet the sculptor, share their stories and find out more about the project.

Coun Julie Dore, Sheffield Council’s leader, said: “We have been working with the Women of Steel to make a permanent memorial a reality. This is a project that is important to the whole city and we want everyone to get involved.

“The event is designed to help Martin to get a feel of what the people of Sheffield want to see. We’d like as many people as possible to get involved, share their memories, bring along items from the time and help shape the statue.

“The Women of Steel deserve our upmost respect and we are determined to award them the honour that they so truly deserve.”

Mr Jennings added: “I’m really looking forward to meeting people at the consultation event. I want to get a real feel of what it was like for women working in Sheffield’s industries during the wars and how that has affected people’s lives.

“I am particularly interested in what the Women of Steel wore, their overalls, shoes and hairstyles and of course the work that they were doing.

“I need now to listen further to people’s stories before proposing an idea for a monument that will properly reflect their place in history.”

Sheffield Council has committed £28K to the project so far, with a fundraising target for a further £120,000. Fundraising expert David Heugh is now working with the council to help secure the additional money.