Audrey Walton, wartime steelworker

Audrey Walton with the Women of Steel statue
Audrey Walton with the Women of Steel statue
0
Have your say

Audrey Walton, who has died at 95, was a wartime steelworker in Sheffield whose output, while the men were overseas, helped keep the Allied military machine turning.

From 1941, she worked the lathes at Hadfields in Attercliffe and later at Newton Chambers in Chapeltown, often on the night shift, at a time when putting on a tin hat and repairing to the air raid shelters was a part of the routine.

Audrey at Hadfields munitions factory during the war

Audrey at Hadfields munitions factory during the war

In 2016, she was presented with a Women of Steel medal in recognition of her service.

Born in Birdwell in 1922, she was the younger daughter of Bruce and Rosemma Oldfield. Her father worked on the pit face.

After leaving Market Street School in Hoyland, she trained as a hairdresser. But at the outset of war, she was told by her employer that her services were no longer needed, so she bought a bicycle and began a mobile hairdressing service.

Later, in the 1960s, she opened a salon on Hoyland Road, helped by her eldest daughter, Lana.

She married Harold, a Royal Artillery gunner who served with distinction war in Italy and Africa and later worked as a welder.

Her three daughters, six grandchildren and four great grandchildren survive her.