Sheffield's Women of Steel

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by muggins, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. muggins

    muggins Member

    BBC News - Sheffield 'women of steel' sculpture appeal launched

    BBC - Oral history of Sheffield's Women of Steel is launched

    "It was dirty, it was noisy and it was jolly hard work."
    That is Kathleen Roberts's view of life as one of the Women of Steel in Sheffield in World War II.
    They were conscripted to work in the steel works to keep production going when the men went off to war.
    Their efforts were finally recognised by the government at the start of 2010 and now researchers are recording their personal accounts of life in the factories for an oral history project.
    The project is part of a module for English students at the University of Sheffield, called Storying Sheffield.
    Students work with members of the local community to collect, record and produce stories about their lives in Sheffield.
    Three of the Women of Steel met with five students from the University's School of English in December 2010 to record their memories to create permanent digital artefacts.
    Kathleen Roberts was one of the women taking part:
    "I didn't enjoy working in the steel works. It was dirty, it was noisy and it was jolly hard work and the men did not make us at all welcome for quite some time.
    "They had to teach us what to do and they were very reluctant to do it but they eventually got over it."
    Kathleen was the leading light in the campaign to get more recognition for the role of the hundreds of Women of Steel who toiled in the steel factories.
    It was the comparison with how the Land Girls, who kept farms going during the war, were treated that spurred Katherine into action.
    "It was actually the day that I saw the Land Army girls at Buckingham Palace getting their recognition.
    "I thought then that we've forgotten what we did in the war and it doesn't seem right that we're not getting recognised."
    With the support of local MPs, a visit to Downing Street was arranged in January 2010 to meet the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who paid tribute to them and their work.
    Now, the nature of that work and their personal memories of family life and relationships during that time will be recorded for posterity in the oral history.
    Sarah Jackson is one of the students recording the women's memories which will eventually be shown to the public:
    "We know that they're very, very inspirational women.
    "We were very fortunate to spend time with them and hear their amazing stories.
    "We're making a short film from the recordings which is to be shown at the Showroom Cinema in February (2011)."
    And there will be more recognition for the Women of Steel - Sheffield City Council has approved plans for a permanent memorial in the city (location to be decided) to mark their contribution to the war effort.

    BBC News - Memorial for Sheffield's Women of Steel
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Heading to Sheffield right now for a stroll, not been for years.
  3. Little Friend

    Little Friend Senior Member

    Very good to know this, same as with the Bomber Command Memorial, it's long overdue.
    Wonder how many of those who worked there are still alive today.
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Heading to Sheffield right now for a stroll, not been for years.

    Where you going...Can't say I ever noticed anything WW2 related when I lived there but then again I wasn't really looking. I suspect the Fire Brigade Museum may have a old engine or three though.
  5. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    hy muggins,great post.they(the powers that be)take there time with recognision of a job well done.we could not have done without them.thanks for a great post,bernard85
  6. Groundhugger

    Groundhugger Senior Member

    Hats off to all the young women who worked in the war in every field , Land Army , Shipbuilding , Engineering ,Aviation , Armaments , Etc.
    My old mum worked at Metro vickers in Trafford Park Manchester , no medals for these ladies . even through the Air raids of the 40's Blitz .
    pity they [the Establishment ] couldn't have made a monument to these ladies when most of them were alive .
  7. Junior Member

    Hello there ,Kathleen Roberts is my Aunty.She is an incredible lady .At 93 she has appeared on tv several times with regard to The Women of Steel and is at the moment filming with Robson Green a program to be shown later in the year about the work the women did during the years of the war in Sheffield steel works.She visited Downing Street when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister and appeared on The One Show.Each time she is to appear all the family are quickly in touch to watch out for her.She is an extremely confident 93 year old and is not the slightest bit fazed by her interviews.Her dear husband Joe died some years ago but was also a very brave man.He served with the 5th East Yorks in North Africa and was one of the lucky ones to escape .He returned to England only to be involved in theDDay Landings.He actually carried his injured friend to safety.Sadly his friend later died and was buried in France.I researched his place of burial for him and he went out to France to visit.Both of these relations have been a great inspiration to our family and i do hope it will not be too long before The Women Of Steel memorial will be installed outside Sheffield City Hall.The model has now been created and a fund raising walk will be taking place shortly in Hillsborough Park to hopefully raise funds to finally get this completed.This generation were certainly tough and deserve all the praise and support we can still give them.May they always be remembered.

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