Kathleen steels herself to back statue campaign

Launch of Star Walk at Hillsborough Sports Arena with Sheffield's Women of Steel with the Women of Steel Statue LtoR. Kathleen Roberts,Kitty Sollitt,Ruby Gascoigne,Dorothy Slingsby
Launch of Star Walk at Hillsborough Sports Arena with Sheffield's Women of Steel with the Women of Steel Statue LtoR. Kathleen Roberts,Kitty Sollitt,Ruby Gascoigne,Dorothy Slingsby

Sheffield’s Women of Steel have the city behind them in plans for a statue in their honour.

Readers have given a resounding thumbs-up to the design for a bronze sculpture outside Sheffield City Hall.

It will show two women shoulder to shoulder, keeping the steelworks going as the men fought on the frontline.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to raise £150,000 for the permanent memorial, and will be boosted by the return of the famous Star Walk in April.

Kathleen Roberts, 91, from Jordanthorpe, was one of the women who tackled backbreaking roles during World War Two, and sparked The Star’s Women of Steel campaign. She is planning to take on The Star Walk herself, and said: “What we did was important and I am proud of that.

“The girls in heavy industry should have received recognition for what we did.”

The statue has been designed by Martin Jennings, who made the John Betjeman statue in St Pancras station.

Woman of Steel Ruby Gascoigne said: “I’m thrilled Martin was commissioned. We are very pleased with his work.

“It’s a beautiful statue.

“I am chuffed to bits.”

n To donate to the appeal, visit Women of Steel or send donations by post to: Women of Steel Appeal, PO Box 4886, Sheffield, S11 0FF. Make cheques payable to Women of Steel SYCF - and don’t forget to include your name and address.

* For more on the Star Walk, visit The Star and see Midweek Retro in The Star tomorrow.