Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield's wartime 'Women of Steel' statue unveiled

Women of Steel sculpture
Image caption A fundraising appeal raised over £160,000 for the bronze statue

A statue dedicated to the women who worked in Sheffield's steelworks during both world wars has been unveiled in the city.

A fundraising campaign raised more than £160,000 to pay for the bronze sculpture by artist Martin Jennings.

Around 100 women who worked in the city's steelworks during WWII attended the unveiling at Barker's Pool.

Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council, described the women as "inspirational".

"We are here today to honour and celebrate the lives of many truly remarkable women," she said.

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Sheffield City Council, which commissioned the work, said it had been important to recognise the women who were conscripted to work in factories and steel mills.

They took on roles that were often dangerous and physically demanding, the council said.

Because public fundraising for the statue exceeded the £150,000 needed it has also issued commemorative medallions to the surviving "Women of Steel" and the families of those who are deceased.

Image caption Remaining funds have been used to create medals to be awarded to the surviving women who worked in the steel mills of Sheffield

The medallions have been produced by the Sheffield Assay office and more than 100 women have already applied along with 400 family members of those who have died.

One side has a picture of the statue and the other is engraved "With thanks to our wartime Women of Steel from the people of Sheffield".

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