'No secret to long life!' - Sheffield Woman of Steel who grafted in the factories during World War Two to celebrate 100th birthday

Elizabeth with her Woman of Steel medal and certificate of appreciation from Sheffield Council
Elizabeth with her Woman of Steel medal and certificate of appreciation from Sheffield Council
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A Sheffield Woman of Steel described as 'tough as old nails' will celebrate her 100th birthday this week.

Hardy Elizabeth Newsham, of Firth Park, was one of the celebrated female workers who took on the 'man's job' in the factory during World War Two.

Elizabeth in her younger days

Elizabeth in her younger days

And she said there is no secret to living to the age of 100 - other than to 'get on with it' and to work hard.

Born in Walkley, in 1917, Elizabeth left school and started work in a small green grocers not far from her home.

But as war in Europe broke out more than 20 years later, Elizabeth, like many other steely Sheffield women, donned factory overalls and helped fight the Nazis in their own way.

She worked at James Neill Tools on Napier Street off Ecclesall Road making parts for planes when she was 25.

Elizabeth with the Women of Steel statue in Barker's Pool

Elizabeth with the Women of Steel statue in Barker's Pool

Daughter Lorraine, aged 74, of Arizona, USA said. "She often told me it was by far the best job she ever had, she really loved it and she was really upset when she couldn't go back.

"She worked there until she was eight months pregnant with me and was gutted when they told her she couldn't return. There wasn't the same maternity pay or leave like we have now.

"All of the women felt appreciated back then and they felt really involved in the war."

With her father away with the Royal Navy, Lorraine, who moved to the states in 1983, recalls a story during the Blitz' air raid sirens in Sheffield.

Elizabeth with a selfie with her daughter Lorraine

Elizabeth with a selfie with her daughter Lorraine

Elizabeth, with Lorraine as a baby, would make the mad dash up Shiregreen Lane because her neighbour had a stone table and she felt it was the safer than an air raid shelter.

Lorraine said a highlight of her mother's life was commemorative event in Barker's Pool for the Women of Steel and the unveiling of the bronze statue.

"She absolutely loved it, she is proud as punch of her medal and really values the city for recognising her and so many others.

"She was sad that many didn't get to see that special day."

Elizabeth with her special 100th birthday cake

Elizabeth with her special 100th birthday cake

Despite the big birthday milestone, Elizabeth said she doesn't want a big occasion.

"She's told me she doesn't want any fuss even though it's a big one. People have always asked me to ask her what's the secret to living life to this age and she's said 'nothing, but to get on with it and work hard'."

Paying tribute to her mother, Lorraine said: "She was strict as a mother but also extremely loving at the same time. I had a great childhood.

"I'm ever so proud of her for what she did during the war. She's always worked hard - she's tough as old nails.

"I'm very fortunate to still have my mum at my age."