Opinion: Let’s honour Women Of Steel in 2014

The Star Opinion
The Star Opinion
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Happy New Year folks! Here’s hoping all your hopes and dreams come true during 2014.

It will be a special year for many reasons, not least of all great sporting events including the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and the Tour de France coming to town.

But 2014 will also be a special year to look back and thank the brave souls who gave their today for our tomorrow.

It is of course the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

So it would be especially poignant if we could make a last wish come true for Sheffield’s own Women Of Steel.

Much has been said and written about these remarkable women in recent months, and not before time.

They were the girls who kept the city’s steel mills working, turning out tanks, guns and bullets when their men went to fight for our freedom in two world wars.

Their efforts went unrecognised until The Star took a group to be thanked by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

That was four years ago. They were promised a £150,000 statue and following amazing community fundraising efforts, including a Star-backed music legends concert and the return of The Star Walk, council leader Julie Dore has vowed work can start with a final push for around £35,000 to hit the total.

The odds against the statue being completed and unveiled this year are not good.

But neither were the odds that young Sheffield women could help stop Hitler’s Nazi Party in its tracks.

We’ve four years to erect the statue during the centenary anniversary of the 1914-18 Great War. But the surviving women, many in their 90s, have a 2014 wish - to see it in their lifetime.

Dorothy Slingsby, aged 92, tells us: “I’ll have to have a word with him up there and tell him I’m not coming yet.”

For Dorothy and the girls, let’s make 2014 the year we finally honour them.

* Watch exclusive video from our star-studded Women Of Steel Concert and make a donation to www.justgiving.com/womenofsteel - details in The Star tomorrow.