The Star backed Women Of Steel statue appeal has smashed its target after a star-studded folk concert finale and today stands at almost £170,000 - thanks to YOU our readers, writes Graham Walker.
It means a statue by Martin Jennings, to honour the city’s brave women who kept the munitions factories going while their men fought in two world wars, will now be unveiled outside Sheffield City Hall in the summer of 2016.
The extra cash raised, beyond the £150,000 target, will fund further “legacy initiatives”, possibly a medal for the surviving Women of Steel from World War II - some who are now in their 90s - or their families.
Sheffield’s homegrown award winning folk superstars including Martin Simpson, Fay Hield, John Tams, Barry Coope, Chris While, Julie Matthews, Roy Bailey, Ray Hearne, Nat Johnson and others took part in a final fundraising concert last night which raised £9,000 at Sheffield Cathedral.
VIDEO: Press the play button for our video report
Schoolgirl Jade Morris, eight, daughter of Stauff UK Ltd boss John Morris, presented a £3,360 cheque to hit the £150,000 target on behalf of the company, which still makes MOD parts where the Women Of Steel worked.
John Palmer, a leading campaigner, revealed other fundraising has taken donations to almost £170,000 and said: “It was fantastic to get the support of The Star, in particular Graham Walker and Nancy Fielder, to get the whole thing going.”
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore said: “Well done Sheffield. Special thanks to John Palmer, The Star, local businesses, individuals and organisations.
“It has been a honour to have met some of the inspirational Women of Steel whose bravery, determination, work ethic and sheer guts are finally being given the recognition they deserve after 70 years.”
* For full story, photos from the folk concert and more see The Star on Thursday, November 27.