Birthday girl Ruby Gascoigne and her Women Of Steel pals celebrated early with a special tipple - a new fundraising beer named after them, writes Graham Walker.
The Women Of Steel ale, in honour of the women who kept the steel mills going during two world wars, has been brewed by Rotherham’s Chantry Brewery and was launched at its own pub, The Cutlers Arms, in Westgate.
Women Of Steel survivors Ruby, who turns 92 tomorrow, Kathleen Roberts and Dorothy Slingsby, both 93, plus Kit Solitt, 95, poured and sampled the first pint.
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Chantry Brewery bosses Sean Page and Mick Warburton will donate 10p from every pint sold at pubs and real ale outlets around the region, towards a Star backed £150,000 statue to honour the women.
“Not only is it a nice drink, it’s going to a great cause,” said Sean. Details of outlets will be on their web site at www.chantrybrewery.co.uk
The women were serenaded by Yorkshire folk duo O’Hooley and Tidow, with aptly named single, Summat’s Brewin.
Ruby said: “I don’t know what beer’s supposed to taste like, but it’s nice.”
Dorothy added: “It’s brillliant.”
Kit said: “It’s gorgeous. It reminds me of the old John Smith’s bitter.”
Kathleen said: “It’s a beer my dad would have loved. Very good.”
A classical concert for the appeal will launch the Music in the Round season at Sheffield Crucible Studio on October 9. The statue appeal is expected to reach its target with a Women Of Steel Folk Concert at Sheffield Cathedral, on November 26.
John Palmer, a key fundraiser, working closely with The Star’s Graham Walker, said: “If people support the concerts and the beer, we are there.”