Wartime Sheffield woman of steel dies, aged 96

DORIS WAIT WOMEN OF STEEL  Doris Wait pictured at her home at Broomgrove Road, Sheffield.    (note: Doris is correct).  2 December 2009
DORIS WAIT WOMEN OF STEEL Doris Wait pictured at her home at Broomgrove Road, Sheffield. (note: Doris is correct). 2 December 2009
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A WOMAN who worked on top secret aircraft projects during the war has died, aged 96.

Doris Wait was one of Sheffield’s Women of Steel who kept the steelworks going when men were sent to the front line.

Wartime picture of  Doris Wait.    2 December 2009

Wartime picture of Doris Wait. 2 December 2009

She worked at Metro-Vickers and Cravens, starting on railway coaches before tackling aircraft parts for Westland Lysanders, Beaufighters and Horsa Gliders.

Daughter Stephanie Fletcher said: “She was an aircraft inspector and it was top secret work to stop any spies. She never knew what she was working on. My dad would jokingly ask her if she was making bits for the aircraft he was flying the following week.

“There were lots of women who took over men’s jobs during the war, and it wasn’t glamorous and they didn’t get paid what the men did, but my mum was proud to have done it.

“We have both been really proud of The Star’s Women of Steel campaign.

“She told absolutely everybody - she would say, ‘I’m a Woman of Steel you know’.

“She had a joie de vivre and a zest for life. Some people get grumpy when they get older but she didn’t, she was always lovely.”

After the war Doris and her husband George ran their own business, printing company Parker Press.

Doris leaves behind one grandson, Daniel, and four great-grandchildren, Davsy, Leon, Isabel and Ruby.

The funeral will take place at Hutcliffe Wood at 1.30pm on Monday.

The family are requesting no flowers, but donations to St Luke’s Hospice.

Doris Wait’s quotes

* We never knew what we were working on - we were told not to discuss it at all. They took the parts out at night. You couldn’t really imagine it making a plane.

* When we started on the Horsa Glider we didn’t really know what it was. It was on a gantry and there had to be so many stitches to each section. It had to be absolutely taut.

* Once, I put a tack through my thumbnail but I couldn’t go to First Aid because I wasn’t supposed to have been there. I got one of the men to pull it out.

* We were very lucky. We had a good team of girls and we all got on well. I really enjoyed the work.