Woman of Steel who welded spitfires in Sheffield turns 100

Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday.
Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday.
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A Woman of Steel who welded springs for Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers says the secret to a long life is ‘taking one day at a time’ after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Steel-spirited Kitty Little marked the milestone with a party with friends and family at Guildford Grange Residential Home, in Norfolk Park.

Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday. Pictured here with husband Alfed on her wedding day.

Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday. Pictured here with husband Alfed on her wedding day.

The mother of three, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of seven said: “I had such a lovely party, I couldn’t have asked for more. You’re only 100 once and I feel very lucky to be here.”

Kitty was born in Woodhouse, where she lived with her mother, father, two brothers and one sister. Her grandparents owned Clayton’s grocery stores.

Kitty said: “I had a very happy childhood. We were never bored, not like a lot of children today. We didn’t even know the meaning of the word.”

She fondly remembers churches in her area hosting music and theatre events, as well as funfairs and carnivals.

Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday.

Woman of steel Kitty Little celebrates her 100th birthday.

“I had lots of friends,” said Kitty. “There was no buses either back then, so we would walk everywhere and that kept us fit.”

When World War Two broke out, Kitty said she was drafted into the steelworks on Brightside Lane.

She said: “All the women were called up to work when the war started and I was given a welding job. I’d never done anything like that before in my life.

“I used to weld together little springs for Spitfires and bigger springs for the Bombers. It was piece work, so the faster you worked the better.

“I got to be rather good at welding.”

Kitty married husband Alfred, who died 27 years ago, at Woodhouse Church on June 21, 1944.

“All the women at the steelworks clubbed together and raised £5 for a wedding gift,” Kitty said.

“I remember going straight to Coles and buying a cut glass vase, a really nice one. I’ve still got it and I’ll treasure it for the rest of my days.”

These days, Kitty’s favourite hobby is knitting squares which are sewn into blankets for children.

On the secret to living a long and happy life, Kitty said: “It’s all about taking one day at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be 100.

“Time passes so fast as it is, you’ve got to enjoy yourself.”

n Do you know somebody celebrating a big milestone in life? Email news@thestar.co.uk