Appeal launched for South Yorkshire men of steel

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MEN of steel are being sought to help bring a South Yorkshire visitor attraction to life.

Staff at Magna Science Adventure Centre are appealing for ex-steelworkers to get involved as volunteers.

The centre, based in the massive former steelworks at Templeborough, Rotherham, aims to inspire interest in science and preserve the history of the area’s steel industry.

The charity relies heavily on support and managers want to hear from anyone who is interested in getting involved in demonstrations and workshops, including former steelworkers happy to share their stories about working in industry.

John Heaps - a steelworker for 40 years - has shared his knowledge and passion with hundreds of visitors.

John first became involved at Magna in 2002 following his retirement due to an accident while melting steel.

Despite wearing full safety gear, he suffered 22 per cent burns and spent three weeks in hospital.

John, aged 68, of Bramley, Rotherham, said: “I feel that people like me should be passing on our memories and knowledge, so it isn’t lost in the future.

“The response I get from visitors, especially children, is brilliant.

“They know I’m speaking from the heart and it really brings alive the history and significance of steel to the area.”

Magna wants to hear from performers interested in re-enacting stories about the steelworks or people with a knowledge of science, such as retired teachers, who could run children’s workshops.

The centre also needs volunteers for general roles such as gardening or decorating.

Magna’s marketing manager Karen Staniforth said: “We’d love for local people who have a little time to spare time to talk to us about how they could get involved.”

n Contact Karen on 01709 723146 or email