Early birthday treat for Sheffield’s Woman of Steel

Woman of Steel Ruby Gascoigne and the Famous Sheffield Shop's Paul Iseard.
Woman of Steel Ruby Gascoigne and the Famous Sheffield Shop's Paul Iseard.
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BIRTHDAY celebrations came a few weeks early for Woman of Steel Ruby Gascoigne.

Ruby, who turns 90 in September, is the star of the new book, A Woman of Steel, which tells the story of her life, including the years she spent in the city’s steel industry.

She was presented with a stainless steel plaque etched with a picture of the factory she worked in during World War Two - W. T. Flather’s - when she signed copies of the book during a visit to the Famous Sheffield Shop on Ecclesall Road.

It was in honour of her efforts to get recognition for the thousands of South Yorkshire women that kept Sheffield’s armaments industry in production throughout Word War Two.

Shop owner Paul Iseard said: “Whilst most people approaching 90 years old are slowing up, Ruby Gascoigne seems to be doing the opposite.

“It was a real honour to have her in the shop to sign some of her books and be able to present her with an early birthday present.”

Ruby joined a generation of women toiling in the factories making vital components to help crush the Nazis.

Ruby, along with Dorothy Slingsby, Kit Solitt and Kathleen Roberts, took their campaign - backed by The Star - to get recognition for the Women of Steel to Downing Street in 2010 and a statue is to be built in their honour in the coming months.

Author Stephen Johnson, who wrote A Woman of Steel, said: “It’s the life of an ordinary working class girl who lived through extraordinary times and proved that you’re never too old to fight for what’s right.”