The Diary: Cartoons are a steel

James Whitworth & Wilda Goyetche with some of their cartoon exhibition
James Whitworth & Wilda Goyetche with some of their cartoon exhibition
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THE serious celebrations, of course, are taking place at the Millennium Gallery and Kelham Island Museum.

There, those wishing to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of stainless steel in Sheffield can see displays of industrial metalware, scientific reports and old photographs.

“Our exhibition is a little more...light-hearted,” says James Whitworth. “But it’s still about celebrating that heritage and honouring this Sheffield invention which changed the world forever.”

Welcome, reader, to Camp Wildago, a pink-walled circular picture gallery above a hairdressers in Campo Lane, city centre.

Here, to mark Harry Brearley’s ground-breaking 1913 discovery, two of the city’s best cartoonists are now hosting an anniversary exhibition with a difference.

James, whose work appears in The Star, and gallery owner Wilda Goyetche have each produced a series of pictures to mark the centenary. The pair have taken photos of Sheffield ‘steel landmarks’ and added their own unique cartoon characters. For Wilda that means a chap called Freddie Furnace exploring places such as Cutlers’ Hall and the Peace Gardens. For James, the result is his famous characters looking around the likes of Portland Works and Forgemasters.

“The idea was to show this discovery is still relevant today to an audience that might not necessarily go to those other exhibitions,” explains James, 43, of Fulwood. “As a newspaper cartoonist a lot of my work is having a go at councillors and city planners but I only do that because I love Sheffield.”

Wilda, a Canadian who moved here nine years ago, feels much the same.

“Ever since I’ve been here my life seems to have been intertwined with steel,” explains the 46-year-old of Highfield. “I did a poster for the Save Portland Works campaign and then I was commissioned to do an exhibition at Forgemasters. Steel’s been good to me so I felt I should mark this birthday.

“Stainless steel is a lot of things but it’s not always noted for being colourful - we want to change that.”

The exhibition, Stainless, runs until April 13. An official opening with the Lord Mayor is taking place at 10am today.