VIDEO: Sheffield Women Of Steel return to foundry to see statue cast in bronze

IT'S more than 70-years since Kathleen Roberts and Kit Sollitt dressed to man the munitions factories along with hundreds of our other brave Women Of Steel.

Thursday, 7th April 2016, 7:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2016, 7:46 pm
Women Of Steel statue being cast in bronze at Pangolin Editions foundry,near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

But the ladies, now in their 90s, have returned to the the acrid smell and bright orange glow of molten metal.

They watched with pride as liquid bronze was poured into moulds to cast a statue honouring them and all the women who kept Sheffield's steel mills going to help win two world wars.

360 PHOTO: See our amazing 360 photo of Kathleen and Kit watching the bronze statue being made inside the Pangolin Editions foundry, near Stroud in Gloucestershire - CLICK HERE.It will be unveiled in Barkers Pool, outside the blitz marked Sheffield City Hall where they had tea dances, on Friday, June 17.

The Star drove a campaign to get the women publicly thanked and build a statue.

A series of music concerts helped to smash the initial £150,000 target and now provide medals for the surviving Women Of Steel, or families of those who have passed.

Kathleen, aged 94, and Kit, 96, made the six hours round trip to the Pangolin Editions foundry, near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

"We've waited a lifetime for this. It's kept us going these last few years. To see the statue being made is a dream come true," said Kathleen.

Women Of Steel statue being cast in bronze at Pangolin Editions foundry,near Stroud in Gloucestershire.

Kit added: "We can't thank everybody enough and we can;t wait to see it in Sheffield."

The two heroines, with Ruby Gascoigne and Dorothy Slingsby,have been figureheads of the campaign.

The foundry is where sculptor Martin Jennings cast other notable works, including hisstatue of poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman, for St Pancras Station and of Charles Dickens, sited in Portsmouth.

He explained: "The foundry casts various parts of the sculpture and puts it together. I can't wait for people to see it in Sheffield."

An emotional day for Women Of Steel Kathleen Roberts, aged 94, and Kit Sollitt, 96.

Women of Steel or their families wanting a medal can get an application form from The Star, in York Street and Sheffield Town Hall or at www.sheffield.gov.uk/womenofsteel.

An artist impression of what the Women Of Steel statue will look like outside Sheffield City Hall.
An artist impression of what the Women Of Steel statue will look like outside Sheffield City Hall.
Women Of Steel Kathleen Roberts, aged 94, and Kit Sollitt, 96, wearing steel factory helmets to see the statue being cast in bronze.
Women Of Steel statue being cast in bronze at Pangolin Editions foundry,near Stroud in Gloucestershire.
Women Of Steel statue being cast in bronze at Pangolin Editions foundry,near Stroud in Gloucestershire.
An emotional day for Women Of Steel Kathleen Roberts, aged 94, and Kit Sollitt, 96.
An artist impression of what the Women Of Steel statue will look like outside Sheffield City Hall.
An artist impression of what the Women Of Steel statue will look like outside Sheffield City Hall.
Women Of Steel Kathleen Roberts, aged 94, and Kit Sollitt, 96, wearing steel factory helmets to see the statue being cast in bronze.
Women Of Steel statue being cast in bronze at Pangolin Editions foundry,near Stroud in Gloucestershire.