Saturday, 18 December 2010

Women of Steel Share Stories for Oral History Project

Sheffield´s Women of Steel have shared their stories with students from the University of Sheffield to keep alive their memories of working in the city´s steelworks during World War II.

The recordings were part of a wider campaign, led by the Sheffield Star in partnership with Sheffield City Council, for recognition for these women whose efforts in the workshops of the steel industry sustained Britain during the war.

Three women from the campaign met with five students from the University´s School of English this week (13 December 2010) to record their memories to produce permanent digital artifacts. They discussed their role in the factories, what they enjoyed about their work and personal memories of family life and relationships during this time.

The recordings were taken as part of the student´s Collaborative Learning and Teaching module in the School of English which sees students taking their own responsibility for a project. The project is linked to the Storying Sheffield module which sees students working with members of the local community to collect, record and produce stories about their lives in Sheffield through creative representations.

The recordings will be showcased at an event in February which is part of the Off the Shelf History Weekend. The interviews will also be made available to the public on the Storying Sheffield website and will feed into the Council´s current plans to produce a permanent memorial in the city centre to commemorate the women´s efforts during the war.

Holly Willis, a third-year student from the School of English, said: "It´s been so interesting to meet with people who lived through the war. Their experiences are so far removed from anything we have been through and I think it is really important to keep these memories alive and give these women an opportunity to pass their stories on to our generation. I´ve heard some really interesting stories today, and I think the ladies we´ve spoken to have also enjoyed hearing about how our generation view their efforts during the war."
Notes for Editors: The oral histories will be posted on the Storying Sheffield website in the new year.

Off the Shelf Festival - Highlighting History will take place 3 - 6 February 2011.

Author events with historians and local history talks and walks have proved to be one of the most popular elements of the Off the Shelf festival and in 2011, for the first time ever, a mini festival is being organised on this subject. The four day event will include popular tv historians Michael Wood and Amanda Vickery, a talk on Black Diamonds by Catherine Bailey, illustrated talks by local historians, history walks, workshops, open days at Sheffield Manor Lodge and Bishops House and more. For details pick up a leaflet from 7 January 2011, visit the website below or telephone 0114 273 4400.


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