WOMEN who worked in Sheffield’s steelworks and factories during the First and Second World Wars were honoured at the weekend as a plaque was unveiled in their memory.
Four women who worked in the city’s factories during wartime were invited to take part in the ceremony, alongside a female apprentice who works in industry today.
Sheffield Council’s leader Julie Dore was also involved in the unveiling, which took place in Barkers Pool, Sheffield, on Saturday afternoon.
Coun Dore said the authority was also working on a longer term project for a Women of Steel statue.
She said following consultation with a group of women who worked in the city’s factories, designs were being drawn up for a figurative statue, probably made of bronze, in the city centre.
Coun Dore said: “The plaque unveiling is just part of our plans to pay our city’s Women of Steel the respect and honour that they deserve.
“Their valiant efforts were a crucial part of the contribution Sheffield’s industry made to the war effort in both world wars.
“We are keen that both the plaque and the statue are seen not just as a memorial to a remarkable group of women but an inspiration for the future and hope people will join us in the celebrations.”
It is hoped that the statue project will be complete by November 2012. Sheffield Council said it had committed £28,000 so far with a fundraising target for a further £120K.
The first stage of the fundraising campaign will be focused on raising money from local businesses, and charitable trusts and foundations.
A public fundraising campaign will be launched next year once the artist’s design is finalised.
A council spokesman said: “The council will appoint an artist before Christmas who will produce a model by the end of April 2012.”