Star Retro is offering a unique chance to listen to the fascinating stories of Sheffield’s Women of Steel as one of two events we are organising for next month’s Heritage Open Days.
Our editor Nancy Fielder, who as a former Retro writer began The Star’s campaign to get recognition for the women who kept the city’s steelworks going during two world wars, will be chatting with some of the Women of Steel.
They will talk about what it was like to step into the male-dominated steel industry and take on challenging jobs in a tough environment.
Many women also kept their families going while working, as an earlier generation had done during World War One when Sheffield played a vital part in the war effort.
Sheffield steel and ammunition fed the war machine and the steelworks and munitions factories expanded hugely to cope.
For many women, the experience changed their lives.
The event takes place in the beautiful Memorial Hall at Sheffield City Hall.The Women of Steel statue was finally unveiled outside the iconic building in June after a campaign to raise the money to create it.
The talk takes place ahead of one of the venue’s regular tea dances.
The City Hall is also hosting guided tours of the building on Saturday September 10.
Our second event takes place at The Montgomery on Friday, September 9. We’ll be at the Victorian city centre theatre and meeting place to show readers some of our old bound volumes of The Star, which are a fascinating look back in time.
Or why not drop in and show the Retro team own memorabilia? We’ll try to feature them in future Retros.
At noon, Retro writer Julia Armstrong will be speaking about James Montgomery and 18th-century radical journalism in Sheffield.
The drop-in sessions are running from 11am to 1pm and tea and coffee will be available.
James Montgomery, also a famed Victorian hymnwriter and social campaigner, had what was then the Montgomery Hall named after him by Sheffielders after his death.
The Montgomery are also putting on their own Heritage Open Days event the following day from 10am to 3pm. Take a look backstage or go on a discovery trail to learn more about James Montgomery.
Heritage Open Days is a national event that runs from September 8 to 11, involving thousands of historic buildings and heritage spaces.
For more information and a full list of what’s happening, go online to Heritage Open Days or check out the Sheffield Heritage Open Days Facebook page.