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Stars Set To Rock For Women Of Steel

posted 5 Sep 2013, 06:10 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 5 Sep 2013, 06:10 ]
SOUTH Yorkshire music and showbiz icons are to pay tribute to Sheffield's Women Of Steel - by taking part for free in a star-studded fund raising concert.

The event, with tickets going on sale tomorrow  (Thursday, June 6), will help to pay for a £150,000 statue to honour the brave women, who kept the steel mills working while their men went off to fight in a World War.

Now dwindling in numbers, all in their 80s and 90s, the Women Of Steel have a last wish, to see the statue they were promised erected outside Sheffield City Hall.

Internationally acclaimed artist Martin Jennings has been commissioned to make the statue and Sheffield Council has committed £28,000 so far to the project, with more than £33,000 also pledged at www.justgiving.com/ womenofsteel. South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF) will be raising money locally.

Now The Women Of Steel Concert, at the City Hall - on Saturday, November 9 - will celebrate Sheffield's illustrious history and aims to raise tens of thousands of pounds towards the cost. 

Sheffield's own Grammy award winner Eliot Kennedy and special guests will lead the house band for this once-in-a-lifetime show, which will see all the acts performing for free.

Already confirmed are Sheffield electro giants Heaven 17, ABC's Martin Fry, Tony Christie; You're Gorgeous hit makers Baby Bird, John Shuttleworth, the comedy creation of Graham Fellows, singer-songwriter John Reilly,  Philippa Hanna, who recently toured with Lionel Richie, songwriter Ray Hearne, Cornerstone Brass, Classic Calypso and The Yorkshire Teabags.

There will be appearances by Reverend and the Makers’ front man Jon McClure, Dean Andrews, from hit TV show Life on Mars, BBC Ancient Egypt presenter Joann Fletcher and guest DJs and presenters from all the local radio stations.

Other big names, busy re-organising their diaries to be part of the fundraiser, which is in association with Eliot Kennedy's One Song Foundation, will be announced in coming weeks.

The Star  has been leading a campaign to get the Women Of Steel the recognition they deserve, took a group of the ladies to Downing Street four years ago - where their efforts were publicly acknowledged by the Prime Minister.

Now the paper is a headline sponsor of the concert, along with Pyronix and Sheffield Hallam University. Sheffield International Venues, Human Design Studios, HR Media, Very Creative Ltd Event Sound and Lighting are also supporting the show

There’s a chance for other companies, businesses and organisations to get involved with a special package that includes a pre-show Yorkshire Supper and an after-show party in the City Hall Ballroom. 

Sheffield’s Lord Mayor, Council Leader Julie Dore, Master Cutler Neil MacDonald, Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Wright and MPs Clive Betts, Paul Blomfield, David Blunkett, Meg Munn, Angela Smith and Nick Clegg are all giving it their support. They are making a personal appeal for companies to support the cause by sponsoring the event or buying a hospitality table. 

Women of Steel was the name given to the hundreds of South Yorkshire heroines, whose commitment, hard work and good nature made an amazing contribution to the city and the country during two World Wars, by uncomplainingly taking on the men’s jobs in the steel works. 

John Palmer, former Director of Communications at Sheffield Hallam University, who is working with The Star and Eliot Kennedy to produce the show, said: "Sheffield’s music and entertainment stars are appearing for free, the City Hall is waiving its fee and several businesses are already providing free services to make this event a success.

"There are, though, production costs we have to meet, so bringing more companies and organisations on board will pay for those and ensure that even more money will go to the appeal. What better way to show how proud we are of these amazing women, who truly deserve permanent recognition.

"Once we said we wanted to do the gig, we’ve had loads of support from the bands and entertainers and we're still in discussion with several more who are desperately keen to take part.

"This could only happen in Sheffield and we’re really pleased that our local big names want to honour some of the city's most deserving characters, whose achievements should not die with them. 

"The Strength of Steel; the Power of Community; the Fusion of Equality and the Eagerness to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder to support what we believe in – that’s at the heart of Sheffield.

"And in this special year, also celebrating the centenary of stainless steel, we want to show the world that the traditional values which made us famous in the past will bring us respect in the future."

* Tickets will cost £20 and £22, may be subject to a booking fee, available from Thursday, June 6, at 9.30am. Buy in person at the venue, Monday to Saturday, 9.30am - 5.30pm; Call the Box Office on 0114 2 789 789, Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 9pm, or buy on line at http://www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk/

Make your evening extra special with a Yorkshire inspired VIP supper before the concert, including welcome drink, pie and peas, premium seats and a ticket to the after show party, where you and your guests will be able to mix with some of the stars of the show.
If you can’t get to the show, you can still support the women with a donation to justgiving.com/womenofsteel  and there will be other fun opportunities to help raise the money as the show date approaches.

For further information please contact 
John Palmer at j.palmer595@btinternet.com  or 07881 738029 
Graham Walker at walker.graham@btinternet. com  or 07928 341566