Ex-Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher dies
'Ceremonial Funeral' to be held says biographer Charles Moore
Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher has died at 87 following a stroke, her spokesman has said.
"It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully, following a stroke this morning."
Baroness Thatcher was Conservative prime minister from 1979 to 1990.
She was the first woman to hold the post.
Baroness Thatcher, born Margaret Roberts, became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.
Having been education secretary, she successfully challenged former prime minister Edward Heath for her party's leadership in 1975.
She won general elections in 1979, 1983 and 1987. Charles Moore her biographer says there will be a form of a 'Ceremonial Funeral' but respecting her wishes "no lying in state."
Julian Bray recalls:
I first met Margaret Thatcher, during her first 1979 General Election tour, the Conservative Party had hired British Island Airways to fly her around the UK, on a whistle stop tour in a 120 seater BA1-11.
As a consultant to the Board of BIA, I held at the time top level go anywhere airside passes for both Gatwick and Heathrow.
Sworn to secrecy, although we had the advance schedule for a few days, she turned up at Gatwick wearing -- glasses. The first and last time, I had actually seen her wearing spectacles, and there is a Press Association picture to prove it.
Press & media would be at the back end of the single aisle plane, and Mrs Thatcher as she was then known, would call forward the media teams or individuals one at a time giving them a strict three minutes, then she dive into a mountain of campaign papers. Dennis would be by her side throughout.
The Thatchers lived at one time in Flood Street, Fulham, which was a few streets away from where I lived in SW10. She would often be seen in the local shops, chatting to locals, spending time with shopkeepers possibly recalling her early years as the daughter of a greengrocer. The Iron Lady clearly had a softer side in her private life, and liked to do her own shopping.
Many say the shopkeepers of Chelsea and Fulham provided her with the inside knowledge, her Tory grandees at the time were far removed from and covertly actively campaigned against.
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)