Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister seen here on a visit to Barnstaple's Shapland and Petter factory, has died after suffering a stroke.
Baroness Thatcher, 87, was Britain's Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.
She became the Conservative MP for Finchley, north London in 1959, retiring from the Commons in 1992.
In September 1979 she visited Shapland and Petter in Barnstaple. Ken Rabbett was the factory’s senior supervisor at the time of her visit and introduced her to a number of employees on the shop floor.
The company had done a lot of work for the government prior to her visit, providing well over 3,000 door sets for a new RAF station and military barracks in the Falkland Islands.
On the same day she had also visited Barnstaple to say ‘thank you’ to 350 party workers following her first general election victory.
Her official diary from the time shows that on September 14 1979 Mrs Thatcher arrived at Barnstaple Civic Centre at 11.30 and was met by Tony Speller, the MP for North Devon. She met the chairman of North Devon District Council, Councillor Douglas Potter, and Mayor of Barnstaple Councillor Bill Luxton.
She went on a walkabout in Barnstaple Market before giving press interviews at the Leisure Centre. After a buffet lunch and meeting with Conservative Party workers at the Leisure Centre she left and had a tour of Shapland and Petter Limited.
Later in the afternoon she arrived at Bideford Bridge and met chairman of Torridge District Council, Councillor Stan Short and Mayor of Bideford, Councillor Douglas Vickers.
This afternoon South West MEP Ashley Fox said: "I joined the Conservative Party because I was inspired by Margaret Thatcher's leadership. She is my political hero and one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.
"I am saddened by Margaret Thatcher's death. She was the embodiment of British determination and grit."
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