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Margaret Thatcher dies following a stroke

By NDJNews  |  Posted: April 08, 2013

  • Margaret Thatcher visits Shapland and Petter in Barnstaple

  • Margaret Thatcher visits Shapland and Petter in Barnstaple

  • Margaret Thatcher visits Shapland and Petter in Barnstaple

  • Margaret Thatcher with the late North Devon Conservative MP Tony Speller

  • How the North Devon Journal reported Mrs Thatcher's visit

Comments (6)

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.

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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."

POLL: Was Margaret Thatcher good for Britain? Vote in our poll now. It can be found at the top right-hand side of this page or by clicking here.

Do you have memories of Margaret Thatcher you'd like to share? Comment in the box below or email us at editorial@northdevonjournal.co.uk

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6 comments

  • ArtfulDodger  |  April 09 2013, 3:11PM

    That doesn't make her deserving of some of the comments on here Mr Sole....

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  • R_Sole87  |  April 09 2013, 9:58AM

    ArtfulDodger: she made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

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  • Charlespk  |  April 09 2013, 9:51AM

    I'll always remember the newsagent who threw a power worker out of his shop. . "I can't have electricity, so you can't have a newspaper" he said. The Winter of Discontent - in pictures. http://tinyurl.com/d8zkwq2 (open in a new window) A Great Lady, Margaret Thatcher. http://tinyurl.com/bt4yqqm (open in a new window)

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  • ArtfulDodger  |  April 09 2013, 8:39AM

    I fail to understand how anyone can say Mrs T was bad.... Idi Amin was bad to name but one, Mrs T may have had differing views to others...that does not make her the wicked witch of the west...great lady!

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  • skareggae72  |  April 08 2013, 3:26PM

    Quote,"its only after they have died, that people realize how great and effective they were" No,what tends to happen is people conveniently forget all the bad stuff.

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  • Stork  |  April 08 2013, 2:55PM

    Even though she has passed away. Many, many people will still say, " come back Mrs Thatcher ". Eventually, she will rank alongside Winston Churchill. They could be compared to " old masters". It's only after they have died, that people realise how great and effective they were. The same will never be said about some of the recent crop of politicians !

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