Merton Flag At Half-Mast For Lady Thatcher

Former Prime Minister dies at 87

The flag at Merton Council's Civic Centre is flying at half-mast today (April 9) to mark the passing of Margaret Thatcher.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 87, died peacefully yesterday (April 8) after suffering a stroke.

Lady Thatcher (pictured right) was prime minister from 1979 to 1990 and was the first woman to hold the role.

Conservative Councillors on Merton Council have paid tribute to Baroness Thatcher, the women their Leader, Councillor Richard Hilton, called "our greatest and most loved peace time Prime Minister of all time."

"She saved Britain from the economic abyss and defended our sovereignty both in the Falklands and Europe," he added. "As a great reformer she showed women up and down the country how to smash through the glass ceiling and she showed all of us that anyone can achieve anything if they work hard enough for it. Her legacy will live on for generations to come."

Deputy Leader Councillor Suzanne Evans recalled queuing for over three hours to ask her to sign a copy of 'The Downing Street Years' when it was first published in 1995.

"There must have been at least 500 people in the queue in front of me, but when she signed my copy her signature was as clear, well rounded and legible as the first. I was astonished; it was an amazing insight into her incredible determination and resilience. Whatever you think of her politics, she was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable women the world has ever known."

As a Deputy Central Office Agent in the Greater London Area, Councillor David Simpson saw her work first hand, particularly during the General Elections of 1983 and 1987. "She was a master political tactician," he said. "She would always take our professional organisational advice; essentially her message was 'you get the organisation right and leave the politics to me' and it worked."

One of Baroness Thatcher's greatest admirers on the Conservative Council group, Cllr Oonagh Moulton, canvassed in support of her General Election win in 1979 and attended her victory party. "At a time when the country was on its knees, she put the 'Great' back into Britain and was an inspiring guiding light of my generation. I went into politics because of her," she said. "I met her on a number of occasions and always found her charming though steely and with a sharp sense of humour. She didn't have time for fools!”

Councillor Ray Tindle, Lower Morden ward, said: "She made it possible from a boy like me, from a poor background, to rise above my station' and set up my own my own business, which at one time printed literature for the Centre for Policy Studies, the organisation she set with Sir Keith Joseph. I was delighted to get the opportunity to thank her in person at a function many years ago."

The Conservative Mayor of Merton, Councillor David Williams, last met 'Mrs T' in 1992 at the Conservative Club in Mitcham, when she came to support the then Mitcham and Morden MP Angela Rumbold's successful re-election campaign.

The flag will also fly at half-mast over the Civic Centre on the day of her funeral - which will be held at St Paul's Cathedral on April 17.

What are your memories of "Mrs T"? Why not comment on our forum?

April 9, 2013