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Cornwall Remembers Margaret Thatcher

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7:36am 10th April 2013
(Updated 7:36am 10th April 2013)

Tributes are being paid in Cornwall to Lady Thatcher, who has died at the age of 87 following a stroke.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, speaking on a visit to the Duchy, said: "Margaret Thatcher was one of the defining figures of modern British politics and, while she may have divded opinion, I think everyone will be united today in acknowledging the strength of her character and the radicalism of her politics."

Mrs Thatcher was a regular visitor to the Duchy when she was Prime Minister.

She and husband Denis often stayed at Constantine Bay, giving him an opportunity to play golf at Trevose.

Cornish Guardian reporter Colin Gregory interviewed the former premier a number of times. He remembers: "She knew instinctively what would make a good picture so, when she went to the ladder factory at Launceston, she climbed a ladder. We went out on Constantine Bay beach and she decided the place needed a bit of a clean up - she picked up a sharp stick and went around clearing up litter."

Among the places she visited was Prideaux Place near Padstow.

Owner Peter Prideaux-Brune remembers what happened: "The doorbell went and there were two gentlemen in Bermuda shorts, desperately trying not to look like special branch policeman, but they were. They said, 'We've got the Prime Minister in the car, could she look round the house?' My father, who is a very private man said, 'No, I'm having my lunch.' So I said, 'Well, she is the Prime Minister, pa' so I showed her around.

"I was absolutely amazed because I had only ever seen her on the telly before and she had always struck me as a sort of school m'am type. I showed her the front door of the house and, unfortunately, I couldn't unlock it. So we had the most wonderful moment with the Prime Minister of Great Britain locked in the house with her armed guards locked outside. She roared with laughter - she thought it was so funny."

Camborne and Redruth Conservative MP George Eustice said, “Margaret Thatcher took the reins at a desperate time for Britain when strong leadership was required. She played a central role in turning the country around, challenged the resignation to post war British decline and also contributed to the end of the cold war.

"While some of her policies were contentious at the time, she will ultimately be remembered, not only as Britain’s first woman Prime Minister, but as a great leader.”

Truro and Falmouth Conservative MP Sarah Newton said, "I admire Margaret Thatcher’s sense of purpose and determination. She is an inspiration to women politicians as she succeeded against the odds in the male dominated world of Westminster.

"Along with many nations around the world I also admire her for her contribution to the cause of freedom, promoting human rights and democracy especially in what was the Soviet Union.’’

7:36am 10th April 2013

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