“She was the most important Prime Minister of the 20th Century” - Margaret Thatcher dies

Margaret Thatcher with workers at Herga Electrics in 1987.
Margaret Thatcher with workers at Herga Electrics in 1987.
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‘Iron lady’ Margaret Thatcher who has died, visited Bury St Edmunds back in 1987.

The then prime minister landed by helicopter in Fornham All Saints before touring Herga Electrics.

The tour was part of an election campaign with Lady Thatcher giving her backing to town MP Eldon Griffiths in his bid to retain his seat.

Interviewed by News at Ten on her campaign bus in May 1987 as she travelled from Bury to Ipswich Margaret Thatcher said: “The long distance runner knows he finishes strong, pace yourself to finish strong.”

Three years earlier she had survived an assassination attempt when the IRA bombed the Brighton Grand Hotel during the Conservative Party’s annual conference.

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Norman Tebbit was injured while his wife Lady Tebbit was left disabled by the blast.

The couple now live in Bury.

In an interview with the Bury Free Press last year, Lord Tebbit described Lady Thatcher, alongside Clement Attlee, as the 20th century’s most important Prime Minister.

“What I found great about working with Thatcher is that she shared my view.

“If you woke up in the morning and heard that there’d been some big event in the world you didn’t have to wonder how she would react, you knew, because she had a body of principles and she didn’t have to ask anybody to take an opinion poll to find out how to react. In that way, she was a different politician,” he said.

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock said: “It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Lady Thatcher. 
“She was a truly great leader and a fearless defender of liberty, at home and abroad.

“Both Britain and the whole democratic world owe her a huge debt of gratitude.”