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Museum opens to visitors on first anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s death

Grantham Museum chairman Helen Goral, left, with artist Lisa Hawker and her bust of Margaret Thatcher which will go on display from Tuesday.

Grantham Museum chairman Helen Goral, left, with artist Lisa Hawker and her bust of Margaret Thatcher which will go on display from Tuesday.

Visitors have been to Grantham Museum today to see the Margaret Thatcher exhibition on the first anniversary of her death.

A steady flow of people went to the museum which opened especially for the anniversary. On display in the exhibition is a bronze bust of Lady Thatcher, the Grantham-born former Prime Minister, made by artist Lisa Hawker.

Visitors could also see the books of condolence which were signed by 3,000 people last year following the death of Lady Thatcher.

Helen Goral, chairman of the museum, said: “It’s been nice to give people the opportunity to come if they want to. We wanted to keep it low key. The feedback has been good, very positive. I think we would have been chastised if we had not opened. It’s important we open and mark the anniversary.”

The bust of Lady Thatcher attracted a number of comments which people were invited to write in a book left by the artist at the exhibition. Among the comments was one from American visitor Pat Beig, of Minneapolis, who said: “Very impressed with the bust of Margaret Thatcher. She looks kind and compassionate.” Another comment said: “What a woman. You have captured a strong, yet warm image of Mrs Thatcher.”

On her first visit to the town, Pamela Hoggarth of Beverley in Yorkshire, said the bust was a “very good likeness”.

The anniversary has attracted media attention to the museum today with TV and radio stations covering the story. A feature in the Daily Mail yesterday asked why does Grantham still have no monument to Lady Thatcher? In his story, Harry Mount said: “If this were America — where Thatcher is revered more than she is in Britain — Grantham would be the equivalent of a presidential birthplace. Every hotel, tea shop and pub would be plastered with Thatcher references. The town signs would be emblazoned with her name; her childhood home would be bought up by admirers, and thronged with pilgrims.”

The museum is trying to raise £200,000 to pay for a statue and upgrade the museum. It says it hopes to secure one or two big donations to help it reach its target. The Daily Mail article has certainly helped with a flurry of smaller donations coming in since yesterday.

 

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