A permanent exhibition on the life and career of Grantham-born Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has opened at the town’s museum.
The exhibition features film archive, clothing and accessories including a suit, shoes and handbag (all blue), a hockey stick she played with at school and even the bed she used when growing up in the family home above the grocer’s shop in North Parade.
A corner of the exhibition has been made up like a front room in the 1970s complete with a television from that era on which is shown news clips from 1979 when Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister.
Also on show are a choir book Baroness Thatcher owned and signed and which was passed on to her by her father, Alfred Roberts, who also signed it.
Helen Goral, chairman of the museum, said visitors from all over the United Kingdom and the world are visiting the museum because of Margaret Thatcher. Helen said: “Her suit was loaned to us after she passed away. It’s the one thing that people want their picture taken with.
“The exhibition has been really well received and we still get people from all over the world as you will see in the visitors’ book. And it’s primarily because of her.”
Visitors to the exhibition can vote for one of the parties that contested the 1979 election and post their vote in a ballot box. The results are regularly checked and Helen said they are remarkably similar to the 1979 result, showing many people still hold Baroness Thatcher in high regard.
Visitors will also see examples of political cartoons, paintings and photographs documenting the life and times of Baroness Thatcher, including a maquette of the statue of her by Neil Simmons which was decapitated in the Guildhall Art Gallery in London in 2002.
There is also a condolence book at the exhibition which people can sign. It is the third one to be made available.
The exhibition is permanent and the museum hopes to develop it and bring in more exhibits with the help of fundraising which is continuing in order to pay for a Baroness Thatcher statue and refurbishment of the museum at a total cost of £200,000.
The museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.
The museum would also like to hear from local people who have first-hand stories or stories about relatives during the First and Second World Wars as it is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War this year and the 70th anniversary of D-Day. If you have any stories about life during the wars and any photographs from those times contact the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org