Margaret Thatcher’s home town STILL hasn’t put up statue in her honour… eight years on from her death
- Margaret Thatcher would have been 96 today but plinth for statue planned in her home town of Grantham remains empty
- Comes two years after £300,000 monument by Douglas Jennings was approved by planners
- Split opinion means official unveiling date is yet to be revealed
Today would have marked Margaret Thatcher’s 96th birthday.
But devotees cannot pay their respects at a statue in her home town of Grantham – because the 10ft plinth meant to display it remains empty.
It comes more than two years after planners approved the figure, pictured.
Margaret Thatcher would have been 96 today but her statue has yet to be unveiled in Grantham
The Lincolnshire town agreed to honour its most famous daughter with the £300,000 bronze work by Douglas Jennings in 2019, after Westminster councillors vetoed plans to stand it in Parliament Square.
But such is the split in opinion over the Iron Lady’s legacy – even in the town where she lived in a flat above her father’s grocery shop – that an official unveiling date is yet to be revealed. The former Tory PM died in 2013.
And some Grantham residents are now wondering if it would be better for the plinth to be left empty.
Factory manager, Duncan Attwood, 48, said: ‘The plinth has been empty for so long now, with fencing all around it, that I think people are beginning to wonder if the statue will ever go up at all.
‘If it is going to cost lots of money to protect the statue then it might not be worth putting up in such a public spot.
‘They won’t be able to protect it night and day.’
Mrs Thatcher was born on October 13 1925 and spent her childhood in the Lincolnshire market town before heading off to Somerville College, Oxford, at the age of 18 to study chemistry.
The argument about how or even whether Mrs Thatcher, who died aged 87 died in April 2013 after suffering a stroke, should be recognised in Grantham has raised for nearly two decades.
Mrs Thatcher was born on October 13 1925 and spent her childhood in the Lincolnshire market town before heading off to Somerville College, Oxford, at the age of 18 to study chemistry. The argument about how or even whether Mrs Thatcher, who died aged 87 died in April 2013 after suffering a stroke, should be recognised in Grantham has raised for nearly two decades
Ian Selby, a former town mayor, has previously called for a referendum to finally decide if the town really wanted the statue – with an unveiling expected to attract angry demonstrations.
Local officials also fear the statue will become a continual rallying point for protests and could possibly even be targeted for damage or removal attempts, as was seen when a crowd tore down a statue to Bristol slave trader Edward Colston.
The fears led to a 10ft high plinth being erected to display the £300,000 sculpture by Douglas Jennings, on the advice of Lincolnshire Police.
Despite the potential for damage – it was initially hoped the long awaited Thatcher statue would be unveiled by a ‘big’ Tory name in the Autumn of last year – but those plans were seemingly scuppered by the pandemic.