July 11, 2022 12.00 pm

Why is there no mention of Maggie being first female PM on Grantham Thatchue?

Eagle-eyed residents wondering why it’s missing from statue

There were decades of in-fighting before a statue of Margaret Thatcher was finally erected in her home town.

And the controversial sculpture was egged within hours of being unveiled in the centre of Grantham.

But eagle-eyed residents have been left wondering why the achievement of being Britain’s first female Prime Minister is missing from the monument.

The Douglas Jennings statue boasts two inscriptions, with one simply reading “Baroness Margaret Thatcher of Kesteven 1925-2013”, marking the years of her birth and death.

Lincolnshire Police had warned the statue needed to be in an elavated position to deter attackers.

And a second inscription on the ten feet high granite plinth used to protect Grantham’s most famous daughter reads “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” – a reference from 2 Timothy 4:7 of the King James bible.

The lack of reference to Baroness Thatcher’s groundbreaking role in British politics prompted one local resident to raise the matter.

They wrote: “For the first time since the statue of Margaret Thatcher was erected, I and some friends went to have a close look at her and read the plaques.

“We were astonished that there was no mention of her being Britain’s first woman Prime Minister!

“For those who visit Grantham, perhaps from foreign lands, and who have little knowledge of British Politics, they will be none the wiser of why she merits (or not, in some people’s eyes) a huge statue on a very high plinth.

“Why this grave omission? Surely this should be rectified as soon as possible? The high cost surrounding this statue should surely have included such important information with the relevant dates.”

Another local, teaching assistant Michelle Robinson, 43, added: “I know Maggie wasn’t popular with everyone, but after all the fuss about getting the statue it seems a bit of an own goal from Grantham not to boast she was this country’s first female Prime Minister.”

| Photo: Daniel Jaines

Janet Willcock, from Lincoln, addded: “We should ensure that future generations know that Grantham had the honour of producing the first female prime minister of Great Britain.

“The suffragettes fought so hard to get votes for women. All that they suffered is not really appreciated today and equality for women is taken for granted by so many.”

The statue was officially unveiled with a small ceremony on Grantham’s St Peter’s Green at the end of May.

The £300,000 memorial, which was previously rejected by Westminster Council, had previously been guarded by fences, which did not deter university worker Jeremy Webster from throwing eggs at it shortly after it was lowered on to a 10ft-high granite plinth on May 15. He was later fined £90.

Two CCTV cameras were put up before the installation to combat any threats of vandalism, and police turned up in minutes when Webster egged the memorial.

In February 2019, a planning committee unanimously voted in favour of the statue, which was originally intended for Parliament Square in Westminster.

Before planning permission was given, the only marking for Baroness Thatcher in the town was a plaque on the corner of North Parade and Broad Street to show where she was born, and a small display in Grantham museum.

Margaret Thatcher, (nee Roberts) was born and raised in Grantham and attended Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, before gaining a scholarship to study at Oxford University.

Her father Alfred, a grocer, was town mayor from 1945 to 1946.