Felixstowe: Former PM made to visits to seaside town in the 1980s

Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, in March 198

Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, in March 1986.

MARGARET Thatcher made two key visits to Felixstowe during the 1980s – and both for very different reasons.

Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, in March 198

Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference at the Spa Pavilion, Felixstowe, in March 1986 - Credit: Archant

On one occasion she was guest of the Port of Felixstowe, winning many admirers as she climbed a quayside crane to get a bird’s-eye view of the port, the success of which was a jewel in the crown of her industrial and economic policies, and the second to address the Conservative Central Council at the Spa Pavilion.

Former mayor Doreen Savage met Mrs Thatcher on her visit to the port.

She said: “We were waiting in a line in a room at Tomline House and when she came in, she smiled at us but went straight over to shake hands and speak to the waiting staff at the tables. I thought that was marvellous – she knew who was really important. She was a fantastic lady. As a woman in politics, still a man’s world, I know she had to be strong.”

Mayor-elect Jan Garfield said: “She was an amazing woman. Her name will be remembered long after lots and lots of prime ministers name’s have been forgotten.


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“She was so pro-Britain in everything she did.

“I was devastated when I heard she had died, and I think a lot of people will be because she meant such a lot to the country.”

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Suffolk Coastal deputy leader Andy Smith said: “She was a conviction politician who genuinely ‘changed the world’. She had clear and strong beliefs about making the world a better place, and the clarity of mind and sense of purpose to get the results which that deserved.

“I remember being in major meetings which she addressed on two or three occasions – and what shone through was her warmth and understanding of people’s need for self-respect by running their own lives, and the need for government to step back and make that possible.”

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