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Thatcher sculpture unveiled in Grantham today

Margaret Thatcher sculpture goes on display at Grantham Museum today.
Margaret Thatcher sculpture goes on display at Grantham Museum today. Credit: Grantham Museum

A new sculpture goes on display today as the first anniversary of the death of Margaret Thatcher approaches.

The bronze bust by artist and sculptor Lisa Hawker will be on display at Grantham Museum from today until 30th April.

Since her death Grantham Museum has seen a big increase in the number of visitors and now have an extensive exhibition on the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Museum will be open on Tuesday 8th April, the first anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's death, to allow visitors to read condolence books signed last year.

Labour demand apology for Thatcher's strike plans

Former PM Margaret Thatcher
Former PM Margaret Thatcher Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour is demanding a formal apology from the government for the treatment of miners during the strike of 1984 to 1985.

Recently released cabinet papers from the 1980s showed, Grantham born former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, considered sending in troops to break the strike.

Shadow Minister Michael Dugher will make the demand in the House of Commons.

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Released papers reveal "hit-list" of 75 mines

Newly released papers from Margaret Thatcher's time at Number 10 have shown she may have planned to close over 70 pits.

The documents reveal that 75 pits were being considered for closure Credit: National Archives

The secret "hit-list" means that the government may have been looking at a further 50 closures than the 20 that were talked about by the government and National Coal Board.

The document reveals they wanted to close the mines over a three year period.

Arthur Scargill, then leader of the Yorkshire National Union of Miners, had always claimed the government were planning to close more mines than were being discussed publicly.

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Margaret Thatcher's cost of keeping up appearances

As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher's immaculately coiffed blonde locks were as much a part of her image as her famous handbag - and newly-released government files show just how much time she spent keeping up appearances.

US President Ronald Reagan talking to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Credit: Press Association

Her appointments diary for 1984, released by the National Archives, show that she had 118 hair appointments in the space of 12 months.

In June, when she was hosting world leaders at an economic summit in London she had hair appointments on five consecutive days.

The diary also confirms her reputation as a workaholic who found it difficult to relax.

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Ministers believed Russian funds were being sent to miners

Mikhail Gorbachev was the Russian leader during the miners' strike Credit: Press Association

Margaret Thatcher's government was desperate to stop cash from the Soviet Union reaching the striking coal miners, according to newly-released Government papers.

Official files from 1984 released by the National Archives show ministers believed hundreds of thousands of pounds were being channelled to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from Moscow.

But even though the union's assets had been sequestered by the courts after its president, Arthur Scargill, refused to allow it to pay a £200,000 fine for contempt, officials admitted there was little they could do to stop the flow of roubles.

Thatcher and Gorbachev meeting in 1984 Credit: Press Association

Mrs Thatcher was told the best they could hope for was that a NUM courier might be picked up by Customs trying to enter the country with "a suitcase full of bank notes".

Minsters were alerted by MI5 to the Soviet financial lifeline for the miners in early November 1984. A few days later the Soviet news agency TASS reported publicly that £500,000 had been raised to support the strike.

Although the money was supposed to have been donated by Russian miners, the Government had little doubt that the funds could only have been transferred abroad with the approval of the Soviet authorities.

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Thatcher considered calling in troops during miners' strike

Thatcher secretly considered calling in the troops during the miners' strike Credit: Press Association

Margaret Thatcher secretly considered calling out the troops at the height of the miners' strike amid fears union action could destroy her Conservative government, according to newly released files.

Government papers from 1984, released by the National Archives, show ministers were so concerned at the outbreak of a national docks strike while the miners were still out, they considered declaring a state of emergency.

Plans were drawn up for thousands of service personnel to commandeer trucks to move vital supplies of food and coal around the country.

It was probably the closest Mrs Thatcher came to defeat in her battle with the miners but the scheme was never implemented after the dockers' action petered out after less than two weeks.

The epic, 12-month confrontation between the Conservative government and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its left-wing president Arthur Scargill was one of the defining episodes of the Thatcher era.

It saw some of the worst industrial violence the country had witnessed, with hundreds injured in brutal picket line clashes between police and miners, and ended in crushing defeat for the NUM.

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Thatcher's secret army plan during miners' strikes

New files released by the National Archive show Grantham-born former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, secretly considered calling out the troops at the height of the 1984 miners' strike.

Former PM Margaret Thatcher Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Files also show how was also so concerned about the outbreak of a national docks strike at the same time, her government considered declaring a state of emergency.

The archive also revealed she had one hundred and eighteen hair appointments in 1984, including five on consecutive days.

Thatcher statue coming to life

by Charlotte Grant

Four months after the death of Margaret Thatcher and some of those living in her home town of Grantham have come up with a way for her legacy to live on.

They want to create a statue of the former Prime Minister. Artist drawings of how it could look have been released today. The town's museum wants people to give their views on what the statue should look like. Watch the full report.

Thatcher's school honoured by Heritage Minister

On the day that thousands of children across the country find out how they did in their GCSEs, the school that Margaret Thatcher attended has been listed grade II by Heritage Minister, Ed Vaizey.

Margaret Thatcher sits at a desk in her old school Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School has been listed following advice from English Heritage. They said that the school’s architectural and historical interest is strengthened, given that it has remained relatively unchanged since the former Prime Minister attended between 1936 and 1943.

Heritage Minister pays tribute to Thatcher's school

This is an outstanding example of an Edwardian grammar school with an eclectic architectural character and built by the architect H.H. Dunn who specialised in education buildings. But as well as its architectural interest the school has huge historical interest, and the education Margaret Thatcher received there was a formative experience which went on to affect her life and political convictions.

– Ed Vaizey, Heritage Minister
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