DERBYSHIRE: “We will not miss Margaret Thatcher”

Toni Bennett being arrested on the picket line during the miners' strikes.

Toni Bennett being arrested on the picket line during the miners' strikes.

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In the once-thriving mining town of Bolsover, Margaret Thatcher will not be missed.

Britain’s first and only female political leader died peacefully aged 87 on Monday – but her legacy will continue to haunt this and many other Derbyshire communities.

A controversial politician who inspired passion among both her critics and supporters, Baroness Thatcher will perhaps best be remembered for her Conservative Government’s part in closing the mines which sparked widespread strikes.

On the streets of Bolosver this week, there is little sadness following the Iron Lady’s death – but there is plenty of bitterness.

Diane Robinson said: “I hated her.

“She’ll be remembered as someone who destroyed lives – there are still divided families who don’t talk to each other because of the miners’ strikes.

“We knew people who ended up killing themselves during the strikes – but she didn’t care less about the working class.

“Good riddance, Thatcher.”

Graham Wright added: “I think a lot of people will be celebrating the news.

“She didn’t do anything good.”

Lorna Lee said: “Put it this way, I won’t be watching her funeral – why would I?”

Anthony Quigley, who worked in Bolsover Colliery and was involved in the miners’ strikes in the mid-1980s, said “Many Derbyshire areas are still suffering as a result of the Thatcher years.

“She was more of a dictator than a Prime Minister and caused an awful lot of hurt.”

Toni Bennett, a Labour Councillor in Bolsover, was arrested on the picket line at Markham pit during the miners’ strikes.

Toni said: “Thatcher decimated communities and industries.

“She didn’t want the working class to progress so she could manipulate them.

“Derbyshire will not miss her.”