Angry mob greeted former PM in Sheffield

Margaret Thatcher with the Master Cutler, Kenneth Clephane
Margaret Thatcher with the Master Cutler, Kenneth Clephane
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WHEN Margaret Thatcher arrived in Sheffield in 1983 to deliver a speech at Cutlers’ Hall, an angry mob of protesters threw eggs and flour at her.

The chaos caused one of the police horses in her security entourage to lose its footing and smash into the back window of her official car.

Dennis Lound was The Star’s photographer at the time.

He said: “I remember the big demonstration with everybody throwing flour at her. People were shouting. She walked straight past, took it all in her stride and totally ignored it all.

“She was a strong woman but her politics stunk.”

Yorkshire Post photographer Chris Lawton was on the staff at the Sheffield Telegraph when Margaret Thatcher visited Rotherham in June 1976.

He tooks shots of the Iron Lady then, and on subsequent visits to South Yorkshire, including in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster and the Cutlers’ Hall visit.

He said: “All I remember from the first visit was that she ran like hell. She was rushing around shaking hands with everybody, chatting to people. She seemed to be engaging them. I was in my 30s and I couldn’t keep up with her.

“Back then she didn’t have the same reputation. There were a few people wondering why she was bothering because she was a Tory and it was just a politician visiting.

“I photographed her again when she came to Sheffield after Hillsborough, and when she was at the Cutlers’. People outside were throwing flour but I missed it because I was inside. When she came in and spoke she was composed.

“After all that, the standout thing in my mind was how fast she ran about.”