So, that’s the funeral done then? Nice that it divided people in a way. It’s what she would have wanted. But The Star’s very own Monica Dyson gets in touch with this column to recall a Maggie story with a difference. “During the 1980s I was working in Sheffield Polytechnic Library,” she says. “Behind the desk there was a large notice showing new students how to fill in the library registration card. “To give them an example it said: “Name: Margaret Thatcher. Address: 10 Downing Street. Which is exactly how one student filled her card out.” And they say it’s getting easier to get into high education today.
Quite right, though, of Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey to demand to know how much the funeral cost. Some estimates put it at £10 million. Ministers said it was lower. So, a simple solution to the confusion: tell us the actual figure. Whatever your views on Margaret Thatcher as a Prime Minister, the fact remains that it’s our public money being spent (in an age of austerity) and we have a right to know where it’s going. It’s called transparency.
Meanwhile, 175 years ago today a crowd was packing into a Sheffield chapel for entirely different reasons – to hear a former slave speak. Moses Roper told the audience at the Howard Street church on April 18 1838 about his experiences of – and his escape from – a life of bondage in North Carolina. Unusually tall at 6ft 6in) and stocky, he started by apologising for his lack of education and continued by shocking and astounding listeners with his tales of backbreaking work and beatings. He finished by exhibiting a whip used on the slaves of America’s southern states. The night concluded with the Reverend Bayley telling the audience if there was any man in there who still believed the US was right to continue with slavery, they should be ashamed.
And still reaction to Monday’s toilet statistic comes in. This is the research, quoted by Sheffield Hallam University professor Paul Chamberlain, which suggests that each person spends between three and five years in total on the toilet. “Best years of my life,” notes one Twitter user.