Thatcher’s Passing.

Steven Gribben outside his van, which he has decorated with the words ‘The Witch is burning’ in reference to the funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, arrives for a ‘Thatcher Is Gone’ party at a pub in the ex-mining town of Logan, near Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A group of young Conservative mourners, outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, talking as the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher was taking place. © Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Party-goers hold a ‘Thatcher is Gone’ party, on the day of the funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, at the Glenmuir Arms pub in the ex-mining community of Logan, near Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

“The day began with a drive down to Ayrshire, and listening on the car radio to the procession through the streets of London of the funeral cortege of Margaret Thatcher. It sounded solemn and respectful in London, but around me were the wet fields of Ayrshire, and the once mining communities that reside amongst them. I turned off the radio just as the funeral service began in St. Paul’s, and just as I arrived at the pub in which a ‘Thatcher is Gone’ party was about to begin.

Union Jack bunting hung inside and out, and the landlord, Jim McMahon, was wearing a black tie. Any confusion as to whether it was an anti-Thatcher or pro-Thatcher party was soon cleared up as champagne was sprayed and drank, and beers consumed, and ex-miner McMahon asked for a minutes silence, not for Thatcher, but for the jobs they had lost in the coal mines, for the people who had fought Thatcher on the picket lines and died, and for all the victims of her policies. It was the first of a few speeches, and heckles, and which ended with raucous applause and cheers for a vitriolic and passionate speech by Socialist politician Tommy Sheridan.

Back in Glasgow a little later and Tommy Sheridan started his speech there with his same first lines and black humour jokes, but I was distracted by those in attendance in the smaller than expected crowd, from the woman with the miss-spelled banner, the Republicans with their flags and banners depicting IRA hunger strikers, and Wonder Woman doing karate kicks whenever she saw a camera. It was all far removed from the ceremony on the radio, or that I could read about on Twitter, but no less real, no less passionate or historical.”  – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

 

“London does pomp and pageantry well. It does poignant and ceremonial well too. When it comes to births, deaths and marriages – not to mention the odd jubilee or Olympic Games, this particular metropolis scrubs up well and gets out all its finery.

I love working at big state occasions or ceremonies in London. It’s not only the backdrop but the whole organisation which impresses. Nothing left to chance, everything spotless and perfect.

And so it was at the funeral of Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. On a suitably funereal, grey morning, with rain spattering our lenses, we watched and witnessed the final journey of a woman who, 23 years after leaving office, still ignites flames and inflames passions.

And as always, the streets were clogged with onlookers, wielding cameras by the thousand, all collecting little souvenirs of the Iron Lady’s last journey.

There was applause, there were boos, but most of all there was London: magnificent and majestic, putting the event into perspective and committing it to memory and history.” – Colin McPherson.

 

The gun carriage guarded by mounted police on horse back riding through Trafalgar Square, London, prior to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral cortege. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A soldier dressed in a red tunic standing by the roadside watching the funeral cortege for Margaret Thatcher, near Fleet Street, London. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Wonder Woman attends a rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A mourner with a bunch of flowers watching tearfully as the cortege for Margaret Thatcher arrives for her funeral, London. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-HIbbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

British Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg MP in a top hat departing St. Paul’s following the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher, London. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Pub owner and ex-miner, Jim McMahon (on left of picture) listens to Socialist politician Tommy Sheridan as he speaks at a ‘Thatcher is Gone’ party, on the day of the funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, at the Glenmuir Arms pub in Logan, near Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all right reserved.

 

Former British Cabinet minister Lord Norman Tebbitt departing St. Paul’s following the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher, London. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Raucous applause at the end of the speech by Socialist politician Tommy Sheridan, during a ‘Thatcher is Gone’ party, on the day of the funeral of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, at the Glenmuir Arms pub in Logan, near Cumnock, Ayrshire, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Two mourners standing outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London as the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher was taking place. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

A rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Crowds outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London photographing the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Socialist politician Tommy Sheridan speaks at a rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

Republican banners at a rally in George Square to celebrate the passing and funeral day of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, in Glasgow, Scotland. ©Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2013, all rights reserved.

 

An onlooker with a themed hat outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in London as the funeral service for Margaret Thatcher was taking place. ©Colin McPherson 2013, all rights reserved.

 

 

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