Mixed Eastbourne reaction to the death of Margaret Thatcher

Twenty-four hours after the death of Margaret Thatcher, Eastbourne residents offered mixed reactions to the passing of the Iron Lady and her time in Downing Street.

The general feeling in Eastbourne was a stark contrast to the riots of celebration that occurred in Brixton, with the majority of residents looking back at her time in office fondly.

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

For some such as Eastbourne pensioner, Patricia Edwards, the Conservative Prime Minister was among the best Britain has ever had.

The 82-year-old said: “Thatcher was by far the best Prime Minister we’ve had since Churchill. She meant what she said, which is rare these days.

“I wonder if we’ll ever get a better Prime Minister. She was a dominant personality and she knew what she was doing.”

And that was a view shared by 67-year-old Rosemary Lovell, who praised Mrs Thatcher’s leadership skills. She said: “I thought she was a wonderful woman. She was a great leader who led from the front. We need more leaders like that now.”

Some residents were indecisive with their views, acknowledging her mistakes but also remembering her successes.

Fifty five year-old Alison Gann said: “It is sad but she was old anyway and she had a good life. I think she was a good Prime Minister in the way she got things done, but she was very unpopular.”

Bernd Schaub shared a similar opinion, saying: “I thought she was a great lady although she made a few mistakes. She changed a lot for the country for the better.”

Not all residents were upset at the death of the Iron Lady. Vince Farruggia, 32, urged David Cameron to learn from Thatcher’s mistakes, saying: “I think she was a horrible woman who supported apartheid and David Cameron should learn from this that the people don’t forget.”

Resident Ann Robbins shared the view that Thatcher’s mistakes should be learned from, as well as her positive traits. The 69-year-old said: “Future Prime Ministers need to learn from her mistakes and she made many but they also need to adopt some of her power and personality as that’s what makes a strong leader.”

Susan Lugg, who said she will not mourn the first female Prime Minister, said: “Thatcher destroyed our country and I don’t mourn her. We have no housing now for people who can’t afford it. Everything’s for the rich.”