BPF CommentImage: David Fowler / Shutterstock.com
Peter Davis, Director-General of the British Plastics Federation, looks back at the involvement Britain’s first female Prime Minister had with the plastics industry.
Today [08/04/13] we heard the sad news that Britain's first woman Prime Minister has died. Not so well known is her time in the Plastics Industry.
It was in 1947 that BX Plastics, based in Manningtree, Essex, took on 17 new researchers. Three were women and one of them was the newly graduated Margaret Roberts. Each was paid £350 per annum.
Margaret Roberts was working at BX on surface tensions to develop an adhesive to stick PVC to wood or metal. The Technical Director said she was "very conscientious, hard working," but not too popular with her colleagues.
I got to know Margaret Thatcher when I became Special Advisor to the then Secretary of State for the Environment, Kenneth Baker. She approved my appointment.
They were heady times in her Government with huge, overdue reforms being implemented, deficit reduction (sound familiar?), and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. And then there were the conflicts: the Miners Strike and the Falklands War. It was an exciting time of real change and I would not have missed it for the world.
Mrs Thatcher had a regular meeting with all Special Advisers like me. She was very well briefed with notes in a green felt pen on manilla paper, and you had to make sure you were as well, on every aspect of your Department's activities.
She said during one election: "You may not like me but you know what I stand for.” From my close perspective she was the leading Prime Minister for many decades and leaves a lasting legacy which will endure.
Peter Davis, BPF Director-General