Thatcher museum to be housed in former Liberal Democrat HQ?

Way back in 1981, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, the SDP was formed and took up residence at 4 Cowley Street, just round the corner from the Houses of Parliament. That building became the home of the Liberal Democrats after the 1988 merger between the Liberals and Social Democrats.

Today’s Times carries a report which suggests that our former headquarters could house the proposed museum to Margaret Thatcher. However, if you read the article in full, it amounts to little more than a bit of gentle stirring by Conor Burns, the Conservative MP who is a strong proponent of the idea. He says that it would be a “delicious irony” for the former home of Liberal Democracy to be bought for the Thatcher project. It will be managed by the Cherish Freedom Trust which plans to raise £15 million to finance the centre.

Close associates of Margaret Thatcher are keen to point out that at this stage the whole project is only an idea with no actual money behind it.

The Cowley Street property is currently on sale with an £11 million price tag, as estate agent Hathaways brochure shows. In a few years’ time, it could be playing host to affluent young people learning about such things as:

 family and faith values; the principles of limited government, free markets and personal liberty; national pride with emphasis on the Falklands, the US-UK special relationship, the Cold War and the Kuwait conflict; legacy; and leadership.

Note the word affluent. The likes of you and I haven’t a hope of getting over the door as:

The centre is unlikely to be open to tourists or the public, but rather fee-paying course participants, the trust said.

You can read the report in full here (£).

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  • Gladstone’s memorial library would seem to be a better template that the one being dreamt up for Thatcher

  • Martin Lowe 15th Apr '13 - 1:49pm

    Wherever her acolytes decide to have their library and museum, it would only be fair to have a “Thatcher Chamber of Horrors” in the building opposite to redress the balance. I’m sure that they wouldn’t object, being firm believers in freedom of speech…

  • Dominic Curran 15th Apr '13 - 1:55pm

    The Conservatives are no strangers to delicious ironies in this regard: their Smith Square Headquaters, from whose windows MT waved at supporters after election victories, is now the EU’s London HQ and is called ‘Europe House’.

  • Paul in Twickenham 15th Apr '13 - 2:04pm

    I”ll refrain from comment on the proposed Thatcher Presidential Library .. but if you ever happen to be in Springfield, IL then I can thoroughly recommend the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. It is genuinely one of the best museums it has ever been my pleasure to visit, educating and informing both adults and children in a direct, honest and engaging way.

    I particularly enjoyed the mock TV programme with the late Tim Russert presented as a review of the 1860 election campaign and the excellent “bone-shaking” 3D movie about the Civil War. Brilliant stuff.

  • At least it’s not the NLC that’s in the frame.

  • Surely Port Stanley is the most appropriate place for Thatcher’s museum/library/memorial/funeral/last resting place?

  • Richard Harris 16th Apr '13 - 3:02pm

    Given how proud she would be of some of the policies this coalition has brought about it seems utterly appropriate to use the building. Future lib dems will be able to look upon it and remember just how close they came to being Tory under clegg.

  • Patrick Smith 16th Apr '13 - 5:39pm

    My vote would be a Gladstone Memorial Library at the site of the former Cowley St L/D H/O.

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