The weekly newspaper in Margaret Thatcher’s former home town has created a tribute website to the former Prime Minister following her death earlier today.
Baroness Thatcher died from a stroke this morning at the age of 87 and the news has since made headlines around the world.
But the death of the woman who dominated post-war British politics had a particular local resonance in the town of Grantham where she was born as Margaret Roberts in 1925.
Editor Paul Richardson said: “The content that we will have will not be available anywhere else. There’s some fascinating and exclusive material that you are only going to get in the Grantham Journal on Friday.”
He said Lady Thatcher divided opinion in the Lincolnshire town and there had been much debate in recent weeks about whather a statue should be erected to her, which may be more likely to go ahead now she had died.
Lady Thatcher’s death is also being covered extensively in the Hendon Times and Barnet Times which circulates in the Finchley constituency she represented in Parliament from 1959 until 1992.
It is publishing an editorial wrap full of Margaret Thatcher pictures and extensive coverage inside.
Former Times Series editor Dennis Signy, who died last year, was a very close friend of Lady Thatcher who opened the paper’s Hendon office in the 1980s.
The paper has a collection of around 6,000 photographs of the former Prime Minister taken at various stages of her career.
The current editor Martin Buhagiar said: “Former Finchley MP Margaret Thatcher was well respected and truly loved by her constituents. She had a wonderful relationship with the Hendon Times newspaper and its former editor Dennis Signy who sadly died last year.
“I feel it is our duty to ensure our newspaper pays Margaret a fitting tribute via our columns and the team is currently working hard in a bid to make sure that happens.”
Carlisle’s News & Star marked the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with a special late edition on the streets and in newsagents within two hours of the news breaking.
The paper is one of only a handful of regional publishers still able to print on site as news happens and the late edition involved a speedy operation to pull together pages of local connections, visits, tributes, comment and reaction with archive pictures.
Associate editor Anne Pickles said: “Delightfully old fashioned these days, I know. But publishing on site, on the day, as news breaks, is what good editorial practice was always meant to be.
“We’re in a tiny minority. Very few newspaper groups have the ability to react immediately now… progress has dictated off-site overnight printing for so many regionals. It’s a progress that strikes the ‘news’ from newspaper.”
The Express & Star put together four pages of coverage in just 40 minutes, while the Shropshire Star’s later 3pm deadline allowed it to put together 12 pages on Lady Thatcher’s death, including an eight-page pull-out.
Becky Woods, Express & Star chief news editor, said: “The 12.50pm announcement of Baroness Thatcher’s death gave the editorial team only 40 minutes until the City Final edition deadline.
“Within 20 minutes, we had spoken to more than a dozen local MPs and other community figures for their reaction.
“We had a feature on her visits and connections to the region. In total, we put together four pages in 40 minutes, with the entire front page dedicated to the story.
“It was a tremendous effort by all the team, backed by extensive coverage and reaction on Expressandstar.com.”
Announcing her death, her spokesman Lord Bell said: “It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning.”
Prime Minister David Cameron and the Queen led the tributes, with Mr Cameron describing her as a “great leader, a great PM and a great Briton.”