‘She was at ease with us’: Margaret Thatcher’s ‘close connections’ to Woodford Green described by supporter

Margaret Thatcher talks to 12-year-old Michael, son of Reg Woda

Margaret Thatcher talks to 12-year-old Michael, son of Reg Woda - Credit: Archant

The former manager of Ilford Town Centre has described Margaret Thatcher’s “close links” to Redbridge.

Reg Woda met the former prime minister several times when he was a member of the Wanstead and Woodford Conservative Association.

He said her friendship with Norman Tebbit, who was the MP for Chingford, endeared her to the area.

Mr Woda added: “The connections with us locally were considerable.”

He recalled her visit to Sir James Hawkey Hall, in Broomhill Road, in April 1997 ahead of that year’s election.

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Lady Thatcher met local Conservative activists and Iain Duncan Smith and gave a speech.

Mr Woda said: “I sat next to her for most of it.

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“She was a lady who would listen, a lady who would give opinions and quite caring in her way and I think she had a longstanding connection to Woodford so she was at ease with us.”

Lady Thatcher paid what is thought to be her last visit to Redbridge in 2000 for a fundraising dinner at Bancroft’s School, in High Road, Woodford Green.

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