The media are making a predictable meal this week out of the 25th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s resignation and Bernard Ingham’s revelations about the shenanigans that led up to it. The current hoo-ha immediately reminded of where I was on November 22nd 1990 at 9.30am, when the news broke.
I was sitting in a well-known café in pre-gentrification Leeds city centre, staring out at drizzle-soaked passers-by, when the news was announced on the radio (it might have been on the telly,) just audible over the desultory chatter in the room. Not everyone there heard it immediately, but within seconds everyone got up and cheered and waved. That’s what the people of Leeds thought of Margaret Thatcher after eleven plus years of Tory government.
Oddly I cannot for the life of me remember where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated, but I do remember when the King George VI died, February 6th 1952. I was out shopping with my mum in Neasden (NW10) and we saw the news on a newspaper stand poster. Nobody cheered that day, I bet.