The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, the UK’s first female prime minister, which takes place on Wednesday, 17 April, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, will be of special significance for those who have personal memories of her.
Among those is Nick Michaelson, CEO of Silver Fox, the UK manufacturer of high performance labelling solutions.
He met Margaret Thatcher when, as prime minister, she opened the Offshore Europe ’85 exhibition and conference in Aberdeen in September 1985. Opening the exhibition, Mrs Thatcher prophesied accurately: “UK oil and gas is not a short term phenomenon. The build-up in recent years may have been rapid but I don’t doubt the industry will be flourishing, not only at the end of this century, but well beyond.”
Nick Michaelson, whose company was then in its early years of supplying labelling solutions to the oil and gas sector, met Mrs Thatcher as she toured the exhibition. He commented: “It wasn’t a long meeting – just enough for a handshake and a few words – but I recall that she had quite a personality and ‘presence’, as befits a prime minister.
“Opinion has tended to polarise about Margaret Thatcher. Of course, she didn’t court consensus and accepted controversy for causes in which she believed – and that determined approach wins you both friends and enemies.
“Understandably, we haven’t been invited to her funeral,” he added. “Instead, we’ll be continuing our work with engineers across the globe helping them turn time into profit utilising our world leading solutions, designed developed and made by us here in the UK.
“The quest never ends. Even in the last 12 months, more solutions have been added including our Low Smoke Zero Halogen cable labels which are already being supplied into markets as diverse as London Underground and offshore rigs built in the Middle East – and all made by us here in the UK, or, as Margaret Thatcher used to put it, ‘UK plc’.
“Without the inspiration and business environment provided by Margaret Thatcher, our company wouldn’t be here today, thriving and building for the future,” he said. “We wish her peace in her final resting place.”