Remarks visiting Finchley
|Document type:||public statement|
|Source:||Finchley Times, 12 December 1985|
|Editorial comments:||1545-1645 MT visited the Tudor Primary School at Queen’s Road, Finchley, where she saw pupils working on a BBC project and answered their questions; 1700-1805 Finchley Memorial Hospital. Several separate articles make up this item.|
|Themes:||Autobiographical comments, Autobiography (marriage and children), Health policy|
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the MP for Finchley, turns over the first spadeful of earth for the foundations of the new £350,000 day hospital at Finchley Memorial Hospital watched by Dr. John Carter chairman of Barnet Health Authority.
The Lincolnshire philosophy for putting as much as possible into each hour and obtaining as much out of £1 as possible was emphasised by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the MP for Finchley, at Finchley Memorial Hospital last Friday.
She turned the first turf to mark the start—next month by VAT Watkins Ltd—of a £350,000 day hospital for 30 elderly people.
The unit will care for 100 people each week and should be ready by next autumn.
The Prime Minister praised Dr. John Carter, chairman of Barnet Health Authority and his officers for "managing resources ... it's not only the number of hours but what you put into each hour, getting as much as you can out of each £ and getting people to work together with a will and efficiency.
"You have managed it so well and given a bit more to others who might not have had such a good National Health Service," said the Prime Minister.
She praised the League of Friends of Finchley Hospital who are building a £16,000 conservatory in the heart of the day hospital for therapeutic and visual enjoyment.
"I think it is wonderful—it will last a lot longer than curtains and carpets," she said.
The Prime Minister said the country had a good health service but it must live within resources.
Dr. Richard Breeze, consultant geriatrician, welcoming the Prime Minister, said the ethos of care had moved from long stay hospitals to day hospitals enabling people to stay at home and live in the community.
Dr. John Carter, chairman, Barnet HA, said he was proud to provide the best health service possible for local residents—it was not an action to mask the dismantling of the NHS at the behest of political masters.
The new day hospital is being constructed from two former wards—Homan and Woodrow. A new entrance is being built into the day hospital. Its focal point is a solar heated conservatory designed by Jacob Blacker, of Hampstead, architects for the day hospital.
Another feature is a magnificant 24 ft x 4 ft 6 ins textile mural designed for George Brunskill day room by four students from Rochampton Institute for Higher Education— Susan Chinn, Gail Eastwood, Ros Shapton and Dinah Mason.[fo 1]
Mrs T visits constituency
After visiting Tudor Primary School, Finchley, on Friday, to see work on the BBC's Domesday project contributed by six local schools, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the MP for Finchley praised their efforts.
"I'm so glad you wrote to me because I did not know about the project—I don't have time to watch television ..." said the Prime Minister as she inspected computer equipment set out in the school hall and watched pupils at work entering information.
To mark the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book next year, the BBC decided to ask schools to provide an up to date record of contemporary life in 1985.
Tudor School was one of 14,000 schools which volunteered to take part and collate information from neighbouring schools. Helping them were Holy Trinity and Brookland (information on Hampstead Garden Suburb); Tudor (Margaret Thatcher); Moss Hall (Finchley Carnival); Summerside (College Farm) and St. Mary's (Avenue House).
The information has been put on one main disc and will be available in November next year.
The Prime Minister enjoyed a cup of tea and spoke to parents and children before leaving for another engagement. She was welcomed to Tudor School by the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Mrs Barbara Langstone, and Mayor's escort, Mr Roy Langstone, headteacher Mr Denis Perry, Councillor Mrs Mary Phillips and Councillor Mrs Edna James, chairman and vice-chairman of the school's governing body, Councillor Roy Shutz, chairman of Barnet's education committee, and Mr Jack Dawkins, Barnet's director of educational services.
Mrs Thatcher also met Mike Tibbetts, assistant editor of the Domesday Project, BBC, and Peter Armstrong, creator and editor of the project.[fo 2]
Thatcher exclusive: Kids grill PM
Two 11-year-old pupils at Tudor Primary School, Finchley, scooped the national and local Press on Friday—they had an exclusive ten-minute interview with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the MP for Finchley.
Roger Wright and Jessica Toms held their interview in headteacher Denis Perry's study during a visit by the Prime Minister to Tudor School to see its contribution to BBC TV's Domesday project. It is a survey of present-day official and popular life, 900 years after the first Domesday Book was written in 1086.
Originally the twosome wrote to the Prime Minister to ask for information about her to include in the project.
This developed into a visit to see the project for herself and a promise of an interview.
Roger and Jessica prepared the questions themselves and Mrs Thatcher was not given a copy beforehand.
Here are her replies to some of the questions:
How do you feel about being Prime Minister?
It is the greatest thing that has happened to me. I always wondered what went on behind the door of No. 10.—I still remain thrilled to walk in the door.
What made you go into politics?
Each of us is given a gift to which we are attracted. We always talked about politics at home.
Why did you decide to be an MP?
I became interested while at university, but MPs were paid very little and I couldn't afford to become one. Then they were paid more and that made it possible.
What do you like the least?
I have never thought about that. I would like everything spic and span. I don't like litter and I like lots of trees. We have got rid of some of the eyesores in Finchley.
Do you and Mr Thatcher like Finchley?
Yes. We both do.
Do you argue with him?
We work together very well.
Why have you bought a house in South London?
I've always lived close to my work. I didn't have a lot of time to look. Finchley is a bit far away—there's too much traffic and I often have to dash to meetings.
Do you read your local papers?
Yes, I do and I have visited their offices.
Are you thinking of retiring?
I hope to continue and to be re-elected. When you get good at a job you can pack more into every hour.
Who would you like to succeed you as Prime Minister?
I haven't made up my mind yet.
Would you like to be a grandmother?
I'm very disappointed. None of my children are married.
Why do you go to Finchley Carnival?
I love it—that's why.