Chance to bid on Thatcher’s legacy

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Since she was ousted from power in 1990, many politicians have tried to claim the mantle of heir to the legacy of Margaret Thatcher.

Now, following the death of the 20th century’s longest-serving prime minister, antiques auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent are offering a helping hand to any prospective Iron Lady (or Gentleman).

Going under the hammer at the firm’s Cirencester sale on Friday, April 26, is a How To guide written by Mrs Thatcher herself: The Downing Street Years.

Published in 1993, this copy – inscribed ‘to Robert’ and signed by the baroness – is expected to achieve £100 to £150.

The next thing our budding premier will need is a set of wheels. Maggie started her prime ministerial career behind the wheel – or at least behind the chauffeur – of a P5, from the state-owned car manufacturer Rover.

But when she had the chance to change marques, she plumped for the XJ sedan from recently-privatised Jaguar, and even paid a visit to the Coventry production line during her 1987 election campaign.

A bid of £600 to £800 could secure our Iron Lady-in-waiting a 1998 Jaguar XJ Sovereign with Guernsey plates.

With 104,000 miles on the clock, the powerful 4.0 litre V8 engine will accelerate its occupant away from picketing trade unionists or Poll Tax rioters in 6.8 seconds.

The car has a cream leather interior, walnut dash, automatic gearbox, bags of legroom thanks to its long wheel base, and – naturally – comes in blue.

Finally, our prime ministerial contender will need something to keep the supportive spouse happy.

Dennis Thatcher famously enjoyed a gin, and offered for sale – with an estimate of £100 to £150 – is a set of late Victorian and early 20th century Staffordshire dispensing barrels, labelled gin, sherry, cream sherry, port, and brandy.

Each holds around six gallons of alcohol, which you could say is enough to sink a battleship.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to

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