Much has been written about the death of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, some vitriolic, some full of praise, but whatever side you are on you have to admit she left an impact that will last long after her death.
What is less well known is the influence the paint business played in her life. She would never have met Denis Thatcher, the man she married, if it wasn’t for the paint industry.
Denis worked for his family’s paint and wood preservatives company, Atlas Preservatives, originally based in Deptford, London. He became works manager and later general manager.
In February 1949 Denis met the then Margaret Roberts, who was a chemist, at a Paint Trades Federation function in Dartford, Kent. They fell in love and married in 1951.
While they were both right wing they did not agree on everything in politics. He was totally opposed to capital punishment while she was strongly in favour of it being reinstated.
Using his knowledge of running a paint business and his accountancy qualifications Denis wrote a book entitled “Accounting and Costing in the Paint Industry.”
At one time Denis became chairman of the council of the National Paint Federation.
In 1965 Atlas was purchased by Castrol which was later taken over by Burmah Oil but Denis remained involved in the business up to his retirement. He died in 2003.
Alan Cork, managing editor PPCJ 2002-2008; www.thegreaterbad.com
Margaret Thatcher and the Paint Industry
By Alan Cork
Published April 15, 2013
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