THE owners of historic Duntreath Castle and Estate in Blanefield, Sir Archie and Lady Julie Edmonstone, shared their fond memories of Margaret Thatcher this week as they recall a visit she paid them two years ago with her close friend of many years - Michael Forsyth, MP for Stirling from 1983 to 1997.
Mr Forsyth, who also served John Major’s cabinet as Secretary of State for Scotland from 1995 to 1997, is good friends with the Edmonstones as they attend the same church in Aberfoyle (St Mary’s) and he asked them if he could bring Lady Thatcher to visit them and their house and gardens while she was staying with him for a holiday.
Mrs Thatcher suffered from dementia in her latter years and grew quite frail.
Prior to her visit her security staff warned that four old wooden bridges over the lake in their grounds would be too dangerous for her to walk over and as a result the couple replaced them.
Lady Edmonstone said: “I’d been asking my husband for new bridges for years and he got new ones installed in time for her coming - so I’m eternally grateful to her for that!
“She was absolutely charming and sat and enjoyed her chocolate cake and loved meeting our dog at the time - a black labrador called Kari.
“Although she couldn’t follow all of our conversation she couldn’t have been nicer and seemed very kind and interested in what we had to say.
“Despite her illness she never lost her manners and graciousness - it was a pleasure to meet her.”
Baroness Thatcher’s funeral took place yesterday (Wednesday, April 17) at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The cost of the ceremonial funeral with military honours, estimated to be up to £10 million and mostly funded by the Government, has caused some controversy as many, especially in Scotland, saw her as one of the most divisive Prime Ministers.