Margaret Thatcher: London pubs make plans for former Prime Minister funeral

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metropolitan police service City of london

London pubs are busy making arrangements ahead of Lady Margaret Thatcher’s funeral next Wednesday with some planning to open early and others holding special events as a mark of respect.

A number of venues along the route of Baroness Thatcher’s final journey, which begins at the palace of Westminster, passes through The Strand and finishes at St Paul’s Cathedral, intend to help customers raise a toast to Britain’s first female prime minister.

The Punch Tavern in Fleet Street, which is licensed to sell alcohol from 10am, will email punters a voucher to claim a complimentary Bell’s whisky – said to be Baroness Thatcher favourite tipple.

“On Wednesday 17 April Lady Thatcher will be laid to rest after she is walked down to St Paul’s Cathedral,” the email read.

“We assume the procession will pass our door at 10.30am and we are licensed to serve alcohol from 10am. If you would like to show your respect even though you were not invited to the service, we at the Punch will be raising a glass to her favourite drinks towards our neighbour St Paul’s. Print this e-mail or shows us on your phone to receive a Bell’s on us.”

Fellow Fleet Street pub the Tipperary will open its doors to the public from 7am. “We normally open at 11am, but the kitchen will be in full swing serving bacon sandwiches, teas and coffees,” said owner Steve Rowlands. “We’ll be open; she was a great lady… This is the oldest Irish pub in London and we always look after our punters. We don’t know how many people will turn up but I’ve got a full complement of staff.”

Alasdair Wilson, deputy manager of the Red Lion, Whitehall said his pub was the first on the funeral route. “We haven’t formalised any plans yet but we’re looking into it,” he said, while Kayleigh Clements, assistant manager of Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, added: “We’ll be quite busy as we’re on Fleet Street but we’ll just be open as normal.”

Pubs along the procession route have also been told they will not be able to accept deliveries on Wednesday morning.

Aiden Kinsella, general manager of The Clarence said: “We’re open as normal but the road outside is closed between 7am and 12pm. We’ve been told not to accept deliveries, so we’re getting organised the previous day to get everything in.”

Police officers will be deployed at strategic points along the route that the funeral cortege will travel. Commander Christine Jones of the Metropolitan Police Service said The Met Police, City of London Police and the British Transport Police were working together to finalise planning and preparations for the day.

“We are working together and drawing upon all our skills and experience to finalise the details for our policing operation next week. Our planning is being carried out using tried and tested systems so we are in a position to deliver the most effective operation we can.”

Related topics Legislation

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