Story behind Roger Bamber’s picture of Margaret Thatcher

THE wife of an award-winning press photographer has shared the story behind one of his famous photos of former Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher.

Roger Bamber, an award-winning press photographer who died earlier this month, took a picture of Mrs Thatcher on a campaign tour in May 1983.

She went to a farm to pose for a photo with a pile of straw, but was in for a nasty surprise.

Shan Lancaster, Roger’s wife, spoke about his afterlife at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on Sunday September 11.

They first met almost 40 years ago at the Green Dragon pub on Sydney Street in Brighton.

The Argus: Roger Bamber with his cat Noggin. Image by Jim HoldenRoger Bamber with his cat Noggin. Image by Jim Holden

It told the story of a rather disgruntled Maggie Thatcher who was in Cornwall on a campaign trip in May 1983.

Shan said, “He worked for the Sun, she was campaigning after she became prime minister. Everything was furnished, it was a beautiful farm with everything perfectly furnished.

“Roger, who was bad at wondering and talking to people, realized he’d missed the opportunity to photograph Mrs Thatcher with a chicken or something.

“He was floating around, he wanted to take a picture of something that was being set up for the TV cameras.

The Argus: Mrs. Thatcher gets her hands dirty. She was in Cornwall on a campaign trip in May 1983 and stuck her hands in a pile of straw for some TV cameras, expecting to grab some wholesome wheat. Instead, it was a dung heapMrs Thatcher gets her hands dirty. She was in Cornwall on a campaign trip in May 1983 and stuck her hands in a pile of straw for some TV cameras, expecting to grab some wholesome wheat. Instead, it was a dung heap

“There was a big pile of beautiful golden straws right next to her.

“She turned to him and must have thought, ‘This is going to be a good picture, I’ll get a lovely handful of straws and show it to the TV cameras. British farming at its best, glorious countryside’.

“Mrs Thatcher slipped her hands in and the farmer had just put a handful of straw over it to hide the fact that it was a dung heap.

“Roger was flat across from her so he got this great picture of her grimacing. The Sun didn’t direct it because they really supported them at the time.

“But he’s used it a lot over the years.”

Several of Roger’s images have been featured in The Argus over the years, including one of his most famous, on Brighton Beach, of the Punch and Judy man, the late Sergeant Stone.

He has won multiple awards for his pictures in Brighton and around the world in a career that spanned five decades.

Dozens of tributes also came from people who knew Roger or had seen his pictures.

The Argus: Roger Bamber photographed on Brighton seafront by Punch and Judy in July 1992Roger Bamber photographed on Brighton beach by Punch and Judy in July 1992

Shan also had a career in media, working for The Argus before joining The Sun.

Roger’s career at The Sun spanned 19 years before becoming a freelancer, working for The Observer, The Independent and several magazines.

His funeral will be held as a private ceremony on October 11, but there will be an opportunity to pay their respects in Brighton after the funeral.

Details of this are yet to be confirmed.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22616965.story-behind-roger-bambers-picture-margaret-thatcher/?ref=rss Story behind Roger Bamber’s picture of Margaret Thatcher

Fry Electronics Team

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