Christa Ackroyd: This is why Margaret Thatcher shouldn't be on the new £50 note - and who I think should be

Margaret Thatcher among the front runners to appear on the new 50 note. What? I screamed inwardly. Surely not.
Margaret Thatcher among the front runners to appear on the new 50 note. What? I screamed inwardly. Surely not.
0
Have your say

It’s not been a good week. An allergic reaction to some dreaded root canal work ended up with a face the size of a football and a trip to A&E.

Thank you Huddersfield Royal Infirmary you were absolute stars.

All hail the people power that kept this accident and emergency department open.

Christa Ackroyd: Why Leeds’s ‘safe’ prostitution zone must end now
It’s amazing what being told you are worth it does for morale.

We should think about that when we moan about the NHS in general.

Tell someone they are constantly failing and I am afraid it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Anyway I digress.

Five days in bed saw me very much out of the loop news-wise.

This self-confessed news junkie decided it was less painful to gorge myself on ‘trashy’ TV, including catching up on all the soaps, a massive intake of Strictly and more than a large dose of I’m a Celebrity.

I went cold turkey on the news. And I loved it, safe in the knowledge that more than a few duvet days could be justified without guilt as, according to my psychologist daughter, it’s a proven fact that trashy TV is good for you, a sign of intelligence and a switch-off from reality.

So yesterday I started going through my pile of unread newspapers when this caught my eye.

“Margaret Thatcher among the front runners to appear on the new £50 note.” What? I screamed inwardly. Surely not.

Now before those who hero worship the divine Mrs T get on their high horse, this was not a political reaction.

I would like to see a woman on the back of a new note. It might even be fun to choose Mrs Thatcher.

Christa Ackroyd: Why we need to leave the Royal couples alone to be happy
With opinion so divided, it would certainly make for some interesting comments when shopkeepers hold her up to the light or better still refuse to accept her for fear she is a counterfeit.

No what made me sit bolt upright, and then immediately regret it, was the reason she could be honoured.

The Bank of England has declared that the new hero of the £50 note must firstly be dead and secondly have made an important contribution to science.

And guess what Mrs Thatcher is said to have achieved? As a chemist working for Lyons it is believed she worked on the chemical that created Mr Whippy ice cream.

Well not just Mr Whippy, but all the soft stuff that comes out of a nozzle.

I protest. With all the amazing hand-made ice cream makers in Yorkshire we should not be celebrating that tasteless fluffy stuff. And does making a mass production ice cream really constitute a life-changing scientific achievement? I think not.

My vote is divided. But it boils down to two.

Firstly Ada Lovelace. Ada is credited with being the first computer programmer, even though she was born more than 200 years ago.

She worked with Charles Babbage on a theoretical machine, believing his invention had wider uses than mathematical calculation and that anything from music to pictures and sound could be translated digitally.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about Ada is her back story.

She came from a family every bit as dysfunctional as any story of abuse and abandonment we hear today.

She was Lord Byron’s daughter and her mother insisted she was taught only maths when he left them, as an antidote to his artistic mind.

Yet her mother also went on to abandon her, leaving her to be brought up by her grandmother, describing her as ‘it’.

And still she grew up with self-worth and confidence.

Christa Ackroyd: Why I am proud to say I am adopted
I love Ada.

But this week for me came another contender, who I might just nominate myself.

Enter Baroness Trumpington, whose death was announced this week.

She was well into her 90s. As Jean Alys Barker she was always quite a gal, working at Bletchley transcribing codes from German submarines for the great Alan Turing to crack.

But it’s not that the Baroness will be remembered for.

It’s the two fingers she stuck up at a fellow member of the House of Lords when he made some patronising comments about her age. Love her.

How many of us feel like doing the same to all the politicians posturing and playing with our future with Brexit.

There you are, I must be feeling better.

Christa Ackroyd: Why some foolish girl will not stop us remembering Yorkshire’s heroes
Back on the politics again. I actually think the Bank of England, not altogether successful in its own diversity policy, will choose a man, probably Stephen Hawking or even the aforementioned Alan Turing.

But for me, a strong woman who followed their own path and put their money where their mouth was will always be worth celebrating.

May their currency remain high and may they never be devalued.

As female role models they enrich us all.