27Nov Baroness Trumpington RIP – A Good Old Fashioned 3D Thinker!
Baroness Trumpington, the Dramatically and Demonstrably Different member of the House Of Lords has sadly passed away at the age of 96. Although I might not necessarily have agreed with all her politics, she really was a favourite of mine – a real ‘disrupter’ who pushed the boundaries throughout her life. She really ‘shot to fame’ when she was shown on television ‘flicking two fingers’ at the former Defence Secretary Lord King , but it’s clear that she ‘Challenged The Status Quo’ throughout her (very interesting) life.
I liked her because she showed that you don’t have to be 30 year old dynamic silicon valley entrepreneur to be a disrupter and that ‘3D Thinkers’ come in all sorts of shapes and sizes…. and ages!
Some interesting facts and quotes from this ‘3D Thinker’. She….
‘Fished In Different Ponds’:
She was born into the ‘establishment’ but was a ‘flop’ at school (her words) and showed a rebellious streak even as a ‘posh young lady’. When explaining where she learnt to swear, she said “I used to go into the woods with the local boys and smoke cigarettes.”
‘Played To Her Strengths’:
She worked as a land girl in the Second World War, but wasn’t overly enamoured with it… ““I hated being a land girl. There were only old men there. The young men had joined up. And it was all apples – no animals.” is how she described it. She looked to do something else that she was good at ……..
‘Stood Out From The Crowd’:
When she turned 18 she became a code breaker at Bletchley Park and used her French and German to crack the codes sent by German submarines. Even there, she managed to ‘break the pattern’ and would hitchhike up to London for a night out. “We used to meet up in Claridge’s, and throw bread at each other and sing and behave so badly” She celebrated her 21st birthday at the 400 Club, and was such a regular at the Bagatelle, a French restaurant with a dance floor, that the band used to play a special tune the moment she arrived!
‘Broke The Rules’:
Her husband was a master at Eton and entertaining boys for tea was something she loved doing – although, she couldn’t let go of her old rebelliousness: “I smoked and drank and did everything naughty” she once said, and demonstrated this by jumping in the school swimming pool much to the disappointment and disapproval of her ‘posh’ husband.
‘Challenged The Status Quo’:
She was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Government and took great pleasure challenging her “I thought: if I’m not true to myself, I might as well not exist. Therefore, I’ll say what I think and if that’s wrong, she can sack me. We fought each other verbally and I would stick to my guns and she would provoke me on purpose, and that was useful to her. It meant she was ready for other opponents.”
She never sat back and was a vocal figure in the Tory government, with roles in the agriculture and social security as well as the position of Baroness-in-waiting to the Queen. On top of that, she served in many other roles, including as UK representative to the United Nations Status of Women Commission and, briefly, the mayor of Cambridge. She stayed in, and contributed regularly to, the House Of Lords until she retired last year, and put forward her forthright views without fear “You don’t give a damn about what you say. Other people’s opinions matter less — unless they’re medical.”
Even after she’d retired from the House Of Lords, she kept looking for opportunities to ‘push the boundaries’ by appearing and contributing on TV shows such as Have I Got News For You, Great British Menu and Backchat With Jack Whitehall. Her age didn’t bother her and in fact, she often turned it to her advantage. On Have I Got News For You she complained “I would like to know why at the age of 90 do I have to sign a piece of paper to appear on this show to say I’m not pregnant’!
So, a real ‘3D Thinker’ who made a real impact sadly gone – if you want to find out more about her, the best thing you can do is click on the image to listen to her Desert Island Discs interview from where she ‘Demonstrates‘ her ‘Dramatic Difference‘ wonderfully….