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Catch up with news and views of Ann every Wednesday in her column in the Daily Express.

Junior: My Life

I was born in the first half of the last century in 1947 and at that time my family lived in Bath. As well as my mother and father I had a grandmother living with me until she died when I was 14 and an elder brother 10 years older than me. My brother was born in Gibraltar before the War. I had a very happy childhood but we moved around a lot. When I was about 3 we moved from Bath to Portsmouth because my father’s job was to look after weapons for the Navy.

Here is a photograph of my older brother, myself and my father when we lived near Portsmouth.


It was in a place called Ordnance House at Gosport. Although my brother was so much older he played with me a great deal and he used to push me around our garden on Bobby Horse. Here is a picture of my brother and myself on Bobby Horse.

When I was five I went to the first of many schools. This was Bridgemary and was the only school that I did not like but I was only there for a few months before we moved to Singapore. Here is my house in Singapore.

In Singapore I was looked after by a Chinese nanny. We called our nannies amahs. Here is a picture of Amah as she was when I was small and another picture of Amah with her youngest great-grandchild when I visited Singapore a couple of years ago.

We were in Singapore for three years and I am still in touch with some of the friends I made there. Can you find Singapore on the map? You will see that is a long way off and it took us three weeks on a ship to get out there and three weeks back home.

In Singapore I acquired a doll called Susie. Here is a picture of Susie with me.

She looks almost real doesn’t she? I also learnt to swim extremely well in Singapore because of course it is very hot out there and most of our fun activities were based on the sea and in swimming pools. In 1956 I came back to England and for just a few months we lived at Tunbridge Wells in Kent where I went to St. Mark’s School and then we moved to a wonderful cottage miles out in the country on Blackdown on the Surrey-Sussex borders. This cottage was delightful with two ponds and a little tinkling stream It was surrounded on three sides by wood and I saw deer and badgers. Here I went to my fourth school, Shottermill but two years later we moved again back to Bath where I lived at a house called The Mead which was well outside Bath in the countryside of St. Catherine’s. Here I went first to Bath Convent Prep School and finally settled at a school when I went to Bath Convent Senior School. It was a very strict school and we had to wear our uniform correctly at all times. After I left Bath Convent I went to Birmingham University to study Latin. Here is a picture of myself and my friend, Christine, when we graduated from Birmingham University.

After that I went to Oxford to read politics and economics and here is a picture of me setting off to Oxford.

Look at how much luggage I took with me! I am surprised it fitted in the car. Here is a picture of me at Oxford.

I always wanted to go into politics and my first attempt at a seat was at Burnley in Lancashire. Burnley in those days still had a lot of miners and one of the things I had to do was go down a mine and crawl along on my knees and elbows because there was no room to stand up. Here is a picture of me after I had been down the mine.

I did not win in Burnley and then I went on to Devonport which is near Plymouth. This was very helpful as my father had a great many connections with Devonport which had a very large naval dockyard. After Devonport I stood in Maidstone, Kent and I have represented the area since 1987.

When the Conservatives were in power I was a Minister looking after first of all pensions, then employment, then prisons. When the Conservatives lost in 1997 I represented the Conservatives on matters concerning first of all health and then home affairs which is the term we use to cover a variety of matters including police, prisons, probation, immigration, fire, charities etc. When the Conservatives also lost the last General Election I decided that I did not want to speak on just one thing any more and so I am now able to speak on many different things. For more information on being an MP see My Job.

Here are some pictures of some of the things which I have done.

Ann being received into the Catholic Church in April 1993.

Ann holding a koala bear visiting Australia in 1996 to look at prisons and immigration in Australia.

Ann meeting Mother Theresa when she visited this country.

Ann meeting the Pope in January 1996.

Ann meeting the children at the Chiboyla complex in Zambia where she is helping to build a new school by raising funds.

Ann supporting pre-school playgroups with Super Ted.

Ann supporting a hunting ban with the late Tony Banks.

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