THE forgotten victims of Margaret Thatcher's determination to change Scotland's industrial landscape spoke as one this week to condemn her betrayal of the country's steel and coal mining communities.

No tears of sorrow are being shed over her death. She is remembered as a woman who single-mindedly pursued her political beliefs without a shred of compassion.

To suggest the shattered steel community of Motherwell is celebrating her passing would be disrespectful. But there are a lot of families whose lives were ruined when the Ravenscraig steel plant was axed 21 years ago.

Angus McArthur is one of them. For almost two decades he toiled in the shadow of the blast furnace and like his neighbours he watched the Lanarkshire community thrown into turmoil when the gates shut.

But he shows the respect you'd expected of an 87-year-old grandfather. Choosing his words carefully, Angus says, almost in a whisper: "I don't think Thatcher will be remembered with much affection in Scotland."

Bernard Mannion, 58, isn't so forgiving. Speaking with real anger he said: "She ruined the whole industrial landscape from Nottingham to Scotland. Everything went. Thatcher had no heart. She swept Scotland aside. She destroyed a lot of lives."

Paul O'Neill felt the pain of a community devastated by the loss of jobs and regular pay packets. He had family who worked in the steel industry and shared their grief when it all came to an end.

His father had been employed at 'the Craig'. The plant also provided work for seven uncles.

Paul can only look back in anger. "They say it will cost Scotland £3million towards the cost of her funeral. Frankly, we shouldn't pay for her funeral. She should be thrown on to a skip."

So many families were thrown on life's scrapheap when the town, affectionately known as Steelopolis, lost its soul. The Craig had been the biggest producer of hot-strip steel in Western Europe and had been one of the world's longest continuous casting hot-rolling steel plants.

The finger of blame for its closure has long been pointed at Thatcher and British Steel.

Mum-of-two Myra Brown was an office worker at Ravenscraig for 23 years.

She stood shoulder to shoulder with the men during a steel strike. "We had to fight for our jobs," recalls the 61-year-old grandmother. "Thatcher devastated this area. My father worked there and so did my husband. There was nothing else for us."

Jim McLean remembers the Craig and its giant distinctive cooling towers with fondness.

He worked in the strip mill as an engineer for 25 years. Today he's 65 but the hurt of being thrown on to the dole still hurts.

"The closure was an utter disaster for the area," he says.

"It wasn't just Motherwell that suffered. Workers came from all over – Glasgow, East Kilbride, Strathaven.

"They closed the plant in stages. The strip mill was shutdown in 1990 and it was one of the saddest days of my life.

"I don't like saying this, but I thought Thatcher was evil. I honestly don't think she liked Scotland."

But Jim added: "There is no doubt she was strong, and when she said she'd do something she did it.

"I didn't agree with what she did but she had family and her death is still a death."

However, it would be an injustice to Mick Wedlock to suggest Thatcher's death hasn't touched him.

He's unashamedly delighted and says: "Frankly, I don't think she was a very nice lassie. My father was a miner and I worked at the Craig. So many people had their lives thrown into turmoil because of her.

"She ruined so many lives and the closure is still having an effect on this town. Look around you. There are so many second hand shops in Motherwell. People don't have the money any more. Thatcher caused ruined so many lives."

Mick, 69, was a labourer in the strip mill and has absolutely no regrets over her death. He is likely to raise a glass to toast her passing.

It's a reaction which is mirrored across the area, where people say her changes came at too high a human cost.