Bob Crow’s funeral procession was a ‘fitting tribute’ to him, according to supporters lining the streets.
Thousands of people lined Aldersbrook Road in Wanstead, with hundreds of banners and flags adorning the pavements, before the procession entered the City of London crematorium in Manor Park at lunchtime today.
Mr Crow, the former leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), died of a suspected heart attack at the age of 52 on March 11.
The procession left Mr Crow’s home in Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green around 12.20pm, arriving at the City of London crematorium, where vast crowds waited outside, at around 1.15pm.
Socialist songs were sung and applause broke out as the procession passed, before a minute's silence was held at 1.30pm.
Newham Teachers’ Association officer Miriam Scharf said: "The procession was a fitting tribute to Bob Crow, who was an inspiration of the union movement. We are so proud to be a part of it, the amount of people here shows how important he was."
Four horses that pulled the hearse containing the coffin were dressed in blue and white in tribute to Mr Crow's beloved Millwall Football Club.
And supporters who lined Aldersbrook Road were united in their praise for the former union leader.
London and Anglia regional council secretary of RMT, Tony Luhar, said: "I don’t really know what to say, he was a real friend to everyone in the RMT, a dedicated colleague, and he meant so much to all of us."
Deputy Secretary of the Waltham Forest National Union of Teachers, Gerry Kelly, said: “He was a great fighter for the working class, I was an underground worker in the 1980s and I believe they are so much better off now than then, which is down in no small part to Bob."
London and Eastern region UNITE member, James Mitchell, said: "He has shown what a true leader should be doing for his people. He is a real role model for his members and I feel privileged to be here really."
A private funeral service was held at the crematorium after the procession.