Well-wishers say farewell to Jade

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets today to bid farewell to reality television star Jade Goody.

Her plain white coffin was carried into a vintage Rolls-Royce in front of dozens of photographers.

The 'Big Brother' star’s hearse was walked through the streets where she grew up in Bermondsey, south east London, by funeral director Barry Albin-Dyer and the vicar of St James’s Church, Rev Stewart Hartley.

Police stopped traffic as the cortege made its way in wet, gloomy conditions.

Many well-wishers tossed flowers into the hearse as it passed by. Others stood applauding in the rain.

Jade died at home at the age of 27 on March 22 after losing a battle with cervical cancer.

The mother-of-two married Jack Tweed, 21, at a ceremony in a hotel near Hatfield Heath, Essex, on February 22 after being told that she had only weeks to live.

Mr Albin-Dyer said: “Bermondsey is very kind to its dead. What’s happening with Jade here isn’t uncommon to Bermondsey people.

“They all come out to wish people well as they go.”

Rev Hartley said Jade went to the local church school and Sunday school.

He said: “I’ve spoken to lots and lots of people who knew Jade and she was a local girl who made the best of life and of course at the end has been an inspiration to people.

“Several girls have said to me ’I’ve gone and had some tests done’ because Jade said they should.”

Mr Hartley said Jade appealed to ordinary girls.

He said: “I was watching the news before about when Michelle Obama went into the school in east London and wanted to be an inspiration and she said ’You’ve got a good school, you’ve got good brains, you can make a difference in the world’.

“Jade spoke to the girls who had dropped out of school or who had families young and she said ’There is a possibility, take your opportunities’.

“She was an inspiration and she was a local girl made good.”

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark, said: “Jade was a Bermondsey girl and the local response shows the strong sense of community that still exists in our part of London.”

He added: “I will be happy to talk to the family about the best sort of memorial for Jade. My thoughts are something which reflects the tremendous amount of good Jade did in raising awareness among young women about cervical cancer would be appropriate,” he said.

“One idea could be the creation of a fund to support young people from London and Essex who want to train in raising awareness of healthy lifestyles.”

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