1,500 pay respects to Newham horse dealer
- Credit: Archant
Horses and mourners took to the streets last week as 1,500 friends and family members paid their respects at the funeral of a well-known and respected horse dealer.
Beginning at T Cribbs and Sons funeral directors, in Woolwich Manor Way, Beckton, cars and carts led a tribute to Harry Nichols on Thursday, June 25.
Born on April 11, 1923 to Albert and Florence in Silvertown, he was the last surviving of five siblings – two sisters and two brothers.
A father to four, a grandfather to 16 and great-grandfather to 31, the march followed a service at St Margarets Convent, in Bethell Avenue, Canning Town.
“He was educated from an early age in the school of life, blessed with a true common sense,” said family friend Nigel Catchpole, who delivered a moving eulogy at the service.
“He could think on his feet, turn a quid or two, would be there for you and the right man to have in your corner when things got difficult.
“The word legend is too often used in this world but that is what Harry was and always will be, he knew people and understood them and in return he was widely respected.”
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From an early age Harry and his siblings would all be involved with his father’s costermonger – street-selling – business, getting up early to help their him prepare his daily goods for his Rathbone Street Market.
Later, Harry could often be seen bringing 30 horses or more at a time across Tower Bridge from a horse market in the Elephant and Castle, as he set about hiring the animals to local tradesmen – greengrocers and milkmen for example.
At one time he had more than 200 horses hired out and in excess of 150 in the fields.
Daughter Christine Heath, 67, from Hornchurch said: “He was the head of the family and we all miss him very much.
“I can’t put it into words – it’s left such a void.”
“It was a very hard day, but important that the grandchildren saw the heritage
“I’m sure there will never be a funeral like that in Newham again.”