Search

Hundreds in funeral procession for ‘King of Roman Road Market’ Brian Baker

PUBLISHED: 18:10 15 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:39 16 August 2018

Funeral procession sets off from Brian Baker's home in Chudleigh Crescent, Ilford. Picture: Nadia Jane Photography

Funeral procession sets off from Brian Baker's home in Chudleigh Crescent, Ilford. Picture: Nadia Jane Photography

Nadia Jane Photography [contributed for free editorial use]

One of east London’s biggest-ever horse-drawn funerals paraded through the streets for the funeral of ‘the king of Roman Road Market’ with nearly 300 mourners.

Funeral procession arrives at East London Cemetery. Picture: Nadia Jane PhotographyFuneral procession arrives at East London Cemetery. Picture: Nadia Jane Photography

The procession had 15 horses for Brian Baker’s funeral route from his Ilford home at Chudleigh Crescent along the Barking Road for his burial at East London Cemetery in Plaistow.

The horse-drawn carriages of mourners were followed by a fleet of limos with market traders from all over east London and Essex.

Brian, who died last month aged 77, was a wheelwright known in the street market trade for making and hiring out wheelbarrows and stalls.

Pallbearers carry Brian Baker to his final resting place. Picture: Nadia Jane PhotographyPallbearers carry Brian Baker to his final resting place. Picture: Nadia Jane Photography

His wheelwright business was started by his grandfather Leonard in the Roman Road back in 1920. But the family also has a strong tradition in horses.

Brian’s youngest son Danny, 41, a carriage-master from Chelmsford, drove the horse carriage that carried his coffin on his last journey.

“I took him on his old show carriage which he loved,” Danny explained. “I vowed to take dad out on that carriage.

Final journey... Brian Baker's coffin arrives at East London Cemetery. Picture sources: Nadia Jane Photography and (inset) Baker familyFinal journey... Brian Baker's coffin arrives at East London Cemetery. Picture sources: Nadia Jane Photography and (inset) Baker family

“The cemetery said it was the largest horse-drawn funeral procession they’d ever had.”

He drove the carriage with two grey shire horses, while four shires pulled the two floral carriages behind and four black Friesians drew mourners’ carriages. Two more black Friesians carried outriders and three cobs pulled three carts carrying the flowers.

The carriage carrying Brian’s coffin was built in Bethnal Green in 1900 and originally used by Brooke Bond warehouse in Whitechapel to deliver crates of tea.

Brian found it abandoned and rotting away at the Mile End Lock on the Regent’s Canal in 1969 and bought it for £2 from lock-keeper and restored it as a showpiece for his market stall business.

The business was started in his grandfather Leonard’s workshop off Roman Road in 1920. Leonard originally drove horse-trams out of Bow Garage at the turn of the 20th century before going into the wheelwright trade.

The love of horses continues down to the fourth and fifth generation, with carriage-master Danny’s three sons.

Brian Baker “the king of the market wheelbarrows” was buried on Monday alongside his wife Margaret.

Latest East London News Stories

12:00

A traditional rural theatre of ancient Bengal that uses hunting for story-telling through folk opera and dance in a theatrical setting comes to Bethnal Green tomorrow.

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Since the government’s austerity programme started in 2010, the council’s core funding from government has been cut in real terms by 64 per cent, which equates to £148m.

07:00

Former arm-wrestling champ and Whitechapel stallholder Les Clayden is going back to his cockney ‘daisy roots’ to talk about ‘Swimming with Stingrays’.

Yesterday, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Yesterday, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Yesterday, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now