September 21 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Friends and family have paid to tribute to Romford market worker Nic Humphreys who has passed away aged 38.
Street cleaner Mr Humphreys, of Hornchurch, was said to be “a lovely guy” who grew to be an integral figure in the famous market, where he held down a number of jobs over nearly 20 years.
More than 150 people attended his funeral at the South Essex Crematorium, Ockendon Road, Upminster, on Tuesday.
“It was an emotional day but it all went very well,” said sister Laura Napier, 41.
“It was packed. There were 40 to 50 people standing at the back and at the front.
“We knew there were going to be quite a few people but we were overwhelmed with how many came.”
Ms Napier paid her respects to her younger brother by accrediting him with “breaking down the barriers” between street cleaners and the public.
She said: “He always had a smile on his face and was always approaching people and chatting to them.
“He broke down barriers between people in Romford and the street cleaners – that was his legacy. He brought everyone together,” said his sister.
Lindsay Miller, 61, knew Mr Humphreys for 15 years, and served him breakfast at her Tea Pot café in the marketplace.
She said: “He would do anything to help you and if you offered you to pay him he would turn it down. I never heard him say anything nasty to anyone.”
Maria Smart, 52, who employed Mr Humphreys at Havering StreetCare, said: “He was a wonderful man and he will be missed.”
About 20 of Mr Humphreys’ colleagues attended the funeral, forming a guard of honour as a mark of respect.
“It was a great turnout and great to see some of the old faces there,” said Ivan Halls, 42, a former stallholder at the market.
Nic was planning to do the London to Southend Bike ride in July in aid of the MS Trust and the British Heart Foundation. For more information visit justgiving.com/teams/Nic-Humphreys.