Welsh town brought to a standstill by spectacular funeral procession

03 June 2016

Ruby Pearl Marshall died on 12 May, aged 78. She would never have imagined the sheer scale of her funeral procession.

Town brought to standstill by funeral procession

The entire town of Merthyr Tydfil was bought to a standstill as hundreds of people travelled from across the UK to attend the funeral, which included a fleet of 11 limousines and more than £16,000 worth of flowers. 

Known affectionately by her loving family and friends as ‘Queen of the Gypsies’, Ruby Pearl Marshall spent her life travelling and working throughout the UK. She had 52 grandchildren and great-grandchildren who, along with the rest of the huge congregation of mourners, were asked to wear pink and white clothes as these were Mrs Marshall’s favourite colours.

Daughter Debbie told Wales Today: “My mother was the Queen of the Gypsies and we really wanted to give her a big fat gypsy funeral - she would have loved that so much.

“She loved people and children and I don’t know anyone who disliked her because she was so nice. She was the number one mother and grandmother and there will never be another one like her. She was just one unique person.”

The flower arrangements included wreaths made to look like some of her favourite commodities in life including a packet of Walkers crisps and a bar of Dove soap.

Her lifelong friend, Rocky Smith, said: “She was well spoken and never swore. She was a lady and had a good heart. The service was beautiful. You couldn’t get better if it was a famous star.”

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