Famous faces bid farewell to union stalwart Jimmy Reid

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Famous figures from the worlds of politics, entertainment and sport joined hundreds of mourners today for the funeral of former Scottish trade union leader Jimmy Reid.

The stalwart of the 1970s labour movement died last week at the age of 78 after a short illness.



Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, former prime minister Gordon Brown, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and comedian Billy Connolly joined family and friends at Govan Old Parish Church in Glasgow for the celebration of Mr Reid's life.



The gathering followed an intimate ceremony this morning on the Isle of Bute, where Mr Reid lived out his final years.



Around 100 people attended the service at the United Church of Bute, with a further 50 lining the pier as the funeral cortege boarded a ferry to the mainland.



The cortege later travelled under police escort to Glasgow and workers at Govan shipyard lined part of the road as hearse passed. The coffin with roses on top was carried into the church led by a piper. Flowers spelt the words "papa" and "dad" in the hearse.



Born in Govan, Mr Reid rose to international prominence when he led the famous "work-in" of thousands of shipbuilders on the Clyde during 1971 and 1972, thwarting government attempts to close the yards.



A speech he made to students as rector of Glasgow University on "rejecting the rat race" in 1971 appeared in full in the New York Times.



Sir Alex, a friend and fellow Govan man, was expected to make a personal tribute during the service, as was Connolly, who worked on the shipyards as an apprentice welder before finding fame on the stage.



Following Mr Reid's death on August 10, Mr Salmond led tributes to the "Clyde-built" trade union activist.



He described him as Scotland's "great rallying figure" over the last four decades, who provoked real change for the better in society.



A lifelong socialist, Mr Reid stood as a Communist Party candidate in 1974 and polled more than 6,000 votes in the Dunbartonshire Central constituency.



He went on to join Labour, standing for the party in Dundee in 1979, but later switched to the SNP.



He also worked as a journalist and broadcaster before retiring to Bute.



Mr Reid died at Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock after falling ill a few days earlier.



He leaves behind wife Joan and three daughters, Eileen, Shona and Julie.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us