A fine send-off for battler John

HUNDREDS of people turned out to bid a final farewell to a scrap dealer who lost his battle with cancer.

A horse and cart tribute was given to John Robinson, of Robinson’s Scrap Yard, in Easington Colliery.

Traffic came to a standstill in Easington as a cortege led by a plush horse-led carriage carrying John’s coffin, followed by horse-drawn two carts carrying floral tributes, made its way to Our Lady RC Church.

Around 300 people packed into the church and there were dozens of other mourners outside.

John’s younger brother, Gerald Robinson, a 59-year-old father-of-four, said: “It was a big send-off, just unbelievable.

“Some people couldn’t get in the church because it was so packed, so there were people outside as well and there were people who knew him lining the streets too.”

Gerald, of Easington Village, said people had come from as far as Ireland and Blackpool to pay their respects to John, 72, who fought a battle with throat cancer for about a year.

He added: “Everybody commented on the horses.

“John would have been over the moon with them.

“I’d like to thank everyone that came from far and wide.”

The church was told how John, described as a “having a heart like a lion,” had bravely battled his illness.

John was buried at the village cemetery and mourners attended a wake at Easington HMS Victory Club.

John’s family had been in the scrap trade for decades and the Mail reported earlier this week how the horse and cart send-off was a tribute John would have wanted.

He started work at the scrap yard, at Holme Hill Lane Allotments, in Easington Colliery, which was opened in the 1940s by his late father, John Robinson senior, at just 17 years old and went out on the horse and carts himself.

The dad-of-three spent the rest of his life working there, despite having a serious accident in the yard which left him with injuries that would last him a lifetime.

He passed away at 3am last Sunday at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.