Jade Goody’s funeral procession has arrived at her home in Upshire, Essex, after travelling through the streets of South-East London.

Hundreds of wellwishers turned out to watch the procession as it began in Bermondsey at 0830 on Saturday morning, when Jade’s white coffin was taken from FA Albin and Son funeral directors.

The first stop was in Bermondsey, where police stopped traffic as the cortege made its way through the high street. It stopped at the Blue Market, where Jade’s grandfather once had a stall.

Crowds who appeared undeterred by the wet weather tossed flowers on to the vintage Rolls-Royce hearse while others stood applauding.

Flowers were also laid in the street outside the funeral directors. A staff member said they had “never known anything like it,not in 20 years”.

Funeral director Barry Albin-Dyer told the crowd, “I knew you’d be like this. I knew you’d come and say goodbye like this. So from everyone in Bermondsey,goodbye.”

He then released a single white dove into the air.

The vicar of St James’ Church in Bermondsey, Rev Stewart Hartley, then said a prayer before leading the crowd in “three cheers for Jade”.

Among those paying tribute were Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for North Southwark and Bermondsey.

“Jade was one of our own. She was herself… she never pretended to be anything other than herself. She was proud of where she came from. Her family were absolutely rooted in the local community,” he said.

“Lots of people you bump into obviously were at primary school with her, were at secondary school with her. So she was very much a character of our age.”

The procession then passed by the Dickens Estate where Jade grew up and where her mum Jackiey Budden still lives, before heading across Tower Bridge and through Loughton High Street where the beauty salon Jade once part-owned is located.

Officials at St John The Baptist Church in Buckhurst Hill, where the funeral service will take place, have erected crash barriers in readiness for the crowds.

The BBC News website reported that mourners were gathering at the church during the morning and being distributed with cards containing a prayer and photo of Jade.

The former Big Brother star’s spokesman Max Clifford said he expected around 300 people to attend the funeral, although said that many more would probably gather outside to watch the service, which is being transmitted on giant screens and speakers.

“I’m sure there’ll be an awful lot of other people lining the route and wanting to pay their respects,” he said.

“I’m sure it will be a very emotional celebration and tribute to a very special young lady. I think Jade would want people to be laughing and crying and I’m sure they will be.”

Clifford added that floral tributes had been received from all over the world.

Among those expected to attend the funeral are Kerry Katona, TV hosts Richard and Judy, pop trio Sugababes and singer Jamelia.

Former Blue member Antony Costa was one of the first celebrities to arrive for the funeral, saying he was “absolutely devastated that she’s gone”.

“I hope her legacy lives on,” he added.