The sound of trumpets blared out as the hearse carrying the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs arrived at Golders Green Crematorium.

Thousands lined Hoop Lane to pay tribute to the notorious character, who spent his final years in Carlton Court Care Home, in Bells Hill, East Barnet, today.

Undeterred by a sudden downpour, mourners spent the afternoon hoping to catch a glimpse of the cortege, which finally arrived at around 2.25pm.

Pale flowers in the shape of a V were arranged inside, a reference to Biggs' gesture to reporters during the funeral of his accomplice Bruce Reynolds.

It was surrounded by floral tributes and messages, adorned with a red ribbon which read “Ronnie”.

The coffin was draped in a sheet bearing the British and Brazilian flags - in a nod to the country where he spent three decades on the run from police.

The funeral cortege was led by a guard of honour and thirteen Hells Angels on motorbikes.

Solemn music from a small band followed, before the hearse was driven through the gates of the crematorium.

Although one of the 84-year-old’s dying wishes was for people to wear bright colours to his funeral, the majority of his friends and family were dressed in black.

His son Michael, who was wearing dark glasses and jeans with a skull and crossbones belt, hugged his wife Veronica before going inside.

One onlooker said: “The music was solemn but appropriate. It was chaotic when the Hells Angel bikers fled past. He definitely went in style.”

Biggs was part of a gang that stole £2.6m from the Glasgow to London mail train on August 8, 1963.

Train driver Jack Mills suffered head injuries during the robbery and Biggs was sent to Wandsworth prison in 1965.

But he later escaped by scaling a wall with a rope ladder and jumping onto a mattress in a van, and fled to Brazil.

He returned to the UK in 2001 and was sent back to jail - and he was released on “compassionate” grounds as he was suffering from poor health.