Rita and I use to work together as UNISON assistant branch secretaries at Tower Hamlets Council. She was a school head cook and represented manual workers while I represented APT&C grades. Despite this largely artificial division, we worked together really well.
Rita was by nature cheerful, kind and supportive. She was a rock you could go to discuss all sort of problems and difficulties. She was very special in many ways, not least because of her natural decency but also her absolute honesty.
She had what we would say in Wales "no side", she was straight as a die and what you saw, is what you got.
I took this picture of Rita after the 2007 special UNISON conference on pensions in Ally Pally (Alexander Palace).