Anne Naysmith Killed on Chiswick High Road

The well-known local woman was hit by lorry


Councillors Seek Answers For Miss Naysmith

"Dreadful Mistake" Deprives Car Lady of Shelter

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The elderly woman killed in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 10th February) after being hit by a lorry has been named as Anne Naysmith. Miss Naysmith was well known locally as the 'car lady' who lived for years on the street in Prebend Gardens. Tributes have been pouring in from Chiswick residents since the news of her death.

chiswick ann naysmith

Picture: @janeyjones1

Police were called to the scene at the junction of Chiswick High Road and Homefield Road at around 12.45am( Feb 10). London’s Air Ambulance attended but Ms. Naysmith, believed to be in her late seventies, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.17am. The driver stopped at the scene and was not arrested.

Anne Naysmith was a well-known local character and lived for many years in a car in Prebend Gardens. She was sometimes referred to as 'Chiswick's Lady In A Van' and had been a concert pianist in her earlier life before falling on hard times. An account of her life has been posted on the chiswickW4 forum.

The Telegraph newspaper has carried an obituary which details how the promising concert pianist, who once played at the Wigmore Hall, was evicted from her home in Prebend Gardens and lived for many years in a car. When the car was taken away she moved to a patch of land near Stamford Brook tube station.

The Royal Academy of Music posted on Twitter "Sad news: Anne Naysmith – former concert artist, cherished Chiswick character – died last night.

anne naysmith car

Picture: Gareth Thomas

She derived great pleasure from feeding birds and from tending to her small 'urban garden' near Stamford Brook station - there was an outcry in 2012 when TfL removed the shrubs and plants from the patch of ground. For a number of years, her 'spiritual” home has been beneath some shrubby trees on the Vaughan Avenue side of the Stamford Brook car park.

Local people have been expressing their sadness at the news with many posting their memories or anecdotes about Ms Naywmith forum. Anne Naysmith was a familiar figure all over Chiswick, and often took shelter in the Post Office, local churches, especially St Michael & all Angels, Chiswick Library, GPs surgeries and in summer at the cricket grounds in Chiswick House.

Cllr John Todd wrote this tribute :"Ms Anne  Naysmith was known to many in Chiswick. A real character in every sense.

"I and most Chiswick Councillors dealt with Ms Naysmith  frequently at our weekly surgery in the Library. She was always polite, informed  and charming in every  sense. Her written submissions were masterful too.

"She politely declined all offers of help which included housing, getting a freedom bus pass and other matters.

"Why she chose to adopt such a harsh life style is unclear - but she never moaned or criticised. She never sought any form of help either. I saw her all over London.

"Others felt the edge of her tongue when she saw  cyclists on the kerb and  other minor indiscretions. We all have weaknesses.

"Rest in Peace  Ms Naysmith. I  and many others will miss you".

Many of the local police in Chiswick knew Anne Naysmith. PCSO Cheryl, who is on regular patrol on Chiswick High Road, had known Miss Naysmith for many years and has sent the following tribute;

Thinking of you today my dear friend.

It was a pleasure to know you.

Enjoyed our little chats.

Chiswick will not be the same without your presence.

R.I.P Miss Naysmith, will miss you. "

Residents in Welstead Way have asked if anyone would like to lay flowers in the car park for Miss Naysmith please do so and they will tend them. Please bring a container and water as there is no facility on site

They said; "We know Miss Naysmith would not want a fuss so we are going to tend her garden this spring and summer for her and hopefully plant so bulbs for her in her memory. Miss Naysmith was our friend and Neighbour and will sadly be missed. RIP"

Enquiries are underway to trace any next of kin. Officers from Serious Collision Investigation Unit are dealing with the incident .Anyone who witnessed this incident should contact police by dialling 101 and quoting reference CAD231/10Feb.

February 11, 2015