|Chiswick Pays Floral Tribute To Anne Naysmith|
Huge crowd expected to attend funeral as her story attracts global interest
Local residents have been leaving flowers at the patch of ground near Welstead Way where Anne Naysmith tended a patch of ground. Preparations are now in hand to organise her funeral service, which is expected to attract a huge crowd, given the wave of sympathy after her death.
As people in Chiswick continue to pay tribute to the former concert pianist who was known as the "car lady"- locals have been lighting candles and leaving messages in her memory. Miss Naysmith, who was in her late seventies died when she was hit by a lorry on Chiswick High Road at the junction with Homefields Road late last Monday night.
Beyond Chiswick there has been huge global interest in her story with coverage in Croatia, Turkey and Pakistan among many others.
The funeral service is most likely to be held St Michael & All Angels - where she regularly attended music and choral concerts. This has not yet been confirmed.
An inquest into the death of Anne Naysmith will be held early next week. The date and venue for a funeral service will be announced when legal and bureaucratic matters relating to the death are completed. A police investigation is still ongoing and a search is underway to find next of kin.
Hounslow Council is coordinating arrangements, along with supporters of Ms Naysmith. If anybody has any knowledge of what Anne Naysmith’s wishes might be or suggestions for her funeral arrangements they are asked to contact 020 8583 2180.
As Anne Naysmith was an alumni of the Royal Academy of Music, anyone who wants to make a donation can do so- the details are at the end of this story.
Throughout the week people have been paying tributes and sharing anecdotes about Miss Naysmith's life.
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.com forum and 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. Her story was carried in many of the national newspapers and locals have been interviewed on radio about her. There is also a song written about Miss Naysmith by a Chiswick resident which can be heard on the chiswick forum.
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.
Picture: Gareth Thomas
Anne Naysmith 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.
The tributes from locals (too many to carry here) can be read on our chiswickw4.com 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
Cllr Gerald McGregor said: "Miss Naysmith was known to all nine Chiswick councillors as a feisty and independent soul. All or us regret her passing and are doing all we can to ensure her memory is maintained in an appropriate and dignified manner".
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.
The Royal Academy of Music said: "We would of course be deeply grateful to receive donations in memory of Anne Naysmith, which would go towards providing scholarships for talented and deserving piano students at the Academy."
February 14, 2015