In memory of Anne Naysmith, the Lady of Chiswick

Anne Naysmith, a former pianist turned homeless, was sadly hit by a lorry on Chiswick High Road just after midnight on Tuesday. Since first hearing the news, I’ve been reading up about her. Her story is a sad one but it brings out a sense of humanity in a way I can’t quite explain.

She led an extraordinary life, enjoying success as a concert pianist when she was a young woman, before spending her middle years living in a battered old car following a failed romance and latterly turning a scrap of land at the foot of a London Underground embankment into her makeshift home and garden.


She lived out in the freezing cold, never accepting any charity, and then she got hit by a truck. She didn’t deserve to die like that.

She performed her ablutions in a local doctor’s surgery and cooked on an open fire in a nearby car park, where she also made a patch of garden. She sometimes passed produce on to favoured neighbours – her tomato chutney is said to be particularly good.

If you’re interested in her story and can bear the sadness:

May she rest in peace!