Hundreds attend funeral of pianist who lived in a car

Hundreds attend funeral of pianist who lived in a car


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2015

The unusual life of Anne Naysmith, a concert pianist who wound up living on the streets of a London suburb, was honoured at a funeral attended by 400-500 local residents, including the Mayor of Hounslow.

Anne, 78, was killed by a lorry on Chiswick High Road last month. The Royal Academy of Music, where she studied., is raising funds for a scholarship in her name.

Report here.



  • John Borstlap says:

    Suddenly all the attention and help appeared that she had needed when she fell on hard times.

    This is the civilized part of the world we live in.

  • GONZALEZ says:

    I was going to post a comment and suddenly I saw your. I totally agree with you John. We live in a sad hypocritical world.

  • 110 says:

    A real story
    Mom : David,is time to start taking piano lessons
    David( 6 years old): I don’t want to starve in NewYork
    To lough or cry!

  • geoff radnor says:

    But, did she not refuse many offers of help? Independence!

  • Alexander says:

    I’m not sure that it is entirely true to accuse local people of having failed to offer her help during her lifetime. It is my understanding that she was consistently offered help, which she refused due to factors which could probably be put down to mental illness of some kind. In particular, I understand that she refused offers of housing because she wished only to return to one particular house where she had formerly lived and where she believed (seemingly wrongly) that she was legally entitled to live for the rest of her life for a nominal rent. The story of her life is very sad, but it does not seem to be the case that nobody attempted to alleviate her suffering.

  • baron z says:

    How do you know?

  • Gad says:

    A Harsh Life & Enchanting Memories
    Who will ever know?
    Very few of us could live in a car for much longer than a week.
    Even fewer could survive a stone-cold winter with nowhere else to call home, other than a small patch of rough land in the corner of a car-park. Did Anne Naysmith fall through the cracks of our society?
    Or did she seek refuge there? Who will ever know the full story? Above all else Miss Naysmith was a bonafide survivor. Never an upturned palm. Almost always courteous and polite, unless you were a cyclist who’d whizzed by and startled her pigeons. Or a jolly offerer of help and assistance. She’d quickly turn the air deep blue. There were howls of anguish sometimes, and angry outbursts at nobody in particular. Who will ever know the the full story? We trust she is at peace now. Her image has been captured by the google-maps camera. She can be seen standing in Prebend Gardens, Chiswick, almost directly opposite number 22 – of all places. Number 22 Prebend Gardens is where she used to live, it is indeed the address at the epicentre of this mystery. The betting odds of her being caught at that precise spot, by a camera that passed by just once, must be astronomical. Her life was an incredibly harsh one, and yet now, there is an air of enchantment to her story. It is a story that will surely be recounted for many, many generations. Another coincidental quirk in the google maps image; the grey t-shirted cyclist seen zooming the wrong way up Prebend Gardens just happens to be the best friend of my eldest son. He has known Miss Naysmith since his primary school years, and was probably bracing himself for a verbal lashing as the camera caught him. His birthday is 7th March. Miss Naysmith was buried today; 7th March, at St. Michael and All Angels in Bedford Park. And there they both were, as the google-cam rolled by. Again, the sense of enchantment. Here’s to Miss Naysmith; the resilient spirit of old London, personified. The pianist, the mystery and, above all else, the survivor.
    Rest her well now.