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Where did Anne Naysmith’s Ford Consul go?


mk2_craig

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What does the forum know about Anne Naysmith?

anne.jpg.8ec15d3729438fafdf30023847aaefe3.jpg

The most recent Chod on Google Maps thread got me thinking, was there an image old enough to capture the Ford Consul which she lived in near Stamford Brook station? Unfortunately not - but there are a couple of instances of Anne herself being captured by the camera car!

anne-2012.thumb.jpg.664b871e81a34317fe63b33a3e68fb4d.jpg

2012 (same railing as in the BBC photo above)

anne-2014.thumb.jpg.f4421853d2071d408446c8e6acf1e856.jpg

2014 (slightly further south on the opposite side of the road)

Anne died the following year.

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On 04/01/2024 at 12:19, Split_Pin said:

I'm sure she was given an old Mercedes after the Consul was removed.

That's right!  

anne-merc.jpg.4b3a9e4d536353deab575b1c2e3f10c9.jpg

anne-a430lud.jpg.5c13b516bebe3549ad9c315dd548dd81.jpg

 

Sounds like quite a lot of the residents were supportive.  The Merc doesn't appear to have lasted long though, it quickly became the target of unwanted attention and Anne resorted to sleeping rough.

What happened to the Consul?

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16 minutes ago, Stinkwheel said:

How very sad, but also in a way inspiring. The world is a strange, cruel and weird place sometimes.

Exactly this, I'd never heard of her but you've summed up her story nicely. Sounds like she had become accustomed to living in a car and accepted that as her way of life, as one of the articles linked from Wikipedia says the council found her a flat when they took the Consul away but the neighbours doubted she'd live there and she obviously never did. If that Consul is still around, I'm sure it could tell some stories.

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2 hours ago, mk2_craig said:

Anne's Consul (possibly the only car ever registered to her) was 298CGU.

anne-298cgu.thumb.jpg.596161e40f893aea2a8432ebc8839001.jpg

Very surprisingly this last had a V5 issued in 2012 (i.e. while she was still alive) and is currently showing as taxed!

 

@LightBulbFun I'm assuming some sort of anomaly with DooVLA for the Consul to still show as taxed? I can't see anyone ever restoring it - it looked way to fragile to race, too.

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4 hours ago, mk2_craig said:

Anne's Consul (possibly the only car ever registered to her) was 298CGU.

anne-298cgu.thumb.jpg.596161e40f893aea2a8432ebc8839001.jpg

Very surprisingly this last had a V5 issued in 2012 (i.e. while she was still alive) and is currently showing as taxed!

 

1 hour ago, Dick Longbridge said:

@LightBulbFun I'm assuming some sort of anomaly with DooVLA for the Consul to still show as taxed?

its a curious one its showing 6 total keepers with the last one as most recent as 2005

image.png.43262827f90022995dca363b43d39d67.png

and before the 2012 V5 (which simply would of been issued during the whole blue to red logbook scheme) , there was a logbook issued on the 6th of the 1st 2009 also

one has to wonder if it really was registered in her name, what the address was exactly

as for it still being taxed

Screenshot2024-01-05at13_02_31.thumb.png.eb4b80561bea8e1219e8223b02edb2ad.png

it could be just a case of only exists on paperwork,  nothing stops a vehicle that only exist as a VIN plate and V5 document, from still being taxed and insured.

 

the only anomaly  is at the time of checking its not on the MID, and generally the DVLA will ride your arse if you have a taxed vehicle thats not insured

Screenshot2024-01-05at13_04_55.png.9b660b87a7060a39ed36186bf230410c.png

it is however curiously showing a colour change on the 25th of the 2nd 2004 from an original colour of Blue to a new colour of Green, a couple years after it was taken away...

 

 

as an aside, reading about her story here

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/daily-mail/20150213/282192239417361

I really do feel for her, especially what happened with the consul, holy fuck are there some right dicks out there, seriously whats wrong with live and let live? 

i'd much rather take an old lady quietly living in an old car then everyone stabbing each other as happens these days, but no they had to bitch about it and complain about fucking property values...

Quote

When Anne returned later in the day, the car — and all her possessions — was gone. Dumped. All that was left was a dusty patch on the road.

‘It was just old newspapers and what she described as important legal documents, which clearly weren’t,’ says Councillor Lynch.

this line especially infuriates me, how did he know they where not important documents in there? did he/the council actually search through all her belongings in the car before taking it away?

 

although before I get too worked up over it, I do realise its from the media, and theres probably a lot more to the story thats omitted from the article 

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It did cross my mind that maybe a few who have sleuthed solidly on the Ford Timelord thread would be able to help here so it's nice to see an interest has been taken by all.

I certainly would prefer dilapidated Consul across the road from me rather than some scumbag with an X5, 3 feral kids and a plastic wife.

Its incredible that the old car stayed in thar same spot, starting when it would have been just an old banger in 1976 right through to it being a true 'classic' car in 2002 when there would almost certainly be nonother examples on daily use.

A remarkable woman and car by all accounts.

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5 hours ago, Pieman said:

As others have said, what an incredible and very sad story.  Never mind "The Lady in the Van" - there needs to be more told about this remarkable woman.

I did not know that was a real person in the film!

Wow, what a life.

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1 minute ago, big_al_granvia said:

Could it be that the reg and vin are now on a imported shell from say South Africa, happens with escorts and is classed as a heavy overhaul

You’d have thought there would be a photo somewhere if somebody has done a ringer job that’s gone as far as bolting plates onto a different car. I reckon this is another Ford Timelord where someone’s likely applied for ownership with the registered keeper either not knowing or not caring. 

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  • mk2_craig changed the title to Where did Anne Naysmith’s Ford Consul go?

So the question is less about where is the car, but who applied for the V5 and why....

Although it would still be nice to know what happened to it.

The only thing I would say is that the lorry transporting it was a Ford Cargo, the youngest 7.5 t versions of which would have been 11 years old in 2002. That's likely too old for a council vehicle so it was either a private company or an individual.

Either way it would be good to know why it's still taxed.

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17 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

The fellas with the cover don't look like your average council bods

Possibly some of the neighbours who were trying to prevent the car being uplifted, removing the cover?

Hopefully some video footage is out there although clearly in 2002 there weren't many folk carrying a camera around in their pocket unlike the present day. 

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33 minutes ago, mk2_craig said:

Possibly some of the neighbours who were trying to prevent the car being uplifted, removing the cover?

Hopefully some video footage is out there although clearly in 2002 there weren't many folk carrying a camera around in their pocket unlike the present day. 

The whole thing is really odd - it's a new one on me.

I assume the council must have been really lenient with her for many years as the car was clearly miles away from being road legal, yet looks to have been parked on the public highway. 

Yet on the flipside, it seems the manner in which she was 'notified' of the council's intentions to remove her car (and the question mark of what actually happened to the car and her personal belongings afterwards) was rather underhand. Quelle surprise. 

I found this report from 2002 which explains why she was so attached to the Consul. 

She was born plain Anne Smith - she only tacked the "Nay" on three years ago - in Southend in 1937. He mother, Marie, was of eastern European origin. By the time they moved to Hounslow, west London, when Anne was eight she was already a promising pianist and won a place at the Royal Academy of Music.

At 18, Miss Naysmith rented a room in Chiswick. She took a job teaching music at the Marist convent school in Sunninghill, Berkshire, and by 1960 was also teaching at Trinity College of Music in London. Careful with her money, she managed to save enough to buy a Ford Consul and to move into better digs at 22 Prebend Gardens.

Her musical career seemed to be taking off. When she was 25, she played Beethoven, Bach and Debussy at Leighton House in Holland Park, west London, and went on to perform symphony concerts under the auspices of Sir Adrian Boult. In 1967 her mother hired the Wigmore Hall. Anne was to star. A reviewer from the Times praised the "rich warmth" of her interpretation of Rachmaninov but judged her Chopin "far too strained". It was becoming clear that she would struggle to make the grade as a top-class musician.

By the early 70s she had given up teaching and ran into money problems. At about the same time a romance with a 6ft 5in choral singer failed. Her financial position worsened until, to her horror, she was asked to leave her lodgings. Believing she had been wronged, she took to sleeping in her car, near no 22, and agitated to get her rooms back. She never did.

The adoption of a reclusive lifestyle is sometimes known as Diogenes syndrome after the Greek philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who showed his contempt for material things by living in a barrel. Miss Naysmith became Chiswick's very own Diogenes. She began to follow a rigid routine. 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.

Miss Naysmith became a regular visitor to the Barbican music library and was sometimes to be found chatting knowledgeably to crowds outside the Albert Hall. As her clothes fell apart she stitched new ones with rags. She was ingenious, using pigeon feathers to insulate the plastic bags she wore on her feet. She has always refused handouts and is thought to survive on a small sum stashed in a bank.

Miss Naysmith's lifestyle has brought her problems. She has been targeted by local thugs and her car was set alight. In the end, though, Hounslow council did for Miss Naysmith. The authority has been taking an interest in her case since 1976. It frequently offered her alternative accommodation but she always insisted that if she could not move back into no 22 she would stay in the car.

Over the years a succession of social workers, charities and agencies which work with the homeless tried to help, but no solution emerged.

Two years ago, a new resident launched a campaign to have the car removed. She wrote to neighbours: "I know I am speaking for many residents when I say that it is time Miss Smith's car was moved on." She acknowledged that Miss Naysmith might feel "insecure" if the Ford were shifted, but claimed: "The fact remains that the car is a health hazard; it is covered in rubbish, she feeds pigeons there and rats have been seen coming from under the car."

However, many people wrote back in defence of their unusual neighbour. "She was here before us and her car is her home," wrote one. "Let us celebrate Miss Smith, not run her out of town." But the tide was turning. The council says it was under pressure from the local government ombudsman and last July the nine-strong Chiswick area committee, sitting in private, agreed that action should be taken to move the car on.

The chairman of the committee, Paul Lynch, and officers took over. In February the council successfully applied to Brentford magistrates for a court order allowing officers to move the car. A date - March 7 - was set. On that day, a bright, breezy Thursday, Miss Naysmith left her car, as usual, at about 8am. The brown envelope containing the court order remained unopened on her windscreen. Soon afterwards, council public relations officers descended on Prebend Gardens with leaflets explaining what was happening. Police officers stood by.

The PR officials claimed that "Miss Naysmith's friends", as well as councillors, had become increasingly worried about her. They said she had been offered a flat. The council tried to make it seem like a community decision, but most of Miss Naysmith's neighbours knew nothing of the plans. They were even more upset when the council admitted that her new home was not ready and she would first have to go into bed and breakfast accommodation.

Councillor Patricia Sterne, who sits on the area committee, said: "It was a complete surprise. It would have been helpful to know. We could have all worked together to make sure it went smoothly." Councillor Lynch admitted that senior officers told him to "keep quiet about the details". They were worried that moving Miss Naysmith could lead to a "media circus and inappropriate coverage".

When the tow truck arrived, three neighbours decided to take direct action. Though her leg was in plaster, Sally Mates, an actor and the sister of the former Conservative minister Michael, clambered on to the bonnet of the car. Sian Wheldon, 41, another actor who has appeared in EastEnders and The Bill, and florist Chris Young, 42, leaned purposefully against the side of the vehicle. The "Prebend three" only halted the protest after they were threatened with arrest for obstruction.

Ford can be proud of its workmanship. When the Consul was winched on to the tow truck, it did not crumble. There was no sign of the rats that Miss Naysmith's opponents had been so concerned about.

When she returned, Miss Naysmith was devastated. Her supporters borrowed a neighbour's Mercedes estate car and parked it on her usual spot. She spent one night in the car but it was vandalised and she was left homeless again. Since then, friends say that she has slept in various places, including a police station and a hospital.

The council says that in the past six months it has offered her four flats but she has turned them down. Supporters claim the places she has been offered are too far from her home territory.

Lynch says that Miss Naysmith seems to be weeping more than usual, and not keeping herself as clean. Her supporters are concerned that she is living rough and that her health is failing.

Ambitious schemes to get her back to Prebend Gardens have included finding an organisation prepared to buy no 22 - its rooms are still rented out - and allow her to spend the rest of her days there. A benefactor has donated another car, but there is nowhere to put it. And besides, Miss Naysmith argues, she already has a perfectly good car.

Legal solutions are being sought. John Wadham, director of the civil rights group Liberty, says that Miss Naysmith may be able to argue against the council's actions under article eight of the Human Rights Act 1998 which states: "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

But there is no positive ending in sight. Joyce Johns, a local businesswoman and one of the closest allies of the lady in the car, says: "Miss Naysmith is an ambassador for Chiswick. Her story has been picked up by newspapers and television channels around the world. She should be given the freedom of the borough.

"We need a fairy godfather or mother to come and buy no 22 for Miss Naysmith, or give her a piece of land where she can park her car. If we could make one old lady happy, the whole world would be a better place."

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39 minutes ago, Dick Longbridge said:

The whole thing is really odd - it's a new one on me.

I assume the council must have been really lenient with her for many years as the car was clearly miles away from being road legal, yet looks to have been parked on the public highway. 

Yet on the flipside, it seems the manner in which she was 'notified' of the council's intentions to remove her car (and the question mark of what actually happened to the car and her personal belongings afterwards) was rather underhand. Quelle surprise. 

I found this report from 2002 which explains why she was so attached to the Consul. 

She was born plain Anne Smith - she only tacked the "Nay" on three years ago - in Southend in 1937. He mother, Marie, was of eastern European origin. By the time they moved to Hounslow, west London, when Anne was eight she was already a promising pianist and won a place at the Royal Academy of Music.

At 18, Miss Naysmith rented a room in Chiswick. She took a job teaching music at the Marist convent school in Sunninghill, Berkshire, and by 1960 was also teaching at Trinity College of Music in London. Careful with her money, she managed to save enough to buy a Ford Consul and to move into better digs at 22 Prebend Gardens.

Her musical career seemed to be taking off. When she was 25, she played Beethoven, Bach and Debussy at Leighton House in Holland Park, west London, and went on to perform symphony concerts under the auspices of Sir Adrian Boult. In 1967 her mother hired the Wigmore Hall. Anne was to star. A reviewer from the Times praised the "rich warmth" of her interpretation of Rachmaninov but judged her Chopin "far too strained". It was becoming clear that she would struggle to make the grade as a top-class musician.

By the early 70s she had given up teaching and ran into money problems. At about the same time a romance with a 6ft 5in choral singer failed. Her financial position worsened until, to her horror, she was asked to leave her lodgings. Believing she had been wronged, she took to sleeping in her car, near no 22, and agitated to get her rooms back. She never did.

The adoption of a reclusive lifestyle is sometimes known as Diogenes syndrome after the Greek philosopher, Diogenes of Sinope, who showed his contempt for material things by living in a barrel. Miss Naysmith became Chiswick's very own Diogenes. She began to follow a rigid routine. 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.

Miss Naysmith became a regular visitor to the Barbican music library and was sometimes to be found chatting knowledgeably to crowds outside the Albert Hall. As her clothes fell apart she stitched new ones with rags. She was ingenious, using pigeon feathers to insulate the plastic bags she wore on her feet. She has always refused handouts and is thought to survive on a small sum stashed in a bank.

Miss Naysmith's lifestyle has brought her problems. She has been targeted by local thugs and her car was set alight. In the end, though, Hounslow council did for Miss Naysmith. The authority has been taking an interest in her case since 1976. It frequently offered her alternative accommodation but she always insisted that if she could not move back into no 22 she would stay in the car.

Over the years a succession of social workers, charities and agencies which work with the homeless tried to help, but no solution emerged.

Two years ago, a new resident launched a campaign to have the car removed. She wrote to neighbours: "I know I am speaking for many residents when I say that it is time Miss Smith's car was moved on." She acknowledged that Miss Naysmith might feel "insecure" if the Ford were shifted, but claimed: "The fact remains that the car is a health hazard; it is covered in rubbish, she feeds pigeons there and rats have been seen coming from under the car."

However, many people wrote back in defence of their unusual neighbour. "She was here before us and her car is her home," wrote one. "Let us celebrate Miss Smith, not run her out of town." But the tide was turning. The council says it was under pressure from the local government ombudsman and last July the nine-strong Chiswick area committee, sitting in private, agreed that action should be taken to move the car on.

The chairman of the committee, Paul Lynch, and officers took over. In February the council successfully applied to Brentford magistrates for a court order allowing officers to move the car. A date - March 7 - was set. On that day, a bright, breezy Thursday, Miss Naysmith left her car, as usual, at about 8am. The brown envelope containing the court order remained unopened on her windscreen. Soon afterwards, council public relations officers descended on Prebend Gardens with leaflets explaining what was happening. Police officers stood by.

The PR officials claimed that "Miss Naysmith's friends", as well as councillors, had become increasingly worried about her. They said she had been offered a flat. The council tried to make it seem like a community decision, but most of Miss Naysmith's neighbours knew nothing of the plans. They were even more upset when the council admitted that her new home was not ready and she would first have to go into bed and breakfast accommodation.

Councillor Patricia Sterne, who sits on the area committee, said: "It was a complete surprise. It would have been helpful to know. We could have all worked together to make sure it went smoothly." Councillor Lynch admitted that senior officers told him to "keep quiet about the details". They were worried that moving Miss Naysmith could lead to a "media circus and inappropriate coverage".

When the tow truck arrived, three neighbours decided to take direct action. Though her leg was in plaster, Sally Mates, an actor and the sister of the former Conservative minister Michael, clambered on to the bonnet of the car. Sian Wheldon, 41, another actor who has appeared in EastEnders and The Bill, and florist Chris Young, 42, leaned purposefully against the side of the vehicle. The "Prebend three" only halted the protest after they were threatened with arrest for obstruction.

Ford can be proud of its workmanship. When the Consul was winched on to the tow truck, it did not crumble. There was no sign of the rats that Miss Naysmith's opponents had been so concerned about.

When she returned, Miss Naysmith was devastated. Her supporters borrowed a neighbour's Mercedes estate car and parked it on her usual spot. She spent one night in the car but it was vandalised and she was left homeless again. Since then, friends say that she has slept in various places, including a police station and a hospital.

The council says that in the past six months it has offered her four flats but she has turned them down. Supporters claim the places she has been offered are too far from her home territory.

Lynch says that Miss Naysmith seems to be weeping more than usual, and not keeping herself as clean. Her supporters are concerned that she is living rough and that her health is failing.

Ambitious schemes to get her back to Prebend Gardens have included finding an organisation prepared to buy no 22 - its rooms are still rented out - and allow her to spend the rest of her days there. A benefactor has donated another car, but there is nowhere to put it. And besides, Miss Naysmith argues, she already has a perfectly good car.

Legal solutions are being sought. John Wadham, director of the civil rights group Liberty, says that Miss Naysmith may be able to argue against the council's actions under article eight of the Human Rights Act 1998 which states: "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence."

But there is no positive ending in sight. Joyce Johns, a local businesswoman and one of the closest allies of the lady in the car, says: "Miss Naysmith is an ambassador for Chiswick. Her story has been picked up by newspapers and television channels around the world. She should be given the freedom of the borough.

"We need a fairy godfather or mother to come and buy no 22 for Miss Naysmith, or give her a piece of land where she can park her car. If we could make one old lady happy, the whole world would be a better place."


That is both fantastic, awful and infuriating all at the same time.  I wish I had met this amazing woman.

And I also want to meet that "new resident" who no doubt was the one who got rid of her.  The fucking selfish bitch!

Having studied the pics of the car, I do wonder if it ended up being ovalled - I know Mildenhall's classic car bash often attracted a fair few Consuls, so will look into the history of that event.

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