Obituary: Virginia Edwards

It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that Virginia Edwards, a beloved member of Primrose Hill Community Association, has recently passed away.

Her funeral will take place at 2pm on Thursday 25th January at St Marks Church.

Virginia Smith (1927-2024)

“Too earnest!” said a previous editor, “what this magazine needs is a cartoon. Who can draw?” Where else to look but to a founding member of the Community Association who had been producing posters and illustrating publications about Primrose Hill for almost 50 years. Virginia Smith who has died aged 96 lived in Regents Park Road for 70 years since arriving in London from Australia. A trained artist, skilled in etching, calligraphy and screen printing, Virginia’s outstanding quality was as an illustrator. 

Professionally successful in Sydney she had come to London to decide whether to marry the bohemian boyfriend of whom her father so disapproved. She did, and became Mrs Edwards. She and Rod, a creative jeweller, were part of an expatriate set of artists including Cedric Flower, Cynthia and Sydney Nolan, Barry Humphries of course, finding a bigger world in which to exercise their talents than Australia in the 50s offered. 

Despite the vicissitudes of life, and there were many, Virginia retained a vulnerable, naive, sweet personality beloved of her friends, a total lack of a relationship with money, and an unquenchable sense of humour that would erupt in a deep, full throated laugh. “Darling!” each conversation would start, and you felt the sun always shone on Sydney Harbour. I can’t pass Ginny’s drawings framed on my wall without feeling some of that warmth, and I smile.

In her last years Virginia was wonderfully helped by her neighbour, Vera Creasey.

Dick Bird