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Teddy bear vigil for Hampstead Heath pensioner Sheila Karsberg at scene of fatal accident

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 September 2016

Sheila was a familiar figure on Hampstead Heath

Sheila was a familiar figure on Hampstead Heath

Archant

A vigil is to be held at the spot where much-loved Heath character Sheila Karsberg was tragically killed after being hit by a cement mixer in Camden.

Flowers were laid on the bench where Sheila used to sitFlowers were laid on the bench where Sheila used to sit

This comes as Heath dog walkers and managers are planning to plant a memorial tree for Sheila, one of Hampstead Heath’s best-loved characters.

The vigil will be held at the junction of Pratt Street and Camden High Street on October 10.

Organisers from the Stop Killing Cyclists organisation are encouraging supporters to bring teddy bears in memory of Sheila, 79, to lay at the spot where she died.

As reported in the Ham&High Sheila was a familiar face walking her beloved dog Milly Snowflakes around Hampstead Heath and carrying a signature toy meerkat with her.

A police sign at the spot where Sheila was killedA police sign at the spot where Sheila was killed

The pensioner, who used to sit on a bench outside the Parliament Hill Cafe, loved to chat to other dogwalkers and children. Flowers were last week laid on this bench.

After a call from dogwalkers, a tree is now to be planted in memory of Sheila on Hampstead Heath

A few years ago she starred in a BBC documentary Wonderland: Walking with Dogs filmed on the Heath in which she spoke of her love for Milly saying she meant “the whole world” to her.

Sheila lived on the Holly Lodge estate and her background is a mystery. Police are still trying to trace her next of kin.

Lucinda Langford, who lives on the estate said: “We called her Milly Snowflakes because that was the name of her beloved dog. I’d see her several times a month and she always started up a conversation. Milly Snowflakes, who was fed peach yoghurt for breakfast, was lucky to have an owner who took her on from a dogs’ home.”

Sadly Milly Snowflakes died last Christmas.

Maria Jakubiec, who works at the Parliament Hill Cafe, said: “She was here twice a day with her dog and we will really miss her. She was part of the cafe. We used to take tea out to her as she sat on the bench.

“She always paid and she always had money. She also used to love ice cream, cream teas and get milk for her dog.”

Bob Warnock, Superintendent of Hampstead Heath, said: “Ms Karsberg was a well-known and much loved user of Hampstead Heath. As a regular visitor with her dog Milly, she would choose a seat close to the Parliament Hill Cafe where she would greet passers-by with a ‘Hello, how are you’ and give a wave with her meerkat toy as they made their way past.”

The City of London Corporation will now plant a tree close to the spot where she used to sit and will set a date in October. Mr Warnock encoured anyone who would like to pay tribute to join them in planting it.

Sheila was pronounced dead at the scene in Pratt Street close to the junction with Camden High Street shortly after 9.40am on September 13. The driver of the vehicle stopped at the scene and no arrests were made.

Police appealed for the driver of a silver van which passed the scene moments after the collision or other witnesses to call 020 8991 9555.

For details of the vigil see here.


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