Popular Big Issue vendor Anne McImnerly, who was so dedicated to her regular customers that she sold the magazine up until the age of 78, has sadly died.
Anne, described by Big Issue staff as a dedicated and popular vendor, has been a mainstay of The Big Issue for many years, selling the magazine on her pitch outside Marks and Spencer in Camden, London. She posed for a cheery photograph with the magazine’s national distribution director Peter Bird just days before her death, just before Christmas.
In a touching tribute to Anne, he said: “Anne will be sadly missed by all who knew her at The Big Issue. She would arrive like clockwork with her shopping trolley on a Monday morning, start by telling us her latest joke and leave again with a wry smile.
“She was 78 and should have given up selling years ago but she didn’t want to because she loved being out and having a laugh with her customers and loved the banter with all the team.”
“Anne was always so happy and full of enthusiasm at the thought of seeing her regular customers in Camden,” Peter added. “She had been with us for many years and benefited greatly from the social contact afforded by selling the magazine.
“We often said ‘It’s time hang up your trolley’ but she said she would miss the friends she had made whilst selling too much. Rest in peace, Anne.”
We understand that Anne suffered a suspected heart attack while working on her pitch.
The current edition of The Big Issue is also paying tribute to two vendors who were tragically killed five years ago this week.
Ian Watson-Gladwish and Wayne Busst were stabbed to death on Union Street in Birmingham on January 11, 2011 – in this week’s magazine, we remember them and investigate how the risks that vendors face every day have changed in the intervening years.