Charity organiser, 88, broke ribs and shoulder in Market Drayton steps fall due to litter
An 88-year-old charity organiser reported the state of dirty and litter-strewn steps near her home in Market Drayton the day before she slipped and broke her ribs and a shoulder, her son said.
Jean King lost her footing on the steps leading down from Mount Lane to Newtown, colloquially known as the 'tup steps', on her way from a meeting with friends.
She was heading to the bungalow she has lived in for 52 years, which has an entrance partway down the steps.
She was badly hurt in the fall and lay there for about 15 minutes before being found by a post worker, her son said.
Richard King, 61, said his mother was in hospital for over a week after the fall, and that she had reported the steps to Shropshire Council as well as the town's PCSOs several times before it happened.
He said that his mother had been out for coffee with friends on the morning of Tuesday last week, and was dropped off at the top of the steps in Mount Lane.
"She was making her way down, she got most of the way down towards her property but there was a lot of debris as there often is on the steps – broken bottles, just general debris, and hedge cuttings."
At one point on the path the handrail ends on one side, then resumes on the opposite side. It was at the point of crossing over from one handrail to the other that Mrs King slipped on what she thought was broken glass.
Mr King said: "She was trying to pick her way through, she lost her footing and she fell on these hard steps.
"Mum suspects she was there for about a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes.
"She was hurt badly but she will play it down and say it could have been a lot worse."
The post worker contacted Trevor King, Richard's brother, who along with paramedics helped get Mrs King inside and then persuaded her to go to the Princess Royal Hospital.
She was eventually assessed at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital where doctors found she had four broken ribs and a broken right shoulder.
Richard, who lives in Telford, said he was on holiday at the time and was told what had happened by Trevor who still lives in Market Drayton.
Mrs King has been involved in various charitable concerns in Market Drayton for years, supporting groups including Greenpeace, Samaritans, Save the Children, the Severn Hospice and Age Concern.
For the latter, now called Age UK, she organises regular monthly entertainment at the Festival Drayton Centre.
Richard said: "Mum is the type of person who doesn't want any fuss so she plays everything down, she doesn't complain about discomfort or anything else.
"She thinks of others more than herself.
"She does a tremendous amount of charity work.
"She won't be able to get out of her bungalow for some considerable time because she won't be able to get up the steps or down her steep driveway.
"She's basically been rendered immobile."
At the time of writing Jean was still in hospital.
When asked to comment Market Drayton Town Council said maintenance of the steps was the responsibility of Shropshire Council.
Shropshire Council did not respond to requests for comment.
The day after hearing about what happened to Mrs King, Market Drayton resident Perry Beech decided to clean up the steps.
In a post to the Drayton Crier Facebook group, he said: "A pair of very muddy boots and a few scratches later, I've done the best I could with a bin liner and some free time.
"Not a professional job by any means, and I think someone picked up a couple of the larger pieces, but I did my best to clear what was left and managed to fill my bag.
"[I] picked up any litter and glass that I could see, moved some larger branches to the other side of the rails so that people are less likely to trip, and used my boots to scrape as much of the leaves and cuttings (now basically slippy mulch thanks to the weather) off to the side to free up some of the steps a little more."