Former Worthing window cleaner who survived 15ft fall publishes six puzzle books

A former window cleaner from Worthing, who developed a love for devising puzzles after surviving a 15ft fall from a ladder, has now published six books of unique puzzles.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 11:23 am
Les Page with his books of puzzles

Les Page began creating his own puzzles while recovering from the accident in May 2000, which happened three days before his 53rd birthday and left him with two fractured vertebras in his back.

A story was published in the Herald some months later, recounting the incident and Les’ subsequent recovery, under the headline ‘Les battles back after ladder fall’.

Les had been climbing down from a roof in Angmering when the ladder slid down the wall and he fell.

The Herald article about Les, printed in 2001

The 73-year-old, of New Road in Durrington, said: “After falling from the ladder I was in absolute agony, but able to get to my knees and wiggle my toes, so I knew I wasn’t going to be paralysed.

“I had to get help and phone for an ambulance, but then realised that I had left my mobile phone in the car 30 yards away at the front of the house!”

Thankfully a woman carrying out a security check on her daughter’s house next door appeared and asked if he needed help.

“I thought it was an angel and that I had died and gone to heaven,” said Les.

“But no, my life had been spared because maybe God had decided that it wasn’t time for me to leave Earth as I had things to do and grandchildren to see and enjoy in the future!”

Les, a grandfather of four who has lived in Worthing with his wife Mo since 1969, had to take five months off work for his back to heal and began to get bored.

He was looking at some puzzles in a newspaper when decided, because of his love of numbers, to try his hand at devising some of his own.

This turned into a 20-year hobby, during which time Les built up an impressive portfolio of unique puzzles.

He decided to see if a publisher might be interested in his work and was ‘amazed and delighted’ when Tarquin Publications agreed to produce six ‘New Number and Logic Puzzle’ books.

“For many years whilst devising the puzzles I often wondered if my puzzles would be good enough to be published,” he said. “Now 20 years after lots of perseverance they have been published!

“This would not have been achievable if I hadn’t survived the fall that day!”

Some of the books are aimed at beginners, while others are intended for those with more experience.

Les said it took him ‘a few days or so’ to design them, adding: “The key to success is to start with the solution for a puzzle idea and then work backwards.”

The books can be purchased online via Waterstones, WHSmiths and other retailers, or from the publisher at

Contact Les Page for more information at [email protected]