Last Wednesday, my wife and I went to a matinee performance at the Connaught Theatre.
The film finished at about 5.15pm, and when we left the theatre it was dark with rain and a very strong wind.
We decided not to walk all the way home, but to catch a bus.
When we got near to the bus stop, I saw there was a bus waiting, so I said to my wife ‘let’s walk fast and catch it’.
The next moment, I crashed to the wet pavement. I threw my hands out and cut them both, which saved my head, but my left shoulder hit the foot of what we subsequently found was a black, wooden A-board lying on the pavement.
The shock and pain was awful. A number of kind people helped me up.
I had not been drinking, and do not suffer from any ailment that would make me fall over.
The A-board had been left out in the rain and high wind.
The rain had almost wiped the message off and the wind had blown it over.
It was painted black, so was almost invisible on the black, rain-soaked pavement.
It was, therefore, a tripping hazard of the worst kind.
My wife brought the matter to the attention of the premises it belonged to, and they said they were very sorry and offered to call an ambulance. But, mindful of the overcrowding of A&E talking about in the papers, I said no and we caught the next bus home with my hands bleeding. My wife cleaned my hands and put me to bed, but the next morning I was in so much pain that she rang our surgery and made an appointment.
The kind doctor who saw me was happy I had not broken any bones, but that I was very badly bruised. She prescribed some strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets. She made an appointment for me to go back Monday, and if there was no improvement I would have to be seen at the hospital.
In the meantime, my arm is so sore that my wife has to dress me and help me in and out of bed. It is the third day now and there is little improvement.
I am 70 years old. My accident could have been so much worse, but it should not have happened at all.
The A-boards are all over our shopping pavements. They are a major health and safety issue. They do not make me want to go into a certain shop or restaurant
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