Former film star died after fall in Louth antiques shop

Shirley Plumb
Shirley Plumb

A fall in a Louth antiques shop was the catalyst for the fatal decline in health of a ‘delightful lady’, an inquest has heard.

The incident involving former film actress Shirley Medea Plumb (93) was ‘the type of accident that can happen to each and every one of us’, said acting senior coroner Paul Smith at the resumed inquest into her death.

Mrs Plumb misjudged the first step of a flight of five and fell down them.

The incident took place in the Old Coach House Antiques Centre in Aswell Street, Louth, on February 23.

The hearing at Boston Coroner’s Court last Thursday (November 1) was told that Mrs Plumb – described by her GP, Dr Patricia Stovin, as a ‘friendly and wise person’ and a ‘delightful lady’ – had arranged to meet an upholsterer in the antiques centre.

The two of them were talking in the rear of the shop when Mrs Plumb, of Northolme Court, Louth, went to move down the short flight of stairs.

As she passed her walking stick from one hand to the other in order to use the handrail, she misjudged the location of the handrail and fell, twisting her body and banging her head. She suffered a fractured skull and subsequent bleed in the brain.

The condition of Mrs Plumb, who was on the anti-coagulant drug apixaban, slowly declined in hospital and she died on March 5.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, Mr Smith said: “Mrs Plumb was on medication to thin her blood for atrial fibrillation.

“By definition, if one has a bleed, the consequences of that are often more severe.”

Health and safety officers at East Lindsey District Council conducted an investigation and found the stairs in the shop to be properly lit and the top step marked with black and yellow hazard warning tape.

Visit the Louth Leader homepage to find out about Mrs Plumb’s star-studded background on the big screen and how she transformed a Woodhall Spa hotel.