Former mayor takes a bit of a “purler” after he trips on his shoelaces and knocks himself out at showman’s guild reception
10:59 04 March 2014
Former mayor Jonathan Farmer was knocked unconscious and spent the night in hospital after tripping on a shoelace during the annual showman’s guild reception at Wisbech council chamber.
Cllr Farmer said he remembers little of what happened only that he woke up in a hospital ward the following morning.
“Basically what happened was that I tripped on the stairs inside the town hall,” he said. “I didn’t fall far but obviously enough to knock me out. I have only myself and these stupid shoes to blame. Every time I wear them the laces come undone and they did so spectacularly on this occasion.”
Cllr Farmer described the fall as “taking a purler” which happened as he went down a flight of stairs from the council chamber to the gents toilet.
“I know I fell awkwardly,” he said. “The ambulance people had to cut my jacket and shirt to tend to me.”
He was accompanied to hospital by his wife Susanah, the acting town clerk, and town mayor Councillor Sam Hoy also travelled separately to the Queen Elizabeth hospital at Kings Lynn.
“I know they did a head scan and X rayed my hand but other than that I’m fine,” he said today.
The annual reception which he attended is traditionally hosted by the mayor to launch the start of the fun fair which is held twice yearly in the town.
“I do remember discussing with some guests old Lillian Ream photographs of the fair which were on display,” he said. “It was an interesting time since many of the showmen’s relatives were on some of the photographs taken in Wisbech many years ago.
“I remember saying to someone I had to go the toilet and rather embarrassingly fell from the third step on the way back. That’s all I do remember.”
Cllr Farmer, 56, and awaiting trial for possession of a firearm, said he couldn’t recall precisely what time he fell.
“I know the reception had already started when I arrived,” he said. “I didn’t leave a council meeting at Fenland Hall, March, until 7pm so it was some time after that – probably around 8pm- when I got there. It was a pleasant enough evening and good company but I hadn’t had much to drink – just a glass or two of wine.”
Last week Cllr Farmer came under fire from police chiefs after accusing them of not doing enough to tackle street drinking and claimed these were offences police “cannot be bothered to enforce”.
Cllr Farmer said: “I know some think I had been drinking but in reality I had very little that night. Though I suppose it is a bit embarrassing to realise my fall was caused by shoe laces not being tied up properly.”