This week 60 years ago: Hornsey Rise man dies after swallowing meat bone, while Canonbury greengrocer battles a snake

Islington Gazette: July 5, 1957

Islington Gazette: July 5, 1957 - Credit: Archant

A Hornsey Rise man died after accidentally swallowing a meat bone while he was enjoying a meal.

John White, 63, of Hornsey Road, died during surgery to remove the bone at the Royal Northern Hospital.

Coroner W. Purchase recorded “accidental death” at a St Pancras Coroner’s Court inquest, after a pathologist claimed sudden death during the operation wouldn’t have occurred without the bone having already done the damage.

Meanwhile, a greengrocer had an unwelcome guest in a delivery bag of South African oranges: a 2ft snake.

George Grafton, who worked at a shop in Southgate Road, Canonbury, tried to move the reptile when it made a sudden dart at his hand. It narrowly missed him.


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Mr Grafton managed to get the snake, dark green with white spots, in a box. He called London Zoo, which advised: “Don’t touch it. It is probably poisonous.”

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