Annie Taylor was a 16 year-old Mill Girl employed at a cotton waste mill owned by Messrs Sieff and Beaumont of Greengate, Salford. On 17th January 1929, she fell down a chute with fatal consequences.
The Salford City Reporter of 21st June 1929 recorded the Inquest of this complicated story, which was attended by Factory Inspector Miss E.G.K. Cox. The first witness was Annie's father, George Taylor of Artisans' Dwellings, Greengate, Salford. On 17th January, Annie came home from work and complained of her back hurting. She said she fell through a hole in the floor and hurt her back against the edge of the hole. She was emptying some material down it at the time. George examined her back and found a swelling. A doctor ordered her to Salford Royal Hospital for an X-ray examination and she attended there for a month. On 19th February she was removed to Salford Union Infirmary (Hope Hospital) where she died at 1.10 am on 10th June. She did not return to work after the accident. She had never complained about her work.
Janet Morton, of Bury Street Salford, a cotton felt sorter employed at the mill said that on 17th January, she was on the second floor of the warehouse when she noticed the deceased had fallen, feet first down the chute. She had worked there fifteen months and was concerned that there was no guard around the hole.
Edith Goodier of Montague Street, Pendleton, another employee, said before the accident occurred she saw the deceased carrying a box of rags towards a bin in the floor with the object of sending them down the chute. In answering the Coroner, Edith said they had lids to cover the open holes when they weren't actually using them. We cover the holes when we go home at night, but they are open during the day. We kneel down by the side, sorting. Edith said she had worked there three and a half years and not known anyone else to fall down a bin. There was nothing to cause slipping and those working at the bins never used their feet in sending the rags down the holes.
Morris Lister of Edward Street, Broughton, Foreman, said when the girl came to him and said she had fallen, he told her to sit down and rest, which she did. The bin in question was a piece cut out of the floor and there were several of them on this particular floor They were used for shooting rags down to a lower floor. He said that it would not be very convenient for working to put ledges around each hole. Some time later, he found her working and asked how she was. She said she was alright so he did not make a report in the accident book. However, she did not return to work after dinner.
Dr R.N.Walker, Assistant Medical Officer at Salford Union Infirmary said that when admitted on 19th February, Annie Taylor was suffering from tuberculosis of the lower part of the spinal column. There was a sharp curvature of the vertebrae and there was some evidence of pressure on the spinal cord. Her condition was fair, but her physique struck the witness as being below that of a girl of her age. She did not improve under treatment and gradually sank and died at 1.10 am on 10th June. The cause of death was tuberculosis of the spine. It was an established fact that violence affecting the spine might lead to the development of tuberculosis in the spine. It seemed to him quite likely that the injury in the back may have led to the tuberculosis. It was plain that the disease was latent until the girl met with the accident.
Summing up, the Coroner said he did not think there could be any doubt in the minds of the Jury whether or not the injury was the direct cause of the tuberculosis. He did not think that there was any negligence on the part of the firm. The verdict was "Death due to tuberculosis of the spine, accelerated by an injury to the spine, caused by falling down a bin at a cotton waste mill where she was employed".
The funeral of Annie Taylor took place at Weaste Cemetery on 15th June 1929. She was interred in a common grave in the Roman Catholic portion, with Father L. Delaney officiating.