The fatal fall of set-builder Joe

TRIBUTES have been paid to “committed family man” Joseph Wood, who died after a theatre accident.

Mr Wood, 72, from Ogden, Halifax, lost his life to a head injury after falling down stairs while working on the set of A Woman Of No Importance at Halifax Playhouse. He was taken to Calderdale Royal Hospital but slipped into a coma and died on August 26.

Coroner Roger Whittaker recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “Although no one saw what happened, it’s clear he fell downstairs.”

After the inquest, his widow, Patricia, said: “He was a very much a Yorkshireman, a committed family man and very knowledgeable and active. If you wanted to know how to fix something, you would go to Joe.

“His commitment to the Playhouse was nothing to do with acting – it was about the set-building.”


Mr Wood came from an engineering background and set up Halifax-based Yorkshire Cleaning Fabrics with his brother Edward.

Joe was a director of the company, before selling it and retiring.

As well as being construction manager at the Playhouse, he also enjoyed beekeeping and making wine.

His son, Robert, said: “He liked set-building and although he retired from work he never quite made it to sitting down and putting his feet up.”

At the time of his fall, Mr Wood is believed to have hit a light fitting, although no one saw what happened.

He is then believed to have stumbled into the auditorium, where he was found sitting at the back.

Staff saw blood on his shirt and called an ambulance.