‘My wife saved my life’: Incredible story of pensioner’s near-death experience with well in his back garden

Eileen and John Ridgway by the well
Eileen and John Ridgway by the well

A pensioner has spoken of how he almost fell down a 50 foot well in his back garden - only to be saved by his wife.

John Ridgway was removing some weeds in the brickwork of the well, located in the back garden of his home in Abbotts Road, Aylesbury on Friday when disaster nearly struck.

Mr Ridgway, 75, said: “I was pulling some weeds out of the brickwork at the top and I reached in a bit further than I should have.

“The next thing I knew I was hanging head first down the well.

“My wife Eileen was working behind me and she managed to grab onto my calf to stop me falling in further.

“Because the brickwork was dry I was able to get a grip and manoeuvre myself to safety.”

Mr Ridgway, who has terminal throat cancer, said he couldn’t remember exactly what his wife’s first words were to him after the ordeal but said he got a bit of a rollicking.

He added: “My wife used to work on a farm and helped with moving hay so she was able to cope.

“Most other woman would have needed to get help and would’ve let go so I’d have been a gonner!

“If we had both fallen in, we probably wouldn’t have been found for years!”

Mr Ridgway said he had not managed to definitely find out why there is such a deep well at the bottom of the garden, but historical records suggest it was because the property was once owned by Lord Tindal.

He said: “What is now our garage was where we think Lord Tindal kept his horses.

“The horses would then drink water from the well.”

Mr Ridgway said his back hurt after the ordeal and added it was ‘a bit of a shock.’