In the Births Marriages Deaths Register there is an entry for the death of a 47 year old woman in Pitsmoor, Sheffield

GILLOTT MABEL 47 Sheffield Volume 2d Page 31 - December 1956 quarter

But Mabel's death was reported in the London Times, In its edition dated 14th December 1956 it carried a report of an inquest that was held in Sheffield the previous day


The Coroner Mr Alan Lockwood was clearly agitated by the manner of Mabel's death. He was correct in stating that turpentine substitute was a toxic substance that was hazardous to health. Even in small quantities it can be dangerous. The report infers that Mabel only took small quantities but the fact that she died of acute liver failure suggests that she had been using a turpentine substitute as a dieting aid for quite a while. I do not know if this practice was widespread in post-war Britain but it is quite possible other people used it for the same purpose. In which case the Coroner's warning was very timely

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This page was last updated on 21/03/14 14:45