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John BrydenThe widow of a joiner who died of asbestos-related cancer at the end of last year has joined with legal experts to appeal to his former workmates from three employers in the 1960s and 1970s to come forward and help her gain justice regarding his death.

Father-of-one John Bryden, who lived in Keighley, died aged 73 in November, last year, of mesothelioma – the cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos materials – just over a year after he first developed symptoms including chest pains and breathlessness.

The latest figures released by the Health and Safety Executive show that since 1981, over 2,000 people in West Yorkshire have lost their lives to mesothelioma.

Shortly before he passed away, John instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came to develop the illness and whether more should have been done to protect him from contact with asbestos.

Now, with John’s wife Susan, 70, continuing with the legal battle in his memory, the lawyers are appealing for anyone who worked at three of John’s old employers to come forward and help them gather information regarding the presence of the material.

They are specifically keen for details on the conditions he would have faced while working for Magnet Joinery in two spells from 1961 to 1967 and 1971 to 1975, as well as for Whitaker & Co (Denholme) Ltd between 1967 and 1969 and for Sir Lindsey Parkinson & Co Ltd whilst working on the construction of Booth Wood Reservoir between 1968 and 1970.

John’s work for Magnet Joinery involved undertaking joinery at a range of sites and he recalled using asbestos rope during the work.

In contrast, during his time at Whitaker & Co (Denholme) Ltd he worked at a joinery factory where the cutting of asbestos sheeting and other materials took place.

Finally, when he worked on the construction of Booth Wood reservoir he helped to construct concrete shuttering out of asbestos.

Oliver Collett, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Susan, said: “Through our work we have seen numerous examples of how exposure to asbestos can have devastating consequences on workers, with such cases often revolving around industrial environments or the construction industry.”

“Sadly we were only able to very briefly speak to John prior to his death, so we are keen to develop a clearer understanding of the working conditions he would face while working for these companies. Any support could prove vital in our efforts to get his family the justice they deserve.”

Susan Bryden said: “It was very difficult to see how mesothelioma affected John in the final months of his life and all of our friends and family still miss him so much every day.

“While we know nothing will ever bring him back, we are determined to continue with this legal battle to honour his memory and get the answers that he always deserved regarding his illness.

“If anyone can come forward and provide information regarding the presence of asbestos at any of these employers it would be hugely appreciated.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Oliver Collett at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 394 6784 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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