Sheffield Man Appeals For Former Colleagues Help

Witnesses Sought Following Mesothelioma Diagnosis


A Sheffield man is calling for the help of former colleagues after being diagnosed with a terminal cancer of the lung lining, mesothelioma.

Roy Ashforth, 72, from Birley in Sheffield, is believed to have contracted the cancer as a result of being exposed to asbestos during his previous jobs in the steel industry. Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell is appealing for anybody who believes they may have worked with Mr Ashforth at Arthur Balfour & Co Ltd, Keeton Sons & Co Ltd or Flather Bright Steels Ltd to contact them to help support Mr Ashforth with his legal claim

Mr Ashforth worked as a Hammer Driver for Arthur Balfour & Co Ltd, based on Greenland Road in Sheffield, between 1952 and 1955. Whilst working here he was exposed to asbestos lagging on the pipes which supplied steam to each hammer. After a spell in the armed forces he returned to the company as a furnace man in 1957, and continued to be exposed to asbestos for three years until he left in 1960.

Mr Ashforth also believes he was exposed to asbestos when he worked at Keeton, Sons & Co Ltd  between 1968 and 1972, when he was employed as an engineers mate and was required to drill blocks of Tufnol, which was a material used on the machinery manufactured by the company.. Keeton Sons & Co Ltd, were also based on Greenland Road, Sheffield.

He then went to work for Flather Bright Steels Ltd, based on Sheffield Road in Tinsley, where he worked as a Centreless Turner between 1973 and 1984. The roof of the factory was made from corrugated asbestos, and Mr Ashforth was exposed to asbestos again, when working in the vicinity of others performing maintenance work to the roof. 

Mr Ashforth said: “No one ever warned us about the dangers of working with asbestos or told us that it was harmful. However more and more people are now finding out the hard way what an awful disease mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases are. 

“There are some great campaigns around raising awareness of mesothelioma but there is always more that can be done and there needs to be more research so that we are better placed to help sufferers in the future.”

Helen Ashton, from the industrial illness team at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive lung cancer which is fatal in the majority of cases. It causes great suffering to the victim and their families”.

“We are trying to trace former colleagues of Mr Ashworth’s from Arthur Balfour & Co Ltd, Keeton & Sons Ltd and Flather Bright Steels Ltd to help out with our enquiries.”

Anybody with any relevant information about any of the three companies should contact Helen Ashton on 01142 744545 or email