Former Pontefract Miner Diagnosed With Terminal Asbestos-Related Cancer

Irwin Mitchell Instructed To Investigate Working Conditions At West Yorkshire Collieries


A former miner is appealing to his former work mates to come forward to help him in his fight for justice following his diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Tom Dixon, from Kinsley, in Pontefract, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a cancer affecting the lining of the lungs that is caused by exposure to asbestos, in July this year.

The 85-year-old was a miner all his life after leaving school in 1944. He worked at the Hemsworth pit between 1944 and 1969. He then went onto work at Kirkby Colliery until 1977 and ended his career at Newhill Seam at South Kirkby Colliery in 1984.

Tom instructed specialist industrial illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure to asbestos during his working life and hopes that his former colleagues will come forward with any information to help with the investigation.

Mark Aldridge, Tom's solicitor, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer that usually manifests itself decades after exposure takes place. It causes immeasurable harm to the victims and their families at a time when they should be enjoying their retirement after years of hard work.

“We know that Tom was exposed to asbestos down the mines, but we really need the help of his former work colleagues to build a complete picture of the conditions he and others endured and what steps, if any, were taken to protect the miners from exposure to this deadly material.”

Tom, who is a father-of-five and grandfather-of-10, said: “It was a massive shock to find out that I had mesothelioma. I have suffered from problems with my chest for years because of the effects of breathing in coal dust, but I never expected that things could get any worse. Since February 2015 however, the problems caused by the mesothelioma have made things much worse. I have had a drain inserted in my back to draw off the fluid that builds up in my chest. It is terrible.

“I know that the only place I was exposed to asbestos was during my time working underground. It is difficult to get my head round that I have developed this condition from just going to work and to think that not only my health but other friends, who I worked with for years, are at risk is terrible.

“I am just hopeful that some of my old mates will see this appeal and will come forward to help my legal team at Irwin Mitchell to piece together the full picture of the exposure.”

Anyone with any information about the working conditions at any of the collieries is asked to contact Mark Aldridge at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6757 or email

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.