Lancashire Woman Looking For Answers After Mother’s Asbestos-Related Death

Industrial Disease Lawyers Investigating Colne Woman’s Workplace Asbestos Exposure


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The devastated daughter of a Lancashire woman is appealing for former work colleagues of her mother to come forward to help an investigation into how she was exposed to the asbestos dust and fibres that caused her death from mesothelioma.

Maureen Howlett, formerly Maureen Dunn, from Colne, was just 70 when she died from the disease in December 2014, just a week after she was told she had cancer. Even at that stage she was unaware of the fact that the cancer was mesothelioma, an asbestos related condition, which was only discovered after her death.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos decades before symptoms begin to show

Now, her daughter, Jeanette Hodkinson, 52, had instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the circumstances in which her mother was exposed to asbestos. 

She told her legal team that her mother worked as a weaver for the Stonebridge Cotton Manufacturing Company at the Broughton Mill between 1961 and 1962 and then again between 1964 and 1967, before moving on to be employed by the GPO in the  telephone exchange in Colne between 1967 and 1970.

Jeanette believes her mother was exposed to asbestos while working as a weaver at Broughton Mill or when working as a telephone switchboard operator at the Colne telephone exchange.

Mark Aldridge, an expert lawyer specialising in asbestos-related disease claims at Irwin Mitchell representing Jeanette, said: 

Jeanette said: “My mum had been ill since May 2014 but it was only a few days before her death that the doctors found out that she had developed mesothelioma. It was terrible to watch her struggle on and not to know what was making her so unwell.

“She was extremely ill and suffered horrific pains and breathlessness, which really affected her later life. We are looking to her former colleagues for information on how she was exposed to the dust and fibres and what measures, if any, were taken to protect her and her colleagues from the dangers posed by the material.

“We would urge anyone with details on the Stonebridge Cotton Manufacturing Company’s Broughton Mill or the Telephone Exchange in Colne to come forward and help us find the answers we need about mum’s death.”

Anybody with any information about the companies should contact Mark Aldridge at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0113 394 6757 or at