Retired Draughtsman Appeals To Former Colleagues For Help After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Expert Industrial Disease Lawyers Investigating Asbestos Exposure


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A retired draughtsman is appealing to his former colleagues to come forward with the information he and his legal team at Irwin Mitchell needs about his exposure to asbestos decades ago, which caused him to develop mesothelioma, an incurable cancer of the lung lining.

Michael Trevor Stanley, 79, who was known to his co-workers as Trevor, originally from Plymouth was diagnosed in June 2015 with mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres, after suffering shortness of breath and chest pains.

He spent his early working life as an apprentice draughtsman at Blight & White Ltd, in Prince Rock, Plymouth between 1951 and 1956 where he believes he was exposed to asbestos while working on a number of sites in Plymouth and surrounding Devon and Cornwall.

Trevor, who now lives in Sawston, Cambridge, told his specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell that he was involved in the conversion of a settling tank to a compressor bay at the Lee Mills China Clay Works in Plymouth during his apprenticeship, which required him and his colleagues to cover a steel frame in corrugated asbestos sheeting.

He remembers cutting the asbestos sheets to size and that he was not provided with a breathing mask for protection during the work. Trevor also said he was never told of the risks of asbestos while working on the project. He also worked on a boat shed at the Devonport dockyard, which again resulted in him coming into contact with asbestos building materials.

After two years National Service between 1956 and 1958 Trevor returned to work at Blight & White Ltd as a qualified draughtsman until 1961 when he left to work for Modern Engineering (Bristol) Ltd who he worked with until 1964/65.

While at Modern Engineering (Bristol) Ltd his role included regeneration projects in Bristol to rebuild buildings damaged during the Second World War and he also worked on the construction of the Dragon Reactor power station at Winfrith Heath in Dorset as part of a three-year project.

During the construction of the Winfrith Heath power station Trevor recalls the installation of steel walkways and stairs and that he worked alongside other tradesmen, including laggers, who mixed asbestos paste and applied the material to pipework in the facility, a process which released asbestos dust and fibres into the atmosphere. He spent considerable time on site during this time checking the progress of the installation work.

Trevor, backed by his legal team at Irwin Mitchell, is now appealing for his former colleagues from Blight & White Ltd and Modern Engineering (Bristol) Limited and anyone who worked at Winfrith Heath on the Dragon Reactor power station during its construction to come forward with information about the presence of asbestos and the safety measures in place to protect members of staff from asbestos dust and fibres.

Phoebe Osborne, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“Exposure to asbestos can have extremely serious consequences decades down the line for anyone who inhales the deadly dust and fibres, leading to fatal diseases such as mesothelioma.

“The disease kills over 2,500 people every year in the UK and causes a significant amount of pain and suffering for victims, like Trevor. We are now investigating how Trevor was exposed to asbestos and if more could have been done to warn him of the dangers of the substance.

“He understandably wants to understand his exposure to asbestos, which led to him developing mesothelioma, and we are calling on his former colleagues to come forward so we can get the answers Trevor is looking for.”
Phoebe Osborne, Solicitor

Trevor, a grandfather-of-one, said: “My mesothelioma diagnosis was a complete shock to me and I am still struggling to come to terms with it. I have always been a keen traveller but the disease has caused a deterioration in my breathing and I now struggle to even walk short distances, so holidays have had to be cancelled.

“Thankfully, my son, his wife and my granddaughter live close by and come to see me as often as they can. I am relying more heavily on family and friends than I used to and I’m worried about what the future holds for me and my partner, Claire, as my condition worsens.

“Hopefully, my former colleagues will come forward with the information we need about the working conditions we were exposed to and the presence of asbestos at the sites we worked at.”

Anyone with information on working conditions at the projects undertaken by Blight & White and Modern Engineering Limited in the 1950s and 60s should contact Phoebe Osborne on 01223 791 821 or email

Our expert mesothelioma claims team will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.