Family Issue Plea To Former Power Station Workers
The family of an engineer from Scotland are calling on his former English workmates to come forward and help in their search for answers following his death from asbestos-related disease.
Thomas Madden (known as Peter), 93, died on 8 March 2020 from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lungs associated with asbestos exposure.
Prior to his death, Peter’s family instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate if he encountered asbestos during his engineering career in Newcastle and Birmingham.
The advanced nature of his illness meant Peter was unable to supply his family with full details of his work history. Having moved to Ayrshire in 1967, the family now hope an appeal to Peter’s former workmates in England will help them fill in the blanks.
The family are keen to trace anyone who remembers Peter from his time working at C A Parsons, in Heaton, Newcastle in the 1940s and when the firm sent him to Leicester Power Station.
Peter also worked at Hams Hall Power Station in the late 40s, followed by Nechells Power Station from around 1949 to 1952. A second period at both Birmingham power stations occurred in 1956 to 1966, when he was working on his Higher National Certificate (HNC).
Expert Opinion"Peter’s family are understandably devastated by his death and the manner of it and wish to discover what led him into contact with the asbestos that claimed his life.
“The family believe his exposure to asbestos occurred early in his career while working in Newcastle and Birmingham, but Peter was too ill to provide them with all the details.
“It would mean a lot to the family if anyone who remembers Peter and the nature of his working conditions could come forward. With the family living in Scotland, any information Peter’s ex-colleagues in England can provide, no matter how small, could prove crucial to the investigation.” Roger Maddocks - Partner
Peter was attending King Edward Boarding School in Hampshire when war broke out in 1939. When the school closed, his parents agreed he could become an apprentice at CA Parsons in Heaton, Newcastle when he was 16.
Having served his time as an apprentice, including on the factory floor, Parsons sent him to work at Leicester Power station after he had completed his national service. Peter was in the parachute regiment and served time in Palestine before returning to complete his apprenticeship.
From Parsons, he moved to work at the power stations in Birmingham. He married his wife, Betty, 91, in 1950 and she understands his apprenticeship was complete by 1952.
From 1952, Peter and Betty spent several years in Canada and the United States before returning to Nechells to finish his engineering qualifications.
In 1967 the family moved to Scotland and as they are not aware of any asbestos exposure in his roles from 1952 onwards, they believe he must have encountered the substance earlier in his career. Peter leaves behind wife Betty, two daughters and his two grandchildren.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Peter’s daughter, Louise Hughes, said: “Losing dad to mesothelioma in this way was a terrible experience for us all, but mum in particular.
Dad was too ill at the end to really say what he had been doing in his early career so it would be a huge help if anyone who remembers dad from the time could help us put the picture together.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Chloe Mclaren at Irwin Mitchell's Newcastle office on 0191 434 07 04 or email firstname.lastname@example.org