Appeal For Information On Handley Page Ltd And K W Hawes Electrical Co Ltd
The family of a former aircraft window engineer are appealing to his ex-workmates for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
John Pullenger, of Telford, died from mesothelioma, a terminal form of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, often decades earlier.
Following the 83-year-old’s death, his family instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
John’s family and their legal team are now marking Global Asbestos Awareness Week by appealing for information about how he was exposed to the asbestos that claimed his life.
They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who worked for Handley Page Ltd aircraft manufacturers, where John was employed between 1953 and 1970. He worked at its Radlett Factory in Hertfordshire, starting as an apprentice airframe fitter before going on to become fully qualified. It later became Handley Page Aircraft Ltd and merged with Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd, before dissolving around 1970.
Information is also being sought on K W Hawkes Electrical Co Ltd, based in Perivale, Ealing, which employed John between 1971 and 1978. During his time with both companies, John recalled working with acrylic sheeting which he moulded into window frames using heatproof asbestos gloves which were “dusty to touch.”
Rajni Kandola, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “John’s death is yet another reminder of the terrible legacy asbestos has left behind with the majority of people diagnosed many years after their exposure took place.
“Understandably John’s loved ones have been left devastated by his death and still have a number of questions about what caused his illness.
“While nothing can make up for their loss we’re determined to provide the family with the answers they deserve.
“Therefore we would be grateful if anyone who worked at either of these companies could come forward with details on the working conditions they faced there. Any information could prove vital.”
John began to feel unwell around May 2018. Within one month, his mobility had decreased and he was suffering from shortness of breath, confusion and fatigue.
He underwent a series of tests and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2018. He died in November last year.
John was married to Pamela, 85. The couple had three daughters – Lisa, 52, Deborah, 51, and Nicola, 47 – as well as seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Pamela said: “It’s only been a few months since I lost John and it stills feels so raw.
“It was particularly difficult to watch him deteriorate, knowing there was nothing I could do to help. He was my soulmate and coming to terms with him no longer being here is heart breaking.
“While I can’t do anything to bring him back, the family still has so many questions about how he fell ill, and we would be so grateful if anyone could come forward with information that could help us honour John’s memory.”
Anyone with information about working conditions at either of these companies should contact Rajni Kandola on 01212 146584 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Asbestos Awareness Week runs from 1 to 7 April and aims to increase awareness of the dangers of asbestos and prevent exposure, including by families affected by the hazardous material telling their story.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases