Information Sought On Abbeycraft Furniture Following Waltham Abbey Man’s Mesothelioma Death
The family of a former electrician and maintenance man are appealing to his former workmates for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Alan Parkes, from Waltham Abbey, Essex, died aged 81 from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis, Alan had instructed asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and if it could be linked to his work history. However, he died before he could see his case concluded.
Alan’s daughter Kate Capelli, 35, is now helping her mum Carol Parkes, 68 continue the search for answers in his memory.
Kate and Carol have joined the legal team in appealing for any of Alan’s former workmates to come forward with information. They are keen to trace anyone who worked with Alan at Abbeycraft Furniture at the firm’s two sites at Waltham Abbey and Waltham Cross from 1968 to 1993.
Expert Opinion“Alan’s death has left Carol and the couple’s children in a state of shock.
“Alan had some thoughts on how he may have encountered asbestos, but the progression of his mesothelioma robbed him of the chance to see his case concluded and left his family to live with their grief and a lot of unanswered questions.
“Sadly our work means we come across many families whose lives have been turned upside down by mesothelioma and we’re determined to support Kate and Carol as they seek the answers the need concerning Alan’s exposure to asbestos.
“The family would be so grateful if Alan’s ex-workmates could contact us with any information that could help our enquiries. It could make all the difference in providing them with the answers they deserve so they can try and move on from a traumatic period in their lives.” Ian Bailey - Partner
Alan worked for Abbeycraft Furniture for 25 years, from 1968 to 1993 as an electrician and maintenance man. In the 1970s, Alan recalled helping with the firm’s move from the old site in Waltham Abbey to Waltham Cross. The Waltham Cross factory was contained in a much older building, formerly occupied by a paintbrush manufacturer.
One of Alan’s tasks involved connecting and installing the woodworking machinery, in addition to any other cleaning and maintenance work required. This included everything from dealing with the light fittings in the building to fixing the roof.
Alan would regularly find himself drilling through walls, working in ceiling voids and being covered in dust in the process. Looking back, Alan believed this could have included asbestos dust. The factory closed down several years ago.
Alan married Carol in 1976 and the couple had a son and daughter, Kate and Jamie.
In good health prior to his mesothelioma diagnosis, Alan always had an interest in football, playing regularly as a younger man for Greenbury United and in his later years continued to follow the game closely.
In October of 2020, Alan started to have symptoms and went to see his GP. Following extensive investigations, he was diagnosed with the asbestos cancer in late 2020. Post diagnosis, his health declined and he died on 9 January, 2022.
Kate said: “Dad suffered hugely following his diagnosis. He was ill all throughout the Covid period and had such a huge amount to cope with.
“It was terrible to see my father suffer at the end of his life and he did not deserve to have this terrible disease rob him of his final years with us. He wanted the truth and that’s something we can still help to find out.
“On behalf of my mum and our family, I would appeal to anyone who is able to assist with their recollections of my father’s time working for Abbeycraft. Us being able to understand how he was exposed to asbestos means so much to our family. It won’t bring Dad back but only once we know how he was exposed will it mean that we can properly lay my father’s memory to rest.”
Anyone with information that could help Kate and Carol is asked to contact Ian Bailey at Irwin Mitchell 0207 421 4754 or email email@example.com