Information Sought On Working Conditions At Thorn EMI In Middlesex
The daughter of a former electronics engineer and director from Ilford is appealing to her dad’s former work colleagues for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
John Bright, 89, died less than a month after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following their dad’s death, daughters Sally Katz (60) and Suzanne Robinson (57), instructed asbestos-related disease specialists at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where their dad could have encountered asbestos.
The pair have now joined their legal team in appealing to any of John’s former workmates with details of his working conditions to come forward. John worked for EMI Electronics (later called Thorn EMI) in Feltham, Middlesex, and Hayes, Middlesex for 30 years, from 1955 to 1985.
Expert Opinion“John’s death has left Sally and Suzanne understandably devastated, and they are still coming to terms with their father’s death.”
“John was determined to get to the bottom of how he encountered asbestos, but he became too ill too quickly to put this into practice, so his family is continuing the investigation in his memory.”
“As part of our investigations we are keen to hear from any of John’s former colleagues at EMI Electronics or anyone who worked at the site. Any information could prove vital to the investigation and give the family answers and closure at what continues to be a very difficult time in their lives.” Paul Ramsay - Scottish Qualified Solicitor
Born in 1932, in Ilford, London, John married wife Shirley in 1956 and the couple had two children together, Sally Katz and her sister, Suzanne Robinson. The couple ultimately moved to live in Weybridge, Surrey, but John spent most of his working life in Middlesex.
John went to work for EMI Electronics in Feltham, Middlesex, and in Hayes, Middlesex, from 1955 until 1989. Initially employed as an electronics engineer in the missile fuse division, John also worked in both the radar and weapons divisions.
The company name changed to Thorn EMI in 1985, by which time John had risen to become director of Thorn EMI Technology in 1986. He retired in 1989.
Away from work, John was a keen hobbyist. As an electrical engineer he enjoyed mending items in and around the home - including the family car. He enjoyed gardening and was a member of the National Trust.
John started becoming breathless in November 2020 and as he began to lose weight, the family became increasingly concerned for his welfare. John’s symptoms were initially put it down to old age, but as they became worse, Sally insisted John see his GP in January 2021.
As John was the main carer for his wife, he was more focused on Shirley than himself. It was not until June 2021 that he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and he died less than a month later, on 4 July 2021.
In a double family tragedy, Shirley died shortly after her loving husband on 23 October 2021.
Speaking about her father and the appeal, Sally said: “Dad had been in good health prior to the end of 2020, so much so that he was able to act as Mum’s main carer. It was a real shock when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and it was awful to see how quickly he deteriorated, particularly when so soon after this, Mum was taken into a home knowing she wouldn’t return home”.
“Mum and Dad were inseparable and it’s so sad to see them both pass away so closely together.”
“Dad was a wonderful husband and a great dad. He cared for mum through thick and thin and took a big interest in my life and Suzanne’s and it’s so hard to accept he’s no longer there.”
“Dad didn’t deserve to face this terrible illness in his last days, having worked so hard and having been a loyal, caring husband and father. Nothing can bring dad back, but we are going to get to the bottom of this for him and if anyone out there does have any information that could help us, we would be so grateful.”
“Any detail his old workmates could give could be a big help in uncovering the truth of how he came to be exposed to the asbestos that left our wonderful dad to suffer in his final days.”
Anyone with information that could help Sally and the family is asked to contact Paul Ramsay at Irwin Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0370 1500 100.