Information Sought On Former Barclays Bank Employee’s Time at Darlington Cattle Market And In The Bank’s Premises
The family of an ex-bank worker from Darlington are appealing to her former colleagues for help in discovering how the grandmother came into contact with the asbestos that claimed her life.
Mary Henry from Darlington was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following her diagnosis, Mary instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate if her illness could be linked to her work history, but sadly she died before her case concluded.
The 81-year-old’s family, including husband Maurice, have now joined their legal team to continue the search for answers in her memory. They are keen to trace anyone who worked with Mary during her time at Barclays Bank and its predecessor Martins Bank from 1958 to 1979 at either of the bank’s premises on the corner of High Row and Post House Wynd or on Tubwell Road, or who worked with Mary in Darlington’s Cattle Market.
Expert Opinion“Understandably Mary’s family remain devastated by her death from this terrible disease. Mary put up a real fight for her life and was determined to discover the truth about her asbestos exposure. However, she sadly died before she could see her case concluded.
“While many people may associate asbestos with heavy industry its use was much more widespread. A number of public buildings including schools, hospitals, offices and banks all contained the hazardous material.
"Mary and her family have so many unanswered questions about how she may have encountered asbestos and want to honour her memory by establishing the answers Mary wanted.
"If anyone who remembers working with her could come forward with information, it could prove a big help to the investigation.” Emma Bell, Senior Associate Solicitor
Mary worked for Martins Bank in Darlington from January 1958. The bank was bought by Barclays Bank in 1969 and the Darlington Branch moved premises to Tubwell Row in 1971. During her time with the bank, Mary was required to work at Darlington Cattle Market on Clifton Road one day a week, to assist the farmers with their banking.
Following her diagnosis Mary believed the old Cattle Market roofs may have contained asbestos. She also believed she may have come into contact with tradesmen who came into the bank with asbestos dust on their clothes.
Away from work, Mary was a devoted wife and mother to son Matthew, 43, and together with Maurice, loved spending time with grandchildren Isaac, Adam and Owen.
From Christmas time Mary began to notice that she was feeling breathless. She went to her GP and began to undergo various investigations which led to her being diagnosed with mesothelioma on 8 April this year. Unfortunately Mary’s condition deteriorated rapidly after her diagnosis and she died at the beginning of June.
Maurice said: “Losing Mary was a terrible shock. She had always been so fit and well prior to her diagnosis and none of us saw this coming.
“Mary was the best wife, mother and grandmother anyone could wish for and our lives can simply never be the same without her.
“Mary was committed to understanding how she was exposed to asbestos and that, plus her fight not to leave her family, kept her going through the diagnosis. She thought working at Barclays Bank was the one place she may have encountered asbestos and former colleagues may well know more.
“If anyone can come forward and help us with what they remember, we’d be so grateful. Doing this in Mary’s memory keeps me going and being able to finish the work she started will play a big part in being able to see our wonderful Mary rest in peace.”
Anyone with information that could help Maurice and the family is asked to contact Stephanie Denham at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell on 0191 434 0731 or Stephanie.Denham@IrwinMitchell.com