Relatives Asks Lawyers To Investigate As Information Sought On David Dixon and JD Johnstone
The children of a former cloth finisher from Leeds are appealing to his former workmates for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Neville Kirkham, from Kirkstall, died from mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos often decades previously.
Following their dad’s death aged 85, son and daughter, Nicholas and Joanne Kirkham, aged 58 and 55 instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their dad’s illness and if it was linked to his work history.
Ahead of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day on Friday, 28 April, Nicholas and Joanne have joined their legal team in appealing to any of Neville’s old workmates to come forward with information on the conditions he would have worked under.
They are keen to trace anyone who worked with their dad at J D Johnstone, Perseverance Mills, Kirkstall between 1961 and 1971 or at David Dixon and Son at Cardigan Mills, Kirkstall from 1971 to 1977.
Expert Opinion“Neville’s death from mesothelioma has left his family devastated and struggling to understand how the disease could have taken their dad from them so quickly.
“Our work means we support many families who have been torn apart by mesothelioma and we’re committed to working with Nicholas and Joanne in their search for the truth about their dad’s asbestos exposure.
“While nothing can bring Neville back, it would mean a lot to the family if anyone with information could get in contact. It could make all the difference to our enquiries and assist with providing some closure following what has been a difficult time for Nicholas and Joanne.” Lucy Andrews - Associate Solicitor
Born in 1936 on the Greenhow’s, just off Kirkstall road, Neville lived and worked in the region all his life. Once he was married, the family moved to Argie Road, moving to Woodside View in Kirkstall when daughter Joanne was born in 1968. The family moved to Raynville Avenue in Bramley when Joanne was nine in 1977.
In 1961 Neville went to work for JD Johnstone Ltd as a cloth finisher and spent the next ten years employed by the firm. From here he moved to David Dixon and Son in 1971 and spent the next six years at the firm in a similar role, before leaving in 1977. In both roles, Neville told his family he believed that the lagging covering pipes in his work area contained asbestos.
Neville had an allotment on Kirkstall road for many years which he loved tending but had to give up. In addition to his allotment, Neville remained fit and loved walking his dog as part of this. Neville’s other big interest was tinkering with cars, performing all his own servicing and repairs and he continued to attended night classes in motor vehicle technology.
In addition to his hobbies, Neville’s other great love was his family, which in recent years included his four grandchildren, who he loved to spend time with.
Neville was seldom ill in his life, with no past medical problems and rarely visited the doctor. He began to feel unwell in October 2021, becoming noticeably more tired and losing his appetite. His doctor sent him for a chest X-ray which revealed fluid on his lungs and he was given the shock diagnosis of mesothelioma in the same month.
Following his diagnosis, Neville’s condition deteriorated rapidly and he was referred to Wheatfields Hospice Neville died with his children by his side on 3 November, 2021.
Joanne said: “When dad was diagnosed with cancer, we simply couldn’t believe it. He was rarely ill and had always enjoyed good health. He was on great form prior to this final illness, so it was hard to accept that he was gone in so short a time.
“Dad was a great man and good company and we’d barely come to terms with his diagnosis when his condition began to deteriorate. It was awful to see. You feel so helpless in that situation and he didn’t deserve for his life to end in this way when he still had so much to live for.
“We just want to know how our dad came to be exposed to asbestos.
“If anyone who worked with dad could come forward, it would really help us complete the picture and help us answer the questions that remain about his asbestos exposure. It’s something dad wanted to do himself, but sadly he wasn’t given the time to see it though. Finding the answers he wanted is one last thing we can do in his memory.”
Anyone with information that could help Nicholas and Joanne is asked to contact Lucy Andrews at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6782 or email email@example.com
Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April remembers those who have died as a result of their employment, and campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace and increase protection for employees.