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Asbestos information needed from employees of Parks Steel Works and Eden Vale Creamery

Asbestos cancer case - Parks Steel Works & Eden Vale Creamery


Joan Maddock of Weaverham, Northwich died on 15 October 2005 of cancer caused by asbestos. Joan was 67. She had a bad fall in the garden in December 2004 and broke her collarbone. Not long after that she started to suffer with severe chest pain and breathlessness. She grew weak and tired over the following months. Joan and her family put her illness down to her fall at first and were shocked to find out after her death that Joan had been suffering with asbestos cancer.

Doctors treating Joan had struggled to find the cause of her illness whilst she was alive. Joan herself had no idea that she had the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. She leaves behind a loving partner Oliver Holland and children. Oliver lived with Joan at their house in Weaverham where they had shared 23 happy years together. Joan's daughter, also called Joan, cared for her at home during her illness. Before her illness Oliver and Joan enjoyed holidays in Lanzarote together and walks with their dog. Joan had worked for many years as a carer at Willsbury Retirement Home in Hartford looking after the elderly.

All the family have been devastated by Joan's death. Oliver her partner says, I was very close to Joan and we lived for each other. I try to make a bit of a life for myself since she died. I take the dog for a walk in the woods. I have good neighbours. I have not felt myself since she died. I honestly cannot say how I will carry on without Joan.

Cancer caused by asbestos mesothelioma

Joan had a type of cancer caused by asbestos mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs and there are 2,000 cases diagnosed each year. It is invariably fatal and does not respond well to treatment. Over 90% of cases of mesothelioma are caused by known asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma deaths continue to rise each year. The number of deaths is expected to peak at up to 2,500 deaths per year over the next 10 years.

Joan's family would like to know more about how she came into contact with asbestos at work. They did not have the chance to talk this through with Joan as she had no idea that her illness was an asbestos cancer. The family are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Joan's family have asked specialist asbestos solicitor Geraldine Coombs of Irwin Mitchell based in Manchester to find out more about how Joan came into contact with asbestos. Geraldine says, Joan's family were shocked to receive a phone call from the coroner's office after her death telling them she had asbestos cancer. Oliver wishes he had been able to talk to Joan about how she came into contact with asbestos at work but she died before he had the chance. We are appealing for anyone with information about how Joan came into contact with asbestos to get in touch. Joan is very much missed by her family and they would like to send their sympathy and thoughts to any other families who are coping with asbestos disease.


Parks Steel Works, Northwich 1950s

When she was about 15 years old Joan went to work at Parks Steelworks on Manchester Road in Northwich. Parks Steelworks was a big employer in those days employing about 100 staff. Joan worked in the canteen serving dinners to the workers there from 1953 to 1955.

Did you work at Parks Steelworks in the 1950s? Do you remember Joan or do you remember asbestos in the steelworks?

Eden Vale Creamery, Cuddington 1970s

Joan also worked for Eden Vale of Warrington Road, Cuddington, between 1974 and 1977 when she was in her late 30s. The Eden Vale creamery made yoghurts, milk and cheese.

Did you work at Eden Vale creamery in the 1970s? Do you remember Joan or do you remember asbestos in the creamery?


If you can help with information for the family about how Joan came into contact with asbestos please will they contact us on 0161 925 5517 or email geraldine.coombs@irwinmitchell.com