Family of Ashton woman appealing for information from former work colleagues following asbestos cancer death

THE family of a retired office worker from Tameside who died from asbestos cancer earlier this year is appealing for information from former colleagues to discover how she could have developed the disease.


Kathleen Stockton from Ashton went to hospital last September after experiencing chest pains.


She underwent a series of tests and was told she was suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos decades previously.

Following her diagnosis, Kathleen instructed legal experts to look into how she could have come into contact with asbestos during the course of her employment.


Kathleen’s family and her legal team are now appealing to people who worked with her at the two Rediffusion shops in Ashton during the 1960s and 1970s and Dolans Corrugated Containers Limited in Stalybridge and can recall the conditions they worked in.


They would also like to hear from anybody who was involved in the build and fit out of the Rediffusion shop in the Ladysmith shopping precinct.


Katina London, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Kathleen’s family, said: “Kathleen’s loved ones are understandably devastated by her death and are keen to know how she could have developed mesothelioma.

“Kathleen’s family needs to know whether her cancer could have been caused by exposure to asbestos at her workplace.


“We would be grateful if any of her former colleagues or contractors who worked at the Rediffusion shops or Dolans would come forward to help with our ongoing investigation.”

Kathleen first worked as a finance clerk in the Rediffusion shop on Stamford Street in the mid- 1960s when most customers rented their TV sets.


A new Rediffusion shop was opened in the Ladysmith shopping precinct in Ashton in the late 1960s where Kathleen was a sales assistant until the early 1970s.


Prior to her death, she recalled: “The ceiling tiles of the store were taken down on a fairly frequent basis in order to replace tubes in the strip lighting.


“The tiles were filthy with debris, and I can remember it being dusty when the tiles were removed.


“I was working underneath the ceiling when the labourers removed the strip lighting, replaced the tube, and cleaned and washed the tiles.


“I think it’s possible that there may have been asbestos in the ceiling as I understand it was found in another store which was constructed in the precinct at the same time.”


Kathleen worked for Dolans at Knowl Street from 1971/72 to 1977/78 as a clerk in the payroll department at their factory.


Kathleen commented: “There was always maintenance and repair work being carried out in the factory and this may have involved the disturbance of asbestos.


“I had to go out on the factory floor every day and the atmosphere was very dusty.”


Kathleen, 81, was married to husband Roy, 81, for 59 years.


The couple have one daughter, Deborah, 58, and two grandsons, Shaun, 28, and James, 26.


Roy said: “We were absolutely devastated by Kathleen’s death from mesothelioma. It has had a profound effect on our lives.


“Kathleen spent several weeks in hospital as she had to have a chest drain inserted to drain her lung, and she lost over two-and-a-half stone in weight.


“It would have been our diamond wedding anniversary on September 17 and it was a very sad day without Kathleen by my side.


“While I cannot turn back the clock and change what happened, I am thankful for all the support I have had as I simply wouldn’t have got through the past few months without my family.


“All I can hope for now is the answers I need as to how Kathleen developed this horrible illness.”


Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Katrina London on 0161 838 7262 or by e-mail at


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