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Former Wincanton metal worker appeals for help following asbestos disease diagnosis

Thursday 9 April 2020, 21:45
By Deborah Bartlett

Christopher Durrant, former sheet metal worker at Wincanton Transport & Engineering

Christopher Durrant, a former sheet metal worker from Yeovil, has issued an emotional appeal for help from his ex-work colleagues after being diagnosed with mesothelioma; an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Christopher (74 years) worked for Wincanton Transport & Engineering between 1960 and 1970, starting as an apprentice, producing various metal items. He recalls using an asbestos-based textile material while welding and asks if anyone can recall the use of this or any other asbestos materials at Wincanton. 

Later he joined Delaney Gallay, based at Hinkley Point B between 1970 and 1973, working primarily in the reactor hall area. He was involved in the installation of the exterior metal work on the reactor shell which had been lagged with insulating materials before he welded metal sheets on top. 

Christopher is asking for help from former colleagues who may remember the insulating materials used on site and if those materials contained asbestos. He also worked among skilled tradespeople, so any additional information about any other asbestos materials used on site would also be very helpful.

Following his devastating diagnosis, Christopher instructed specialist asbestos disease solicitor Graeme Chisholm, from Novum Law in Bristol, to help him find out how he was exposed to the deadly asbestos fibres which have caused his mesothelioma.

“Christopher was fit, healthy and active and enjoying his retirement until he began to feel unwell, suffering bouts of severe breathlessness. At first, his doctor thought he had an infection on his lungs but further investigations and a biopsy revealed that unfortunately he had mesothelioma.

“This is a very serious disease that causes significant suffering for those affected and their families. It typically develops around 20 to 30 years after prolonged exposure to asbestos dust and fibres but it can take up to 60 years to contract the terminal cancer. Sadly, more than 2,600 people die each year from mesothelioma, just by going about their daily working lives.”

 - Graeme Chisholm, Novum Law, Bristol

Graeme and his team are keen to hear from anyone who worked at Wincanton Transport & Engineering in the 1960s and 1970s, and in particular, anyone who may remember using asbestos-based textile materials during the welding process, or any other asbestos materials at the company. They would also like to hear from anyone who worked for Delaney Gallay or any other company at Hinkley Point B around the same time and recalls the use of asbestos products and materials.

“We are really hoping this appeal for information will help us get answers for Christopher and his family. Sadly, Christopher’s case is similar to a large number of cases we are working on, in which individuals have gone on to develop serious, life-limiting diseases due to asbestos exposure several decades previously. We’re determined to understand how Christopher developed this horrible disease and whether more should have been done to help him.”

If you have any information that may assist Christopher and his family, no matter how small, please call Novum Law on 0333 010 2268, or email Graeme Chisholm at .


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