Family of Harborough woman who died of asbestos cancer are trying to find her former workmates in their fight for justice

The family of a Market Harborough woman who died of asbestos cancer have put out an urgent SoS to her former workmates as they fight for justice.

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 4:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:07 pm
Elsie Brown

They are acting after much-loved Elsie Brown ended her life in agony after being struck down by mesothelioma.

The great-great-grandma was hit after working at her brother Cyril Brotherton’s Metal Woods Ltd firm in Church Street, Harborough, for 32 years.

Now her devastated family are urging anyone else who’s worked there over the years and contracted asbestos cancer to get in touch.

Elsie’s son-in-law Terry Scrase, 72, told the Harborough Mail: “This case is shocking.

“It’s even more poignant because poor Elsie was working for her own brother.

“Cyril died a fair while ago and didn’t know what she went through otherwise he’d have been mortified.”

The father-of-one said Elsie went to work at Metal Woods after being born and brought up in Little Bowden.

She married her sweetheart Derek, known as Speeder, at St Dionysius Church and they had three children.

“Elsie went to work for her brother in 1957.

“She worked in different departments and stayed with the firm for 32 years until her 60th birthday in 1989,” said Terry, who’s married to Elsie’s daughter Lesley, 72.

He said Elsie, who had two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, started to suffer terrible chest pain in late 2017.

“She was a fit, healthy woman who was always busy.

“Elsie loved to go into town to see her friends and do her housework,” said Terry, of Ridgeway West, Harborough.

“But she went away to nothing in her last 18 months and ended up skin and bone.

“It was horrible to see.

“My wife’s got dementia and luckily didn’t realise what was happening to her beloved mum or she’d have been devastated.”

Tests showed that Elsie, who lived in Clark Street, off Coventry Road, for about 60 years, had asbestos-related pleural plaques.

The stricken pensioner went from bad to worse and she died in December 2018 aged 89.

An autopsy confirmed Elsie died of mesothelioma.

“Her other daughter Janet worked there all her life too.

“But she was in the office and she’s fine thankfully,” said Terry, who said the operation made metal rules for cutting cardboard.

“They had a big furnace there.

“I think the problem may have been caused by heat from the furnace being pumped round the factory to provide central heating.

“We’d like to hear from anyone who’s worked there over the years who’s also suffered asbestos cancer.”

He said they are now working with York-based specialist asbestos claim solicitors Corries to get to the truth.

Solicitor Howard Bonnett said: “Elsie is another sad female victim of this asbestos epidemic.

“She worked not knowing of the dangers of asbestos or that it would cause her death.

“Given that Elsie worked so long at the site I am sure there must be former workmates who remember her and can give us the help we need to get justice for her and her family. “I’d ask anyone with information to get in touch with me and give her family some peace at this awful time.”

If you can help then please call Howard Bonnett for free and in confidence on 0800 083 7839 or 01904 527464 or email him at [email protected]