Family's plea for information on engineer's asbestos exposure

Anthony Hilder passed away in October 2021 from sarcomatoid mesothelioma

Anthony Hilder passed away in October 2021 from sarcomatoid mesothelioma - Credit: Hugh James

The family of a Suffolk engineer who died as a result of an industrial disease have appealed for his former colleagues to come forward.

Anthony Hilder passed away in October 2021, shortly before his 87th birthday, from sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

His widow Tessa Hilder has now urged his former colleagues to shed light on the presence of asbestos in the factories where her late husband worked.

Originally from Norwich, and known as Tony, he lived in Oulton Broad and was employed as an engineer and welder at Jarrold's St James' Norwich printing works between 1957 and 1959.

He worked at Laurence Scott Electromotors in Norwich from 1958 until 1971/72 as a time study engineer before moving onto the same role at Bally Shoe factory - in Norwich, then Lowestoft - until 1976/77.

An inquest into his death was held at Suffolk Coroner's Court last month, which found he died as a result of an industrial disease.

Phoebe Osborne, the family's specialist asbestos-related disease solicitor at Hugh James, said: "Anthony was extremely poorly before he was diagnosed with the aggressive subtype sarcomatoid mesothelioma and he deteriorated very rapidly as he could not undergo treatment.

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"Tessa and his family remain understandably devastated by his tragic death.

"The family has a number of questions about Anthony’s past asbestos exposure and are keen to discover precisely how he came into contact with the substance from speaking to his former work colleagues.

"While nothing can make up for the loss of a much-loved father of three sons and kind grandfather, we are determined to support Anthony’s widow and family in their search for the truth.

"Any information held by Anthony’s former workmates at Laurence Scott Electromotors or Bally Shoe Factory Norwich could prove vital to the investigation and in providing the family with the answers they deserve.”

The firm claim Mr Hilder would regularly sweep dust on the floor, which could have included asbestos released from lagging pipes above, and claimed to have used asbestos panels when welding to prevent scorches.

In order to pursue a successful civil compensation claim, his family need to be able to demonstrate how Mr Hilder came into contact with asbestos during his working life.

Anyone with information regarding Mr Hilder’s asbestos exposure can contact the firm by calling 01223 660 206