THE FAMILY of an engineer from Otley who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for help.

John Boothroyd died on November 15, 2016 from Mesothelioma - an incurable cancer affecting the lining of the lungs which develops as a result of previous exposure to harmful dust and fibres.

Mr Boothroyd remembered working for several employers in West Yorkshire which may have involved being exposed to asbestos - but was too ill to remember all of the details.

He had spent a long period working for Hepworth & Grandage in Shipley, and Yeadon, between 1958 and 1976 and recalled spending part of that time making aeroplane components.

He was also employed by the GPO as a cable jointer from 1962 to about 1964, often working in underground tunnels, and also worked for a portakabin manufacturer in Otley in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Shortly before his death Mr Boothroyd asked industrial disease experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate his previous employment to establish the facts.

Now his family and lawyers at the company are appealing for any former colleagues to get in touch.

Nicola Handley, the specialist industrial diseases solicitor at Irwin Mitchell's Leeds office who is representing the family, said: "We believe John was substantially exposed to asbestos while working in the conditions he described before his death.

"An inquest was held in February this year and it was noted that there was medical evidence that John had substantial exposure to asbestos, and a verdict of death due to Industrial Disease was recorded.

“We are therefore seeking to find answers for his family now in order to help them understand precisely how his exposure to asbestos arose and during which employment.

“We are urging any of John’s former colleagues to come forward to help us with the investigation with any information about the working conditions and his employment at Hepworth & Grandage and the GPO.

"Any knowledge that individuals have in relation to manufacturers of portakabins that were located in Otley during the relevant period would also be welcome."

Mr Boothroyd's widow, Ann, added: "John was fit and well prior to the diagnosis and we were enjoying spending our retirement together with our family.

"Regrettably, John deteriorated very rapidly and we are now still finding it very difficult as a family to come to terms with the fact that John’s illness was caused by his exposure to asbestos decades ago, simply by going to work.

"It is very important that we now find the answer as to how this has happened."

Anyone who knew or worked with Mr Boothroyd and can provide any information is asked to contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 300, e-mail at .