Asbestos victim’s family needs your memories of working for CEGB in Hams Hall Power Stations

Posted: 28th Apr 22 10:00 AM

A grieving family is appealing for the memories of anyone who worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in the boiler rooms and turbine halls of the Midland’s power stations, including Hams Hall Power Stations, during the 1960s.

Roger Hawkins, aged 76, died in June 2019 from an aggressive form of lung cancer called mesothelioma, which is caused by breathing in asbestos dust and fibres.

Roger was exposed to asbestos whilst working for CEGB in the Midlands region. He joined the engineering firm in 1962 as an apprentice for three years until 1965. While gaining work experience within various power stations for CEGB, Roger studied an HND in electrical engineering at Aston Technical College in Birmingham.

Then from 1965 to 1967 he was on the graduate training programme at Hams Hall Power Stations in Warwickshire.

Birchall Blackburn Law and the National Asbestos Helpline are helping Roger’s family to make an industrial disease compensation claim. To assist with this the family needs the help of anyone who worked, trained or studied with Roger at the time, or anyone who did the same course or training programme at Hams Hall Power Stations.

Barbara Mapletoft, Roger’s sister, says: “During the Inquest into Roger’s death in January 2020, it became apparent that he had told his treating respiratory consultant that he was exposed to asbestos during his time as a technical apprentice, when he was inspecting boilers for the CEGB.

“For a year he struggled with breathlessness and severe weight-loss before he was eventually told he had mesothelioma. He died just three months after the diagnosis. It was a shock when we were told he had the cancer and just months to live.”

Roger was married to Dorothy until her death from cancer in 1989. He was an accomplished and valued electrical engineer with an HND, MSC and MA in electrical engineering, a PHD from Manchester University, and was a member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

Jan Garvey, from the National Asbestos Helpline, says: “Mesothelioma is a cruel and aggressive lung cancer. For a loved-one to deteriorate so rapidly it is heart-breaking. The cancer is devastating a generation of working people who go on to face this terrible illness when they should be enjoying a long retirement. More needs to be done to help people, like Roger Hawkins, and the families impacted by asbestos.”

Joan Kennedy, from Birchall Blackburn Law’s industrial disease and asbestos team, says: “For Barbara to lose her brother to this cruel cancer is unjust. Mesothelioma can take up to 50 years to develop and after such a long time it can be difficult to identify where and when exposure to asbestos dust occurred, which is why we need the memories of former CEGB and Hams Hall Power Stations employees.

“Do you remember Roger Hawkins? Can you remember working or studying alongside Roger at CEGB and Hams Hall Power Stations? Are you aware of anyone who worked at CEGB and Hams Hall who developed breathing problems? Can you talk about the presence of asbestos in the boiler and turbine rooms? What were the working conditions like? Please get in touch and your details will remain confidential.”

If you have information about working or studying with Roger Hawkins at CEGB and Hams Hall Power Stations please get in touch with Joan Kennedy from Birchall Blackburn Law on 01244 684 478 or email jxkennedy@birchallblackburn.co.uk. Your details will remain confidential.