A 79-year-old Essex widow is appealing for information after her husband died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma

Alan Jolliffe, from Stanford-le-Hope in Essex, was suspected to be suffering from mesothelioma in 2013 but his diagnosis was only confirmed following his death on Christmas Eve last year. 

It is believed Alan came into regular contact with asbestos during his employment in construction for Thurrock Council in Essex. 

Alan worked for Thurrock Council on two occasions. Initially he was employed between 1946 and 1951 as an apprentice carpenter. Later he worked as a general foreman and then a building surveyor from 1972 until his retirement in 1991. As a general foreman he was responsible for checking council properties, such as schools, offices and homes, which needed building work. 

Alan would survey properties and assess the cost of repair and maintenance required before work began. 

Working with asbestos claims specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, and Alan’s trade union, UNISON, the family is appealing for anybody who worked for Thurrock Council to come forward with information about the working conditions, and specifically the use of or contact with asbestos materials. 

Alan’s widow, Patricia Jolliffe, said: “My husband used to talk about how asbestos was in lots of the council properties that he worked in. We also knew builders, carpenters and electricians who worked for the council and were exposed to asbestos during their careers. I remember Alan telling me that he used to go into council properties where asbestos was being openly used or disturbed.

“It wasn’t until after my husband died that the doctors were able to confirm that he had mesothelioma. This Christmas will be the anniversary of his death and I cannot begin to express how much Alan is missed by all of us. Now we’re hoping to find out the extent of his exposure to asbestos and I hope that anyone with information that might help our case will come forward.”

Thompsons Solicitors is investigating exactly how and where Alan was exposed to asbestos while working for Thurrock Council. 

Lorna Webster, the solicitor at Thompsons representing the Jolliffe family, said: “Those who knew Alan will remember that he was always very active but the effects of his mesothelioma meant that he felt more and more frail and breathless. We’re now contacting people who might be able to help with our enquiries to ensure that Patricia and her family see that someone is held to account for Alan’s tragic death.”

Anyone with information should contact Thompsons Solicitors’ London office on 0207 290 0031.