A widow is appealing for help to find her husband’s former Anglesey and Gwynedd work colleagues after he died from asbestos-related lung disease.
Bill Royston-Haines died aged 72 in March 2014 from asbestosis, a lung disease, caused by breathing in asbestos dust and fibres.
Now his widow, Pam, is eager to hear from anyone who worked for Calveley Heating Ltd, based in Llangefni, or Gwynedd County Council during the 1970s.
Mr Royston-Haines was a plumber and heating engineer for Calveley and for Gwynedd County Council.
The couple lived in Benllech around 1971 and later in Valley. Mr Royston-Haines travelled widely across North Wales, working in industrial, commercial, public and residential properties.
The couple also owned the Valley Stores and Valley post office where they were postmaster and mistress.
Asbestos was widely used in buildings including homes, schools, factories and council buildings for its fire-proof and insulation properties.
It was Mr Royston-Haines’ job to strip out old boilers and replace pipes, which would have contained asbestos. Married for 50 years, he left behind a daughter, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
With the help of the National Asbestos Helpline and Birchall Blackburn Law, Mrs Royston Haines and her family are looking for her husband’s 1970’s work colleagues, who might remember finding asbestos in buildings where plumbing and engineering work was carried out.
Mrs Royston-Haines, who now lives in Nottingham, said: “There were no masks or anything like that in those days.
“In recent years Bill had started to hear of a lot of people his age dying of asbestos exposure. He said that he’d got to the age of 72 and would be all right, but it got him in the end.
We think he was diagnosed with the lung disease so late because he was determined to get on with it.
Even after he was diagnosed, he didn’t give up. He was still active and we thought he’d got it under control.”
Asbestosis affects people exposed to high levels of asbestos. Once inhaled, the asbestos fibres lodge in the lungs and over time damages air sacs that supply oxygen to the blood.
It has no cure and can severely restrict breathing and leaves sufferers breathlessness, with chest pains and coughing.
Jan Garvey from the National Asbestos Helpline, said:
“We talk to people like Pam every day. They’re active and looking forward to the rest of their lives with their family but suddenly face a terrible illness and uncertainty.
The asbestos legacy continues to destroy people’s lives.”
Fiona Hendry, asbestos-disease specialist with Birchall Blackburn Law, said:
“We would like to hear from anyone who worked for Gwynedd County Council’s heating engineers unit during the 1970s or also worked for Calveley Heating Ltd.
They may have worked with Bill Haines or know about asbestos where he worked. Details will remain confidential.
Anyone with information can call Fiona Hendry on 01244 684 475 or Jan Garvey on freephone 0800 043 6635, or email email@example.com “