Family’s appeal to find workmates of South Shields cancer victim

Frederick Fatkin, second right, with some of his former work colleagues.
Frederick Fatkin, second right, with some of his former work colleagues.

The family of a South Shields man who died from an industrial disease are hoping to trace some of his former colleagues.

Frederick Fatkin, from South Shields, died last month from Mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos.

Frederick Fatkin.

Frederick Fatkin.

Frederick, who worked at Robinson Brothers from May 1977 until January 1995, died within a year of being diagnosed with symptoms, including chest pain and breathlessness.

The firm was one of the region’s largest manufacturers of chemicals used in the pharmaceutical and automotive industries, supplying companies such as Glaxco and Smith Kline.

Frederick worked as a engineer responsible for the construction of the new plant on a green field site at Cambois Industrial Estate, Blyth, Northumberland.

Shortly before he died he instructed asbestos related disease lawyers at Beecham Peacock to investigate how he came to develop the illness and whether more should have

Very keen to speak to any former work colleagues

Vicki Wanless

been done to protect him from coming into contact with this harmful substance.

Now, his brother is continuing the legal battle in his memory and lawyers are appealing for anyone who worked with Frederick Fatkin at Robinson Brothers to contact them to help gather information.

Vicki Wanless, a specialist asbestos related disease solicitor at Beecham Peacock, said: “Through my work I have seen numerous examples of how exposure to asbestos has had

devastating consequences for workers and their families in the North East.

“Sadly Fred’s condition deteriorated very quickly and we therefore are very keen to speak to any former work colleagues to develop a clearer understanding of the working conditions at Robinson Brothers where he worked between 1977 and 1995.”

Frederick was 88 when he died and prior to his diagnosis he had been fit and independent.

Vicki said: “It was very difficult for his brother to see how quickly he deteriorated following the diagnosis particularly during the final months of his life. He is a much-missed family member.”

Any former workmates, or indeed anyone who worked at Robinson Brothers between 1977 and 1995, who can assist should contact Vicki on 0191 245 4057 or email vwanless@beechampeacock.co.uk.