Appeal to find former colleagues of ex-factory worker diagnosed with terminal asbestos-related cancer

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 January 2019

Diane Edridge. Picture: Irwin Mitchell

Diane Edridge. Picture: Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell

A former factory worker diagnosed with terminal cancer seeks her ex-workmates’ help to uncover how she contracted the disease.

Diane and her late husband Bill on their wedding day. Picture: Irwin MitchellDiane and her late husband Bill on their wedding day. Picture: Irwin Mitchell

Grandmother-of-seven Diane Edridge was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, after developing symptoms including breathlessness and pain in her side at the end of 2017.

The 66-year-old, whose maiden name was Coalbran, hopes her former colleagues at Weir Pumps may have information on how she came into contact with the deadly dust and fibres.

Diane, a lifelong West Ham fan who grew up in Kildare Road, Canning Town, started work at the site after leaving school aged 16.

Between 1968 and 1974 she worked as an office junior, taking on administrative tasks in the office upstairs the engineering workshops in Caxton Street.

Her father, Harry Coalbran, was a prominent member of the community who served as the secretary of the Boilermakers and Shipwrights Association.

“I remember being able to look out of the office window and see the shop floor, where workers would be repairing or stripping down pumps which had come in on boats,” she recalled.

“While I was based primarily in the office, my role did mean I had to go into the workshops to check orders and also hand out wages. The labourers I would see were always busy and sweeping up dust and dirt.

“I’m just completely devastated to have been told I have mesothelioma and feel I deserve to know just how this could have happened. Any help in getting answers about this would be hugely appreciated.”

Now living in Chelmsford, Diane has appointed law firm Irwin Mitchell to look into the case.

“Although Diane has a good recollection of her work and the factory, she needs to know how asbestos was used within the factory as part of the manufacturing and repair processes,” said her lawyer, Ian Bailey.

“She is determined to get to the bottom of what has caused her mesothelioma before it is too late.”

He asked anyone with information to contact him on 0207 421 4754 or email

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