Witness Appeal: Asbestos on Longleat Estate or Tunstall Security

14/04/20

The family of an ex-maintenance worker and storeman at the Longleat Estate in Wiltshire who sadly died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma is appealing for former co-workers at both companies – as well as current and ex-residents at the Longleat Estate to come forward with any information about the presence of asbestos materials in the area.

Allan Keyse from Westbury, Wiltshire, was 84 when he sadly passed away on 7th August 2019 following a short battle with mesothelioma.

At an inquest which took place on September 28th, 2019, the Coroner ruled it likely that Mr Keyse’s untimely death had been caused by occupational asbestos exposure.

His family have now instructed specialist Asbestos Solicitors at Simpson Millar in their efforts to determine whether more could have been done to protect him and are appealing for former co-workers - as well as current and ex-residents of the Longleat Estate - to come forward with any information about the usage of asbestos materials on the estate.

Employed at the Longleat Estate between 1961 and 1970, Allan was responsible for renovating, refurbishing and maintaining the main house and gardens, buildings and old cottages within the grounds.

Speaking before his death, he recalled that he would handle asbestos roof sheets and knock down old outbuildings which produced clouds of asbestos dust from the roofing.

Mr Keyse recalled, “I remember on one particular occasion whilst working on an old barn that I had to handle asbestos roofing sheets for about 2-3 days. There would be fine dust everywhere. You could see it like a haze until it settled”.

When he left Longleat Estate around 1970, Mr Keyse undertook various jobs before taking on the role of a storeman for Tann Synchronome – now Tunstall Security – based at Station Road, in 1974. Mr Keyse remained here until he was made redundant around 1988.

The factory-made fire detection equipment, and had a large corrugated asbestos roof that Mr Keyse recalled was occasionally prone to leaking.

As part of his job, Mr Keyse would collect and bag up the overalls from each factory department to send for cleaning and, due to the age of the roof, he believed that asbestos dust would have come into contact with both the factory floor and the overalls which staff were required to wear.

Friend and fellow maintenance worker at the factory, Bill Mortimer, advised Mr Keyse that the industrial sized boiler house contained numerous asbestos lagged pipes which resulted in him, along with previous maintenance workers before him, being exposed to asbestos.

During his time with Tann Synchronome, Mr Keyse was not informed of the dangers of inhaling asbestos dust and fibres, and as such took no preventative measures.

Speaking of her loss, Mr Keyse’s wife Sally commented, “Allan and I were married in 1973 and we lived an incredibly happy life together with our son. Receiving the mesothelioma diagnosis had an immeasurable impact on Allan’s life, and has left an unfillable void in both mine and my son’s life. He was always active and outgoing, but mesothelioma took that away from him. The simplest tasks became a chore.

“I am desperate for answers and to understand the precise nature of Allan’s exposure to asbestos. We as a family deserve to know whether more could have been done to prevent this.

“If anyone worked at Longleat Estate or Tunstall Security during the years Allan was there or is a current/former resident of the surrounding areas, please come forward with any information you might have about the sites’ conditions.”

Mr Keyse’s devastated family have instructed leading Industrial Disease experts at Simpson Millar to help in their fight for answers. Those who were employed between 1961-70 at Longleat Estate, or between 1974-89 at Tann Synchronome (now Tunstall Security), are encouraged to come forward. Similarly, any current or ex-residents from the surrounding area who might have noticed the presence of asbestos, for example on the outhouses, are urged to get in touch.

The family’s Solicitor, Anthony Waddington, who specialises in asbestos related cases at Simpson Millar said, “Mesothelioma is responsible for around 2,500 deaths annually – a figure that continues to grow and devastate the lives of victims as well as their families.

“We are now looking for witnesses who worked for either Longleat Estate or Tunstall Security to gain an understanding of the working conditions and relevant safety procedures that were in place at the time to protect staff from any exposure to the harmful dust and fibres.

“We hope to provide Allan’s family with answers as to exactly why and when the exposure to asbestos occurred so that they can feel some sense of justice.”

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Anthony Waddington on 0808 129 3320 or by requesting a callback below.

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