Today is a special day for me. It's the anniversary of my dad losing his battle with mesothelioma. A dreadful asbestos related incurable cancer. 18 years ago now.
He was a teacher all his life, never worked in industry. He almost certainly inhaled the fibre while the asbestos was being removed from his school, the school that I went to, and my sister Judith too. For 2 years some lessons were in portakabins while it was ripped out.
At the inquest, as it is an industrial disease, the local council was represented by 2 barristers, which just spoke volumes. An open verdict was recorded, but privately the coroner said it was likely that it was from the removal at the school...which perhaps didn't benefit from the kind of regulations we have today.
Rochdale, ironically, was the asbestos capital of the world with Turner Brothers occupying a huge site in the town. It's still there, a product that earnt so many so much is now left as is as we can't afford to clean it up, or rather there is no will to do so.
Here he is with my mum on my wedding day in 1999. They were married for 33 years and together for all that time. She survived him by 11 hours, but that's tomorrows blip....