THE daughter of a former welder from Oldham who died from asbestos cancer is appealing to his ex-workmates in the hope to uncover how he developed the illness that claimed his life.

James Blower, from Oldham, died from mesothelioma at the age of 81. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with asbestos exposure, often decades previously.

Following James’s death, his daughter Valerie, 55, and her legal team are asking James’s former colleagues to come forward with information on the working conditions he faced while employed by the engineering firm Mather & Platt Limited in Newton Heath.

It is thought James came into contact with asbestos while working at Mather & Platt Limited between 1953 and 1964 and again from 1969/70 to 1977/78.

Valerie remembers her dad talking about carrying out steel fabrication and welding work during his time with Mather & Platt.

James started to suffer from breathlessness in early 2019. He saw his GP and was subsequently referred for a CT scan and X-ray, followed by a lung biopsy. He was then admitted to hospital on February 10, 2020.

Valerie and her sister Pamela, 51, were told on February 20 that their dad was suffering from mesothelioma. He died four days later in a care home.

Discussing her father’s death, Valerie said: “I was at my daughter Leanne’s house when I got the call from the care home that he didn’t have long left and I went there straight away. I had about an hour with him before he died.

“Since then, it’s been a real struggle to accept he’s no longer being here. To think that his work could be to blame for this terrible illness has been difficult to come to terms with. We would be so grateful to anyone that can help with our investigation.”

Katrina London, the specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Valerie, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone that worked with James and can provide details on the conditions he worked in. Any piece of information could prove vital.”

Anyone with information that may be able to assist with this case is asked to contact Katrina London on 0161 838 7262 or by e-mail at