A former brickworks employee who has been diagnosed with asbestos related cancer is calling for help from his former colleagues in Lancashire.

John Owen, 65, who now lives in Pudsey, Leeds, is suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs. There is no cure for the disease.

Mr Owen, who was a nurse when he retired, was exposed to asbestos working as a labourer for the Accrington Brick and Tile Company Ltd in Accrington from 1965 to 1969.

He started work at the firm's Nori Brickworks on Whalley Road, Accrington and then later for the Enfield Brickworks on Jubilee St, Accrington when he was 22-years-old.

The brickworks were based next to the town’s football ground.

Exposed to asbestos at work

During his time at the brickworks asbestos was commonly used for its fire retardant properties. He was exposed to the dust on a daily basis but was never given any protection.

In later years Mr Owen retrained as a nurse, a role he continued in until his retirement.

He was diagnosed with the disease in March 2010 after suffering from breathlessness when walking his dog.

Following his diagnosis he contacted asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice about compensation.

Assistance needed from former employees

Mr Owen would like anyone who worked for Accrington Brick and Tile Company during the 1960s or has previously brought any type of claim against the company to come forward to assist.

Mr Owen said: “I have always been fit and healthy so my diagnosis was a shock. I knew I had worked with asbestos during my time as a labourer but never believed it would lead to this. I was never warned about the dangers by my employer.

“I'd be grateful if anyone who worked for the company or who has made a claim against them came forward as they may have information which could help.”

Marion Voss from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Anyone who has any knowledge of Accrington Brick and Tile Company might be able to help Mr Owen, particularly if they can assist with any information that leads us to identify the insurers for 1965 to 1969.”