The family of a former VW Patricks worker who died from an asbestos-related cancer has appealed for his former workmates to come forward with information about when and where he was exposed to asbestos material. 

Former joiner Mr Rodney Arthur Lambert from Skipton, West Yorkshire, was 76 years old when he died in May 2023 from mesothelioma – an aggressive cancer linked almost exclusively to exposure to asbestos. 

Before his illness, which often develops decades after asbestos exposure, Mr Lambert, whose nickname was Rod, had played an active role in caring for his family, often helping out with odd jobs and looking after his grandchildren.  

However, his health started to deteriorate in the Autumn of 2022, and he was referred to Airedale Hospital in Keighley with suspected pneumonia. He underwent a chest X-ray, which revealed that he had a shadow and a build-up of fluid in his lung. 

He was referred to St James Hospital in Leeds to undergo a biopsy in November 2022, following which he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. In April 2023, he was admitted to the hospital for ongoing care and treatment but sadly died the following month. 

Following his death, his family reached out to industrial disease experts at national law firm Thompsons Solicitors for help to determine where and when he came into contact with asbestos. 

They are now appealing for witnesses who may have worked with him during his time at VW Patricks to come forward with any information that may help their investigation. 

A building company which carried out projects on hospitals, schools and houses across the local area, particularly in West and North Yorkshire, Mr Lambert worked as a joiner between 1969 and 1979, carrying out tasks such as fitting windows, doors and skirtings.  

Speaking to members of his family before his death, Mr Lambert said that during his time with VW Patricks, he had regularly come into contact with asbestos, which was commonly used at the time in commercial and residential properties. 

Commenting on the loss of her father, his daughter, Tracy, said: “He was the heart of our family, always there for the little things, picking up grandchildren and helping out with odd jobs. He was so active and full of life. 

“The decline in his health was heartbreaking for all of us. To think that his death was as a result of asbestos exposure and that it could have been prevented is really tough.” 

Marion Voss, industrial disease specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, who is acting for the family, added: “Mr Lambert’s family are still coming to terms with his death.  

“While the dangers of asbestos have been widely known for many decades, there are still many families whose lives are tragically impacted as a result of negligent exposure even now.  

“We're now looking to speak to anyone who can shed light on the use of asbestos at WV Patricks, and who can provide any additional insight into the working conditions he may have experienced during his time with the company.” 

If you have any information, please contact Marion Voss directly at the Leeds office. Her email is, and the office phone number is 0113 205 6300.