THE widow of a factory worker who died after exposure to asbestos is appealing for help from other people who worked in the same places.

Desmond Gibbs died aged 89 in February 2018 from the asbestos-related lung disease mesothelioma.

Solicitors for his widow Evelyn say he is thought to have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibres while working in the factory of Edward Webster Ltd in West Howe between about 1968/69 and 1987/88.

He worked as a maintenance engineer and may have come into contact with asbestos through repairing pipes which were lagged with asbestos materials and through working in the boiler house, the lawyers said. Asbestos was widely used at the time and today’s regulations did not apply.

Mr Gibbs also worked in the 1960s in the Bournemouth area as a heating and ventilation engineer for Avon Heating Services, Matthew Hall and Scott and Scott (Bournemouth). He may have come into contact with asbestos working for these companies, it is believed.

Mrs Gibbs said: “Following his diagnosis with mesothelioma, Desmond’s condition deteriorated rapidly.

“He suffered from extreme tiredness and a build-up of fluid in his lung. I miss him terribly.”

Michael Osborne, from Larcomes Legal, representing Mrs Gibbs, said: “We would like to hear from anyone who worked at the Edward Webster factory and who remembers working with materials which contained asbestos as well as from anyone who worked in the 1960s for the heating and ventilation companies Mr Gibbs worked for.

“We are appealing for help from former employees of Edward Webster and the heating and ventilation companies.

“More than 2,000 are diagnosed with Mesothelioma every year. It is a type of cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It does not respond well to treatment and options available to patients are limited. There is no safe type of asbestos and no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Michael Osborne of Larcomes Legal on 077 1566 8748 or at

The Daily Echo has endeavoured to approach the successor companies of Mr Gibbs’s employers for comment.