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Asbestos Anglais
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Men's work in heavy industries in Glasgow oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 8
  • Collection
  • Original recordings, 2005

Conversations between Neil Rafeek and two men who spent their working lives as laggers in the Clydeside heavy industries. Topics covered include childhood and growing up in Glasgow, the Clydebank blitz, housing, domestic life, social life, football, sectarianism, gang culture, National Service, working conditions, trade unions, health and safety, asbestos.

Includes notes and draft publications relating to a project about the working culture and notions of masculinity in Clydeside heavy industries.

University of Strathclyde | Scottish Oral History Centre

Asbestos-related diseases in the West of Scotland oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 4
  • Collection
  • Original recordings, 1998-2000

27 interviews with sufferers from asbestos-related disease and/or members of their families. Sound recordings and transcripts (17), transcript only (10), or sound only (1). Also questionnaires.

Anonymity was assured to all project participants. Only Owen and Margaret Lilley (SOHC 4/14) opted out.

One recording had been mistakenly aggregated with this oral history project but was found not to relate to asbestos. As a result , there is no interview with the reference number SOHC 4/12.

McIvor, Arthur J., b. 1956, social historian

Geoffrey Tweedale papers

  • GB 249 TWE
  • Collection
  • 1921 - 2000s

Research papers of Geoffrey Tweedale gathered during the course of his research for his book 'Magic mineral to killer dust: Turner & Newall and the asbestos hazard' (2nd edition, 2001: Oxford University Press), which investigated the British company, Turner & Newall, one of the world's leading asbestos manufacturers.

The collection comprises:

  • Copies of more or less complete run of Turner & Newall compensation cases, 1921-1990s (c. 700 files). The copies were made by Tweedale from microfilms of the Turner & Newall company archives made by Chase Manhattan Bank in 1991 as part of a court case initiated in the USA by the Bank against Turner & Newall. Tweedale made a special study of these case files.
  • Series of subject files. The bulk of the contents is copies of correspondence and papers from the Turner & Newall archives. However, the series also contains material from other sources as well as Tweedale’s own notes and correspondence. Most of the material relates to Turner & Newall, but there is also material on other companies eg Johns Manville in the USA, Eternit, and Cape Asbestos as well as material on Canada, South Africa, and Australia. The series also includes biographical information on related people as well as press cuttings collected by Tweedale.
  • A selection of videotapes and DVDs mostly relating to Turner & Newall plus several transcripts of TV/radio programmes, dating back to the 1970s and early 1980s.

Tweedale, Geoffrey, b. 1951, business historian

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 30
  • Collection
  • 2014 - 2015

Oral history project, conducted in 2014-2015 by Nigel Ingham of the Open University on behalf of the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, interviewing members of the Group.

There were 7 interviews in total and the collection comprises audio recordings, full transcripts, summaries and photographs for all interviews.

The interviewees comprise 5 women, widowed through mesothelioma (an asbestos-related disease), and 2 men who at the time were current sufferers. Of the 5 widows, 3 had been bereaved for up to 10 years, while two others lost their respective loved ones in the previous 12 months.

The interviews cover life story details, the social and economic context in which asbestos exposure occurred, the patient journey with mesothelioma, as well as the individual, emotional, family and social impact of the disease. Heavy industries such as textile mills, power stations are featured in the material, as well as shops, schools, and other 'lighter' contexts. The trades of those exposed to asbestos include electrical engineering, painting and decorating, joinery, shopfitting, bricklaying and tiling.

Geographically, the material predominantly covers Lancashire and Greater Manchester, but also references London.

Temporally, the material covers the decades following World War II up to approximately 2015.

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group

Laurie Flynn papers on the asbestos industry

  • GB 249 FLYNN
  • Collection
  • 1893 - 2005

Laurie Flynn's papers on the asbestos industry span the period 1893-2005 and contain information primarily on the occupational health hazards posed by asbestos. This interest is centred on the activities of Cape Asbestos Company Ltd (and all corresponding names including shell entities) as well as the company's overseas subsidiaries.

There are 4 main series:

  • mining in South Africa, 1938-2005
  • asbestos litigation in North America, 1934-2005
  • asbestos in the UK, 1953-2005
  • Cape Asbestos corporate papers, 1893-2000

The focus of the collection is on employer negligence concerning health and safety, as argued in compensation lawsuits brought against the company and its subsidiaries.

Access to the wealth of business and legal papers brought to light primarily through lawsuits led Flynn to question whether multinational enterprises are as progressive as some commentators (notably business historians) have made out. The depositions, affidavits and court exhibits contained in this collection illuminate the role played by corporations and their representatives (in particular company medics and corporate lawyers) in suppressing scientific evidence concerning the risks of asbestos exposure. The Flynn papers also illustrate the lengths to which Cape Asbestos’ legal advisers went to create complex and confusing company structures in order to distance the parent company from liability ("corporate veil").

The collection includes some of Flynn’s notebooks and other background research materials for journalistic projects (among them extensive interviews with South African miners and Glasgow laggers), scripts and transcripts for documentaries, press cuttings, scientific literature, and correspondence with health and safety experts, medical specialists, environmental consultants, tort lawyers and asbestos ban campaigners.

In addition to documenting Flynn’s sustained interest in the workings of multinational asbestos enterprise, the collection also includes a little material relating to gold and diamond mining and the medical impact of atomic testing.

Flynn, Vincent Laurie Macpherson, investigative journalist

Records of the Cancer Prevention Society, Glasgow

  • GB 249 CPSG
  • Collection
  • 1973 - 1988

Papers documenting the research and activism of G E Rushworth and the Cancer Prevention Society (CPS). Main series are:

  • research and campaigning for change
  • activism re specific sites and buildings
  • publications by the Cancer Prevention Society
  • press archive of the Cancer Prevention Society

The archive relates predominantly to the health threats posed by asbestos and to measures taken by the CPS to contain these threats. The third series, publications by the CPS, poses an exception to this, addressing all sorts of common cancers.

Books and booklets found with the material have been transferred to the OEDA Library and can be identified through the library catalogue.

Rushworth, George Edward, b. 1930, industrial health and safety consultant

Clydeside Action on Asbestos: copies of Turner & Newall corporate archive

  • GB 249 TN
  • Collection
  • 1920s - 1990s

Copies of parts of the corporate archive of Turner & Newall, one of the world's leading asbestos manufacturers. The records copied date back to the 1920s. The copies were owned by Clydeside Action on Asbestos and used as a research resource.

These copies are significant since the original Turner & Newall archives are not accessible. The only time that the company granted access to its archives was during the legal proceedings initiated by Chase Manhattan Bank against Turner & Newall in 1987 when these copies were made. The copies of the archives remain the only primary evidence of Turner & Newall's activities.

Contents include board minutes and correspondence and papers relating to: the health risks of asbestos; asbestos industry regulations; the company's medical arrangements; employees with asbestos-related disease; the company's relations with the media; the company's submissions to parliamentary select committees; Chase Manhattan Bank vs. Turner & Newall trial documents; company histories.

Clydeside Action on Asbestos

OEDA Chase Manhattan Turner & Newall papers

  • GB 249 OEDA CM
  • Collection
  • c. 1920 - 1998

Copies of content from the Turner & Newall (T&N) corporate archive, Manchester, which were given to the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association by Chase Manhattan Bank.

The collection comprises correspondence about the papers and lawyer Michael O'Connor's mission to distribute them, followed by Turner & Newall corporate papers relating to:

  • minutes of meetings
  • industry regulation
  • compensation (including all manner of case information)
  • health and safety measures
  • epidemiological research on asbestos
  • documentaries on the asbestos industry
  • company histories

The collection concludes with a single dossier on legal actions relating to the former site of Turner Asbestos Cement Co Ltd (later TAC Construction Materials Ltd) at Dalmuir.

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association (William Ashton Tait) Archives

  • GB 249 OEDA
  • Collection
  • 1969-2009
  • early correspondence and papers relating to Nancy Tait’s fact-finding mission regarding asbestos
  • minutes of meetings of the SPAID/OEDA Trustees, annual reports, strategic plans
  • registers and other finding aids for the extensive OEDA case file series (OEDA CF); see link below
  • information resources on employers and insurers and other materials for supporting compensation claims
  • some case correspondence, medical appeals correspondence, correspondence with the medical appeal administration, and with the social security commissioner
  • documentation of the different types of information services provided by SPAID / OEDA, among them series relating to occupational and environmental health enquiries; SPAID / OEDA publications and display boards; responses to requests for information from solicitors; and responses to requests for information from the media
  • records relating to SPAID/OEDA's research into asbestos related diseases, mortality statistics, latency periods; also testimony before commissions, consultancy reports
  • SPAID/OEDA's extensive advocacy work over four decades
  • interactions with victims support groups, unions, fellow activists, occupational health experts, historians, solicitors and legal scholars
  • conferences and meetings to which Nancy Tait and her organisation contributed or which she attended
  • information files compiled on specific topics
  • series of correspondence and telephone memoranda
  • SPAID/OEDA accounts; also fundraising activities including grant applications
  • some documentation of the creation and running of the Electron Microscope Research Unit
  • instructions and manuals relating to office procedures and information management in the organisation
  • reference library (OEDA/K) including the organisation's collection of scientific papers, deposits and judgements, statutory instruments, DSS claims forms 1969-2007, clusters of press coverage, etc

Further,

  • OEDA collection of printed material; see link below
  • ten series of case files (OEDA CF, see link below)
  • OEDA's copies of the Chase Manhattan Turner & Newall papers (OEDA CM, see link below)
  • several standalone collections accepted to the OEDA archive during the 1990s, including the research papers of M J Sanders, records of Cancer Prevention Society, Glasgow, and the papers documenting refrigeration management worker W H Knight's compensation claim; see links below

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Assocation case files

  • GB 249 OEDA CF
  • Série organique
  • c. 1970 - c. 2007

Ten separate series of individual case files and one series of radiographs resulting from the Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association's advocacy for better compensation payments for sufferers of asbestos-related diseases.

The case files comprise correspondence, medical notes and the results of the Association's own groundbreaking electron microscope testing.

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association

Alan Dalton papers

  • GB 249 DAL
  • Collection
  • 1899 - 2003

Correspondence and papers from most of Dalton's career. The collection includes:

  • papers on Dalton's career and the libel cases brought against him
  • correspondence and papers originating from Dalton's roles at the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science, the Transport and General Workers' Union, the Environment Agency and others
  • correspondence with fellow activists, occupational health experts, academics, doctors, solicitors, politicians, trade unionists, campaign groups, asbestos victim support groups and others
  • subject files on environmental and occupational health issues, particularly asbestos
  • publications by Dalton and letters to the press
  • consultancy and expert witness work
  • notes and papers from conferences and meetings
  • correspondence and papers relating to Dalton's involvement in the production of television and radio programmes on asbestos, together with a series of video recordings and transcripts of documentaries and other programmes collected by Dalton on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health and safety topics.
  • press cuttings on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health issues
  • Dalton's library of books, academic papers, reports and other publications on asbestos and other environmental and occupational health issues

Dalton, Alan James Patrick, 1946-2003, safety and environmental campaigner

M. J. Sanders papers

  • GB 249 SAND
  • Collection
  • c.1958-1991

Documents the activities of the safety officer of a national environmental research laboratory in the late 1960s.

At the time, new regulations concerning asbestos were in the making. The Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL) was asked to look into their implications for working environments in Mintech (Ministry of Technology) establishments. The core of the M J Sanders papers consists of a series of minutes of meetings and draft reports, relating mainly to asbestos. The remainder is publications, with very occasional intercalations of correspondence.

Books and booklets found with the material have been transferred to the OEDA Library and can be identified through the University of Strathclyde Library catalogue.

Sanders, M.J., fl. 1960-1999, health and safety expert