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Legal action relating to the former site of Cape Asbestos factory, Barking

  • correspondence and papers re Rita Ann Ashdown, mesothelioma victim, who had lived in a Council flat on the Harts Lane Estate in Barking, the former site of a Cape Asbestos factory. Includes particulars of claim Rita Ann Ashdown v. London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, 2002; press coverage 2001-2003
  • correspondence and papers re Barbara Ann Mead, d. 2002 of mesothelioma: transcript of coroners proceedings
  • correspondence and papers re Barking, 1993-2001, including telephone memoranda, solicitors’ correspondence and press coverage
  • copy of a report by Dr Kevin Browne, 25 January 1995, on a recent claim brought against Cape by a Barking resident
  • correspondence with Peter Brady, Dublin, 1986, on his own case against Cape, including photocopy of minutes of a meeting of directors of Cape Insulation (Ireland) Ltd, 1977
  • SPAID correspondence re Barking 1983-1986
  • articles on SPAID‘s work 1984-1985, typescript of case notes Homerton University Hospital, Hackney, from Nancy Tait’s presentation (with Dr V J Harvey), ‘Mesothelioma patients referred to Hackney Hospital – a preliminary report’, Anglo-French Social Medicine conference, Winchester, 1983
  • reports (1983) on safety arrangements at Cape Asbestos, Barking, and copies of related records 1956-1968, received through Anthony T Mendelle via litigator Richard Meeran. Including photocopies of Cape Asbestos Barking Factory Annual Report 1961 & 1962, also report on a visit to Cape subsidiary plants in the USA (n.d.). Mendelle was products manager (1956-1960) and production manager (1960-1968) at Cape Asbestos Company Ltd, Barking

Chemical workers oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 7
  • Colección
  • Original recordings and transcripts 2004-2005

Eight interviews conducted by David Walker in pursuit of his doctoral research on ‘Occupational health and safety in the British chemical industry, 1914-1974’ (PhD thesis, University of Strathclyde, 2007:

The oral history project was designed to capture the human experience of working within the British chemical industry. The desired outcome was to find respondents with a range of job descriptions that had worked in different types of plant. Although comparatively small, the cohort interviewed represents a good coverage of the industry in that the plastic, chromate, explosive and fertiliser sectors are all represented.

In total, nine respondents were interviewed with one, Richard Fitzpatrick, being interviewed twice (Mr Fitzpatrick was 87 years old at the time and grew visibly tired during the first interview). Three respondents from Cheshire (who were related to one another) were interviewed as a group. Normally interviews were conducted on a one-to-one basis in the homes of the respondents although wives and other family members were also present in all cases, with the exception of one of the anonymous respondents from Dumfries who was alone.

The average age of those interviewed was 71, with birth dates ranging from 1917 to 1945. The employment histories of the respondents ranged from the late 1930s to the late 1970s.

All those interviewed were asked standard questions at the outset such as the respondent’s name, date of birth, where they were born, if they had brothers or sisters, if they had children, at what age did they leave school and what was their first job. Thereafter, in a relatively unstructured manner questions were asked of the respondents about the experiences they had in connection with the chemical industry.

With the exception of one former manager of a chemical plant all the respondents had worked as process workers or were related to family members who also worked as process workers. Why no former directors or technologists came forward to participate in this study cannot be explained by reference to the design of the recruitment material. One reason that may explain the general problem in recruiting respondents was made by two former process workers from Dumfries who admitted that their former colleagues had seen the recruitment article published in the local press but had refused to make contact because they were fearful that Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) would stop their pension if they talked to an outsider. Although ICI would not take such a step it is nonetheless interesting that former employees of the firm offered this as the reason for not sharing their memories.

Walker, David, b. 1956, historian


  • GB 249 T-GED/22/1/67
  • Item
  • No date
  • Parte deAustralia

Photograph of business centre, docks and river, industrial district, Sydney.



  • GB 249 T-GED/22/1/64
  • Item
  • No date
  • Parte deAustralia

'Panorama of the city and harbour of Sydney from North Sydney, N.S.W.'



  • GB 249 T-GED/22/1/63
  • Item
  • No date
  • Parte deAustralia

'Panorama looking east from the top of Public Library, Sydney N.S. Wales'


Bombay (Mumbai)

'Map of the Island of Bombay constructed on reduction from Colonel Laughton's Map of 1872. With alterations principally as regards new roads up to 1897'.
'Constructed and Photozincographed. Gov[ernmen]t. Photozinco: Office, Poona, 1904'.


Scale: 1 inch to 1200 feet

'Professor Geddes, Town Hall' endorsed on the reverse, no longer visible due to new backing.


'Malabar District Palghat Town Ward No 4 Topographical Map'
'Phot-Print Survey Office, Madras.'


Scale: 20 inches to 1 mile

'Palghat Town' in manuscript in crayon in top margin.

'Palighat' in manuscript in pencil in bottom margin.

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