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Joe Beltrami papers relating to Patrick Meehan, victim of miscarriage of justice

  • GB 249 BEL
  • Collection
  • 1969 - 1984

Items relating to Beltrami's 15-year battle to overturn the conviction of his client, Patrick Meehan, for the murder of Rachel Ross during a burglary in 1969. Beltrami's efforts secured a unique Royal Pardon for Meehan, plus a substantial compensation payment. The collection includes:

  • Incomplete (pages 2-7 only) xerox copy of the Edinburgh High Court indictment against Patrick Connolly Meehan for theft, housebreaking, assault to severe injury, robbery, murder and fraud, 1969;
  • Incomplete copy letter from [Joe Beltrami, Beltrami Dunn & Co] to R.B. Laurie, Secretary, the Law Society of Scotland, Edinburgh, 5 April 1976, seeking an opinion on matters of confidentiality concerning the precognitions of the widow, son and daughter of William McGuiness;
  • Copy letter from [Joe Beltrami, Beltrami Dunn & Co] to the Crown Agent, Crown Office, Edinburgh, 16 September 1976, concerning the Crown's delay in pronouncing the innocence of Meehan's co-suspect in the murder of Rachel Ross, James Griffiths (Griffiths was shot dead by a police marksman in 1969);
  • Xerox copy of the recommendation by D[avid] A.O. Edward Q.C., Edinburgh, that Patrick Meehan should be offered the sum of £47,915 in compensation, 22 December 1983, with annotations by Beltrami;
  • Xerox copy of the cheque for £47,915 issued to Patrick Meehan by H.M. Paymaster General on 8 February 1984, with annotations by Beltrami;
  • Photograph of Patrick Meehan with Joe Beltrami, signing for receipt of his compensation payment in Beltrami's office, 1984, with annotations on the reverse (this image is published on the dust jacket of Beltrami's book, 'A Deadly Innocence');
  • Copy of Joe Beltrami, 'A Deadly Innocence: the Meehan file' (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1989), containing an inscription by Beltrami on the flyleaf.

Beltrami, Joseph, 1932-2015, lawyer

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

Asbestos in educational establishments

Correspondence and papers on asbestos in schools and other educational establishments. Includes press coverage and correspondence with Department of Education and Science (London), Scottish Office of the Ministry for Industry and Education, Educational Institute of Scotland, MPs (one of them Donald Dewar), union representatives, representatives of the HSC/HSE including W Simpson, director of the HSC.

Report on asbestos-related disease in Clydeside

Correspondence and papers re a report on 'Problems of asbestosis/Ineumoconiosis [sic] claimants in Clydeside', compiled by the Cancer Prevention Society (CPS). Background of the project appears to have been a comparatively high rejection rate (88%) for industrial injuries benefits claim in Glasgow, compared to e.g. Newcastle where Pneumoconiosis Medical Panels reportedly rejected only 60% of cases. Includes copies of:

  • typescript 'Preliminary findings from information provided from death registration in Glasgow G1-G84 for the years 1974-1982'
  • charts visualising death counts by post code
  • several versions of listing of asbestos cases among thermal insulation engineers (by name), compiled by John Todd, a prominent representative of the Glasgow branch of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) during the 1970s and 1980s
  • listings of asbestosis and mesothelioma by postcode, largely anonymised
  • death certificates 1975-1982, 1983-1987

Volunteer helpers in the project were Mrs J Elliott from Cardross and, from Glasgow, Mrs Margaret Letang (social research student), Mr Paul Hannah (legal student), Mr Quintin Oliver (welfare rights advisor), Mr George Moore (solicitor) and Ms Pam Bartlett (Assistant Co-ordinator, Community Resources Project, Glasgow College of Technology). Staff of the Cancer Prevention Society involved in the project were Rushworth and two CPS Development Officers, David Baker and John Curran.

Methods of lung biopsy and the diagnosis of mesothelioma

Correspondence between Rushworth's colleague Ian Patten, Project Leader at the Cancer Prevention Society, and various medical boarding centers (formerly known as Pneumoconiosis Medical Panels) over methods of lung biopsy and the issue of whether the then current edition of DHSS pamphlet NI.226 ('Pneumoconiosis and related occupational diseases', Paragraph 43: 'Diffuse mesothelioma') was misleading and therefore counterproductive.

Includes photocopy of the fatal accident inquiry into the death of Ronald Arthur Hill 3 June 1983 at Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow.

Chemical carcinogens

Press articles on dangerous dyes, among them an article on G E Rushworth’s own compensation claim for occupational cancer of the bladder.

Also includes annotated copy of 'Guidelines for work with chemical carcinogens in Medical Research Council Establishments: provisional statement' (October 1979), and copy of Peter Kirby (c.1982) 'Death in the textile industry: a proportionate mortality study of 952 dyers, bleachers and textile workers who died between 1976-1980' (TGWU Textile Group: Bradford).

Public inquiry into environmental asbestos pollution at Clydebank

Correspondence and papers 1980-1982 chiefly re the environmental dangers posed by the former site of Turner Asbestos Cement (TAC) Co Ltd, Dalmuir. Includes:

  • colour photographs of the site
  • correspondence with solicitors re Clydebank District Council v. Monaville Estates Limited
  • correspondence with solicitors re former workers at TAC
  • correspondence with the Sheriff's Office, HSE representatives and other occupational health experts, the Director of Environmental Services of Clydebank District Council, the Ministry for Home Affairs and the Environment (Edinburgh), MPs, the Scottish Civic Trust
  • minutes of meetings between G E Rushworth and members of North Mountblow Community Council
  • photocopies from a scientific paper on asbestos in Scotland and the final report of the HSC's Advisory Committee on Asbestos (ACA) (the Simpson Committee) published in October 1979

In August 1980, the Cancer Prevention Society called for a public inquiry into the asbestos waste tip at the former site of TAC Ltd, by then owned by Monaville Estates Ltd.

Photograph album, site of TAC Ltd, Dalmuir

Content of a photograph album documenting asbestos contamination at the former site of asbestos construction products company TAC Ltd, Dalmuir.

Includes 9 colour photographs of the site, taken c.1982. Also summary in 'Scots Law Times' 1982 of Clydebank District Council v. Monaville Estates Ltd, 12 December 1979, and photocopy from ‘Clydebank Dunbartonshire: the official handbook’ (c.1950).

St Brendan's primary school, Yoker

Correspondence, press coverage and notes re asbestos issues at St Brendan's school, Yoker near Glasgow. Also includes copies from an inspection of the school, dated 23 August 1982.

Among the correspondents were councillor Jim Bannerman OBE, MP Donald Dewar, union representatives and the office of the Procurator Fiscal, Glasgow.

A routine inspection in August 1982 had discovered defects in ceiling finishes containing amosite (brown asbestos). Rushworth and others did not find the Authority response adequate and proceeded to instigate discussion on how the asbestos regulations and the recent conclusions of the Advisory Committee on Asbestos (ACA) should be interpreted.

Asbestos in houses: Red Road flats, Glasgow

Correspondence and papers re a survey and activism on Red Road flats workers.

Includes press coverage, correspondence with politicians (councillors, MPs), and survey forms.

Red Road flats refers to a high-rise housing complex located in the northeast of the city of Glasgow. In its construction large amounts of asbestos were used to ensure the structural integrity of the buildings in the event of a fire. The complex was formally condemned in July 2008 after a long period of decline.

Warehouse at Robertson Street, Glasgow

Correspondence and papers re the demolition of a former warehouse at Robertson Street, Glasgow, the modalities of which led G E Rushworth to lodge an official complaint with the Procurator Fiscal.

Includes colour photographs, also copy article 'Procurator Fiscal takes up asbestos demolition complaint', in 'Health and Safety at Work' September 1984.

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