County Durham family investigate mother’s death from cancer
THE family of a County Durham woman who died of asbestos-linked cancer is urging some of her former colleagues to come forward to help shed light on how she was exposed to the deadly material.
Cynthia Burnip was employed by Alexander Ltd, a clothing manufacturer in Peterlee, for a decade from 1956 to 1966.
She worked as a sewing machinist and it is believed that she may have encountered asbestos during her employment in what was commonly referred to as the “Alexander Factory” in the city.
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After quitting work, Cynthia apparently lived a relatively healthy life, until she was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2021 and died in May at the age of 81.
Cynthia’s death rocked her family, including her sons Andrew and Paul, who are now seeking answers about work-related illnesses.
Her son, Andrew Burnip, said: “When Mum spoke about her days as a dressmaker, she remembered the big presses that would steam the costumes she sewed.
“These presses sat next to the tables the women worked on and left every few minutes to iron the costumes before packing them. It is possible that these presses were insulated with some kind of asbestos, and that is what we are trying to find out.
“She was a very active elderly lady who loved to walk with friends – and even took a popular five-mile walk around her hometown on occasion.
“She was sweet and kind and loved to shop and eat with friends – but most of all she was devoted to her family.”
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After her death, Cynthia’s family turned to Thompsons Solicitors for help in finding out what caused her untimely death.
They are now determined to shed light on the untimely death of their loved one.
Mr Burnip added: “In the spring of last year she started to feel unwell with a cough and difficulty breathing. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April, and within a month she was brutally taken from us.
“My father was a city councilor for years and a great trade unionist. He would like those responsible to be held accountable. ”
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Stuart Latham, Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We are looking to speak to anyone employed at Alexander Ltd’s Peterlee site in the 1960s or around the 1960s who may be able to provide further information on the practices. working on the site.
“It is really important that Ms. Burnip’s family get the answers they deserve.”
Thompsons Solicitors has confirmed that this is only a call for people to come forward at this point, and no legal action has been taken.
The Northern Echo has approached lawyers to investigate Peterlee’s Alexander Ltd, the company no longer existing on Companies House, and therefore cannot be approached for comment.
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