Doncaster family in asbestos death plea

Shouna English,  taken in the 1960s when she was working in the glass bulbs factory.
Shouna English, taken in the 1960s when she was working in the glass bulbs factory.

Former workmates of a Doncaster woman who died from a rare industrial disease could hold vital clues to how she may have contracted it, say her family.

Shouna English died less than a month after she was diagnosed with a lung disease caused by a deadly dust.

The family of the former factory worker, who died from the asbestos-related cancer, are now appealing for her former colleagues to come forward to help with an investigation into how she was exposed to the ‘silent killer’.

Mrs English, who lived in Rossington, died in February 2013 aged 69, just three weeks after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs.

An inquest was held last October and the diagnosis of mesothelioma was confirmed.

Her family have now instructed asbestos lawyers at Sheffield law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate when and where she was exposed to the material and to find out if more could have been done to protect her. The family said: “We hope that anyone who thinks they can help will get in touch with our legal team as quickly as possible.”

During the 1960s, Shouna, who was also known as Sally, worked for Glass Bulbs, which has now been dissolved, at their factory on Snape Lane in Harworth, Doncaster.

Working in the main part of the factory, her job was to pack bulbs from a conveyor belt which was made of asbestos and carried hot glass products. She also wore asbestos gloves on a daily basis and worked with asbestos tape and friction pads.

As Shouna worked in the main part of the factory, she may have also worked in the close vicinity of heating and plumbing engineers, who regularly carried out repair and maintenance work to the pipes, which were lagged with wet-mix asbestos cement.

At the time of her employment, Rossington was populated with many migrant workers from Scotland and the North East – Shouna herself was originally from Scotland and she spoke with a Scottish accent.

The family are now appealing for Shouna’s former work colleagues to come forward with any information about working conditions there.

* Anyone who may be able to help with information about the working conditions at Glass Bulbs in Harworth, during the 1960s, is asked to call Laura at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4420 or email