As­bestos mystery in gran­dad’s death


MYSTERY re­mains as to when a grand­fa­ther was ex­posed to lethal as­bestos which con­trib­uted to his death.

John Cheetham, who was known as Jack, of Dixon Drive, Chelford, spent most of his work­ing life as a sales­man. But he also had jobs at a gar­den nurs­ery, as a me­chanic, and as a driver in the Army.

He sur­vived two heart at­tacks and lym­phatic can­cer be­fore de­vel­op­ing chest prob­lems in June this year.

A scan at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal re­vealed the 81-year-old had lung can­cer. Days later he had an­other heart at­tack and died.

Tests showed that the can­cer was caused by a com­bi­na­tion of smok­ing cig­a­rettes in his younger days and ex­po­sure to as­bestos.

But the in­quest at Mac­cles­field Town Hall on De­cem­ber 2 could not de­ter­mine when ex­actly Jack came into con­tact with the deadly as­bestos fi­bres.

Alan Moore, as­sis­tant coroner for Cheshire, con- cluded that Jack died of a mix­ture of nat­u­ral causes and in­dus­trial dis­ease.

He said: “The ex­po­sure to as­bestos has occurred at some point over his work­ing life, but we can­not say where. We heard hearsay ev­i­dence of po­ten­tial ex­po­sure at a gar­den nurs­ery but it may have also hap­pened dur- ing his work as a me­chanic or in the Army.”

Jack grew up in Bow­don where he was part of a big fam­ily of four broth­ers and two sis­ters.

He mar­ried Laura in 1960 and went on to have one daugh­ter, Kim, and three grand­chil­dren, Re­becca, Gil and Luke.

In his early life he loved shoot­ing, walk­ing, climb­ing and fish­ing.

“His en­thu­si­asm for fish­ing spread and Laura caught the bug. They would spent hours side by side fish­ing in the pools around the area.

Jack was also a keen bowler and was a mem­ber of clubs in Chelford and Bow­don and was even picked for the county team.

Af­ter the hear­ing, his grand­daugh­ter Re­becca May, 26, said: “My grand­dad will al­ways be re­mem­bered for his sto­ry­telling. He es­pe­cially loved talk­ing about his time in the Army where he would drive the ra­tion truck and fool around, and his child­hood.

“My grand­par­ents had a love for fish­ing and would head out for the day what­ever the weather. He taught [Laura] so well, she ended up of­ten catching more than he did. He will be truly missed by all.”

●● Car­ni­val di­rec­tor John Hartshorn making prepa­ra­tions for the 2016 Barn­aby Fes­ti­val

●● Jack Cheetham with son-in-law David May, wife Laura and daugh­ter Kim

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