Remembering ACRE MILL
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Today, Tuesday 27th February is Action Mesothelioma Day.
For the people of Hebden Bridge, work became a very dangerous place if they worked at Acre Mill. Many succumbed to asbestos disease and many died. We try to keep their memory alive by raising awareness for those who do not know our town's history. There are discussions still about a permanent memorial being erected at Old Town. Acre Mill has been described as the scene of Britain's worst ever industrial injuries.
Thanks to Frank Woolrych of the Hebden Bridge Local
Please help raise awareness of asbestos cancer by letting others know about this non-commercial, educational film, a brief and moving insight into the horror of this terrible industrial disease.
The website ActionMeso is now live and contains an audio address by Tony Robinson and links to UK interviews on Youtube - and will be added to as time goes by:
The Hebden Bridge Web feature: The legacy of Acre Mill was first published in October 2002.
On 29th April 2003 the HebWeb received a message from Patsy Jefferson daughter of Alice who featured in Alice, a Fight for Life
My name is Patsy Jefferson. My mum was Alice, in the documentary Alice, a Fight for Life. I was 5 years old when I lost my mother to this terrible illness.
I am glad my mum didn't die in vain, I am glad she has not been totally forgotten. That was the sole reason she made that program, to show the public what a dangerous substance asbestos is and to make the companies that used this stuff come out of the woodwork and take responsibility for the loss of life of many people in the local area.
I feel very strongly that we should keep this subject out in the open, so we never let anything like this happen again. I think there should be some sort of a memorial at the site that was once Acre Mill for people to see and remember. We cannot afford to stop remembering.
A Courier article which went out in October 2003 and told the story of how local solicitor John Pickering first became involved. He told how he first became involved in compensation cases against Cape Asbestos in 1969.
"After I had investigated a few cases it was clear conditions were appalling and I wrote to the then Hebden Bridge MP Douglas Houghton," he said.
"I said that what was going on there was tantamount to manslaughter."
Mr Houghton sent on the letter to Acre Mill but company chiefs rubbished the claims.
"There were dozens and dozens of cases. So much so that I couldn't handle them all myself and I had to ask other solicitors to take some of them," said Mr Pickering.
Concern was also raised after children were seen throwing "asbestos snowballs" at each other in the yard of the firm's premises at Hangingroyd Mill, Hebden Bridge, in 1972."
Short video: Mesothelioma: the human face of asbestos epidemic
HebWeb Feature: The legacy of Acre Mill
Mytholmroyd Net: A memorial in Hebden Bridge
John Pickering website: Killer in the playground
Mytholmroyd Net: Acre Mill - the story that won't go away
Hebden Bridge Web News: John Pickering retires - greatly appreciated for his pioneering work with asbestos claims
Mytholmroyd Net: Study of mesothelioma in Calderdale, 1990