THE devastated widow of a former Leigh carpenter killed by asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former colleagues to help in her battle for justice.

Kathleen Atkinson wants people who worked with her husband Malcolm Atkinson, known to family and friends as Mike, building Southend Civic Centre in the 1960s to come forward.

Mrs Atkinson is seeking compensation over his death from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, two years ago.

She said: “My husband had worked hard all his life and it’s so upsetting that this terrible industrial illness took him from me far too soon and has robbed me of the precious time we should have been able to spend together as a couple.”

In 1962, Mr Atkinson fitted the Civic Centre’s 500 windows, which took him almost a year to complete.

Before his death he told lawyers he remembered each window required a sill and fire proof panel, both of which were made from asbestos sheets.

Mike, who lived in Leigh with his wife, Kathleen, died in January 2010, just one month after celebrating his 70th birthday.

An inquest that June confirmed he had died of an industrial disease.

Anyone who worked at Gee Walker & Slater, on the construction of the Civic Centre during the early 1960s should contact Joanne Jefferies at Irwin Mitchell on 0870 1500 100 or email