A former delivery driver for porcelain manufacturers, Royal Crown Derby, inhaled asbestos dust while construction work at the site was being carried out, an inquest heard.

Raymond Harrold was also exposed to the deadly dust while he was working as a grinder for wallpaper material firm Microfine.

In a statement made as part of a compensation claim, he recalled being told by a doctor that tanks he would maintain during his National Service in the Army, would also be sprayed with asbestos.

Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner’s Court was told that Mr Harrold was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma last December.

He was treated in hospital but sadly died at the Royal Derby Hospital on July 2, aged 80.

Before his death, Mr Harrold made this statement to a solicitors’ firm:

“I believe I was exposed to asbestos throughout my working life at different firms.

“For two years, between 1949 and 1951, I worked for Microfine… as a machine operator, grinding dust that would be used in wallpaper material.

“The dust was fine and white, like flour and this may have been asbestos dust.

“We had no masks, overalls or protective clothing and I would brush the dust off my clothes throughout the day.”

Mr Harrold, did National Service and spent time in Hong Kong. He worked as a tank and armoured car driver and would maintain the vehicles.

His statement reads: “I used to check the brake pads… and blow the dust from them as they disintegrated.”

In 1957, he went to work for Royal Crown Derby as a delivery driver.

He said construction work was being carried out at the Osmaston Road site during part of his time there and he believed asbestos was involved.

A post-mortem examination revealed asbestos fibres in his lungs. His cause of death was given as pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs) and malignant mesothelioma.

Coroner Paul McCandless reached a conclusion that his death came about as a result of industrial disease.

He said: “What impressed me was how Mr Harrold was not scattergun and instead was very specific about where he was and wasn’t exposed to asbestos during his working life, providing for his family.”

If you or a family member have been affected by asbestos exposure, please contact us today on 0800 294 3065, or talk to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.