Bracklesham holiday park link to asbestos death

Vivienne and David Fry
Vivienne and David Fry

A HEARTBROKEN widow is appealing to her husband’s former colleagues to help her battle for justice.

David Fry died in June 2011 aged 68, less than five months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by inhaling asbestos dust.

David’s wife Vivienne is appealing to his co-workers at Gibsons Holiday Park in Bracklesham Bay, which was devastated by a large fire in the 1970s, as she believes they may hold vital information about his exposure to asbestos.

Mr Fry worked on the redevelopment of the site, and was employed as catering manager.

But his initial role was to help restore the kitchens, so he worked as a general labourer in 1976 with the contractors Stirlands.

“When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma we were in complete shock and disbelief as we were told it was an illness associated more with the construction rather than leisure industry,” she said.

“But David could vividly recall what a dusty job the gutting of Gibsons was and it was the only time in his life he worked as a labourer. He was never warned of the dangers of asbestos or given any protective clothing by Stirlands.”

Satpal Singh, an industrial disease expert, said: “Sadly the nature of asbestos exposure means the symptoms take years to develop and in almost all cases it is aggressive and fatal,” he said.

Mrs Fry, from Ilfracombe, Devon, said two years after his death: “I still struggle to accept the fact he has gone.

“We were looking forward to a long and happy retirement together but we never got the chance to enjoy that. We have two grandchildren and David is clearly missed.

“David died because of something he was exposed to at work through no fault of his own and as the country gathers to mark Workers’ Memorial Day at the weekend, I hope it helps trigger people’s memories about asbestos at Gibsons and they get in touch.”

Contact Mr Singh on 0117 926 1524 or email with any information.