THE family of a former power station worker are appealing for help after lung cancer took his life.

Father-of three and grandfather-of-two Brian Neil worked at Didcot Power Station in the 1960s as a sandblaster.

Following his death aged 74, his family instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate whether his illness was caused by exposure to silica - tiny particles often found in the dust of rocks, clay, and sand.

Mr Neil's daughter Karen Rumsey and her legal team are now appealing for information from his former colleagues about the conditions he faced while at the power station.

Herald Series:

Alex Shorey, the specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Ms Rumsey, said: “Brian’s death continues to have a profound effect on his family who have many unanswered questions as to what caused his illness.

“Through our work we see the devastating consequences exposure to silica can have on people. We are now investigating whether Brian was exposed during his career at Didcot Power Station.

“Nothing can make up for their loss, but we are determined to provide Brian’s family with the answers they deserve. Therefore, any information about the working conditions Brian faced could prove vital in providing Karen and the rest of the family with some form of closure.”

Mr Neil, who lived in Northampton, started working at Didcot Power Station when he was in his early 20s.

The former Didcot power station worker was known as Bris to many people and in his spare time he also played in goal for a number of amateur football teams including Silverstone FC.

Read also: Gardener to plant trees to tackle skate park noise

Mr Neil was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016 and he dies two years later in 2018.

Ms Rumsey said: “When he was younger Dad was such a fit and active person. However, that changed following his diagnosis.

“His health rapidly deteriorated after he was diagnosed with cancer. Seeing him as the cancer took hold of him was terrible. It may be more than two years since Dad died but coming to terms with what happened remains difficult.

“Having so many unanswered questions about what caused his illness makes his death harder to accept.

“We know nothing can bring Dad back, but we want to at least honour his memory by finding out why he died.

“We would be so grateful to anyone who came forward with information about his career. Any tiny piece of detail could be vital in helping our family.”

Read also: Alison Lane writes a comedy about South Oxfordshire village life

Asbestos, made from silica, was used from the 1950s until the 1980s as a fireproofing and insulation.

In 2014 solicitors bringing compensation claims said they had seen a rise in cases from Oxfordshire including from those who worked in particular areas at the Cowley plant, Didcot Power Station and Harwell’s atomic energy plant, between the 1950s and 1970s, as asbestos was prevalent in industrial buildings.

Mr Neil’s family ask for anyone with information about working conditions Mr Neil faced at Didcot Power Station should contact Alex Shorey at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5493 or email