Plea to find former Goodyear workmates after death of devoted family man

The family of a former Goodyear worker who died from asbestos-related disease are calling on former workmates for help in establishing how he came into contact with the substance.

Barry Bastable was aged 64 when he died
Barry Bastable was aged 64 when he died

Father-of-three Barry Bastable, from Low Hill, Wolverhampton, died aged 64 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma – a life-changing illness which sees the lining of the lungs scarred by asbestos fibres.

Despite his illness, family man Barry honoured a promise to his daughter to walk her down the aisle before he died.

Following Barry's death, his family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and whether it was linked with his work history.

They are appealing for any of Barry's former workmates who remember him from his time at the Goodyear tyre factory in Wolverhampton between 1980 and 2003 to come forward. He was employed as a janitor and knifeman at the site off Stafford Road between those years.

The old Goodyear factory has been knocked down and houses are being built on the site
Work continuing on the estate at the Goodyear factory last year

Barry first began to notice symptoms in November 2017, when he developed breathlessness and began to lose weight. A visit to his GP, followed by various tests, confirmed mesothelioma in 2018.

Barry died in December, 2019, leaving behind his wife of 45 years, Christine, 64, and their three children, Kimberly, 25, Charlene, 37 and Samantha 42, and eight grandchildren.

Speaking on behalf of the family, daughter Kimberly, said: “It is hard to put into words the sheer devastation, loss and emptiness that dad’s death has left behind.

Barry Bastable worked at Goodyear between 1980 and 2003

“When he was first diagnosed it was just him and my mom up the hospital and as soon as the doctor said he had mesothelioma mom just cried. What else can you do, when your whole life is suddenly about to be taken away from you?

“He made everyone promise that the grandkids weren’t to find out and this shows the kind of man he was, protecting his family to the very end and taking the brunt of life for everyone.

“I didn’t know what mesothelioma was. I knew it wasn’t good but when he told me that there was nothing they could do, I held it together until he said ‘don’t worry; I’ll still be here to walk you down the aisle’.

"This devastated me because I wanted so much more than the time he had left."

She added: “The hole left behind isn’t ever going to be filled and isn’t ever going to fully heal. He was the best husband, the best dad and best grandad anyone could have asked for. The injustice we feel, that he was ripped from us, is something words will never be able to describe. My children have no memories of their amazing grandad. He was only 64 and for them to miss out on his stories, his silliness and his love, is inconceivable to imagine.

“How can you replace someone who was everyone’s everything? He wanted to find out how this had happened to him, but the illness moved so fast and as always, he put the family first.

“If any of his old workmates can come forward it would mean a lot to the family, but to mom in particular. I know it would have been what he would have wanted and finding the answers can perhaps allow us to move forward as a family from what has been a living nightmare.”

Satinder Bains, the asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell supporting the family, said: “Barry was very much a family man and his untimely death has left his wife, children and grandchildren devastated by their loss.

“The family continue to struggle to come to terms with his passing and have many questions that remain unanswered on how he came into contact with the asbestos that was to claim his life.

“Nothing can bring Barry back but we are determined to help the family find the answers they are looking for and give them some closure on what has been a terrible experience for them.

“If anyone who worked with Barry could come forward, it would mean a lot to the family and would be a huge help with the ongoing investigation. Any detail, no matter how small could prove vital in establishing the truth about the conditions Barry worked under during his career.”

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