Information appeal after carpenter who worked in Brent and Camden dies from asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma

PUBLISHED: 13:43 11 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:50 11 August 2016

Allen Lavell worked as a joiner in Willesden and Camden Town

Allen Lavell worked as a joiner in Willesden and Camden Town


The family of a retired carpenter who died from a cancer associated with being exposed to asbestos are appealing for information about his working conditions from his former colleagues.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs mainly the lungs.

It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of minerals made of microscopic fibres that used to be widely used in construction.

It usually develops more than 20 years after a person has had open contact with asbestos.

Most cases are diagnosed in people aged 60-80 and men are affected more commonly than women.

It’s rarely possible to cure mesothelioma, although treatment can help control the symptoms, and the outlook is poor.

There are currently around 2,500 deaths from mesothelioma each year in the UK.

(Source: NHS)

Allen Lavell died from mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, in March last year aged 78 – nine months after he was diagnosed with the terminal illness.

Before he died he told his family that in the mid 1950s he made doors which were filled with asbestos to make them fireproof, but feared he may have been exposed to the lethal material throughout his working life.

Mr Lavell had worked as a carpenter and joiner at T H W Hearle in Camden Town between 1952 and 1957, Hickmans in Brent from 1959 to1962 and Heaton Tabbs & Co in Willesden from 1962 to 1964.

He also did some self-employed work during this time.

Allen Lavell has died from mesothelioma last year Allen Lavell has died from mesothelioma last year

Mr Lavell’s widow and two children are trying to trace his former colleagues in the hope that they can provide information about his working conditions to help them establish whether he was exposed to asbestos.

Mr Lavell’s son, John, said: “We were in total shock when we heard about dad’s illness. To hear that he could have contracted it from being exposed to asbestos over 50 years ago left us flabbergasted, it was the last thing we were expecting.

“We never knew too much about dad’s work other than he was a carpenter and joiner, but once we found out he had mesothelioma, he told us about how he may have been exposed to asbestos.

“We hope there are people out there that worked with dad who can help us to piece together how and where he might have come into contact with asbestos.”

Former colleagues who knew Allen Lavell can get in touch with law firm Hugh James by calling Hayley Hawkins on 0808 231 6604.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 15:43

Police are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of a missing 12-year-old girl.

The mayor responded to Andrew Dismore last year in answer to questions in the London Assembly that “it remains my intention to deliver the whole of Cycle Superhighway 11 (CS11) from Swiss Cottage to the West End”.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The redesign of the dangerous, polluted Swiss Cottage gyratory is worth celebrating in itself.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Hampstead campaigners have hit out at plans by the Royal Free Hospital to sell off Queen Mary’s House in Heath Street to developers to build high end luxury flats.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Journalist Neil Behrmann was London correspondent for various South African newspapers and is the author of the financial thriller, Jack of Diamonds.

Friday, May 18, 2018

An Overground user group are angry at transport bosses for failing to tell commuters about a time change for a rush-hour “ghost train”.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Bank customers have reported having hundreds of pounds swiped from their accounts at cashpoint machines in Hampstead and Kentish Town.


Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now