Former Colne coalman (80) dies from industrial disease

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A “popular man and fantastic husband” died from an industrial disease caused by 15 years of working as a Colne coalman.

Alan Southworth (80) died peacefully at his home in Boulsworth Drive, Trawden, in March.

During his inquest at Pennine Magistrates’ Court, it was revealed that the former army champion in boxing died of bronchial pneumonia, caused by pulmonary fibrosis he had contracted while working at Hartley’s Coal Merchant.

The court heard how the father-of-three used to come home with his face and clothes covered in dust.

He worked as a coalman until 1974 and then went to work for Wardle Storeys, in Earby. He spent 12 months as a machine operator, before becoming a premix operator for the next 22 years.

Before his death, Mr Southworth was said to have felt it was his time at Wardle Storeys, dealing with plastics, that had led to ill health.

He had suffered with his breathing and chest after retiring in 1997, having a heart attack in 2003 and a quadruple bypass in 2005. He began to deteriorate again last year.

But following a post-mortem examination, pathologist Dr Walid Salman said he did not feel Mr Southworth’s time as a premix operator had contributed to his death.

East Lancs Coroner Richard Taylor concluded Mr

Southworth, who in his youth loved fishing and soccer, died of industrial disease.