Son’s warning after ‘dedicated’ builder exposed to sand dust

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

A “talented” builder who worked with stone all his life died because of the dust he inhaled, an inquest has heard.

Allen Frederick Myers, of Smelthouses, died on February 4 after being admitted to Harrogate District Hospital suffering from shortness of breath.

The 86-year-old, who built homes across Knaresborough and Nidderdale, had developed an infection after years of breathing in silica stone dust.

Now his son, a horticulture and landscaping lecturer at Craven College, has warned of the dangers of not wearing a mask.

“I don’t think he realised the risks,” said Michael Myers after the inquest last Thursday. “All his working life he’d been working with stone. Back in the 60s and 70s, the risks weren’t recognised.”

The inquest at Harrogate Magistrates Court had heard how Mr Myers, a former RAF electrician from Arkendale, had worked with stone both as a builder and as a mason at a quarry in Nidderdale.

He had developed nodules on his lungs, coroner Rob Turnbull heard, and had needed carers to look after him after he was diagnosed a few years ago.

“He was a good age when he died,” said his son.

“But without this condition he would have lived on well into his 90s.”

Mr Myers’ daughter-in-law Helen said he had fought to stay at home right until the very end.

“He was very dedicated and talented,” she said.

“He worked with stone until he was 83, he loved what he did so much.”