Snowdrops memorial to the victims of Acre Mill

Opening of memorial gardens for asbestos victims of Acre Mill at Peckett Well memorial garden. Pictured are Claire Varley, John Pickering, Renata Taylor-Byrne and Paul Glanville.
Opening of memorial gardens for asbestos victims of Acre Mill at Peckett Well memorial garden. Pictured are Claire Varley, John Pickering, Renata Taylor-Byrne and Paul Glanville.

Families and officials have unveiled a commemorative plaque and snowdrop garden to remember people who have died from exposure to asbestos.

A special ceremony was held at Pecket Well Memorial Garden on Keighley Road, above Hebden Bridge, in memory of those affected in the Calder Valley.

Hundreds of people across Calderdale have died from asbestosis after being exposed to the deadly dust at the former Acre Mill in Old Town, Hebden Bridge.

Reverend John Muir, the former Vicar of Sowerby, conducted a short service before the unveiling which was organised by Wadsworth Parish Council and Wadsworth Environment Group.

The chair of the environment group said: “The issue was raised that there was no memorial to those affected by asbestos.

“The garden and chair is in a beautiful place for people to go and pay their respects and remember people from the past because it was such a tragedy in the village.

“A lot of new people have moved to the district in the last 20 years who know nothing about it. We need to look after the environment and make people fully aware about the ongoing issues.”

Also in attendance was Renata Taylor-Byrne who was the original Chair of the Asbestosis Action Group, and John Pickering, the solicitor who represented so many victims of asbestos-related diseases across the borough.