Hi, I'm a 77 (born in 1942) year old bloke - going on 55!
My home is on Tyneside about a mile from the North Sea coast but much of my time is spent in Belgium and NRW, Germany.

I have been active with workplace health and safety campaigners for more than 40 years - my one-time workplace was Europe's first with a hearing conservation programme to reduce the risk of noise deafness (back in 1970). Nowadays my main activity is tracking the global trade in asbestos through my links with the Euro Fed'n of Building & Woodworkers in Brussels, and as member of the Euro Community social dialogue committee for the construction sector. I am secretary of the UK Construction Safety Campaign, a Rank & File group of workers which for 40 years has been among the main actors in struggling for better workplace health and safety. We assist bereaved families at inquests, and in getting compensation for the loss of their family members. In recent years CSC has been very involved with the migrant workers who are more than half of the nations building workers.

In Belgium I also work alongside musicians and actors in the Antwerp district; a journalist & writer from Gent; and academic social historians and others who use my historical research for drama presentations, and publications about this unique, near 7,000, Belgian war refugee community working at the WW1 arms factory at Elisabethville, Birtley near Gateshead - the Birtley Belgians.
My eldest daughter has been living at Osnabruuck and Bielefeld, NRW Germany for nearly 20 years and spending upto 2 months and more there every year I use it as a base for exploring the continent, and hiking in the local forests, and hill country.
I came to Community Reporting new year 2015 largely to pick up fresh skills, and find ways to reformat my writing, audio and video interviews and presen them to a wider world. My training course was based in Weardale, Co Durham - somewhere with a wealth of trade union and worker history which I want to record.......and it was also the home of the first Belgian refugees to come to north-east England in autumn 1914.

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Bill Lawrence

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9 years 1 month
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