A pensioner died 45 years after she used to wash her husband's asbestos-covered work overalls.

Olive Brown, of Sassoon Walk, Marlborough, was diagnosed with mesothelioma - cancer of the lining of the lung - in April last year.

Her health began to deteriorate and she died in September.

An inquest heard that she washed her husband Eric's overalls weekly for nine months in 1962.

At the time Eric, now 77, worked for a builders' merchant.

There he came into direct contact with asbestos products used for insulation.

He said: "I only worked for them for nine months and it cost me my wife's life.

"I feel awful about what my wife went through, but she put on a brave front and not once did she complain.

"But I'm very pragmatic. It's happened.

"You can't turn the clock back, unfortunately, so what's the point of getting angry?"

Eric says he is in good health and has not considered getting tested himself.

He added: "It's very easy to be clever after the event, but once people were aware they did do something about it. It was just one of those things.

"You didn't realise you were handling it. They say ignorance is bliss."

He said he never knew of the dangers of asbestos and how it could have affected his wife's health in years to come.

In the hardware store where he worked they would frequently sell asbestos products such as asbestos stove mats.

"Asbestos was a normal material and we sold all sorts of asbestos products," he said.

Eric said he was with Olive when she died peacefully at home.

"She was a wonderful and amazing lady - the love of my life," he said.

"She made an impression on everyone she met.

"Olive never complained of her illness right up to the last day she died."

The couple were married at Christ Church, in Old Town, on August 24, 1957.

Olive, a former Sanford Street School pupil, died three weeks after their golden wedding anniversary.

She leaves behind two sons, Matthew, 44, and Nigel, 48, and two grandchildren.

David Ridley, the Deputy Wiltshire Coroner, who presided over the case, recorded a narrative verdict.

He said: "Her husband didn't wash his hands and instead rubbed them into his overalls.

"This was then handled and washed by Olive on a weekly basis."

He said Olive died from the industrial disease mesothelioma, when she was exposed with contact of her husband's work clothing.