Visits to this website since 2 January 2014 -
This website was last updated on 17 Septemb 2019.
See the Road map page for the new road layout.
Contributions and comments are welcome. It is being compiled
Brian Lamb, 14 Marlborough Court, Earls Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2PN, UK.
Phone - within UK: 01303 851 06701303 851 067; international +44 1303 851 067.
The prime purpose of this website is to remember – and honour – the people of Aberfan who suffered the tragedy on 21 October 1966, when a coal waste tip collapsed, killing 116 children and 28 adults on that day. Another person died 6 days later from his injuries directly related to the disaster. I'm sure many other people later met their premature deaths as the result of the grieving process.
The reality is – those are not only the victims. Most likely, there have been parents and other relatives of the children who have met their premature deaths through the grieving process. Grief, if not adequately addressed, can be a killer (cardiomyopathy).
Some people would like the whole process to be forgotten – I am sure some industrialists are included in this category. Lessons need to be learned from the various mistakes made. Accidents like this don’t occur just because of one thing.
One of the principal causes of course was the tipping of coal waste over a mountain stream (the Old Goitre). The existence of this stream was denied at the inquiry, but old maps did prove its existence – management had not done its homework! Ever tried building a sand castle at the beach, over a little stream?
There have been plenty of disasters since Aberfan, so why remember this one in particular? One answer is that it was caused by long-term neglect (in addition to the very unwise siting). Hopefully within the UK, this kind of disaster will never happen again, but the lessons still have to be learned in other countries. "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana
The old attitude was that if something was unpleasant, you didn’t talk about it. I take the opposite view. Our experiences in life are laid down in memory like layers in a trifle (an English dessert). It’s healthy to review all past experiences. This might bring some emotional upset – let the tears and perhaps laughter flow, as appropriate. You will later feel relieved. Then it’s time to put up the shutters and concentrate on the present and build for the future. You might benefit from this routine on a daily basis.
Dr Louis Kraus from Chicago's Rush University Medical Centre commented on the after effects of the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, USA. Whether a person was directly involved or not, "the scars simply don't go away with a fresh coat of paint". Very apt for any kind of violence or disaster - including Aberfan !