ABERFAN REMEMBERED
ABERFAN REMEMBERED

.

Discussion and Comments

Comments

Please enter the code
* Required fields
  • Vaughan Wilkinson (Thursday, October 20 16 07:30 pm BST)

    Aberfan reflect the images of my own late Victorian primary school in the industrial north.
    The first I knew of the disaster was from my grandma the day after it happened. I remember etching '21st October' on an empty biscuit tin.
    The subsequent proliferation of media coverage that followed impressed the faces of the children upon me, as most of the victims were the same age as I was at the time. A universal grief impacted
    upon our generation. It was a time when everyone wept.
    I witnessed my own mother's tears, which I shared with my school friends next day, all of whom repeated the same thing; and soon we were all in tears in the classroom as our teachers sobbed and
    paused for thought.
    Later on, via clerical connections and academic studies, I connected with Aberfan and its people; and I was privileged to be asked to do a number of drawings for some of them. The people of the
    Valleys are not dissimilar to the folk in Lancashire and they related to me like a son. They remain a supreme example of the Christian faith.
    I also met a few of the survivors during my time there.
    I still recall the voice of a passing stranger on one of my visits, as I gazed on the memorial gardens, advising 'Never go back'; something that still resonates with me nearly forty years on.
    We must also remember that for the families of those who lost loved ones every day is an anniversary. This is the 50th year.
    'For a little while we had them to ourselves'

  • Caroline Thomas (Wednesday, October 19 16 11:23 pm BST)

    Very moving tribute tonight on Radio 2. Being part of a choir has helped me through many sad times and we support one another.

  • Michael Pope (Sunday, June 19 16 09:55 am BST)

    Remembering the Aberfan disaster

    50 YEARS ON - When people of my generation are asked what are their memories of 1966, they will immediately recall our elation and pride in England winning the football world cup. How many will
    recall one of our worst peace time tragedies when on October 21, 1966 in a Welsh mining village near Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales a colliery spoils tip collapsed on to Pantglas Junior School in
    Aberfan, burying it under thousands of tons of mining waste and killing 116 children and 28 adults? If you lived through that time, please spare a thought this year for the generation of children
    that was wiped out in minutes, if you're not old enough then maybe you'd be interested enough to Google it. A few years ago I again visited the Aberfan Cemetery, as I hope to this year and it was so
    moving to look up the steep gradient of manicured lawns to the long, long rows of white archways that mark the graves of these poor children and their teachers. Everything is immaculate, obviously
    paid for by a trust set up by the National Coal Board who's negligence it was proved caused the disaster. The site of Pantglas Junior School is now a children's memorial playground. I was 16 when
    this happened and I can still remember it like it was yesterday and 50 years on I feel it should not be forgotten. God Bless the people of Aberfan who this year I know will be shedding many a tear as
    they remember how on that fateful day the people of the village sent their children off to school on the last day before half term for them never to return.
    Mae ein meddyliau a'n gweddïau gyda chi i gyd. Dduw Bendithia.

  • Kevin Mcilwraith (Tuesday, November 11 14 04:43 pm GMT)

    When I was about 5 my mum was listening to the radio and suddenly she burst into tears and gave me the strongest hug ever.I never understood why, until years later.It was 21st Oct 1966. I can never
    feel your pain & suffering, but I can still remember at least 144 tears pouring down a mothers face. Peace,love,and justice to all involved

  • lingerie-order (Wednesday, August 28 13 04:48 am BST)

    The Aberfan disaster was a catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip in the Welsh village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil, on 21 October 1966, killing 116 children and 28 adults. It was caused by
    a build-up of water in the accumulated rock and shale, which suddenly started to slide downhill in the form of slurry.

* Reference the BBC screening of Stiff Upper Lip on Tuesday 16 October 2012, when the Ynysowen Male Voice Choir was shown.

Ian Hislop mentioned the increasingly intrusive media which was insisting that we all had a right to share in other people's grief.

My take on this is that we never have the right to be intrusive, unless such an intrusion is a benefit to the other party – saving a  person’s life for example.

I am a follower of the Christian faith. By default, we share in other people’s  misfortunes – whatever form they take.  We don’t have an actual “right” to share in other people’s grief.  We share because that’s the way we are configured - it is not a matter of choice.

This is not exclusive to Christians, it can apply to people of other faiths – and atheists.  I think what it comes back to in the end is whether a person has sufficient empathy – understanding of another person’s feelings.

 

* The Aberfan tragedy was terrible – more so because many people had previously voiced their concerns.  Parents don’t expect their children to die before them.  Had the people died simply “went missing”, that would have been even worse – the relatives wouldn’t know whether they are still alive, or dead.  They would be surviving in some kind of ‘limbo’.  Many people go missing in the world today for various reasons – leaving relatives without any closure.  Thankfully with Aberfan, this did not happen.



Brian Lamb