Anger and Determination

I was helping to dig the children out when I heard a photographer tell a kiddie to cry for her dead friends, so that he could get a good picture – that taught me silence.
Rescue worker

During that period the only thing I didn’t like was the press. If you told them something, when the paper came out your words were all the wrong way round.
Bereaved father

The brave front of the people of Aberfan cracked on Monday at an inquest on 30 of the children.
There were shouts of “murderers” as the Coroner of Merthyr, Mr. Ben Hamilton, began reading out the names of the dead children.

As one name was read out and the cause of death given as asphyxia and multiple injuries, the father of the child said, “No, sir, buried alive by the National Coal Board”.

One of the only two women among the 60 people at the inquest at Sion Primitive English Methodist Chapel at Aberfan, shouted out through her tears, “They have killed our children.”

Then a number of people called out and got to their feet. The coroner tried to restore order and said: “I know your grief is much that you may not be realising what you are saying.”

The father repeated: “I want it recorded – ‘Buried alive by the National Coal Board.’ That is what I want to see on the record. That is the feeling of those present. Those are the words we want to go on the certificate.”
Merthyr Express 

It was impossible to know that there was a spring in the heart of this tip which was turning the centre of the mountain into sludge.
Rt. Hon. Lord Robens of Woldingham, Chairman of the National Coal Board, to a TV reporter

A man who lost his niece at Aberfan broke through a police cordon to talk to Lord Justice Edmund Davies – the man who head the inquiry into the disaster – as he toured the stricken village on Tuesday.
The man, 61-year old Mr. Philip Brown, a disabled miner, told the judge: “Don’t let strangers pull the wool over your eyes.”

The judge spoke to Mr. Brown for a couple of minutes and then moved away to continue his tour.
Afterwards Mr. Brown said “I asked him if I could speak to him for five minutes. He told me, ‘Most certainly.’ He is a real gentleman.

“I said, ‘Don’t let strangers take up the mountain and pull the wool over your eyes. If you must go up, go up with a local man who knows the real facts.’ “

… “I told him the spring at the head of the mountain had always been there.

“It was not a hidden spring. The National Coal Board must have known about it because everyone in the village did.”
Merthyr Express

I was tormented by the fact that the people I was seeking justice from were my people – a Labour Government, a Labour council, a Labour-nationalised Coal Board.
Bereaved husband and parent

The Aberfan disaster was very much a disaster of the Valleys; it could have happened in any part of them. It was the crowning disaster of a dangerous industry, and its victims were the innocent.
Aberfan community worker

Why there is bitterness?

” During my childhood I played on that monstrous mountain of slag, and in my youth I rummaged coal from it. Everyone knew that one day – some day – this hideous scar on the landscape, this indiscriminate dumping of colliery refuse, would bring disaster. But little did we think that when it did happen, it would leave such devastation and heartbreaking sorrow in its wake.”

These words are written by a native of Aberfan, an ex-pupil of Pantglas school. They are contained in a letter to the editor expressing heartfelt sympathy to all those people who are suffering in this hour of indescribable tragedy.

There is today sadness in the hearts of everyone who lives in a mining valley. But there is bitterness too.
The coal mining communities of South Wales have lived so long with death as a companion that they reconcile themselves to accepting the peril that hangs over them.

Everyone knows that coal tips move. Everyone fears that one day the tip above their village will come rumbling down into the valley, but it is a possibility that they accept.

Without the tip above Aberfan the Merthyr Vale Colliery could have closed down. Without the colliery. the village would itself have died.

This is the terrible fear that ate into the minds of the people of Aberfan.

Now the worst has happened. Tragedy of the most devastating kind has struck. A village has lost its children. Is not the bitterness, therefore, understandable?
Merthyr Express Editorial

My first impression of Aberfan was terrible. I couldn’t imagine, I never imagined that it was like that. The village was dirty, my house was dirty, everything was dirty. The tip had left mud and slurry everywhere. I was fortunate in one way because I had no conception what this tip had done to us at Aberfan. It wasn’t until a long time after till I came to terms with this. Then instead of being a passive person as I was before I became a fighter for Aberfan. I felt that we had a duty to the children who were left and those who were yet to be born. And it was a duty that we must build a better Aberfan for the children that were coming.
Bereaved parent on returning to Aberfan after the disaster

The villagers had done admirably in rehabilitating themselves with very little help. A Government gesture was needed to restore confidence and only complete removal of the tips would do this. Many people in the village were on sedatives but they did not take them when it was raining because they were afraid to go to sleep. Children did not close their bedroom doors in case they should be trapped.
Official note of Aberfan social worker’s comments at meeting with Welsh Office

They took the money out of the disaster fund to pay for the removal of the tips, which was to me shocking. Absolutely unbelievable. And that’s always been in me. I think they [the NCB] owe us. They owe the people of Aberfan a debt. Call it a debt of conscience if you like. I don’t think we should beg for this And we need the money. There’s the Memorial Garden to be maintained. And the cemetery. For many, many years to come. Where is it going to come from in later years when we’re gone?
Bereaved parent, speaking in 1996.

14,343 comments on “Anger and Determination

  1. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

  3. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I truly thought you’d have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

  4. May I simply say what a comfort to uncover an individual who truly understands what they are talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people should read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular because you surely have the gift.

  5. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  6. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I?d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  8. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  9. I was very pleased to discover this great site. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new stuff on your blog.

  10. Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It’s always helpful to read content from other writers and practice something from other websites.

  11. Hi there! This blog post couldnít be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

  12. You have made some really good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.

  13. You’re so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve truly read through anything like this before. So nice to discover someone with some original thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  14. Good day! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your excellent information you have right here on this post. I will be returning to your blog for more soon.

  15. Howdy, I do believe your web site could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent website!

  16. Iím amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

  17. Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back once again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  18. Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!

  19. An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people do not discuss such subjects. To the next! Kind regards!!

  20. Right here is the right web site for anybody who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been discussed for years. Great stuff, just great!

  21. Iím impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.

  22. You are so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve read through a single thing like that before. So good to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  23. This is the right site for anyone who really wants to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  24. Hello there! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you have right here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.

  25. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  26. I’m excited to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and I have you book marked to check out new stuff in your web site.

  27. You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the internet. I most certainly will highly recommend this website!

  28. Your style is very unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *