Reflections on Aberfan

Some days I have to really squeeze my head to think of something to write and on others I have too much to say.  Today was one of those days.  I would have liked to blog about this on Friday but had the piece on Dynamites the previous night to post while it was still fresh.

I wanted to talk about Aberfan and its fiftieth anniversary.  I guess it can wait another couple of days.

Now, I am blessed with a dreadful memory.  I am lucky if I can remember what I was doing last week.  My father in law, may he rest in peace, would have said that I have a good fogettery and I have but I can remember the day fifty years ago of the Aberfan disaster.

I was a school child of six.  I didn’t understand what it meant to die or how it was possible for a pit heap to engulf a school.  I couldn’t comprehend the pain and suffering of the poor people of that town.  I could not fathom what it would mean to have families ripped apart and how cruel the world can be yet I can still recall how I looked out of the window in fear of something happening at my school.

It is stuck in my memory and I have thought if it on many occasions, especially when I was moved to a school on the site of a former pit.  I could see an old slurry heap from the window and sometime later an old shaft opened up in the playing field.  Just as in South Wales where we lived coal was king.  Not now though.  Nearly all of the spoil heaps have gone but the memory lives on.

Some things will always be in your memory and I now I am able to understand the pain that must have been felt on that awful day on 21 October 1966.

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