The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95574 Message #1863170
Posted By: eddie1
19-Oct-06 - 09:45 AM
Thread Name: Aberfan disaster 40th anniversary - 21 Oct 1966
Subject: RE: BS: Aberfan 40th anniversary 21/10/66
Paul – I agree totally with your feelings about the Coal Board and the way they were allowed to influence how the millions – and there were millions – collected were spent.
Over the past few days, there was another thread on the source of the song "Scotland The Brave". The words were by a guy called Cliff Hanley. I was not taken by the song and, having met him a few times, not really taken by him either. Stereotypical case of the smallest dog making the most noise.
But – and it's a big BUT – he had a little spot on Scottish Television, a 5-minute thing called "Cliffhanger" when he sat in a chair and talked. A couple of weeks after Aberfan when the whole world seemed to be contributing to the disaster fund, he had the temerity to suggest that perhaps this was not the answer. He made the point that we were not talking about families left without breadwinners or children without parents where money could be a real help. No amount of money was going to bring back lost children but perhaps the best use for our cash would be for it to go to a children's charity in memory of the children of Aberfan – it would then go to help other children in need and help them have the future that had been denied the Aberfan children.
As it turned out, a lot of the disaster fund was sidetracked to pay for something that was the responsibility of the Coal Board, it took years to sort out levels of compensation and (if my memory serves me correctly) a big community centre was built that was basically a white elephant.
What he said, and having the guts to say it at the time, changed my opinion of Cliff Hanley.