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Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!

Related threads:
Songs about Aberfan (1966 mining disaster) (118)
Aberfan disaster 40th anniversary - 21 Oct 1966 (32)
Lyr/Tune Req: Song about Aberfan by George Holden (7)
Lyr Req: Grey October (9)
BS: Aberfan Memorial Petition (19)
Lyr Req: Close the Coalhouse Door (about Aberfan) (3)


eddie1 21 Oct 09 - 03:03 AM
The Villan 21 Oct 09 - 04:01 AM
GUEST,BBP at work 21 Oct 09 - 04:29 AM
eddie1 21 Oct 09 - 04:33 AM
Andy Jackson 21 Oct 09 - 05:04 AM
sian, west wales 21 Oct 09 - 05:27 AM
Leadfingers 21 Oct 09 - 05:32 AM
GUEST,OldNicKilby 21 Oct 09 - 05:34 AM
Dave Roberts 21 Oct 09 - 05:50 AM
richd 21 Oct 09 - 06:03 AM
Liberty Boy 21 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM
Brian Peters 21 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM
The Villan 21 Oct 09 - 06:55 AM
Tug the Cox 21 Oct 09 - 07:28 AM
Brian Peters 21 Oct 09 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,callingbird 21 Oct 09 - 02:34 PM
bradfordian 20 Oct 12 - 08:20 PM
Leadfingers 20 Oct 12 - 09:02 PM
Ebbie 20 Oct 12 - 10:15 PM
Megan L 21 Oct 12 - 04:17 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 21 Oct 12 - 04:24 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 12 - 11:02 AM
bradfordian 21 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM
Anne Neilson 21 Oct 12 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,henryp 21 Oct 12 - 03:20 PM
Leadfingers 21 Oct 12 - 07:21 PM
Anne Neilson 21 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM
BanjoRay 21 Oct 12 - 08:45 PM
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Subject: 43 Years ago today!
From: eddie1
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 03:03 AM

On the morning of 21st October 1966 I was in a new Civil Service office in Cumbernauld. I was one of a small group who had been moved in to plan and carry out training for the new staff. We found we were also acting as furniture removers. Men were assembling desks and we were trying to lay them out to a plan drawn by someone who had never seen the building, a huge aircraft hanger of a place. The atmosphere was great. Someone had brought in a radio and we were listening to the music.
Around 10.00 we were having a tea-break until the newsflash came. Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan had been covered in slurry from the coal tip! At that time there were no other details. We sat silent. Many, especially those with young children, had tears trickling down their cheeks.
Only later did we discover that 144 lives, 116 of them children, had been lost.
43 years later the memory is still clear and October cannot pass without me remembering.
In Aberfan a whole generation is missing for why? The greed of men for coal and the money it represents.

There is much more to write but I can't.

RIP little angels

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:01 AM

Eddie, many thanks for reminding us. Such a terrible disaster.

Still fresh in my memory.

I have put this video up as a mark of respect. It is very sad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVsxVo26AoU


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: GUEST,BBP at work
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:29 AM

I was 8 years old at the time and remember being moved to tears by this over the days as the story unfolded. I was struck by the fact that many of the children were of a similar age to me.

Eddie - don't forget the men who lost their lives in mining disasters - it's not a thing of the past. There was a fatality earlier this week in a Yorkshire pit.

I'll be raising a glass tonight to ALL who have suffered as a result of mining - those who died and those left behind.

"Weave and Worry".

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: eddie1
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 04:33 AM

Deirdre
I haven't forgotten!

Villan
Thanks for that - beautiful and a fitting tribute.

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:04 AM

And now they want to build houses right next to the peace and tranquility of the memorial cemetary!!
Surely this must be stopped.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: sian, west wales
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:27 AM

I believe the people of Aberfan have said that, although the disaster should always be remembered and lessons learned, they hoped the world would allow them to move on .

It must be very difficult to exist in a cloud of constant condolence.

That is not meant as a criticism to the thread.

sian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:32 AM

Might just 'do' Bernie Fairlamb's 'Aberfan' tonight


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: GUEST,OldNicKilby
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:34 AM

I was cleaning out the kitchen range of the house we had just bought when I heard the news.
Two weeks later a whirlwind struck the school where I was teaching and we had to dig children out from beneath the rubble of a collapsed tower, it has moved me to tears as I write this.
We were singing at Fairbridge Festival near Perth W A when I heard Greg Hastings sing his song for Aberfan It struck such a chord that I sat and sobbed.
One of the memories that has stayed with me was the letter the school got from the Aberfan school.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 05:50 AM

It was Founder's Day at the Grammar School I attended in Northwich and we heard the terrible news as soon as we came out of Witton Church after the thanksgiving service.
To this day the hymn 'God Is Working His Purpose Out'brings back memories of that awful day.
I was fourteen years old and in the middle of reading the classic 'How Green Was My Valley' by Richard Llewellyn, a book which, in a strange way, foretold the disaster in a passage about the spoil tips from the pits which grew ever higher and would one day cover the nearby village.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: richd
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:03 AM

Well put Sian.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Liberty Boy
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:10 AM

Sitting at my computer with tears streaming down my face having looked at the video. Thanks Villan for putting it up!


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM

My aunt was teaching in the nearby infant school - fortunately untouched. My uncle joined the operation to dig out the bodies - for the rest of his life, he never spoke a word about what he'd seen, even to his wife.

We should never forget the event, or the responsibility, but Sian is right about people there moving on.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:55 AM

>>but Sian is right about people there moving on<<

Yes i agree. Maybe in hindsight it might have been better not to put the video link up. However many of us can never forget that day.

If it preffered, I can get Joe Offer to remove the video link.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:28 AM

No,don't. There are many under forties,perhaps not so many on mudcat,who will not have seen this.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Brian Peters
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 07:37 AM

Sorry, wasn't criticizing the video link.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: GUEST,callingbird
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 02:34 PM

Anyone who has lost a child of any age, never 'moves on'.

What they do is learn to live alongside it. The grief does not get any less as the years pass. Infact it becomes worse at times because it accentuates how long it is since you last saw your child.

Time is not a healer and peace is forever illusive.

What the people of Aberfan must have wanted was to be left alone with their memories and anniversaries.

It is good people remember the loss of so many lives but press coverage and people converging in thier town year after years must have been pure agony.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 46 Years ago today!
From: bradfordian
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 08:20 PM

In memorium
46 years now.
Grey October sung last night (thanks to 'catter breezy)

bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 09:02 PM

I wasnt 'out' Saturday but will be at The Brewery Tap in Brentford tonight (Sunday in UK) and will do Bernie Fairlamb's song !


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Oct 12 - 10:15 PM

Incredible.

I wrote more, but cannot bear it.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Megan L
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 04:17 AM

Memorial

Let me sit quietly, drifting in memory
Let me walk gently, not opening wounds
Let me cry softly, silently, privately
Not crushing the loved ones who have to live on.

Let me remember them, laughing and dancing
Not crushed by the coal, or claimed by the sea
Let me remember them, loving and lilting
Not falling to bomb or bullet or sword

Let me remember them on bright summer mornings
Walking barefooted through dew sprinkled grass
I will remember them and smile at the memory
Their memory kept close to me as each new year does pass

Sunday 21st October 2012 0915hrs
mhtbl


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 04:24 AM

Thank you for the words and for the reminder, Megan.

I'll never forget the sadness of those terrible images...


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 11:02 AM

I remember starting this thread 3 years ago and was moved to see its revival.
A year or so after The Aberfan disaster I heard this song and it took me several uears before I could sing it through.

[1966]
Lyrics by Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger
Music by Peggy Seeger, Ewan McColl & Critics Group

Grey October in Glamorgan
High pitheaps where the houses stand
Fog in the valley, backshift ending
Children awaken in Aberfan

Warm October in Thi Binh Province
Huts of bamboo and rattan
Sun comes up - repair gangs stop
And children waken in Thuy Dan

Pithead hooter sounds from Merthyr
Load the coal in the waiting trams
Shoot the slag down the high pitheap
While children eat in Aberfan

Ox carts rattle down Thi Binh Highway
Work begins on the broken land
Night's work ended, the roadway's mended
Children eat in Thuy Dan

Dai Dan Evans grabs his satchel
Michael Jones his bread and jam
Five to nine and the school bell ringing
Time for school in Aberfan

School bell ringing, children running
Down by the river and across the dam
Hot sun burning, time for learning
Time for school in Thuy Dan

Lessons started in Pantglas Junior
Through the fog a black wave ran
Under the weight of the man-made mountain
Children die in Aberfan

Lessons start in the Thi Binh schoolhouse
And another day began
Bombers fly in the morning sky
And children die in Thuy Dan

Tears are shed for Glamorgan children
And the world mourns Aberfan
But who will weep for the murdered children
Under the rubble of Thuy Dan?

Grey October in Glamorgan
Warm October in Vietnam
Where children die while we stand by
And shake the killer by the hand.

These children would now have been in their 50s. RIP

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: bradfordian
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM

Eddie, that's the song I did last night;
Megan, beautiful words. The middle verse seems all encompassing for all those innocent lives prematurely taken from us.

bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 02:34 PM

I had only just begun my teaching career that August and heard the news during the afternoon (before mobile phones and the internet). I do remember going back into my class and looking at them in a very different way...

Always remembered, always regretted, always a prayer for better.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 03:20 PM

Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bairns inside,
Bairns that had no time to hide,
Bairns who saw the blackness slide,
Oh, there's bairns beneath the mountainside.
Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bairns inside.

The verse written by Alex Glasgow after the Aberfan disaster.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 07:21 PM

Did Bernie Fairlamb's song this evening .


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 08:07 PM

Thanks to henryp -- says it so well.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan - 43 Years ago today!
From: BanjoRay
Date: 21 Oct 12 - 08:45 PM

Aberfan totally changed my life. I was a lab technician with the NCB in South Wales when it happened, and soon after the disaster the Coal Board woke up to the perils and possible consequences of badly constructed coal tips. They started a laboratory in Yorkshire to do various tests on pit muck with the aim of improving tip safety and finding possible civil engineering possibilities for using the stuff. I got a job in that laboratory and moved North, and have been here in South Yorkshire ever since.
It's an ill wind etc.... I'm not glad Aberfan happened but I AM glad I was able to make the move.
Ray


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