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Aberfan 50th Anniversary

bradfordian 02 Oct 16 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,Joe G 02 Oct 16 - 12:54 PM
Newport Boy 02 Oct 16 - 01:22 PM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 16 - 05:59 AM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 16 - 06:01 AM
bradfordian 03 Oct 16 - 03:11 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Oct 16 - 04:30 PM
bradfordian 08 Oct 16 - 01:32 PM
Kampervan 08 Oct 16 - 01:43 PM
bradfordian 11 Oct 16 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,oldnic kilby 12 Oct 16 - 06:23 AM
Leadfingers 12 Oct 16 - 06:32 AM
bradfordian 12 Oct 16 - 07:35 AM
SPB-Cooperator 12 Oct 16 - 01:14 PM
punkfolkrocker 12 Oct 16 - 01:56 PM
bradfordian 13 Oct 16 - 04:19 AM
Iains 13 Oct 16 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,oldnic kilby 14 Oct 16 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,bradfordian 14 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,oldnic kilby 17 Oct 16 - 07:13 AM
bradfordian 17 Oct 16 - 07:37 AM
BanjoRay 17 Oct 16 - 11:39 AM
bradfordian 18 Oct 16 - 05:35 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 16 - 06:07 PM
bradfordian 18 Oct 16 - 06:52 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 16 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,Eddie1 19 Oct 16 - 03:30 AM
bradfordian 19 Oct 16 - 09:53 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 16 - 03:12 AM
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Subject: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 02 Oct 16 - 11:20 AM

I was going to wait a few more days before starting this thread but this item has just come to my attention as it is due to be aired on S4C (Welsh Channel 4) on 8 October...so just to give you a little advance notice.

NB:The BBC will also be marking this anniversary (21 October 1966)
More on this later.

This from the S4C website (click)

Remembering Aberfan – new choral work by Sir Karl Jenkins a lasting tribute to the strength of a community
02/09/2016

The people of Wales will never forget 21 October 1966, the day when 116 children and 28 adults were killed in the mining village of Aberfan. Wales will also never forget the strength and bravery of this close knit community, and admire their determination to rebuild their community, their quest to get to the truth of what happened and to learn from it.

As a lasting tribute to their dignity and strength, S4C have commissioned a new choral work by the world-renowned composer Sir Karl Jenkins.

Cantata Memoria is a striking and emotional piece with light as a central theme for the whole work. The piece remembers the tragedy which brought a community to its knees. But, at the same time, it looks forward to the future with hope. It's a testament to the strength of the community which has rebuilt itself a new following the tragedy, and has fought for justice and to turn darkness into light.

The libretto is provided by chaired bard Mererid Hopwood with words in Welsh, Latin and English.
The complete work will be premiered at a memorial concert at the Wales Millennium Centre on Saturday 8 October. The first TV broadcast will be on S4C the following night, on Sunday 9 October 7.30.

Today it is also announced that the recording will be available to buy from 7 October 2016, released on Deutsche Grammophon.
It is a privilege to have commissioned such an important piece of work, says S4C Chief Executive, in tribute to a remarkable community;

Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive says; "S4C are proud to have commissioned this choral work by one of the world's greatest living composers, Sir Karl Jenkins. It is a true testament to the people of Aberfan, whom, in the words of the poet Mererid Hopwood, have succeeded in looking towards the "light" beyond the "darkness inside".

Like many people in Wales and beyond, the Aberfan disaster had a life-long impact on Ian Jones, who was a primary school pupil at the time.

Ian Jones says; "As an innocent seven year old, living some 25 miles away in Morriston, that day left an indelible impression on me; the tragic loss of life, the bravery of the rescue workers and the sadness and dignity of the families and local community.
"The people of Wales will never forget the morning of 21 October 1966 when the when water-logged debris broke away from a Merthyr Vale Colliery waste tip and engulfed Pantglas Junior School. Above all else, we continue to admire the determination of the local people to rebuild the community, in the name of those who cruelly lost their lives so young.

"Cantata Memoria is a lasting tribute to the community and for the whole of Wales to forever remember what happened in Aberfan."
Cantata Memoria and the memorial concert have been commissioned with the full co-operation of the Aberfan Memorial Charity. S4C is proud to work with all the partners involved in the project - S4C, Wales Millennium Centre, Aberfan Memorial Charity, Rondo Media, MR PRODUCER, Universal Music – to create an event of remembrance and tribute, and to provide a broadcast of a world premiere of international significance.

Ian Jones says, "Working closely with a number of key partners, including most crucially, the local community and the Aberfan Memorial Charity, Sir Karl Jenkins and the poet Mererid Hopwood, Wales Millennium Centre and production company Rondo Media we hope to provide the broadcast of a world premiere, befitting of an event of national and international significance."

Tickets are available for the memorial concert at Wales Millennium Centre on 8 October, to buy on the Centre's website:

Cantata Memoria will be available to purchase, on CD and across all digital platforms, from 7 October by Universal Music.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 02 Oct 16 - 12:54 PM

I remember that day only too well - I was 7 years old, the son of a miner (Durham coalfield), and I was so horrified that I became an atheist that day and have remained one to this day. My young mind could not believe in a God that could let such things happen.

Those who died will never be forgotten


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Newport Boy
Date: 02 Oct 16 - 01:22 PM

I was in charge of a construction site near Chepstow. Half a dozen of the men on site travelled daily from the valleys and I agreed to send them with a JCB digger. They returned to site, shell-shocked, about 4 days later.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 05:59 AM

Previous Thread


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 06:01 AM

I shall be singing Bernie Fairlamb's song


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 03:11 PM

Some related links:

Walesonline

ITV

BBC

YLOLFA

Photos


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Oct 16 - 04:30 PM

I should like to thank bradfordian for starting this thread. I was fifteen at the time, living in a poor working class area in the north-west, and the Aberfan tragedy made a profound effect on me. The price of coal...


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 08 Oct 16 - 01:32 PM

Just lumping together the known Aberfan songs

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=17791#2748121

GREY OCTOBER
(Peggy Seeger & Jack Warshaw)
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.


PALACES OF GOLD by Leon Rosseleson

If the sons of company directors,
And judges' private daughters,
Had to got to school in a slum school,
Dumped by some joker in a damp back alley,
Had to herd into classrooms cramped with worry,
With a view onto slagheaps and stagnant pools,
Had to file through corridors grey with age,
And play in a crackpot concrete cage.

Chorus (after each verse):
Buttons would be pressed,
Rules would be broken.
Strings would be pulled
And magic words spoken.
Invisible fingers would mould
Palaces of gold.
If prime ministers and advertising executives,
Royal personages and bank managers' wives
Had to live out their lives in dank rooms,
Blinded by smoke and the foul air of sewers.
Rot on the walls and rats in the cellars,
In rows of dumb houses like mouldering tombs.
Had to bring up their children and watch them grow
In a wasteland of dead streets where nothing will grow.

I'm not suggesting any kind of a plot,
Everyone knows there's not,
But you unborn millions might like to be warned
That if you don't want to be buried alive by slagheaps,
Pit-falls and damp walls and rat-traps and dead streets,
Arrange to be democratically born
The son of a company director
Or a judge's fine and private daughter.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RNpKmNFoRY


THE ABERFAN COAL TIP TRAGEDY BY Thom Parrott

The mining men of Wales are hardy, strong and bold,
And they tunnel in the earth and make it yield its coal.
But in the town of Aberfan, it's dearer now than gold,
For one generation, for the black rock, has been sold.
Chorus:
How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came rumbling down?
How many children will never grow old?
How many lives purchase how many pounds of coal?

The little school of Pantglas* lay where the mountain loomed,
And some two hundred children took their lessons in its rooms.
The day fall recess was to begin, they went to meet their doom,
Not knowing "the green hollow" would soon become their tomb.
Chorus.

It was just 9:00 AM when they opened up the door,
And in came the children, two hundred, maybe more,
For nobody knew what the mountain had in store.
The lucky ones were tardy, the others are no more.
Chorus.

"I played with my big dog, I played with my cat."
Signed "Paul, October 21." There's nothing after that.
For the mountain came down, and everyone was trapped,
And now there's only coal slag where little Paul once sat.
Chorus.

In eighteen hundred and seventy-four, the first pit shaft went down,
And they started piling mining waste on the slopes above the town.
Everybody knew that the practice was unsound
But for ninety-two years no better place was found.

The men of the National Coal Board said that they'd known from the first.
The coal tips they permitted were a worry and a curse.
But I've heard that kind of thing so many times and it always sounds rehearsed.
If the coal tip was a murderer, the Coal Board's crime was worse.

For the children all were pretty, the children all were fine,
But the children went to school in the shadow of the mine.
With the coal tip up above them, they were running out of time,
And they were buried alive by the Ministry of Mine.

How many died in Aberfan
When the coal tip came tumbling down.
How many children will never grow old.
How many lives purchase how many tons of coal.


ABERFAN -- Bernie Fairlamb (ref Leadfingers)

Am                           G
Black is the life of a mining man,
                      Am                     Em
In the bowels of the earth with a pick and a lamp
               Am             C
Black is the life of a mining man
                   G            Am
And Black is the memory of Aberfan


That Friday morning in a little Welsh town
A man made mountain came tumbling down
It came down the hillside like a giant black hand
And plucked all the children from Aberfan

In the little brick schoolhouse children laughed sang and played
When down came that mountain that mining men made
More than a hundred lives lost before they began
A lost generation in Aberfan

A heartbroken Mother stood watching in dread
As men brought out children all broken and dead
She'd stood at the PitHead to weep for her man
Now gone two of her children in Aberfan

The graves on the hillside stretch over the town
That a man made mountain brought to world renown
They stretch out as far as the eye can scan
There lie the children of Aberfan

So come all you miners who cut the rough coal
Dont take the life of another young soul
Bury your waste as deep as you can
Lest you bury your children like Aberfan


Robin Jones wrote a song about Aberfan, slightly amended by Lol Lynch in the "Wench All," version, see notes below.

ABERFAN by Robin Jones

"So much is given in money and toys.
In tears they spade away the spoils,
but they don't bring me back again,
to sunshine, and to Aberfan

And I was only a litle girl:
one of three hundred in the school
Who chalked and chanted, skipped and ran
in sunshine and in Aberfan

There's some who lived and many who died,
when the colliery slag began to slide.
The sunless, coal-black slurry ran.
Two hundred buried in Aberfan

Lend me my toys, and let me play
Above the earth for another day.
Let me see my school friends once again
and say 'Goodbye' to Aberfan."

Recorded by local Lancashire groups "Brillig," on a tape of the same name 22 years ago, and "Wench All" in 2003 on a CD "Ne'er a Penny 'o Money."


I (Dave Collins) wrote this song about Aberfan some time ago. If anyone is interested, email me and I will send you the melody and guitar chords.

He was lying
In a frozen world of rock and stone;
Death defying,
Through a hundred million years alone.
Dreaming how he would rise,
Once more to fill the skies;
He was giant.
What were centuries to him?

Soft now the giant sleeps.
Soft in the mountain deep.
Far from the children of the mining man;
Far from the village they call Aberfan.

Then they woke him,
Where he slumbered in his ancient pride.
And they broke him;
Threw him out upon the mountainside.
What would he do but wait;
Nursing his grief and hate?
He would show them
Not to lay their hands on him.

Soft now the giant crawls;
Soft while the dark rain falls.
Woe to the children of the mining man,
When the black giant comes to Aberfan.

They were praying,
As they would on any normal day.
They were saying,
"Gentle Jesus look on us we pray".
Was no-one listening in?
Or were they too steeped in sin?
Can't you save them?
Don't you see the giant comes?

Loud now the giant roars,
In through the schoolhouse doors.
Where are the children of the mining man?
Lost in the village they call Aberfan.




ABERFAN by Dave Ackles

It was rainy in the morning as the men left for the mine,
Past the schoolyard in the morning.
At the colliery production charts read, 'Men, we're doing fine,'
As the rain fell in the morning.
The coal board said you're number seven tip will stay in line,
It's been two years this morning.
But no one told the children of Aberfan.
One hundred and sixteen caps and shawls
Danced the halls of the school-house,
While the grown-up inspectors drank their tea
In the safe, dry lee of the tool-house.
As the rain fell in the morning on Aberfan.
Did no one hear the stones move when the tip began to fall?
Did no one feel the slag shake? Was no one there at all?
They were on the phone for Swansea taking orders for more,
They were going about their business, minding the store,
And five minutes later, they were asking, 'What for?'
The call for silence hushed the crowd,
Who searched the clouds for answers.
While they listened for life and held their breath,
The sound of death held the dancers.
As the rain fell in the morning on Aberfan.
But no one told the children, but no one told the children.
And it's always the children.
"Aberfan" is a song by David Ackles. It is track #8 from the album Five & Dime that was released in 1973. The duration of this song is 04:10.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZrLujw46uQ



Just thought I'd add the lyrics to a Great Song I heard by Kyle Aughe /Dulahan from the CD "Not against my own".

Aberfan

'Twas the twenty-first of October, on a foggy Friday morn
And the children sang things beautiful and bright
Their fathers dug the coal beneath the mountainside above
And grew the tip that shattered all their lives

For years the townsfolk worried of the spring beneath Merthr Vale
Could it someday bring the slag upon the town?
And on that fateful morning in the mining south of Wales
Five hundred thousand tons came raining down

CHORUS: On Aberfan, a hundred sixteen children, Aberfan
So cruel a fate to will them
There'll be no consolation for the coal board's washed their hands
Of the blood of those young children in the town
Of Aberfan

They heard a distant rumble and it soon became a roar
So quickly that they had no time to flee
The parents and the miners dug frantically in vain
Through tears that made it difficult to see

The crown and her tribunal and the coal board had their say
Empty words that fell on deafened ears
New rules and regulations are not the prime concern
When you're burying a child of seven years. CHORUS

Since that day my father's never mined an ounce of coal
For he lost a son and daughter in the slide
He sees my brother James and sister Margaret in my eyes
The torment and the grief will not subside

Most days the memory lingers sometimes it starts to fade
Till you see the hollow faces in a crowd
And it brings back the resignation; 'twill never go away
A generation lost beneath a shroud. CHORUS

http://www.dulahan.com/?page_id=437

bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Kampervan
Date: 08 Oct 16 - 01:43 PM

Close the Coal House Door by Alex Glasgow and performed by The Wilsons.
Alex added the reference to bairns after Aberfan.

The Wilsons -Close the Coalhouse Door


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 11 Oct 16 - 06:36 PM

Alex Glasgow's Close the coalhouse door lyrics here


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,oldnic kilby
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 06:23 AM

Please don't forget Greg Hastings Aberfan song. I have tried to learn it but it is too powerful and I can't help crying. I played the C D last Saturday at our Second Saturday do.
I was a Teacher 50 years ago and the School I was teaching at in Leicester was hit by a Whirlwind that demolished part of the School burying a class of kids under 50 tons of rubble


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 06:32 AM

Sang Bernie Fsirlamb's song last night at an O M in Maidenhead


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 07:35 AM

oldnic.kilby, whats the song title, which album is it on, do you have lyrics?


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 01:14 PM

There's another haunting song that Mabsant did, in Welsh.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 Oct 16 - 01:56 PM

My wife is a Valleys girl, she'd have been about 5 at the time.

I was 7 or 8, living just across the Bristol Channel.
I can't remember any detail, but my primary school impressed upon us how tragic and close to home the event was.

Guess it's going to be sombre time in our house over the coming days.

I think there's a documentary on ITV at 9.00 tonight...


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 04:19 AM

SPB-Cooperator-any more details on this MABSANT song?


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Iains
Date: 13 Oct 16 - 10:10 AM

There have been many horrific mining disasters over the years but what made Abervan so poignant was the fact it was a school full of children that was buried when a tip collapsed.
It is of no consolation to the parents that legislation resulted from the public enquiry that brought waste tips into the remit of the mines and quarries act(Tips) Act 1969. This was followed by the later Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 as previously the act was reactive and now became proactive.
    The remaining tips in the vicinity of the village were made safe but the Coal Board, government and Charity Commissioners came out as small minded to say the least. The additional stabilisation of the remaining tips was fought for but the coal board claimed not to have the money, the government made a 200k£ contribution and the trustees of the trust fund were almost coerced by government to make a contribution (refunded many years later but without interest)
It was a sad sad event that could have so easily been avoided, as it was known the tip was built over springs that led to the collapse.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,oldnic kilby
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 09:01 AM

Bradfordian
The song is "Davey's Song "
The C D is Windstorm
Greg has a Website and you can order from it
He is based in Perth West Australia
He's sort of an Aussie Graeme Miles


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,bradfordian
Date: 14 Oct 16 - 02:09 PM

Davey's Dream, I believe.
www.greghastings.com
Bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,oldnic kilby
Date: 17 Oct 16 - 07:13 AM

That's the one . I got it wrong, silly old ta ta


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 17 Oct 16 - 07:37 AM


Lots of resources around on the internet, here is an example (click):


A few programs on telly, here is one:
"Surviving Aberfan" Thursday 20/10/16 BBC4 9pm


And a poem (author unknown, from a previous Aberfan thread)

I am a generation
And a threepenny, sixpenny, five pound note
Cannot buy me now,
Drowned and lost in a black, crawling sea.

Once I played there, nature's school.
And on a summer sweet day when birds were young
And the sky naked and laced with laughter,
I played the games that children play.

But when the sky swam, crying with tears,
The world fell down on me
And I cannot come back.

I am a generation
And I cannot come back
To the narrow streets walking empty
To the warm kitchen where Mam and Dad wait.
The snapshot taken in life yellows with years.

I am hostage of some avenging valley green god
For the rape of my land that fell down on me.

And I cannot come back.

bradfordian


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Oct 16 - 11:39 AM

Aberfan totally changed my life. I was a British Coal scientific technician in a lab near Swansea when it happened. We were all horrified, of course, and soon British Coal woke up to its responsibilities and started examining all its tips for stability and dangers. They established a soil mechanics laboratory at its Regional Laboratory in Wath-On-Dearne, South Yorkshire and I got a job in it. I spent several years trudging round tips collecting samples, testing for density and stability and other properties. Tips had a lot more real civil engineering input into their design and construction - spoil was no longer just dumped, and much was removed for use in road construction - there's quite a lot under parts of the M62 for example, and earthworks around the Thames barrier and the old Pegwell Bay hoverport. In one of our experiments I managed to lose a finger tip in my left hand and had to relearn how to play banjo after 10 years playing it normally.
I've been in Yorkshire ever since and made many musical friends, so it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good!


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 05:35 PM

Aberfan: the fight for justice.
BBC1 10.45 tonight (18/10/16-- sorry for the short notice)
availble on BBC iplayer for UK residents


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 06:07 PM

Mrs Steve doesn't stay up late so we're recording it. The item on BBC news tonight was a lovely and sensitive piece, Huw Edwards doing an excellent job.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 06:52 PM

That was a very illuminating program.(check it out on iplayer)
What a travesty that Robens was never held to account.
What out for further programs over the next few days, and remember the victims on friday 21 October.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 16 - 07:33 PM

Hear hear. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST,Eddie1
Date: 19 Oct 16 - 03:30 AM

I remember this all too clearly. I had just moved to Cumbernauld and was part of a group setting up a new office. We were moving furniture around and had a radio playing music. This was interrupted with the terrible news and everyone stopped, frozen. Tears flowed from men and women alike. I will be marking this, as I do every year, on my radio show on Friday. God bless them and comfort those who still grieve.


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: bradfordian
Date: 19 Oct 16 - 09:53 AM

A few more songs relating to the Disaster from youtube:
A range of people expressing their feelings and emotions through song.

On the hill in Aberfan by Kelvin Evans

Aberfan Coal tip tragedy by Thom Parrott

Aberfan by Dave Collins

Aberfan - Tears of the Valley by Johnny

Remembering Aberfan by Amy Goddard

Aberfan Disaster by Paul Hughes

Black Blanket by Chris Beck

A Tribute to the Aberfan Disaster: 50 years on

Aberfan by Dave Ackles

Aberfan: Do you remember by Mac Oldman

Close the coalhouse door by Alex Glasgow

ABERFAN by Emma Maybery (Video Quality poor)

Palaces of Gold by Leon Rosselson

And a fitting hymn:
Abide With Me


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Subject: RE: Aberfan 50th Anniversary
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 16 - 03:12 AM

Refresh


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