The disaster that struck the village of Aberfan on 21 October 1966 was surely one of the most poignant tragedies of the twentieth century. When the coal waste tip slid down the side of the mountain, engulfing the primary school, a farm and around twenty houses, the loss was enormous. In total, 144 people lost their lives, including 116 school children.
It was shortly after 9 o’clock on that Friday morning that the south face of coal tip number 7 of the Merthyr Vale Colliery began to move. Schoolchildren had just returned from their morning assembly at Pantglas School, ready to begin the day’s classes when a thunderous noise was heard from the hillside above the village. Seconds later, thousands of tonnes of black coal slag swept towards Aberfan, taking with it first a farmhouse before crashing into the primary school, surrounding shops and houses and part of the nearby secondary school which didn’t open its doors until 9.30. Children and adults were trapped by the mud and slurry that quickly filled the classrooms and homes.
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MEDIEVAL SETTLEMENT, CEFNLLYS
Bethania Welsh Independent chapel - mahogany
Wedding present list, Beaumaris 1910
MARCROSS, GRANGE EARTHWORKS
LLANELLI CATTLE MARKET
Stefan haymaking, Pen-y-Bryn, Blaenau Ffestiniog
Letter of recommendation for Anna Jones
NEW CLOCK TOWER, ABERYSTWYTH
Girls at St Martins School, Haverfordwest, 1915
© Casgliad y Werin Cymru, The People's Collection Wales 2011
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