21/10/2016 BBC Wales Today


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 21/10/2016. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



That's all from the BBC News at 6, so it's goodbye from me,


It was among this country's darkest days - a generation wiped out,


an unimaginable loss of life that changed this village forever.


50 years on, the village and the nation come to a standstill


116 children and 28 adults died when an avalanche of coal waste


collapsed onto their school and nearby houses.


Living a life with losing two siblings in our family


But I think the community has shown that today, has come together,


and we are still as strong 50 years on as what we were then.


Among the last to be pulled out alive -


this little boy shocked, bewildered, but safe.


I didn't know what had happened to me.


All I could hear was the shouts and screams of people


Obviously, those got less and less as time went by.


I tried to get out, but I couldn't move.


But amid the grief and sorrow, a story of strength and resilience,


of how Aberfan came together to face the future.


Once Aberfan was much like any other village in these mining valleys -


a village dominated by coal and the vast coal waste tips


It was on this street, Moy Road, that Pantglas School stood.


But on the 21st of October 1966, at 9:15 in the morning,


one of the waste coal tips slid down the mountain,


engulfing the school and a row of terraced houses.


144 people lost their lives - most of them children.


50 years on, a memorial garden and playground stand


And today the people of Aberfan have been remembering those who died.


And joining them in their silent reflection,


Wales came to a standstill to remember that terrible morning.


At 9:15am on the 21st of October 1966, Time stood still. Today,


exactly 50 years and, Wales and the children of Aberfan fell silent to


remember those who perished. 150,000 tonnes of coal slurry that


down the mountain. In its path, homes and Pantglas School. Something


like a jet came very low and was crashing. All I could see was a


terrible black cloud. My neighbours said there was an explosion, and


that Pantglas School had gone. I was 8.5. I was buried and rendered


unconscious. When I was brought out initially, I was placed with the


dead bodies, until someone thought they saw my foot move. But as myself


there, that is my father. This is the day after the disaster, a


Saturday morning. Gareth was one of the lucky ones. As a six-year old,


he was able to climb out of a window. My teacher put a chair next


to the window and we kind out. It was a matter of seconds. It was her


quick thinking that saved our lives. Everyone nearby rushed to help.


There were 50 people there, and they had their normal clothes on, with


much all over. The miners came. When they came to me, it was like


something from a John Wayne film, the cavalry while driving. The


miners went in as part of the rescue team. They quickly realised there


was no one to save. It was an adult, we issue a teacher, with her back to


me, with their arms stretched out. That was awful. We were trying to


protect from the slurry. Every so often, there is absolute quiet as


the would-be rescuers and listen to see if anyone is alive underneath.


When we were passing the dead children through, one man looked


down, looked at me and said, that was my child. It was one of the


worst things. He carried on working. You know, he passed his dead child


along and he carried on working. I mean, that shows the strength of the


people in Aberfan. Never in my life have I ever seen anything like this.


50 years ago, news of the disaster spread across the world. Within


days, the Queen came to Aber van, the first of four visits to the


village. Today, the Prince of Wales joined villagers to lay a wreath.


Aberfan showed the world the darkest sorrow, but also the most shining


selflessness. 10-year old Mackenzie has a special interest in Aberfan.


His grandmother, who is a dud the time, was amongst those rescued.


Today, he showed Prince Charles this cool project he had been working on


about his family's personal story. My grandmother was one of the last


to be pulled out of the disaster. I am paying for she came out alive,


otherwise I would not be here today. Coal-mining evicted the physical


scars on the townscape of South Wales. With the demise of the


industry, the light is Green and pleasant once more. But the deep


emotional scars infected and this smoke amenity, who lost a whole


generation, still have not healed half a century on. The people here


want of the danger of water and tip another seven. They were ignored.


The subsequent tribunal blamed the National coal board for ignorance


and ineptitude. The tragedy of October 1966 changed Wales for ever


and the country came together today to amend what happened, at two hope


for a brighter future. Nick Palit on how


the people of Aberfan Denise Morgan lost her sister in the


school. What are your thoughts today, on this difficult day?


It has been a difficult few months as we have led up to the 50th


anniversary, really. But I think it is there to say that today has been


a fine tribute to those who lost their lives, to the survivors and to


those who helped us at that time to overcome the difficulties and to


look for the children. It has been a fitting memorial. To have Prince


Charles here as well has been wonderful, really. To see groups of


people get together that possibly happen seen each other for 30 or 40


years, it was laughter in the Hall this afternoon. I think that is a


fine tribute to the drapery and richness of everyone. We have been


surrounded by children playing in the playground here, it has been


wonderful to hear them playing. I wonder if it becomes easier, 50


years on? It has become easier. This anniversary has been particularly


difficult in many ways, but also a lot easier in many ways because


people have spoken for the first time, and this is help them overcome


their grief over the years. There are many inability wanted to get now


and move on. It is a difficult junction, isn't it? Do you move on?


It is impossible to forget. It is impossible to forget but we must


move on. What has happened today is evidence that people have moved on


and will continue to do so. Thank you very much.


Tonight, a memorial service is being held


at St Mary's Church, a mile from here.


You join me as people start to arrive for that service,


after a day which has clearly been difficult for so many.


Among them, Jeff Edwards, one of the last children


He still lives just a short distance from where the school once stood.


He's been speaking to me about how the experience has shaped his life.


Today, Jeff Edwards still lives in Aberfan.


because, in the darkness of the ruined school,


This is where I lived at the time of the disaster.


37 Aberfan Road, which is the main road that goes through Aberfan.


And this was a bustling commercial area then,


The morning of the disaster, I left this house here and walked


down to the next big house that you see, and that was where


the general practitioner lived, David Jones.


and, every morning, we used to walk to school together.


On that morning, it was no different.


We walked to school, but Robert would not return.


Every detail of that day is etched in his memory.


The noise that we heard was a rumbling sound,


and that noise got louder and louder.


The teacher assured the children in the classroom


that there was nothing to worry about, it was only thunder.


was waking up with all this material above me.


There were desks, and the roof had fallen down,


and I survived because I was in a pocket of air.


Above me, I could see the sky, actually.


The roof had fallen in, and all the materials around me,


there was a little gap at the top, which enabled me to see.


That's where I think the rescuers, when they came in to the room,


actually saw my white hair through that chink


by the local greengrocer, Tom Harding.


When I was rescued from the classroom itself,


I was thrown out in a human chain, out into the yard.


We were seen by medics there, and wrapped up in that blanket.


Tom Harding actually carried me out of the school.


In that photograph, there is an image of my mother


You can see how worried her face is at this time.


When you look at that now, what do you think?


I think I was a very lucky lad, really.


That really gave me the motivation to do things for the community.


In the years that followed, growing up with his friends gone,


he found it hard to speak to his family about the disaster.


But, in the end, it was speaking publicly about his experience


First, I think, you've got to come to terms with the problem


Once you put that aside, I think the driver then


is to do the best that you can with your life,


because you were saved for a purpose.


Effectively, that's been my motivation and drive, really,


to make up for the lost lives that day.


So despite building a successful career in London,


As well as a cybercafe, he started an award-winning scheme


to provide cars for unemployed people.


And a dial-a-ride service for the elderly.


When I came back and saw how badly affected the community had been,


through the cars being stolen, through crime in the area,


through young people just hanging around the streets,


who would have traditionally gone into the mining industry -


really, it was another lost generation


The childcare he put in place is a particular source of pride.


Helping the village move on has helped him move on.


50 years later, he is clear how the world should think of Aberfan.


I think they should think of a lively community


that's come to terms with its past, that has a future,


and one which looks for inspiration in its young people.


I don't want them to remember Aberfan for the tragedy.


I want it to be remembered as a community


that has overcome tragedy, that has built a future.


for anyone that's been involved in any tragedy.


Jeff Edwards speaking to Caroline Evans.


I'll be finding out how the younger generation here


and how they are helping the village to move on.


First, the rest of the day's news with Lucy.


A former North Wales Police Superintendent has been convicted


of four counts of historical sexual abuse against two boys.


Gordon Anglesea, who's 79, indecently assaulted the teenagers


when he was a police inspector in Wrexham in the early 1980s.


From Mold Crown Court, Matthew Richards reports.


Opting not to answer police questions about his big things,


Gordon Anglesea remained defiant to the end. Do you know? I have nothing


further to say. In the early 80s, he indecently


assaulted a boy who had been brought to his house by John Allen. The


predatory paedophile was jailed in 2014 after abusing boys at homes he


ran. Gordon Anglesea ran the centre, and


sexually assaulted his victim in the showers. Complains were investigated


in 2002. The pressure were standards committee is looking at the handling


of the case. Gordon Anglesey abuse a position of trust as a former North


Wales police officer, all those years ago. That is sickening. The


Crown Prosecution Service said he abused his power to prey on his


victims and thank them for their bravery in coming forward. Gordon


Anglesea left cold by a rear exit, avoiding the media. The judge told


him the fight he was an granted bail was not an indication of a soft


sentence. You said that the only one, that of imprisonment. His


defence barrister acknowledged he would likely spend rest of his life


behind bars. Gordon Anglesea sued several


publications for the allegations in the 1990s. Ian Hislop says he takes


a grim satisfaction in it. Private eye will not be be claiming the


damages, saying others paid a far higher price.


Securing a good deal for Wales after Brexit was part of the fight, route


party conference today. Here is a little editor.


In autumnal colours, there are few places as pretty as Klang Lough --


as this. Plaid Cymru say that Brexit will not be pretty unless they


secure a deal. They had this message for Theresa


May. A voice saying, deliver and exit that works for Wales as well as


it possibly can. Yes, Wales voted to leave, but I don't think Wales wants


to dig a leave of its senses when it comes to our economic future.


APPLAUSE The leader, Leanne Wood, has struck


the party's biggest budget deal with chemical labour at the Assembly. On


a question and answer session, the question whether it could lead to a


future coalition came up. Given the criticism of the Labour government's


record in Wales, it is incredible that they could -- is it credible


that they could work together? Both parties work in the best interests


of Wales. I will not rule out going into coalition with Labour. What is


the feeling among delegates? Moving things forward for a better Wales.


We did it before. Minority parties, or from coalitions, come off


incredibly badly. So why make more problems? In the leader's words, the


party is torn about whether to go into government with two labour. But


Brexit is much easier. With agreement or out that member ship of


the single market cannot be touched. A lot of talk about securing a deal


for Wales Gretchen Mike Batt is right.


The key point of the single market is it makes it more difficult to


control immigration if that is the case. That puts bite, rape against


Theresa May and carbon Jones, who says that the referendum result, if


it is about anything, is sending a message that something needs to be


done about immigration. Plaid Cymru are trying to change that narrative,


saying it is not just about immigration, it was about austerity,


it was about allsorts of things. The problem I have got is that so many


people wanted to leave in Wales and they did so knowing that it would


entail leaving the single market as well. Plaid Cymru are insisting they


are not in denial about that result in Wales, but there is an accusation


that will come their way. Thank you. Sometimes it can be wet and stormy


at this time of year, but there is more dry and settled weather to come


over the weekend. Some sunshine, but also low cloud, mist and fog


patches, with a chilly wind on Sunday. Dryden night, some breaks in


the cloud, that will allow some mist and fog patches to form.


Temperatures in rural spots dipping close to freezing and with a touch


of frost. A chilly, cold so tomorrow morning. Grey and misty in places as


well. Some fog patches, the odd spot of drizzle. Otherwise dry. During


the morning, the mist and fog will left and clear gradually. Most


places are then dry with sunny spells in the afternoon. The shower


perhaps later in the far north-east. Top temperatures between nine and 13


Celsius, with a light or moderate breeze. Tomorrow night, dry for with


some show was about. Kelly spells, low cloud and best of fog patches.


Parts of the West are staying clear with frost batches. One or two


showers are possible in mid-North Wales and the marches. Sunniest in


the south-west. It will be breezy and gusty easterly winds make it


feel cold. The little rain on Monday, but the outlook is mostly


dry. Let's return now


to Jamie in Aberfan. They are still laying flowers here


tonight in the garden behind me. the name Aberfan will always


be synonymous with tragedy. But what effect does that have


on those born and brought up here? Marjorie Collins


lost one of her boys that day, and her grandson, Iwan England,


has made a documentary I suppose the most remarkable thing,


looking back, is that the disaster didn't affect my childhood


in any way whatsoever. I was aware of it,


I was aware of the history and of the effect


that it had on individuals. But it's a testament to them


and to the wider community that it had so little material


effect or impact. Whilst I was aware of what had


happened, it was perfectly normal for me as a small child


to play in the memorial garden, for instance,


in the playground next door. The community had made


a gargantuan effort to move on, to heal the wounds, and therefore it


wasn't front and centre You know, the fact that our family


were bereaved wasn't remarkable for a village like Aberfan,


because so many others were. And that was just a normal part


of the background As I was growing up,


I slowly became aware of how this


had affected so many other people. you go into their front rooms,


and there is a painting of a child You notice surnames in the graveyard


of people you know, and didn't realise


they'd lost children. As bereaved parents,


we had to be strong. that I only had the one child


left then, Iwan's father. I only wish that he had


a brother or a sister now. I think the one thing that people


from outside don't appreciate is the immense work that was done


by community leaders and by people who moved to the village


to help out the community, especially in the late '60s


and early '70s. I really hope that those people


who rolled up their sleeves when, most probably,


they were suffering greatly, that they vary realise


that the generations who came after, benefited immensely


from their efforts. They all did whatever they could


to bring us back to normal. There's still lots of things that


have got to be done. The site where the pit


was is still waiting to be developed I think Aberfan will be


a very nice place to live. but in some ways


they do want to move on. Amidst the immense grief,


they've found a strength and a sense of community


that has seem them through - that has allowed them


to look to the future. It's been a day of public grief,


of national grief, but nobody apart


from the people of Aberfan can ever truly understand the pain


and the magnitude We leave you tonight with an extract


from the poet Gwyn Thomas - A nation's heart can never be


totally broken. There are always some through distance or


indifference whose hearts will never be wounded. The nation's heart is


Aberfan. Everyone must have responded to the anguish of that


village. It is not possible for us to measure precisely and our own


selves and our own flesh the impact of this outrageous misfortune. The


Brive do not weep into a night of their own. The fact the faces, the


silence of those perished children will be present in the minds of


people in all the towns and villages of Britain as they bow their heads


in shared sorrow on the chosen day of compassion.


No one should have borne the losses you suffered. But no one would have


borne them with such strength. We shall be laying at least the


beginning of a flower on a stricken minds and bodies of Aberfan.


Download Subtitles