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Tag Archives Aberfan


From the west front of this Restoration house –

built a century before the demand

for coal brought, in hearing of the brocaded

drawing room, the daily clank and hiss

of the pit head winding gear and the pumps

keeping the seams dry, and, in direct

line of sight of the spacious steps, the slagheap’s

incremental growth on land previously

considered worthless so not purchased –

was a view, across the shallow valley

and extensive pasture land, of benign hills.



We were staying that weekend with your parents

at their corner shop to tell them you were

two months pregnant. You were already there

on Friday night when I came through the back door.

You were in the kitchen at the sink. A programme

about Captain Scott and his companions

entombed in ice and sliding seawards

was playing unwatched in the living room.

You told me the news about Aberfan.


That evening and in the many, many days

to follow there were bulletins and pictures,