Talk:Aberfan disaster

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"Precognition" section shouldn't be there[edit]

I don't see any reason for it to be there, or if it remains, it should be re-written. As it is, it seems like it endorses the idea that precognition exists. It should at least be re-written to say there were claims about precognition in connection with it, not "apparent predictions" which is a silly, and non-neutral term. And anyway, if they lived in a town overshadowed by a huge pile of rock, why wouldn't people tend to dream about it falling? Less precognition than common sense.

I think it makes the article and Wikipedia less credible for this even to be on the page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.2.218.145 (talk) 04:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree. The precognition section is embarrassing for several reasons, not least for the "citation needed" for every piece of alleged evidence. whok (talk) 05:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I just deleted the precognition section.whok (talk) 05:51, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

It's very simple. There was a psychiatrist studying reports of precognitive experience who advertised in a newspaper for people to write in and tell him if they'd had any about this incident. He got sixty responses and wrote it up in the Journal for the Society for Psychic Research.[Barker, J.C. "Premonitions of the Aberfan Disaster." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, December 1967: 168-181.] This organization is devoted to serious investigation and is as much CSICOP as Rhine Institute. They were the ones who blew the whistle on Madame Blavatsky's fakery at Adyar. I'll abide by the wishes of previous editors not to insert any mention of it at this time, but I say it belongs there. It's very easy to write these things in an encyclopedic manner. Many Wikipedia editors have considerable experience learning to write about claims or reports of perceived paranormal events. People are going to come to this page looking for the story of Eryl Jones and it's better that they get the truth from here. --Bluejay Young (talk) 18:14, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I quite agree. To exclude any mention of precognitions on the basis that they are pseudo-science is itself a POV. Whether real or imagined, their notability for this encyclopedia arises from the fact thet they have been reported widely, inclusing in a learned journal. The "local dream effect" certainly cannot explain them all. Eysenck and Sergent in their 1993 Explaining the Unexplained report on the woman in Sidcup who dreamt about the disaster seven days before it happened (confirmed by two witnesses) and on the woman in Aylesbury at the spiritualist meeting two days before the disaster (confirmed by one witness). If the topic does not deserve a full section, then I think it should certainly be covered in a footnote. 109.149.205.234 (talk) 18:29, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Corporate scandal?[edit]

Why is this categorized as a corporate scandal? The NCB was a state institution at the time was it not? Or is there no such thing as "nationalised industry scandal" in the author's mind?

What was the justification for these deletions? I propose to revert soon unless somebody explains them. PatGallacher 12:00, 2005 May 25 (UTC)

Test edit / vandalism / delete key ran away with him. Duly reverted. Hajor 13:53, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm, right now there are "see alsos" to corporate crime and corporate scandal. Hey, I'm a total leftie, but the coal industry at that time was a state operation, right? Someone, anyone, be bold and remove them, perhaps even replace with "government crime" and "government scandal", or even "government incompetence"? Huw Powell (talk) 06:27, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Removed. I don't think any of these are appropriate for see alsos. Rockpocket 06:34, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Suggested merge[edit]

Anyone object to merging Pantglas Junior School into this article? I think most people know the name Aberfan, rather than the name of the school. Carcharoth 16:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Agreed. Both seem to cover the same topic. --Quiddity 03:14, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I would eventually prefer to see two articles - one on Aberfan, and one on the Aberfan disaster. I am happy that the two presently merge, as both have details relevant to the disaster, cover the same grounds, and would produce a better article merged to cover the disaster. Rgds, - Trident13 14:02, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree with Trident13. --Tombomp (talk) 21:08, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Given the apparent consensus and the length of time since this discussion was added to, I have gone ahead and merged the articles. Euryalus (talk) 06:44, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Max Boyce[edit]

Much as I appreciate the sentiment of putting the lyrics here, it's a fairly clear copyvio. The Wednesday Island (talk) 14:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC) l —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.26.230.58 (talk) 17:50, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Weight of material?[edit]

The reports about the weight and volume of material that were involved contradict. 40,000 cubic metres of material, weighing around half a million tonnes... Hmm.. the density of Colliery shale is approximately 1.7 tonnes per cubic metre. This means, that if the volumes are correct, that the weight of the material to arrive in the village was 70,000 tonnes and not the 'half a million tonnes' quoted by the South Wales Police site. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jgb2 (talkcontribs) 15:14, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Point taken. I'm amazed that anyone would know the density of Colliery shale -- that's impressive and a little scary. I've reverted the passage to quote only the volume of material cited in McLean and Johnes' account. Thanks.

Dunks (talk) 01:07, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Would the material not have also comprised a large quantity of water, soil, rock, vegetation and so on, that would have been carried along with the shale in the slide? That might account for some of the difference in the two figures, although perhaps not all. P M C 14:39, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
The inquest reported that:
Using the density of colliery shale given above, this would give weights of material:
  • whole tip - 505,000 tonnes
  • breakaway - 187,000 tonnes
  • crossing the embankment - 64,000 tonnes
So, I would suspect that the South Wales Police figure is (wrongly) derived from the size of the whole tip.
The slide certainly would have picked up material, (and more water after breaking the water main in the canal). I think I read somewhere that, although the slide was liquefied with the amount of water, when it was effectively stopped by the school, the water drained away quickly, which further reduced the chances of anyone struggling to get out or being rescued. I'll dig out the reference soon, but I want to get past next Friday before doing any work on the article... Robevans123 (talk) 23:04, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
The Inquiry report supports the view that what hit the school was liquefied, but set solid once stopped, but the reason it gives for this is not water draining away quickly, but the rheology of the tip material. Part V How And Why Did The Disaster Happen? includes findings on the soil mechanics of the tip collapse; these include the statement that the material that hit the school was 'relatively dry material in the flow-slide' (para 276 in Part V How And Why Did The Disaster Happen?). Earlier in Part V, para 268 reads
268. Some further terms need to be defined in non-technical language.
Liquefaction. This can occur in a heap of loose sand or in an uncompacted tip of mine rubbish. If the lower part of the tip contains water, filling the spaces between the particles, and if a sudden load or shock is applied (such as the slipping of the upper part) the water then supports the particles and the whole saturated body behaves as if it were a liquid.
Flow-Slide. If liquefaction occurs in such a heap on a slope, the mass will rush down the slope as if it were a liquid, though actually a mass of wet solids. When it stops, it immediately reverts to a relatively dry heap.
Mud-Run. This term is usually applied to incidents of common occurrence in mountainous districts. Torrents of water, rushing down a mountainside, collect and carry with them all available loose material in their path — in a "run of mud". Rjccumbria (talk) 00:42, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Some interesting and useful data there - thank you. It does sound like the Police figure was based on the whole tip, as you say. For the poor souls trapped under it though, I imagine the difference between 64 and 505 kt is of little consequence. This was really such an horrific tragedy. P M C 13:34, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I guess most of the victims were drowned/smothered as the school was engulfed in the torrent of shale, mud and slurry? One of the teachers was found still standing, at the front of the classroom, some of the children still sat at their desks. But many would have been crushed by the walls of the school falling doen on them - as this image of the back of the school suggests: [1]. Perhaps it's surprising, with such a huge weight of debris, that any of the school building remained standing. Martinevans123 (talk) 15:06, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes - the official causes of death were typically asphyxia, fractured skull or multiple crush injuries.
I still don't understand the numbers given: 116 dead is accurate, but it's often qualified in articles saying "about half of the children at Pantglas Junior School". And yet, elsewhere, there are statements saying there were 25 (school children) survivors. I'm aware of a "handful" of children managing to get out, and also a "handful" being rescued, and also that a number (unknown to me) were absent from that day. Even if the figure of 25 survivors is only for children who got out of, or were rescued from, the building after the disaster, and some other children (of school age) were killed in the houses that were also hit, there seems to be a large discrepancy in the expression "about half" unless 40/50/60 children were absent on the day, which seems a very high figure, even for the day before autumn half-term. Robevans123 (talk) 19:56, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I had always been surprised by that, but not really thought any more about it. I suppose the original school roll must exist somewhere. It always seemed a pretty small school to me. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:08, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
The police reconstructed the school registers with the help of the surviving teachers to help account for the dead. They must be archived somewhere.
I need to get hold of the McLean and Johnes book but it'll be a library visit as it's about £55. There a lots of records in archives as well. And there's a lot of material released in 1997 under the thirty-year rule (Roben's offer to resign was a complete sham).
In all, the article needs a lot of work and should be at least GA, but I don't feel like tackling it just yet... Robevans123 (talk) 20:37, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Just watched Surviving Aberfan (BBC iPlayer) which states 110 children and 4 teachers escaped from the school. The front of the school was relatively untouched and the teachers led the children out as for a fire drill. It also states that 29 were buried alive and subsequently rescued. I'm not sure if this is for the children in the school only or all that were buried alive (at least one person was trapped and rescued from the nearby houses). We should also not forget that at least one dinner lady was killed in the school. Her last act was to protect 5 school girls who were later rescued... Robevans123 (talk) 20:25, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
The accounts are at once electrifying and astonishing. Difficult to watch without crying. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:25, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. I only watch if I'm on my own, and just accept the tears. There are so mainly individual moments of stoic bravery and heroism. The caretaker who doused the school boilers before joining in the search (where his own children were buried). The young mother and later a young policewomen, both lifted into the building as they were the smallest and lightest, to start the search, the rescuers who eventually lifted a large stone to release a child who was in danger of drowning - they must have been putting themselves at some risk, the dinner lady, the teacher who was found with his arms around three children, the teachers from the secondary school who had to carry some children through the rising waters, and many more. All these, and many more, should be included in a full account of the tragedy.

Paragraph does not make sense.[edit]

The pupils of Pantglas Junior School had arrived only minutes earlier for the last day of term. They had just left the assembly hall, where they had been singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful", when a great noise was heard outside. Had they left for their classrooms a few minutes later, the loss of life would have been significantly reduced, as the classrooms were on the side of the building nearest the landslide.

This paragraph doesn't make sense. Shouldn't it be rewritten as it confuses readers on how many minutes and where the children where at the time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.151.19.72 (talk) 19:52, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Why not? If they had left for their classrooms later they wouldn't have got to them by the time the landslide hit, so they wouldn't have been on the dangerous side of the school. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:29, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
You're missing the point - the paragraph doesn't make it clear where the children (and teachers - not mentioned) actually were. They hadn't "just left the assembly hall" but were in their classrooms - they had "just arrived in their classrooms". "the loss of life would have been significantly reduced" - the author doesn't know this for certain, It's conjecture. "the loss of life might have been significantly reduced" would be better. Supporting this is the fact that most survivors were found in the part of the school furthest from the slide. It wasn't a landslide - it was material from a collapsing colliery spoil-heap. Rambler24 (talk) 14:10, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Aberfan[edit]

The page 'Aberfan' should be about the village while a page with a title such as 'Aberfan mining disaster' should be used for the disaster. This page has no information about the village history and the village today. Mtaylor848 (talk) 14:40, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Agree, it seems like a good idea to split.--Commander Keane (talk) 23:54, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Agree with a split, though as it stands there is very little remaining for the village article. Probably a short summary section for the disaster with a {{Main}} template pointing to the spin off article would help cover things and give some substance to the village article. Keith D (talk) 12:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Agree with the above. DBaK (talk) 13:00, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
What would the title of the new article be? Does that one suggestion do it, or is there a format to follow or what? DBaK (talk) 13:01, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The disaster was referred to at the time as "The Aberfan Disaster", locally, nationally, in the media., and in the government enquiry and report on the incident, precursors and aftermath. I'd suggest that as a starting point. Google generates 15,6000 hits for "aberfan disaster", but only 821 for 'aberfan "mining disaster"' I'd be willing to expand the new Aberfan stub. I lived out my school years in the village, have relatives in the area, and believe I could put some flesh on the bones, Rambler24 (talk) 10:58, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I suggest Aberfan disaster is the best name. It's what it's usually called, and there's a precedent with e.g. Gresford Disaster and Flixborough disaster. Totnesmartin (talk) 21:49, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Is that 15,600 hits or 156,000 hits? Either way, the title i suggested (1966 Aberfan disaster) was based on what some other articles are named although seems to be no set way disasters should be titled. Simply south (talk) 22:03, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think starting with the date will make it easier to find - I like just Aberfan disaster as suggested above - common name and all that? DBaK (talk) 22:04, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Probably best and agree. Simply south (talk) 22:26, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
There also isn't another Aberfan disaster to cause confusion, so the year is rather unnecessary. Totnesmartin (talk) 22:34, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

(Outdent) As most of the page is on the disaster it is probably best, from an attribution point of view, to move this page so that the history remains intact. Though we would loose history on the redirect from the merge in 2004. The village article can then be started as a new article. Keith D (talk) 23:22, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I think i oppose the move and suggest the merge. Maybe the problems could be sorted with a Hist merge? Simply south (talk) 23:45, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Can you explain what you are suggesting as there is nothing to merge to. I do not think that a hist merge is feasable because of the parallel versioning as I looked to see if it could be merged when I realised there was a history on the redirect. Keith D (talk) 12:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

The sooner the better, as far as I'm concerned. BTW it was 15,600 hits (I have a keyboard with a mind of its own - lame excuse for a typo I know, but it's the best I can do). I concur with the name being changed to simply "Aberfan Disaster". The date is unnecessary - it may imply that there were others (god forbid). Rambler24 (talk) 09:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

The other similar articles have "disaster" in lower case, the Gresford Disaster, quoted above, is just a redirect to the lower case version. Keith D (talk) 12:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
"Disaster" should be lowercase in all titles, unless it's a book called Gresford Disaster or something. Totnesmartin (talk) 12:44, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Looks like clear consensus. Anyone gonna do it? Folks at 137 (talk) 23:15, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Because of the extreme consensus, and yes, extreme; i am going to do it now. I am moving the page to Aberfan Disaster and removing some of the town info at the top. And I will restart the town page with all of the town info that would be at the top of the new page. (hopefully I haven't lost anyone at this point) --MWOAP (talk) 00:53, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I've made a couple of mistakes in performing this requested move, my apologies for the dog's breakfast of an edit history that resulted; my understanding is that you all wanted the page to be at Aberfan disaster and that is where it now is, along with its associated talk page. Currently Aberfan redirects there, but this can certainly be changed to be a stub about the village if that's what's wanted. I noted that Jimbo himself requested that the talk page material formerly at Aberfan disaster be deleted, and I've done that, which made things a lot easier in getting this talk page into place. If there is anything that I have bollixed up by misunderstanding what was wanted, please accept my apologies; feel free to leave me a note and I'll be glad to fix it. Accounting4Taste:talk 01:50, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Where did Jimbo request that or was it on the talk page of the redirect? Thanks for this above. Simply south (talk) 11:53, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
It was on this page (Talk:Aberfan disaster), which I deleted to make room for the material at which you're looking. If you're curious, in November 2003 he asked for a definition of "coal tip" as follows: "Since this is such a minor comment, I recommend that it be removed once my question has been answered. What is a 'waste tip'? What is a 'tip' in general? Something containing enough water to kill people, and perhaps someing to do with coal mining? Is there a different term for this in American English? --Jimbo Wales" His question was answered; I rarely interact with Mr. Wales but wanted to be respectful and decided to honour his wishes, which frankly made my life easier in that I didn't have to merge the talk pages. <grin> Considering the mess I've already made, you may think that was a good idea!! Accounting4Taste:talk 17:42, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

My history work on this page[edit]

My aim on Wikipedia is to preserve as much page history as possible. I found both the article and talk page of Aberfan disaster in the deleted edits of Conversion script. Without reading any of the discussion above, I decided to rectify this problem by moving the old history at Aberfan disaster to Talk:Aberfan disaster/Old history and moving the old talk page to Talk:Aberfan disaster/Archive 1. I don't believe that any talk page comments should be removed unless they're personal attacks, even at the request of the author, even if the author is Jimbo Wales. When Jimbo Wales wrote that comment in 2001, archiving of talk pages was almost unheard of, and things have changed a lot since then. He made a constructive comment which I think should be part of the historical record. Graham87 18:17, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Coordinate error[edit]

{{geodata-check}} The coordinates need the following fixes:

  • Write here

The correct coordinates for the Aberfan Disaster are as follows:

51°41'41.07"N 3°20'50.56"W

This can be verified on Google Earth, where these cordinates correspond to the disaster memorial site. 24.78.207.64 (talk) 00:18, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. The co-ordinates were set when the article represented the place as well as the disaster. When the article was split the co-ordinates were not adjusted. Keith D (talk) 00:48, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

"Aberfan" by Rhys Morgan (whose father was one of the men who helped digging and whose mother lost a brother in the tragedy).

What? Is it a song, a book, or a chewing gum flavour? How about saying "uncle" instead of mother-brother? Do people even read what they type? Derekbd (talk) 05:12, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Added "Palaces of Gold" by Leon Rosselson - frequently sung in the folk world & covered afresh on at least 2 albums by important UK / internationa folk artists this year (Martin Simpson on "Vagrant Stanzas" and Lady Maisery on "Mayday") Andy mellor (talk) 10:16, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

A town lost 100 children and no riot?[edit]

Where is the info about the studies on how they dealt with the disaster without murdering any of the perpetrators? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.234.123.137 (talk) 08:06, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

What studies? The people around there dealt with their grief with the quiet dignity that was their normal response to mining disasters, however caused. If you can find any such studies by all means quote them. And sign your posts (add 4 x ~ at the end). Britmax (talk) 08:24, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

It may be stating the blooming obvious but the Welsh people suffered the loss in a dignified silence. Reason - you get on with life and don't wear your heart on your sleeve. It is actually an old fashioned British thing - we suffer in silence, we grit our teeth and carry on and don't see the need to tell the world how we suffer. Coal miners and their families, and the communities they lived in looked after each other in both the good times and the bad, but especially in times of pain; and we did so behind closed doors. Apart from which what would a riot achieve? It could not or would not bring back one life and was, is and always will be pointless. Why smash up where we lived? There was no huggy-feely counselling, we got on with our shocked painful lives. The funerals followed the tragedy and that was when the public face of our grief was shown; our private grief continued in private and is still today borne with dignity. I was 16 when the disaster happened and have over the years had to deal with my own personal demons but I still feel the pain that day brought to my life. Anger that it happened but riot - it never even entered our heads! It would have been disrespectful to those who died and those who grieved had such a thing as "Self respect."The Geologist (talk) 13:58, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Well put. Made my heart swell and put a lump in my throat. Riots indeed... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 178.15.151.163 (talk) 11:20, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

I have to disagree about the dignified silence stuff actually, 116 children & 28 adults died in a horrible way and those responsible should have faced a much higher punishment than they did. There was knowledge beforehand about the instability of the location and yet they went ahead with it. There was ongoing knowledge while the coal installation was present and no safety precautions or actions were taken. Not one person was jailed. I know it's pointless going on about it, and I know this isn't the place for such discussion, but I just felt like adding my opinion anyway, sorry. --AF1990 (talk) 03:15, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps this is pertinent: "By Saturday, the anger had risen and if Lord Robens, chairman of the National [Coal] Board, had dared to set foot in that village, he would have been lynched. Sunday was dreadful too because the full realisation of what had happened had begun to hit home." from a letter written at the time. 85.234.92.172 (talk) 12:37, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Beatles declined to do a benefit for the Aberfan disaster[edit]

I recall reading that in newspaper microfilm, and this added to rumors that the Beatles were splitting up. You may notice this comes not long after the Beatles had stopped touring. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.63.16.82 (talk) 14:21, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

What!? The Beatles splitting up!? That would have been a real tragedy, wouldn't it. 86.147.200.157 (talk) 16:47, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

If I go on further about this regarding the Beatles, I'll be off-topic regarding the Aberfan disaster. There is a Wikipedia entry about the Beatles in 1966, so I will copy the above remark (about declining to do Aberfan benefit) to talk page there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.63.16.82 (talk) 16:12, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

From Hunter Davies' biography of The Beatles (1978 edition), p. 362, quoting Ringo: "Most of the people running charities are not nice people. What good did the Aberfan Fund do, except for all the lawyers ? They gave each person £5,000 for losing a child. Ridiculous. Five million quid doesn't equal losing a child." The Beatles had given what was to be their last public concert in San Francisco in late August 1966, after a particularly gruelling tour of the Philippines, Japan and the US, so i'm guessing thye were not really up for going back on stage then. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.7.179.191 (talk) 21:27, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Date of Spectator article[edit]

You mention "Aberfan: Under the Arc Lights," in The Spectator, October 10, 1966. If that date is correct, it was several days before the disaster, unrelated to it, and therefore suitable for the Wiki page on Aberfan as a village, not the disaster itself. 109.157.20.13 (talk) 19:14, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

External links content to be put into article prose?[edit]

Stacey (talk) 15:43, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

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50th Anniversary Commemoration[edit]

Is it worthwhile/useful to start a new section specifically covering the activities around the 50th anniversary? Not only is there a number of documentaries/dramas, there are appraisals of the press and government roles, various concerts, a major new choral work, and also, perhaps most importantly, the narratives of survivors that have only recently be able to tell their stories.

There is a list of twelve ways the arts are commemorating the disaster here which has useful pointers to many of the TV programmes and also some exhibitions. Robevans123 (talk) 12:24, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

I would say yes. Last might's BBC documentary could be moved there. Am assuming this article will appear, liked, on the front page in On this day on Friday. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:34, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. I've not viewed the documentary yet (but it's downloaded ready), but I have read about Huw Edwards' comparison with Hillsborough. Just watched the Hopwood/Jenkins Cantata Memoria - I don't think I've ever cried so often in a piece of music or TV programme.
I'm ambivalent about having the article on the main page on Friday - there are so many gaps/lack of references that need to be fixed. Think it'll need a slow, steady effort to at least get it ready for next year, and hopefully add more information from this year's perspective. Robevans123 (talk) 13:00, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
I sometimes get confused as to why things get put on Main Page, but I agree there is room for huge improvement here. I don't recall the name Hillsborough being used last night. But I warn you, Robens does not come out of this documantary in a very good light, to say the very least. The documentary is refreshingly free of sentimentality. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:07, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Edwards has mentioned Hillsborough in articles in the Telegraph and the Grauniad - in fact, it looks like the same quote - maybe a pre-release press pack for the documentary? I'm shocked - I was expecting Robens to be totally rehabilitated, with white robes, wings, and a halo over his head. Robevans123 (talk) 13:23, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
We did get to see him in robes, of course, but on the day of the disaster, when he was being installed as Chancellor of the Univesity of Surrey. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:52, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
A very good documentary. Would recommend to anyone interested who has access to the BBC iPlayer (it's available for 29 days from today). Tonypandy, the Charity Commission, and successive governments don't exactly come out smelling of roses either.
Also need to look at the role of the press in all this as well. There were some horrible intrusions at the time and after, and not enough done to challenge those in authority. It also has to be said that many of the journalists first at the scene were also profoundly affected, and many did, and still do, act with compassion and sensitivity. Robevans123 (talk) 18:00, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
The NCB "providing" 29 caravans for the families whose houses had been flattened, and then sending the bill to the local council, was a real highpoint for me. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:45, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
The behaviour of the NCB after was in some ways worse than before the disaster. At least the causes could be put down to ignorance, incompetence, and poor communication. But it must have taken considerable efforts by the management to try to mis-direct the tribunal, and then to twist and turn to try and pay out as little money as possible. If they'd applied those management skills to running the industry properly in the first place then the disaster might have been avoided, and the coal industry might have survived longer. Robevans123 (talk) 22:54, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Confusing language[edit]

The phrase "if it had struck a few hours later, the school would have broken up for half-term." is very confusing to non-British readers (or maybe just to American readers like myself). Having had some exposure to British culture, I understand that the school "breaking up" means that the students and teachers left for a break from school, but to an average American reader this could easily be misinterpreted as the school building being physically broken (I.e. because of the disaster), which seems unrelated to the rest of the sentence.

I would edit it myself, but I'm not sure what half-term is, other than some break from school, and I don't know if the definition is relevant to the article. And I certainly don't want to diminish communication that the current wording provides to British readers that I'm sure I've missed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mghoffmann (talkcontribs) 07:51, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Half term is the week off taken in the middle of what you chaps call a "semester". As a Brit I will see what I can do. Britmax (talk) 08:15, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I've had a go. What do you think? Britmax (talk) 08:20, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Removed it entirely. J3Mrs (talk) 08:57, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
But half-term is still used twice in the article text, and twice in the references. Is worth linking like this ...half-term...? Or possibly a footnote? The trouble is that half-term is pretty ingrained in British English, so any inline description, or change to something else, would seem odd. And a number of the sources use the term "half-term". Robevans123 (talk) 19:23, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Your suggestion seems perfectly fair. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:46, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Rescue efforts hampered?[edit]

The introduction states that "Rescue efforts were hampered by the large crowd who rushed into the village delaying the arrival of mines rescue workers from Merthyr Vale Colliery."

I have problems with the tone and meaning of this and I don't think it is really supported by any statements in the article. Some background:

  • mines rescue teams are made up of experienced miners who get training to use breathing apparatus underground and are trained to deal with rescue underground where there are dangers from collapses, fire, and noxious gases
  • it is true that the roads into Aberfan became clogged up with traffic from both official and unofficial rescuers trying to provide help - search for "the roads leading to the incident both from Merthyr Vale and from Troedyrhiw" in this - but there is no time given...
  • the mines rescue team in question would probably have been from one of the four stations in Wales, the one at Merthyr
  • I think that Merthyr Vale Colliery would probably have had miners trained in rescue - these would be a little like reserve firemen, and would help the full-time rescue team if they were called
  • The people who were rescued, were rescued by local people, local emergency services, and miners from Merthyr Vale Colliery. After 11.00 it effectively became an exercise of body recovery and identification

Some thoughts arise:

  • how would the arrival of "mines rescue workers from Merthyr Vale Colliery" have been delayed as many miners from the same colliery got to the scene quickly?
  • if we are talking about the mines rescue team from Merthyr, what time would they have got there without delay, and would it have made any difference to the rescue (rather than recovery) as their additional skills are related to working underground with breathing apparatus? I don't believe that they would have particularly added to the efforts of the local miners and emergency services that were already at the scene.

See also the later section in the article on "Rescue efforts". Only the last sentence of the opening para is supported by a reference. The reference only supports some of the other statements. I am loath to put citation needed templates all over this article a day before it'll be read before many people, but I believe that at least the sentence under question in the introduction should be removed until/if it is supported by referenced text in the article. Robevans123 (talk) 15:26, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Having just watched Surviving Aberfan (BBC iPlayer), it appears that the mines rescue service arrived at 9.50. The archive film showed the mines rescue team leaving their depot at Dinas, Tonypandy, although it is not specifically stated that the mines rescue team is from Dinas. The other mines rescue stations in Wales at the time were Dinas, Crumlin, Wrexham (north Wales), and one other (haven't yet found that one). Dinas seems the most likely one to get there first, and there is a record of a call to it in their log). The first call to the emergency services (who would have called the mines rescue service) was at 9.25. It would not appear that the Mines Rescue Service was delayed at all.
While searching around on this topic I found a quote from Robens (yes, really) from 1973 "who had thought deeply about the lessons to be learnt from the Aberfan disaster, where choked roads prevented essential rescue services to reach the scene, and where people clawed with bare hands at piles of rubble" - published in:
Another example of Robens spinning and diverting blame? And quite ironic to be quoted in this journal as he had railed against nuclear power to build up support with the NUM before his bogus offer to resign. Robevans123 (talk) 21:53, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes, roads choked with mountains of slurry, in fact. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:25, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
My mother spoke Welsh and her father was a miner from Pentre. I moved to Cardiff aa a student, a couple of weeks before and this left a very deep impression on me. There was a TV appeal to the local public for extra rescuers in the evening and given my emotional feeling I seriously considered the 20 mile cycle ride. I'm not at all surprised that many people came to help even if they weren't suitable. JRPG (talk) 15:41, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Official tribunal images[edit]

This set of images might be of interest: [2], particularly this plan. Not sure if they are useable, as presumably all are Crown Copyright. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:50, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Interesting - was thinking about this the other day when reading the Tribunal Report at the Durham Mining Museum site. I think there is a note somewhere that it is reproduced with permission of the HMSO.
Also, Crown Copyright allows copying automatically for published works 50 years after publication (at the end of the year) provided the source is acknowledged, so I think the tribunal report and maps (produced by Ordnance Survey) could be freely reproduced on 1st January 2018. The photos may have a different copyright if the copyright was assigned to the crown by the author (but not if the author was an "officer or servant of the Crown"). Might be worth asking the HMSO nicely since they've already released material to Durham - but they may not like it being released under the Creative Commons license. Robevans123 (talk) 15:05, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
@Martinevans123: The plan is really useful. I was wondering about how far away the secondary school was, and it looks to be about 100 metres (not exact as there is no scale but estimated on width of terrace houses). Is this the map you used to make the north or east decision in the article? I'm not sure that Moy Road was divided - it looks more like it was inundated from the junction with (Aberf)an Road, and then Moy Road continued south past the school. I think the bit of road north of the school is actually part of Pant-Glas coming round the corner. Page 13 in this document seems to confirm my map reading (but they could have just read the map the same way I did). Fairly reputable source though - even if they have shown the (same) tribunal map without acknowledgement. Could be a useful source for some references as well.
If we can use the map, it very clearly shows how the emergency services could only reach the site from two directions, both of which were now effectively cul-de-sacs. Robevans123 (talk) 16:01, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes it was that map, backed up by what was shown on the documentary. But if we can't find this in a written source, or adjust it slightly, it might have to be removed as WP:OR. The image here and the lower BBC/PA image here show where the river of slurry settled. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:17, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Which documentary was it in? I've watched and read so much over the last few days I'm struggling to remember what came from where. I'll try to give it a look - my reading of the map is just that (and the doc is written very recently), and it's impossible to check on present day street maps as parts of the roads are no longer in existence.
Those photos are shocking. If a bit more of the tip had broken away both schools might have been completely destroyed.
Been listening to Radio Wales on t'internet most of the day. Interesting to hear some mutterings that Robens et al should be de-lorded/stripped of recognition on hospital buildings etc. Didn't catch the details.
Also, in the Surviving Aberfan documentary (I think) that one class wasn't in the school as they'd left to go on a walk. Robevans123 (talk) 17:05, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
I think it was last night's Surviving Aberfan. I had not heard about one class being out for a walk. That was the end of the road that the fire crew arrived, to attend "a collapsed house". One thing that was mentioned was that on the day before half term, school assembly was always postponed until the afternoon. Had it not been the last day, and the whole school had been standing in the main hall, I think it's quite likely many more would have escaped or survived. But another imponderable, I guess. Martinevans123 (talk) 17:45, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
No need for OR: the 1951 edition of the OS 6" map (consultable on the National Library of Scotland website) Glamorgan XIX.NW (includes: Llanwynno; Merthyr Tudful.) clearly shows - in fact explicitly labels - Pant-Glas Road as going round the corner Rjccumbria (talk) 18:38, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Ideal, thanks. So that would be the northern end of Moy Road where the bulk of the slurry spilled between the two schools? I wonder if there is any written account that includes this detail? Martinevans123 (talk) 19:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Brilliant - thanks Rjccumbria. With the scale, looks about 100 yds between the two schools. And about 150 yards north of the school, is that the tramway that fed the tips? I don't know why but I'd always assumed that the route would have gone round the south and west of the village. If it was the route, the children would have had a view of the drams going up and carrying the material that would eventually slide back down.
Martin - when you say the northern end of Moy Road, do you mean the bit around the red text "73" in "471.73"?
Yes, exactly. On that second plan I originally linked you will see that a terrace of eight houses stood on the west (school side) of Moy Road, between the two schools. You can see from the two photos that these were all flattened by the wall of slurry 20-30 ft high. This is corroborated by the report of Len Haggett, fireman from the MRS at Dinas, who speaks (for the first time in 50 years) in the Surviving Aberfan documentary. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:52, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Sorry - my bad. Watched the Surviving Aberfan documentary (from about 22 minutes in) and looked at the plan, and the first colour picture (from spidercatweb), all together. When I first looked at the Plan I assumed everywhere in the dotted area was equally affected so the rescue services must have come in through Pant-Glas. Looking at the colour photo makes it clear that the 20/30 feet wall of slurry is confined to a width of 30/40 yards, and the fire engine could have gone up Moy Road (to about where the yellow tractors and dumper trucks are in the bottom middle of the picture.
Just noticed Rjccumbria has already effected a change based on my mistake beliefs - sorry all. Although Aberfan Road was in the area affected, it looks mainly like runoff of black fluid, rather than the central high core, which looks as though it stops just before the houses on the western side of Aberfan Road (bottom middle of colour photo). So it's (AFAICT) true to say that "Moy Road was blocked by a wall of slurry to the north-east of the school." At least part of this could be referenced by a ref to the documentary. But if you want to include any geographical detail then you need to combine the documentary ref with maps and pictures. I can't find a map that separates the overall area affected from the major wall of slurry.
Struggling to work out how this fits in with the overall narrative, and keep getting pulled back to the start of the paragraph, which gives no idea of the order events, which I think is - first the farm, then the school and the first row of houses on Moy Road, and then the other houses. Also not sure about the number of houses. Most sources say 18, but some say 20 (and some of these may be Wikipedia mirrors).
Sorry - going to have to leave it at that for tonight, and hope to come back with fresh ideas tomorrow. Robevans123 (talk) 21:29, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks @Rjccumbria: your recent edits make it much clearer and coherent. Robevans123 (talk) 15:12, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the thanks. I'm afraid I used to do this sort of thing for a living (fortunately never for anything with fatalities) so I probably accumulated a certain facility. Not really on this sub-topic, I'm not a local (just someone who used to have a professional interest in how dysfunctional organisation can be lethal (obviously without the slightest relevance to any of my employers)) and if I don't get back to writing up the disused railways of West Cumbria I can't think who will - but looking at the map, surely 'the school' in the photo accompanying the "collapse" section must be the Secondary School, not the Junior ? Rjccumbria (talk) 15:43, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. I'll leave you to edit the caption. I'd never looked at the photo closely. Interesting job you had - any chance of a thesis on whether Wikipedia is a dysfunctional organisation or not? Hopefully there is no danger of it being lethal... I work as a technical author ("resting" between contracts at the moment), so I can usually, I hope, bring clarity to text, but, being from south Wales (and aged 9 at the time of the disaster) I was not on top form yesterday. I do hope to edit and expand the article over the coming year. Good luck with the railways of West Cumbria. I hope to do much the same with the south Wales valleys lines sometime. Diolch. Robevans123 (talk) 16:11, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Just leaping in! Please adjust caption further if required. Maybe it's a bit tenuous to even mention the Secondary School there? Martinevans123 (talk) 16:22, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Not sure about the caption. The photo does give some sense of the geography. Maybe it should moved to the Background section above? With the caption indicating the northern part of Aberfan to the right of the tramway, and the majority (southern and middle) to the left, with the school just out of shot (to the left). That would be a long caption though! BTW the photo is from July 1964 so it's from before the disaster.
It prompted my to go and check what other photos we have (precious few) and to see if there is anything else useful on geograph. I found this on geograph. It's from August 1968. It's from a more northerly point, but does show the tips before clearing. I also think it shows shows part of the track of the slide (just to the left of the second post from the right), but would need to check it against some of the other photos.
Just checked - the file has already been copied to commons (but not yet categorised). Certainly useful to add somewhere later in the article: Robevans123 (talk) 17:09, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Aberfan and old coal tips - geograph.org.uk - 673825.jpg

Obvious place would be against the row over paying for their removal. I have had a stab at it on that basis Rjccumbria (talk) 20:56, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
That'll do nicely (or as we sometimes say "bloody tidy, mun"). Robevans123 (talk) 12:16, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Are there any freely-available images of the hillside after completion of the removal/landscaping? Not quite sure where one would most logically go, but it would round off the tale on that point. Rjccumbria (talk) 19:40, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
There are none that I can find. I hope to visit Aberfan sometime in the year ahead to pay my respects, so I'll add it to my list of photos to take. I did find some non-free photos. This photo-feature from the Daily Mail is good, with lots of photos and graphics. About half way through (search for "Then and now"), there is a post-disaster photo linked to a current photo from roughly the same spot, and you can pull the slider across the page to compare the two. Robevans123 (talk) 11:47, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
The "then and now" is impressive, both for what it shows and for how well it shows it. Rjccumbria (talk) 22:40, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
The Geograph image appears to have been taken from 51°41′49″N 3°20′18″W / 51.697046°N 3.338447°W / 51.697046; -3.338447. This third-party URL shows the Google StreetView image from that point. Unfortunately some trees have grown in the past fifty years. Verbcatcher (talk) 01:13, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
That's interesting. Looks as though it would be possible to get a photo from the same position, but probably better to do it in winter when there are less leaves on the trees. Robevans123 (talk) 17:59, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Overhanging ridge[edit]

I am doubtful abut the phrase: "[...] were deposited on the side of Mynydd Merthyr, an overhanging ridge, directly above the village of Aberfan.". This can be read as meaning an Overhang (rock formation), but this type of formation is not typical of the area. The picture shown above (File:Aberfan and old coal tips - geograph.org.uk - 673825.jpg) shows the lie of the land. It is possible that an overhang was covered up by the slip, but I think overhanging ridge just means a ridge directly above the village. It is ambiguous, so I will delete "overhanging". Verbcatcher (talk) 03:14, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Funeral[edit]

Is there any reliable source for the joint funeral on 27 October being "attended by more than 2,000 people"? There are plenty of instances online, but most see to Wikipedia mirror sites or recent news articles which have probably used this article as their source. This contemporary source gives the fugure of mourners, as 12,000. This seems to be a rather large figure. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:17, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

I was thinking about this earlier. The 2,000+ figure is everywhere, but they all look like mirror sites. There's a figure of 3,000 from the Merthyr Express - it's somewhere on the Nuffield Aberfan disaster site (but it doesn't give an issue date or number). I saw the itnsource - way too big I think, but it's pretty difficult to estimate crowds on hillsides, but from the footage I've seen 2,000 - 3,000 seems about right. I've seen a reference to 5,000 at http://www.uwp.co.uk/news/2016/10/aberfan, but the University of Wales Press website seems a bit slow at the moment & is timing out. I think it's from part of a book on the challenges of faith or something along those lines. Which remains me, we should have some information somewhere on the pastoral support given to the rescuers and bereaved. Some of the church ministers did amazing work (one of them carried on even though two of his children were dead), and the Salvation Army and Red Cross pitched in. I've read that the Sally Army provided 6 bottles of whisky or brandy every day to the Police and other staff working at Bethania. It was to add to hot drinks to keep them feeling warm rather than to numb the effects of their work.

The figure of 5,000 also crops up a few times in quotes from the Bishop of Llandaff, but it becomes clear that it's the current bishop's childhood memories, and I suspect he's read tho book mentioned above.

This British Pathe newsreel of the mass funeral mentions 10,000, which again seems rather high.

I think it's time for Martinevans123 to go to Newport library and check the South Wales Argus microfiches!

I'll see what I can do. I think Newport Central Library has The Argus on microfiche from its first issue in August 1892, but there are a few gaps (1898, 1911, July 1959 and July/August 1975 fro some reason). They have three film readers, but they have to be booked. Martinevans123 (talk) 18:14, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. The staff there are very helpful. Went there a few years ago (when John Frost square was a hole in the ground). This thread prompted me to remember that I have access to Proquest & Times online database through my Cambridge library ticket.
I suspect that maybe 3,000 - 5,000 were in the grounds of the cemetery and the rest nearby with the service relayed by a PA system, but that is just my conjecture.
Both articles confirm that 81 children were buried, and one adult, Mrs Gwyneth Collins, who was buried with her sons, Raymond and Peter. There are details of hymns sung, officiants, official representatives, the cross of flowers etc. Robevans123 (talk) 21:41, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Gwyneth Collins was 34 and was killed in her own home. Those look like two strong sources. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:57, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes. I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her husband... The Times and The Guardian give 32 and 33 for her age... Hopefully other articles from both sources can fill in some of the details that are lacking in later summaries.
So many sources give very vague details and summaries. As far as I can tell there were 240 children in school that day, along with 9 teachers, and an unspecified number of dinner ladies. The caretaker, who lived next door, had just left home when the noise started. The number of children killed in the school was 52 boys and 52 girls, mainly in the age range 8 to 10, with another 6 who were in Moy Road either waiting before the secondary school started or going between the schools, and a further 6 who were killed in the other buildings. Of the adults, 5 five teachers and one other adult (this must be Nansi Williams - the dinner lady who threw herself over 5 children) were killed in the school, with the other 22 killed in the other buildings. A further adult died some days later in hospital from injuries received in Moy Road (which explains why the death toll is sometimes given as 145, rather than 144).
From the school, about 25-30 escaped after being trapped or were rescued later. This leaves around 110 children who managed to get out relatively unscathed. There is a definite account of one teacher leading her class out, and I think she said at least one other class came out around the same time. There was also a hint of a mention that one class had already gone out for a walk. It all ties in with the four older classes being in the back of the school and the three younger classes being in the front of the school. There is surprisingly little mention anywhere that the younger children generally escaped. It could easily have been so much worse...
The number of other buildings mentioned is usually 18 or 20 (but I've seen 16 given as well). It looks to me that there were 18 houses in Moy Road, and the farm that was hit first comprised two cottages, which would explain most of the differences.
It is still unclear to me how many escaped from the other buildings. There is one well documented rescue and also the man who died later. The caretaker returned to his home and quickly got his wife and two children out, but his two older sons were killed in the school. Robevans123 (talk) 22:48, 27 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm surprised that the adult who died later is not included in the total number of victims. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:47, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I was too. Oddly enough, after writing that, I looked at a blog from the NLW here where they talk about creating an installation with all 144 names. They had trouble creating a definitive list of names until they were reminded of William Henry Rees, the eighty-one year old, who died in hospital some days later. This has prompted me to look again at the different lists that are available on the web and that I'd looked at before:
  • The list at the Durham Mining Museum lists 144 names (including William Henry Rees).
  • The list at Hiraeth says it lists all 144 names but it only lists 143 (William Henry Rees is missing).
  • The list at Aberfan Remembered lists 144 names, not including William Henry Rees who is mentioned separately. I think it was this list that made me jump to the conclusion that William Henry Rees was not included in the list (and also there are some early sources that said 145). Further reading of this list shows that it was based on the list published in the Daily Express on 28 October 1966 and with one addition came to 143. A relatively recent change added "Anthony Wayne", thinking the list then correctly matched the 144 figure. But it seems that "Anthony Wayne" is actually a duplication of "Anthony Wayne England" who is already on the list.
  • The virtual memorial at Find a Grave gives 144 names, but does not include William Henry Rees. I've not yet ascertained the discrepancy on this list.
So, yes, the official number is 144 including William Henry Rees. I'll send an email to the compilers of Hiraeth and Aberfan Remembered letting them know what I've found, and also thanking them for providing information on the disaster. Sorry for the curve ball. Robevans123 (talk) 12:45, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
This is the kind of curve ball that prompts discussion and further research, so many thanks for raising this. Even "reliable sources" don't always have the full picture. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:57, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I'd also noticed a while back that there were only 142 names on the memorial cross at the cemetery (see here for pictures of all six tablets - near the end of the page). I think these were taken in 2007 before the site was refurbished. The missing names were Roger Dyfrig Hayes (son of the Kenneth Hayes, the Baptist minister), who was buried in Pontyberen, and Nansi Williams (the dinner lady who saved 5 children). I recently found a photo of the bottom tablet after refurbishment with Nansi Williams added at the bottom. I would guess that Roger Hayes was added to one of the other tablets at the same time. I can't seem to find the photo now. It would be good to get a photo of the cross to add to the article. Robevans123 (talk) 17:14, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Cantata Memoria: For the children[edit]

Detail of entry seems about right. Maybe trim it a bit when there's an article on it. Along with Sinfonia Cymru and David Childs. All on the todo list, but I may wait until the CD has been reviewed a bit more and USA premier has happened. Robevans123 (talk) 22:48, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

Proposed new article on Aberfan Tribunal[edit]

I suggest moving some of the detail from the Davies Inquiry section into a new article on the Aberfan Tribunal. We could expand the new article to cover its place in the history of similar enquiries, and give a list of the participants, several of whom later became prominent including:[1]

I don't want to expand this article to cover this as it would be overweight, and might be taken to suggest an equivalence between these distinguished lawyers and the sufferings of the bereaved and the heroism of the rescue attempts. Verbcatcher (talk) 16:48, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

References

Yes - potentially a good idea. There is a lot more detail on the inquiry that could be added, and it's quite right to not add undue prominence over the other areas mentioned (which I hope to add to over the coming year). It should be possible to give a summary of the tribunal and its outcomes that would site well in the Aberfan Disaster article. And it would not preclude references to the tribunal elsewhere when appropriate. It would also be great to put the tribunal in the context of other tribunals. I suspect that the Aberfan Tribunal taught the government not to rush to set up tribunals that would get to the truth in only a few months... Robevans123 (talk) 18:04, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
As the formal report was entitled "Report of the Tribunal appointed to inquire into the Disaster at Aberfan", perhaps a better title might be "Aberfan Disaster Tribunal". Except, of course, we have to use a small d for disaster here. And I realise there was only one Tribunal in Aberfan. I can't believe we'd have "Aberfan tribunal". Martinevans123 (talk) 18:38, 24 October 2016 (UTC)
Sounds fine in principle, although most WP UK disaster articles I can recall use (and need) the tribunal/inquiry as the skeleton to support the 'what happened, when, and why' stuff, there's no reason not to have a daughter article on the inquiry. (Checking on a roughly analogous case to Aberfan: the Hillsborough disaster WP article has the Taylor Report as a separate article, but the Taylor inquiry sits in the main 'disaster' article. However, I wouldn't argue against on that basis - the 'Taylor inquiry' section looks more in need of having its own article than does the tribunal section in the Aberfan disaster article)
I would think the devil is in the decision on what to take out of the 'disaster' article, and what additional material goes into the 'tribunal' article . Presumably not just a list of the Welsh QCs who attended? The tribunal report contains much (eg on other slide events at Aberfan and elsewhere in S Wales, the 'Powell Memorandum') which isn't currently in the article: it also notes (its para 10) that much evidence was taken on stuff like the Pantglas flooding and the aerial ropeway plan, and little is said about these in the report.
Covering ' its place in the history of similar enquiries' may be difficult (or at least more work than you might think) and a 'compare and contrast' exercise on 1921 Act Tribunals probably couldn't get very far before being open to challenge as OR. I had a quick look a few days back (to see what generally happened about the prosecution of self-incriminating tribunal witnesses) and wasn't able to find much on the web about the theory and practice of 1921 Act Tribunals. (The best I could come up with was a discussion paper (put up by the Irish government when they relegislated on tribunals in the mid twenty-zeros) which said that a Tribunal is inquisitorial and cuts clean across the adversarial principle of common law criminal justice; therefore think hard before setting up a Tribunal. Even with that, it seemed too much like OR to state that a Tribunal allocating blame effectively precluded subsequent criminal convictions; which is what I think the Irish document was implying .) Rjccumbria (talk) 12:58, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
The devil is certainly in the detail, but also skeleton of the article is not limited to the 'what happened, when, and why (and who's fault was it?)', but also what happened in the 49 years after the inquiry:
  • the battles with the charity commission
  • the battles over clearing the tips
  • the battles with the NCB on compensation (they took ages to pay Merthyr Council for the damages due for the schools)
  • the twists and turns of the disaster fund (it was significantly re-organised in 1988)
  • the changes in building use eg the senior school was knocked down and the community centre was built on the site, the congregation couldn't face returning to Bethania chapel which was eventually rebuilt, etc (although a fair amount of this could be put into the Aberfan article)
  • the social networks established (The Ynys Owen Male Voice Choir and the Aberfan Young Wives group etc)
  • long term health issues
  • more survivors and rescuers coming forward to talk about their experiences for the first time
Sorry - I think I'm hijacking the discussion into what I generally think should be covered in more detail in the article... But I think my point is that if the tribunal and report are covered in more detail (which they should be), then they will overwhelm the beginning of the article.
I think I'd like to see less of the long quotes from the tribunal report in the main article - just a summary of it's purpose and findings. And a bit more on the expectations of the report. The local community were immediately put on the defensive because of Roben's comments about the lack of knowledge of the spring, and went for a legal team that wasn't based in South Wales, and in thrall to the NCB.
Should the separate article (if we have one) be Aberfan Tribunal and Report or should we have Aberfan Tribunal and Aberfan Tribunal Report? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robevans123 (talkcontribs) 15:13, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I think we are in broad agreement that the bit on the tribunal can't be expanded in situ without it seeming to overwhelm and undervalue the stuff on 'what the disaster did to Aberfan'. Probably a better time to take a view on pruning the account of the tribunal in the 'disaster' article would be when the 'disaster' article has been grown along the lines you suggest, and a 'tribunal' article has been produced. (I can't say I am attracted to a four-way split of post-disaster stuff into 'Aberfan' , 'Aberfan disaster', 'Aberfan tribunal' and 'Aberfan tribunal report') Incidentally, I obviously failed to follow up the right leads when looking for context for 1921 Act Tribunals - the 1966 Royal Commission on Tribunals can be found at ROYAL COMMISSION ON TRIBUNALS OF INQUIRY. Rjccumbria (talk) 18:42, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes we are - and getting so excited by it we're both forgetting to sign edits... Maybe User:Verbcatcher might like to start a draft of the separate article somewhere and let us know where? We could add notes on anything that might be of use, and it'll help to get an idea of what might be good to trim or omit from the disaster page.
And yes - no four-way splitting. I was thinking more that a building like the secondary school has a bit of history beyond the disaster (I think it was originally a boys school, then mixed, and might have changed from grammar to secondary modern. Of course, the fact that it was damaged and that a small number of its pupils were killed (but not in the school), and the teachers had to help pupils with escaping through flooding, is relevant to the article. But it would be good to wikilink the school to either its own article or a section in Aberfan if people wish to add more information on the school.
Interesting reading on tribunals. Very difficult to get a system that stands a decent chance of getting at the truth, and also get witnesses to cooperate when they might potentially incriminate themselves, and you don't really want to offer total immunity. Robevans123 (talk) 20:06, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
There appears to be consensus for a new article, either Aberfan tribunal or Aberfan disaster tribunal, covering the establishment and running of the tribunal and summarising its report, with its historical context and aftermath. However, I'm not standing up to prepare a draft, as I am not sufficiently on top of the material. We could start with the existing text from the Davies Inquiry section, add a introductory paragraph, and rely on Wikipedia magic to turn it into a reasonable article. The section in the main article would be replaced with a short summary. Verbcatcher (talk) 20:49, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
And I'm not even sitting down to prepare one. But it seems that if I can believe disaster with a small d, I'll have to believe tribunal with a small t. This whole convention seems very strange to me. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:00, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I didn't intend to promote the capitalisation I gave, I'd be happier with Aberfan Tribunal or Aberfan Disaster Tribunal, but I'll go along with whatever is mandated in WP:MOS . Verbcatcher (talk) 21:10, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure a clear mandate exists. But that's another story. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:23, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I am preparing a draft for Aberfan Disaster Tribunal. I'll put a link here when it's ready for review. Verbcatcher (talk) 21:03, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

@Robevans123, Martinevans123, and Rjccumbria: My draft is at Draft:Aberfan Disaster Tribunal. A draft for a truncated Davies enquiry section in the main article is at Draft:Aberfan disaster – Davies Inquiry. Proposed new redirects are in Draft talk:Aberfan Disaster Tribunal. I have added no new material beyond the lead paragraph: I took text from this article and manipulated it into a new article. Please review the drafts ASAP: if we go ahead we should do so before the draft gets too out of sync with the main article. I suggest we do not add any new material to the draft until it is in place as a live article. Verbcatcher (talk) 23:04, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks. I'll take a look. By the way, if it's useful, it szeems that the comments made on the BBC about the disaster proved to be legally controversial, see: [3]. Martinevans123 (talk) 08:45, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
More details on what lay behind the AG's warnings can be found in Hansard, but you have to go to the House of Lords, who kicked up more of a fuss about free speech. The concern with the BBC was not just that they interviewed "a man who surely knows more about the behaviour and nature of coal tips than anyone" for the usual bit of ill-informed speculation, but that that man was the tipping chargehand, who was questioned in detail on the day-to-day running of the tip. Furthermore, according to the Lord Chancellor "The interview ended by the interviewer looking straight at the camera, and saying to us who heard it: "Now I have, as a young journalist, attended and reported several public inquiries into pit disasters, disasters involving men working underground. And in nearly every case I have to report to you that when grief had safely abated the final report was a frustrating exercise in official 'whitewashing'." This was a deliberate attack on the bona fides of the Tribunal, when the head of the Tribunal had already been announced and made known to millions of people, at a time when, as we all know, emotions very naturally were running high." This was interpreted by HMG (presumably Mr Wilson) as an attempt to suggest that the Labour Government was going to try to whitewash the Coal Board (because a nationalised undertaking). What provoked the AG's warning was not comments on the disaster, but an attack on the disaster tribunal. That looks like something for the tribunal article. Rjccumbria (talk) 11:55, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification and detail. Yes, I agree, the tribunal article - that's why I mentioned it here. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:54, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Many thanks also; it looks there or thereabouts. When you ask for 'no new material', does that include putting back into the main article section draft stuff you have weeded out in your precising? I would hanker after keeping (a) something saying Tribunal witnesses had de facto immunity from prosecution, and (b) something saying tailings weren't involved. I don't think either need take more than a handful of words, but I will ponder what they should be before suggesting anything. Rjccumbria (talk) 11:55, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Tend to agree. Martinevans123 (talk) 12:58, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm happy with that. My "no new material" suggestion referred to material that is not currently in the article, not to moving material between the revised articles. If we are content that my draft article and section are broadly acceptable then I would like them to be in place today. They can then be edited in the normal way. Verbcatcher (talk) 13:05, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Your draft looks fine to me, VC. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:29, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
All looks good to me as well. Happy to go ahead, and subsequent additions and their merits/demerits can be discussed on the talk pages. The tailings is an interesting topic; although the tribunal did not consider them contributory (the slip would have happened with or without the tailings), the expert witness did say that they may have made a difference to the time of the slip (I can't find any indication of whether he was talking about seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years). :::::In addition/alongside to the related issues, it is probably worth mentioning (somewhere) that the Attorney General's direction to the media instigated a fair amount of discussion of the freedom of the press. Robevans123 (talk) 14:37, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
I have installed the new Aberfan Disaster Tribunal article and the changes to the Davies Enquiry section. Regarding User:Rjccumbria's sugestions, the de facto immunity from prosecution was in a footnote, so previous editors didn't think it merited a place in the main text. It is now a footnote in the tribunal article, but it could probably be moved to the main text there and perhaps expanded. We could add the point about the tailing to the main article, particularly as it is discussed in the Background section. Verbcatcher (talk) 20:07, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. The de facto immunity bit went in because - once it was known this was custom and practice - it seemed a bit unfair to draw the reader's attention to non-prosecution and withhold any explanation. (I'm an "I say give 'em a fair trial before we hang 'em" adherent). I think that point still holds. There is of course no need for the main article to give any background as to why tribunal witnesses had de facto immunity, just for the fact to be noted , with a supporting ref to the Royal Commission report. I will see what I can do on this. Rjccumbria (talk) 22:28, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
The edit sums it up nicely. Although, on a very minor point, I'd rather see the explanation as a footnote, supported by the reference, rather than being inside the reference. Interesting that the Royal Commission report appeared in November, and that the Aberfan tribunal didn't really start until late in the month (28th I think, after a preliminary meeting on the 8th). One wonders whether the Commission report was hurried along and/or the start of the Aberfan tribunal was delayed a little, so that the legal position was clear. It does seem that most of the post-tribunal discussion was on the lack of resignations and sackings, and not the lack of prosecutions. Also worth noting (not sure where) that the concept of "corporate manslaughter" was very much a fringe legal concept at the time. Robevans123 (talk) 11:48, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
On reflection you are probably right about footnote plus reference. Section title probably should change ; I don't think the reference currently support 'no resignations', although the claim is probably true. I would also wonder if some re-ordering of the section might be beneficial. I would think it might flow better with the Robens quote at the start of the section, and the Leo Abse condemnation of the pavane at the end. I will have a look at that in my sandbox, and post it if I think it worth it.
I too have been feeling the need for some words on "corporate manslaughter". (The point I though was lurking was that even after the 1974 HASAWA a successful prosecution for corporate manslaughter required evidence of 'a directing intelligence', which is the one thing the NCB had not had on tip safety. That was changed by the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, described on the HSE website as "a landmark in law. For the first time, companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care." (My italics, of course, but not bad for a bare-bones precis of the Tribunal findings.) It would be interesting to see what if anything the Robens Committee had to say about corporate manslaughter.) For article purposes it will probably be sufficient to add a sentence saying that not until the 2007 Act was it possible to convict an organisation of corporate manslaughter on the basis of serious management failures resulting in a gross breach of a duty of care (which can be referenced straight to the HSE webpage) Another point to tackle in my sandbox draft.Rjccumbria (talk) 16:35, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am unhappy with the section title Consequences for NCB, staff, board and chairman. The first comma indicates that the section covers the consequences to the NCB as a corporate body as well as to its people. "Board" is tautologous because NCB is "National Coal Board". I suggest Consequences for NCB staff, board members and chairman or Consequences for NCB: staff, board members and chairman. Verbcatcher (talk) 19:13, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

Happy to change heading to accommodate your views. I was perhaps led astray by the acceptance by many previous editors of the phrase 'the board of the NCB' in the body of the section. Rjccumbria (talk) 20:18, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I have also removed the first comma from the subtitle, as discussed above. Verbcatcher (talk) 20:50, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I have no intention of entering an edit war on punctuation, but for the record not 'as discussed above' as far as I am concerned. Your previous comment was "The first comma indicates that the section covers the consequences to the NCB as a corporate body as well as to its people." without any indication that you felt this not to be the case, and that therefore you felt the comma should go. It would have helped considerably if you had actually said that you thought the comma was unjustified, and then given some indication of why you thought this to be the case. My view was and is that the body text of the section indicates that the NCB (like those of its staff criticised by the tribunal) was not prosecuted, nor was there any significant shake-up of staff or board. I would see those as consequences relevant to the corporate body and hence would see no reason to interpret a remark that "The first comma indicates that the section covers the consequences to the NCB as a corporate body as well as to its people." as criticism rather than truism. Regards Rjccumbria (talk) 23:42, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry if I was unclear. I thought you had overlooked this part of my posting so I made a bold edit. Now I look again I had overlooked your recent addition on corporate manslaughter. I still think the subtitle looks odd with the comma. For clarity I suggest Consequences for the NCB, and on its staff, board members and chairman, although perhaps this is a bit long. Also, I think that corporate manslaughter and other legal issues are better discussed in the Tribunal article. Verbcatcher (talk) 01:02, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
@Verbcatcher:It's OK (well OK-ish); we're none of us paid to get these things right (and in my time I've seen/suffered some real beauties of not spotting what the text actually says from those being paid fancy hourly rates for "expert document review"). I have modded sub-heading (yet again) to 'Consequences for the NCB and its personnel' which avoids any need for commas.
Legal issues - I feel - should be in the main article (for the 'give 'em a fair trial' reason given above): otherwise 'why was nobody prosecuted ?' is an obvious, and obviously unanswered, question. (More technically/pedantically, 1921 tribunals were a delegation of Parliament's extra-legal powers, so the tribunal article should not be the place to go looking for comment on the normal legal processes (or on their absence); it would however be the place to go if you were wondering why Lord Robens was not tried for manslaughter by Parliament . Good question, now I think of it... ) Rjccumbria (talk) 19:30, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Please see Talk:Aberfan Disaster Tribunal#Sources for expanding the article. Some of this also applies here. Verbcatcher (talk) 01:05, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

OK. Given that the issue of ' Proposed new article on Aberfan Tribunal ' has been decided (and acted upon - thanks) and the length to which this section has grown, would it not be a good idea to put this section into hibernation, and start a new one on eg 'what else should go in' ? Rjccumbria (talk) 19:30, 31 October 2016 (UTC)

Images[edit]

Images seem a bit scarce. I've added a reqphoto at Talk:Alfred Robens, Baron Robens of Woldingham. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:07, 25 October 2016 (UTC) p.s. the final choice for his 1965 appearance on Desert Island Discs was "Climb Ev'ry Mountain".

I recently noticed some stills from ITV news film being used here in some material produced by the NLW. The stills are watermarked with a symbol, I think representing the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales (www.archif.com). Although the document, apart from its title "ITV Stills", contains no mention of copyright, the NLW seems to have arrangements with BBC/ITV etc to digitise TV material concerning Wales. But it did get me thinking. Would we be allowed to use a handful of video stills from documentary/news footage from the time of the disaster under "fair use"?

Also found this cartoon of Robens, which may be a useful external link in the tribunal page. Robevans123 (talk) 15:50, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

That cartoon is by Leslie Gilbert Illingworth (see here), and is unlikely to be acceptable here because of copyright restrictions. Verbcatcher (talk) 17:12, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes - I wasn't proposing that the cartoon be included in the article, but that an external link to the NLW website be included in the External Links section. The NLW only display images that they have been given permission to display. So, unlike dubious postings on youtube, I believe it meets the requirements at Wikipedia:External links. Robevans123 (talk) 18:07, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, adding this as an external link should not be a copyright problem, although it would be better to link to a page that gave information about the cartoon (artist, newspaper, date, and ideally some context). However, the article already makes it clear that Robens was severely criticised at the time, and it's not clear what this would add. Verbcatcher (talk) 18:59, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
Sorry Rob, but your pdf link to "stills from ITV news film" doesn't seem to work for me. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:50, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
That's odd - although the link I gave does seem to have some sort of access Id in the middle of it. Try going to the Aberfan disaster page and selecting the last external link given (to Hwb). You should be able to see "ITV film stills" in Powerpoint or PDF. Try linking from there. Be interested to know if that works. The first link to Hwb should be ok, but maybe I could only get the sub-pages because I've got an NLW readers card and login. Good luck. Robevans123 (talk) 22:43, 30 October 2016 (UTC)
And back to Verbcatchers point. Yes - which is why I said "may be useful", rather than "should be used". BTW The information about the cartoon could actually be in the text of the article (describing the detail and context, and using the NLW page that describes the cartoon as a reference). But this would only be useful if/when the article on the tribunal covers the press response to the tribunal in some detail. The only criticism of Robens described so far is from politicians. The cartoon was one of three featuring Robens in the space of week (although the third, "snakes and ladders", is a general statement on the woes of the government). The second, showing Harold Wilson wondering whether to chop Roben's head off is perhaps funnier. For anyone interested the three cartoons are described at the NLW (with an option to view), Aberfan Report, Will I ... won't I?, and Holiday Snakes and Ladders. Robevans123 (talk) 22:57, 30 October 2016 (UTC)

1.5 million payment in 2007[edit]

The lead section says

In 1997 Tony Blair's New Labour Government paid back the £150,000 to the ADMF and in 2007 the Welsh Assembly donated £1.5 million to ADMF as recompense for the money wrongly taken.

but the Subsequent events section says

In February 2007 the Welsh Government announced a donation of £1.5 million to the Aberfan Memorial Charity and £500,000 to the Aberfan Education Charity. No connection was made to the shortfall of the 1997 repayment.

This is a contradiction, if there was no connection then it was not "as recompense". In a check-in comment Martinevans123 noted "this ITV source seems to make this connection, but didn't Rhodri Morgan make the connection also?". Perhaps we should say "no official connection", but it may be difficult to find a source for a negative. Verbcatcher (talk) 02:52, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Here are some links that do not make the connection [4], [5], [6]. What I think happened is that the Labour Party had promised recompense for money wrongly taken, but when the Labour-run Welsh government subsequently paid a similar amount no connection was mentioned. I haven't found a source yet. Verbcatcher (talk) 03:22, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that sums it up well. I've been looking at the sections and noticed they were contradictory and don't tell the full story. Some points arise:
  • The original charity was called the Aberfan Disaster Fund (no mention of Memorial).[7] The charity was effectively split into two charities in 1988 (with different trustees). The successor charities were "The Aberfan Memorial Charity" [8] (Maintenance and repair of cemetery memorials and memorial garden for victims of the Aberfan Disaster 1966)[9] and "Aberfan Disaster Fund and Centre" [10] (furthering charitable purposes for the general benefit of the inhabitants of Aberfan)[11]. The Aberfan Disaster Fund investment account was closed in 2014 with the money going for capital works on the Aberfan and Merthyr Vale Community Centre (the building on the site of the secondary school). (link 4 above)
  • The 1997 government repayment of £150,000 did not take into account inflation or interest on the original amount that was coerced from the Aberfan Disaster Fund. This was a continuing source of resentment. I'm guessing, but don't know for sure, that the money was given to the ADF, which used to make payments to the later charities from the interest in the original fund.
  • The 40th anniversary commemorations brought a lot of the resentment to the surface - many residents did not want any politicians to be present (citation needed - but I'm sure there are some somewhere).
  • The 2007 Welsh Assembly "grants" were made directly to memorial charity (£1,500,000) and the disaster fund and centre charity (£500,000). Afterwards, the memorial charity commissioned significant refurbishment of the cemetery. [12]
  • There was no official statement that the grants were to cover the shortfall caused by inflation and interest (but the figures seem quite similar to what that amount would be...)(again - citation needed), but many commentators/politicians talked about it "being the right thing to do" and finally addressing the original wrong.
I think would be best to remove the sentence "No connection was made to the shortfall of the 1997 repayment", but with sufficient other information, readers should be able to see what was going on. Robevans123 (talk) 18:52, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that sounds reasonable. Here's a summary document about the 40th anniversary from (somewhere?) at gov.uk. Morgan was quoted here: "Speaking at the memorial garden, which was built on the site of Pantglas Junior School, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said it was "overwhelmingly the right thing for the people of Wales to do". But here's a bit about him putting his uninvited foot in it: [13]. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:51, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I agree with removing "No connection was made to the shortfall of the 1997 repayment" from theSubsequent events section. We should also remove "as recompense for the money wrongly taken" from the lead section. The £150k payment from charitable funds, the resentment it caused and the subsequent payments are mentioned in several places. We should probably bring these together, maybe in a new subsection onTip clearance (which should include the clearance of the tramway embankment in the village). Verbcatcher (talk) 20:02, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Good idea. Martinevans123 (talk) 20:45, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Can we find a source for a Labour Party commitment to make an addition payment after the £150k in 1997? Perhaps in an election manifesto. Verbcatcher (talk) 20:52, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
I'd be truly amazed if that was ever the subject of a manifesto promise. Even from the Labour Party. Stranger things have happened, I guess. I'd certainly never heard of anything as shabby as that, although I don't live anywhere near Merthyr. And Neil was cosily bedded down in Brussels by then, of course. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:03, 2 November 2016 (UTC)
Serendipitiously, I've found a statement in a reliable source that roughly says "while no explicit connection was made between the Welsh Assembly grants, the amount was similar to the shortfall, and was viewed as righting the wrong". I'll update the text and add a section on tip removal, as agreed above, over the weekend. Robevans123 (talk) 21:20, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Lord Justice Davies[edit]

@Verbcatcher: I think I preferred your first version: being born somewhere is not as powerful a cultural force as having been brought up there. Lloyd George was born in Manchester but generally passed for Welsh; the Duke of Wellington , born in Ireland, objected to being described as Irish, because "you don't call a man a horse just because he was born in a stable' or words to that effect. I have a weakness for from the horse's mouth quotes and the House of Lords discussion of the AG's attempt to bully the press includes a statement that Davies told a BBC interviewer "These are my own people. I can assure you that I shall leave no stone unturned to see that we arrive at the truth." which is presumably the point being made by noting his birthplace and/or alma mater Any use to you? or over-lengthy? Rjccumbria (talk) 21:32, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

We should probably have both, something like "who had been born and brought up locally" or "who had been born and went to school locally", citing both sources. We could add "in Mountain Ash" for the benefit of local people, but clicking on his link will show this. I think the quote is more suitable for the Tribunal article, where we can put it in the context of suggestions that the tribunal would be a whitewash. Your link is for the Lord Chancellor Lord Gardiner in the House of Lords, referring to an interview on the 24 Hours TV program. It would be good to get the date of the program and to confirm the exact wording. Edmund Davies's commitment to the area is confirmed by the title he took in 1974: Baron Edmund-Davies of Aberpennar. Verbcatcher (talk) 01:16, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

What is a tip?[edit]

Is this a mining term? Is it UK English? I have no idea and there is no explanation in the article. --Sephiroth9611 (talk) 22:23, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

The first sentence has a wikilink to Spoil tip. --David Biddulph (talk) 22:25, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It's the 12th word? Martinevans123 (talk) 22:27, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Wiktionary: "area or place for dumping something, such as rubbish or refuse, as from a mine; a heap". Verbcatcher (talk) 01:10, 1 December 2016 (UTC)