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Save the Aberfan Memorial petition

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Hello. Please spare some time to read this. Thanks.

 

Read about this on a Wrexham football forum:

 

White Eagle of Snowdon

16/7/04

Aberfan Memorial

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An online petition has been started to try and stop the destruction of the Coventry playground in Merthyr Tydfil that was built as a memorial to the children who died in the disaster.The petition address is

 

www.petitiononline.com/aberfan/petition.html

 

Send this to everyone you know...

 

At 9.15am on October 21st 1966 144 people died when a coal tip

collapsed onto a primary school in Aberfan, South Wales. 116 of the

victims were children. The pictures from the time were truely

horrifying.

After the disaster the people of Coventry paid for a memorial

playground to be built as a lasting memorial to the dead. Now, the

disgraceful Merthyr Housing Association plan to destroy the

playground to build houses.

THEY ARE LIKE GRAVE ROBBERS IN THE NIGHT.

 

An online petition to stop this development has been launched at

 

www.petitiononline.com/aberfan/petition.html

 

These plans cannot be allowed to happen. For the sake of the

memories of the children I urge you to sign the petition and inform

everyone that you know to do the same. Please get the petition

listed on any websites you may have access to and lobby all MPs and

members of the Welsh assembly in Cardiff. Also send an email to

Merthyr housing association and tell them of your disgust.

 

DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN.

 

More articles:

ABERFAN: The Families

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"It brings it all back as if it was yesterday"

 

EDWIN DAVIES, R.I.P.

 

Family's pain over Aberfan plans

 

 

THE family of a boy who died in the Aberfan disaster has condemned plans to bulldoze a memorial to the victims.

 

Sisters Pat Walters and Tess Evans, who lost their brother Edwin Davies in the disaster, have talked about their "unimaginable pain" in a bid to stop Coventry Park, in Merthyr Vale, being destroyed.

 

Merthyr Council is proposing to sell off land at the memorial park to Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association to build 11 bungalows.

 

Edwin was only eight when he died along with 115 other children and 28 adults.

 

Mrs Evans, 61, and her husband Derek, 64, were raising Edwin at the time after their mother, Elizabeth Davies, died from cancer.

 

"Not only did we lose Edwin but my husband's brother lost his two children," she said.

 

"My husband's parents lost three grandchildren in the same morning. It was unimaginable."

 

Mr and Mrs Evans still have a portrait of Edwin hanging in the living room of their home in Thomas Street, Aberfan.

 

"This park is a memorial to all the children, you can't go around knocking it down - it's people's memories," said Mrs Evans.

 

"When my daughter got married we went to the garden and that's where she had her wedding pictures taken. A lot of people do that."

 

Pat Walters, of Berw Road in Pontypridd, was 21 at the time of the disaster.

 

She said: "Aberfan is a very emotive subject. It was a very emotional, traumatic event. The village was very close and everyone was affected.

 

"It's still a good community and you can't just tear it apart. What's there should be left there and respected," she said.

 

"I'm sure there is plenty of other land to build houses on," she said.

 

Mrs Walters added: "When you're reminded it takes you back to what it was like living in hope of getting more children out.

 

"At the time I was living in Gurnos and heard the news on the radio. I knew the children were in the school.

 

"My ex-husband and other men were going down to help so I went down with him while my neighbour looked after my children when they came home from school.

 

"I went looking for my sister. She was trying to dig with her bare hands. My brother-in-law was a postman and dropped everything to help.

 

"We waited, hoping that he would come out, going down every day."

 

Edwin was the ninth child to be pulled out of the school but it was five days later until his sisters knew their brother had been found.

 

Pat Walters added: "It brings it back as if it was yesterday, but it's not something you forget and something that should never be forgotten."

 

Coventry Park was built in 1968 using money donated from the people of Coventry in the wake of the disaster.

 

A campaign group has been set up to try to block the plans.

 

In a statement Merthyr Tydfil council said: "The land was originally the location of a school and has not been utilised as a playground for a considerable period of time. It is currently derelict.

 

"The future of the site has been under consideration for disposal, possibly for residential development, with the aim of bringing the site back into productive use and improving the quality and choice of housing stock in the renewal area."

 

Jessica Flynn, South Wales Echo- thanks Jessica, at least someone cares!

 

QUESTIONS:

 

"the site has been under consideration for disposal" By who? Initiated by who?

 

"to bring it back into productive use"-

 

a)means- to make money for Merthyr Council when it sells land to the Housing Association

 

b)means- the Council doesn't think the memory of Aberfan is productive.

 

Aberfan was a Welsh national and inter-national disaster. Is this how Wales honours its dead? If the park has fallen in quality then, for the sake of the memory of Edwin and his dead schoolmates, it needs to be maintained- this sell off profiteering would never happen in any other Country.

 

http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100...ll&siteid=50082

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coventry's message to council over playground Jul 13 2004

 

Louise Day, South Wales Echo

 

 

PEOPLE who paid for a memorial to the victims of the Aberfan disaster say they are disgusted at plans to demolish it.

 

The city of Coventry was so moved when they heard news of the tragedy in 1966 that some residents travelled to the village to help rescue survivors.

 

The rest gathered together to raise fund for a play park in memory of 116 children who died when the coal tip slid on top of Pantglas Junior School and nearby houses.

 

They are now furious at plans by Merthyr Tydfil council to sell the land for development to Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association.

 

Former Coventry City Councillor Arthur Waugh, who helped raise cash for the memorial, said: "I can't believe this would happen. There is a lot of careful thinking to be done before this takes place and a lot of explaining to be done to families who lost children.

 

"I can't believe that people would be so unfeeling as to even consider it. I think whoever came up with the idea is uncompassionate and inhuman.

 

"I would say to Merthyr Tydfil council that this is a monument to the (children) of Merthyr Tydfil who never had the opportunity to have a full life.

 

"For God's sake show that you're human. Knock on the head this crazy idea."

 

Tony Hitchcox travelled to the scene in 1966 to help the British Red Cross. He died three years ago, but his widow, Carol Hitchcox, 56, of Charter Avenue, Canley, Coventry, said: "I think that's absolutely disgusting. That was done as a memorial to all the children that were lost."

 

John Roberts, 76, of Momus Boulevard, Stoke, attended the scene with Tony Hitchcox. He also attended funerals of the children.

 

He said: "I sobbed my socks off because my kids were the same age and I knew what was in the coffins.

 

"There was an awful lot of 'why, why us?'.

 

"If the playground is still being used and the money was donated for that specific purpose, then it should stay.

 

"I would have thought there was a point of law about that."

 

In a statement, Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association chief executive Karen Dusgate said the plans were in the early stages.

 

"The association was asked to consider if the playground could begin to meet some of the housing needs of the local community, in particular the needs of older people for bungalows.

 

"We are very aware and very sensitive to the memories of the community and the donation of the play area to the community by the people of Coventry.

 

"For this reason we approached the local Communities First Partnership Board to present the idea and suggested that a consultation exercise was undertaken in order to gauge how people feel about the proposed development of the site.

 

"As our letter to local residents states, these are very early days."

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If you drive northwards towards Brecon on the southern side of the river, through Quakers yard and the sun hits the white grave markers of the children up the hill to your left, a lump will come to your throat - especially if you have kids of your own.

 

I used to make this journey fortnightly on business and the sight always bought home to me the sanctity of innocence.

 

This idea by the local Council is, at the least, inconsiderate. At the most - a bl**dy disgrace !

 

Me and 'Er Indoors have signed, needless to say.

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