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‘Never forgotten’: New Aberfan disaster collection on display at St Fagans

21 Oct 2022 2 minute read
A new collection of objects telling the story of the Aberfan disaster is now on display at St Fagans.

A new collection of objects telling the story of the Aberfan disaster is now on display in the ‘Wales is’ gallery at St Fagans National Museum of History. 

On 21 October, 1966, disaster struck the small mining village of Aberfan when a colliery slag tip slid down the side of a hill and engulfed a row of houses, a farm and Pantglas Junior School.

Of the 144 people who died, 116 were children.

The objects, which are part of a display exploring the story of the disaster, include a chest of drawers from Pantglas Junior School, a miner’s lamp found in tip waste, and football programmes collected by the parents of Gareth Jones who was a six-year-old survivor. 

Also included is an account written by Gaynor Madgwick, who was eight years old when she was pulled from the rubble of the school that day.

They now join the iconic clock that stopped at 9.13am, the moment the Aberfan disaster struck, in the display. 

The clock was donated to the national collection earlier this year and has been on display in the ‘Wales is’ gallery since February 2022. 

The clock had been kept safely at the home of Mike Flynn, the son of Mike Flynn (senior) who attended the scene on 21 October, 1966.

Mike Flynn was a postman who was a paramedic (for the paratroopers) in the Territorial Army at the time.

“The Aberfan disaster is a significant part of Welsh history, and we are pleased that the story is represented in the museum,” said Principal Curator of Modern History at St Fagans National Museum of History Sioned Williams. 

“We are actively adding to the Aberfan collection to ensure this story is never forgotten.”

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