Saturday, October 21, 2006

October 21st 1966

"We are all very sorry for the boys and girls of Aberfan"

Copying that sentence from the blackboard is one of my earliest memories.

Grey exercise book. Unlined pages. We drew flowers beneath the words. Red and yellow crayons. Were they meant to be tulips?

I wasn't in comfortable, greying, Mrs Bell's class anymore. I was in the middle classroom, and my new teacher was Miss Foster who my Dad would describe as "a dolly bird", with her Mary Quant hair and yellow mini dress.

I don't know if I understood at the time why we were so very sorry, if I'd heard the news stories, or seen the iconic black and whites. At five years old how could I have had the ability to comprehend the enormity of what happened on that day? I don't know, even, how long after the event it was that we were transcribing our inadequate sympathy into our 'Day by Day' books.

I did know that it was the most terrible thing to have happened in my life so far.


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