Neville John was a violin teacher in the Merthyr Tydfil area and had three pupils, Lynn Harding, Necia James and Victoria Symonds, in Pantglas Junior School at the time of the Aberfan Disaster. Shortly before 9.15am on October 21st 1966 the colliery spoil tip high above the village collapsed, engulfing the school and killing 144 people, 116 of them children with those three pupils among the dead. ‘The tragedy affected me deeply’, he said, ‘and I felt compelled to write a piece of music in memory of the disaster’.
His first piece, Tragic Overture Aberfan was completed in 1969, but soon afterwards the director of education, John Beale, asked him to compose a second, The Triumph of Aberfan, celebrating the courage of the people, their rehabilitation and their eventual triumph in the fight for better safety measures.
This video documentary was made by Chris Beynon for Swansea Bay TV. It tells the story of the Aberfan disaster through the eyes of Neville John and Jeff Edwards MBE, who was the last child saved from Pantglas primary school on that day.
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