For Whom the Bell Tolled by Alan Roberts

Judith Barrow

I’ve shown Alan Robert’s writing before. As one of my students he’s produced some hilarious accounts of the things that happen to him.However this one is different; in fact it couldn’t be more different. Alan was a very young policeman at the time of the dreadful event that happened in Aberfan this day, fifty years ago. Alan admits that the images, the sights that confronted him have lived with him ever since.

 So I thought it only fitting that I should post his reflective piece today…

 October 21st 1966.

If only their Mam’s hadn’t woken them that morning.  If only they’d been unable to attend class.  If only. If only.  But that early morning no one thought ‘if only’ as the unlaced shoes raced late over black, uneven asphalt of Aberfan’s pavements, summoned by the ringing bell?  Above, mourning black clouds hung low over the village shedding their gentle…

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