Aberfan memories are indelibly lodged in the memory.
Today a nephew of mine Mike Flynn returned a clock to Aberfan. It last ticked in the seconds before the avalanche of sludge hit the row of terraced houses. It was used in the Tribunal to fix the time of the disaster. The clock was dug up by my late brother Michael.
BBC Wales reported today “It stopped at 09:15, five decades ago, the tip gave way and thousands of tonnes of liquefied slurry slid down into Pantglas Junior School and nearby homes.
Mike Flynn, from Cardiff, said his father Michael had been a paramedic in the Territorial Army and went to Aberfan to help in the rescue when he saw it on the news.
He dug up a clock and gave it to the police for use in the inquiry but they gave it back to him once it was over, with the clock later passed to Mr Flynn
He said: "The last time it ticked was in Aberfan when they were all still alive. It stopped at the time 144 people stopped with it. I felt it should be here in Aberfan today."
I vividly recall my late brother’s horror at the terrible sights that he seen. He dug out the bodies of children who died holding the hands of their friends or locked in an embrace. He told me that his three young children had never had so many hugs and kisses as he was so thankful that their lives continued.
One of the mothers Beryl Williams saw her life transformed by the tragedy. Her son Keith was killed. She went from being a stay-at-home mum to be a powerful community leader and the voice of the bereaved. We both served on the Broadcasting Council for Wales in the seventies. She was then a powerful, persuasive advocate for the cause of working class families. She was a great help to me later in 1979. She died in the early eighties. Her funeral churned up the past grief of 1966.