Surviving Aberfan: the People’s Story

Sue_Elliott_Surviving_Aberfan
Surviving Aberfan: The Peoples Story

Surviving Aberfan: the People’s Story
by Sue Elliott and Steve Humphries and Bevan Jones
Published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd

Surviving Aberfan: the People’s Story was written in a matter of weeks and proved the most affecting project I’ve ever worked on. Researching and writing the narrative and transcribing 27 interviews with Aberfan survivors (children and adults), rescuers and bereaved parents meant that I was often in tears and I still can’t read some passages without crying. The people Steve persuaded – with some difficulty – to appear on camera and who ‘appear’ more extensively in the book are extraordinary: strong, dignified, occasionally very funny, always inspirational. They suffered unimaginable trauma and loss yet have come through. Their warm Welsh voices and their belief in a better future shine through the pain: the story is one of terrible tragedy and official neglect and betrayal, yet it ends on a forward-looking and positive note because of the people they are.

This book was a first in so many respects: the shortest ever time I’ve ever had to write a book – about 5 weeks; my first foray into self-publishing (no commercial publisher was prepared to meet the punishing deadline); the first self-published book to carry the BBC logo; and the first of my books to be formally presented to the Prince of Wales! It’s a modest book, modestly produced but it contains the most amazing stories of survival and stoicism.

You can buy Surviving Aberfan: the People’s Story on Amazon here.

2 thoughts on “Surviving Aberfan: the People’s Story

  1. Dear Ms Elliot. I read your book “Surviving Aberfan”with interest, as i, too, am a survivor of the Aberfan Disaster (in fact, I am the brother of one of the people you interviewed for your book – Bernard Thomas). I felt that I had to write to you to correct an error in your book. In two places, you ssy that the new school that opened after the Disaster (Ynysowen Infants and Primary Scool) was opened in 1974. It wasn’t – it actually opened in 1968. I know that because I went there and my teacher in my first year there was Howell Williams, who had been my brother Bernard’s teacher in Pantglas. I left Ynysowen in 1971 to attend the local high school. With kind regards. Andrew

    1. Dear Andrew, I came across your correction again today but just wanted to say how sorry I was to learn of your brother Bernard’s passing recently.
      With very best wishes,
      Sue Elliott

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s