Aberfan Tribunal

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 214 DNCB/4/1
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      312 files, 188 volumes, 132 plans, 90 photographs, 18 plastic negatives

Scope and Content

Papers compiled and/or consulted by the National Coal Board during and after the Aberfan Tribunal. Contains a full set of transcripts recording the proceedings of each day of the Aberfan Tribunal as well as incomplete sets annotated by members of the National Coal Board's Legal Counsel. Also contains summary bundles of evidence submitted to the Inquiry and photocopies of a large number of documents placed before the tribunal as evidence, including, but not limited to, geological reports; plans; memoranda; minutes; correspondence; and witness statements. Also includes post-disaster photographs of the tips and surrounding area; newspaper cuttings from local and national publications, including, but not limited to, articles concerning the Aberfan Disaster, the Aberfan Inquiry, the Aberfan Disaster Fund and tip clearance; log books recording communications, events and actions taken by the National Coal Board following the Aberfan Tip slide; and hydrology reports. Post tribunal material comprises a file of correspondence concerning the Aberfan Disaster Fund; papers concerning colliery tips and tip control procedures introduced by the National Coal Board as a result of the disaster; and a copy of the published Report of the Tribunal appointed to Inquire into the Disaster at Aberfan.

Administrative / Biographical History

On the 21 October 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a tip of coal waste slid onto the village of Aberfan. On the 26 October 1966, after resolutions by both Houses of Parliament, the Secretary of State for Wales, Cledwyn Hughes, appointed a Tribunal to inquire into the causes of, and circumstances relating to, the Aberfan disaster. The Tribunal sat for 76 days. 136 witnesses were interviewed, 300 exhibits examined and 2,500,000 words heard. Evidence was given on everything from the history of mining in the area to the region's geological conditions. Those who took the stand were as varied as schoolboys and university professors. The Tribunal retired on the 28 April 1967 to consider its verdict. [Source: http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/tri.htm (accessed 7 Apr 2017)].


An artificial structure has been imposed upon the collection at series level, determined by type of record (eg. log books, Tribunal Transcripts, newspaper cuttings) and original reference numbers. Original order has been maintained and reconstructed where identifiable, with material arranged according to original document reference numbers (eg. series described as ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘E’ etc).

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

46 boxes

Conditions Governing Use

Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Appraisal Information

Duplicates destroyed


Accruals are not expected.

Related Material

Related records are held at Glamorgan Archives. See DLH/A for tribunal records of Llewellyn and Hann Solicitors; and DWA/Aberfan, papers of R J Piggott (Chief Surveyor, National Coal Board). For further papers relating to the Aberfan Disaster within the National Coal Board Collection see: DNCB/1/1, DNCB/6/3/1, DNCB/6/4/1 and DNCB/9/1/1. Other records held at Glamorgan Archives include: Pantglas School records; Police records; Newspaper reports; Burial Service records; Aberfan Disaster Fund; Civil Defence records; and records of Powell Duffryn. Related units of description held elsewhere: The Aberfan Disaster Archive held at Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais Public Libraries; The National Archives; National Library of Wales; South Wales Coalfield Collection, University of Wales, Swansea. A detailed list of the records held by these repositories can be found at The Aberfan Disaster Website, Martin Johnes and Iain McLean, http://www.nuffield.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/tri.htm.