In the aftermath, the NCB refused to to accept responsibility. This was further compounded by the plundering of the memorial fund.
The scandal of the unquestionably unlawful extraction of money from the Disaster Fund to pay for the removal of the tips
In the aftermath of the Aberfan tragedy, the public donated £1,606,000 in almost 90,000 individual contributions to a Disaster Fund. In 1966 this was a vast sum of money (wikipedia estimates that this is £27.8 million by 2015 values). After the disaster, a decision was taken to remove the tips above Aberfan, although the National Coal Board maintained a view that as they were not dangerous they had no responsibility for the costs of this operation. Under “intolerable pressure” from the Labour government, but in secret, the trustees of the Disaster Fund agreed to provide £150,000 to pay for the removal. This deed did not become fully clear until 1997; subsequently the regulator of charities in the UK, the Charities Commission, have ruled that this was “unquestionably unlawful”.
In 1997, the Labour Government of Tony Blair repaid the £150,000 to the Disaster Fund, but without any interest. Whilst this in some ways repairs some of the damage, that interest was not paid means that the Disaster Fund made, in effect, an interest-free long term loan to the National Coal Board. This remains deeply unjust.
Today if you travel along the A470 dual carriageway from Merthyr to Cardiff (built in the 1970's) you will drive through the path of the tip collapse. Spare a thought, that the site of the former PantGlas Junior School is 300 metres to your left, and a little further on the Memorial Gardens, where most of the victims are buried, is 100 metres from the carriageway.
I was in conversation with an Englishman only the other day about the ill feeling towards the Govt after the flooding of villages in my area to provide water, chiefly for English cities. Even though this is still in living memory, he felt that the Welsh 'need to get over it'! I then had to educate him about the Aberfan tragedy and the piracy of the disaster fund. I still vividly remember sending some of my toys to the children in the valley and my Welsh grandparents collecting for the fund