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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 August, 2004, 10:21 GMT 11:21 UK
March to save Aberfan memorial
Rescuers at the disaster site
The disaster sent shock waves through the UK
Campaigners hoping to save a memorial to those who died in the Aberfan disaster have held a protest march.

A memorial playground was built in nearby Merthyr Vale to remember the 1966 landslip in which 116 children and 28 adults died.

But proposals put forward by Merthyr County Borough Council could see the site sold and the land used to build bungalows for elderly people.

Five thousand people from across Wales have signed a petition to keep the playground, and around 100 people took part in the protest march.

The playground was paid for by the people of Coventry, who raised 4,000 in the months after the tragedy.

It was built in Merthyr Vale, Aberfan's neighbouring village.

Carol Jenkins, one of the protest organisers, said she was delighted with the support for the march, and people had travelled from north, mid, and west Wales.

protesters in Merthyr town centre
More than 100 took part in the march

"People are travelling great distances because they are so annoyed," said Carol, who was six years old when the disaster happened.

She said that campaigners were trying to get the planners to look elsewhere for the development.

"There are another two sites, and we want them to build on them, and leave the playground for the children and the memory of those who died."

"We are trying everything we can," she added.

Councillors have said a 28m investment was being made to improve Merthyr Vale over the next 10 years and suitable housing was being made a priority for the area.

One area that was being considered for the development of new housing was the Coventry playground "on the basis of the site being derelict and subject to anti-social behaviour".

A spokeswoman for Merthyr Council said it was "very early days" and that the playground was just one of several sites being considered.




SEE ALSO:
Aberfan plans reassure mayor
03 Aug 04  |  South East Wales
Aberfan play area protest
15 Jul 04  |  South East Wales
Petition to save Aberfan memorial
13 Jul 04  |  South East Wales


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