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Glamorgan Archives
Aberfan Disaster Inquiry, Chief Surveyor's papers

Reference code(s): GB 0214 DWA/ABERFAN

Held at: Glamorgan Archives

Title: Piggott, R.J. (Chief Surveyor, National Coal Board), Aberfan Disaster Inquiry papers

Short Title: Aberfan Disaster Inquiry, Chief Surveyor's papers

Creation date(s): 1950-1967

Level of description: Fonds

Extent: 0.036 cubic metres (3 boxes)

Name of creator(s): Roy John Piggott; Kenneth Wardell


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 in South Wales. This collection contains the papers and geological surveys prepared for the disaster inquiry. These papers were created by R. J. Piggott, Chief Surveyor and Minerals Manager, South-Western Division, National Coal Board, and Kenneth Wardell, senior partner of Durnford, Lee and Wardell, Consulting Mining Engineers and Geologists.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of the Aberfan Disaster inquiry, 1950-1967, consisting of: personal files and reports of R. J. Piggott, 1950-[c. 1967] (mainly 1967); reports prepared by K. Wardell, [c. 1960s]-1967; geological reports, 1966, [c. 1967]; history of coal-making and tipping at Aberfan, 1963-1966; reports of the condition of the tips, [c. 1960s]-1967; Aberfan, water flow measurements from tips [c. 1967]; rainfall records, includes, registers of rainfall, 1936-[c. 1967] and comparative evidence and reports relating to other colleries, 1940-1966; National Coal Board documents, [1960s]-1966; maps and plans, 1957, [c. 1967]; photographic surveys and reports, 1966, [c. 1967]; and publications relating to the disaster, 1966-1967.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement: Arranged according to date and type.

Conditions governing access: No restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.

Physical characteristics: Good to fair condition

Finding aids: A full version of the catalogue can be searched online at


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records have been retained.

Accruals: Accruals are not expected.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private individual on 29 October 1986.


Related material: Related units of description held at the Glamorgan Archives: Pantglas School records; Police records; Newspaper reports; Burial Service records; National Coal Board records; Aberfan Disaster Fund; Civil Defence records; 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 Diaster website" (, viewed 29/03/2004.


Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.

Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for the Aberfan Disaster (Papers of Mr R. J. Piggott of the National Coal Board); Austin, Tony, Aberfan: The Story of a Disaster (London, 1967); Doel, Melanie, & Martin Dunkerton, Is it Still Raining in Aberfan? (Little Logaston, 1991); England, Edward, The Mountain that Moved (London: Hodder & Stroughton, 1967).

Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.

Date(s) of descriptions: March 2004

Coal mines and mining | Wales | Merthyr Tydfil
Disasters | Wales | Aberfan
Mine surveying | Wales | Aberfan
Rainfall frequencies | Wales
Spoil bank failures | Wales, South
Spoil banks | Wales | Aberfan

Personal names
Piggott , R. J.
Wardell , Kenneth

Corporate names
Great Britain | National Coal Board

Aberfan (Wales)

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