TV DRAMA FILMS STORY OF ABERFAN
AWARD-WINNING series The Crown has turned a South Wales Valleys village into a scene from the 1960s as it covers the events of the Aberfan disaster.
The show’s film crew has taken over an entire street in the Cynon Valley and is shooting episodes that will cover the devastating events of 1966.
Pictures show the disused Glynhafod Junior School in Cwmaman doubling for Pantglas Junior School which was destroyed during the disaster.
The school is to be used to film scenes before the colliery spoil tip collapsed and engulfed the site which left 116 children and 28 adults dead.
The series will then cover the period up until Queen Elizabeth II visited the village days later.
Producers of the Netflix series say they have met with members of the community on a number of occasions before filming takes place.
They say their aim is to “tell this story truthfully and responsibly so that the tragic events of 1966 are never forgotten”.
The Queen, who in the forthcoming third series of the drama will be played by Olivia Colman, visited Aberfan nine days after the disaster and three further times – most recently in 2012.
The Cwmaman street was closed off yesterday and was lined with cars such as a Ford Anglia, with extras dressed in 1960s fashions.
The scenes also saw a huge crane being rigged with a rain machine to recreate the torrential rain experienced during the days before the Aberfan disaster.
The production team is also due to film at Big Pit in Blaenavon, Ferndale in the Rhondda and at locations in Caerphilly county.
A spokesperson for Left Bank Pictures, which is making the series, said: “The third season of the Netflix series The Crown will cover the major historical events of Elizabeth II’s reign from 1963-1977 and we all strongly felt that the Aberfan disaster and the aftermath must be included, especially as it continues to hold a deep resonance for the nation and the Queen herself.
“As producers, we feel a responsibility to remain true to the memory and the experience of the survivors so have met with community leaders, as well as the people of Aberfan on a number of occasions as part of our research and to discuss our approach.
“We have been made to feel welcome by the residents who have been very helpful in providing insight into one of the most tragic events of the 20th century.
“Our aim is to tell this story truthfully and responsibly so that the tragic events of 1966 are never forgotten.”
The episode is due to air late next year.
The Crown is one of the biggest and most acclaimed shows in recent TV history, having scooped awards around the world. It was first released in November 2016.
Series one and two covered the early years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from 1947-63. The lead roles of The Queen and Prince Philip were originally played by Claire Foy and Matt Smith.
Now Broadchurch actress Colman takes on the role of the Queen and Tobias Menzies plays the Duke of Edinburgh.
The next phase of the show covers the major historical events of the Queen’s reign from 1963 to 1977.
People in period dress and props in Cwmaman for the filming of The Crown
The crew at Glynhafod Junior School
Props for the filming