The Men who Drowned Dolgarrog, by John Lawson-Reay

The Men who Drowned Dolgarrog, by John Lawson-Reay
Book published by Carreg Gwalch in 2018, 164 pages. Paperback (N7648X1
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: This is the story of the 1925 Dolgarrog Dam Disaster. In 1907 the Aluminium Corporation Ltd decided to pitch their tents by the sleepy hamlet of Porth Llwyd in the Conwy Valley. In the belief that there was an unlimited 'supply of water flowing off the Carneddau mountains, they set about building dams and pipelines to enable them to generate cheap hydroelectricity for their aluminium reduction furnaces. They renamed it Dolgarrog for those who would have had difficulty with the Welsh pronunciation.

The story of the disaster hit national and international headlines after the dam collapsed on 4 November, sending a raging torrent a thousand feet down on to the unsuspecting villagers below, killing ten adults and six children. This story has been repeated on every tenth anniversary of the event.

Orchestrated by 'Y Bobl Fawr' (the big people) who had the most to lose - reputation and money, the reasons for the disaster was cleverly covered up with the aid of a suitably­ briefed coroner. The inquest found that a lowly official - now deceased, and the man who mixed the concrete - who could not be found, were to blame. This is the first time that the evidence has been examined in depth and a picture emerges of the monumental incompetence of the designer of the dams and the criminal negligence of the managing director of the Aluminium Corporation.