GLANMORFA HOLIDAY AND CONFERENCE CENTRE. RHYL.
The policy of the Welsh YMCA Holiday Centre Committee, referred to in Chapter X was to employ a considerable amount of its financial resources to initiate new ventures, one of which brought into being Glanmorfa YMCA Holiday & Conference Centre, Rhyl.
Every summer, during the period between the two wars, the Welsh YMCA organised Welfare Services for Territorial Troops at their summer training camps. Generally two battalions occupied the same camping ground, on some occasions, long distances separated them. The YMCA provided a large marquee for each unit wherever located and there they had a buffet service, post office facilities, entertainments and lectures.
It is not surprising that with the imminence of war in 1939, the military authorities invited the YMCA in Wales to assume responsibility as the most prominent Voluntary association to promote welfare activities and social service amenities for H.M. Forces in camps and hostels for limited residence near important Railway Stations.
To cope with anticipated heavy demands throughout Wales, the area, as previously stated was divided into three, south west and north Wales. Mr. W. R. Watkins, a former General Secretary at Newport YMCA, who had given considerable service in YMCA Territorial Camp work, accepted responsibility for directing the work in North Wales. For several months his Headquarters were at the large YMCA Forces Centre at Kinmel Park.
The need for a commodious building in Rhyl, in which all the requirements of a Headquarters organisation would be available, was soon felt. Such accommodation existed in the property of the Rhyl Liberal Club, known as
in Kings Avenue,
Promenade. It was sited in about 1½ acres of grass covered land. The ground was more than sufficient for the immediate purpose of the YMCA and eminently suitable for a YMCA Holiday and Conference Centre when the war was over. This Freehold property was offered to the Welsh Council of YMCAs at an annual rent of £200, with an optional purchase clause at £2,350. The Property was leased to the Welsh National Council on 18th December, 1941.
It was a Welsh YMCA transaction. The immediate purpose of the property being the provision of a YMCA Centre for H.M. Forces during the war, with the ultimate project of erecting a Holiday and Conference Centre. To implement this purpose the Holiday Centre Committee decided to exercise the optional purchase clause and the Secretary was requested to proceed with the necessary formalities to purchase Glanmorfa Hall. He reported subsequently that notice to exercise the clause had been served on the Trustees of the Liberal Club on behalf of the Welsh Council on 18th January, 1942, with the request that the transaction be completed by 14th February, 1942.
The War Emergency Committee confirmed the transaction and the loan of £2,350 from the Glan-y-Mor Building Fund to the Glanmorfa Building Fund. Further the Emergency Committee decided that the property be vested in trustees nominated by them and that it be held as an asset of the Welsh National Council of YMCAs. Later it was reported that the purchase money for Glanmorfa Hall had been paid.
The first efforts to reconstruct the building involved making habitable, as a Forces YMCA Canteen, a disused timbered structure previously a public