volume of activities became restricted. In 1906 it was realised that the situation called for serious consideration. Was it to be larger premises in an existing structure or a new purpose planned building? A committee was set up to survey the possibilities.
After many months of searching for sites and drafting of plans, it was decided to purchase the valuable freehold site and building on the corner of St. Helen's Road and Page Street. It was resolved, after some hesitation to clear the whole site which would be required to erect what proved to be one of the best designed YMCA buildings in Wales and the West of England. The scheme undertaken cost £20,548. Certainly a great venture, but an equally great effort to raise most of the money required. A twelve days appeal to the public realised £12,000, a further amount of £3,316 was secured before the opening ceremony, leaving a debt of approximately £5,000. The new building was officially opened by the Rt. Hon. Lord Kinnaird, President of the National Council of YMCAs of England.
Rooms and small halls had been included for a variety of agencies and for a Junior Section. There was an excellent large hall seating 361 people and a 21 bedroom hostel. The Gymnasium was comparable to any YMCA Gymnasium in Britain. and through the decades literally thousands of members, - business men, women, and school children of Swansea have exercised there. It is a fitting memorial to Mr. W. Standish who was a Physical Training Instructor of distinction, as is the present Director, Mr. Walter Walsh. Between them they have given over 60 years continued service in the Swansea YMCA Gymnasium.
Masters of their craft, through their devoted service in this field, many Junior Members passed, via the Gymnasium, into full membership of the Association.
The following appreciation of the training given in the Gymnasium came from one of its members:
"Established in 1868, Swansea YMCA became a pioneer of physical education in Wales. Our Gym was second to none in Great Britain, and our members are winners of many important trophies including the individual and team championships of Great Britain for both men and women. We have had representatives at all Olympic Games during the period 1920 -1960".
Some of the good citizens of Swansea who were prominent in the work of securing the admirable and pleasing new YMCA building were: Sir John Llewelyn (Bart.,) (President), Roger Beck, Hugh Bellingham, W. H. Bond, T. P. Cook, John Glasbrook, J. C. Napier, Syd Solomon, and Rev. Talbot Rice.
The pattern of work of the first Association, founded in London in 1844, was based on religious work activities with an evangelical emphasis. There is no doubt that the early Welsh Associations followed the London pattern of Bible classes, prayer meetings religious conferences and missions and various associated activities. At the turn of the century the basis was widened and by the time the Swansea new building was opened the programme
of activities was still broadening. But the fundamental never sacrificed. A weekly programme, printed in 1913, following agencies:
religious work was announced the
YMCA Fellowship meeting for prayer and a prayer service, Brotherhood meeting. Pocket Testament League, Two Missionary Study Groups, Debating Society, Public Lectures and Two Bible Classes.