The adult Bible class held on Sunday afternoons was led by Mr. Fawckner, Mr. Charles Compton and Mr. W.R. Russell were leaders of the Boys' Bible Class held on Wednesdays. In the report of the English National Council of YMCAs for 1883 it is recorded that the Sunday Bible Class at the Newport YMCA was the best attended in Britain with over three hundred being present.
The devotion of the Bible class leaders was not limited to class meetings. They were especially interested in the social welfare of the boys. They accompanied them on Saturday rambles in the beautiful countryside for which Gwent is noted.
The Boys' Bible Class members also had an Annual Outing to the Gold Cliff Salmon Fisheries of Messrs. Fennell, under the guidance of Edgar Fennell.
The weekly prayer meeting attracted young and old. Open air services were conducted and there was the Lodging House visitation. Interest was shown in welfare work for newspaper boys. The Floating Christian Endeavour, with its Headquarters at the YMCA, arranged visits to Seamen at the Docks. A missionary society met weekly to discuss YMCA Overseas Activities, and the members of the Newport Police Bible class held their meetings at the
Association. The new YMCA building was a hive of activity. I with action. It was said of its influence that "hundreds of young men,
t was throbbing
scattered up and down the world had been led to know God and were working for the Master."
It must be a matter of speculation as to who the leaders of the Association were in those early days in addition to those already mentioned. But some light is shed on this in the records of the South Wales District Committee formed in 1882. Mr. William Pratt, Solicitor, was a prominent member of the Newport Committee and one of three representatives of the District Committee on the newly formed National Council, London. Mr. Pratt was appointed Honorary Secretary of the District Committee in 1885, and was immersed in this work until 1914. Mr. W. A. Baker, also of Newport, was assistant Secretary to Mr. Pratt. The Newport members of the District Committee contributed considerably to the extension of the YMCA Movement in South Wales. An interesting document still exists - the attendance book of the biennial conference of the South Wales Committee. This contains the names of such Newport representatives as Mr J.F. Fawckner, Edgar Fenrell, Edward Frost, W. G. Gibbs, J.T. Groves and Stanley Pratt.
It is interesting to note that it was Mr. Pratt who prepared, in 1913, the standard Trust Deed for Association Property in the United Kingdom.
The Newport Association flourished to such an extent that in 1909 it became necessary to enlarge its accommodation at a cost of £6,000. Adjacent ground was presented by Lord Tredegar.
With additional premises, several rooms were specially reserved for the Boys' Section which was established in 1905. It was the first YMCA Boys' Club in Wales and from amongst its older members considerable numbers found their way into the Senior Membership.
A Women's Auxiliary was founded in 1907 and all through the years has given inestimable service to the Association both in securing funds and domestic