Swansea. The new Associations were small. Conditions and circumstances created the trend; several small Associations were more productive of results than one large centre. Accommodation was limited to rented premises, usually two or three rooms over a shop. Their equipment was simple, much of it borrowed or second hand. Their activities did not necessitate sophisticated property. Capital expenditure was limited but what they had they paid for from pence contributed from their hard earned wages, as was the custom, especially among coal miners, to meet the cost of building their chapels and welfare institutions in those early days of the Industrial Revolution.
After three years, W. A. Southa11 resigned the secretaryship of the South Wales District Committee, to work in Australia. He was succeeded by the well known Newport solicitor, Mr. William Pratt. Mr. Pratt was a member of the local Association's General Committee and a member of the Cardiff Committee and their, president for many years, and Stanley Pratt, a member of the Newport Committee and Trustee of that Association.
The opening of new Associations had been taking place steadily, but not so frequently as the District Secretary desired. He prevailed upon the National Council to allocate a Travelling Secretary to South Wales to strengthen Association work, inject a new spirit into existing centres and
establish new ones. The response to this appeal was the Henry Armstrong whose name was honoured in YMCA circles was a shrewd, forceful organiser and an eloquent public us younger Secretaries in the Movement, after the First
appointment of for many years. He speaker. Those of World War, remember
the considerable esteem in which he was held both in London Headquarters and the General Secretaries' Association. He was a towering personality.
As a Travelling Secretary he greatly appreciated the campaign to extend Association activities in mining and other industrial districts. In this field he saw a great opportunity for expanding YMCA influence and work in Wales.
In South Wales, where he concentrated his labours, he was confronted with a language problem. The greater part of the population was Welsh speaking and for him this was a barrier which inhibited progress. He was the first visitor to sense the need for a Welsh-speaking Travelling Secretary to pioneer this important service in Wales and reported accordingly to the National Council. Despite the language difficulty he opened several new Associations. He also spoke at various conferences, conducted missions to young men and attended the half yearly meetings of the District Committee. He was definitely at home among the people of South Wales and, on one occasion, after being appointed General Secretary of the Newcastle-on-Tyne Association, he made a special journey from the North to attend a meeting of the District Committee.
His successor in 1892, Mr. Fred C. Bennet, remained in Wales for only three years. Later he became a well known Divisional Secretary in England. During his work in Wales he opened several new Associations.
In his report to the National Council 1892, he made reference to boys' work having been established at the Newport YMCA in that year. This appears to be the first effort to promote YMCA boys I work in Wales.
In the National Council report, tribute was paid to the Newport Association for having the best attended Bible Class in the Country. Its membership exceeded three hundred persons.