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North Wales was not generally as extensive as in the South and West.

A Red Triangle Concert Party, formed in the Cardiff District, gave a series of concerts in the Cardiff and Pembroke Dock Centres.

The programme of activities in most Centres included lectures, library, and an occasional drama performance.



During the war period, Local Associations were compelled to rely on their own resources in times of strain and stress. It is now evident that no District Secretary was appointed to give pastoral care and guidance to Local Association Committees. The consequence of this absence of experienced leadership was the closure of several small Associations and the diminishing interest of larger centres, which ultimately led to the closing of doors.

It was in these circumstances that the trustees of the Ammanford and Pontypridd Associations turned, in 1919 to the National Council, London, for guidance and financial assistance. This resulted in an investigation of the affairs of both Associations by a senior National Council Officer. Copies of his reports are available at the present time. The fabric of the Ammanford building had been sadly neglected and leadership was badly needed. The Pontypridd trustees were gravely concerned about a heavy capital debt.

In the case of Ammanford, the National Council invited Norman Tucker to take up the appointment of Secretary and agreed to pay half the salary. In a short time hopeful and excellent progress was made. The building was cleaned and a programme organised, but within a year the trustees decided to sell the premises and a disappointed Norman Tucker resigned. That was the end of the Ammanford YMCA with its splendid building, including a full size swimming bath.

The National Council made a financial contribution to the Pontypridd Committee to enable the appointment of a Secretary to be made and for a time the position became more stable.

The root of these difficulties and similar ones in other Associations was the aforementioned absence of regular and consistent guidance by experienced Council officers during the war period.

After the end of the war a move of much significance took place in Wales. A meeting of representatives of the Welsh Associations was held, having been called by F. S. Higman, probably after consultation with prominent laymen. It has not been possible to trace any documentary statement of the date or content of the meeting but from later correspondence it would appear that its purpose was to discuss the need for an administrative YMCA body for Wales. This is made clear by a second notice to "Representatives of Associations". It was printed under the heading "The Welsh Union of YMCAs" and dated 11th March, 1920. The opening paragraph is significant:

"Presumably you are cognisant of the efforts put forward by this council to strengthen existing Associations and to establish new Centres and so increase the effectiveness of the YMCA work throughout the Principality". The letter was signed by Frank S. Higman, - designation Welsh National Secretary.

From this data it is reasonable to assume that the existing Welsh National

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