GLAN-Y-MOR, HOLIDAY & CONFERENCE CENTRE.
Its Founding and Development.
The Welsh National Council decided in 1931 to provide a holiday and conference centre in South Wales. The growth of adult education in Wales created a need for facilities for residential classes and conferences but suitable accommodation was not available. Previous conversations with leaders of various cultural organisations indicated that a scarcity of such provision existed and they pledged support for such a project. The Workers' Educational Association were especially interested.
Sites at Barry and Porthcawl had respective merits but it was thought that the site at Cold Knap, Barry, would be more suitable for weekend conferences, in view of the town's accessibility from the northern areas of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire.
The site selected was above Lakeside, with one of its boundaries adjacent to the beach.
The ground landlord, Mr. W. H. Romilly was approached with a view to ascertaining whether such a site was available. Being favourably disposed to the work of the YMCA, he offered the freehold of a site as a gift to the Movement, but it was discovered later, that this site had already been included in a head lease of the surrounding land to the Welsh Town Planning Trust. Dr. Alwyn Lloyd, chairman of the Trust, suggested that it would lease the land in question to the YMCA on a term of 999 years and the rent for the site payable by the Trust to Mr. W. H. Romilly should be set against the rent due to the Trust from the YMCA. Further, that the Misses Margaret and Gwendoline Davies of Gregynon Hall, Montgomeryshire, also Trustees of the Welsh Town Planning Trust and Patrons of the Welsh YMCA, would make substantial provision to reduce further the rent due from the Association, so the actual amount became nominal.
Later, two further, parcels of land, adjacent to each other and adjoining the main site, were leased.
The site having been secured, draft plans were prepared for the proposed Holiday and Conference Centre. It was, however, decided to postpone construction work for two years in order to open a building fund and undertake levelling work on the site.
The building plan indicated that the main section of the structure should have a frontage of 158' with short wings of 40' at each end of the rear of the building. The ground floor included a rest room, large lounge .to seat 150 people, entrance hall, kitchen, dining room, staff room, stores and toilets. The first and second floors would contain 52 bedrooms. The estimated cost amounted to £6,500. The decision to secure the site and proceed with the building scheme had been made with a capital bank balance of only £200! "It was a venture of faith".
Building operations however, did not proceed until approximately half the estimated cost had been donated. In the meantime, the appeal for funds did not prevent the preparation of the site which had been undertaken by voluntary labour of unemployed miners from Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire. For this purpose two huts had been erected and used to provide a camping holiday, and a grant of £450., had been received from the Carnegie Trust by the goodwill of Dr. Thomas Jones. With this accommodation