in two or three years.
Glan-y-Mor was formally opened on 22nd July, 1933. The Countess of Plymouth performed the opening ceremony and the Hon. J. H. Bruce, Chairman of the Holiday Centres Committee, presided. For many reasons it was an auspicious occasion, marked by an excellent address given by Lady Plymouth on "The Youth of Today".
The requests for accommodation for holidays and conferences assured a successful future for Glan-y-Mor. All available bedrooms were reserved for the remainder of the season. The Glan-y-Mor venture had become a reality.
During the following winter, seventeen unfinished bedrooms were completed making a total of fifty-two for the next season. New paths and flower beds added to the amenities in the grounds overlooking the channel and the extra coat of paint was applied to external woodwork.
Undertaking these completions and extras necessitated creating a Direct Labour force. The foreman, an unemployed banker mason, hailed from Treharris. A master of his craft, he could lay bricks with the best in the Valleys. There were three young unemployed miners, members of Aberaman YMCA, who proved themselves to be excellent workers in their respective skills. Two experienced craftsmen, without work, joined the "squad". In fact, after some initial training, all these workmen became good craftsmen. In due time, as the work increased, others joined the party. The payment to the workers was calculated according to District rates.
This building squad functioned for twenty-four years. By their energy and skill they produced some of the best YMCA buildings in Wales and their work was not shoddy. In addition, most of the plans were prepared by a member of the Welsh National Council staff.
In the meantime, business at Glan-y-Mor increased as expected. The following spring (1934), twelve organisations sought accommodation for conferences and schools, and the four holiday months were filled to capacity with holiday visitors.
A School Camp.
In the autumn of 1935, the National Council of Social Service requested the Glan-y-Mor Committee to provide a school camp in the grounds of their Conference and Holiday Centre, for about 150 schoolboys who were the sons of unemployed workmen in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. For this purpose the Social Service Council would purchase and erect eight huts, and pay the cost of the provision of all required meals on a per capita basis.
This scheme of hutments did not comment itself to the Glan-y-Mor Committee because it was felt it would be detrimental to the character of the buildings and gardens at Glan-y-Mor. An alternative scheme presented by the Glan-y-Mor Committee comprised the extension of their building, including a large new dining-hall and thirty new bedrooms, together with two huts already in existence in the grounds.
The cost of the new work would be a YMCA responsibility, providing the amount of the estimated cost of the proposed hutments was contributed to the Glan-y-Mor Committee to defray, in part, the cost of the new structure, which would remain YMCA property. On these terms the facilities offered would be available to the Social Service Council as long as the depression