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Unfortunately, the work of the National Fitness Council ended abruptly with the outbreak of War in 1939.

The Board of Education assumed responsibility for the unfinished activities and liabilities of the Fitness Council. YMCA projects already accepted by the Council received careful attention by the Board . Appropriate authorities issued licences for timber and steel for urgent projects but amounts were kept to a minimum. Information about the grant aiding of costs of schemes and the issuing of building licences was contained in circular 1486 issued by the Board.

These arrangements applied to the Hirwaun YMCA building in respect of materials and grants available.

The application of the Welsh National Council for the erection of a new YMCA building at Resolven did not succeed but the Ministry supplied a prefabricated concrete building which was erected by voluntary labour.

At the end of 1939, the work of erecting the first section, and in some cases the second section, of the new Associations in the Aberdare and Rhymney Valleys neared completion. This fortunately, did not result in a period of unemployment for the Welsh National Council's building staff. The craftsmen were engaged to erect YMCA canteens for the Forces. They travelled all over Wales and rendered an immense service to the Movement in a difficult period. They finished these important operations by building the finest YMCA in this country, for work with the Forces - "The Lord Plymouth Memorial H.M. Forces Club" at St. Athan R.A.F. Station.

The recommencement of building new local YMCAs after the war coincided with the implementation of the Education Act of 1944. It was a new deal for Voluntary Organisations engaged in the Youth Service. Power was vested, by Act of Parliament, in Local Authorities to establish and maintain a youth service in their administrative areas and at the same time to grant aid the youth service of centres of the Voluntary National Organisations in respect of:

  • i)

    Maintenance of buildings, equipment and programme activities.

  • ii)

    Salaries of approved full time leaders.

The Ministry of Education had power to grant aid approved buildin received from appropriate National Youth Organisations for the se youth. All applications, together with relevant information, were

g schemes rvice of to be

forwarded directly to the Ministry.

Again, the applications

YMCA in Wales was for new buildings


among the With thes

first organisations e resources available

progress was made. The following YMCA building projects were unde (mostly by the Welsh National Council):

with much rtaken

Bargoed: In 1937 a site was leased for a boys club and substantia erected in permanent materials at a cost of £2,800.

l premises

Mountain Ash: Lady Aberdare presented a freehold site in 1938, to with a substantial and spacious cottage, with adjacent land for b gymnasium hall and other accommodation. The total cost - £2,000.

gether uilding a

Caerphilly: The freehold of a disused corn stores was purchased a

nd the

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