First World War. Their intense love for Wales and the Welsh people prompted a desire to establish community centres where provision could be made for a variety of social and cultural pursuits and activities in which unemployed men and women could participate to alleviate the deplorable misery of enforced idleness. Substantial funds had already been accumulated for this project.
The Pontypridd YMCA building, sited in the centre of the town, excelled for the purpose of settlement work. It had extensive and varied accommodation for all aspects of activities usually included in the programme of a Social Community Centre. The promoters of the proposed scheme invited the committee of the YMCA to share in a joint effort. The members of the Committee welcomed the suggestion, particularly since they already had
Additional accommodation was required and the early promoters provided funds to erect a block of buildings at the rear of the YMCA. The Glamorgan L.E.A. grant aided the cost of staff appointments and maintenance costs.
The YMCA became responsible for extending its usual work and programme activities together with boys' work. The Settlement Committee provided a massive amount of educational work. All programme work wase directed by a
warden, an experienced educationalist, Mr administrative responsibilities were taken Secretary, Mr. Frank Poultney.
Glyn Davies, M.A. The over by the Association
Music was a prominent feature of the Settlement's activities, for seven years there were: a Male Voice Party; a Ladies Choir; a Choral Society and an Orchestra. Their regular practices and rehearsals did much to provide a source of relief at a time of acute industrial depression.
Arts and crafts attracted all ages. A room allocated for the repairs of boots and shoes for children of unemployed families proved to be a considerable attraction. Keep fit and gymnastic classes and dancing were popular. A full size gymnasium hall was available on the second floor for ball games and public displays. A variety of table games appealed to many as did a host of social functions and, of course, the team room - a welcome diversion.
Education received appropriate attention in the Settlement including a mass of classes in Adult Education subjects, courses of popular lectures and debating classes. Good work was done by the Dramatic Society and many public performances were given.
The second floor had been erected for boys' work activities and during the settlement period, continued to be used for that purpose.
A popular religious service was well attended on Sunday nights.
The YMCA buildings were a hive of activities with several hundred people attracted night after night, by a diversified programme. It was an antidote to unemployment in a town that had suffered so severely during the depression.
The Settlement functioned for several years but as the depression gradually receded, the Warden resigned to accept the post of Director of Education for Montgomeryshire. The Secretary of the YMCA also relinquished his post