COLEG Y FRO - ITS PURPOSE, BUILDING AND SYLLABUS.
The purpose of the College was to provide training in Christian Citizenship for Youth in Industry, especially boys and young adults employed in or about coal mines in South Wales. It included the expression of a desire to establish a Residential Building where provision could be made for conducting social and educational training for industrial youth. The College structure, being purpose built, was to contain an assortment of refinements required in such experiments. The proposed cost of the scheme was estimated at £22,000. The venture produced an excellent building with considerable facilities to carry out a training programme for youth under the auspices of the Welsh National Council of YMCAs.
Discussions took place with Mr. Edmund Hann, the Managing Director of the Powell Duffryn Colliery Co., and a director, Sir Herbert Merrett, who personally supported the proposal for the college, and examined the draft plans of the building. The Powell Duffryn Co., contributed £400., to the purchase price of the land required for the scheme.
Discussions also took place with the late Mr. Meredith Jones, the Youth
Organiser of the Glamorgan L.E.A., organisations.
and leaders of various voluntary
The members of the War Emergency Committee of the Welsh National Council of YMCAs manifested enthusiastic support for the venture which promised to add a super-agency to the diversity of Association activities to make provision for cultural training for Youth who had missed the opportunity of Further Education.
The Hon. Mrs. J. H. Bruce, who was Chairman of the Welsh YMCA National Women's Auxiliary, paid tribute to the founders of the College by reminding the members of the Association that the concept of the College had emerged at the time when the bombs fell on Cardiff and Barry.
Some prominent Youth Secretaries who had YMCA experience in the industrial valleys and who previously worked as colliery boys, pledged themselves to making the venture a success.
Before proceeding with the erection of the building to house the College, the Welsh National Council sought to gather much information respecting the nature of their project from experienced sources of similar undertakings. For this purpose two Summer Schools for older industrial youth, held at the Glan-y-Mor YMCA Holiday and Conference centre, Barry, provided valuable information. Staff reports indicated that all concerned with the venture, staff and students alike, strongly expressed the view that a Youth College should be located in its own grounds and not associated with similar adult projects. Such views were also expressed by Youth Club Leaders.
Accordingly the Council decided that an appropriate site be secured for the proposed college and that the area be sufficiently large to include football and cricket and other forms of recreation.
The Secretary was requested to draft a building scheme and to make enquiries about acquiring suitable building land. An excellent site became available in the centre of Rhoose, overlooking the Bristol Channel; it appeared to be triangular in shape and six and a half acres in extent. Sufficiently large in size to site the college buildings in a central position with football and cricket pitches in the foreground of the college