and tennis courts on one side, leaving ample parking space for cars on the other side of the main structure.
The ground landlord made a generous offer to sell this valuable land, for the purpose of establishing a YMCA Residential College, for the sum of £936.1.5d. The offer was gratefully accepted and the cost being covered by three substantial donations, the purchase of the site was completed on 21st May, 1941.
Following this purchase, an application was made to the Ministry of Education for planning consent and subsequent permission to proceed with a building scheme did not succeed. During the period of the war, the shortage of building materials and labour, restricted ventures of such dimensions. The Ministry, however, agreed that for a given period of time, a camping holiday for Youth employed in heavy industries such as mining and associated trades, would be very desirable and beneficial, these young people being employed during the greater part of the wintry days, in the semi-darkness and dust laden atmosphere of a colliery coal-face.
Thus, for the first year, 1943, the site of the proposed college was fresh and bright, with the flapping canvas of white bell tents and the exuberance of the physical activities of youth stimulated by the invigorating breezes of the Bristol Channel, and in these circumstances for two or three years, the site of the proposed college was known as the Rhoose Camp.
A decision to erect a residential College on the site at Rhoose was taken by the War Emergency Committee of the Welsh National Council, on 4th March, 1943. In the meantime plans had been prepared and submitted to the Cardiff Rural and District Council and these were accepted in February, 1944. A further application to the Ministry of Education met with success in the autumn of 1943, and tentative operations followed without loss of time.
The construction work was accomplished by direct labour; the building squad which the Welsh National Council had recruited when erecting Glan-y-Mor in 1932, and who had continued, later, to build YMCA Youth Clubs in the Mining Valleys and other substantial enterprises.
The operatives, former unemployed miners, had been trained in various building crafts. The foreman, by trade a Colliery Banker Mason, rendered expert service in the art of building construction, to the YMCA, for over twenty years, retiring with a small Association pension at eighty years of age. All the plans for the building squad, including the new College, were prepared by a member of the staff of the Welsh Council.
Representatives from the Ministry agreed with the suggestions of the Council's staff that the construction of the college buildings should be accomplished in six sections over a period of six years, each section to be completed in one year; every section was scrupulously finished off to enable the next section to be joined with it cleanly and without much preparation. When completed, the building had the appearance of a unified structure. The front elevation was both imposing and pleasing. The centre piece included the College Chapel, with its long windows; it had a seating capacity for 130 persons. The Warden's quarters were over the Chapel, and with its exceptional headroom, gave the impression of a short, broad tower overlooking the wings of the roof on either side.