The Arts

The YMCA in Pontypridd organised dances and concerts in the 1940-60s. It seems that the Pontypridd party scene moved to the Muni Arts Centre in the 1970s and returned for another decade in 1980. There are however records of Friday night discos in 1979. The last Friday night parties were in the 2000s when the local police force organised Blue Light parties where youngsters were picked up and driven home afterwards by police employees. Dance, music and gatherings have therefore been focal points of the Pontypridd YMCA work.

Dylan Thomas’ daughter Aeronwy Dylan married Trefor Ellis, a local boy, whose mother ran the blind institute.  He was a table tennis player at the YMCA.  Our archives show a picture of Trefor, his mother and his wife to be.

Frankie Vaughan gave a concert in the YMCA in 1957 and children in the YMCA presented him with presents for his children.  And of course, it wouldn’t be Pontypridd without Tom Jones!  Tom performed in the YMCA almost by accident.  He would have performed in Pontypridd before but never in the YMCA. The lead singer of Senators failed to show up for a gig and the band found Tom Jones is a near by pub and persuaded him to join the band for the evening – in exchange for beer. Alcohol was not yet permitted on the YMCA grounds.