Historic Timeline for the Pontypridd YMCA


  1. 1884

    Formation of the YMCA in Pontypridd

  2. 1904

    Ping Pong is the first ever activity at the YMCA in their old room on Taff Street except Bible studies and lectures

    They consider forming a YMCA football club, not mentioned again until 1908

    YWCA held a jumble sale in the YMCA building and paid the YMCA a share of the profit: £6

  3. 1905

    Plans are drawn for a YMCA building in Pontypridd. It includes a swimming pool, café, a hostel and a shooting range. These things were not part of the building that opened just five years later.

    The YMCA decide to form a Ladies Auxiliary

    First membership cards were issued, on leather. Members purchased them for three years memberships.

  4. 1906

    A New Buildings Committee is appointed and begins the purchase of the Leasehold Interests. They also begin raising funds for the building.

  5. 1907

    A Competition for Plans and Designs was launched this year. By September, 22 sets of Plans and Designs had been received; the winning designs being numbers 11, 12 and 3 respectively.

  6. 1908

    The Deed Poll is completed with copies sent to the General Secretary’s Office and the original deposited at the Bank. Plans for a swimming baths as part of the design were dropped to prevent further delay to the building.

    Secretary proposed to open Youth Department three times a week, lowest age was 14.

  7. 1909

    March 25th the first sod is cut for the new building.

  8. 1910

    The new Pontypridd YMCA building opened by Sir Clifford Cory, MP.

    The YMCA gets a rugby team.

  9. 1912

    Princess Mary visited the Pontypridd YMCA.

  10. 1918-1914

    The YMCA is helping soldiers and sailors who fought in the war.

  11. 1920s

    Due to an alarmingly high unemployment rate the YMCA offer unemployed people to use the YMCA rooms for free in order to keep people of the street.

  12. 1926

    Miners Strike used the rooms for shoe repairs.

  13. 1931

    Prince George and Princess Mary visited the Juvenile Institution Centre in Pontypridd on December 18th and the YMCA are lending out a helping hand to prepare for the event.

  14. 1933

    Boys’ Club opened on October 14th. The Boys’ Club had asked the YMCA for permission to built on top of the existing building. The Boys' Club was opened by H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester K.G.K.T.

  15. 1934

    The YMCA Swimming Club meet for lessons in the Lido.

  16. 1936

    30th of October: Princess Helena Victoria visits Pontypridd YMCA to open the Michaelmas Fair.
    She worked with YMCA, YWCA and founded the YWCA Women’s Auxiliary Force.

  17. 1940s

    American soldiers came for tea and dances. Some white soldiers tried to deny black soldiers access to the YMCA activities but the YMCA board maintained that the YMCA was for everyone

  18. 1943

    Boys’ Club and YMCA have a grand concert in aid of Red Cross and St. John Fund.

  19. 1947

    The Shelley Players founded in the YMCA.

  20. 1949

    Cor Meibion Pontypridd (Pontypridd Male Voice Choir) were formed in the YMCA and they rehearsed in the Shelley Hall. Their original conductor was Gwilym T. Jones and when he passed away in 1956 a plaque in his memory was installed in the YMCA.

  21. 1957

    Frankie Vaughn (described on ticket to “a Grand Dance” as Britain’s Top Recording Star).

  22. 1959

    Shelley Singers perform in Shelley Hall on April 16th 1959.

  23. 1960s

    Tom Jones 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.

    Girls and women are increasingly taking part in the YMCA organisation generally.

  24. 1962

    HRH The Princess Royal visited the YMCA’s of South Wales on May 15th, 1962
    There were 573 members, hereof 156 women

    Tom Jones records himself singing in a bathroom in the YMCA. Years later the recording goes to auction.

  25. 1963

    Duke of Gloucester visit to Boys’ Club Week opening in October
    September: Bronze in Duke of Edinburgh Award.

    R. John a boxer from the Pontypridd YMCA participates in Junior Championships held in the London Albert Hall.

  26. 1964

    April: Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

  27. Late 1960s

    Boys’ Club finished their activities and the top floor became part of the YMCA.

  28. 1979

    Renovation of main hall, Shelley Hall and basement.

  29. 1980s

    Friday Night Discos at the YMCA.

  30. 1985

    Shelley Ladies celebrated their 50th anniversary

    International Youth Year - fair at the YMCA

  31. 1987-1990s

    Welsh YMCAs visit each other on a regular basis = a great community of YMCAs.

  32. 1990s

    People First started their activities in the YMCA for people with learning difficulties.

    Friday night dances stopped

    12th May 1990 Annual YMCA football tournament at Hawthorn Comprehensive School, Pontypridd. Pontypridd YMCA players Ross Chalmers, Kieran Lacey, Robert Morgan, Ian Vinning, Christopher Perret, Craig Stanley, Martyn Williams, Darren Avery, Delme Davies, Kevin Hughes, Carwyn Lewis.

  33. 1997

    1st phase of refurbishment (middle floor) completed on September 5th. This
    however meant that the basement and top floor went out of use.

  34. 2000s

    Basement reopened and refurbished after having been unused since 1997

    Blue Light Discos in the Shelley Hall- The police would have picked people up and drive them home again after the party

  35. 2003

    Nursery PY Angel Tots opened

  36. 2010

    New improved gym opened

    The Centenary was celebrated in the YMCA with shows, speeches, an exhibition and a parade through town.

  37. 2015

    The Pontypridd YMCA closed its doors in November.

  38. 2017

    The Pontypridd YMCA Memories Project begins.

    The Friends of the YMCA is still going strong.

  39. 2019

    A new era for the YMCA begins… Do you want to join us?