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The Y.M.C.A. Building

Pontmorlais, Merthyr Tydfil.


The      The former Y.M.C.A. is a striking four –storey terracotta building  occupying a commanding and elevated  position at the northern end of the town centre at Pontmorlais , where it joins the Brecon Road. It is a Grade II listed property, which was re-listed on the 13th January 1998. 

Originally the Y.M.C.A. buildings at Pontmorlais cost £8, 400 and, following a competition, they were constructed from the competitive designs of Ivor Jones and Sir Percy Thomas, architects from Cardiff.

YMCA Appeal Postcard

(Courtesy of Pam Jenkins)

The official opening was on the 5th October 1911 by Mr Mervyn Wingfield.

The stated purpose of the building was to provide a place where youths and young men could congregate for healthy amusement, recreation and health giving exercise.

On the ground floor were offices 2 shops and a café, the first floor had a lecture hall which could seat 150 and also a billiard room with 2 tables, the second floor had a lounge, reading room, games room and a library, and on the upper floor there were  

Other games rooms, a rifle range and gymnasium.

In later years the building was occupied by the Board of Trade and the Labour Exchange and then became the District Education Offices. The Y.M.C.A. played a major role in the educational and sporting life of Merthyr Tydfil.

King Edward VIII visited the building when he stopped off in Merthyr Tydfil on his tour of South Wales in 1936. After seeing the Labour Exchange in the former Y.M.C.A. building, Edward journeyed to Dowlais, where he made the historic statement,  “Something must be done”.

The British champion boxer and later manager, Eddie Thomas had a gym there and there was also a very active boxing club. The building was also used for further education courses before the present Merthyr College was built. This historic building ceased to be used as a District Education Office in 1989. During the 1990s there were concerns for its future and it was purchased by Nazir Mohamed in 2001. The building was sold by him in 2006 to property developers.


The site that the Y.M.C.A. was built on.

(Photograph courtesy of Terry Jones)

YMCA / The Labour Exchange Building - 1930s/40s

An Aerial View of the YMCA


Aerial view of the YMCA dated 1965.

(Photograph by John Yates)


Do you have any photographs or information relating to the YMCA, or events which took place there?

If so, please contact us, by clicking the 'Contact Us' button.


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