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
Other games rooms, a rifle range
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