Friday, 3 October 2014

The YMCA Camp

Soldiers playing snooker at the YMCA hut, Houghton Regis [Z1130/63/26]

Saturday 3rd October 1914: The YMCA has set up a marquee beside New Bedford Road in Luton which makes various useful amenities available to the troops. This is proving extremely popular with the services provided so far including:

  • 60,000 letters, post-cards and parcels sent through the camp’s post-office
  • Nearly 100,000 sheets of paper and envelopes supplied
  • Over 70,000 cups of tea and coffee served
  • Sunday services held during which 2000 testaments have been given away
  • Nightly sing-songs
  • Small items ranging from boot laces to toothache cures made available
The most recent addition to the camp’s offerings is a French class which began yesterday evening.

The Mayor of Luton is trying to secure a suitable building so that the work can be continued through the winter. If this is not possible then it may be necessary to build on the site now being used which it is estimated will cost £260. As the YMCA is already subsidising the work, so far to the tune of about £60, it is hoped that local people will help raise any funds needed.

Twenty thousand of Lord Kitchener’s recruits have been sent for training to Aylesbury and a new camp is to open there. This will mean workers will be lost from the Luton camp. Local volunteers to help, particularly between 6pm and 6.30pm when the camp is particularly busy, would be very much appreciated

Source: Luton News 8.10.1914

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