The Birth of a Movement
George Williams was born 11th October 1821 on a farm in Somerset. Some 20 years later he went to London to work as a sales assistant in a large drapery wholesalers. He became increasingly concerned about the firms young assistants who worked long hours and lived in cramped conditions. Deciding that he wanted to change the lives of his fellow workers and also share his Christian faith, he started a prayer meeting and bible study group. The aim was to "influence young men to spread the redeemer's kingdom amongst those by whom they are surrounded"
This quickly became a regular gathering with other companies getting involved and so on June 6th 1844 it was named Young Men’s Christian Association hence the birth of the first YMCA in Britain.
YMCA North Tyneside was founded in 1879
YMCA North Tyneside was founded in 1870 and was originally known as The Borough of Tynemouth YMCA. After an inaugural meeting on 7 June 1879 there followed weekly meetings in the Sons of Temperance Hall, Norfolk Street, North Shields.
The YMCA grew in popularity. Within a year larger premises were needed. Meetings were to 53 Tyne Street, North Shileds and in 1879 to Camden Street, North Shields. In 1920 the YMCA moved to a building in Bedford Street (which is still owned by the YMCA and now occupied by the Citizens Advice Bureau) where it remained until 1938 when it moved to the present building and the current registered office at Church Way, North Shields.
Today, we are known as YMCA North Tyneside – please go here to view a list of important dates that helps inform our history.
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