“The definitive history of YHA”

Two books, Richard Schirrmann - the man who invented youth hostels and Open to All - how youth hostels changed the world.  Both are available from Amazon. The biography of Schirrmann is available as a Kindle book £2.50 or paperback £3.99. Open to All is available as a paperback (£9.98) and kindle (£4.99). Youth hostels... Continue Reading →

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Hostel work, Gwen Moffat and Rowen

Women, history and hostels #7 Gwen Moffat wrote about a time after war, when, with “peace declared, all the excitement was over, and now there was only the bewildering prospect of demobilisation and beyond that… nothing.” Except she found excitement in climbing, in the beauty of the hills, “swimming in winter pools with snow crusting... Continue Reading →

Stepping stones

Youth hostels, good-will and reconciliation Youth hostels had always been practical, all about self-help, with “a vigorous tradition of eager volunteers going off on their weekends to help build or convert new hostels...” * Jack Catchpool, first national secretary of YHA (England and Wales), was sure that, in bringing young people together to work at... Continue Reading →

Bought, begged, borrowed, stolen

A short history of Tanners Hatch Volunteers, two thirds of them women, built a hostel from a ruined cottage in the middle of the second world war. Tanners Hatch is a hostel with one of the proudest histories of any of YHA's, its location one to of YHA's best and it owes its origins to... Continue Reading →

Mary Lander

Women, history and hostels #6 Mary Lander was one of the few women at two meetings which established youth hostels in Britain and Europe, and played a central part in the revival of youth hostels during the second world war. She was one of eight, among 28 men, at the first meeting of a youth... Continue Reading →

Edith Bulmer

Women, history and hostels #5 During the first years after the founding of YHA, Edith Bulmer was the most prominent of YHA’s pioneering women. As editor of The Rucksack magazine, the association’s magazine for all its members, she guided and shaped YHA’s new public voice until a scandal shifted her from the scene. A claim... Continue Reading →

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