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A celebration

I've searched for a photo of the YHA celebrations at Ashridge Park in Hertfordshire, that marked YHA's 21st birthday in 1950, for a long time. And, when I least expected it, one turned up... The photo shows Jack Catchpool, YHA's first national secretary and the equivalent of today's chief executive, seated on the left of... Continue Reading →

Bonny in its best

The youth hostels at Maeshafn and Holmbury St Mary had proved too expensive for the new YHA, and its executive committee determined it would lease or buy property rather than build from scratch. The experience and expense did not end architect-designed, purpose-built hostels, not for a few years anyway. But those that followed haven't always... Continue Reading →

Power stations, motorways and ultra-modern hostels

Purpose built hostels showed that the youth hostel movement was new, bold and contemporary, aligning its supporters with other modern movements. But a movement is a coalition that relies on many different supporters and when the costs of purpose built hostels became obvious, against the cheapness of using existing empty properties, the desire for new,... Continue Reading →

The hazards of archiving… and a rare find

Here's the latest news from YHA’s archives, courtesy of John Martin, YHA’s honorary archivist. John writes in the following article that over the years YHA has been pretty good with its retention of important archival material. "The prime objective of a company’s or charity’s archive is of course to retain its governance records for consultation,... Continue Reading →

Hostels, villas and Clough Williams-Ellis

"I think that Beauty, The Strange Necessity - as Rebecca West once called it - is something that matters profoundly to humanity, and that unless the race of man perishes from the earth, it will increasingly value that Grace, will seek it, and will ultimately attain it." Clough Williams-Ellis became famous for designing and building... Continue Reading →

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