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 →

One for the hills, and history

Idwal Cottage in Snowdonia is a favourite of mine. Its location is perfect, its facilities great and its history unrivalled. It’s located among marvellous hills. They’re big - technically mountains - and the challenge of climbing them rises in your face, with no long treks to get among them. They’re big and ugly and they... Continue Reading →

His busy month

History’s a living thing. YHA archivist John Martin gets out and about a lot, researching the history of hostels, looking for old hostel sites and finding people with memories of hostels as they were. He gets to celebrate all that is rich in YHA’s history. As well as spending hours searching and cataloguing papers and... Continue Reading →

Hostel work, Gwen Moffat and Rowen

Rowen - photo by Gwen Moffat, courtesy YHA Archive at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham. While qualifying as a mountain guide, the first British woman to do so, Gwen Moffat worked at the youth hostel at Rowen in North Wales in 1952. I wrote about her experience in my history of YHA, Open to... Continue Reading →

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