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 →

Steps Bridge, a bit of personal history

I dreamed of running ‘my own’ youth hostel. When a couple of youth hostel jobs in the south-west of England came vacant and the region was looking for new wardens, I applied. A gang of us, prospective wardens in our mid 20s, toured the empty properties. We picked them over and smelled the damp, before... Continue Reading →

Floods and common space

The changing places of youth hostels On a flying visit to Cumbria, we managed a night at the hostel in Keswick. We stayed in a balcony room with a view of the town's Fitz Park, and the river that, in recent years, has flooded twice. Twice the flooding river wrecked the hostel's ground floor and... Continue Reading →

Street – Britain’s oldest

I first went to Street youth hostel nearly 40 years ago, for an interview for the job of manager, or warden as we were called then. When I was offered the job at Steps Bridge, in Devon, I went there instead.  I loved the time I spent at Steps Bridge but, ironically, it's no longer... Continue Reading →

Castle Hedingham

Self help and an Essex village The story of the youth hostel at Castle Hedingham, and how it came about, is a story of self sufficiency and self-help, typical of early pioneering youth hostels. In a village on the Essex border in pretty countryside, for those who liked cycling on lanes and quiet by-ways, Castle... Continue Reading →

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