People loved collecting hostel stamps whenever they stayed at a hostel. Not only were some stamps collector's items, being works of art in themselves, but they were a record of where people stayed, prompting recollections, competition, and banter. Here's a lovely set from during the second world war, when the stamps were simple, just the... Continue Reading →

Cold, hard and noisy – beds!

In their early days youth hostel beds were sometimes appalling. People paid a shilling a night, and slept in a bed that could be cold, hard, noisy, and made of anything that came to hand. But that was because youth hostels offered more than a cheap bed. The hostel at Holmfirth in Yorkshire in 1935... Continue Reading →

Duties, chores: a dusting down

"Each member is required to carry out hostel duties as directed by the warden"* What do you remember about youth hostel chores? Washing up or dusting down? The daily chore was the centre piece of staying in a hostel from 1930 until at least the 1980s. Everyone swept, mopped, polished, scrubbed, or did any one... Continue Reading →

Ramble on

I look out for books about hostels. I call it research but I'm a book maniac anyway, always reading a book or two. Stuck for something to do, waiting for a meeting, a train or an appointment, I head for the nearest bookshop. I look for books that tell me more about youth hostels. That’s... Continue Reading →

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