A good war

Houghton Mill Youth Hostel drawn in 1944 Youth hostels had a good war. Less than ten years old when hostilities began, war could have destroyed them. But against the odds they decided to carry on. Jack Catchpool was still secretary and GM Trevelyan, the historian and author, was still president. John Cadbury took up the... 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 →

How hostels began

On 26 August 1909, while on a walking tour from Altena with pupils, a violent storm fired the imagination of Richard Schirrmann, a school teacher who loved taking his pupils on walking holidays. When accommodation he had arranged for the night fell through, Schirrmann headed with his group to the small town of Bröl, where... Continue Reading →

Principles, discovery and magic

Youth hostels were always magical, dreaming but practical places, run by locals but accommodating guests from far away places. They required generous spirits, and hard work, of the people who ran them and a willingness to welcome visitors from anywhere. They have always been international, places where the world and young people met. I’ve always... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑