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 →

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 →

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