One of a pioneering era

Len Clark 1916-2019 A friend introduced Len Clark to youth hostels and walking in the countryside. Len remembered him as an amiable and rather romantic communist who took him to the Surrey Hills. They spent a night at the newly built youth hostel at Holmbury St Mary in 1937 and began Len’s interest in youth... 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 →

Magic travels

In the summer of 1929, seven young friends from Liverpool went to Germany. They went to find out about youth hostels. The journey worked magic and changed their lives. One started a youth hostel organisation for Britain and introduced the term youth hostel for these radical new places to stay, and another became one of... Continue Reading →

Working for peace

Image courtesy HINI In the offices of the youth hostels association of Northern Ireland (HINI), they hold an album of photos, in old brown fabric. The album is full of pictures taken in a post-war world out of which people climbed, away from the horrors of total war, holocaust and nuclear armageddon. The people in... Continue Reading →

New Catchpool archive

A hand-list of the papers of Jack Catchpool at Lancaster University library is now available. Egerton St John Pettifor Catchpool was a Quaker, aid worker and first secretary of the Youth Hostels Association. His papers, deposited at Lancaster University library, have not previously been listed. The hand-list can be downloaded at the end of this... Continue Reading →

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