Hostel hut history

Down a short path from the hostel at Idwal Cottage, in a grove of trees, is a piece of YHA history. In the grounds of one of YHA's longest serving hostels, it's also a link with the days when architects designed hostels for YHA. Today there's a boom in designer hostels but the idea isn't... Continue Reading →

Always intent on better lives

Jack Catchpool and a history of youth hostels The struggle to improve lives fascinates me. It’s an endeavour, sometimes called the life reform movement, that defines the first half of the twentieth century, the era out of which youth hostels leaped, and is the reason why, when I first came across a second-hand paperback copy... Continue Reading →

Youth Hostel Pioneer

Jack Catchpool was the key figure, the central force, the driver, coordinator, and chief pioneer of youth hostels. Using all his enormous skills, a wide network of allies and supporters, and his simple faith as a Quaker, he spread the idea of youth hostels throughout England and Wales to the world. This book, due out... Continue Reading →

Into the beauty

A small group of friends from Liverpool went to Germany in 1929. I've written about this before; how they emerged from different groups in different places in Britain at the the time, all pledged to start youth hostels, and how they came home, started the first regional group of youth hostels, brought the term youth... Continue Reading →

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 →

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