Radical roots

Chatting to a reporter from the BBC last week while taking part in an interview about the history of youth hostels, I was reminded that youth hostels were radical when they began and how much work had to be done to secure their future in 1930. Youth hostels are such a part of life for... Continue Reading →

Pushing the boat out

Different people in different places, through the winter of 1929 / 1930 were trying to start youth hostels. None was making progress until the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) took a hand. The NCSS was the ideal sponsor for the new venture. Today, it’s the National Council of Voluntary Organisations. Beginning in March 1919,... Continue Reading →

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 →

That pioneering influence

I've long been interested in the influence Quakers had on youth hostels. Quakers gave youth hostels an ethos of simplicity and companionship that endured for years and, more tangibly, they ran regions and brought many properties to the infant YHA. In his memoirs Charles Allen, first regional secretary in Devon and Cornwall, wrote that it... Continue Reading →

A brief history of international hostels

In 1932 people around Europe banded together and started an era of travel for all young people. Here's the brief story of those events. You can read the full story of how youth hostels developed in Richard Schirrmann, the man who invented youth hostels, available from Amazon, paperback or kindle. In the early 1930s different... Continue Reading →

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