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 →

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 →

People loved collecting hostel stamps whenever they stayed at a hostel. Not only were some stamps collector's items, being works of art in themselves, but they were a record of where people stayed, prompting recollections, competition, and banter. Here's a lovely set from during the second world war, when the stamps were simple, just the... Continue Reading →

Cold, hard and noisy – beds!

In their early days youth hostel beds were sometimes appalling. People paid a shilling a night, and slept in a bed that could be cold, hard, noisy, and made of anything that came to hand. But that was because youth hostels offered more than a cheap bed. The hostel at Holmfirth in Yorkshire in 1935... Continue Reading →

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