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, published in... Continue Reading →

The first youth hostels

This time of year always reminds me how quickly youth hostels happened. The first moves to start youth hostels happened at the end of 1929. Less than eighteen months later the first youth hostels opened in time for Easter. In that short time they had signed up members, raised funds, formed regional groups, found buildings,... Continue Reading →

A book about the spirit of YHA

The Spirit of YHA is many things to many different people. For some in the 1950s the true spirit was the spirit of those who walked or cycled and who did not use motor cars. For others it meant participating in youth hostels, taking part in the work that gave them life. For the authors... Continue Reading →

Sir Charles Trevelyan

About the end of 1928, forty-six people formed the Northumbrian Trampers Guild to provide places where their members could stay when out walking. The group of keen walkers and cyclists, many of them members of young people's organisations, in Newcastle picked Sir Charles Trevelyan as their President. His support was vital to the guild. He... Continue Reading →

Youth hostel story

Oliver Coburn's book is the classic history of youth hostels in Britain. Published in 1950, Coburn wrote about the first 20 years of youth hostels.  All the familiar history is there.  The predecessors of youth hostels in European travel, how youth hostels began in Germany, their beginning in Britain on Merseyside, the early break neck... Continue Reading →

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