Quakers and youth hostels

Duncan Simpson, in the first of a two part series, considers the influence of Quakers on the youth hostel movement in Britain

The Malham youth hostel designed by John Dower. | Photo: Courtesy of YHA.

The practical nature of youth hostel work and the simplicity of youth hostels both reflect values and concerns associated with Friends and were part of the reason so many were attracted to the movement in its early days.

Those involved hoped that by bringing together people from different communities and backgrounds, youth hostels would contribute to world peace. The lack of a creed or a single leader for youth hostels and their robust democracy, taking account of all views, shows the influence of Quakers like TA Leonard, ‘Jack’ Catchpool, John Cadbury and many others who took part in creating youth hostels from 1929 onwards.

You need to login to read subscriber-only content and/or comment on articles.