Quakers and youth hostels

Duncan Simpson continues the story of Quaker involvement in the youth hostel movement and, in the second of his two-part series, considers the international perspective

The youth hostels at Jordans, Buckinghamshire, opened in 1933. The Friend, 11 August 1933, reported that it was a joint venture. The hostel is still open today. | Photo: Courtesy of YHA.

At the outset of the youth hostel movement Jack Catchpool and Barclay Baron, who was the first chairman of Youth Hostels Association (YHA) and who had been brought up as a Quaker but became a member of the Church of England, insisted that there should be no test for anyone wanting to join the new organisation. The movement could only succeed if it was open to everyone, irrespective of race, creed or belief.

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