The Journey: 90th anniversary

Turning the page

Much like our hostels, the YHA magazines like the one you’re reading now have gone through various iterations over the decades. They’ve always aimed to inspire and inform. Here’s the cover of our very first magazine.

“Breakfasted, Booted and ON THE MARCH”

By Professor G.M. Trevelyan

This call-to-arms appeared in the first issue of YHA Rucksack, in winter 1932. It was written by GM Trevelyan, our inaugural president.

“The Youth Hostels movement has been successfully launched in this country, owing to the devotion and wisdom of its leaders in the centre and in the localities, and owing to the fact that it has arisen to meet a great demand produced by the circumstances of the age. Nor should foreign example be omitted from the catalogue of chief causes at our coming into existence here. One great difficulty had to be faced, the difficulty of raising money owing to the unprecedented financial stresses that unfortunately coincided with the period of our birth. Yet that too, has been to a large extent, though not completely overcome, partly owing to the generous aid of the Carnegie Trust, partly to the enthusiasm and self sacrifice of many men and women.

HOSTELS, BEDS, AND MEMBERS.

Here at least we are in existence, with some 20,000 members, a record of some 100,000 overnight receptions of guests in various hostels, which together number some 150, large and small, very fairly scattered over England and Wales. And now we are to have our own magazine — sure sign that we are breakfasted, booted and on the march. All accounts that I have heard from many different sources in different parts of the country go to show that we are actually catering for the type of young men and women, that we set out to serve, hard-walking (or hard bicycling) folk, who take their holidays strenuously and joyously, without slacking or rioting. We have started well. And in these cases

it is the first step that counts most, though there are plenty of steps still ahead to be taken.

OUR PLAN. YOUTH AND ITS COUNTRY.

What is the ultimate purpose and need of Youth Hostels? It is to bring together two sets of phenomena that our modern manner of life has tragically divided:

1.           

scores of thousands of young men and women, full of energy of body, mind and soul, but cramped all year long in the sordid surroundings of the modern city, largely for want of cheap accommodation for holiday tours.

2.           

the incomparable mountains, rivers, woods, meadows, paths and hedgerows of the land with the greatest variety of loveliness in all of Europe, the land best fitted for the walker under the blue, the cloudy, or the starry sky.

That these two phenomena, these splendid human beings and this splendid countryside should be kept apart — so near and yet so far — is a fault that cries to heaven. Here we have helped to supply a practical remedy. It is begun — a beginning absurdly small compared with what is wanted, but yet a beginning and on the right lines.”

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