Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Why does everything seem to get worse ?
Does it really, or is it just me getting old. Take Youth Hostels. When I was a teenager the whole of Britain seemed to have these cheap places where we could stay overnight for a couple of Shillings.
All it took was membership of the YHA, easily done by a visit the thier shop in Town, and getting my Mum to make a sheet sleeping bag, buying a cheap rucksac and off we went ! First to Ilam as it was close and in the Peak District. Got there by bus to Derby and bus to Ashbourne. That was Easter 1970. Then Ilam again in whit (All the other places like Hartington were full), then a tour from Buxton to Castleton to Edale, with a lift home from Edale. That was fun. Later we went by bike, Ilam first, one weekend in October 1975, then Staunton-on-Wye the following weekend, then a week tour of;
Clun, somewhere near Llangurig, nice simple place (closed), Kings near Dollgellau, New Quay (Closed), TynCornel(closed, now a camping barn) in the middle of nowhere, Staunton-on-Wye(closed), then Wheathill (closed). On the mountain road from Tyncornel to Staunton broke my back wheel descending the Devils Staircase, memded it. Had many, many punctures. On the road to Wheathill destroyed the last of my tyres. Had a lift home off my Dad (Which was welcome as I could then rush to buy the dilapadated BSA I had been dreaming of all week).
The following Autumn we did Elton the first weekend, then Clun next. For the week we did Bala (closed), Colwyn Bay(closed), Dinas Mawddy (closed), Ystumtumen (closed), Glascwm(closed) then Wilderhope Manor. Looks as if all the primtive, nice places are gone. So whete the fuck is the YHA about ? On its website it says;
To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities, particularly by providing Youth Hostels or other accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, recreation and education.
What a bunch of arse. The hostels are no cheaper than a decent B&B. The YHA should have its charitable status removed, its operating like a cheap hotel chain dressed up as a youth movement.


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