Archive for October, 2008

Chairman’s Report, Autumn 2008

It doesn’t seem so long ago since I last penned a report. In fact it was only April this year. The latest copy of “YHA Life” has on the back page a headline “YHA Groups – A great way to hostel” Well we all know that fact that is why we are all members of Leicester YHA Local Group, but it is again recognised by the management at Matlock. I did speak to Caroline White to let her know that at Coalport hostel there was no Groups affiliation poster. I was representing YHA Hostelling and Local Groups at the YHA AGM, my name badge stating this at the time of speaking to her.  All hostels had been sent the latest 2008 Affiliation groups poster earlier during this year. Crewenna Dymond had done her bit, but had sadly been let down by the hostel management.

Recently I was at Coverack Hostel for three nights, and lo and behold, on a notice board were all three styles of local groups poster. The 2001 version with the long list of names, so I took the opportunity to amend Phil Humphrey’s phone number at the top of the second column. The green triangle one, designed by me and Sarah White on the corner of her desk in Matlock office three or so years ago and the present one (2008) in burgundy with happy smiling faces of youngsters enjoying hostelling.

Well this group of ours is going well although some wish for more day walks. But August was the wettest on record and I am not aware of anyone in the group with the capacity to walk on water. It is therefore unreasonable to expect any member to come forward with offers to lead evening or weekend day walks with the weather outlook promising such awful underfoot conditions.

A book “The Spirit of YHA” has recently been published and is reviewed in YHA Life’. I have seen a copy and can recommend it to anyone interested in the early days of damp beds and rope ladder fire escapes, when it was essential to arrive under ones own steam by cycle or foot. The cost is £20.00 the proceeds from the sales going to support the small hostels fund. This is a fund for small hostels and not a small fund for any hostel. Lindsey Porter, one of the co-authors will ensure the funds are not diverted to other YHA needs. It is hardback, 192 pages long and profusely illustrated with hostels and hostellers, most of whom appear to aged between twenty and thirty. The YHA mission statement has remained unchanged over all the years.

There is talk of exciting weekends for next year with city hostels being considered for January. We have to get through this year first. Last Christmas weekend was an exciting happy time with some very surprised members awarded some lasting mementos. What will this year have in store? Well for one thing there will be no self-catering on Saturday night but a trip the local hostelry where the meal is already booked. Health and safety is always present. With this in mind the local hospital is between the hostel and the pub. The pub is the Olde Tavern. It features in the 2009 edition of the Good Beer Guide. The description states

Part of Kington’s history – this award-winner is one for the connoisseur. A small, unspoilt two-room time warp. It has a small public bar full of fascinating curios, including the 1920 refurbishment plans that never came to fruition. At the rear is the diminutive Jake’s Bistro, serving exceptional value English cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. The opening hours are given as 6.30 – 1.00 am on Fridays, and 6,00 – 1.00 Saturdays.

This was the Chairman’s choice.

I trust that you will attempt to find time to attend the second AGM this year. There will be a meal before the formal business. Hope to see you there. There will only one AGM next year. Should you wish to volunteer to help to run the group all future meetings will be held in the Western pub in an upstairs room.