This film is part of Free

The Hostellers

The 1960s and the peak of youth hostelling: hiking around the country, school trips, bunk beds, self-catering and crazy dancing to pop music.

Documentary 1965 24 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Two keen hostelling youths, Ken Moody and Brian Cotton, convert a boat in their native Selby into a youth hostel, and get the chance to air their views on the direction that hostelling is taking in the mid-1960s. They argue that youth should have more control in running hostels, urging the retention of their traditional rough and ready style. They tour hostels around the British Isles extoling the virtues of hostelling, especially the opportunities for meeting young women.

A British Transport Film, produced by its head Edgar Astey, who had a long and distinguished career, starting out with John Grierson. As too did the composer, Bill le Sage, playing and composing for many well-known jazz bands. Both Ken Moody and the director, Gloria Sachs, returned to Sabrina to discuss the film for a special ‘Nation On Film: Youth Hostelling’ in 2009, based on the YHA film archive. Hostels started in Germany in the 1910s and took off in Britain in the 1930s. This film was made at a time when young members were challenging the older order. Soon after this film the rule banning cars was dropped, and subsequently hostels have become more businesslike, with fewer discomforts and restrictions.