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YHA Coastal walking for 80 years
    06/04/2011 03:05

Coastal walking for 80 years

Kindly provided by Karl Shepherdson

It's a New Year and 2010 is a year to celebrate! YHA is 80 years old. A brand new Youth Hostel stamp has been created and has been (or is in the process of being) sent to every YHA in England and Wales. So visit your favourite place with your stamp collecting book and get a new keepsake. I even hear the Chief Executive is now collecting hostel stamps too! There will also be a new YHA book out to help us celebrate our birthday. It will be a sequel to the excellent must-read "The Spirit of YHA". Due out in April 2010, so keep your eyes posted for the launch and details. I hear from members and guests on my travels that we should focus a little more on countryside issues within YHA. I enjoy walking in our outdoors, so I was really pleased to see YHA formally support the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, which was part of the Queens Speech in November 2009. The Act will ensure open public access to the English coastline. It is envisaged that new coastal paths will be developed over the coming years. YHA is in some great locations for coastal access, like YHA Boggle Hole, North East England and the ever popular YHA Boscastle, South West England. Talking about great coastal locations, I hear that building work "is now well underway" at what will be a brand new £4.5 million YHA Berwick (North East England). It is a heritage building involving a number of partners. The building work is taking place on the iconic 18th century six-storey Grade 2 listed granary, so construction will take a little time. But it is hoped that this new 42 bed YHA will have its first Youth Hostel visitors sometime from early 2011. Those in the know will be aware that the YHA national AGM will be earlier in 2010 - July in Oxford to be precise. As a result, nominations for Trustee vacancies will be earlier too. We now have a new process for electing Trustees. YHA now has a Council Nominations Panel (CNP), owned by the AGM Council delegates. It is expected that the CNP will be advertising for applications very soon, so keep an eye out for further details via Regional Councils and the YHA website. YHA will only succeed with new ideas - you might have just the skills we are looking for. On the people front: I have to report the sad news of the death of Maggie Kay. Perhaps better remembered by her married name, Maggie Bowen, she was YHA's first Marketing Director back in the mid-eighties. Her professional enthusiasm played a key part in the development of the YHA we know today.

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