Profile: Duncan Simpson

About This Author

I've wide experience and understanding of youth hostels in the UK and elsewhere, from many years of working in and for youth hostels. For the last two years I've carried out extensive research into the history, ideas and people behind youth hostels. For my research I used original papers in the Special Collections, Cadbury Research Library, at the University of Birmingham. I read widely in books, periodicals, newspapers and in other archive collections. Richard Schirrmann, the man who invented youth hostels is the first book to emerge from that research. A wider history of youth hostels in England and Wales is due out in autumn 2016. You can keep up to date with news and progress about my writing, get snippets of copy and read more stories at I started work at the youth hostel in Cambridge in 1976, as a seasonal assistant, intending to work for one summer and then move back to journalism, my intended career. A year later, I went to the Lake District and in another two years I was running a tiny youth hostel, on the edge of Dartmoor, overlooking the River Teign in Devon. Other youth hostels followed. I was an Operations Manager, with a patch of hostels in lovely places with lovely people who worked in them. I loved the job and the travel. I loved meeting people. In 2000 I took up the role of Head of Communications at YHA (England and Wales) National Office where I worked until 2013. I live in Derbyshire on the edge of the Peak District National Park and realise how fortunate I was for the time I had working in and for youth hostels.

This Author's Books

On a walking tour in 1909, in Germany, a thunderstorm forced a teacher and his pupils to shelter in a school. While his pupils slept, their teacher, Richard Schirrmann, dreamed of a network of places where young people might stay. Afterwards, at home, he ....
ISBN: 9781786103369
Published: 19 November 2015