It was with both a measure of surprise and disappontment that the members of the Executive of the PWA learnt of the forthcoming closure of the YHA hostel at Crowden in its current form on March 31st 2014.
Indeed it was only when former Secretary Peter Stott tried to reserve a room for a stay next Spring that we , or anyone else as far as we can ascertain, were aware of the situation. Subsequent investigation by both Peter and Chris Sainty revealed from the YHA that a decision and mutual agreement had been reached with Rotherham Council to close the hostel as a functioning youth hostel and all matters relating to the hostel would be handled in future by the owners Rotherham Council. This was confirmed by Mr Colin Gratton-Rayson who is the Outdoor Learning Youth Work Manager for Rotherham Council. Mr Rayson stated that the hostel would be available for bookings by groups. The definition of a group is not at the moment clear but is believed to be not less than ten people per group. Crowden had been operating as what is known as an Enterprise Hostel and the status of these is reviewed on a periodic basis.
To say that this change is a disappointment is an understatement as anyone who has walked over from Edale, even on a good weather day will appreciate, as accommodation hereabouts is very limited. What is of more interest is the covert way the whole process regarding the change has been, with no known news appearing in the press or from the organisations concerned and no information in the outdoor press. This is a major cause of disappointment as there appears to have been no consultation whatsoever.
As it happens Chris Sainty had made a reservation at Crowden some tine ago and he has now received contact from the YHA that his booking has been transferred to the Old House at Glossop. It is obvious that this change will cause difficulties for Pennine Way walkers and it is to be hoped that facilities will become available in the Glossop area as an opportunity exists here for an enterprising organisation.
The situation is to be discussed at the Executive Meeting of the PWA which is being held next Saturday (Nov 16th 2013) at Leeds. The venue is the Friends Meeting House, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds commencing at 1.00 pm and a further report will be made on this website following the meeting.