This book focuses on Thomas Arthur Leonard, a Congregational minister in Colne, Lancashire in the 1890s, and the Co-operative Holidays Association, which he founded in 1893 and which operated as an independent provider of outdoor holidays until 2002. Leonard also founded the Holiday Fellowship, which continues to trade as HF Holidays, in 1913 and was instrumental in the establishment of the Youth Hostels Association in 1930 and the formation of the Ramblers’ Association in 1935.
This book details the life and achievements of this extraordinary man, who rebelled against the conventionality of the 1880s and 1890s and was appalled by the dull and grim lives of artisans and textile workers in the industrial north of England. It also tells the story of the CHA, which pioneered reasonably priced walking holidays in the outdoors for working people, from the first holidays in the English Lake District in 1893 to its demise in 2004. The book describes how the CHA faced the challenges of changing social, economic and cultural conditions during the twentieth century and became a national and international provider of outdoor holidays based on healthy recreation and quiet enjoyment and the principles of friendship and fellowship.
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