All in a Winter’s Work

With Spring well embedded and Easter in the past, I am reflecting on everything we achieved over the winter here at Elterwater Hostel. As well as a range of groups, catered and self-catered, we managed what might be our final phase of the post-YHA refurb; we revamped the self-catering kitchen. In early May this year I will have been here for 30 years. The kitchen was old when I started! We have fitted new work-surfaces, sinks and shelving and have added a third fridge. Along with a fresh coat of paint, it looks fabulous and, we hope, works better too! Sam Martin’s mural still holds pride of place on the end wall and we only await the delivery of a small island unit to finish it off.

In addition to this, we have replaced all our sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases. New, crisp, white linen now awaits you. Our YHA remnant bedding has gone on to a new life with the Brathay Trust in their hostel accommodation. Added to this we have lovely new thermal lined curtains in our bedrooms and have replaced the chairs (again, an elderly YHA relic). Each room now has new chairs and stools (which can double as an occasional table) and I have to say, the rooms are looking great!  The old chairs went to an allotment so the plot holders could sit and admire their growing veggies and to be outside seating at a roadside ice cream stall.

New brown leather sofas have replaced our worn previous ones in the lounge and we now await the arrival of new, thermal lined curtains in the lounge and on the stairways to complete a busy winter of improvements. The curtains were funded in part with a grant from the Lake District Foundation and is part of our journey to Zero Carbon (we’ve still got a long way to go, but each journey starts with a single step, and we have taken quite a few up until now!).

In a few of the minutes there’s been to sit down, we’ve engaged in a project to assess and hopefully reduce our waste. We’ve got Roxy, a Cumbria University student, working on a project funded by ECO-I and we’re having to remember to weigh bin bags as they head for the wheelie bin!

If anyone thinks winter is ‘down-time’ in the hostel world, pop round one Wednesday in December and catch us up a ladder, tape measure in hand, pouring over regulations on fire-retardancy, or nursing sore knees after three days crawling around the floor with sandpaper and a pot of varnish!

Thanks to ERDF, Northern Powerhouse, Lake District Foundation, Low Carbon Lake District and ECO-I for the support.

Back to the day job 😉

Nick Owen (Manager)