Open day as youth hostel is rescued

Sign of the times: Cote Ghyll Mill owner Jon Hill, left, with the youth hostel manager Chris Paul.
Sign of the times: Cote Ghyll Mill owner Jon Hill, left, with the youth hostel manager Chris Paul.

AN OLD mill, which once made flax for aircraft fuselages and ships’ sails, has been saved from closure and will continue to provide much-needed shelter to travellers.

Cote Ghyll Mill will remain one of the few youth hostels on the North York Moors offering affordable accommodation to visitors including cyclists, walkers, church groups and outward-bound organisations.

The mill has been used by the Youth Hostel Association since the 1980s but was identified for closure until the owners of a caravan park next door stepped in to save it.

Jon and Helen Hill are now planning to develop the 12-bedroom building, which offers sleeping accommodation for 72 and are asking for public feedback as to the best way forward.

An open day will be held at the mill, close to the beautiful Cod Beck Reservoir, just outside Osmotherley, near Northallerton.

The event, on Saturday, September 22, from noon - 4pm, will give people a chance to look round the building which was originally built as a mill in the 1800s when Osmotherley was at the centre of the linen industry.

Jon said: “It’s a great location and we are really looking forward to hearing people’s views on its future and any snippets of history.

“It would have been a big loss if it had closed as there are so few youth hostels left on the North York Moors. I think locals would have been upset and so would people who have visited over the years from around the world.”

Visitors will be given the chance to tour the mill, offer their views on how best to develop it and provide any information they may have on its history to Jon, Helen and manager Chris Paul.

The fun daywill include a host of outdoor activities including a climbing wall and bush-craft demonstrations. There will also be food and drink.

Cote Ghyll Mill was built by William Yeoman, of Pateley Bridge, to produce flax, a stronger fibre used in the manufacturing of industrial materials.

The mill closed in 1915 and at some stage it was a private house with an outdoor swimming pool.

It is believed to have been used as a village hall, with some locals recalling attending for a ‘dance and a fight’.

It became a hostel in the 1930s and was taken over by YHA in 1980, which renovated the roof and windows.

Today it boasts 12 bedrooms, ranging from dormitories to en-suite doubles, a conference room, communal kitchens and lounge, serving kitchens and dining area.