AN OLD mill that once made flax for aircraft fuselages is flying high after a three-year renovation.
Cote Ghyll Mill has been saved from closure by the owners of a neighbouring caravan park and is proving popular with visitors from across the country.
Jon and Helen Hill have ensured that the 14-bed facility will remain one of the few youth hostels on the North York Moors.
As well as offering affordable accommodation to visitors, including cyclists, walkers, church groups and outward-bound organisations, it is giving inner city young people a unique taste of country living.
The mill had been used by the Youth Hostel Association since the 1980s but was identified for closure until the Hills stepped in to save it.
Nestled close to the beautiful Cod Beck Reservoir, just outside Osmotherley, between Northallerton and Middlesbrough, the mill offers comfortable accommodation for 61.
Originally built as a mill in the 1800s when Osmotherley was at the centre of the linen industry, every room has now been renovated to a high standard including en-suite bathrooms.
Cote Ghyll Mill was constructed by William Yeoman, of Pately Bridge, to produce flax, a stronger fibre used in the manufacturing of industrial materials.
It 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’.
In the 1930s the mill became a hostel and was taken over by YHA in 1980, which renovated the roof and windows.
Today it is managed Chris Paul, of Nunthorpe, and also boasts a conference room, communal kitchens and lounge, serving kitchens and dining room.
Chris serves breakfast, packed lunches and evening meal for residents and takeaways for visitors at the caravan park next door. It is also licensed.
Within walking distance of Osmotherley, the Cleveland Way, the start of the infamous Lyke Wake Walk, the Coast to Coast Walk and Cod Beck Reservoir, the mill is already proving ideal for groups of students, church organisations, families and friends.
It is also used by the National Citizenship Scheme’s The Challenge, which offers an experience of the great outdoors to children from inner cities.
Jon said: “When the kids arrive they are just so excited to be away from home. The place is alive. We see a huge change in them during the week as they develop as young people. It is so rewarding.”