Thursday, 21 May 2009

Hours of Closing

Shouting at the TV is one of my hobbies. Especially, but not exclusively, if there's something on that's beer-related. The passage today reminds me of just such a throbbing temple moment.

QI was the programme. That Stephen Fry mocks the belief in myths of the contestants made it all that more galling from hiim to be talking absolute bollocks. The topic was DORA (Defence of the Realm Act). DORA was a whole bunch of draconian legislation, part of which lumbered Britain with pubs closing in the afternoon. Fry wildly incorrectly said (though I'm sure it was just a script he was reading) that DORA introduced the first pub closing times. No it effing didn't. Not even close.

Funnily enough, I remember covering pub closing times in school history. Legislation regulating the opening (and closing) times of pubs was enacted in the 19th century.

The following is taken from The Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act 1874. These opening times remained in force until WW I.



Hours of Closing.

3. Hour of closing premises licensed for sale of intoxicating liquors,.] All premises in which intoxicating liquors are sold by retail shall be closed as follows (that is to say,)

(1) If situate within the metropolitan district—
  • (a) On Saturday night from midnight until one o'clock in the afternoon on the Sunday ; and
  • (b) On Sunday night from eleven o'clock until five o'clock on the following morning ; and
  • (c) On all other days from half-an-hour after midnight until five o'clock on the same morning; and

(2) If situate beyond the metropolitan district and in the metropolitan police district or in a town or in a populous place as defined by this Act;

  • (a) On Saturday night from eleven o'clock until half- an-hour after noon on the following Sunday : and
  • (b) On Sunday night from ten o'clock until six. o'clock on the following morning ; and
  • (c) On the nights of all other days from eleven o'clock until six o'clock on the following morning ; and

(3) If situate elsewhere than in the metropolitan district or the metropolitan police district or such town or populous place as aforesaid,—

  • (a) On Saturday night from ten o'clock until half-an-hour after noon on the following Sunday ; and
  • (b) On Sunday night from ten o'clock until six o'clock on the following morning ; and
  • (c) On the nights of all other days from ten o'clock until six o'clock on the following morning.

Such premises wherever situate shall, save as hereinafter mentioned, be closed on Sunday afternoon from three or half-past two according as the hour of opening shall be one o'clock in the afternoon or half-an-hour after noon until six o'clock.

Such premises wherever situate shall be closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday, and on the days preceding Christmas Day and Good Friday respectively, as if Christmas Day and Good Friday were respectively Sunday, and the preceding days were respectively Saturday, but this provision shall not alter the hours during which such premises shall be closed on Sunday when Christmas Day immediately precedes or succeeds Sunday.

"The Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act, 1872, 1874" by James Paterson, 1889, pages 148-149.


Hours of closing. That's exactly what it felt like. Hours of closing and just a few minutes of opening. Note that the crappy Sunday opening hours that were the bane of my younger years dated not from WW I but the 1870's.

2 comments:

Woolpack Dave said...

Some days I wish the law provided "hours of closing" so I could have a little bit of a life......oh, and catch up on blogging.

Chap said...

Mythbuster!