Every year there are eight bank holidays in England, Wales and Scotland – and ten in Northern Ireland. But why do we have them?
The first legislation for bank holidays dates back to 1871 when Sir John Lubbock, a Liberal politician, introduced the ‘Bank Holidays Act 1871’. Lubbock was a keen Cricket fan and the days happened to coincide with his village teams matches. The Act specified Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Boxing day and the first Monday in August as bank holidays.
Under the Act, ‘no person was compelled to make any payment or to do any act upon a bank holiday which he would not be compelled to do or make on Christmas Day or Good Friday’.
But, why are they called ‘Bank holidays?’ Some suggest that it is because the term ‘Bank’ gives the date more importance than ‘Public’ and that if banks shut, then other businesses would do the same.
Later, starting in 1965, Parliament announced August bank holidays which were ‘to give a lead in extending British holidays over a longer summer period’. These were announced on an ad hoc basis each year, always being the last weekend of August.
100 years after the 1871 Act, the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 was passed, which still regulates bank holidays in the UK today. Most of the current holidays were specified in this Act, however, New Year’s Day and May day weren’t introduced until 1974 and 1978, respectively. Whit Monday was replaced by the Late Spring bank holiday.
As many workers enjoy a Monday morning lay in, an extra day of sunshine in a beer garden or a short UK break, it is not surprising to hear that there are campaigns for extra bank holidays throughout the year. The most popular campaigned-for dates include the feast days of patron saints such as; St George and St David in England and Wales, respectively.
Ireland and Scotland already have St Patrick’s day and St Andrew’s day as bank holidays, with St Andrews day being the most recent addition having only been a bank holiday since 2008. As a way of trying to win votes, Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will introduce these last two patron saints’ days if he comes into power.
Bank holidays are proclaimed each year by the legal device of a royal proclamation, which means it can move them when they fall on a weekend, creating what are known as ‘substitute days’.
Did you know?
May is the only month to have two bank holidays, with the Early May bank holiday falling on the first Monday of the month and the Spring bank holiday, which replaced Whit Monday, on the last Monday of the month.
Connect with us
View by date
Since the election back in December, recent statistics have shown that there has been increased optimism in the property market from buyers and sellers alike. Between the period 8th December and 11th January, almost 65,000 properties were marketed. And with the election having been held on 12th December, many of these were marketed after the …Read more...
Feng shui can easily be incorporated into any home, creating a better quality of energy. So, just what is feng shui? Developed over 3,000 years ago in China, Feng shui teaches people how they can balance the energies in any space with the arrangement of objects. This could be a home, office or garden. In …Read more...
Sainsbury’s has been crowned as the cheapest supermarket. A study by the Which? Consumer group revealed that the supermarket chain came top after tracking thousands of branded grocery prices across the six major supermarket chains throughout 2019. The data was collected by monitoring online pricing of branded items that were available in all supermarket chains; …Read more...
Vegetable curry You don’t need to give up your curry nights just yet; stay on track with your healthy eating plan with this low-fat, vegetarian dish. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes Serves: 4 Nutrition: 207kcal per serving Ingredients 1-2 tbsp red Thai curry paste 500ml low-sodium vegetable stock 2 onions, chopped …Read more...
Excitement is already building for the 92nd Academy Awards which take place on 9th February; but just who are in the running to pick up a coveted trophy? The Academy Awards honours the best films of the year and this year’s event will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, at …Read more...