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Restore Records Management News

A short history of: bank holidays

Published on 02 September 2019

A short history of: bank holidays

Whatever you were up to over last bank holiday weekend, I hope you had some decent weather and managed to relax a little.

We have eight bank holidays in England and Wales, one more in Scotland, when most businesses and non-essential services are closed. We are slightly unusual in that the majority of our public holidays are days rather than dates so do not fall at weekends. The exceptions are Christmas and Boxing Days and New Year’s Day, in which case the bank holiday moves to the next working day.

Sir John Lubbock (a banker and politician) created bank holidays in 1871 when he added four days (Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and Boxing Day) to the two common law holidays that already existed (Good Friday and Christmas Day). For a while these extra days were known as St Lubbock’s Days by an eternally grateful workforce…

In 1965 the August bank holiday was moved to the end of the month, to the Monday after the final Saturday, a confusing arrangement that sometimes had the August bank holiday falling in September. It was 1974 that saw the introduction of the New Year’s Day bank holiday and 1978 the early May bank holiday; Whit Monday (which was a moveable feast) was replaced with the late May bank holiday and the August bank holiday finally fixed as the last Monday.

Scotland has a special public holiday on St Andrew’s Day (30 November), Northern Ireland has St Patrick’s Day (17 March), and England and Wales have been lobbying for St George’s Day (23 April) and St David’s Day (1 March) to become bank holidays, also. We do occasionally get additional one-off bank holidays – the Queen’s jubilees, for example – and bank holidays do get moved every now and then. In 1995, and again next year, the early May bank holiday was moved to the 8th to enable VE Day celebrations to be held.

While many people are off work enjoying their St Lubbock’s Days, we appreciate there are plenty of industries that continue to operate as normal – and Restore is one of them. If you need access to your archives – physical or digital – over bank holidays (or indeed common law holidays), we are here, providing the highly secure, easily accessible, 24/7/365 service you expect from us and we can easily add this facility to your service provision. Just call one of our well-informed and approachable customer service team on 0333 060 8804 to chat it through.

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