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  • Pubs Sunday opening

    As background for some research I'm doing for a book - I'm getting mixed messages about whether pubs opened on Sundays in London 1887-1888. Can anyone clarify? Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by maturin View Post
    As background for some research I'm doing for a book - I'm getting mixed messages about whether pubs opened on Sundays in London 1887-1888. Can anyone clarify? Thanks.
    https://www.victorianlondon.org/ente...blichouses.htm has some useful information. I do know that the Sunday Closing Act of 1881 mandated that pubs in Wales stayed closed on Sundays, but I think that for the rest of the UK, it depended on local custom and law, which may have been different for the City and the suburbs. I don't really know a definitive answer, but I hope this will help anyway. I very much doubt that the law was scrupulously followed in all cases either, with back-door arrangements for trusted locals probably quite common.

    Be aware too that a beer shop or beer house (which sells only beer made in-house - what we'd call a microbrewery) is not the same as a public house (which sells commercially-brewed beer, along with liquor and cooked food). The local licensing laws may well be different.

    Best wishes!
    - Ginger

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    • #3
      Hi Ginger,
      Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Yes, that's the problem I'm having figuring out local customs. I believe the Britannia for example was a beer-only pub.
      My particular interest is pubs near Petticoat Lane, and in Lambeth, near Bedlam. I've found a lot of eyewitness accounts of slumming in both areas, but mostly on Saturday nights, for obvious reasons.
      I was at college in Lampeter in the 70s - in Dyfed, the last dry county - and we had a mantra we had to be able to enunciate before we were let in the back door to join the local farmers, PC Baskerville, Jones the Magistrate and other in Ma Ronska's The Plough.

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      • #4
        I would recommend as well: https://www.casebook.org/dissertations/dst-pubsv.html , if you haven't already read it.
        - Ginger

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        • #5
          This passage from the page posted by Ginger is illuminating;

          "Sunday closing in London, though rigorously paraded, is rarely strictly observed. [-291-] Many houses in the City proper and the West-End are held on the six days' licence, which precludes a Sunday trade, but by far the greater number of publicans are entitled to open on Sundays between the hours of one and three in the afternoon and from six to eleven in the evening. The licensing law permits a traveller, who has journeyed a distance of three miles, to obtain refreshment during closed hours, provided that he has not travelled for the express purpose of obtaining the drink to which he is legally entitled. But this provision is seldom enforced."

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          • #6
            Hi Maturin

            https://api.parliament.uk/historic-h...uors-on-sunday

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            • #7
              The Police Code 1889 (in effect in 1888) provides opening & closing times for Public Houses across London.

              All premises where intoxicating liquor is sold by retail are to be closed as follows:

              (a) Within the Metropolis (that is, within the City of London, the jurisdiction of the London County Council, or four miles from Charing Cross), between 12.30 am and 5.00 am, except on Saturday evening, when they must be closed at midnight. On Sunday they may be open from 1 pm to 3 pm, and from 6 pm to 11 pm.

              (b) Without the Metropolis, but in the Metropolitan Police district, and in populous places of over 1000 inhabitants, the hour of closing is 11 pm, on every night except Sunday, when it is 10 pm, and of opening on weekdays, 6 am.

              (c) In country districts the hour of closing on all days is 10 pm, and of opening 6 am., except on Sundays, when it is 12.30 pm.

              (d) Public Houses, where ever situate, must be closed on Sunday afternoon from 3 (or 2.30 pm, according as the hour of opening is 12.30 or 1) until 6 pm.
              Regards, Jon S.

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              • #8
                Many thanks to everyone who posted on this topic - looks pretty clear now, allowing exceptions for market pubs and doubtless other anomalies.

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                • #9
                  "The licensing law permits a traveller, who has journeyed a distance of three miles, to obtain refreshment during closed hours, provided that he has not travelled for the express purpose of obtaining the drink to which he is legally entitled. But this provision is seldom enforced."

                  Joshua Rogan


                  This particular law was implemented in Glasgow (I'm not sure about the rest of Scotland, but I think it probably applied to the whole of the country)ta
                  People could travel by bus to a suitable pub, and had to show their bus ticket to the bar satff to show that they were a bona-fide "traveller".

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