August Bank Holiday

August Bank Holiday used to be at the beginning of the month, can anyone remember when it changed to the last Monday of the month?  Whilst on the subject of inviting response, this website has been running for over a year now and I know people are enjoying it by the number of  “hits” the website gets.  What is less clear is what you like best.  Can you please leave your opinions on the blog?  Quick comments such as “more recent history”, “less quoting from newspapers of the day”, “surprise me”, “less waffle” etc will help in planning future posts.  The quiz photograph is obviously causing problems as no one has guessed correctly, I’ll identify it mid month with the next mystery photo (if it’s not identified correctly first).

This excerpt, describing the Bank Holiday weekend of 1908, is from the “The Record and Advertiser” of August 8th.  The pavilion was newly built and we still had the lovely sandhills (see photographs below).

“Owing to the exceptionally fine weather which prevailed at the latter end of last week there was an enormous rush of holiday folk into the town commencing on Thursday and continuing right up to Sunday morning.  The demand for accommodation was almost unprecedented, and high figures were offered in many cases for the most meagre accommodation.  People who do not generally let, owing to to the extraordinary way in which their neighbours were taxed, came to the rescue and took in a few visitors, and yet it is strange to hear that in certain houses on the promenade they could easily have accommodated more patrons.  On Sunday, the Promenade and town generally presented an animated spectacle, the pavements being thronged with well dressed visitors and the streets lined with heavily laden vehicles which invaded the country for miles around, and some of the outlying districts, particularly Dyserth, has never witnessed such an inrush into their locality as that which occurred on Sunday morning.  The charming little spot presented quite a foreign appearance owing to the dense crowds which hovered around the cool waterfalls.  The brakes, coaches and landaus reaped a rich harvest.  The places of worship despite the hot weather were also well attended.  In the evening too Mr DeJong’s Band attracted a large number of visitors, whilst residents were also conspicuous in the large throng.

On Monday both day trippers and “stayers” poured into the town and many people say they do not remember seeing a larger crowd in Rhyl before.  Certainly the sands and promenade were packed with happy holiday makers whilst the places of amusement had a lucrative day.  In addition to the new Pavilion and Gardens, which were a very powerful attraction, and which delighted many numerous visitors, who had not before seen them, there were the skating rink, whither a large number of people went,  Messrs Adeler and Sutton’s Pierrots at the Olympian Gardens proved to be another great attraction,  Mr Gilbert Rogers’ Jovial Jesters who drew record crowds, as did Mr Huxley’s splendid baths in Sussex Street, where a large number also went; three sets of animated picture entertainments, and minstrels at the amphitheatre.  so our visitors were well provided with amusements.  Then the vehicles also attracted an abnormal amount of patronage, and the same can be said of the steamers and motor boats.  Tradesmen of every class must have done well and altogether Rhyl has never before had such a bank holiday.  the prospects for the remainder of the season are also good if the weather will only hold out.  The sudden change during the week is ascribed by experts to temporary arctic disturbances.  Let us hope it is strictly temporary.”

The sandhills, 1908.

Rhyl Pavilion 1908.



Filed under Tourism

5 responses to “August Bank Holiday

  1. Maggi

    1965 was when the Bank Holiday was changed-wonder why?!

  2. I found this info on line:
    “The change was made in 1965. The last ABH on the first Monday in August in England and Wales was Monday 3 August 1964. The change was only formalized in 1971 with a change to the law.
    From 1965 to 1970 the holiday fell on the last Monday in August (where it remains) except for 1968 and 1969 when it fell on 2 September and 1 September respectively.

    The background to the change was twofold: the tourist industry had been pressing government to make the change almost since the end of WW2, in order to extend the “season” (remember that hardly anyone went abroad in those days) and secondly, many factories and other industries had a “shut-down fortnight” which was often the last week of July and the first week in August and, together with the Bank Holiday, this put intolerable pressure on resorts, roads, and railways for two weeks, so the government moved the Bank Holiday in order to spread the load a little.”

  3. Robert Scott

    Hi, Thanks for your endeavors to keep the masses enthralled but very regrettably such called for response always, well hardly ever, coerces the majority, even the faithful, to pick up a quill or even press a few buttons. That is unless there happens to be a happening/situation/topic that fires the comfort/pocket/backyard or another item which seriously concerns your membership or indeed public at large, then watch your space/hits increase dramatically. So the moral of this is to cause such pandemonium that might be considered newsworthy, usually bad, and enjoy the veritable flood of replies/comments etc etc etc. Good Luck. Robert.

  4. Robert Scott

    But seriously, if it were so simple as to change the Bank Holiday back to the 1st Monday in August, I feel sure our ‘First Citizens’ would be only too anxious to avail the Business Ratepayers of such influx as was so described as occurring in 1965. I for one would have willingly proffered my ‘X’.R
    p.s. There’s 2 to start.

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