Tuesday, 26 August 2008

"Not In Scotland"

So the Radio Two presenters felt moved to add whenever they mentioned yesterday's "Bank Holiday". (Only in Britain do we have pointless celebrations of the mere fact that the banks are on holiday, which is why only in Britain are all sorts of things routinely open on public holidays. If our holidays celebrated people, or events, or Patron Saints, or what have you, then they would no more be something close to normal working days than Christmas Day is.)

But the apparent lack of demand for public transport on Boxing Day even in Scotland (where it is not a public holiday) fed the mounting perception that in practice the Scots now take all the English public holidays along with their own. Especially, I have to say, in the public sector, just how many people actually turned up to work in Scotland yesterday? More than on Boxing Day. But even so.


The Aberdonian said...

Yesterday was just like any normal day. The post offices were open for a start.

Boxing Day is a bank holiday in Scotland. 2nd of January of course in Scotland is a "stand alone" for the country.

Scotland has a mixed system. Whilst there are Scottish Bank Holidays, most holidays observed are local holidays peculiar to certain regions.

Most notable is the "Glasgow Fair", the holiday in the Glasgow area that marks the beginning of the trades fortnight for the city and surrounds. Similar arrangements exist for Aberdeen etc.

David Lindsay said...

Yes, but how many people actually turned up to work? Especially in the public sector.

"Boxing Day is a bank holiday in Scotland"? Since when? Nobody corrected this when I blogged about it in December.

The Aberdonian said...

Check your calendars and diaries. Always been a day off in my past thirty odd years.

Easter Monday is NOT a holiday in Scotland. Good Friday is, Easter Monday is not. Indeed I remember attending school on Easter Monday a number of years.

Before my time the Christmas period for non-office workers was a day of work. Christmas was not observed but New Year was with reverence (state+commercial sponsored paganism!). But as one hard line Calvinist pointed out to me once, where in the bible does it tell you to observe Christ's birth?

The Scottish government was at work on Monday as I have dealings with it and they were in fettle. They were on holiday on the Scottish Bank holiday on the 4th of August as indeed the dole offices etc of the UK government. The UK government offices observe Scottish bank holidays.

Councils always observe local holidays. Make sense since they choose the dates. Schools always closed on those days. Universities also observe them as well.

Strangely Scottish banks tend (except for 2nd of Jan) to observe English Bank holidays for commercial reasons although for because Scottish businesses do not observe English holidays they are forced to provide a "Saturday service" - some branches closed, others opening only in the morning.

In conclusion the UK is only on holiday together Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and May Day.

From the Scottish government website if you do not believe me over Boxing Day!


(By the way whilst shops are closed in England on Easter Sunday, it is normal operations north of the border).