Teaching Poodles to Read
And Studying Ants
Why do we have Bank Holidays?
Sir John Lubbock, first Baron of Avebury, studied ants and tried to teach his poodles how to read. He was also a scientific writer, banker and politician. In 1871 he drafted the Bank Holiday Bill, which created our first Bank Holidays, when it became law.
Over time our holy-days have become holidays, ancient Summer and Spring celebrations have moved to coincide with religious festivals and over 33 saints’ days. Our ‘public holidays’ have been renamed to be called ‘bank holidays’, it has been suggested, to make them sound more important. If the banks must close for the day then other businesses should do the same, of course.
Sir John may have chosen the original four Bank Holiday dates as they coincided with important cricket matches, allegedly anyway. We even used to celebrate these holidays as St. Lubbock’s Day in England. So, let’s give a big Thanks to Baron Avebury!
So, most banks are closed, obviously. Most of you who work Mon-Fri get the day off too, normally paid for the day as well! But please feel the pain of anyone in retail, hospitality etc. who are hard at work and watching the rest of the population enjoying themselves.
And, many of you head to the seaside. Woolacombe is no exception…
Hopefully we’re all enjoying a double Bank Holiday weekend. Easter 2019 is set to have awesome weather and it’s an unprecedented sell-out across all four of our Devon Holiday Parks. Woolacombe Beach will be full of locals and visitors alike – the indoor pools are going to be busy, the bars will be crowded and restaurants full.
However, in only a couple of weeks we have May Bank Holiday, another chance to visit our beautiful Holiday Parks – very shortly followed by Half Term and then Spring Bank Holiday – so if you’ve missed out this weekend, be sure to get in quickly for May. We have some availability but don’t miss out again. We’ll be opening our outdoor pools for May Day Bank Holiday too!
An ancient Summer tradition that probably originated in Pagan times as a Summer celebration and marked with the dancing of the Morris. Morris dancers still carry this tradition, dancing with sticks and bells. The Maypole can be found in many British villages, and this dates to Roman times, another celebration honouring the beginning of Summer.
It is a festival of fertility where eligible youngsters were ‘promised’; warmer weather and long nights marking a change of season.
The long nights and warm weather now mean we can spend longer each day on one of the Best Beaches in Britain (TripAdvisor), the warmer weather means we enjoy those late nights walking along those miles of golden sands that make Woolacombe Bay amazing.
American’s have Spring Break and, while we have a more sedate half term in the UK, this year it coincides with the Spring Bank Holiday – so we get a good ten-day school holiday with the FA Cup Final to boot.
Whitsun, the Monday after Pentecost, is how our Spring Bank Holiday started. This was moved by Sir John and then again by another parliamentary act, but we continue to celebrate this day in England.
Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, Gloucestershire sees people celebrating by chasing an enormous round cheese down a ridiculously steep hill. The winner gets another enormous cheese to take home, but this custom dates to ancient Britons who raced for grazing rights on the land. Unfortunately, these days the cheese is rolled but nobody’s allowed to chase it – they’ll obviously get hurt and blame it on someone.
A village fayre, with a dressed well and a crowned ‘Well Dressing Queen’, is found in Endon, Staffordshire. Local men ‘Toss the Sheaf’ by seeing who can chuck a bale of straw the highest – for some reason, nobody’s worried about being hit on the head here…