As the banks have irreperably damaged their reputation in the eyes of many, I agree with the tory peer – yes a fuckin Tory – who wants them renamed. Known as bank holidays as this was when the banks shut and their prestige in the 1800’s; now that prestige has gone and we can’t really call them ‘greedy scumbag bastard’ days can we.
Prior to 1834, the Bank of England observed about 30 saints’ days and religious festivals as holidays but in 1834 this was reduced to just four. The 1871 Bank Holidays Act specified the four days to be regarded as bank holidays – in addition to separate public holidays such as Christmas Day and Good Friday, however they were briefly known as St Lubbock Days in reference to Sir John Lubbock, the Liberal MP who introduced the Act in 1871, and this is what the Tory peer would like to see them called again.
I disagree, believe it or not, I think the public holidays should be revised and representative of key dates of events that changed the country, getting rid of religious holidays, as whether people admit it or not, we have become a secular society.
Although May Day was only intoduced in 1978, this should be moved to 1st May regardless of the day to correspond with the rest of Europe – all workers should be recognised and their achievement celebrated on this day. The following would also be good candidates to have a public holiday named after them: the Tolpuddle martyrs, peasants revolt, general strikes, Peterloo Massacre, Putney debates, Gunpowder Plot.
God is our guide! from field, from wave,
From plough, from anvil, and from loom;
We come, our country’s rights to save,
And speak a tyrant faction’s doom:
We raise the watch-word liberty;
We will, we will, we will be free!
George Loveless 1834
They are not historically in order but you get my point, and by no means definitive.