Half-day closing

The idea of closing business for half a day during the week was intended to compensate the staff for having to work on Saturdays, and came after a long campaign in which drapers played a leading rôle.

From 1861, shops in Brighouse began to close for half a day on Tuesdays, and linen-drapers agreed to close their shops at 7:00 pm in the winter months, except on Saturdays.

In 1867, drapers and other shopkeepers in Brighouse announced that they would be closing their shops at 7:30 each evening, except Saturday. In October 1867, the grocers and druggists announced that they would be doing likewise until 31st March 1868.

Around 1870, many local mills – including Crossley's Carpets [1868] and M. Bottomley & Sons [1871] - began closing at noon on Saturdays.

On 6th August 1872, half-day holiday for tradesmen's assistants began in Todmorden.

In 1896, half-day closing at 1:00 pm on Thursdays was introduced in Halifax.

The Shops Act [1911] provided a half-day holiday for shop-workers.

At these times, Halifax – and other affected districts – would resemble a ghost town.

In October 1964, it was announced that several shops in Halifax town centre were to begin closing all day on Thursday.

In 1983, it was decided to abandon the half-day closing tradition in Halifax, although some businesses still retain the old practice.

The following early-closing days have been recorded

TownEarly-closing day
Hebden BridgeTuesday
Sowerby BridgeWednesday

With few exceptions, the phenomenon of late-night shopping has not yet reached Calderdale, and most shops are closed by 5:00 pm

See Halifax Early Closing Association, Market Day and Todmorden Tradesmen's Early Closing Association

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 4308

Page Ref: MMH3003

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