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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Time Off?

It seems most of Britain is going to take time off to watch the England World Cup game this afternoon. What would the Georgians and Victorians have thought? If you worked in a mill, many factory owners only allowed one or two days’ holiday per year. Some mills and collieries closed down for Whit Monday or Wakes Week. Any time off was unpaid; workers saved up all year for their annual holiday. Under the factory acts, women and child workers were allowed two whole days and eight half days holiday per year. Women and children employed in workshops were not legally entitled to any holidays.
Time off to watch a football match? Not likely!

Image: An early nineteenth century cotton mill. Reports of the Inspectors of Factories, October 1873. (Author’s collection.)

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