diamond geezer

 Sunday, March 06, 2011

Poor old St George. If only his saint's day had been in October he'd have had his own bank holiday years ago. But no, St George's Day is always in April, the month in which Easter usually falls. However patriotic it might be to shift the May Day Holiday to St George's Day, it'll never happen. A St George's Day bank holiday would, I'm afraid, be a wholly impractical change. And here's why.
I'm assuming that the St George's Day bank holiday would be held on the Monday nearest to April 23rd, or on the following day if that's already a bank holiday.

England's bank holidays are concentrated together in two distinct clusters. One cluster is from Easter to May, when there are four bank holidays, and the other's around Christmas and New Year, when there are three. This leaves a single leftover bank holiday, in late August, which barely fills the gaping chasm between the two peaks. Take the bank holidays in 2010 as an example. Not ideal.

2010   B BB B  B    B B B8

2011 and 2012 are different. Thanks to Royals either getting married or getting old, we've gained an extra bank holiday giving a total of 9. Kate and Wills have dropped their extra bank holiday inbetween two consecutive bank holiday Mondays (Apr 25, May 2), additionally giving us two consecutive bank holiday Fridays (Apr 22, Apr 29). Imagine adding a St George's Day bank holiday inbetween too (Tue Apr 26), it'd be completely wasted. As for 2012, the late May bank holiday is being moved to June and doubled up to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. At things stand, next year we have three perfectly-spaced bank holiday Mondays (Apr 9, May 7, Jun 5). Replacing the middle one with April 23rd would knock things distinctly off kilter.

2011   B B BB B  B    B B B9
2012   B BBB B B    B B B9

So if a St George's Day bank holiday were to be introduced, it'd start in 2013.

2013   B B BB  B    B B B8

And in 2013 it'd work OK. Easter Monday on April 1st, St George's Day on April 22nd, and three weeks inbetween, fair enough. But 2014 would be rubbish. Easter's once again late, this time on April 20th, meaning that Easter Monday would be April 21st. But that's the closest Monday to St George's Day, which would be displaced to the following day, Tuesday April 22nd. Add in Good Friday beforehand and this would create a bank holiday glut worse even than Wills and Kate's wedding. You might think that sounds great, but we'd have blown three of the year's eight bank holidays in five days flat.

Easter MondayMon 1 AprMon 21 Apr
St George's DayMon 22 AprTue 22 Apr
gap inbetween3 weeks1 day

And how about the rest of the decade? There are three decent years with sensible spacing (2015, 2016, 2018). In 2018 we'd even get the St George's Day holiday on the right day. But the other three years aren't looking so good. In 2017 and 2020 we'd get two consecutive bank holiday weekends (which almost never happens with May Day at present). And in 2019 there'd be another late Easter falling on the Monday closest to St George's Day, as in 2014, which'd mean a bank holiday Tuesday. Admittedly that would be Tuesday April 23rd, which would be highly appropriate, but again it'd mean blowing three bank holidays in a single weekend.

Easter MondayMon 6 AprMon 28 MarMon 17 AprMon 2 AprMon 22 AprMon 13 Apr
St George's DayMon 20 AprMon 25 MarMon 24 AprMon 23 AprTue 23 AprMon 20 Apr
gap inbetween2 weeks4 weeks1 week3 weeks1 day1 week

For a broader overview we need to look at a longer period of time. So I've investigated the entire 100 years from 2013 to 2112, and worked out the gap between Easter Monday and a St George's day holiday in each case. Here's my summary.

Gap between Easter Monday and
a St George's Day bank holiday
between 2013
and 2112
1 day17 years out of 100
1 week25 years out of 100
2 weeks24 years out of 100
3 weeks24 years out of 100
4 weeks10 years out of 100

And that's why a St George's Day bank holiday is doomed to impracticability. Easter Day can fall on any date between March 22nd and April 25th - a period which also includes St George's Day. We can't move Easter because it's fixed by the church, not by Parliament. Easter already comes attached with an allocation of two bank holidays. And it turns out that April 23rd falls far too close to Easter in approximately 40% of years, which is wholly unacceptable. By contrast our current May Day holiday, though imperfectly timed, falls within a week of Easter Monday only 3 times this century.

Gap between Easter Monday and
the May Day bank holiday
between 2013
and 2112
1 week3 years out of 100
2 weeks26 years out of 100
3 weeks25 years out of 100
4 weeks20 years out of 100
5 weeks23 years out of 100
6 weeks3 years out of 100

The May Day Bank holiday won't be moving to St George's Day. It might still move to October. But I hope it stays exactly where it is.

St George   B B BB  B    B B B8
October   B BB  B B  B B B8
status quo   B BB B  B    B B B8

Yesterday's May Day vote is now closed. Based on 250 responses, the results are as follows:
1) Should the UK bank holiday in the first week of May be moved? Yes (25%), No (75%)
2) If England's May Day bank holiday is moved, should it go to April or October? St George (27%), late October (73%)

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this month?
28 Jan – 23 Apr (10am-4.30pm)
Sussex Modernism
The sixth annual exhibition at Two Temple Place focuses on radical art/writing in Sussex, and is damned excellent.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Feb17  Jan17
Dec16 Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards