Monday, January 15, 2007

May Day - People's Day 1919

In 1919, Hayes Urban District Council was one of the first Councils in the country to officially regonise May Day (The International Day for workers) as a public holiday.

Nationally, May Day was not recognised as a Public Holiday in England until 1978.

At the April 1919 Hayes Urban District Council meeting the Chairman moved that "That thw Council Offices be closed, and that every employee and officer of the Council be given a day's holiday with full pay on May 1st. Any employee whose services cannot be spared on that day to be given a day's holiday with full pay at the earliest possible date there after"

The Chairman said that many public bodies and large employers of labour had adopted this procedure, and he contended that they , as a Labour Council should follow their example.

Councillor Robert William Gunton (Labour) in secondeing refered to the fact that Oliver Cromwell did away with it because it led to heavy drinking. they had reached the stage he thought when the working classes did behave themselves better. He further supported the suggestion on the ground that it was an International holiday"

Voting was 6-2

Councillor Ellis and Fulford opposed (being the only two non Labour Councillors) stating"it would disrupt the work of the Parish"

Hayes Urban District Council 1919
Chairman William Rawlings (Labour)
Vice Chairman: Robert Gunton (Labour)

J. W Davies (Lab); Launcelot Fowler (Lab); Robert W Gunton (Lab); G Manley (Lab); William Rawlings(Lab), F Woodard (Lab); Fredrick V Mason (Lab)
I Ellis (Ind) G Fulford (Ind/Tory)