New Year Comes 15 minutes Early, 1949

Brilliant jobsworthiness here.

In 1949, Christmas and New Year’s Eve fell on Sundays, meaning they were subject to the byelaws that meant dancing must be finished by midnight. That also meant no singing Auld Lang Syne on the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, as that meant the festivities would spill over past 12am.

And so places like Leeds and Harrogate decreed that all dancing should stop at 11.45pm, everyone could sing Auld Lang Syne 15 minutes early and boom, you’re all wrapped up and out of the door for midnight.

Scarborough and Blackpool were no party to this madness, they made a special concession of later timings for the occasion.

I’m not sure why it’s noted that “festivities in the North” will be curtailed. Either it’s because this was The Yorkshire Post, and they didn’t give a monkeys what was happening in the South, or somehow the rules were different across the North-South divide. I haven’t been able to find out…

Yorkshire Post, 1st December 1949

Yorkshire Post, 1st December 1949


May my evening live up to this lovely home video of a house party on December 31st, 1949, where some very stylishly dressed people in Ontario are getting gently leathered. I particularly like the bowl of baubles being offered round the table, as if he might just be pissed enough to eat them.


And here’s a short film marking the turn of the year from 1949 to 1950  (with Auld Lang Syne as it sounded at 11.45pm.)

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