Letter to the editor: The Saturday half-holiday in Liverpool

Monday, March 1 – 1880
“Gentleman –Will you allow me, though the medium of your valuable paper, to call the attention of employers in Liverpool to what I consider, in such an important town as Liverpool, is almost a disgrace? I allude to the half-hearted way in which the Saturday half-holiday is kept. If anyone will take the trouble to notice the physique of the young men walking down to offices in the neighbouring city of Manchester with these to be seen in Liverpool, he will observe a marked contrast.

“In Manchester, and indeed in all other large towns, most young men are members of football, cricket, or other athletic clubs, and, as business ends at one o’clock on Saturday, they have abundant time for it. Take the case of Liverpool, however; in many cases the young men never dream of commencing business before 9.30 and many of their employers arrive at business much later. The day being a sort of broken day is “dawdled” through, and the result is the office closes from four to five o’clock.

“What is the result? The employs of these firms call at the nearest public house on their way home for a drink and smoke, or game at billiards. Consequently you have working for you a comparatively wearies, enervated set of young men, not to be named in the same breath with the class of men one sees in such places as Manchester and other great centres. A very obviate all this. Get the men coax early; allow no running out for drinks, &c; and more important still, let the participates themselves start their business earlier. Two years ago the firm of which I am a member decided to try the experiment of closing at one o’clock on Saturday.

“It has worked admirably. We get better work out of our men, and we find we are not one penny the worse for it. It is an inestimable been for any men when he can have one afternoon a week certain with his family. I know there is an idea that thee work may be “camped” but it is an utter delusion. I repeat most emphatically, the work in our business is better done in every way. I thrust some of the leading firms will take this matter in hand, and try the experiment – it will succeed. A good many have done so already, and I never heard of one going back to the old miserable system, or rather want of system.

February 27 – 1880, by Progress
(Liverpool Mercury, 01-03-1880)

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