Do you love or loath our bank holidays?

Published date: 24 April 2014 |
Published by: Rhian Waller 
Read more articles by Rhian Waller  Email reporter


FOR some people bank holidays are a bonus, a sort of mini-holiday, but for others, they are a bump in the smooth running of their week.

They turn usually deserted streets and parks into weekday scrums and normally thronging town centres into empty scapes, depending on where you life.

The Easter bank holidays saw people abandon Mold and the surrounding areas to line the usually peaceful verges of Loggerheads Country Park or cram onto the A55 to go reach a tourist spot.

The offices of Chester might have been silent, but the riverfront was chock-a-block with visitors enjoying the Easter Monday warmth.

Now the next bank holiday is already within reach on May 5. Some people are looking forward to it, others are not.

David Johnson, who runs Mold Bookshop, said from a business point of view bank holidays were a lost day – but from a family perspective, they were a boon.

“We don’t open on bank holidays,” he said. “We feel there isn’t much point as very few people come round shopping.

“But as I run the shop with my wife Caroline and we are normally open six days a week, bank holidays are the only days – apart from Sundays – that we can spend together, so it’s quite nice.

“We don’t do anything extravagant. Chester can be chock-a-block and you get traffic queues. We tend to visit Flint Castle or have a walk up Hope Mountain, somewhere peaceful. It’s a bit of a break.”

Martin Jones, of Vaughan Davies tailors, said the shop was one of the few independent retailers open on bank holidays.

He said: “Easter Monday was a good day for us. In a way, they are a blip. They mess up your week. When we do open, we have a skeleton staff, because otherwise we would have to offer holidays or a financial incentive, but this year it was definitely worthwhile.

“It does make me laugh though. Most of our bank holidays fall at the coldest times of year or in spring, when you’re at the mercy of the weather.”

While bank holidays are traditionally quiet for retailers and white-collar workers, some businesses see them as a vital boost.

James Edwards, general manager at DW Fitness in Wrexham, noted residents were happy to capitalise on their free time over the Easter weekend by buffing up getting their blood racing.

He said: “We have a shop and a gym and though the shop was quiet, we were very happy with the number of gym users.

“It’s not a busy sales time, but lots of clients will come in for our classes.

“As far as our staff our concerned, they know we are open 364 days of the year. It comes with the territory, and personally I don’t mind working a bank holiday.”

Those working in the service industry would be forgiven for feeling a little resentful of having to pull a shift, especially when they have to serve crowds of people enjoying a day off.

Not Sarah May, the owner of the Blue Moon cafe in Chester, one of the businesses to benefit from the visitor boom.

She said: “It’s a good time for us. We had a great weekend because we’re right on the bank of the river, where there were lots of people. The good thing about a long weekend is people are more relaxed, they aren’t rushing to get everything done in a day.

“So they are more likely to wander, pop into places and enjoy themselves. We’re actually looking forward to the next bank holiday, as long as the weather is good.

“I just take a day off when it’s quieter in the week.”

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