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Referendum on the Sunday opening of public houses in Wales (2371)

Type of Data: Referendum on the Sunday opening of public houses in Wales (2371)

Faith Community: General

Date: 1961, 8 November

Geography: Wales

Sample Size: 844834 votes cast (47% turnout)

Population: Adults aged 21 and over on the electoral register

Keywords: Licensing, public houses, Sunday, Wales

Collection Method: Secret ballot in national referendum

Collection Agency: Welsh local authorities

Published Source:

  • The Times, 10 November 1961
  • Arnold John James and John Emlyn Thomas, Wales at Westminster: A History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales, 1800-1979, Llandysul: Gomer Press, 1981, pp. 277-8
  • Christopher Mark Wilson, 'The Sunday Opening Referenda, 1961-1989: A Study in Social and Cultural Change in Wales' (M.Phil. thesis, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1993)

    BRIN ID: 2371


    Public houses were closed by law on Sundays in Wales until 1961. The Licensing Act 1961 (carried forward by the Licensing Act 1964) imposed a requirement on Welsh local authorities to hold polls on the subject every seven years if petitioned by 500 or more electors. The first such polls, in 1961, were, in effect, a national referendum. Polls continued to be held in some areas in 1968, 1975, 1982, 1989 and 1996 until the requirement to hold them was repealed in 2003. For 1968 and 1975 see James and Thomas, Wales at Westminster, pp. 279-80; and for 1975-82 see Lawrence John Williams, Digest of Welsh Historical Statistics, 1974-1996, Cardiff: Welsh Office, 1998, p. 323

    Posted by: Clive D. Field

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