Reading through an article entitled ‘The Greatest Joke in History’ that described the joke that is the licensing laws (written in 1910). The article is a rant and a rave about the laws that are directed at public houses and not clubs.
No Opening on a Sunday
The article starts off with a rant about public houses being closed all day on a Sunday in Wales, Scotland and parts of Ireland, but England is only closed in the forenoon and afternoon on a Sunday.
The only way that someone in Scotland would be able to get a drink from a pub on a Sunday is if they are a bona fide traveller (Travelling for work and in need of ‘refreshment’).
No Fun Allowed!
If you were part of a club such as bowling, you would be able to take part in the activity on the premises, no problem at all. Have a drink and some fun with your friends and family is encouraged.
On the other side of the coin, a public house is ‘forbidden to allow any form of amusement or recreation on their premises and are not permitted without consent of the licensing bench to extend or improve their premises in any way that would make it more attractive and more fitted to meet the wants of the public.’
A man may not use a public-house for the purpose of passing an enjoyable hour with his friends at a game of cards, draughts, or dominoes.
Music was also banned in most parts of the country ‘even the automatic penny-in-the-slot musical boxes’. If there was a nice lawn or garden on the premises, the publican would lose his license if he allowed their customers to use this area to relax and refresh themselves.
There is an article from 1939 that answers the question ‘Are Darts Illegal?’
Most modern pubs these days have music, puggy machines, darts and karaoke, can you imagine your pub without any fun?