Many shops, cafes and restaurants, including fish and chip shops, were closed. If they were permitted to open then it was only until ten o’clock in the morning, unless a special provision had been made by the local authority. Even if they were able to open for longer hours most shops were closed by mid-day.
Play time and church time
Depending on where you lived and your background children were not permitted to play outside on a Sunday and by outside I mean the street rather than a garden. Recreation grounds were closed and best Sunday clothes were donned for Church and Sunday school, which often meant morning and afternoon and sometimes even evening attendance.
The main meal would be between mid-day and two p.m., a tradition that is still loosely in operation today for many. But with bacon and meat on the ration until 1951 in Inspector Ryga’s world in DEATH IN THE COVE set in September 1950 it would have been in limited supply unless obtained on the black market.
Licensing laws in the 1950s were very similar to those during and after the First World War. Opening hours for licensed premises were generally restricted to luncheon 12:00 to 14:40, and supper 18:30 to 22:30. But many pubs closed at 22.00 except in summer time when some might have extended their opening times to 22.30. Sunday closing was usually 14.00 and 22.00.
Religion, rest and relaxation
Sunday was a day of religion, rest and relaxation for many. Of family time, of gardening, tending the allotment, walking out with the family, wife/husband, lover, or perhaps a drive in the country for those able to afford a car.
This is just a flavour of the 1950s for Inspector Ryga in DEATH IN THE COVE. What were your Sundays like in the 1950s?
England 1950, a country still struggling to come to terms with peace in the grip of austerity and rationing.
When the body of a man dressed in a pinstriped suit is discovered by war photographer, Eva Paisley, in a secluded bay on Portland Island, Dorset, Inspector Alun Ryga of Scotland Yard is sent to investigate. Recently promoted, the thoughtful, observant Ryga, is on his first solo investigation outside of London, and is keen to prove his worth. Ignoring the warnings of the local police inspector, and the Dorset Chief Constable, that his trust in Eva Paisley is misjudged, Ryga quickly realises that her observations could provide the breakthrough he needs in a complex murder investigation and the answer to the haunting circumstances that have sent the man in the pinstriped suit to his death.