Ongoing concerns about wartime shortages in coal stocks led to the Island Defence Committee or IDC imposing an early closing order on shops, restaurants, clubs and places of entertainment. Such establishments use both coal and coal gas for their heating and lighting. The order required all shops to close by 6:00pm, all restaurants and tearooms by 7:00pm and all clubs and places of amusement by 10:15pm.
The rigid times have caused significant problems for several categories of establishment. Chip shop owners, who do much of their business late in the evening, complained that closing at 7:00pm would be ruinous. In view of this the Constable of St Helier authorised those in town to remain open until 11:00pm. After consultation with the IDC, this was reduced to 10:15pm.
Hairdressers too found themselves badly affected. Classed as shops, they were unable to serve customers after 6:00pm, yet evenings have traditionally been within the opening hours of many. Owners of picture houses also raised strong concerns at having to close earlier than would be normal.
In view of these issues, the IDC will look at the matter again, although only for limited types of business.
D/Z/H2/6 contains information on a DORA order permitting the early closures of shops during wartime.