There was little opposition in the States this week to a proposed reduction in opening hours. It means that from now on, pubs in Jersey will need to close by eight o’clock each evening. And any thought of special late opening in the summer months – a concession introduced to help the burgeoning tourism industry – now looks out of the question.
The reason given was the presence of large numbers of young soldiers in the Island - volunteers sent here to train with the recently arrived South Staffordshire Regiment. As commander in chief, the Lieutenant Governor for one was a strong supporter of the move. Publicans were understandably less happy, having already seen opening hours curtailed on the outbreak of war. Their argument against was that relaxing over a drink was beneficial to locals, given wartime stresses. As a concession, there was an offer not serve men in uniform, or to prohibit the sale of spirits in bottles.
Flush with newly found wartime zeal, however, the States were in no mood for compromises. The island was at war and Britain was fighting for its very existence – everyone had to make sacrifices.