Looking at the numbers, it might look strange that there were more fully-licensed pubs in 1947 than 1939. But on closer observation, this is obviously due to beer houses (in column three) converting to full licenses. The total number of pub on-licences in reality declines from 73,572 to 73,232.
I'm surprised the decline wasn't greater. Hundreds of pubs were badly damaged or destroyed by bombing during the war. And rebuilding was virtually impossible. You needed a licence to carry out building works and these were mostly limited to what as considered essential.
The number of clubs was more volatile, dropping by a couple of thousand during the war, returning to its pre-war level in 1947, then zooming upwards from there.
Less explicable is what happened in Scotland, where the number of on-licences for pubs and hotels increased by 48 between 1939 and 1947. Hotel had a specific meaning in Scotland. They were the only licensed outlets allowed to open on Sundays. In addition to offering accommodation, they also operated as pubs.
The increase is all in hotels. Where did they come from? They can't have been all pubs becoming hotels because the numbers don't tally.
Though the total number of licences increased in Scotland, the number of off-licences declined. While in England and Wales, it increased. Again, explanation have I none.
More investigation needed.
|LICENSED PREMISES (ENGLAND AND WALES, AND SCOTLAND), 1937-52|
|England and Wales||Scotland|
|Year||Full All Drinks||On-licences Beer/Wine||Regist. Clubs||Off-Licences||Total||Public Houses||Hotels||Regist. Clubs||Off-Licences||Total|
|"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.|