Sundays of old were spent at home
Last week's Magazine feature on
the impact of 15 years of Sunday trading
prompted many readers to respond - some reminiscing about Sundays past, others still cherishing the uniqueness of the day.
Church attendances on a Sunday have halved since 1979, while pubs, shops and sports are playing more of a part in Sunday activities. Here are some reader responses.
1. Sunday lunch, reading without feeling guilty and enjoying the garden.
Barbara Leonard, Poole, Dorset
2. Sunday still is a family day in our house. We generally go swimming and then it's back home for bacon sandwiches. It's time to do something together, even if that is simply mooching about and complaining about the rain. It doesn't bother me in the slightest if the shops are open or not - we do our weekly shop on a Saturday morning so have no need to go there on a Sunday.
3. Get up early, fry up, watch some sport, pub, all you can eat curry buffet, back to pub, home, sleep. Perfect.
4. EastEnders omnibus followed by a marathon session of Come Dine With Me.
5. Sundays are fun days and the possibilities are endless. I love long walks in the Peaks with a Sunday lunch stop-off in a village pub. My kids seem to enjoy this as well - so everyone's happy.
Odette Brightmore, Nottingham
Is this your Sunday place of worship?
6. The Sunday Blues - the end-of-the-weekend depression - is what makes Sunday distinctive for me.
7. I live in America and I have to comment that the best thing about Sunday, if you don't have to work, is going out to brunch. A chance to meet friends, have a drink and a meal that you don't have any other day of the week, it is a Sunday thing and America's finest contribution to ending the Sunday blues. When I'm back in England I try to instigate this tradition as much as possible.
Jason Walker, Reading
8. Going to Mass and serving as organist. Meeting friends, welcoming newcomers. Having a cup of tea or coffee, visiting a housebound friend, sharing a meal relaxing with a book later. Watching a good programme on the box.
Mrs S C Carson, Salford, Lancs
9. Watch Sunday football down the local pub. On the way home grab a curry and watch Top Gear, which is the best bit about Sundays.
10. Sundays are distinctive for me because for most of the year, Sundays are motorsport days! All F1, WRC, BTCC and MotoGP races are held on Sundays except in special circumstances, and there are also events such as the days at Hednesford Raceway to go to.
Pic Akai, Birmingham
11. The only thing I really notice about Sundays is that Tesco isn't open, which is a bit of a pain sometimes! It's time we realised what century we are in and abolished Sunday trading restrictions completely.
Andrew Beard, Stourport-on-Severn, UK
12. For me Sunday is about having a lie-in - sitting in my PJs until almost noon if I feel like it and not feeling guilty about it. Then having a lazy wander round the shops in the afternoon, getting a few bits and pieces in for dinner and then cooking for the family. I'm not religious and I don't really like roast dinner so I'm glad things have changed!
13. The only thing that makes my Sunday distinctive from the other five days that I work is that the public transport I have to take to work is nearly non-existent. I live in a small market town, don't drive and have to travel eight miles to work. I've also never been told I have the option of refusing to work Sundays! I imagine that if I told my manager about this clause in the Sunday trading act i would get a funny look and still have to work anyway!
14. The wife goes to church, I go to the junk market. Can't say we approve of each other's choices, but the whole day is certainly still special. Good thing too.
15. The motorway is blessedly quiet on Sunday - a real relief after the constant roar and drone of the other six days.
Chris H, Nottingham
16. I always have a cooked breakfast on Sunday - it's the only day I have time to do it and I usually sleep longer so I'm hungry when I do wake up! It's one way of saying "this is the weekend" or "this is MY time". It's also the day that the family gather together at Mum's for a late roast lunch.
Fiona, South Wales
17. A ride through the woods on my horse without having to worry about hunters.
Candace, New Jersey, US
18. The library is closed so I cannot study, I don't do my weekly shop because the supermarkets are always busier than first thing on Saturday morning. On Sundays I go for a morning run, do housework and watch whatever sporting delights the BBC has to offer. It is a chance to relax and to recharge the batteries before the onslaught of Monday.
Kate, Oxford, UK
19. Sunday is the day when I love to sit on the steps at Trafalgar Square overlooking Big Ben while sipping my Starbucks frappe and watching people passing by.
Pranav , London
20. I know it's Sunday when I wake up with a hangover.
... AND SUNDAYS PAST
1. Sundays back in the old days were brilliant for reading, listening to new albums, learning musical instruments and any kind of creative pursuits.
Christian Cawley, Redcar, England
2. As kids, we were quite often dragged around in really bad-fitting, Sunday-best clothes, to old flea-bitten relatives who would quite often spit in there hankies and wipe away any invisible marks on our bodies that they thought they had a God-given right to remove. Also, to have a large Sunday dinner which we were quite often forced to eat then within two hours or less, a rather large "tea" would then be prepared and subsequently force-fed again.
Adrian Wilkinson, Tyne and Wear, UK
That's Life was a Sunday fixture
3. Sundays for me when I was a child started with Sunday School at 10am, then home for a proper roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and a family trip to see my grandparents in the afternoons. Sunday tea time was normally a bacon butty and then it was bath night, followed by tea and toast in front of the fire - absolute bliss!
Tryphena Penswick, Preston, UK
4. When I was a kid in Belfast the parkie went round on Saturday evening and chained up all the swings and roundabouts, to be unlocked on Monday morning. Even then I thought it was weird.
5. Sundays ended when Esther Rantzen [on That's Life] said "and finally Cyril," this meant bed, followed by five days of school! Good riddance Sunday!
Chris, Northampton UK
6. Sundays were a nightmare for me whilst growing up in the 1970s and 80s. Nothing on telly, nowhere to go, only the abject misery of an impending school day. Sundays meant my mother's awful overcooked Sunday roast dinners, avoiding Last of the Summer Wine and Songs of Praise and trying to do that last bit of homework I'd left for as long as possible. The only high point was having a bath whilst listening to the chart rundown on Radio 1.
Tracey, South Wigston
7. I was a kid in the 40s and 50s and yeah - nothing was open, but it was a family day. Church, then with father went to the pub (I sat in the car and had a soft drink), then home for Sunday dinner (usually a very nice roast). When in teens - took walk to pub, dinner, and then movie in the afternoon. Sometimes did train spotting (popular in the steam days!)
Geoff, Orlando, FL
8. Sundays used to be a bit of a bore when I was younger and at school. Sundays represented homework day, as it was always inevitably left until Sunday! It also for me was the day I tried to stay in my pyjamas and in bed for as long as I could get away with, with my mum trying to get me up at regular intervals! Sundays felt slow and boring because you couldn't do anything, nothing was open, and it became the day to do things that you had put off all week!
Annie Hambling, Loughborough UK
9. I grew up in Birmingham in the late 50s and early 60s. Sundays consisted of going out as a family to the local parks in Sunday best clothing with my father whilst mom cooked the dinner. Listening to the Clitheroe Kid and the Navy Lark on the BBC Light Programme whilst being forced to eat sprouts. Going out in the car to Stratford on Avon or Warwick Castle via Kenilworth. Coming home and listening to Alan Freeman whilst dad developed the black and white photographs he had taken.
10. I used to work in a video shop in the late 80s before Sunday trading. We still used to open on a Sunday because we were exempt from the legislation. The shop was in the town centre and when I was walking to work I'd often see people just wandering round the empty town centre - it was just like the scene from Dawn of The Dead with the zombies wandering round the Mall.