I’ve been struggling to think of a blog topic worthy of you all for a few days now, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve managed it. However, I have uncovered a few of the United Kingdom’s lesser known laws that could get anyone of you into a heap of trouble should you ever journey to the wonderful island nation!
If, on your visit to the UK, you should decide to indulge in a random act of DIY (of the building kind, not the five-finger-shuffle variety…) you might do well to note that if you are in London, carrying a plank across the pavement you had best watch out for the local constabulary. According to Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act 1839 you could be fined up to £500!
Those of you lovely lady readers who have a penchant for letting the fun bags breathe the free air should know that you have to cover the lady lumps at all times. Unless of course you are in Liverpool and happen to have taken a holiday job in a tropical fish store; then you are free to be topless at any time.
The Houses of Parliament, although a popular place for tourist snappers of all race, creed and political leaning, must be a very boring place. Could you imagine being there everyday listening to the same monotone drivel day in and day out? Well, if for some bizarre reason you should find yourself in this position, on no account should you go and die of boredom. The reason for the ban on dying comes down to the Houses of Parliament being a royal place, meaning anyone who croaks therein is entitled to a state funeral.
Speaking of the recognisable Houses of Parliament, if you take a tour of these noble buildings you should leave your suit of armour and your horse at home. An unrepealed law from 1313 forbids wearing armour and/or riding a horse inside.
Another ancient law that you ladies should be aware of is that it is illegal for any lass to eat chocolate whilst on a public conveyance. However, I would dearly love to watch some poor English bobby pry chocolate from the claws of any woman affected by PMT…
Not all UK hotels are fabulous 5 star affairs with excellent cleaners and room service, so you could find yourself in the position of having to clean your own rugs. However, don’t even think about taking them outside for a good old beating before 8am unless you fancy a trip to the local clink and a fine of £200 thanks to a law passed in 1839.
Where ever you stay in the UK there will be plenty of opportunities for a good old knees up, but if you’re planning any fancy dress evenings you may want to think carefully about your costume. Under the Seamen's and Soldiers' False Characters Act of 1906, anyone going to a fancy dress party dressed as a sailor is committing an offence by attempting to impersonate a member of the armed forces.
Traveling around the UK in the family way and worried about desperate dashes to the loo girls? Worry no more, because according to UK mandate a pregnant woman can drop down and relieve herself where ever she needs to, including in the helmet of the nearest, unfortunate policeman.
Enjoying the breeze atop a windy British hill? Feel like flying a kite or playing games? Well think about it first. Section 60 of the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act states it is an offence punishable by a £200 fine to fly a kite or play a game 'to the annoyance' of others.
Be careful when you are sending your postcards home telling loved ones of the fabulous time you are having. It might seem like a simple mistake to stick a stamp on upside down but putting HRH's head topsy turvy is a treasonous offence – still punishable by death.
Be sure to take plenty of sterling with you so that you can’t find yourself in the situation of needing to ask a kindly stranger for change, we wouldn’t want you arrested for being a vagrant! An 1824 law states: "Every person placing himself in any public place, court, or passage, to beg or gather alms ... shall be deemed an idle, disorderly person and an incorrigible rogue."
It’s quite common in the US to just stick out your thumb and whistle for the nearest passing cab, but in bony old Blighty you could get your cabbie into serious trouble. According to section 33 of the 1843 London Hackney Carriages Act, the driver of a licensed cab with its 'For Hire' light on is only allowed to seek trade when at a standstill.
The same law amended in 1853 also made it illegal for poor, overworked Hackney cab drivers to take two consecutive days off work as it would be to the detriment of the capital and its travel network. Spare them a thought when thinking about a tip.
Chester is a very popular place with tourists, and it is easy to see why. The ancient walled city is gorgeous, and being so close to welcoming Wales there is plenty of greenery on offer. However, should any of you be of Welsh decent (and I know several of you who are…) it might be best to simply lock the doors and drive straight through as quickly as possible. An uncongenial by-law prohibits Welshmen from entering the city of Chester before the sun rises and demands they leave again before dusk.
It is also still technically acceptable to shoot a Welshman on a Sunday inside the city walls – as long as it's after midnight and with a crossbow. Geraint looked mildly concerned when I set up the target in the back garden and started dusting off old Betsy…
Reference - http://www.lemondrop.co.uk/2010/01/29/the-uks-most-ludicrous-laws/?icid=main|uk|dl4|link3|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lemondrop.co.uk%2F2010%2F01%2F29%2Fthe-uks-most-ludicrous-laws%2F