The 1931 census was taken on the night of Sunday 26th April 1931. In theory, it should have been available for public access in 2032. However, a fire at a store in Hayes, Middlesex, on the night of Saturday 19th December 1942, destroyed all the records (the complete schedules, enumeration books and plans) for England and Wales.
As the 1941 census was not taken because of the Second World War, it means that there is a 30-year gap in records and family historians will have to wait until 2052 for the 1951 census to become available. An important interim “mini-census”, the 1939 Register, was taken on 29th September 1939, soon after the outbreak of war, which helps to bridge the gap.