Our warm summery evenings are coming to an end with a chill in the air and crisp leaves on the ground. This gives way to cosy evenings in.
The clocks in the UK change twice a year – in March they go forward an hour on the last Sunday and in October they go back an hour on the last Sunday. Good news to get an extra hour in bed, especially if you’re heading to Halloween parties!
On Sunday 28th October 2018 at 2am clocks will be going backwards to 1am.
When the clocks change like this, we are moving from British Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time) where clocks spring forward back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) where clocks fall back.
History has it that William Willett lived in Kent and riding his horse one morning, he noticed how many blinds were drawn in summer mornings. He thought daylight hours were wasted on people sleeping in. In 1907 he published a pamphlet “The Waste of Daylight”. He proposed to advance clocks by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September. The evenings would then remain light for longer, increasing daylight recreation time and also saving millions in lighting/energy costs.
The bill ‘The Summer Time Act’ was finally passed in Britain on 17 May 1916 and the clocks were advanced by an hour on the following Sunday, 21 May. This boosted wartime production.
Some people don’t like it and argue it doesn’t actually save any energy as we turn our lights on in the morning and it’s unpleasant going to school or work in the dark. Some suggest a one hour difference messes with our body clock and isn’t good for our hormones, sleep, diet and overall health. The debate was recently re-heated by the EU Commission’s proposal to end the practice of adjusting clocks after a survey found most Europeans opposed it. The solution would be to let each member state decide whether to go for permanent summer or winter time.
Did you know…
- … your Android or iPhone should adjust to daylight saving time on its own, as long as the automatic network time and time zone settings are on.
- … William Willet is Chris Martin’s great, great grandfather.
- … The Shepherd Gate Clock, installed in 1852, is on the outside wall at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The clock, an early example of an electric clock was a slave mechanism controlled by electric pulses transmitted by a master clock inside the main building. This clock unusually uses a 24-hour dialDon’t forget to change your clocks this weekendFor more insights into life in the UK, go to Culture & Daily Life on the website