Don’t forget…Clocks go back 1 hour

Written by on October 28, 2017

End of British Summertime at 2am

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back by 1 hour at 2am tomorrow (Sunday 29th October) to mark the end of British summertime (BST) as Britain reverts back to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for the winter.

The changing of the clocks means we gain an extra hour in bed, as we turn the clocks back 1 hour.

We won’t see lighter nights again until Sunday March 25th 2018, when the clocks will wind forward again at 1am and British Summer Time begins.

Who had the idea to change the clocks?

Edwardian builder William Willett introduced the idea of British Summer Time, also known as Daylight Saving Time, in 1907.

A keen supporter of the outdoors, he noticed that during the summer people were still asleep when the sun had risen and wanted to stop Brits from wasting valuable daylight hours. Back then the clocks were set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) meaning it was light by 3am and dark at 9pm midsummer.

He proposed that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September. However, his idea was ridiculed and the Daylight Saving Bill got nowhere in Parliament when it was introduced in 1909.

Willett, however, would not be deterred. He spent the rest of his life trying to convince people his scheme was a good one. Sadly, he died of the flu in 1915 at the age of 58; a year before Germany adopted his clock-changing plan on April 30, 1916 when the clocks were put forward at 11pm. Britain followed suit a month later on May 21 and Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey all followed.

In 1940 during the Second World War, the clocks in Britain were not put back by an hour at the end of Summer Time. In subsequent years, clocks continued to be advanced by one hour each spring and put back by an hour each autumn until July 1945. During these summers, therefore, Britain was two hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST).

 The clocks were brought back in line with GMT at the end of summer in 1945. In 1947, due to severe fuel shortages, clocks were advanced by one hour on two occasions during the spring, and put back by one hour on two occasions during the autumn, meaning that Britain was back on BDST during that summer.

2016 marked 100 years since Britain started to change their clocks.

Clock Coincidence?…

William Willett is a great-great-grandfather of Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin.

Coldplay released the song “Clocks” in 2002 from their album “A rush of Blood to the Head” which also features a song called”Daylight”

A wind -up for some….

Spare a thought for the staff of the Royal Collection. They spend over 50 hours adjusting over 1000 clocks spread across the official residences of The Queen.

Following months of planning, staff at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will start work in the early hours of tomorrow morning to ensure that the time is set accurately.

There are 379 timepieces at Windsor Castle, 500 at Buckingham Palace and 80 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.


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