Why do the clocks change?
It’s always useful to remember the phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’ when it comes to the clocks change, but why do we change the time twice a year?
In 1907 William Willett, Chris Martin’s (Coldplay) Great Great Grandfather published a leaflet called The Waste of Daylight, encouraging people to get out of bed earlier. As a keen golfer, he got irritated when the sun went down, ending play. Despite his campaigning, Daylight Saving Time wasn’t implemented by Government until 1916, a year after this death.
The British Summer Time Act was created in 1972. Twenty years later, the changing of the clocks in Britain was aligned with other European countries and from 2002 onwards, the EU stipulated that all member states should adjust their clocks on the last Sunday in March and October.
The EU has recently voted to abolish the clocks change across all member states.
In the UK, campaigners have sought a return to a permanent British Summer Time to save energy and increase the time available in the evenings. An attempt was made by backbench MPs to change BST, but this was not passed by the House of Commons. Opponents pointed out that it would create disadvantages to those living in northern parts of the UK: for example, in parts of Scotland sunrise would occur at around 10am in winter and children would have to travel to school in darkness.
The debate continues, but it looks as though we will be changing the clocks for this year at least.
BRITISH SUMMERTIME 2020
Clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on 29 March
Clocks go back 1 hour at 2am on 25 October