Times are a-changing – have you put your clocks back?

by Bonnie

By the time you come to read this, hopefully you’ll have remembered to set your clocks back an hour and you’ll have enjoyed an extra 60 minutes in bed.



By the time you come to read this, hopefully you’ll have remembered to set your clocks back an hour and you’ll have enjoyed an extra 60 minutes in bed.

But isn’t it a hassle to go around the house and make sure every watch and clock is displaying the same time twice a year? There’s always one that gets missed, so whenever you wander past it you get confused and think you’re living in some weird twilight zone.

Every year there are calls from various organisations to end British summer time for all sorts of reasons. This autumn, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has stepped up its efforts to finish off BST by releasing the results of a poll which found the majority of drivers would support a change in the time system.

Some 65 per cent of those polled said they would like to see a double summer time plan implemented, which would mean the clocks go forward by one hour throughout the whole year and then forward again one hour in spring and back one hour in autumn.

The IAM claims double summer time would reduce the number of traffic accidents and could even cut road fatalities.

Chief executive Simon Best commented: “Changing the current summer time system would save lives. Children especially are more likely to be out and about after school and an extra hour of daylight will make them more visible.”

He called for a three-year pilot scheme for double summer time to see whether it works to decrease accidents.

“If the trial period proves the new daylight hours to be a disadvantage, it is clear that the current system should be reinstated. However with convincing evidence of the potential benefits, it seems only right that we pilot a new system.”

The idea of British summer time was proposed in 1907 by William Willett, who campaigned to move clocks forward by 80 minutes in 20-minute increments at the beginning of spring and revert to Greenwich Mean Time in the autumn.

In 1916, an Act of Parliament defined the concept of summer time and GMT+1 started in the spring months.

Double summer time was then introduced during the Second World War and lasted until July 1945 and by the 1980s countries in western and central Europe had decided to coordinate the date and time of their clock changes.

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