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Timely reminder on why we change the clocks

By Mark Edwards

Don't forget to put the clocks forward an hour.
Don't forget to put the clocks forward an hour.

Don’t get caught out – it’s time to change the clocks again.

The clocks go one hour forward in the early hours of tomorrow (Sunday, March 29) at 1am, heralding in the lighter nights and (hopefully) better weather as spring gets well underway.

The clocks go back again in autumn on Sunday October 25 2015.

The hour changes in spring and autumn in an attempt to make the most of the light.If you struggle with which is which, try this to help you remember: “Spring forward, fall back”.

Fall is, of course, the American term for autumn. We hope you forgive us if you take this as a slight on our native language.

British-born New Zealander George Vernon Hudson first proposed the modern idea of a two-hour daylight saving in 1895.

British Summer Time was suggested in 1907 by William Willett, a keen horse rider and frustrated by the ‘waste’ of daylight in the early mornings during the summer.

Willett’s pamphlet ‘The Waste of Daylight’ campaigned for the clocks to be changed, but he died in 1915 before he could see it come into being as the idea was opposed by many, especially farmers.

Austria and Germany were the first countries to enact ‘Daylight Savings Time’ in 1916, quickly followed the same year by the UK and much of Europe.

It was enforced during the First World War, in a bid to save money during wartime.

The current system has been in place since 1972, proposals to keep the clocks at least one hour ahead of GMT all-year round have been debated frequently in parliament but never implemented.

The lighter evenings are also said to reduce road traffic accidents and crime.

It is argued BST is good for physical and psychological health, particularly in terms of relieving the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


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