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What is British summer time?

Find out what British Summer Time is all about

The clocks are changing on 31st March

Don't hit the snooze... It may be an hour later than you realise!     Photo: Jenny Heath (Flickr)

ON the last Sunday of March every year the clocks jump forward one hour marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). Why I hear you ask? 

The science of it is that if you’re in the northern hemisphere, which we are, you get less daylight and more darkness in the winter and more daylight and less darkness in the summer, so putting the clocks forward forces people to get up earlier and make the most of daylight hours (and hopefully the better weather).

The tradition of putting the clocks forward began on Sunday 21 May 1916 after a long campaign by a builder named William Willett. The story goes that he was out early one summer morning riding his horse and saw that even though it was a glorious day many of the homes he passed had their curtains and blinds drawn and the residents were still in bed. He thought it was a real shame that people were not up to enjoy the summer morning. And the idea of British Summer Time accoured to him.

William Willett used his own financial resources and published a pamphlet "The Waste of Daylight" and started obbying Government in 1906.  His ideas was that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September. Arguing that amongst the many benefits it would give people more recreation time. The lobbying took many years but finally on 17 May 1916 British Summer Time (BST) was officially established. And clocks are put forward by one hour on the last Sunday in March and are reversed on the last Sunday in October.

Whilst the days of manually having to put all your clocks and devises forward are long gone, its hilarious as most people still forget and turn up for things an hour late.....although it's the perfect excuse to miss a lecture or two on Monday morning!!

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