When to put your clocks forward in 2016
Summer comes to Yorkshire this weekend with the start of British Summer Time; lighter nights, darker mornings and a sense that the worst of winter is behind us.
The outside temperatures may remain a touch on the cool side but Sunday sees the introduction of daylight saving, denying those unfortunate not to have the day off a whole hour’s sleep.
Greenwich Mean Time ends at 1am on Sunday when the nation puts its clocks forward by one hour in a custom that began 100 years ago as an effort to increase productivity and reduce coal consumption at the height of the First World War.
The idea of daylight saving was proposed by American politician Benjamin Franklin in the late 18th century and championed in Britain by William Willett, who died in 1915, the year before it was implemented. Willett is the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin, the lead singer of British band Coldplay, who scored a chart hit with their single Clocks.
Daylight saving - some facts:-
- In 1916, it was physically impossible to wind the hands of some clocks backwards. Instead, they would have to be moved forward by 11 hours the following October
- There was considerable disruption to the custom during the Second World War. In 1940, the clocks were not put back at the end of summer as normal, and until 1945 the clocks were advanced by an hour each March before being set back an hour in the autumn. During this time the country was two hours ahead of GMT - this is known as British Double Summer Time.
- This was corrected in 1945 but by 1947, during a harsh winter, the clocks were put forward by an hour twice.
- From 1968-1971 the country trialled adopting BST throughout the year. However, the argument against this has always been the increased amount of darkness in northern Scotland. Road accidents increased during this period and farmers have always been strongly opposed to the idea, arguing that they would have to spend several hours working in darkness before dawn.
Don't forget to change your timepieces this weekend - although smartphones and other devices will often automatically adjust themselves, manual and some vehicle clocks will still need altering.