Daylight Saving Time

Ever wondered why the clocks go back and forth but never quite got round to finding out the answer?

Here are the essential facts about Daylight Saving Time that you need to know:

• The idea of Daylight Saving was first proposed by British-born New Zealander George Vernon Hudson in 1895.
• British Summer Time (BST) was suggested in 1907 by William Willet, a keen horse rider who was frustrated with early morning sunlight going to waste in the summer months. He created a pamphlet titled ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in which he campaigned for the clocks to be changed, much to the opposition of farmers, but Willet died in 1915 before the reform was accepted.
• Austria and Germany were the first to implement DST in 1916, closely followed by the UK and the rest of Europe. The First World War was a major factor in the adoption as money needed saving during wartime.
• The current system has been in place since 1972, although proposals for keeping the clocks one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year round have been frequently debated in parliament.
• Lighter evenings have been merited with reducing road traffic accidents and crime rates2.
BST is thought to be good for physical and psychological health, particularly in relieving the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
• Most digital clocks will automatically make the switch tomorrow but if you’re still using a clock that ticks, don’t forget to put it forward by one hour at 1 AM GMT.

1 The News, 2015. Eight things you need to know about the clocks going forward. [Online] Available at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/eight-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-clocks-going-forward-1-6653039

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