Clock surrounded by flowers and fir cones

On Sunday 29th October at 2am the clocks went back.

Officially the end of British Summer Time.

This is the time change meant we all got an extra hour in bed – unless there were young children involved and it just meant you got up earlier and the day will be longer!!

The history

It’s believed that the idea came from an astronomer named George Vernon Hudson back in 1895, His idea was to have a two-hour daylight-saving change to the Wellington Philosophical Society. His idea was rejected until 1905 when a British man called William Willett published a leaflet that encouraged people to make the most of early morning sunlight, his idea was to bring the clocks forward in stages on each Sunday in April and then turn them back during September. This was met by opposition which then prevented it becoming law.

During the first world war in 1916 Germany took up the idea of daylight-saving time to reduce fuel consumption – the UK then followed suit. Yet it still didn’t fully come into the changes we make today until 1972. There was a wide variation on how it got to this point in some years it was adjusted from 20 mins up to 2 hours, in 1940 the clocks didn’t even go back at the end of summer.

What is British Summer Time (BST)?

BST is often called Daylight Saving Time and is the period in summer when the clocks go forward by one hour, so we get more sunlight. In October, the clocks go back again for the winter months returning to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What do people think of the clocks changing?

Some people say that changing the clocks twice a year upsets the natural rhythm of sleep, which can lead to health problems such as the increased possibility of having a stroke. Others say that if we didn’t change the clocks then darker mornings in Winter would be unsafe. Industries such as agriculture rely on there being plenty of sunlight to be able to work in.

Is it just the UK that change the clocks back?

No, there are around 70 countries that have some form of daylight-saving time, but it varies from region to region. Much of Europe and North America, and Australasia, change their clocks. Countries in Africa and Asia that are situated around the equator do not the change the time.

Featured image by Freepik