Friday, 27 March 2009

Remember, the Clocks go Forward Sunday at 1.00am!

On Sunday 29 March 2009 at 1.00am, Greenwich Mean Time ends and British Summer Time begins. So you need to move your clock forward one hour to 2.00 am.

Well it's now over 100 years since British Summer Time was first proposed. Why you might ask.
Well the idea of British Summer Time (BST), sometimes known as Daylight Saving Time, was first proposed by a keen horse-rider, William Willett, who was incensed at the 'waste' of useful daylight first thing in the morning, during summer. Though the sun had been up for hours during his rides through the local woods in Chislehurst and Petts Wood, people were still asleep in bed.

In 1907 he published a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight, outlining plans to encourage people out of bed earlier in summer by changing the time on the nation’s clocks. He spent the rest of his life fighting to get acceptance of his time-shifting scheme. He died in 1915 with the Government still refusing to back BST.

Britain first adopted William Willett's Daylight Saving Time scheme in 1916, a few weeks after Germany. For years, the British Government had refused to introduce Daylight Saving Time, but by then, Britain and Germany were fighting each other in the First World War (1914-18), and any system that could save fuel and money was worth trying. The Summer Time Act of 1916 was quickly passed by Parliament and the first day of British Summer Time, 21 May 1916, was widely reported in the press.

Within a few years of its introduction, most countries reasonably north or south of the equator had adopted Daylight Saving Time. But it has been controversial since the day William Willett first proposed it back in 1907, following his rural rides through Petts Wood.

Permanent summer, 1968–1971
In 1968, the clocks went forward as usual in March, but in the autumn, they did not return to Greenwich Mean Time. Britain had entered a three-year experiment, confusingly called British Standard Time, and stayed one hour ahead of Greenwich until 1971.

This was not the first experiment to shift the clocks in winter. In the Second World War (1939-45), Britain had adopted Double British Summer Time, with the clocks one hour ahead of Greenwich in winter and two hours ahead in summer.

When the British Standard Time experiment ended, the Home Office carried out an exhaustive review to find out whether it had been successful. The answer was both yes and no. There were ‘pros and cons’ to having the clocks forward and, on balance, the Government decided to return to the original British Summer Time.

After a century of daylight saving, we still cannot agree on whether it is a good thing or not. When proposals to extend the system are occasionally made in Parliament, protest soon comes from those affected by its disadvantages. Daylight Saving Time tries to treat a complex network of symptoms with one solution. But not everybody sees it as a cure. So the debate continues.

Extract from the National Maritime Museum, Greeenwich website

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Skywatch Friday - 27 March 2009

Llafranch
A view of the very pretty little coastal town of Llafranch on the Costa Brava. We visited with some Spanish friends one very hot September afternoon.

Must go back there one day!

Like to join Skywatch Friday? Just go to the Skywatch website and post your pictures. It's easy and we'd like to see them.





Still Knitting!

I'm beginning to think I'm being a bit addicted to knitting. Normally I can just stop to do a bit of housework but at the moment ...