Since when did Summer Spring forward?

24_Hour_ClockBritish summer time, or BST, is also known as Daylight Saving Time. We are all familiar with the clocks changing twice a year, yet most of us are grateful for the reminders in the papers. We are also familiar with the concept of trying to get better use of the daylight, of taking advantage of the light mornings and lighter evenings. And we know that other countries do the same. It has effects not only on individuals but also on accidents and even, it has been studied, on the FTSE.

However, perhaps not all of us are familiar with its history. The idea has been around for well over a 100 years. In 1905, William Willett suggested the clocks be moved forward four times by 20 minutes throughout April. Robert Pearce then brought this notion before parliament but it was opposed.

DST was first adopted to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I at 11:00pm (23:00) on April 30, 1916. It was quickly followed by Britain and many countries from both sides. All countries reverted back after the war though and did not make its comeback till Roosevelt established it in 1942 once more for the same reasons it was established prior.

In the UK, the clocks were not put back that year, but continued to be put forward then back by one hour for the next three years, occuring up to two hours difference to the continent. This is known as Double Summer Time. A similar experiment was made between 1968 and 1971, when the clocks remained turned forward.

DST is nowadays established in over 70 countries, affecting millions of people. However, not everywhere does it start and end the same time. Whilst in Europe the clocks now change in the last weekend of March and again in October, there were initially even differences between the Europen countries. In February 2002, the Summer Time Order 2002 changed the dates and times to match European rules for moving to and from daylight saving time.

Despite all this, BST or DST remains a debated issue. There was even a debate of Ireland and Scotland being able to set their own summer time, occurring two time zones within the UK. This was rejected by Prime Minister David Cameron, though, who favoured a united time zone policy .

See more by

Connect with Oxford Home Schooling