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Time to turn back the clocks

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 October 2015

A general view of the Elizabeth Tower (commonly referred to as Big Ben) at the houses of Parliament, Westminster London. Picture Arnaud Stephenson

A general view of the Elizabeth Tower (commonly referred to as Big Ben) at the houses of Parliament, Westminster London. Picture Arnaud Stephenson

Archant

People can look forward to an extra hour in bed and lighter mornings when the clocks go back at 2am on Sunday.

In case the weather had not made it clear, October marks the official end of British Summer Time (better known as Daylight Saving Time) and a revert back to Greenwich Mean Time.

The changes date back to 1907 when an Englishman called William Willett led a campaign for people to make better use of summer mornings.

William, a keen horse-rider, was incensed at what he felt was a “waste” of useful morning daylight.

While he was out riding, people were still in bed sleeping and so he published a pamphlet called The Waste of Daylight in 1907.

Originally he proposed that time was moved forward by 80 minutes in 20-minute weekly steps in April reversing in September.

He died in 1915, a year before the idea was adopted first by the Germans swiftly followed by Britain in May 1916.

The government initially refused to introduce Daylight Saving Time, but decided as Britain and Germany were at war (1914-18) to try any method that saved on fuel and money.

Parliament quickly passed The Summer Time Act 1916 and the first day of British Summer Time, 21 May 1916, was widely reported in the press.

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