Daylight Savings Time

Despite the Coronavirus pandemic dominating much of our conversation, you may be aware that it’s the time of year when the clocks are due to change and be asking ‘when’ they change. Well, it is in fact this weekend coming, the 25th October 2020 at 2am, meaning one more glorious hour of sleep.

Though we know the clocks change every so often, have you ever wondered why?

In 1907, William Willett put forward his proposal for Daylight Savings Time, as he argued that we were wasting important daylight by rising at the same time in Summer as Winter. He worked out that if we advanced our clocks by 80 minutes during April and then reversed it in the same way in September that we wouldn’t lose daylight.

Though Willett first proposed the idea in 1907, Britain didn’t adopt his proposal until 1916, not long after Germany had taken up the idea. The First World War made the idea particularly appealing as the war was taken its toll on the nation and anything at that point that could improve the nation’s productivity. Furthermore, the change in clocks helped the coal supply during the ward as the domestic usage was lowered, making more available for manufacture.

Willett, was not the only pioneer to suggest a change in the clocks, in 1784 Benjamin Franklin joked that if the clocks were to change, people wouldn’t waste candles having to burn them for longer. We wonder if he was really Willett’s inspiration.

In the present, there are many things the clocks changing affects, not just our sleep schedule. Farmers in the North like the changing of the clocks as allows for more hours working in daylight. A farmer typically begins work around 5am, if the clocks weren’t to change it would mean dairy farmers in the north would not see the dawn until 9am.

Spring forward, fall back

Many of us will ask ‘when do the clocks go back?’, if you simply remember the phrase ‘spring forward, fall back’, as the clocks always spring forward an hour on the last Sunday in March, and fall back on the last Sunday in October.

One thing to keep in mind this weekend following the clock change is, it’s going to get dark, really dark. Winter solstice will only give us a measly 7 hours and 40 minutes of daylight and the mornings will be later, meaning the time you wake up will be effected so make sure you are getting sufficient rest.

How will you be spending your extra hour this weekend? In bed? Or will you be doing something more practical, we want to hear from you!