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This Weekend Is Special
Jan Harris, Assistant Editor
The sundial can't tell British Summer Time - photo by Little Koshka
That's right this weekend is special for two reasons.

Tonight we put the clocks forward one hour and spring into British Summer Time and tomorrow morning we wake up to Mother's Day.

British Summer Time starts this weekend. The clocks will be changing on Sunday at 1am when we put the clocks forward one hour.

Every March the clocks spring forward an hour in the switch from GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) to BST (British Summer Time), also known as Daylight Savings Time (DST).

When the clocks change, it does mean we will lose an hour of sleep but we are gaining lighter evenings and the promise of warmer weather.

Forward or back?

Most of us struggle to remember if we put the clocks forward or back. This happens twice a year. In spring we go forward and in autumn back.

The easiest way to remember which way is the saying 'Spring forward, fall back'.

When do the clocks change?

In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.

Clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am Sunday 31 March 2019 and go back 1 hour at 2am on Sunday 27 October 2019.

photo by Chris Knight
Why do the clocks change?

Benjamin Franklin, who was an American inventor and politician, came up with the idea in 1784 while he was in Paris.

The idea was that if people got up earlier when it was light it would save on candles.

The idea of British Summer Time (or Daylight Saving Time) arrived in the UK much later.

An Englishman William Willett, (the great great grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin), in 1907 thought it was a good idea too and proposed it to British Parliament.

Parliament discussed the idea of moving the clocks forwards and backwards in 1908 but Willett wasn't able to convince the people that it was a good idea.

Sadly William Willett died in 1915 and the following year in 1916 it was introduced in the UK.

Technology

Experts say that because we all tend to rely on technology most of us will forget to put our clocks forward this weekend.

We live in a digital world so most people will check the time on their phone first, which would be done automatically.

photo by Earls37a
The future

There is an ongoing discussion as to whether in the UK we should continue to change our clocks.

A committee of MEPs has voted to scrap the custom of changing the clocks in spring and autumn by 2021.

The proposed end to the spring and autumn custom of changing our clocks could affect Britain even if it leaves the EU.

So don't forget to put your clocks and watches forward 1 hour when you go to bed tonight otherwise you might be late for that very important appointment, because tomorrow is Mother's Day.

In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October.

The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There's more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)


Also by Jan Harris...
A Day For England!
Earth Day 2019 - Protect Our Species
Easter Customs And Traditions - Easter Sunday
Easter Customs And Traditions - Good Friday
The Pink Moon Rises On Good Friday


This Weekend Is Special, 30th March 2019, 18:00 PM