EVERY year we put our clocks forward in March and back in October as British Summer Time (BST) starts and ends.
Even though everyone tries to remember to set their alarms that hour earlier (or savour their extra time in bed), inevitably it always catches a few people out. Here’s what you need to know…
When do the clocks change for British Summer Time?
The clocks went forward at 1am on Sunday March 26, 2017.
The change heralds the coming of spring by ensuring there’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings.
To avoid confusion, many use the phrase “spring forward in spring, fall back in fall” to remember when the clocks change.
The clocks will go back again in the early hours of Sunday October 29.
Did I gain or lose an hour when the clocks change?
As the clocks go forward, the change to BST means you sadly lost an hour of sleep.
Happily when the clocks change again later in the year, at 2am on October 29 to be precise, you’ll be able to claim those 60 minutes of lost sleep time back.
Beware of your smartphone and other internet-connected devices like tablets and computers, because often they will change the time automatically instead of requiring you do it manually.
Why do we have the BST and DST?
Whether Daylight Saving Time is effective is the topic of much debate.
Despite trying other methods of clock-changing, such as double summer time (GMT + 2 hours) and a permanent British Summer Time (GMT + 1 hour), the current method has remained in place since 1972.
Supporters say it reduces traffic accidents in winter, saves energy, boosts tourism and encourages more people to exercise outdoors.
The golf industry says one extra month of Daylight Saving time can generate up to £246.6 million a year in extra sales and fees.
Critics claim darker mornings are dangerous for children walking to school and say the energy saving argument is invalid if people use fans and air-conditioning in the warmer months.
A YouGov poll in 2011 found 53 per cent of Brits support moving clocks forward permanently, while 32 per cent oppose the change.
When permanent BST was trialled in northern Scotland from 1968 to 1971, a record number of people were killed or seriously injured.
What is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time (DST) was created by William Willett in 1907 in a bid to stop people wasting valuable hours of light in the summer months.
By setting the clocks back in winter, Brits get an earlier sunrise and earlier sunset. In summer the sun rises and sets one hour later than it would without DST.
In a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight” Willett suggested clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes over four stages in April, and reversed the same way in September.
Willett died of the flu in 1915 and Germany adopted his clock-changing plan on April 30 the following year.
Britain followed suit one month later on May 21, as World War One was underway.
The Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed by Parliament and the first day of British summer was reported as May 21, 1916.
THEY HAD ONE JOB
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