Hello GMT: Clocks Go Back Tonight – 29 October 2011
Clocks go back one hour ‘tonight’.
The minute following 1:59am tomorrow (Sunday, 30 October 2011) morning will be the second 1:00am of the day. That’s because, across Europe, we put our clocks back by one hour ‘tonight’ to welcome back Greenwich Mean Time.
Why do the clocks change?
The excellent website of Woodlands Junior School in Kent explains:
We’ve been changing our clocks forwards and backwards in the UK since 1916. It’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a man called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent (near our school).
William Willett first proposed the idea of British Summer Time in 1907 in a pamphlet entitled ‘The Waste of Daylight’. Willett had noticed that the summer mornings’ light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward. After campaigning for years the British Government finally adopted the system a year after Willett’s death.
You may have read reports of a possible change to this tradition in the news recently, and Conservative MP Rebecca Harris appeared on The Daily Politics yesterday to discuss why she is hoping to move the UK to European time. But for now, at least, it seems that our watches will be ticking back an hour for another year.