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Restore Records Management News

British Summer Time

Published on 09 April 2020

British Summer Time

So, here is my little bit about British Summer Time mentioned in my last blog.

We’re all used to the ritual of putting the clocks forward in March and back in October, but did you know this has been going on since 1916?

The idea had been discussed for some time before that, but the most successful campaign was led by a builder from Kent called William Willett. His idea was to put the clocks forward 20 minutes a week over four weeks to provide more daylight hours for recreation in the evening and to save costs on fuel. Unfortunately, he died before he saw his plans come to fruition, but in 1916 the decision was taken to put the clocks forward one hour so there was daylight from 4am until 10pm.

The idea proved such a success that between 1968-71 the UK trialled staying on BST all year round. There were strong arguments on both sides. The longer, lighter evenings all year allegedly saw a reduction in crime rates and a reduction in road accidents (although these claims were difficult to prove), and the additional hour of daylight in the afternoons was popular. However, during the winter months farmers and those living in the north of the UK did not appreciate the very long, dark mornings and so, after a House of Commons vote, the twice-yearly clock changing returned.

But the debate returns pretty much every year as to whether we should continue to change the clocks, stay on GMT all year, stay on BST all year or move to BST and change to BST+1 in the summer.

Although modern gadgets and clocks make changing the time far quicker than it used to be, it is still a minor chore. But spare a thought for the team who have to change the four sets of hands on the Big Ben clock, that takes a staggering five hours each time!

Our hard-working drivers are out delivering whatever the time, adapting as necessary to the current circumstances. We are prioritising NHS and other frontline providers but we are of course providing a service to the rest of our customers. If you would like to contact us we are available on email, through our website or on 0333 060 8594.