Why the clocks ‘spring forward’ this month

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The clocks are ticking down to British Summer Time which starts this Sunday (March 26).

This does mean we will lose an hour’s sleep Saturday night/Sunday morning, and it means the mornings will be darker.

Yet, on the flip side, the evenings after work will be lighter.

Each year billions of us around the world wind our clocks forward in the spring and turn them back again in the autumn.

According to Royal Museums Greenwich, the idea of summer time, or daylight saving time, was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.

But it was a keen horse-rider called William Willett who seriously proposed it in Britain in 1907, arguing not changing the clocks meant we were wasting useful daylight first thing in the morning.

The year after William’s death in 1915, the Germans adopted daylight saving time and, not to be disadvantaged at a time of war, the UK followed suit within a few weeks.

Summer time was first defined in an Act of Parliament in 1916 that stated for a certain period during the year legal time should be one hour in advance of GMT.

However, for the duration of the Second World War, British Double Summer Time was introduced, with the clocks moving forward by two hours.

Interestingly, the length of British Summer Time was changed in 1998 to bring the date of the start of summer in line with the rest of European Community.

Over the years there have been many debates as to whether we should continue with changing the clocks or even if we should have a permanent British Summer Time.

What do you think? Should we stop changing the clocks? Or perhaps we should bring back double summer time? Let us know.

To find out more about this topic, visit www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/british-summer-time-and-daylight-saving

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