Saturday, 24 October 2015

Clocks go back to GMT Good or Bad for selling ?

Monday Morning Farnham Town Hall Clock not yet adjusted
( Ignore the yellow date and time on photo,
I have not yet found out how to correct the time on my
new Vivitar vivi cam S126
As soon as President Xi Jinping of China departed the UK last Friday after his top drawer state visit ,we might spare a thought for the staff of the Royal Collection who will spend over 50 hours adjusting over 1000 clocks spread across the official residences of The Queen this weekend.

In more modest homes we are reminded by our Government to put our clocks back for Sunday When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Plaque in South Street
A son of Farnham, Surrey one William Willett introduced the idea of British Summer Time, also known as Daylight Saving Time,in 1907. 

After some commercial experience, he entered his father's building business, Willett Building Services.

Between them they created a reputation for "Willett built" quality houses in choice parts of London and the south, including Chelsea and Hove, including Derwent House. 

He lived most of his life in Chislehurst, Kent, where, it is said, after riding his horse in Petts Wood near his home early one summer morning and noticing how many blinds were still down, the idea for daylight saving time first occurred to him.

He wanted to prevent people from wasting valuable hours of light during summer mornings.

He published a pamphlet called 'The Waste of Daylight' in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the UK nation’s clocks.

Willett proposed that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September.

Willett then spent the rest of his life trying to convince people his scheme was a good one.

 Sadly, he died of the flu in 1915 at the age of 58; a year before Germany adopted his clock-changing plan on April 30, 1916 when the clocks were set forward at 11 pm.
Britain followed suit a month later on May 21.

Farnham Town Hall Clock
By then Britain and Germany had been fighting each other in the First World War (1914-18), 

Supporters for the proposal argued that such a scheme could reduce domestic coal consumption and increase the supplies available for manufacturing and the war effort and a system that could take pressure off the economy was worth giving a go.

The Summer Time Act of 1916 was quickly passed by Parliament and the first day of British Summer Time, 21 May 1916, was widely reported in the press.

The Home Office put out special posters telling people how to reset their clocks to GMT, and national newspapers also gave advice.

The idea was not a new one, however. In 1895 an entomologist in New Zealand, George Vernon Hudson, came up with the idea to the Wellington Philosophical Society outlining a daylight saving scheme which was trialled successfully down-under in 1927.

Debates concerning Daylight saving continue to the present day. It can be traced back to standardised time which was introduced with the expansion of the railways in the 1840s.

Supporters of moving the clocks backwards and forwards argue that it saves energy, promotes outdoor leisure activity in the evening in summer, and is therefore good for physical and psychological health, reduces crime and is good for business.

Retailers much prefer the transition to DST than the transition to GMT. For them, having one less hour of sun in the evening translates into fewer people going shopping after work, which in turn means less business.


The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents, RoSPA is pushing for the UK to adopt a Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) system, which would see the time move one hour ahead throughout the year. Under these plans, the UK would operate under GMT+1 in winter, and GMT+2 in the summer.

“A change to SDST would reduce CO2 pollution by at least 447,000 tonnes each year, increase working-day overlap with Europe and stock-markets in Asia, and allow an extended tourism season, boosting the sector by an estimated £3 billion. Not to mention the extra hours of daylight that we will all have to enjoy the outdoors.” 

Moving the clocks permanently forward by an hour would also bring the UK in line with Central European Time, which means Britain would work during the same business hours as other European cities.

My trusty Lightbox to fight off the SAD during the UK winter
My answers are inadequate
To those demanding day and date
And ever set a tiny shock
Through strangers asking what's o'clock;
Whose days are spent in whittling rhyme-
What's time to her, or she to Time?

-Dorothy Parker

Related Links

No comments:

Post a Comment