Sunday, March 29, 2009


I can't believe how fast this year is flying by! We put the clocks forward one hour at midnight last night to mark British Summertime. The bad news is we've all lost one hour's sleep! However the good news is lighter evenings and not having to drive home from work in the dark!

The origins of daylight saving lie in 18th century Paris, when Benjamin Franklin first came up with the idea of making the most of the daylight and saving money spent on candles in 1784. The idea was met with mixed reactions and wasn't heard of again until the early 1900's when William Willett, a London businessman published a booklet entitled, "The Waste of Daylight". Willett believed that summer morning light was being wasted as people slept and that time would be better utilised in the afternoons by putting the clocks forward one hour. Willett's suggestion became a reality around the time of the First World War when the British Government adopted the idea, following in the footsteps of their German and European neighbours to save on coal and boost wartime production. Many other countries followed suit and nowadays around seventy countries have daylight saving time.

There are many advantages to daylight saving and British Summertime, the main one being a reduction in the number of fatal road traffic accidents. In addition, I always think that lighter evenings make people feel better and encourage them to get out of the house more and do outdoor activities. Anything that promotes our health and wellbeing can only be a good thing. Now all we need is some nice Summer weather to go with it! Roll on Summer!


Fran Hill said...

We only remembered that the clocks were being put forward at 11 last night, which meant it was really midnight, and also meant it was too late to go to bed early. Very, very confusing. Interesting post. I didn't know about the origins.

Naomi said...

I think you always feel a bit disorientated for a while when the clocks are put forward Fran. Glad you enjoyed the post. I'm coming over soon to say "Hello".