This weekend saw the clocks going back an hour. It made me wonder why we have daylight saving and would not having daylight saving make thatmuch of a difference ?
If it had not been for William Willetts’ tireless campaigning more than a century ago, nobody in the UK would have put their clocks back this weekend and our days would be all the shorter for it.
Mr Willett died before his proposal of daylight saving time was introduced, and was unaware of how widespread its use would turn out to be. The idea came about when William Willett was thinking what a waste it was for people to sleep through the first two to four hours of daylight in the summer and thought that it was a terrible waste. He realised that trying to get people up an hour earlier every day was going to be a problem, so the alternative was to kid them into doing so – this meant putting the clocks forward.
William Willett was born in Farnham, Surrey in 1856 – he was the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and was a builder by trade and had gained a reputation for his high-quality housing. The idea came about when he was riding his horse through the woods one morning and saw how many houses that he rode past had their curtains and blinds closed despite the sun being high in the sky and thought what a waste it was that people were not enjoying the extra sunlight in the morning.
He had within a year gained huge support for his idea from several Parliamentarians, including the young Winston Churchill. But despite all the positive feedback it was an idea that was not followed up till after his death.
The Germans were the first to put the daylight saving idea into practice and used increasing productivity in the munitions trade as the reason for implementation, it was in May of 1916 that the UK followed suit.
Daylight saving has a number of pros and cons and the question is whether or not British Summer Time stays throughout the year. There are people who feel the clocks should be kept forward all the time, This would not go down very well in the far north as it can get very dark in the morning when the children are walking to school.
So let us know what you think – should we abolish day light saving?