Saturday, 29 October 2011

Daylight Saving Time - an Edwardian Invention!

At 2am on Sunday 30 October, the clocks will go back one hour, bringing us in line with Greenwich Mean Time, or for those in the aviation industry, Zulu Time (Zulu Time is the same as GMT, and applies in aviation throughout the world, no matter what time zone you are in).

Builder William Willett, well known for making high quality houses, had the idea of Daylight Saving Time when out riding his horse in the morning, and noticing many houses still had their blinds drawn, meaning that despite the fact the sun was well up, the occupants were still asleep. In 1907, he used his own money to publish a pamphlet called 'The Waste of Daylight', proposing that the clocks be advanced by 80 minutes, in four twenty-minute incremental steps during April and then reversed during September. The increase of sunlight in evenings would mean more recreational time and save £2.5 million in lighting costs. As the forerunner of DST, the clocks would be changed at 2am, but instead of twice a year, eight times a year, on Sundays during April and September.

From vigorous campaigning he began to win over politicans, and was examined by a Parliamentary committee in 1909. The outbreak of the First World War brought the idea back into fashion due to the need to save energy, especially coal as used in power stations - Germany had introduced the same scheme. The bill, known as the Summer Time Act was passed in the UK on May 17 1916, and on Sunday 21 May the clocks were advanced by one hour at 2am, and brought back again on October 1 1916


  1. How interesting! I like Daylight Saving in colder climates but I'm not so sure about hot climates. It seems to make stifling afternoons even worse!

  2. Great article ...Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.

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