At last! Lighter evenings and warmer days are coming – and after the cold snap we’ve had, British Summer Time can’t come soon enough.
This winter we’ve seen more than enough freezing fog, snow and ice, let alone the relentless wind.
But sunny, warm Spring days are on their way – and putting the clocks forward an hour will immediately give us even more daylight as we head home from work or walk the dog.
Plus we’ve got the Easter bank holidays to look forward to.
So, just when do we put the clocks forward and why does the date change every year?
Here’s what you need to know.
When do the clocks go forward?
British Summer Time (BST) starts at 1am on the last Sunday in March.
At this time, the clocks ‘spring forward’ by one hour.
In 2023, this falls on Sunday, March 26 – that’s next weekend at the time of writing.
So you still get that extra hour in bed at the moment.
Why do the clocks go forwards?
According to Royal Museums Greenwich, ‘although this change has no effect on the length of each day, sunrise and sunset each appear an hour later in the summer’.
The idea was put forward in 1907 in Britain by builder William Willett, who was angry at the ‘waste of daylight’ during summer mornings.
Germany was the first country to adopt daylight saving time, in 1916. The UK did so a few weeks later, along with many other nations involved in the First World War, and others followed.
Curator of the Royal Observatory, Louise Devoy, says: ‘When the clocks first changed, there were concerns that delicate striking clocks could be damaged by people trying to force the hands back an hour. Official warnings and guidelines were printed in newspapers and magazines to reduce the number of clock “casualties”.
During the Second World War British Double Summer Time – two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) – was temporarily introduced, and during the winter, clocks were kept one hour ahead of GMT. This was to ‘improve productivity’.
Today about 70 countries around the world adopt some form of Daylight Saving Time.
When do the clocks go back again?
We’ve got until 29 October 2023 at 2am – that’s when the clocks go back to GMT.
But the good news is, at least you get an extra hour in bed.
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