Clocks Go Back This Weekend!

Clocks Go Back

The clocks go back this weekend – but how did this tradition start and could we soon be seeing it come to an end?

Make sure to adjust your watch, clocks and digital devices this weekend – the clocks go back on Sunday 25th October 2020!

The time change will take place at 2am on Sunday morning and will mean we’ll get one extra hour of sleep during the transition time!

It’ll be brighter in the mornings too, as with every year when the clocks go back, we’ll gain more sunlight during the earlier parts of the day.

But how did this slightly unusual tradition begin?

Here’s a quick history on why we put the clocks back every year.

Why the Clocks Go Back Each Year

To understand why the clocks go back each year here in the UK, we have to go as far back as the 17th century and to the country of America.

It was said that American politician Benjamin Franklin first suggested the notion of turning the clocks back to utilize the sunlight in the mornings better and his thoughts were published in his essay ‘An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light’ in 1784.

Originally dismissed as a comical idea, the idea was then picked up a few thousand years later in 1907 by Englishman William Willett.

It was at this stage that he created a pamphlet on the concept, titled ‘The Waste of Daylight’, in which he proposed to the British House of Commons to put clocks forward one hour in the Springtime, and for clocks to go back for an hour during the Autumn and Winter months.

While it was initially rejected, the tradition we’ve now come accustomed to today was officially introduced by Parliament in 1916 and was known as the 1916 Summer Time Act.

Daylight Savings Time to be Scrapped?

But could this yearly tradition now be coming to an end?

That’s what policy and lawmakers from the EU were discussing earlier last year, with new backing from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in 2020 to scrap the idea of clocks going forward and backwards throughout the year.

In fact, public opinion has soured on the idea of Daylight Savings Time, with a YouGov survey indicating that 59% of the British public would prefer to retain British Summer Time all year long.

Aside from public preference however, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believe that ending the tradition of clocks in the UK going back during the Winter and Autumn months could help lessen the amounts of pedestrian casualties.

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, they also suggest that having more evening daylight throughout the year could help to keep spirits high and will allow us to spend more time doing the things we love within the current regulations.

Be Prepared for When the Clocks Go Back

For now though and until further actions have been taken, Daylight Savings Time is here to stay, so it’s important to ensure you adjust the time on all of your digital devices and watches at 2am on Sunday morning.

Some digital devices, such as phones, laptops and tablets will be set to recognise the change automatically, but it’s always best practice to double check so that you avoid confusion upon waking up the next morning.

Above everything else though, enjoy an extra hour in bed this weekend – the luxury might not be around forever!

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Sam Rose

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