Daylight Saving...it’s a bit Marmite! Some people love the extra daylight and use it to enjoy the outdoors for longer; they exercise more and generally enjoy the fresh air. It’s thought to boost tourism as people are more likely to go to bars and restaurants rather than stay home. However, many argue that it doesn’t save the money or energy thought and more than inconvenience those whose body clocks have been disrupted, it can actually contribute to serious health problems such as heart attacks and depression.
Many people believe that Daylight Saving was introduced by farmers as a way utilising the sunlight during harvest seasons, but this is a common misconception. In fact, whilst the idea was championed for many years in Britain by William Willet, a builder from Chislehurst in London, it wasn’t introduced here until 1916. Germany moved to Daylight Saving along with Austria during WW1 and Britain followed shortly after in a bid to reduce energy consumption by minimizing the use of artificial lighting and increase war production and make better use of daylight. It has since been adopted by many countries across the world and although the idea is regularly challenged, it remains firmly in place. For now.
So, what does it actually mean? In practical terms we lose an hour of sleep every spring and gain an hour of sleep every autumn, hence the mnemonic “Spring Forward, Fall Back”. We are fortunate in the current technological era that there is less chance of spending two Sundays per year in ignorant bliss only to find ourselves an hour early – or worse, an hour late – for work on the following Monday morning! Smart phones have thankfully almost eradicated this all too common scenario. However, just in case, be aware! The clocks will go forward one hour at 1:00 am on Sunday 29th March 2020 and will go back by one hour, again at 1:00 am, on Sunday 25th October 2020.
Kalewa, The Warren, Caversham,
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Gilston Park, Hertfordshire