I’ve just been reminded by Mrs Strachan senior that our clocks go back in a few days….. Those bloody bailiffs never give us a break!…. Seriously, though, at the weekend 2020’s British Summer Time (BST) concludes when clocks turn back an hour.
In chez Strachan these sixty minutes aren’t ordinarily utilised by augmenting my sleep longevity. Moreover this ‘gift’ of time is predominantly spent changing non-computerised time-keeping devices to reflect this horological amendment.
Apparently, when BST was first implemented in 1916, during WWI, many clocks and watches couldn’t have their hands wound backwards without breaking the mechanism. Instead, owners had to put the clock forward by 11 hours when Summer Time came to an end….. Well, I thought it was interesting anyhow!!
The idea of the clock change was the brain child of builder William Willetts, who thought daylight could be utilised more effectively over the summer months. He lobbied to get this implemented in 1907, however, the Government of the time were far from accommodating regarding his suggestion.
Their desire to keep the status quo a consequence of governmental claims the extra hour of light overnight discriminated against vampires….. Read into that what you will!
He doesn’t look it, but this guy’s pleased the nights are going to be getting longer!
During the early 20th century, the British government were very cautious about introducing unnecessary legislation. The worsening political stability in Europe meaning only essential changes, adding tangible value to people’s lives, reached the statute book.
This strategy so rigidly enforced the only new acts announced during Opening of Parliament in 1913 were the legalisation of hanging basket use on horse drawn carriages, along with criminalisation of the word crotchless.
It wasn’t until 1916, when the Germans implemented daylight saving changes, the UK Government succumbed and followed suit. With the two countries being at war, our teutonic enemy weren’t enamoured at UK’s mimicking of their daylight saving notion.
Irked at the British’s plagiarism of the idea, the Germans employed subterfuge to commence a clandestine strategy of disrupting bedding plant compost supplies.
This escalation worsening relations between the nations, with Britain threatening to “throw the kitchen sink” at Kaiser Bill’s men, in pursuit of Allied victory. Unfortunately, this threat proved ill-thought out as the Allies forgot they didn’t have a launching mechanism for a kitchen sink.
Subsequently, WWI lasted a further two years, resulting in a terrible further loss of life on both sides.
There’s many reasons I can’t wait to bid British Summer Time (BST) farewell. However, on Planet COVID, GMT taking up the chronological baton will be merely a case of ‘Meet the new boss!….. Same as the old boss’.
The turning back of time this weekend isn’t the type of regression yearned for by the globe. As we tentatively board our time-traveling DeLorean, a return to pre-coronavirus days our aspirational destination.
Instead, this Sunday morning, we in the UK will get an extra hour in bed, prior to waking to witness politicians evade answering Andrew Marr’s questions on BBC1. Our emotional malaise no doubt augmented by hangover and a stark reality that coronaviruses prevailing grip on the UK is getting stronger, not diminishing.
Good riddance British Summer Time 2020!
On your watch, can you endeavour to be a bit less toxic than your predecessor, Greenwich Mean Time….. I realise it’s unlikely, however, I can but ask!!
Incidentally, William Willetts never lived to see the advent of daylight saving time in the UK….. He was run over one evening by a tram, in 1913, on a poorly lit street in Chesterfield.