Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time, or Summer Time as it is known in Britain, was invented
by William Willett (1857 - 1915), who was a London builder living in Petts
Wood in Kent. In 1907 he circulated a pamphlet to many Members of Parliament,
town councils, businesses and other organisations, he outlined that for nearly
half the year the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we
are asleep, and is rapidly nearing the horizon, having already passed its
western limit, when we reach home from work before it is over.
His proposal was to improve health and happiness by advancing the clocks
twenty minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and by reversing this idea by
the same amount on four Sundays in September. He reckoned that it would not only
improve health and Happiness but it would save the country £2 1/2 million
pounds, that was also taking into account the loss of earnings to the producers
of artificial light.
Though the scheme was ridiculed and met with considerable opposition a
Daylight Saving Bill was introduced in 1909, though it met with no success
before war broke out.
In April, 1916, Daylight Saving Time was introduced as a wartime measure of
economy, not only in Britain but, within a week or so, in nearly all countries,
both allied and enemy. Sadly, William had died the previous year so never saw
his idea put into effect.
Most countries abandoned Daylight Saving Time after the war had finished ,
most reintroduced it eventually, and some even began to keep it throughout the
In 1968 to 1971 Britain tried the experiment of keeping BST - to be called
British Standard Time - throughout the year, largely for commercial reasons
because Britain would then conform to the time kept by other European Countries.
This was not good for the school children of Scotland as it meant they had to
always go to School in the dark. The experiment was eventually abandoned in
1972, Britain has kept GMT in winter and BST in summer.