British Summer Time allows those in Great Britain to experience an extra hour of evening sunlight during the summer months, taking it away from those mornings. At 1 a.m. on the last Sunday of March, the clocks are moved forward an hour. The clocks are then moved back at 2 a.m. on the last Sunday of October.
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Although Germany was the first country to have a form of Daylight Saving Time, Britain quickly followed. The Germans made the move on April 30, 1916. Britain passed the Summer Time Act of 1916 and made the change on May 21 to help save on the coal and energy costs that were so extensive during World War I. The clocks were then moved back on Oct. 1.
William Willett was the first person to push for Daylight Saving Time to be used in Britain. He produced a pamphlet in 1907 that endorsed the change. It was titled “The Waste of Daylight.” He continued his campaign until he passed away the year before the change was enacted by the British government.
Britain actually used British Double Summer Time on several occasions, including every year from 1941-45 and in 1947. This change was done to help limit the impact of fuel shortages. The island also went in the other direction from 1969-71. No British Summer Time was utilized those years as part of an experiment. Results were inconclusive, and the experiment concluded.
Some today desire a change from the British Summer Time format.
Those who wish to see a return of British Double Summer Time endorse statistics that show a decrease in the number of automobile accidents and savings on electrical and other energy costs when an hour of daylight is added to summer evenings.
However, many would prefer a move back to keeping the same time throughout the year. Many state the negative health impacts that result from the stress of losing an hour of sleep once every year. They also say that the benefits of British Summer Time are overstated or are not accurate.
Also, many in Scotland would prefer to not add another hour of sunlight to summer evenings. In Wick, located near the northern edge of mainland Scotland, a sunset in June would be as late as 11:24 p.m., and a sunrise in December would happen as late as 10:02 a.m.