The clocks go back this month

It happens every year, just like clockwork.

It’s official, we’re heading full steam into autumn and winter leaving British Summer Time for Greenwich Mean Time.

In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1 am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2 am on the last Sunday in October.

In case you get confused, British Summer Time (BST) is when we lose an hour’s sleep, and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is when we gain it back.

They went forward in March, but when will the go back again for the autumn and winter months?

The clocks went forward this year on March 31, which meant we lost an hour.

They will go back on the last Sunday of October and we will gain that hour back (yay).

Specifically, the clocks will go back an hour at 2 am on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

In 2020, the clocks will go forward on March 29, and they will come back on October 25.

Why do we bother to change the clocks?

Initially, it was rolled out to save energy and get people outside. Why waste electricity when there is perfectly good daylight to be used?

The campaign for British Summer Time came about at the beginning of the 20th century. Moving the clocks forward in the summer months would give us darker mornings but lighter, longer evenings.

The idea was proposed in Britain by builder William Willett, says Dr. Richard Dunn, senior curator for the History of Science at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Mr Willett was “incensed at the ‘waste’ of useful daylight during the summer. Though the sun had been up for hours as he rode his horse through Chislehurst and Petts Wood, people were still asleep in bed”.

>British Summer Time was adopted in Britain in 1916 to save fuel and money.

Since then, Britain has toyed with moving the clocks a number of times, including bringing them forward two hours ahead of GMT during the Second World War. They were also brought forward for periods in the spring of 1947, in line with fuel shortages.

There was an experiment, between 1968 and 1971, which kept clocks one hour ahead of GMT all year round.

Britain then reverted to our now familiar system of GMT in the winter and summertime in between March and October.