Sure, winter has its perks – there’s Christmas and… other positives that don’t spring to mind right now (pun not intended), but it’s safe to assume there’s a lot of us looking forward to putting the big coats away and enjoying some warm weather – Britney Spears being one of them.
After we put the clocks forward – marking the end of winter and introducing longer days – it’s a countdown to summer, but why do we do bother changing the clocks? And what has Coldplay got to do with it?
Read on to find out…
When do the clocks go forward?
This year, we’ll put the clocks forward at 1am on Sunday 29 March.
The clocks are always changed on the last weekend of March; this marks the beginning of British Summer Time (BST), sometimes known as Daylight Savings Time.
BST will end – with the rolling back of the clocks one hour – on Sunday 25 October.
Luckily, most of us now use Smartphones and similar devices which will automatically change when they’re meant to so you won’t really have to do much changing yourself, unless you have any manual devices you still use.
Why do we change the clocks?
Clocks change by an hour twice a year – once for spring and once for autumn.
If you can forgive the Americanism, a fun way of remembering is with the mnemonic ‘spring forward, fall back’ – we bring the clocks forward for spring and put them back an hour for fall (autumn).
The practice of changing the clocks coming into the winter months came about in order to give us more light in the mornings.
It was first thought of by American politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin, who suggested that if people got up earlier – when it was lighter – everyone would save on candles.
In the UK, it’s actually Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s great-great grandfather who petitioned to introduce it.
William Willett published a leaflet called The Waste of Daylight in 1907 – mostly because he was annoyed at having his golf game cut short when the sun went down.
Unfortunately for Willett, the UK didn’t actually implement it until after his death.
In 1916, during World War One, the German army turned the clocks forward as a way of conserving energy. Many (but not all) European governments followed suit shortly afterwards – including the UK.