With some of the ‘events ‘going on around us, we may have forgotten that daylight saving starts this weekend. Dates and times for 2019 will begin at 01:00 on Sunday, 31 March and ends at 02:00 on Sunday, 27 October
British Summer Time was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916, after a campaign by builder William Willett. His original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sundays in April and by the reverse procedure in September. In 1916, BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October. Willett never got to see his idea implemented, having died in early 1915.
In the summers of 1941 to 1945, during the Second World War, Britain was two hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST). To bring this about, the clocks were not put back by an hour at the end of summer in 1940; in subsequent years, clocks continued to be advanced by one hour each spring and put back by an hour each autumn until July 1945. The clocks were brought back in line with GMT at the end of summer in 1947.
An inquiry during the winter of 1959–60, in which 180 national organisations were consulted, revealed a slight preference for a change to all-year GMT+1, but instead the length of summer time was extended as a trial. A further inquiry during 1966–1967 led the government of Harold Wilson to introduce the British Standard Time experiment, with Britain remaining on GMT+1 throughout the year.
Analysis of accident data for the first two years of the experiment, published in October 1970, indicated that while there had been an increase in casualties in the morning, there had been a substantially greater decrease in casualties in the evening, with a total of around 2,500 fewer people killed and seriously injured during the first two winters of the experiment.
The trial was the subject of a House of Commons debate on 2 December 1970 when, on a free vote, the House of Commons voted by 366 to 81 votes to end the experiment.
The commission of the European Union has after investigating the opinion among people, in 2018 proposed to abandon summer time in the European Union. The legislative bodies, that is the council and the parliament have supported this, although with a slower timetable than proposed. The time of introduction is 2021. The UK having left the EU by 2021 is not bound by this but might have to consider following it.