Exactly when the clocks go back this year

by 24britishtvOct. 23, 2021, 10 p.m. 25
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The clocks go back one hour on October 31.

The exact time will be at 2am on the night of October 30 into October 31.

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

The time on your smartphone and laptop will change automatically, but you will have to manually adjust the time on your oven, car, and wall clocks.

The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time).

When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

That also means the nights will start to get darker faster, cumulating in the longest night of the year - Tuesday, December 21 for 2021.

Will the UK do away with clock changes?

The European Parliament voted in 2019 to scrap clock changes across the EU. But the amendment, originally meant to be introduced in 2021, has not yet taken legal effect. Even when it does, it will be up to EU states to decide if they continue to use daylight saving time.

The UK could find itself in a dilemma as to whether to follow its European neighbours.

Depending on its decision, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland might end up being in different times.



Daylight savings, or summer time was introduced in the beginning of the century to make the most of increased summer daylight hours in the northern hemisphere.

It was American politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin who first suggested the idea in 1784. He claimed that if people got out of bed earlier, they would spend more of their waking time in daylight, thus burning fewer candles.

In 1895, George Hudson, a British-born New Zealand entomologist and astronomer, proposed the modern daylight saving time. He wanted to have more after-work hours of sunshine to go bug hunting in the summer.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin's great-great-grandfather, William Willett, campaigned to advance clocks by 80 minutes, in four separate moves of 20 minutes each - a rather convoluted proposal.

A keen golfer, he got cross when the Sun went down and had to stop playing because he couldn't see.

While the idea of advancing the clocks was initially rejected by the House of Commons in 1908, British Summer Time (BST) was finally established in 1916.

The UK went two hours ahead during the Second World War - what was called British Double Summer Time (BDST).

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