24 March 2018

Guilty

Meet William Willett (1856-1915). This moustachioed fellow is largely responsible for the unnecessary hassle that befalls every British home, business, public building and church each spring and autumn when, respectively, we are required to put our clocks and watches forward by one hour and then back by one hour. It is such a waste of time and very unhelpful  to the normal functioning of society.

Willett was a successful builder in and around London. For obscure, personal reasons he got a bee in his bonnet about changing our clocks to mark a period that would be known as Daylight Saving Time or British Summer Time. As a wealthy Tory party supporter, he was able to bring pressure to bear on influential politicians to take up his hare-brained cause.

The idea was much debated and finally in 1916 his scheme was  introduced but Willett had died the previous year so he never got to endure the tiresome process of putting timepieces forwards and then back each year. 

There are those who still make convoluted arguments that support the continued existence of British Summer Time but I am with the camp who see it as an utter nuisance. Normal life simply does not need this bi-annual disruption. Apart from anything else, the world we live in now is less entrenched in its time habits than the world that Willett occupied. 

Tonight we put the clocks forward again thanks to William Willett and I will once again be cursing him. Instead of focusing on clocks his energies would have been better spent on improving working conditions in the construction industry that spawned his personal fortune.
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P.S. Willett is the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin who is the leader of the extraordinarily successful English rock band - Coldplay. He must be gutted.

38 comments:

  1. We turned our clocks forward two weeks ago and it has taken me almost this long to get used to it! I do not know anyone that likes daylight savings time but yet we continue to use it. Actually in the U.S. Arizona and Hawaii do not use it but the rest of us put up with it. How interesting that the man who started this is the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin.

    Do you think anyone actually believes we are saving time??? I'm not falling for it! ; )

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    1. It would be best for business - especially international business - to do away with all this confusing clock changing and as you suggest - at a personal level - it disturbs our mental and physical equilibrium.

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  2. We to still have a week or two of daylight savings time to endure here. It would seem that the summer alone is not long enough for daylight saving because we have almost six months of it.

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    1. I would like to save some daylight in a glass jar and release it on a dark and chilly winter's day.

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  3. Personally, I think "daylight saving" is ridiculous,and not needed.

    We don't wind our clocks forward or backward here in Queensland, thankfully. Some (the usual flag-wavers) still jump up and down about wanting Qld to toe the daylight saving line with the other states...and the discussion goes on and on. So far, other than a trial period back in the late 80s-early 90s, Queensland has stood firm, as have our clocks.

    All that extra daylight fades the curtains and upsets the cows!!!

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    1. Sounds like there's a lot of common sense in Queensland.

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  4. I don't see any problem at all....either way. Thusly, I do understand the arguments on both sides. In this confusing, terrorist infested, gun-toting, climate warming, bad sexual conduct, school-shooting, cancer fighting, bad grammar, media-bashing, Donald loving, getting a lot older, gang infested cities, opioid addicted villages, war-mongering leaders, starving children, homeless vets, bad knees times, I wonder why we even give one second to worrying about daylight savings time!

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    1. Wow! Your second sentence was quite something PT. I guess you are right - the clock changing issue is of minor concern compared with everything else.

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  5. The U.S. transitioned a few years ago from an April-to-October DST period to our current monstrosity, March-to-November. I have never heard of anyone who likes it, but we do as we are told.

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    1. I guess that is the bottom line sir - we do as we are told.

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  6. Thanks for the reminder in 35 minutes it will be 1 am

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    1. It's 11.35 by my watch. Are you sure you adjusted your clocks last October? Perhaps you have been living on borrowed time.

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  7. Glad to hear that you don't agree with this daylight saving twaddle as we call it here in Oz. When you already have long evenings of twilight I don't understand why you need the daylight to extend till 10:30 or 11:00pm. Then it's daylight again at 4;30 or 5:00am !!! In places ( like Queensland) where our Summer daylight ends by 7:00pm I could understand extending it but frankly I'm personally glad we opt out and just go with nature's way. I rather like a warm, DARK, Summer's night out under the stars away from the blazing sun.
    PS. looks like the cool weather is staying around for us???

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    1. This Sunday morning is lovely and sunny here in South Yorkshire. We have the feeling that winter hs truly gone now and even if we do get a couple more cold blasts. they will not last for long.

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  8. Opinion surveys here oppose the change twice a year. They don't care which time we stay on , just don't change. We changed about 2 weeks ago.

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    1. Most British people just go along with this manmade craziness, not realising that it would be so easy to stop it.

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  9. In full agreement, YP. Although I did go hunting for info on traffic accidents and heart attacks after the springtime loss of an hour, and found those to increase . . . but in the same CBC article, a University of British Columbia sleep expert asserted that the increase in deaths attributable to the loss of an hour was not as great as the number of lives saved by gaining an hour of light in the fall/winter - the way he put it was "...although daylight saving time causes an initial hazard, in the end there is a life-saving benefit. There is nothing that comes without its cost, and in this case the cost of saving lives in the long-term is losing lives in the short-term." Food for thought. But I still don't like changing back and forth.

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    1. I think it would be easy to create an "objective" argument that demonstrated the negative impacts of changing the clock twice a year. There are many "studies" where the conclusion precedes the research.

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  10. That article is here in case anyone wishes to read it:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/end-of-daylight-saving-time-2015-6-eye-opening-facts-1.3296353

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  11. I'm with Peace Thyme Garden and Weather Station on this issue. I can think of many disruptive issues far worse than having to change your clock twice a year. And I don't mind longer daylight hours where I live. Especially when I was working and valued the extra hours of daylight after work do gardening & other outdoor activites.

    Alphie

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    1. As Attila The Hun used to say, "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion".

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  12. Fortunately it's not something that affects the balance of my life, I seamlessly get up that first morning and slot into whatever light and time that's going on, but I do see it as a pointless and unnecessary exercise twice a year.

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  13. To me, it's the nuisance of going round and changing all the clocks - that's all ! It's not as ridiculous as the UK being an hour behind the rest of Europe !

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    1. Great Britain, Portugal and Ireland are all in the same time zone but it is easy to see that being in the same time zone as the rest of western Europe would have definite benefits for commerce.

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  14. I like daylight saving time because it means longer hours on the beach. That is why Italians eat so late at night; they're still soaking in the sun :)
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Italians eat their evening mels very late don't they Maria? Does this timing change in the wintertime?

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    2. Yes it does, just a little. Working hours actually gives the rythm but, during summer, especially on holiday, we tend to stay outside longer so, we eat later from 9:00pm onwards. People of southern Italy eat even later than us, I think eating late has a lot to do with the weather, because of the heat; cooler to eat at sunset.
      x

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    3. Here in northern England, most people have their evening meals between 6pm and 7pm. I am a little envious of the more leisurely dining habits of Italian people.

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  15. As the amount of daily light stays exactly the same I really don't see the point !I thought it had something to do with Scottish farmers wanting the light at a different time of day!!

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    1. William Willett was out riding one morning and the birds weren't yet whistling. That's when he hit upon his "great idea" (not).

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  16. Just been reading lovely article about “Bosh” in You mag! Your boy is certainly going places! Congratulations all round.

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    1. Thank you for this comment Frances. We haven't seen the article yet. I just sent my wife out to buy a copy of "The Mail on Sunday". The Bosh! journey has been an exciting ride so far for our Ian. I so much hope that the adventure continues. The book will be launched on April 19th.

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  17. I grew up in Petts Wood where the great man lived. There you can find Willett Way and also the Daylight Inn is the main pub in Station Square. ou'' have to visit it when you are next in London. On the train line from Victoria to Orpington.

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    1. If there is a statue of Willett at Petts Wood, I plan to blow it up.

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  18. I love the cartoon that was shared to my Facebook page, where an Indian Chief, when told of the Daylight Saving ritual, remarked, "Only a fool would think that cutting a foot off the blanket and sewing it on the other end would make a bigger blanket."
    Says it all really.

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    1. Ha-ha! I love that Rambler! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Thank for your very good article! i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!

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