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Byline: ELEANOR DICKINSON

Oh no, is it that time of year again? Yes, indeed it is. At 1am tomorrow morning the clocks go forward one hour. And yes, that does indeed mean one less hour of sleep for everyone. This is when the UK moves out of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to British Summer Time (BST).

Sorry come again? Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), also known as World Time, marks the starting point of every time zone in the world. Though now largely replaced by atomic time (UTC) it is still seen as the correct time for every International Time Zone. OK, what does Greenwich have to do with anything? Greenwich is a rather fancy suburb outside of London, known for ships, sailors and GMT.

Once a maritime base, its naval history led to the development of universal time. It was assigned a 0 degree longitude and its GMT position in 1884.

Right, that's all very well, but why do I have to get less sleep? Good question! When coming up with GMT, boffins at Greenwich failed to factor in this would give our gloomy isle fewer hours of much needed daylight during the summer months.

This made our already sun-starved selves not happy! I thought British people like complaining, though? Well in this case, complaining too much actually got things changed. In 1907, keen horse rider William Willett became so sick of galloping the hills in the morning pitch-black, he began campaigning for putting the clocks back. And it worked.

Really, what a top bloke Yes, but unfortunately poor Mr Willett died before his campaign was put into place in 1916. So he never got the chance to go for that sunny morning ride.

But for the rest of us, we got British Summer Time (BST). That still means another hour lost in bed right? Be glad it's only an hour, in 2011 there was even talks to put the clocks forward two hours!

The Coalition at one point considered the change to create a "double summertime" to help encourage tourism and bring us in-line with Europe.

Sure it's not just the EU to bring us "more in-line'"? No, scientific studies show that there tends to be less crime and fewer road traffic accidents when daylight hours last longer in the evenings.

Also, countries with more evening daylight hours generally have happier residents. So there is method in the madness. OK whatever, but what happens if I forget to re-set by clock?

Well according to critics of BST, forgetting to re-set the clock is detrimental to the economy because of the cost of re-scheduling meetings and travel times.

But then others say abandoning GMT altogether would have a better effect. Who knows? One important question, can I use it as an excuse to be late for work?

Absolutely not! Considering you have all of Easter Sunday to re-set your clocks, that is a pretty lame excuse. Just console yourself with the fact that you can reclaim that lost hour on October 27, when they go back again.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 30, 2013
Words:507
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