Published On: Mon, Mar 25th, 2019

Clocks change 2019: When do the clocks go forward and why do clocks change?

The days are currently getting brighter and brighter as spring arrived this month. Soon, the clocks will change and go forward, giving Britons and hour less of sleep. When the clocks go forward, the evenings will get lighter and the mornings darker.

When do the clocks go forward?

The clocks will go forward by one hour at 1am on Sunday, March 31 this year.

The period when the clocks are one hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST).

The change will mean more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings.

Why do the clocks change?

If you live near the equator, day and night are nearly the same length (12 hours).

But elsewhere on Earth, there is much more daylight in the summer than in the winter.

Because of this, Britain is currently changing the clocks twice a year to go forward on hour and back one hour in the winter.

The period when the clocks are one hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST) and when it goes back the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The main purpose of turning the clock back (or forward) is to make better use of daylight.

In Britain, changing the clock began in 1916 when the Government passed the Summer Time Act in 1916, during the First World War.

Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather, a builder called William Willett, thought it was a good idea so he started campaigning for people to get out of bed earlier.

Mr Willett spent his life trying to convince people to get behind his suggestion, but daylight saving was only introduced a year after he died.

However, the idea of changing the clocks started in the USA in 1784.

The true inventor Benjamin Franklin suggested if people got up earlier, when it was lighter, then it would save on candles.

Many people have different opinions about whether the clocks should change or not.

Critics of the twice-yearly clock changes say it can cause long-term health problems, especially among young children and elderly people.

Others argue that making the switch to give extra morning daylight in winter and evening light in summer can help reduce traffic accidents and save energy.

Last year, the European Union announced they will scrap the twice-yearly seasonal clock change across the bloc from October 2019, leaving member states to decide by April whether they will stick permanently to summer or winter time.

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