Events Clocks Go Back

Published on October 27th, 2018 | by Sam Rose

Clocks Go Back This Weekend!

Make sure you’re prepared and alert as the clocks go back this weekend!

The close of October can mean only one thing – it’s time to turn back time as we switch from BST (British Summer Time) to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The change means we’ll get an extra hour of the day (which for many is an extra hour of sleep!) and it’ll get darker a lot earlier on throughout the day. But how did the tradition of turning the clocks back at every end of the Summer season first come about?

The Tradition of Turning Back the Clocks

William Willett

So why do the clocks go back every year? Well, the idea behind this was originally proposed by a builder named William Willett. His reasoning to make the change when the world passes from the Summer season into Autumn was that he was outraged at how much useful daylight was being wasted during Summer. He also remarked that even thought the sun had been up for hours and he was out riding his horse through the woods, he could see that people were still spending time asleep in bed. Willet then took his idea of moving the clocks backwards and forwards each year to the House of Commons, which would then introduce the British Summer Time measurement of time in 1916. Britain also made the change as they believed it would help in the reservation of money and fuel.

Clock Changing Experiments


After this point, there were several instances of experimentation in adjusting the time and clocks within the country. During the Second World War, Britain put the time two hours forward ahead of that already set by Greenwich Mean Time. In line with fuel shortages, the clocks were brought forwards throughout periods of Spring in 1947 as Britain continued to tinker with the setting of time. So much so that one of the final experiments held in the country took place between 1968 and 1971. During this point, the clocks were held one hour ahead of GMT for the entire year as to examine how this affected day-to-day life. After all these different ways of setting the time for the country, Britain then agreed to set the clocks back after October and put them back forward after March.

The Clocks Go Back Campaign Around the World


Whilst William Willett was the key influencer in the BST and GMT time systems being invented, there were other figures who tried to establish clearer understandings of time. Daylight Savings Time (DST) was a concept first mentioned by Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US in 1784. His reasoning for wanting to change the time system was to encourage people to wake up earlier and to save on the usage of candles.

More than 100 years after this, an entomologist from New Zealand by the name of George Vernon Hudson, suggested clocks should be put forward two hours in the Summer. It wouldn’t be until 1916 that the clocks going forwards and backwards at certain times in the year became an official practice. The agreement was also made that the change would only happen on a weekend and in the middle of night to avoid disruption to businesses and schools.

Stay Enlightened and On Time this Autumn with Post Office Shop

Now you know the original history behind when the clocks go back, why not get ready for the big switch with our range of Clocks? Perfect for any home or office and with designs to suit any style or preference, you can be sure you’re always on time and tracking the day correctly with our extensive selection. Don’t forget about a handy Stopwatch if you’re the sporty type too!


And when the darker nights start to close in, be sure to add some brightness to your evenings with our range of Desk Lamps and Floor Lamps too!


So, keep calm and remember that the clocks go back this weekend – make sure to remember to set them to the correct time!

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