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British Life and Culture

by Mandy Barrow

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British life and culture - England, Scotland and Wales
Moving the Clocks
Forward / Back one hour in the UK

clockChanging the clocks

In the UK, we all change our clocks and watches by one hour, twice a year.

Last Sunday in March
We add an hour and go onto what is called British Summer Time (BST).

Last Sunday in October
We put our clocks back one hour and adhere to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

clockWhen do the clocks change in the UK?

March 2013

The UK Clocks moved forward one hour on

Sunday 31 March 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST)

October 2013

Clocks move backwards one hour.

Sunday 27 October 02:00 BST** (01:00 GMT )

**As the UK will be on BST (British Summer Time), we will change our clocks at 2 am on Sunday 31 October.

Future dates

2013: the Sundays of 31 March and 27 October
2014: the Sundays of 30 March and 26 October
2015: the Sundays of 29 March and 25 October
2016: the Sundays of 27 March and 30 October

clock What time do the clocks change?

The clocks are always changed at 01:00 GMT (02:00 BST).

In the Autumn (October), as we are on BST (British Summer Time) before the clocks change, we change the clocks at 02:00.

In the Spring (March) we are already on GMT so change the clocks at 01:00

clock When is the UK on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)?

November to the end of March

At 2 am (01:00) GMT on the last Sunday in October, clocks move back by one hour for the end of British Summer Time. (We move our clocks back one hour from 2am to 1am)

clock When is the UK on British Summer Time (BST)?

April to the end of October

At 1 am (01:00) GMT on the last Sunday in March we move our clocks forward by one hour for the start of British Summer Time.

Summer time is from the last Sunday in March until the last Sunday in October.

clockWhy do we change our clocks?

We've been changing our clocks forwards and backwards in the UK since 1916. It's all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a man called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent (near our school).

William Willett first proposed the idea of British Summer Time in 1907 in a pamphlet entitled 'The Waste of Daylight'. Willett had noticed that the summer mornings light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward. After campaigning for years the British Government finally adopted the system a year after Willett's death.

clockWhen do other countries change their clocks?

European Union - Most countries change their clocks on the last Sundays of March and October.
North America and most of Canada on the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.
Egypt, Namibia and Tunisia are the only African countries who observe daylight saving.
New Zealand and parts of Australia are the only countries in Oceania that currently put their clocks forwards and backwards.

Related pages on our website

Day Length
What is day length?
Day Lengths in the UK

Day Length around the World
How does latitude affect Day Length?

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All the materials on these pages are free for homework and classroom use only. You may not redistribute, sell or place the content of this page on any other website or blog without written permission from the Mandy Barrow.

© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2014

Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consultant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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