Clocks change 2020: When do the clocks change?

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Darker nights are beginning to draw in and the temperature is beginning to drop, meaning we are heading into winter across the UK. This means the clocks will go back sooner rather than later – but what date do the clocks go back in 2020?

Twice a year households across Britain are treated to and robbed of an extra hour in bed thanks to the clocks going forward or back.

Throughout the year, the UK has two different time zones – BST and GMT.

British Summer Time takes place over the warmer summer months, when the days are longer and the weather is better.

Greenwich Mean Time is then used for the rest of the year, when the days are shorter and the weather is colder and wetter.

When do the clocks go back?

British Summer Time ends on the last Sunday of October each year.

This year, this means you will have to put your clocks back by one hour on Sunday, October 25.

The clock goes back to 1am and 2am in the morning, fortunately meaning we all gain an extra hour in bed.

Unfortunately, this means it will start to get darker earlier in the evenings, and lighter in the mornings.

Why do we use Daylight Savings?

BST begins in March and always ends in October.

The current system of changing the clocks at the end of March and October has been in place since 1972.

In 1784, inventor Benjamin Franklin suggested people could use less candle wax by getting out a bed earlier and making use of the natural daylight.

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Fast forward to the 20th century, a man called William Willett introduced the idea of Daylight Saving Time in Britain in 1907.

In the pamphlet, Willett wrote: “Nevertheless, standard time remains so fixed, that for nearly half the year the sun shines upon the land for several hours each day while we are asleep, and is rapidly nearing the horizon, having already passed its western limit, when we reach home after the work of the day is over.

“Under the most favourable circumstances, there then remains only a brief spell of declining daylight in which to spend the short period of leisure at our disposal.”

Daylight savings became law in 1916 and was put in place primarily to stop people wasting vital working hours of light during summer mornings.

In the same year, Germany and Austria also introduced their version of daylight savings.

By how much the clocks changed was experimented with for a number of years, before settling on one hour either way, twice a year.

Throughout history the clocks have usually changed by an hour, however, half adjustment (30 minutes) or double adjustment (two hours), and adjustments of 20 and 40 minutes have also been used in the past.

A two-hour adjustment was used in several countries during the 1940s and elsewhere at times.

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