Sunday, as well as being Halloween, also marked the end of British Summer Time (BST) for this year as the clocks were turned back an hour in the wee hours of the morning. We are now back on good ol’ Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for the duration of the winter.
This, of course, means lighter mornings (for a few weeks at least) but darker evenings. With the days getting ever shorter as we near the winter solstice, the hours of sunlight that we have are getting less and less. It is already darker at 5:00 pm now than it was at 10:00 pm at the height of summer! It is for this reason that a “Lighter, Later” campaign has been gaining some following over recent years. Their idea is for Britain to adopt Central European Time (CET), meaning that our clocks would be advanced to an hour ahead of GMT during the winter, and an hour ahead of BST during the summer. Their argument is that this will move an hour of sunlight from the mornings to the evenings, when more people are up and about to enjoy it.
Is this a good idea? It will certainly alleviate some of the darkness in the evenings, which can make the winter days seem so short and miserable, and it is said that it will also save on electricity as the lights won’t be turned on until an hour later. That is all good. But, the mornings will be terribly dark when a lot of people are getting up and going out in the mornings, or when children are walking to school. Whatever we do with the clocks, we will still only have the same amount of daylight as before. And it is not as though the mornings are light at a ridiculously early time of the day anyway. I, for one, am still dragging myself out of bed whilst it is dark outside now – that would only be exacerbated if this new system is adopted. But then, I like the lighter evenings too.
So, I am a little undecided on this one. There is going to be a parliamentary debate on the subject next month but it is unlikely that anything will be changed very quickly. No doubt the campaign will continue, and new times may well lie ahead at some point. If only they could make the daylight last longer, then that would definitely get my vote!!