Sunday, 25 October 2009

(Upper Class) British Summer Time

Time appears to be relative. I was intrigued to read, given the changing of the clocks,(http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/oct/23/changing-clocks-victorians-research-prize) that the adoption of Daylight Saving (apparently advocated initially by Kiwi Entomologist George Hudson in 1895, although Benjamin Franklin had suggested something similar) was actually taken up by Germany in 1915 after a 10 year campaign by a Petts Wood-based builder, Englishman, William Willett (1856-1915). William, who died on influenza (and is a direct ancestor of Coldplay's Chris Martin), did not live to see his idea come to fruition. His major motivations seem to have been linked to his enthusiasm for horse riding (he liked to get a gallop in before breakfast) and his horror of having his afternoon round of golf imperilled by fading daylight. Germany, in the First World War, adopted the measure largely to improve industrial efficiency and Britain followed suite in 1916 (the young Winston Churchill was an advocate). Strange, how our lives get modified by ancient enthusiasms!

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