When do the clocks go forward?
The clocks go forward this Saturday night, or in precise terms, 1am on Sunday, March 31.
That means the clocks go like this: 00:58, 00:59, 02:00. It marks the beginning of British Summer Time.
Will it be lighter in the evenings?
After the clocks have changed, it will be light for an hour longer in the evenings, so sunset won’t be until 7.32pm on Sunday. But dawn will be an hour later, too: sunrise will be at 6.38am.
Bear in mind that the days are currently getting longer by 4 minutes a day. All praise to the Sun God!
Why do the clocks go forward?
It’s not so much why they go forward – who doesn’t love light evenings? – as why they go back, largely for outdated and irrelevant reasons involving ‘agriculture.’ But although the current system seems set in stone, it’s been tinkered with several times before. From 1968 to 1971, for instance, the clocks stayed on British Summer Time all year round. Lately, the government is has been flirting with doing the same, or even moving both DST and BST forward an hour. Just don’t tell UKIP that’ll put us on the same time zone as the rest of Europe.
What happens to Big Ben when the clocks change?
Big Ben is actually turned off for five hours leading up to the magic moment, from 8pm onwards on Saturday, Mar 30. But the lights inside are switched off, so the engineers can move the hands “without drawing too much attention or causing public concern.” We’re entertained by the notion of people driving off the Westminster Bridge, convinced the very fabric of time is unravelling before their eyes.
So just to wrap up: are the times a-changin?
And what are we putting forward again?
And what date are the clocks going forward?
And at what time exactly?
What will I ask myself in bed on Sunday morning?
And what will this make me realise?
Happy clock-change day!
For things to do during all the other hours this bank holiday, see our guide to the Easter weekend.
[Photo: Canary Wharf clocks, courtesy Hector Lee]