At the end of this month something will happen which will have profound effects for all of us. It has been the subject of much debate and endless argument and, although the discussion goes on, at the time of writing it is still going to happen on the appointed day.
I’m talking about the clocks going forward of course.
In Britain, the twice-yearly ritual of moving the clocks forward an hour in March and back an hour in October has been established, in one form or another, for more than a century. The only exception to this is of course the clock in the car, which never gets changed because you can never remember which three buttons need to be pushed simultaneously for five seconds.
But it is a fine moment, worth the apparent loss of an extra hour in bed. For weeks the evenings have been inching out, lighter and lighter. Then we make the switch and somehow the world officially becomes a nicer place as glum winter is dispensed with.
The evenings become something other than an excuse to gorm in front of the fire and a world of things to do outside opens up.
The history of what is usually called Daylight Savings Time around the word and British Summer Time here, includes a spell when the clocks went forward and not back and a time during the Second World War when it went forward two hours.
And, unofficially, we have even had a Norfolk Summer Time, thanks to royal bon viveur King Edward VII. The monarch enjoyed hunting at Sandringham very much. So much so that in 1901, in order to maximise his fun, he decreed that all clocks on the estate should be run 30 minutes fast, creating ‘Sandringham Time’, which would not have been at all confusing for his guests.
There has been much talk over the merits of BST and a campaign to make it a permanent thing, giving us an extra hour of light, even made it as far as the House of Commons. But it sank after it was pointed out that those hardy souls who live in the north of Scotland would be in gloom for rather too much of the day.
Frankly I don’t imagine they’d notice as it would almost certainly be raining, but hey ho.
So just enjoy the extra hour and the opportunity that it brings.
There’s apparently something else likely to happen round about the end of March. I have nothing useful to add on that other than to say; keep calm and carry on loving Norfolk. It’s going nowhere and always looks even better in the spring.
Time for a change