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Should we change our clocks?

Eddie Mair | 17:20 UK time, Thursday, 25 January 2007

what's wrong with the ones you've got?


  1. At 05:18 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    They take ages to get to the going home time. I would like quicker ones please.

  2. At 05:31 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Mrs Margery Brown wrote:

    Tim Yeo is MP for South Suffolk. How can he support changing the clocks to save energy when a huge Ski centre (Snoasis) is being proposed to be built in Suffolk. Surely the buliding of this will use far more energy than changing the arrangement for daylight hours.

  3. At 05:31 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Michael Clark wrote:

    The idea of going on to Central European Time will increase the load at peak times and lead to potential power failures on a vast scale as happened recently across some eight countries on the Continent.

  4. At 05:34 PM on 25 Jan 2007, I.Moore wrote:

    No. Leave the clocks alone. I suppose this is the problem of having idle politicians, they find things to meddle with.

    Has it crossed Tim Yeo's mind. the time zone we occupy, plays a role in the sucess of the City of London as it touches Asia, Europe, New York and Chicago?

  5. At 05:34 PM on 25 Jan 2007, ken hughes wrote:

    The east-west slant of the country has almost as much impact on sunrise time as your north-south position. So this isn't a north-south divide.

    Sunrise in Penzance this morning was at 8:06, a mere 16 minutes ahead of Edinburgh at 8:22 but 23 minutes behind Dover at 7:43.

    Of course, poor old Stornoway, both well north and west didn't see the sun until 8:46.

  6. At 05:36 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Adrian Sanderson wrote:

    Those seeking to dump Greenwich Mean Time
    seem not to recognise the huge psychological impact on a workforce required to journey to work in the dark.
    Its a falacy that only those resident in the north will be effected, the sun rises some 30 - 40 minutes later in Wales and west of Exeter than it does at Margate! Equally the journey to work in the South East for many takes up to 2 hours, individuals needing to wake up around 6 30 am.
    Is it a good idea that our workforce should struggle to work in the darkness of the previous night while our competetive colleages to the east in Europe get to their employment in the light of a bright new day?

  7. At 05:38 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Alan Cassidy wrote:

    We should use GMT all the year round. If people want to change anything so that they travel in daylight, or whatever, they should adjust their working hours, not the clock. Mid-day is when the sun is highest and that is 12 noon, not 1 pm. By definition.

    If we worked 8-4 instead of 9-5 (ie symmetricvally about proper noon) the question of summertime, let alone double summertime, would ever arise. Ask a farmer....

    Don't make any reference to what happens on the continent of Europe. They are even more daft, having the same time zone from Portugal to the East of Germany (22 degrees of longitude). Berlin can justify being 1hr ahead of GMT; Paris and Lisbon cannot.

  8. At 05:40 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Paul Glaze wrote:

    Here in Orkney, Sunrise is at 9 o'clock around December 21st and Sunset at 3pm, so any playing about with GMT will not make a great deal of difference to the useable day light.

    A better option might be to go to double summer time (GMT+2) around May to August and being forward BST (GMT+1) to the begining of March and move it back at the end of the year to say End of November.

  9. At 05:42 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    What's a 'No such entry '8905'.'?

  10. At 05:43 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Corky Gormly wrote:

    As one of at least 7 million dog owners in deepest darkest Surrey I would hate our clock arrangements to change - it's bad enough at the moment taking Zippy for a walk in the semi darkness in the morning - I love it when summer comes and we can go out at 6am or even earlier.

    I'm self-employed as a qualitative market researcher (focus groups etc) and if I have a meeting in london I have to get up even earlier to get Zippy walked before travelling into London.

    Of course it's not all about me - the local school children walk up by the field to catch the bus and it's very dark in the mornings.

    So tell Tim Yeo to consider us millions and millions of dog walkers!
    It's not just farm workers who like light mornings - there must be lots of other 'larks' out there and early to bed early to rise.......
    that's why Tim Yeo is not being wise! (He gets up too late)

    And how depressing if it didn't get light until nearly 9am in the very depths of winter.

    It's all very well for Tim Yeo - i expect he swans off to his office with urban lighting - and no that doesn't mean we want light pollution in the country!

  11. At 05:51 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Peter McGuire wrote:

    Having more daylight in the evening to enjoy an extra glass of wine outside has to be worth changing to GMT plus 1. Do you really need any other reason?

    Let’s not bother with a trial of a year or two - lets go with the change and enjoy life for a change.

  12. At 06:00 PM on 25 Jan 2007, helen Highwater wrote:

    Please, please let's change! Every autumn my heart sinks when I have to put the clocks back. Lighter evenings would benefit SAD sufferers, kids coming home from school, save energy. Let's do it!

  13. At 06:01 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Mike Greenland wrote:

    Yes, please change our clocks. Lighter evenings in the south would be a real benefit to tourism and leisuretime. Let alone reducing accidents and saving energy. If the Scots don't want dark mornings then let them keep their own time, afterall the sefish lot get light evenings anyway...

    Alternatively, we could keep winter time as it is and move 2hrs for the summer.

  14. At 06:03 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Caroline wrote:

    I live on the south coast and the idea of extending the morning darkness horrifies me! In mid-winter it wouldn't get light until beyond 9am down here - and 10am in Scotland!

    What are these campaigners thinking? Clearly only of themselves and one can only assume that they are not early risers!

  15. At 06:07 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Michael Clark wrote:

    Why put all our eggs in one basket by increasing the power load in Europe at peak times if we go onto Central European Time. A recent power failure affected eight countries in Europe and with power feeds across the Channel we could make everbody more vunerable by abandoning GMT -- the world's gift to us in 1884.

  16. At 06:12 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Richard Porter wrote:

    Yes, we should definitely align our clocks with our continental neighbours. It has advantages for leisure, business and road safety, but most of all it will enable a big saving to be made in carbon emissions.

    Lighting and heating will be turned on an hour later every day, but the reverse will not happen in the morning. People going out to work won't use the heating any more in the morning, and those not working can always stay in bed a little longer if it's still dark.

  17. At 06:13 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Michael Clark wrote:

    Why put all our eggs in one basket? Going onto European time means we would increase the load on power supply at peak times and the risk of a widespread power failure, which happened recently across some eight countries on the Continent

  18. At 06:13 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Dorothy Fairfield wrote:

    Oh dear, the poor Scots. They've been enjoying long summer evenings ever since GMT was conceived. As a Land Girl during WWII, I remember that double daylight hours were imposed. This allowed farm work to be carried on well into the late evening. So why not now, when it's probably even more important, viz-a-viz saving energy. Let the Scots keep GMT+1; after all we've been out of step with Western Europe for donkey's years and commercial life hasn't come to a stop.

    Dorothy Fairfield

  19. At 06:14 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    If it is't broken don't fix it.

  20. At 06:14 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Wasn't Tim Yeo a bit unwise a while ago re bedtime?

  21. At 06:16 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Michael Organe wrote:

    It seems to me that the problem of school start times can be overcome by varying them. There is no reason why schools have to start at 9.0 am and finish at 3.0 pm and many would welcome the school run being at a different time from the rush hour. Parents who have to go to work after dropping their children at school should be able to arrange different hours with their employers.

    This should not present any worse problems than we suffer at present from the changeover from summer time to winter time each year.

    Incidentally everybody discusses the problem in terms of Scotland and the North. This is also a Welsh and West country problem, given that Cardiff and Exeter are on the same longitude as Edinburgh.

  22. At 06:20 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Whenever this let's-get-rid-of-GMT business comes up, somebody always says this will give us an extra hour of daylight.

    I tried changing the time on my watch yesterday so it was showing BST instead of GMT, and guess what? I didn't get a single second more daylight than anyone else in this town.

    Bah, humbug.

  23. At 06:20 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Duncan Macdonald wrote:

    As a practical (if retired) meteorologist, I wonder how moving the working day by an hour (or two) towards the coldest (and in wintwr the darkest) part of the day, is going to save energy.

  24. At 06:26 PM on 25 Jan 2007, maria tuck wrote:

    My dog loves walking at any time. I get up for work in the dark, walk the dog as the sun's coming up, leave my dog and get the train and bus to work, only see proper daylight from windows all day, then get home to walk my dog in the dark, and by then, 5pm, all the parks are closed. Tory and Labour social policies don't differ enough, so a spiritually uplifting idea like adding an hour of daylight for people deprived by being in the workplace and not getting home til dark makes me tempted to betray my social conscience and vote the other way, even send a gesture of a kiss to tim yeo.

  25. At 07:00 PM on 25 Jan 2007, madmary wrote:

    I don't like dark mornings. I find them demotivating.

    I like being able to go for a walk and visit the water voles before I get to work. I couldn't do that in the dark.


  26. At 08:29 PM on 25 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    'and those not working can always stay in bed a little longer if it's still dark.'

    I beg your pardon? Perhaps I don't want to lie in for an extra hour in the morning. And if I get up I will want to turn onthe lighting and heating earlier, as will everyone else who works from home.

    I'm very pleased to hear people speaking up about the west/east aspect of this debate as I am sick of people blaming lal the loss of supposed benefits of changing onthe Scots. The people this change would benefit would be those int he south east of England - ooh, where Westminster is. It'll probably happen then, to the detriment of most of the rest of us.

  27. At 08:33 PM on 25 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Who was that really rather silly and inarticulate woman who was speaking about her research into the effects of changing the clocks. I realise that she won't do radio interviews every day of the week so perhaps I'm being a bit harsh. I could have forgiven her all of it until Eddie put to her that some people were adversely affected by long dark mornings and all she could manage was 'well, but they know it will get light later'.

    I don't suffer from SAD myself but I'm sure all those who do must have had the cockles of their heats warmed by that one.

  28. At 08:45 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Jon wrote:

    Your listeners who complain about no longer having dark mornings clearly do not rise early enough. Travelling home in the light is infinitely more cheerful than travelling to work in the light. Making the evenings darker on purpose is utter madness.

  29. At 10:14 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    Admin Annie - hear hear!

  30. At 10:29 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Jeremy Hester wrote:

    The best idea I've heard in years.
    The thought of having an hour of daylight at the end of the day for myself (instead of my employer) is a cheerful one, especially at this miserable time of year. The loss of daylight in the morning in my opinion is a small price to pay.
    Whilst listening to PM this evening I was waiting in a queue of traffic for about 15 minutes, hundreds of cars generating thousands of kilowatts of electricity to run headlights and heaters, the same throughout the country I should imagine. How appropriate the article was. Good luck Tim Yeo

  31. At 10:30 PM on 25 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    I find 'GM' time usually involves turning the alarm clock off 7 or 8 times before managing to crawl out of bed.....

    Frances O - I am involved with a wildlife veterinary group who are funding a project on haemoparasites in water voles. A worthy study if ever there was one!

    Coincidentally, we are also funding a project screening frog populations for ranavirus. I shall of course be asking all the froggers for a sample.....

  32. At 10:51 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Jacqueline wrote:

    More flexible hours could allow people to follow there natural rhythms. I'm not a morning person but I certainly get up more easily if it's light outside. In the depths of winter I'd only need to start 30-45 mins later.

    Hopefully there are enough early risers who could open up the offices and shops and get the milk and papers sorted!

  33. At 11:43 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Tony Hatton wrote:

    I don't care so much about moving from GMT in the winter. However, in the summer we waste hours of daylight in the morning when we could use it in the evening and not use our electric lighting for approximately 2 months. Bring on double summer time and save energy.

  34. At 12:02 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Has anyone tried to comment on the "New Time" thread started just after this one? I just got a message saying "Somehow, the entry you just tried to comment on does not exist".

    And it's not even April Fools' Day.

  35. At 08:53 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Appy (34): Even more bizarrely, I'd posted a comment on that. and, this morning, the whole thread has gone.

    Was this the price of a hug from Eddie, do you think? :o)

  36. At 08:56 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Chrissie the Trekkie wrote:

    Why not even up the working day to 8-4 instead of 9-5, then the 'office hours' workers would get that extra daylight hour to travel home in and enjoy without having to faff around with clocks.

    Or is that too simple and logical and pandering to the dictates of nature?

  37. At 09:00 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Oooooooh! When I posted just now, I hadn't spotted that my strap is showing! Is this coincidental, or did Eddie really like those photos, I wonder?

    BTW, Eddie, hope you enjoyed your Burns Night supper and are feeling very chirpy this morning after your haggis.

  38. At 09:02 AM on 26 Jan 2007, C Saunders wrote:

    But Europe isn't all the same. Portugal has the same time as the UK.

    Going to work in the dark always seems more dangerous to me in terms of driving (which some people cannot avoid doing) since one tends to be somewhat less alert.

  39. At 10:06 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Personally, it wouldn't matter much to me whether clocks were moved on or not, given that I get up in the dark and get home in the dark and any sunlight I know about is mostly heresay.
    Although one question regarding the getting-to-work line of thinking. In this day and age, where a significant amount of work is done on networked computers and telephones in offices and meetings can be performed via videophone, why not move many people's work to their homes? That way, there would be less travel overall (good for the environment!), people could control their own daily schedules, potentially there would be less childcare problems, and companies would spend less on overheads for offices therefore providing cheaper services and products.

  40. At 10:15 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Just listening to Jenni Murray on the phone on Woman's Hour. She's sounding pretty good, considering, and says she's hoping to get back to work very soon. Sounds like she's getting excellent treatment and speaking v. highly of the NHS as it is delivered in Manchester.

    But sounding feisty, and saying she can't wait to get back.

    Lovely to hear from her.

  41. At 11:02 AM on 26 Jan 2007, stephen wrote:

    Changing the clocks doesn't actually alter the available daylight, which is governed by forces way beyond man's control. If you don't like dark mornings, get up later.

    Admin Annie: SAD is just one of those made up illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome and peanut allergy and coeliac disease, isn't it?

  42. At 11:52 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Adrian Sanderson (6), ah, so as it's a southern problem it's importnat it is? Is that really what you meant to imply?

    Alan Casssdy (7), I quite agree -- even though I'm not a morning person.

    There are far too many views that stem from an utterly personal perspective on here --when people like to walk their dogs, drink their wine etc. -- there are always going to be differences on that score, and so it is not a good way to decide.

  43. At 11:59 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Where are all these folk who want an extra hour to work in the evening? I'm usually glad of an excuse to stay indoors. As for drinking wine, isn't it too cold for that?

    Soon (Hurry up, please) maybe Global Warming will make it more comfortable outside in the evenings. Anyway, I'm looking forward to a rise in the ambient temperature so I won't have to burn so much fossil fuel to heat my house. That should reduce my charcoal footprint (always difficult to get off the carpet).

    [ Owing to the lack of hours, I haven't time to make new comment on the 'gay' adoption row, except to reiterate my sympathy for the RC Church. If time permits, I'll put something on the other thread, but just remember that we have more sex- (sorry, contraceptive-) education here than ever before, free contraception on the NHS, and the result is more unplanned pregnancies than ever. An African is reputed to have used a large supply of condoms to build a religious statue.]

  44. At 12:58 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    My Dearest Aperitif (42): In this particular instance, on a social level I think personal perspective is the only way to decide whether clocks should be changed - how else will you monitor how people's lives and schedules will be impacted?. That said, the final decision will be based solely on the impact to the economy, nothing else is important to the government as we have seen, so it really doesn't matter what the overriding consensus of the population will turn out to be, given that there will hardly be a referendum about this matter.

  45. At 01:23 PM on 26 Jan 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    I don't care. But I am very sad about Rob Morgan's resignation and the impact it might have. I can add nothing to what he said so brilliantly on TWAO, except that YOI's are brutal places where even the toughest crumble, which he probably couldn't say.

    I have witnesed some good preventative practice emerging in the youth justice system, & I can only hope that it wasn't his initiative, or could now die. Professor Morgan's departure is as sad as the man from Barnardo's said.

    It is going to be a tough call to find 3 things to be happy about for my journal tonight.

  46. At 05:24 PM on 26 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Stephen - well I'm not qualified to say whether SAD is made up or not, but my best friend who is a GP in Devon suffers from it, so that satisfies me. I don't know that it is defined as an illness as such either.

    However it is defined I still don't think that anyone should be told they shouldn't suffer because 'they know it will get light later'. V Patronising.

  47. At 06:01 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Ed Addis wrote:

    Every year, regular as clockwork, out come the busy-bodies wanting to interfere with the existing system, presumably to suit themselves. It's surely obvious to anyone living in the real world, that putting the clocks back to GMT for the winter makes it possible for children both to go to and return from school in the light. Do the safety benefits really require explanation? The prospect of the mayhem likely to result from women (yes - I'm afraid it has to be said) many of whom never drive in the dark, manoeuvring around school gates in their 4X4s, should be enough to convince anyone. This is a dead topic.

  48. At 06:47 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    href="http://home.btconnect.com/tipiglen/stonetime.jpg">Stone Time.


  49. At 01:33 AM on 27 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    That's funny - I posted two posts one after the other last night, and only the first one is there????

  50. At 07:37 PM on 27 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Belinda (44), but there are so many opposing personal preferences that are based solely on whether one enjoys light in the morning or the evening. I feel that practicalities are the best way to decide (and the economy may have a part in that, but certainly isn't the whole story).

  51. At 06:18 PM on 28 Jan 2007, JITENDRA JOSHI wrote:

    I think that the clocks should always remain as British Summer Time (BST) or if they have to be changed then they should be changed later (e.g. end Nov) and then brough back to BST mid Feb or end of Feb, instead of end march, since the sun starts to rise early in the morning anyway. One advantage of staying as BST would be that the generally population would have more daylight during the day and it would not get dark until 5pm the earliest and this may help seasonal affective disorder i.e. when people get depressed when there is less light during the winter months.

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