Home / News / When do the clocks go back in 2017, when are they going forward again and why do they change twice each year?

When do the clocks go back in 2017, when are they going forward again and why do they change twice each year?

EACH and every year our clocks go forward by an hour in March and fall back an hour in October as British Summer Time (BST) starts and finishes.

The changes allow for longer daylight hours in the summer and a whole hour extra in bed when autumn arrives. But what date to the clocks change and what’s the reason for the switches?

 In 2017, British Summer Time will end on October 29Alamy In 2017, British Summer Time will end on October 29

When do the clocks change in 2017?

This year, Sunday, March 26 marked the start of BST and clocks went forward by one hour.

The change ensured that there would be more more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) will resume from the last Sunday in October (October 29) – when the clocks go back one hour again.

To avoid confusion, many use the phrase “spring forward in spring, fall back in fall” to remember when the clocks change.

When do the clocks go back?

On Sunday, March 26 at 1am in the morning, clocks went forward one hour signalling the start of British Summer Time (BST).

This meant a whole hour less in bed but gave those living in Britain more daylight later into the evening.

BST will remain in place until October 29 – when clocks go back by one hour at 2am and GMT resumes.

 The Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed by Parliament and the first day of British summer was reported as May 21, 1916Alamy The Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed by Parliament and the first day of British summer was reported as May 21, 1916

What is the history of British Summer Time?

Daylight Saving Time was created by William Willett in 1907 in a bid to stop people wasting valuable hours of light in the summer months.

By setting the clocks back in winter, Brits get an earlier sunrise and earlier sunset.

In summer the sun rises and sets one hour later than it would without daylight saving.

In a pamphlet called “The Waste of Daylight” Willett suggested clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes over four stages in April, and reversed the same way in September.

Germany became the first country to adopt the clock-changing plan on April 30, 1916, in order to save on coal usage, and on May 21, Britain followed, as World War One was underway.

The Summer Time Act of 1916 was passed by Parliament and the first day of British summer was reported as May 21, 1916.

Alamy

Supporters at the time of the proposal argued the scheme would save energy by reducing domestic coal consumption.

They also said it would increase supplies available for manufacturing the war effort during WW1.

It has been in place ever since – despite criticism from some groups. Some critics argue BST should be completely abolished and Britain should operate on GMT permanently. They argue there is little practical gain from changing the time twice a year and the process is disruptive to schools and business.

Do smartphone clocks update themselves automatically?

Luckily, when the clocks go back one hour at 2am on Sunday, October 29, most devices connected to the internet like tablets, iPhones and other smart phones will update automatically.

However it’s still best to check so you don’t get caught out and turn up an hour early for things on Sunday morning!

The clocks in your kitchen and in your car are unlikely to update, likewise your watch and any other clocks around the house will need to be manually changed.

ITV News presenter Chris Ship gets cameras mixed up while explaining British Summer Time

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