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British Summer Time

From Academic Kids

British Summer Time (BST), known in Ireland as Irish Summer Time (IST), is the daylight saving time in effect in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October each year. In both cases, the change takes place at 01:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

BST is the same as Central European Time (CET): one hour in advance of GMT, i.e. UTC+1. Most countries which use CET in winter move to Central European Summer Time UTC+2 in summer.

The start and end dates of British Summer Time and European Summer Time are somewhat asymmetrical in terms of daylight hours; for example the time of year with a similar amount of daylight to late October is mid-February, well before the start of BST. The asymmetry refects temperature more than the length of daylight.

Starting in 1916, the dates for the beginning and end of BST each year were mandated by the British Parliament. In February 2002, the Summer Time Order 2002 permanently changed the dates and times to match European rules for moving to and from daylight saving time. The European compromise was closer to previous British practice than to the practice elsewhere in Europe.

Each year a national debate rages just before the time when time is to revert back to GMT in October. In 2004, an interesting contribution has been made by English MP Nigel Beard, who has tabled a Private Member's Bill in the House of Commons that England and Wales should be able to determine their own time independently of Scotland and Northern Ireland. This bill, if passed into law, would see the United Kingdom with potentially two different timezones for the first time in history.

During World War II, Britain retained the hour's advance on GMT at the beginning of the winter of 1940 and continued to advance the clocks by an extra hour during the summers until the end of the summer of 1944. During these summers Britain was thus 2 hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST). The clocks were not advanced for the summer of 1945 and were reverted back to GMT at the end of the summer of 1945. In 1947 the clocks were advanced by one hour twice during the spring and put back twice during the autumn so that Britain was on BDST during the height of the summer.

Safety campaigners, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), have made recommendations that British Summer Time be maintained over the winter months, and that a "double summertime" be applied to the current British Summer Time period, making the UK two hours ahead of GMT during summer. ROSPA suggest that this would reduce the number of accidents that occur over this period as a result of the evenings being lighter, as was shown when the British Standard Time scheme was trialled between 1968 and 1971, when Britain remained on UTC+1 all year. ROSPA have called for the two year trial to be repeated with modern evaluation methods. This proposal is, however, opposed by farmers and other outdoor workers, and many residents of Scotland, since it would mean that in winter dawn would be delayed until 10 a.m. or later in northern Britain.

Start and End Dates of British (and Irish) Summer Time

Summer Begins Ends Comments
1916 Sun 21 May 02:00 Sun 1 October 02:00
1917 Sun 8 April 02:00 Sun 17 September 02:00
1918 Sun 24 March 02:00 Sun 30 September 02:00
1919 Sun 30 March 02:00 Sun 29 September 02:00
1920 Sun 28 March 02:00 Sun 25 October 02:00
1921 Sun 3 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1922 Sun 26 March 02:00 Sun 8 October 02:00
1923 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 16 September 02:00
1924 Sun 13 April 02:00 Sun 21 September 02:00
1925 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1926 Sun 18 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1927 Sun 10 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1928 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1929 Sun 21 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1930 Sun 13 April 02:00 Sun 5 October 02:00
1931 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1932 Sun 17 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1933 Sun 9 April 02:00 Sun 8 October 02:00
1934 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1935 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 october 02:00
1936 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1937 Sun 18 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1938 Sun 10 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1939 Sun 16 April 02:00 Sun 19 November 02:00
1940 Sun 15 February 02:00 BST for remainder of war years
1941 Sun 4 May 01:00 Sun 10 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1942 Sun 5 April 01:00 Sun 9 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1943 Sun 4 April 01:00 Sun 15 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1944 Sun 2 April 01:00 Sun 17 September 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1945 Sun 8 April 01:00 Sun 15 July 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1945 Sun 7 October 02:00 Back to GMT
1946 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1947 Sun 16 March 02:00
1947 Sun 13 April 01:00 Sun 10 August 01:00 BDST (2 hours ahead)
1947 Sun 2 November 02:00 Back to GMT
1948 Sun 14 March 02:00 Sun 31 October 02:00
1949 Sun 3 April 02:00 Sun 30 October 02:00
1950 Sun 16 April 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1951 Sun 15 April 02:00 Sun 21 October 02:00
1952 Sun 20 April 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1953 Sun 19 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1954 Sun 11 April 02:00 Sun 3 October 02:00
1955 Sun 17 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1956 Sun 22 April 02:00 Sun 7 October 02:00
1957 Sun 14 April 02:00 Sun 6 October 02:00
1958 Sun 20 April 02:00 Sun 5 October 02:00
1959 Sun 12 April 02:00 Sun 4 October 02:00
1960 Tue 19 April 02:00 Sun 2 October 02:00
1961 Sun 26 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1962 Sun 25 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1963 Sun 31 March 02:00 Sun 27 October 02:00
1964 Sun 22 March 02:00 Sun 25 October 02:00
1965 Sun 21 March 02:00 Sun 24 October 02:00
1966 Sun 20 March 02:00 Sun 23 October 02:00
1967 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1968 Sun 18 February 01:00 BST all year begins.
1969 BST all year
1970 BST all year
1971 Sun 31 October 02:00 BST all year ends.
1972 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1973 Sun 18 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1974 Sun 17 March 02:00 Sun 27 October 02:00
1975 Sun 16 March 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1976 Sun 21 March 02:00 Sun 24 October 02:00
1977 Sun 20 March 02:00 Sun 23 October 02:00
1978 Sun 19 March 02:00 Sun 29 October 02:00
1979 Sun 18 March 02:00 Sun 28 October 02:00
1980 Sun 16 March 02:00 Sun 26 October 02:00
1981 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00 Moves in line with EU
1982 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 24 October 01:00
1983 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1984 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
1985 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1986 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
1987 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1988 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1989 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
1990 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
1991 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1992 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1993 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 24 October 01:00
1994 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 23 October 01:00
1995 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 22 October 01:00
1996 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
1997 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
1998 Sun 29 March 01:00 Sun 25 October 01:00
1999 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 31 October 01:00
2000 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
2001 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00
2002 Sun 31 March 01:00 Sun 27 October 01:00
2003 Sun 30 March 01:00 Sun 26 October 01:00
2004 Sun 28 March 01:00 Sun 31 October 01:00
2005 Sun 27 March 01:00 Sun 30 October 01:00
2006 Sun 26 March 01:00 Sun 29 October 01:00
2007 Sun 25 March 01:00 Sun 28 October 01:00

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