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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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In   May   1916   the   war   altered   time   itself!   Daylight   saving   time   had   been   suggested   in   1907   as   a   way   to   make   the   most   of   the   long   summer   days   by starting   the   working   day   earlier.   Arguments   raged   for   years   over   the   pro   and   cons   of   the   proposal   and   how   it   would   be   implemented.      It   was   the   war that   finally   galvanised   the   British   Government   to   adopt   what   is   now   known   as   British   Summer   Time.   The   Summer   Time   Bill   of   1916   was   quickly passed   through   Parliament   and   the   new   scheme   came   into   force   on   21st   May   1916,   just   a   few   weeks   after   the   German   nation   had   introduced   a similar change. THE DAYLIGHT SAVING ACT The Royal Assent was given to the Summer Time Bill on Wednesday afternoon. The   Home   Office   have   issued   a   notice   regarding   the   operation   of   the   Summer   Time   Act,   stating   that   in   the   night   of   Saturday   Sunday   20th   –   21st   May, at   2a.m.,   the   time   on   all   railways,   at   all   Post   Offices,   and   other   Government   establishments   will   be   put   forward   one   hour   to   3a.m.   The   normal   time will be restored at 2a.m. on the night of Saturday Sunday, 30th September – 1st October. WEST SUSSEX COUNTY TIMES 20 May 1916 At   the   local   Post   Office   it   was   incumbent   on   the   Peskett   family   to   ensure   that   their   business   operated   in   accordance   with   the   new   times,   and   thus   set the example for the residents of the village to follow.  Clocks   and   time   keeping   were   relatively   new   to   residents   of   Barns   Green.   In   an   agricultural   economy,   the   working   day   and   its   tasks   were   dictated   by the   daylight   hours   and   the   seasons.   Clocks   and   pocket   watches   had   long   been   expensive   items   well   beyond   the   reach   of   an   agricultural   labourer, who   had   no   real   need   to   know   exactly   what   time   of   day   it   was.      It   was   the   growth   of   the   railways   and   the   opening   of   a   school   in   Itchingfield   for   the children   of   ordinary   labourers   that   brought   the   necessity   of   keeping   time   into   the   daily   lives   of   rural   people   in   the   later   years   of   the   19th   century.   By this   time   mass   produced   clocks   were   more   widely   available   and   thus   more   affordable,   so   most   homes   would   have   a   clock   and   a   few   labourers   would have a pocket watch.  To   what   extent   this   change   of   time   was   observed   by   the   residents   of   Barns   Green   we   do   not   know,   but   there   was   a   significant   portion   of   the   national population who simply did not bother.
Daylight Saving
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