Tuesday, 14 October 2008


Is it time for a change in time? That is what the good folk of Jersey CI will be voting on tomorrow (Wednesday 15th). They are having a referendum (that’s like the people having their say, Gordon) on whether to move their clocks forward by one hour to Central European Time. That would put Jersey one hour ahead of the UK throughout the year. Supporters of the plan say it would improve the quality of life in Jersey. The main objection of opponents is that it would put them out of sync. with the UK.

I would certainly vote for that change here in the UK. It would mean that in winter we are on GMT + 1 hour and in summer on GMT + 2hours. During the long summer evenings the sun would set about 10.20pm. It would rise about 5am instead of 4am so effectively we’d be getting an extra hour of daylight during our waking hours. If you’ve ever been in France during the summer you will know how pleasant it is to have this extra hour of daylight.

But what about winter you ask? Well during the month of shortest daylight – December – the sun wouldn’t rise until about 9am and would set about 5pm. Some people argue against the change because for a few weeks in the year English school children would be going to school in twilight conditions. I suppose schools and offices could move their start times by 15minutes from November to January.

However there would be savings made on power usage in the evening – so this would be a green adjustment – and there would be fewer road accidents. Apparently, and I don’t remember this, the UK experimented with the extra hour between 1968 and 1971 and there was a fall in the number of people killed in road accidents.

So what’s to stop us changing? The Scottish don’t like it because they would suffer from dark winter mornings more than the English due to their northern latitude. They wouldn’t see any winter daylight until well after 9am. Also, I understand that farmers don’t like the idea, again because of the darker mornings but I would have thought they would have more flexibility over their working hours anyway.

I think this is a debate worth having. I look forward to the result of the Jersey referendum with interest. And courtesy of my blog you can also have your own mini-referendum : I would welcome your comments on this subject.

UPDATE 8.20AM 16TH OCTOBER : We are about 1,058 comments short of a statistically valid sample.


Trixie said...

But...but...that extra day of sunlight will make our curtains fade!!!

Seriously, when QLD tried to daylight savings, that was one of the complaints from the little old ladies, and the farmers said it would confuse the cows getting them up at a different time!

Trixie said...

Just been thinking about this while putting my face on for work...

I reckon they should get rid of GMT, and just leave the country on BST the whole year round, leaving our summers as they are (as it's hard enough now getting the kids to bed when it's still daylight) but giving the extra hour in the evening during winter.

Must dash!

Anonymous said...

Scotland is pretty dismal in the winter, so I can see why they would object. I remember my parents talking about it on several occasions when I was little and they were very much against it. Will be interesting to see what everyone else has to say.

Trixie said...

I KNEW your new photo would be as a toddler! hehe! So suhwet!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Well I'm from Jersey and naturally voted. We also had to vote for a new batch of Senators too.

I think it wouldn't have been such a bad thing to change the clocks, if the rest of the UK did it too, but it could have been a little confusing to be out of sync with everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I love the winter nights. Would Christmas ever be the same again!!

CJ xx

Troy said...

Thanks for your comments - not an overwhelming response (!) but nice to hear from Trixie, Debs, TT and CJ.

It appears our Jersey friends, Debs included, voted by 72% to 28% to retain GMT on a turnout of 24,000 people. So their curtains are safe!

Trixie that photo is not me as a toddler - I must have been about 9 years old. The good news is that I'm still sweet but in a manly way.

Trixie said...

9 years old huh? Obviously you look young for your age, lol!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

I happened to see a "beat the eggheads" programme where the non-eggheads actually won. It was achieved (they won the highest prize of £37k) by a team of Scottish postmen (called "Second Class") from the Outer Hebrides. They mentioned that in winter their daylight time starts at midday. I'm sure they would object!

Troy said...

Trixie - I still look young for age. At 53 only a hint of grey.

Hadriana - if the sun doesn't rise there until midday in winter then one hour more won't make much difference.

Anonymous said...