Spring Forward Fall Back

In the early hours of Sunday morning our clocks go back ... or is that forward?Using an American mantra helps me – ‘spring forward, fall back’.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:50 pm

Once I knew this, I was never in any doubt, therefore our clocks will go forward during the early hours of Sunday morning which happens on the last Sunday in March every year. A down side is that we lose an hour in bed.

In 1784 Benjamin Franklin wrote a paper while he was American ambassador to France, suggesting productivity would benefit from Parisians waking at sunrise – and has often been credited with inventing daylight saving time. But New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, who wanted more daylight in the evenings is actually said to have first presented the idea in 1895.

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The interior of Sheffield Town Hall clock tower

Most countries in Europe will also change the clocks on the same day that we do.

Over the years, changing the clock has changed itself. Nowadays, most digital clocks, phones and many time displays on home appliances and in cars will update automatically – we no longer have to walk round the house moving hands on by an hour. But for those analogue clocks and watches which remain, we’ll still have to change them manually.

There’s now less of an excuse for forgetting to change the clocks and turning up to school or work at the wrong time.

When I was at school I never used the clocks going forward as an excuse for being late.

Cherry Blossom in Crookes Valley Park Sheffield..5th April 2019 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

I actually enjoyed school (Herries Comprehensive) so was always on time, be it winter or summer.

This is one of the best days to be a night shift worker – though I can’t think of any others – as they shorten their shift by one hour.

The clocks going forward is one of my favourite times of the year, one of the true signs that winter is finally behind us.

The massive jump in the length of the day is so dramatic it’s almost surreal.

I remember, as a child enjoying time the year, as it meant we didn’t have to play football under street lights.

Playing out took on a new hue, it was a great time if year. We could now play in the woods and parks,and other parts of town where there wasn’t any street lighting.

I remember the winter months when the Hole in the road and Pond street where places to go as they where lit.

Also Central library where it was light warm and clean, and where I discovered the section Local Studies which love even today, one of Sheffield’s best kept secrets.

And where the Library staff instead of shooing you away and glaring at you were more than happy to help a couple of teenagers, and show them where ,or help find items.

Even going to bed in the day light wasn’t the worst thing the world , at least you didn’t have to switch off the light and run and dive under the covers as we did in the winter dark.

Other signs are the appearance of crocuses and the vibrant yellow of daffodils springing up all over.

The cherry blossom, which we need more of in Sheffield, start to emerge.

And the birds singing in the trees become more vibrant.

We all know how much Covid has taken a toll on many, testing the resolve of so many.

On the flip side I’ve never seen parks so busy with many taking advantage of or fabulous green spaces, just as our NHS, free at the point of entry.

The holidays this year, I believe will be one of the most remarkable seasons in decades.

Notwithstanding restrictions, staying close to home for our holidays is likely to be a must for all.

This gives an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of England and all it has to offer in a way we’ve rarely done before.

For some of us more used to going abroad, travelling to the coast will fill us with excitement we haven't experienced since childhood.

Seaside resorts will see a boom like never before and I expect everything will be booked up very early.

Where foreign travel has seen it’s biggest slump in history, UK beach resorts and holiday resorts are set to see their largest boom, I hope prices don’t reflect the demand.

Clocks going forward is a great time of year let's see what this one brings.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.