Time travel and saving daylight
Sir, – I refer to “EU proposes abolition of time change” (News, September 1st).
What surprises me about this proposal is that nobody seems to remember that we tried it before and gave it up as a bad job.
From 1969 to 1971, the British and ourselves had “summertime all the year round”, as it was usually called. We stopped it because it meant that, in wintertime, people were going to work and children were going to school in the dark.
In midsummer, it is bright at 5am, so it makes sense to get us up earlier. In midwinter, however, it is still dark at 8am and dark again at 4.30pm, so there is no extra daylight to be exploited.
Incidentally, the experiment did not quite vanish without trace. Up to then, most streetlights in towns and villages were turned off at midnight. Local authorities began to look at switching them on again in the morning and found that, at little extra cost, they could keep them on all night, a system we take for granted today. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – If Britain stays with daylight saving time and we go with the EU by not putting our clocks back every October, there will be an hour’s difference for seven months of the year between us, Britain and the North. Will this mean that the Angelus will toll on RTÉ in Belfast at 5pm, a 1.30 race at Wolverhampton will be at 12.30pm here, and the News at Ten will be at 9pm? It will take 25 minutes to fly from Dublin to London and two hours and 25 minutes on the return flight. Will it also mean after lunch in Lifford it would be possible to walk a few metres and be in time for lunch in Strabane? Walk the other way and you might get no lunch at all. – Yours, etc,