As a service to PDN readers who may be still with wrestling with annual chore of adjusting from what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time to what – from 02:00 this morning – should be British Summertime (BST) – a word of warning….Penarth’s main public clocks are not to be relied upon today.
The Town Clock on the roundabout, which underwent an expensive overhaul recently , was stationary at two oclock – when in fact the actual time was 11:00 GMT (or 12:00 BST).
Anyone who dashed down the sea front to check the time was in no luck there either. The Penarth Pier Pavilion Clock had also stopped at o2:00 GMT – hopefully to start-up again automatically at 14:00 BST – or maybe 02:00 BST tomorrow morning – no one was quite sure.
The Penarth Library Clock – which always requires manual adjustment – remained on GMT – and won’t be adjusted until Tuesday. When the clock was built in 1903 there was no such thing as British Summertime.
Today marks the centenary of the introduction of British Summer Time in 1916 following campaigning by keen golfer William Willett who, out riding one fine morning , thought it was a shame everyone slept late in the summer and missed the best part of the day. Willett had proposed making 4 X 20-minute adjustments over a period of 4 weeks – adding up to a total of 80 minutes.
The British Horological Institute modified his idea to just one change of one hour in spring and autumn – which perhaps for Penarth’s timepieces, is just as well.