Westoning Clock Tower, 2009 [© Beds Archives]
Sunday 21st May 1916: The main topic of conversation in Bedford this weekend has been the introduction of the Daylight Saving Act. Clocks were put forward one hour last night, so that despite the evidence of the sun that it was 9 o’clock in the morning, timepieces informed their owners that it was in fact 10 o’clock. The benefit will be felt this evening when it will remain light until ten. Inevitably, the change led to some mistakes. One cowman put his clock back one hour, and found when he went to milk the cows that he was two hours late. He described the Act as a “muddling affair”. One woman in the country was heard to ask whether she should put her clock on one hour every night, and a regular worshipper at one of the Biggleswade Chapels arrived an hour late for this morning’s service, making his entrance ten minutes before it finished.
Soldiers are now allowed out until 10 p.m., but they are still expected on parade at 5.30 in the morning. An Aspley Guise correspondent reports: “You may be interested to know that our important village has fallen into line with the Summer-time hours quite easily, and almost without incident. The temperance people are already congratulating themselves upon the fact that it will mean much less time spent in tht public houses by men whose custom it was to spend the hours of twilight in the bar and taproom, and consequently a considerable saving will be effected. The hour’s extra daylight will enable to the workers to get more out-door recreation”.
Source: Bedfordshire Times, 26th May 1916