Ah, those approaching heady days of summer.
A time of hot weather, hot passions, and to once again cruise the local boulevards in an ultra cool Kia Picanto; ‘Ace of Spades’ blasting from the mega sound system, and above the rim of the bifocal Ray-Bans cast mean and smouldering glances towards any eligible totty (well, those approaching pensionable age).
And then of course there’s the lighter evenings – courtesy of that great imponderable, British Summer Time. Advocated in1907, this was adopted in 1916 as a wartime measure and became permanent in 1925. Then in WW2 with the nation desperate to grow as much food as possible the clocks were put forward another hour at 2am on Sunday, May 4, 1941.
As announced by the Ministry of Agriculture the official name for this additional summer time was ‘Super Summer Time’ (more generally known as double summer time) but it seems special provision was made for farmers to continue their working day by the earlier time, for ‘to overcome the difficulty of starting the day’s work two hours earlier than ‘Sun time’ they would put the clock forward, but arrange for their men to come to work an hour earlier.’
This would also apply to women, since farmers in the Home Counties were being urged to apply for Land Girls, since ‘demand is likely to exceed supply.’
Another reason for the extended daylight was because of the blackout regulations, with the consequent risk of road accidents.
With the declaration of war, normal street lighting throughout Bletchley had been suspended, and it was proposed that the only street illumination should be provided by ‘Starlight’ A.R.P. lights – ‘equivalent to stars on moonless nights.’
But that’s a story to shed light on another day.