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Big BenBritish Summer Time ends: clocks go back – Why?

 

The clocks will go back by one hour at 2.00 am on Sunday 30 October. At 2.00 am, the clocks will return to 1.00 am as British Summer Time ends for another year.

British Summer Time

British Summer Time (BST) starts each year on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October. On Sunday 27 March the clocks will go forward, meaning we lose an hour. British Summer Time is due to end this year on 30 October.

BST is operational on the following dates:

  2011 2012 2013
Start of BST (clocks go forward) 27 March 25 March 31 March
End of BST (clocks go back) 30 October 28 October 27 October

Summer time changes on standard dates throughout the EU. Britain and Ireland constantly remain an hour behind most of Central Europe.

The history of daylight saving time

In 1907 an Englishman, William Willett, campaigned to advance clocks by 80 minutes. He proposed four moves of 20 minutes at the beginning of the spring and summer months, and to return to Greenwich Mean Time in a similar manner in the autumn. The following year, the House of Commons rejected a Bill to advance the clocks by one hour during the spring and summer months.

Summer time was first defined in an Act of Parliament in 1916. The clocks were moved one hour ahead of GMT from the spring to the autumn.

During the Second World War, double summer time (two hours in advance of GMT) was introduced, lasting until July 1945.

Since the 1980s, all parts of western and central Europe have co-ordinated the date and the time of their clock changes.

Why Change the Clocks?

Twice a year the clocks change, forward in the Spring and then back again in the Autumn. But why?

It happens twice a year. We all change our clocks and watches by one hour. In the spring, we add an hour, and go onto what is called British Summer Time, while in the autumn, we do the reverse, and adhere to Greenwich Mean Time.

Why bother?It’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a chap called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent.

Basically, he reckoned that you could improve the population’s health and happiness by putting forward the clocks by twenty minutes every Sunday in April and do the opposite in September.

EconomiesHis idea was not taken up, even though a ‘Daylight Saving Bill’ was introduced some five years before the outbreak of World War One. But once the war started, it was considered prudent to economise, to promote greater efficiency in using daylight hours, and in the use of artificial lighting. And so in 1916, ‘Daylight Saving Time’ was introduced.

Even though most countries abandoned this after that war, some eventually decided that it was a good idea, and most of these nations began to keep it throughout the year.

ExperimentSince 1972, Britain has decided to go with Greenwich Mean Time in winter, and British Summer Time in Summer. But back in 1968, Britain tried a four-year experiment by advancing time one hour ahead of GMT throughout the year.

But those living further north, particularly in Scotland, found it most unsatisfactory, with dark mornings for much of the year, and the experiment was dropped.

But the arguments rage on….and on.

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A gentleman’s disagreement

© Hulton Archive - Getty

The contest for cricket’s Ashes is being fought again. Mike Cronin and Richard Holt consider the place of the Bodyline Series, in the context of its times
 (see bottom of blog for ‘The rules of cricket)

This winter, cricket fans in Australia and in England will be captivated by cricketing battles between the two nations. While this current Ashes series will be tense, it will surely never equal the notorious Bodyline Series of 1932–33 for drama on the field and rancorous politics off it.

Why is it still so controversial? Why do books and films still ponder the ethics of a test series of 70 years ago in which the gentleman amateur Douglas Jardine, (ex-Winchester School and Oxford University), ordered his fearsome fast bowlers, Larwood and Voce, both working class professionals, to bowl at the upper body of the Australian batsmen. The theory was that they would either be caught out by a ring of close leg side fielders or be so intimidated they would lose confidence and give their wicket away. Contrary to widespread public perception, there was no intention to knock them out though that was clearly a serious risk.

The plan worked. England regained the Ashes with a 4–1 series victory. The bodyline tactic was aimed at the brilliant young Australian batsman, Don Bradman, who had destroyed England’s team on their home ground in 1930 with an astonishing series average of 139.14. Jardine came to believe Bradman could be intimidated and that it was legitimate to do so. It was not forbidden by the laws of the game and therefore in his view not against the code of sportsmanship by which Englishmen were supposed to live and the ethic of fair play through which the British supposedly governed their vast Empire.

It was precisely this sacred code which the Australians claimed that Jardine had broken and his methods were denounced in a mysteriously leaked telegram to Lord’s as “unsportsmanlike”. In a reversal of the established stereotypes, the English became ruthless win-at-all-costs Aussies and the Australians the decent English gents.

  Cricket– but not as we know it

 England’s cricketing authorities defended their captain during the series, only to distance themselves later and dangerous fast bowling from both ends. In fact, it was the declare bodyline bowling against the laws of the game. After a couple of years the moral order of the British Empire symbolised by cricket had been restored. The narrative that wrapped itself round the Bodyline Series was simple and monolithic. Douglas Jardine emerges as an upper class snob who despised the Australians.

His bowlers, Harold Larwood and Bill Voce, are seen as honest but misdirected working class professionals who unquestioningly did the bidding of their fl awed captain. Set against the pantomime villain and his stooges there is Bill Woodfull, the brave Australian captain, and most famous victim of Larwood’s fast bowling onslaught, hit over the heart at Adelaide in the third test, and uttering the most famous words in the long history of the Ashes: “there are two teams out there. One is trying to play cricket and the other is not”.

While the established narrative of bodyline makes a nice moral tale – essentially a battle of good against evil – this history of the event is far too simple. Jardine is branded as the instigator of intimidating batsmen with dangerous fast bowling from both ends. In fact it was the massive Warwick Armstrong who started this in 1920 when he led the Australians to the only 5–0 whitewash of England in Ashes history. Armstrong used his fearsome pace attack of Jack Gregory and Ted Macdonald to terrify batsmen both in Australia and on the return trip to England in 1921 where one batsman after another was injured by the captain’s ruthless tactics.

Perhaps the 1932–3 Australians got things out of proportion.Warwick Armstrong, by then a journalist, thought so. Here the economic and political context come in, as the game was played against a background of world depression. Trade and constitutional disputes were aggravating the painful memories of the First World War, in which many Australians felt their lives were sacrificed because of the arrogance of the British public school officer class – the Jardine type, the colonial ruling class so many Australians had left Britain to escape.

As Brett Hutchins (author of a book on Don Bradman) noted, the whole series, for the Australians at least, spoke of “a transcendent nationalism represented by Bradman, ‘the legend’, is squared off against the English enemy”. In a similar vein, one writer in the Sydney Morning Herald noted “the Bodyline Series of 1932/3 had special significance. It was not only the Old Country determined to win in a way that was not cricket; it was young Australia coming to maturity and a new sense of independence. Leading the resistance, striking blows for Australia, was ‘our Don Bradman’. The Bradman legend was created by bodyline bowling”.

It’s war out there

 That Australia had its own national agenda tends to be forgotten in all the furore over bodyline. Another factor was that the British public was largely unaware of what was happening. Reports from the English press in Australia that arrived in England one or two days late largely ignored Australian reactions to Jardine’s tactics. Similarly newsreel footage didn’t make its way into English cinema until three or four weeks after the event. By the time the English team arrived home, in May 1933, what mattered to the public was not how Jardine had played the game, but the fact that England had won back the greatest prize in cricket. Despite his rejection by the gentlemanly establishment, Larwood remained popular with most fans, especially in the north.

As English supporters watch the Ashes unfold this winter they must decide what kind of captain they want. A man like Jardine who persevered, used everything in his cricketing arsenal and brought the Ashes home, or a captain who plays to the spirit of the game before he plays to win? Significantly neither England nor Australia seem to ask this question now.

The old cultural bond of sportsmanship has largely gone as the links between the two countries have been loosened by the nationalism on both sides. In the 2005 Ashes series, Australian batsman Ricky Ponting’s treatment at the hands of Steve Harmison and the refusal of the England captain, Vaughan, to show any concern for Ponting’s injuries (he had been hit in the face) prompted the other Australian batsman, Justin Langer, to remark “This really is war out here, isn’t it?” Like it or not, far from being the outcasts of English cricket, perhaps Jardine and Larwood have turned out to be its inspiration.


Jardine – the contemporary hero

 Born in India in October 1900, Jardine was very much a son of empire. He was not an aristocrat but the son of a solicitor and as such perhaps even more conscious of his status as a gentleman and more active in asserting it. Narrowly missing the First World War, he volunteered for the Second despite being past the normal age for active service. Between the wars he fought his own battles on the cricket field. He was aloof, superior, stern and commanding; he was also loyal, fiercely protective of his players and mellowed somewhat with the years, hardly the monster depicted in the Australian press. He left no autobiography and his deeper psychological motivations remain obscure.

His upbringing and education were rooted in Victorian certainties of class and behaviour, Britain’s role as an imperial power, and the superior place of Wykehamists (pupils from Winchester) within that society. But the First World War shook these certainties. The amateur ideal of sacrifice was challenged by a new emphasis on the popular hero as a winner.

The heroic ideal became more ambivalent, still influenced by imperial and Victorian visions but subtly transformed by the advent of the mass media, especially popular reconfigurations of the hero such as Bulldog Drummond, Sexton Blake, Tarzan and Biggles, who moved quickly from the pages of comics and novels into radio and cinema. These fictional heroes were accompanied by real life heroes such as Egyptologist Howard Carter, Everest climber George Mallory and world water speed record holder Sir Henry O’Neal de Hane Segrave.

What the fictional and real life heroes shared with Jardine was a degree of selfishness. None of them were particularly interested, as their Victorian counterparts had been, in ideas of service, team spirit and the common good, but were driven by a desire for mastery, success and recognition.

These were modern themes which challenged the established rules of society. Jardine, acting as he did in pushing the rules of cricket and seemingly caring little for the general good of the imperial game, challenged the committee men of cricket and pursued selfish victory whatever the cost. In that, he was a thoroughly modern and contemporary hero.
 Further reading

 Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps: a Sledger’s History of the Ashes by Simon Briggs (Quercus 2006);

Bodyline Autopsy by David Frith (Aurum 2002);

Don Bradman. Challenging the Myth by Brett Hutchins (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

External Link: http://www.bbchistorymagazine.com/

Overseas visitors keep asking me about the rules of Cricket, here we go:

The Rules of Cricket

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.

When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side thats been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out.

Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the men have out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game!

Hope that helps…………………………

British Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – Bespoke Tours of Britain

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Pope Benedict will soon be arriving in the UK.  I am surprised at the lack of tacky Papal souvenirs for sale on the streets of Britain. Past Papal visits in other countries have produced such wonders as this Pope Soap on Rope

So in the spirit of his arrival, I offer you simple instructions on how to make your very own Pope Hat. Any newspaper will do, but I prefer to use the News of the World. There’s a link at the top of my blog page that will take you to a pdf version of this. Print it out and freak your friends out at the office, on the street, on the underground. Just a little fun arts and crafts for those with slightly twisted minds.

No offence intended!  I did promise some funny blogs……….

British Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in Catholic History

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London Olympics

The Worlds gone mad…………………..
The ‘quango’ VisitBritain has issued a guide book aimed at the British on how to treat overseas visitors during the Olympics.  Unbelievable ???
Please take the time to read some of the advice below, this is not one of my hoax blogs – its completely true!  The ironic thing is that VisitBritain is staffed with ‘non Brits’………………
If you happen to meet a Mexican during the 2012 Olympics, don’t mention the war – that is just one of the pieces of advice being given to Brits on how to treat foreign visitors during the Games.
The war in question is the 1845-6 war with the United States. Instead you should try talking about Mexican art or museums.
 They have been written by the agency’s staff, who are natives of the countries featured.

Britain is ranked 14th out of 50 when it comes to the welcome it gives to foreign visitors, but some wish they had received a more exuberant welcome from their hosts.

The comprehensive catalogue of cultural norms and traditions should ensure that you do not unwittingly offend any guests – or feel slighted because of a lack of understanding.

For example, the advice says that you should never call a Canadian an American.

Similarly, steer clear of physical contact when meeting someone from India for the first time.

Pouring wine for an Argentinean may seem to be an innocuous enough task, but it is in fact a cultural minefield – pouring it backwards represents hostility.

 When Japanese people smile they may not be happy, in fact they could be the complete opposite.

 Talking to them with your hands in your pockets will cause offence.

Remember Arabs are not used to being told what to do.

 

VisitBritain advice

 

 Sandie Dawe MBE, CEO of VisitBritain, said making visitors to Britain feel welcome was “absolutely vital” for the UK economy.

 She said: ”Overseas visitors spend more than £16bn a year in Britain, contributing massively to our economy and supporting jobs across the country.”

She added: “With hundreds of thousands of people thinking of coming to Britain in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, this new advice is just one of the ways that VisitBritain is helping the tourism industry care for their customers – wherever they come from.”

 Other pieces of advice include:

:: Winking is considered a rude gesture in Hong Kong.

 :: The Chinese are very suspicious – talking about poverty, failure or death could cause offence.

:: Visitors from the United Arab Emirates don’t take kindly to being bossed around.

:: When accepting thanks, Koreans will typically say “No, no.” The remark should be interpreted as “You are welcome”.

:: The term “Poms”, which is used by Australians and New Zealanders, is a term of endearment, rather than a insult.

:: Snapping your fingers in the presence of a Belgian is regarded as impolite.

:: Do not imply that Polish people drink too much.

 For those visiting London and the UK during the Olympics 2012 remember to book well in advance, we already have private tours booked for the summer of 2012. 

Personalised tours of  London and Britain
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours during the London Olympics

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Drivers speed along one of Britain’s busiest motorways completely oblivious to the Holy presence that surrounds them.
Crop Circle
For two crop circles depicting the face of Jesus Christ have appeared on either side of the M4 near Hungerford in Berkshire.
The two almost identical circles, both 250ft in diameter, seem to portray Jesus Christ in an image resembling the world famous Shroud of Turin.

The two crop circles in fields of wheat either side of the M4 near Hungerford, Berkshire, both resemble the face of Jesus Christ in the world famous Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the cloth used to cover Christ at the time of his burial and the face on the shroud is believed to be the face of Jesus himself.
Crop circle expert, Karen Alexander, said: ‘These circles are causing quite a stir in the crop circle community. The last time a face appeared as a crop circle was in 2002 when an alien face appeared at Sparsholt in Hampshire. Farmers whose land is used to make the circles worry that they will be inundated with visitors seeking a religious experience.’
But with the Harvest Festival approaching, they may regard the crops in the fields of wheat as a good omen.

Crop Circle Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in Wessex

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For the ‘Monty Python’ fans……………………
This scene still bring tears to my eyes.
Life of Brian
(1979) (aka Monty Python’s Life of Brian) is a satirical film by the Monty Python comedy troupe about a man who is born at the same time as (and next door to) Jesus, and whose life parallels his.

 Reg: What Jesus blatantly fails to appreciate is that it’s the meek who are the problem.

Reg: But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?


Hope you enjoyed as much as I did.

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For those who have been on tour with me recently talking about the mysterious ‘warminster triangle’ – thought you may find this intersesting.  Watch this –  Pie in the Sky, a BBC TV programme from 1966 presented by Kenneth Hudson, which investigated the mysterious objects seen above Warminster

Warminster’s long and controversial UFO history began early on Christmas Day, 1964.

Arthur Shuttlewood reported in his book The Warminster Mystery: “The air was brazenly filled with a menacing sound.

“Sudden vibrations came overhead, chilling in intensity.

“They tore the quiet atmosphere to raucous rags and descended upon her savagely. Shockwaves pounded at her head, neck and shoulders.”

Other such “sonic attacks” which occurred at around the same time in different locations around the town were later reported. Shuttlewood, at the time was the features editor on the local weekly newspaper, The Warminster Journal.

Within weeks, the floodgates opened, and the phenomenon was christened “The thing” by the locals, as no one had actually seen anything that could be attributed to the cause. The townsfolk had never heard of UFOs or ‘flying saucers’ at the time.

Strange objects

By June 1965, strange objects were being seen in the skies around the town. Shuttlewood amassed a sizable file on these sightings, and it was not until September, 1965, when he reported seeing a UFO from his home, that he became a believer in the enigma.

Shuttlewood soon became the voice and champion of The Warminster mystery.

Gordon Faulkner's Warminster 'UFO' photo

The iconic image of Warminster’s UFO was taken by Gordon Faulkner in 1965

Some students of the Warminster enigma believe that Shuttlewood became so immersed in the whole concept, that logic went out of the window as far as he was concerned.

The iconic image of Warminster’s UFO activity is a photograph, taken by Gordon Faulkner in 1965. It shows a typical ‘flying saucer’, which is so enlarged that the grain of the film emulsion is clearly visible.

Faulkner handed the picture to Shuttlewood, and told the reporter to “do as he seemed fit with it”.

Shuttlewood handed it to the Daily Mirror. It was printed in the paper on 10 September 1965. It gained the town a vast amount of publicity, and some would say, notoriety.

Within weeks, thousands of people began to converge on the town to see this strange phenomenon for themselves. Such was the concern of the local populace, that a public meeting was held in the town over the August Bank Holiday.

Pie in the Sky

BBC West filmed a half-hour documentary in 1966, entitled Pie in the Sky. Of all the programmes made about the town, this is by far the most level and fair.

Shuttlewood was by now contemplating writing a book on the events in the town. The Warminster Mystery was published in 1967 by Neville Spearman, followed a year later by Warnings from Flying Friends, which was self-published by Shuttlewood.

Sightings of “The thing” continued, but, by the early 1970s, they were beginning to decline.

This was partly due to Warminster being old news, and the numbers of sky-watchers on the hill dropped due in main to lack of nationwide publicity.

Arthur Shuttlewood

Arthur Shuttlewood was Features Editor for the Warminster Journal

A local UFO buff, Ken Rogers, began publishing The Warminster UFO newsletter in August, 1971.

Shuttlewood’s third book on the phenomenon was UFOs: Key to the New Age, which was published in 1971. This book, of all the titles written by Shuttlewood, is probably the most contentious of all. Shuttlewood’s own personal theories seem, by today’s standards to be quite absurd.

The Warminster UFO newsletter continued publication into 1973. Shuttlewood, it seems took a sabbatical from writing books for a number of years, but still took an active part in sky-watches and the local UFO scene.

In the same year, The Warminster mystery was published in paperback by Tandem books.

The Fountain Journal

Late in 1975, or early 1976 saw a new research centre open in the town. The Fountain Centre, located in Carlton Villa, Portway, was run by Peter and Jane Paget.

Along with Jane’s mother, Mrs Margaret Tedder-Shepperd, the Pagets renamed the property Star House with the intention of running not only a research facility in the town, but to offer bed and breakfast to sky-watchers who were visiting the town.

Another project they planned was the publication of The Fountain Journal, a bi-monthly magazine centred on the UFO sightings reported in and around the Warminster area.

Fountain Journal

In the 1970s, a magazine about UFO sightings in the area was published

Shuttlewood joined the editorial team early on, before the publication of issue one.

The first three issues, which were edited by the Pagets, Mrs Tedder-Shepherd and Arthur Shuttlewood, contained much more information on the local UFO scene than later issues.

This was in part due to the input of Shuttlewood himself, until he had a protracted period of ill-health.

Shuttlewood bowed out, and at around the same time, The Flying Saucerers, was published in November 1976.

Mrs Tedder-Shepherd, who was a co-owner of the centre and had a 50% stake in the property, withdrew her support, leaving the Pagets to continue to run the centre with rapidly dwindling funds.

With mounting pressures on them and the local UFO researchers becoming more hostile towards the Fountain Centre, the publication of the Fountain Journal became more sporadic. Issue 11, dated only 1977, was the last to be published.

Another research group, UFO – Info, had set up in the town. This new group, which, unlike the Fountain Centre, was run and staffed by unpaid volunteers.

Shuttlewood had two further books published in the late 1970s – UFO Magic in Motion, and his final book, More UFOs over Warminster in 1979.

Arthur Shuttlewood died in Warminster in 1996. With his death, the last lingering memories slowly faded away.

Warminster enigma

So what does the future hold for Warminster and its rich and diverse UFO history? Warminster will always remain an enigma. It is now largely forgotten in the annals of British UFO history.

Whether Warminster was a cultural/social event or a genuine Ufocal, far too much time has now passed for any accurate investigations to be made.

One thing is certain however. Despite all the new research into the phenomena in this quiet Wiltshire town all I can say is this: something strange did happen there. I know. For a time, I was part of it.

For more information visit Kevin Goodman’s UFO Warminster website.~

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