On 18th February 1968, Britain commenced a trial of year-round daylight saving time (BST – British Standard Time, one hour ahead of GMT).
Home Secretary Roy Jenkins had undertaken a review into the matter in 1966 and 1967, consulting with 87 organisations. When Jenkins finished his inquiry he was satisfied that shifting the United Kingdom’s time zone to GMT+1 after the end of summertime in 1968 would be in the best interests of the country.
So it was on this Sunday, some 54 years ago today, that Britain expected to use Greenwich Mean Time for the last time, replacing it with British Standard Time.
This experiment would last until 31st October 1971 after the House of Commons had, on a free vote, rejected it on 2nd December 1970 by 366 to 81.
In 1884, despite (the standard) opposition from the French, it was decided that the Prime Meridian line should pass through Greenwich. A brass line was positioned outside the Observatory so that visitors could straddle the marker and claim to be standing on both halves of the globe. Oh, dear! In recent times, the extreme accuracy of GPS has ruined everyone’s fun because, taking into account the slight fluctuations of the earth’s sphere, the Meridian now is shunted 335ft further east.