A Blog Around The Clock

Greenwich time to remain Greenwich time

In light of my post earlier today about the discrepanices between ‘real time’ and ‘clock time’ (or ‘social time’), it is heartening that the Parliament in the U.K. wisely decided not to switch their clocks to the time the rest of Europe observes. If they did, they would be seriously out of whack. After all, at Zero Meridian in Greenwich (yup, I stood astride it, of course), midnight is really midnight – it is the middle of the time zone. Resetting it by one hour would put the Brits at the far Western edge of another time zone and they would always experience true midnight a long time (60-120 minutes!) after the clocks say it is midnight (the same goes for dawn, noon, dusk and any other time).

Now, if they (and us and everyone else) could only decide not to go through the twice-annual ritual of re-setting the official clocks by one hour (Spring forward, Fall back), that would save a lot of lives….


  1. #1 Roy
    January 31, 2007

    Actually, it is UTC time. GMT stopped being kept by the Greenwich Observatory in 1990, for budgetary reasons, when the function was taken over by the BBC, using GPS to estimate UTC.

  2. #2 coturnix
    January 31, 2007

    Sure, but that did not move the Zero Meridian anywhere nor displace the borders of time zones.

  3. #3 Lab Cat
    January 31, 2007

    The old argument about time changes! The problem is that the north of England, let alone Scotland, just doesn’t have enough daylight hours in winter. So if the clocks stayed on summer time all year round the accidents would just happen in the morning instead of the evening.

    They make up for it in the summer – I am one of the few people in the US who feels light deprived in June. Where are my 17 h plus of daylight?

  4. #4 blf
    February 5, 2007

    I’ve always been annoyed by the GMT/UTC+1 standard for (parts of) mainline Europe ‘cuz (those parts of) mainland Europe are more naturally in the Greenwich zone. E.g., I am currently in Montpellier, France, at approximately Longitude 3° 26’ East, sufficiently close to the Prime Meridian to make UTC more natural. But I’m stuck with UTC+1 …. grumble grumble …..

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