Striking clock in Spalding alerts police in 1916

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The introduction of daylight saving – moving the clock forward an hour in the spring – caused enormous confusion when in was introduced in 1916.

Despite all the debate about the change, a Sunday newspaper seller set off for Spalding Station two hours ahead of the ‘old’ time – “it turned out that two people had been operating on the clock independently!”

A “small cowkeeper” on the outskirts of Spalding failed to alter his clock so that when the milk seller arrived the cows were just about to be milked, and the milkman was forced to wait an hour and start late on his round.

The “veteran chairman” of the Spalding Board of Guardians, the Rev J C Jones, refused to alter his clocks or watch, but the report says “we noted he was well in time for the meeting of the Board yesterday”.

A couple from a village a few miles outside Spalding drove into the town on Sunday morning “as usual for divine service” and were “greatly astonished” to be told the clock said 11.30 instead of 10.30. They claimed not to have heard anything about the Daylight Saving Act whereas another couple arrived at Spalding Baptist Chapel an hour too soon.

Some village children arrived at Sunday School an hour late and said their father “wasn’t going to put his clock on for nobody” and a number of children were late for school the following day.

The clock keeper at Spalding Parish Church caused alarm when, uncertain whether he had changed the clock to the correct, new time, the clock was struck.

“To hear a public clock in a prohibited area striking defiantly in the middle of the night so startled a policeman that he hurried to the spot to see what was meant by this breach of the Defence of the Realm regulations.” At another church the bell tolled an hour too soon.