IF you are of a certain age, you may well recall the time specifically between October 27, 1968 and October 31, 1971.

If you don’t remember that period, let me enlighten you. Those were the years of the great British Standard Time experiment when we didn’t change the clocks in March and October and simply stayed on Greenwich Mean time plus one hour (GMT+1) for the entire period.

I mention this as we approach the end of October and will be turning back an hour to GMT with the effect of making it lighter in the mornings and the dark nights arriving earlier in the day.

I do remember the British Standard Time experiment but only just.

Being completely honest I was still a teenager in 1968 but my vague recollections was that the experiment worked for me. This may be an unreliable memory but I seem to recall I was more than a little disappointed when the country reverted to the system we still use today.

Anyway, a quick history lesson. BST was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916, after a campaign by builder William Willett. His original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sundays in April and by the reverse procedure in September.

Willett never lived to see his idea implemented as he died in early 1915, the year before it came in.

The reason for the change was to make the most of the daylight available in the summer. Another argument, however, was that the different hours would affect the amount of coal being used in homes, increasing the supplies available to support the war effort.

In truth, we were merely copying the Germans who actually started changing their clocks a month or two before we did for the same reasons – to help its war effort.

Fast forward a few years and it was the Second World War that brought about the next change when the summers of 1941 to 1945 the clock was two hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST). The clocks were brought back in line with GMT at the end of summer in 1947.

So why did we have the experiment between 1968 and 1971?

An inquiry during the winter of 1959–60, in which 180 national organisations were consulted, revealed a slight preference for a change to all-year GMT+1.

But nothing was done until a second inquiry in 1966-67 and government of Harold Wilson’s Labour government agreed to the trial.

One of the reasons given was that the shift in daylight hours would help to reduce the number of road accidents and the evidence sort of seemed to support that. Figures for the first two years of the experiment showed that while there had been an increase in casualties in the morning, there had been a substantially greater decrease in casualties in the evening, with a total of around 2,500 fewer people killed and seriously injured during the first two winters at a time when about 1,000 people a day were killed or injured on the roads.

Of course, the problem with not changing the clocks in October is very much tied in with geography. The further north you go, the later you see the sun rise, meaning that in Scotland daylight might not appear until well after 9am and Scottish farmers have been among the most vocal opponents of permanent GMT+1.

Now I don’t want to appear like I’m being nasty to our Scottish cousins but my vague memories of the experiment of the in the 1960s and 70s are that it was a good thing and something we should consider doing again.

And I have a solution to the ‘Scottish problem’. They can crack on with independence, go its own way and as well as having a border with the UK, it can have its own time zone as well.

Then everyone’s happy, aren’t they?