Reluctance over Summer Time

Further to the clipping from 1917 about Uig adopting summer time a year after it was officially introduced, it seems that throughout Lewis there were further difficulties with the concept. The following is from Eilean an Fhraoich of 1965, in an article looking back to 1925.

Summer time had been introduced during the war but was still unobserved in rural Lewis, except by the schools.

The people of Skigersta petitioned the School Management Committee not to adhere to summer time because it meant that the children had to be up at 6 o’clock in the morning to get to Lionel on time.

The Committee was sharply divided about the matter. Rev RJ Macleod said the children went to bed by Greenwich Time and it was a hardship to make them get up by summer time.

Mr WG Morrison said the ministers were to blame. They were not progressive. If they changed the time of the church services the difficulty would disappear.

Rev R Mackenzie said the people would not agree to altering the time of church services and a minister would only get into trouble if he suggested it. At the same time he favoured sticking to summer time for the schools because “it is not to edification to be altering things too often.”

The Committee agreed, but only by six votes to four, and Rev Mr Macleod warned the committee that though they had the power to fix the school hours they hadn’t power to make people go to bed earlier!

An even more difficult situation arose during the Second World War, at least in some villages, where the churches themselves differed and the Church of Scotland observed double summer time, the Free Church summer time and the Free Presbyterians Greenwich time.