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Author Topic: Walking the 'Willett Way'  (Read 3775 times)

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Walking the 'Willett Way'
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 23:15:17 »
2007 marks 100 years since the idea of British Summer Time was first seriously proposed - by William Willett (1856-1915), a house-builder and horse-rider who settled in Chislehurst, Kent. It is also the 80th anniversary of the unveiling of a William Willett memorial, set among the trees and ferns of Petts Wood, a few miles from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

British Summer Time - or Daylight Saving Time as it is known elsewhere - affects all of us. Yet few people know that it originated in the suburbs of south-east London, or that its creator was responsible for important housing developments across the capital and in other places.

The two walks described in this book
(Now available free online, see link below) reveal the hidden history of William Willett, his life and the work of his building firm. They also show what happened after his death in 1915 and how local people recognized and commemorated his achievements. For by the 1920's, William Willett had become a posthumous hero, with more and more people backing the daylight-saving plan that he never lived to see established.

Pubic money was raised to buy and preserve Petts Wood, partly as a living memorial to Willett but mostly as local residents wanted to prevent building development encroaching their green spaces. A sundial - keeping British Summer Time, not Greenwich Mean Time - was erected in a clearing.

Willett became a champion of daylight, so what better way is there to find out about his life than to go for a walk in the bright fresh air? Make a packed lunch, put on some stout walking boots and set off for Petts Wood. The Bromley walk takes about three or four hours; Sloane Square takes just a few minutes. These walks are just a brief introduction to Willett-land. Willett-Way-.pdf


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