Hogmanay: Happy new year (three minutes early or not) to all – Scotsman comment

The clock on the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh has famously kept its own time for 118 years – three minutes fast, a policy apparently designed to help travellers catch their train at the nearby Waverley Station.

The Balmoral Hotel's clock will strike midnight three minutes earlier than the rest of the UK (Picture: SWNS)

However, on one day of the year, December 31, the clock is reset from "Balmoral Standard Time” (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so that no one is in any doubt when to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

But, for the first time in its history, the Balmoral has decided their “majestic clock” – and this is no exaggeration, it deserves the adjective – will not be changed and will remain ahead of time “as we would gladly have three minutes less of 2020 and be the first to bring in 2021”.

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There are reasons to be hopeful that 2021 will be a year when life can finally return to something much closer to normality.

However, our troubles are not yet over and, so, our celebrations still need to be curtailed.

Hogmanay is a special occasion for Scotland but we must ensure that we know what the lockdown rules are – and stick to them. If we do that tonight and continue to do so until the mass vaccination programmes are complete, then we should have a year to look forward to.

More than we have done since the end of the Second World War, the Scotsman would like to wish everyone a happy new year and hope that 2021 brings better days to you all.

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