Another Fine Mess Stanley!*

* A phrase frequently used by Oliver Hardy addressing Stan Laurel in Laurel and Hardy films when there had been yet another disaster.

You will have read Steve Carr’s post about the shambles of the Tier 3 announcement. It goes further than that. The original announcement on Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County Council and Borough websites said Tier 3 came into effect at 1 minute past midnight on Thursday ie First thing on Friday.

However on BBC East Midlands Today at 6.30pm on Monday, the presenter Anne Davies said Tier 3 came into effect a day before. Was this a misunderstanding of the phrase ‘1 minute past midnight on Thursday’ or had the Councils got it wrong?

Nottingham City Council’s website has been changed and now says ‘These measures come into force at 00:01am on Thursday 29th October’. That’s clear but who made the original error? A Government briefing? The BBC? Clearly the Councils were obliged to change their announcement.


  1. It is slightly ambiguous but I read it as one minute past midnight, on Thursday. Not really something to get worried about.


  2. The latest update on the lunchtime news is that there’s a 24 hour delay now…. The whole of Nottinghamshire will now enter Tier 3 at 00.01am on FRIDAY instead of Thursday.


  3. Midnight occurs at the beginning and end of each day. So does one minute past midnight on Thursday mean Thursday or Friday in this case? Its ambiguous. The argument is akin to the argument whether zero is positive or negative.
    The only way to resolve this is to use the 24hour clock and state which day to which it refers.
    Our Councils were caught out by this situation and amended their original notices announcing Tier 3 to use the 24hour clock.
    As Anne R points, out the implementation has been put back a day now anyway – Another fine mess Stanley!


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