Ramadan timetable mystery

With the fasting moving back to the very beginning of autumn and the first couple of days fasting being the most difficult they’ve been since, well, whenever they were last in April, I have noticed a strange phenomenon affecting when people are starting their fasts. People in places that are very close together are starting fasting nearly half an hour apart.

The Ramadan Timetable website has been posting timetables supplied by mosques up and down the country. My nearest mosque, at Kingston, has a timetable (PDF) which gives the end of suhoor at 0407 today (0409 tomorrow), with Peterborough, Leeds and Nottingham, all much further north, fasting from slightly earlier, while Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Hounslow all started around or after 0430, and yet finished at roughly the same time - about 1950. Bristol started at 0451, and while it’s understandable that they started a bit later than London because Bristol is further west, they finished only about five minutes behind us, at 1956.

Surely some of these timings must be wrong, because the variations seem not to consistently match with the towns’ locations, and in some cases wildly different suhoor timings are being given within the same city. Am I getting up at half three when I do not need to, or are some people having their breakfast when they should be fasting?

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