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From 29 June 2023, Hull’s Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball will rise and fall again after 100 years, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council.

This funding has restored the Time Ball to full working order, renovating the external clock tower as well as the installation of a new internal mechanism.

Hull’s Guildhall Time Ball is the only such timepiece on a municipal building, it is the highest in the UK and one of only a handful still operational today. It reflects the importance of maritime timekeeping, and the role of calculating longitude at sea for accurate and safe navigation.

The original Time Ball was installed between April 1915 and November 1916, and is 60m above ground level. It was removed due to severe damage caused by a storm.

The new Time Ball is over one metre in diameter and weighs 50kgs. The weathervane at the very top of the mast is 80cm high, 120cm wide and weighs 25kgs. It is based on an 18th century merchant ship the ‘Bounty’, built in Hull and later famous for the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’, of which there are several film versions. Both the Time Ball and weathervane are finished in 23 ½ carat, double thickness English gold leaf.

The Guildhall in Hull

The original Time Ball dropped at 1pm each day to allow sailors to set their chronometers and confirm longitude, which was vital for accurate navigation and safety. The signal was sent from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich to the General Post Office on Lowgate, who then manually operated the Time Ball at precisely 1pm.

Following the restoration, the Guildhall Time Ball has reclaimed its position on Hull's skyline and will rise at 12.57pm and drop at 1pm each day (except in the event of extreme weather).

There will be opportunities for residents and visitors to learn more about its maritime significance.

Hull’s Guildhall Time Ball is the only such timepiece on a municipal building and one of only a few nationally

Learn more about the Time Ball here.

Watch the restoration of the Time Ball below.