Your browser is unsupported and may have security vulnerabilities! Upgrade to a newer browser to experience this site in all it's glory.
Skip to main content

Volunteers who have dedicated their time to The Guildhall Time Ball were given behind the scenes access to Hull Minster. 

Here's Alison Keld's account of her visit. 

It’s not every day you get the chance to play Frere Jacques on the Carillon keyboard at Hull Minster.

On a perfect spring morning at the end of March, myself and fellow time ball volunteers were taken on a tour of the Carillon. The tour was led by Mark Keith, City Carillonneur, whose knowledge of the Minster is admirable.

The Carillon is a percussion instrument with 25 bells hung in suspension and played with a keyboard. A computer control box plays tunes on the carillon at particular times throughout the day.

Mark led us up the narrow spiral staircase to the bell chamber where the carillon keyboard is situated. This is where I was able to play at few notes of Frere Jacques, quite appropriate as it happens as the song is about a monk’s duty to ring the bell for early morning prayers.

Further up the staircase is the chamber where we were able to view the carillon bells and also get a close look at the Minster clock mechanism in action.

After climbing a few more steps we emerged onto the roof of the Minster and were rewarded with a panoramic view of Hull from the highest point in the city with public access. We had a great view of the time ball on top of the Guildhall, as well as picking out many other landmarks in the City and beyond.

After we left the Minster we decided to head towards the Guildhall to watch the time ball drop at Along with a small group of onlookers we watched it rise slowly then drop quickly at precisely 1 o’clock.