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5th January 2021

Hull City Council has confirmed the appointment of a Principal Main Works Contractor to restore the Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball and complete the next phase of the Guildhall roofing improvements.

Local construction company, Hobson and Porter Ltd has been awarded the contract to undertake works to restore and refurbish one of the UK’s last remaining Time Balls, a rare historic timepiece that was used to help ship’s navigators tell the time and fix longitudes from sea.

The comprehensive restoration work of the Guildhall Time Ball is being completed thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the council. The works include the removal of the existing replica ball and installing a new one. Other elements of works include replacing the internal mechanism, renovating to parts of the clock tower and its historic stonework, lantern and a new electrical installation to supply the Time Ball mechanism.

The Guildhall Time Ball will be restored

Dating back to 1915, Hull’s Time Ball is the highest time ball in the UK, one of the last to have been built. It is the only timepiece of its kind on a municipal building and one of only a few nationally. The historic time ball, once restored, will join a handful of other working time balls in the UK, including Greenwich London, Carlton Hill in Edinburgh, two in Kent and one in Brighton.

The contract will also to deliver the next phase of the re-roofing and repair works to the Guildhall roof as part of the ongoing property maintenance programme.

Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration and Planning, Land and Property, said: “The appointment of the main contractor is a major milestone for the project. It is fantastic that a local business with a proven track record will be undertaking these important improvements.

“The Guildhall Time Ball is a unique landmark in the city and a timepiece of great heritage and maritime importance that should be preserved, rediscovered and celebrated.”

Work is expected to get underway in early 2021.