Historic timeball brought up to the Guildhall in Hull as part of a £ 452,000 makeover
On Wednesday, contractors Hobson & Porter carefully lifted the historic Guildhall Time Ball in Hull, which weighs nearly 8th (50kg), over 230 feet in the air by crane before manually lowering it onto the mast above the clock tower.
The time balls were used by the ancient Greeks and also by the sailors of old to regulate their instruments.
Hull’s timing device was completed in 1918, but quickly became obsolete. They had been used by officers on ships in the estuary.
They could see it raising the mast and falling on Greenwich Mean Time, either noon or 1 p.m., depending on the time of year, allowing officers to tune their instruments.
The time ball will be restored to perfect working order in the spring, marking the centenary of the last fall of the ball. Until then, the view will be obscured by scaffolding.
A weather vane, modeled on an 18th century merchant ship, was also installed.
Both pieces, designed and manufactured by the Smith of Derby watchmakers, were finished with 23.5 karat English gold leaf.
Head of Council Daren Hale said: “As well as being an amazing feature in the city’s skyline, the restoration of the time ball and the renovation of the tower contribute to our ambition to make Hull a world-class tourist destination.
“As an integral part of our maritime project, it will allow this important aspect of Hull’s unique maritime history to be rediscovered and celebrated by local residents and visitors for generations to come.
Including the famous Time Balls in Greenwich and at Nelson’s Monument on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, there are around 60 examples around the world.
The hour ball at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich falls every day at 1 p.m., as since 1833.