The Guildhall in Hull
The Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball above The Guildhall in Hull.

Tender process opens for Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball restoration

Contractors are being invited to be involved in restoring one of the UK’s last remaining time balls in Hull.

This summer will see the start of a comprehensive restoration of the Guildhall tower, including the removal of the existing replica Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball and installation of a fully working new one.

Now companies are being invited to submit tenders to become principal contractor for the works.

Time balls reflects the importance of maritime timekeeping, the link with navigation and the need to fix longitude from the John Harrison period (1720s) to the present.

Other elements of works include replacing the internal mechanism, renovating to parts of the clock tower and its historic stonework, lantern and iron step repairs and a new electrical installation to supply the time ball mechanism.

Dating back to 1915, the Guildhall time ball is one of a number of time balls left in the country.

This restoration will secure its future and raise awareness of its significance and maritime importance.

Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council, said: “The Guildhall Greenwich Time Ball is unique – the only one in the UK on a municipal building and as far as we know the only tower specifically designed for a time ball, a piece of heritage which needs celebrating.

“Once complete, it will join a handful of other working time balls in the UK and will continue to be an important and key landmark in the city.”

This project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Hull City Council.

The tender period is open for five weeks. The documents are available here with reference number DN453811.

The appointed contractor will work with the council’s project design team DarntonB3 Ltd and mechanism designers and manufacturers Smith of Derby Ltd.

Operation Safepass
The former House of Fraser building in Hull