Work on Margate’s clock tower has now been completed.
Company Smith of Derby began work on October 31 on restoring the clock face – including a gold finish – hands and working mechanisms.
Jane Betts, Smith of Derby service manager, said: “It was a pleasure working on the Clock Tower and helping in the restoration of such an iconic structure which is so central to Margate and its residents.”
The clock tower has a time ball, which is an obsolete time-signalling device. It consists of a large, painted wooden or metal ball that is dropped at a predetermined time, principally to enable navigators aboard ships offshore to verify the setting of their marine chronometers.
Accurate timekeeping is essential to the determination of longitude at sea. Although the use of timeballs has been replaced by electronic time signals, some have remained operational as historical tourist attractions.
Restoration of the timeball took place in 2014 after a fundraiser by the Margate Civic Society. Prior to that the timeball had not worked since the 1920.
The clock tower timeball commemorates Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 and was officially opened in 1889 and raised daily until 1920.
Lovely to see the work completed. Why is the pole the timeball is attached to at an odd angle leaning over? Couldn’t that have been straightened in 2014 when they were working on it?
There are a few other community subscribed public clocks throughout Thanet that need restoring. With all the grants Council receive for this and that why can’t they do up those historical pieces also?
Is the timeball operating? The article is not clear.