NEW Opening Times for 2020 Summer Season
Friday 7th August to Sunday 27th September, Wednesdays to Sundays inclusive and on Monday 31st August.
ALL Opening Hours: 11.30am to 4.30pm
TIMEBALL TOWER RE-OPENING
The Deal Timeball Tower will re-open at 1130 on Friday 7th August 2020.
All our visitor displays have been completely updated for the 2020 season with new coloured graphics along with many interactive displays. The Timeball Tower has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to re-opening. It will be kept clean during the opening period. Our goal is to protect our visitors and volunteer staff.
Covid 19 visitor procedures & restrictions
Access to the Tower will be in visitor groups of 1 - 4 people. Groups of up to a maximum of 6 may occasionally be acceptable depending on how many people are already in the Tower. Admission will be at approximately 30 minute intervals. Only three visitor groups at a time will be permitted in the Tower – ie one on each floor; the ground floor is for reception of visitors. There will be a 30 minute cycle so that the 1st floor group can view the DVD - duration 20 minutes - then move on upwards. We would ask visitors to exercise social distancing of 1 metre and be alert. This is to avoid unsafe overcrowding.
Visitors will be issued with a cloakroom ticket on arrival in the public plaza outside our main entrance and be given a visit time slot at approximately 30 minute intervals. Visitors are requested to wait outside by sitting on the flower bed edges and we will have an umbrella and table available to provide shade. We would ask you to wait patiently and only enter the Tower when called forward by our staff. You will be asked to hand sanitise before entry.
We would prefer credit card touch and go payments rather than cash. Visitor facemasks will be available if required. Visitors should work their way upwards, staying together – TV room (20 minute DVD); Model room; Top floor.
(Note - If you have to pass another group then please duck out of the way on landings or around the mast if on the top floor. Please do not try to pass on the staircases.
The Timeball is presently shut down because of serious corrosion to the mast. This is to protect the mechanism and the public from falling rust pieces. We are awaiting scaffolding so that the mast can be reinforced with steel plates whilst repainting and maintenance work is carried out to the exterior of the building. At present we have no realistic idea of the extent, timescale and cost of the mast repair. The repair work is likely to be significant and costly. In the interim, we are setting up a Timeball Repair Fund; any donations would be very warmly received as we are a charity. The Covid19 shutdown has significantly impacted on our annual revenue.
Time Stands Still
We are sorry but the Timeball remains inoperative to safeguard against falling corrosion debris and also to protect the mechanism. A recent inspection of the Timeball mast revealed significant corrosion. The mast will have to be stripped to bare metal and repainted prior to reinforcement with welded steel plates. It is planned that the Timeball Tower will be scaffolded in April for a complete repaint and repair of the external fabric.
The work to repair the Timeball mast will take place during this period. It is hoped to have the Timeball back to normal operation by mid to late May.
Help Keep the Ball Rising (and falling)
Deal Timeball Tower has been telling people the time since 1855. It is one of only a very small number of structures that continues to operate a timeball every day, including Christmas Day, all year round. It is probably unique in that it is the only timeball that can be visited by the public.
Our visitors come from all around the world many of whom have become supporters and help maintain the building and the mechanism for future generations. However, we do need more people to help keep our unique peice of history alive.
We are asking people to become supporters. For £10 (couple) or £6 (single) a year you are able to visit the tower during our open season and your children have entry for free. You also get 10% any goods you buy from our shop but more importantly you will be helping support this unique peice of history.
You can download the application form by clicking this link.
We're delighted to announce that the Tower's original 19th century Marine Chronometer is back where it should be, proudly on display in an illuminated security cabinet on the top floor.
This wonderful piece of Victorian craftmanship is still in full working order. It was bought at auction by Deal Town Council for visitors to the Tower to enjoy.