New opening arrangements for 2020

Opening Times for the remainder of the 2020 Summer Season:

Thursday 10th to Sunday 27th September, Thursdays to Sundays inclusive; closed Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays.  All opening Hours: 11.30am to 4.30pm.

Covid 19 visitor procedures & restrictions:

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.

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.