Make your own free website on

Deal Timeball Tower

Photo Gallery "The Ball Drop"

Photo Gallery "The Ball Drop"
Location Details
Location Map
Visitor Information
Timeball Images - Inside the Tower
Photograph Gallery
Photo Gallery 2
Shop Items
Shop Items 2
Dover & The Surrounding Area

Timeball Rising Just Before 1pm
The ball rising from the bottom to the middle just before 1pm

Ball Just Before 1pm
Here the ball has risen to the top of the pole ready to descend the pole at 1pm.

The Ball After Descending The Pole
The ball reaches the bottom just after 1pm.

This photo gallery explains the order of how it used to happen. At about 5 minutes to1pm the ball was lifted to the middle (to alert ships that the signal would be due shortly), and then at 2 minutes to 1, ascended further up the pole to the top. The ball was then dropped at 1pm by an electrical signal sent directly from Greenwich. The time was recorded when the ball began to drop, not when it reached the bottom of the pole.  Today the mechanism operates automatically every hour between 9am and 5pm for public entertainment only. 
When the Trust took over the running of the Tower, the ball mechanism was controlled by a pneumatic system that had become very unreliable.  It failed completely in front of a crowd of about 200 people at the midnight drop scheduled for New Year's Eve 2003.  The pneumatic mechanism has since been completely replaced by Gillett and Johnston with a new mechanism operated by an electric motor and large toothed-belt.  The motor is computer controlled and synchronised to the Rugby atomic clock signal - so we are confident its accurate.
Although most of the original mechanical & electrical mechanism is present, it is not used in order to avoid wear and damage.

All images and information on this page are Copyright of the T.Cleaver & the Deal Museum Trust 2004 and may not be reproduced without prior permission.
Created & Designed by Terry Cleaver of  Dover Soul Media at on behalf of The Deal Timeball Tower Trust. Maintained by S. Chappell and T. Cleaver
We are located at the following web addresses:

Creative Commons License
Official Deal Timeball Tower Website by Terry Cleaver, Deal Timeball Tower Trust and Steve Chappell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.