The Timeball returns to Lyttelton

At exactly 1pm on 2 November 2018, the Timeball dropped from its new tower overlooking Lyttelton Harbour, celebrating a highly successful restoration undertaken by Heritage New Zealand to return this distinctive maritime feature to the Lyttelton community.

The Lyttelton Timeball Station is a historic maritime landmark, and one of only a few left in the world.  Built in 1876, it was used to signal the time to ships in Lyttelton Harbour. The property experienced significant damage in the 2010/11 earthquakes. Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga were committed to the reconstruction of the Timeball tower, Timeball, original flagpole and surrounding grounds.

The project was managed by The Building Intelligence Group Christchurch and the main construction work on the tower was carried out by Hawkins.  Stark Bros Ltd of Lyttelton repaired the Timeball using the original wooden frame and a new zinc skin.  The stonework, using original stones pinned to a new quake resistant core, was completed by specialist stonemasons Bosworth and Barthal Stone Restoration.

The site is a nod to its very important past but also a newly plotted pathway to the future.  It incorporates original heritage elements with new, such as the automated Timeball mechanism replacing the original component. The Timeball has been returned to its original colours of cream and red.

Shelia Watson, Director Southern Region, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga comments: “TBIG’s Project Director Stephen Threadgall played an instrumental role in the reconstruction of the Lyttelton Timeball tower. TBIG provided practical, solution-focussed advice for this complex ever-evolving project on a very tight and fixed budget, exceeding expectations.”

“TBIG went the extra mile to ensure that, despite the inevitable challenges of a difficult and hard to access site and the complex environment, this important milestone project of national and international significance is an outstanding success celebrated by Heritage New Zealand and Timeball enthusiasts the world over.”

Read more about the journey here: