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Rare time ball restored to glory

24 September 09 16:06 GMT

Edinburgh's famous time ball has been restored to full working order, two years after it was damaged in a storm.

The ball, on top of Calton Hill, had been lowered at 1300 GMT each week day since 1852, until it was damaged.

It was devised as a navigational aid, giving sailors in the Forth an accurate time reading to set their instruments.

The repairs were made as part of the Twelve Monuments Restoration Project, a joint initiative between Edinburgh World Heritage and the City council.

Made of wood, covered in zinc and weighing almost a quarter of a tonne, the ball is raised to the top of the Nelson Monument using a system of pulleys.

David McDonald, World Heritage Project Manager said: "It will be great to see the time ball working again, which could not have happened without the support of many donors such as the Marquess of Bute, Babcock Marine Division, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"The community councils and local interest groups have also rallied behind the project, and their help and support has been invaluable. I invite everyone to come along on Doors Open Day and find out more about this Edinburgh and Leith institution."

Councillor Deidre Brock, Convenor for Culture and Leisure, said: "It's tremendous to see the time-ball back in its rightful place once more.

"Residents of Edinburgh and visitors can again look to the Nelson Monument at one o' clock each day to see the magnificent time ball in action."

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