Need the time? - Now you can hear the correct time from a bygone era!
Our speaking clock is on
020 3598 2801
At the third stroke...
Disclaimer: This facility is provided with no guarantee whatsoever. You should not rely on this number for an accurate time. It is provided solely for reference and educational purposes. It is not endorsed by any third party. The owner expressly disclaims all liability to any person in respect of anything and in respect of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon this information. This number and facility may be removed without notice.
How does this work?
Calling the number above connects you to a server in the UK running Asterisk (free and open source telephony software). A bit of code on the server, along with sampled sounds from the original voice of Pat Simmons, produces what you hear.
Pat Simmons was the voice of the United Kingdom's Speaking Clock from 1963 until 1985.
A project was conceived in 2000 to recreate, in solid-state form, the old speaking clock with the authentic voice of Pat Simmons. Over 60 members of the Telecommunications Heritage Group subscribed to designing and assembling circuit boards for an electronic speaking clock. All stocks of the TIM 2000 project parts were sold out a long time ago. So listening to this speaking clock on 020 3598 2801 is your best way of hearing the time now.
Details of the original project seem to have disappeared at the moment!
Sam Hallas' information about the project is here
Thanks to Paul Seward for help setting up Asterisk
In major cities in the UK, the service was obtained by dialling the letters TIMe (846) on a dial telephone, and hence the name "Tim". Other areas used different numbers, but it was standardised to 123 by the early 1990s.