“Free” UK Speaking Clock

Did you know that in the UK you can get the latest time by calling 123 from most landlines – you’ll be put through to a speaking clock known officially as “Timeline”, but unofficially in the UK as “Tim the talking clock” (historically it was on the number 846 – TIM). It’s been available since July 24 1936 and is meant to be accurate within five thousandths of a second and has been sponsored by Accurist Watches since 1986 (see BT press release for details). You can sometimes reach it directly via the number 8081 as well.

Anyway, that’s usually charged by BT at 30p per minute: which is quite expensive. But did you know you could call The Telecommunications Heritage Group on 0845 092 8081 to listen to the time (and that should be charged at “local” rates, or via TelephonesUK on 0871 789 3642 at national rate (10p per minute) or – if you actually have free 01 or 02 calls in your calling plan – you can actually hear the latest time for free via 01352 83 8081 (if you don’t have a calling plan, it’ll be normal 01 rates).

The non-BT options use the voice of Pat Simmons who provided the voice to the official version between 1963 and 1985.

2 responses to ““Free” UK Speaking Clock”

  1. Thank you. I have been looking for a geo number for the old speaking clock for ages. The 0845 092 8081 number you mention is currently 7 mins 20 seconds slow! The 01352 number is accurate! Thanks again.

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