Thursday 3 July 2014

Continuing Consideration of Cornwall [4]

Tom Bawcock's Eve is a festival held on the 23rd of December. The festival is held in celebration and memorial of the efforts of legendary resident Tom Bawcock to lift a famine from the village by going out to fish in a severe storm.
During this festival Stargazy pie (a mixed fish, egg and potato pie with protruding fish heads) is eaten and depending on the year of celebration a lantern procession takes place.
When fbb visited Mousehole, such celebrations were about six months away. All was quiet and it was raining.
After leaving Newlyn, the road is typically Cornish narrow through the older part of the town ...
... but with parking on the seaward side of the wider (less narrow?) bits for visitors. 

Just north of Penlee Point and hard to spot from the bus, is Penlee Lifeboat Station.
Many of us will remember the appalling tragedy when both boats and all hands were lost in an attempt to rescue a stricken cargo ship, way back in December 1981. This video is harrowing, but a powerful tribute to the self-sacrificing bravery of RNLI crews.
Two nights before the disaster, crewman Charlie Greenhaugh had turned on the Christmas lights in Mousehole. After the storm the lights were left off but three days later his widow, Mary, asked for them to be repaired and lit again.
The village has been lit up each December since then, but on the anniversary of the disaster they are turned off at 8:00 pm for an hour as an act of remembrance.

The lifeboat is now stationed in Newlyn Harbour, but is still, respectfully, called the Penlee lifeboat.
The road may be narrow through Newlyn but you ain't seen narrow until you get to Mousehole itself.
The terminus is on the harbourside, where the bus loads, then does a dodgy wiggle and reverse before setting off back to Penzance.
Presumably the buses don't make it to the harbour when festivities are afoot.
Without local knowledge, the next stage of fbb's plan might have been a failure as he watched his bus set off back to town.
But his guess was right!
Delicious haddock and chips, cooked to order and "eaten in" (there were two small tables and four chairs) in the 30 minutes or so before the next bus. 
And there was the back-up of ...
... Levis's at Newlyn Bridge.
Memories of the Penlee disaster (most of the men were from Mousehole) and a glimpse of some pictures of the village of old ...
... compared with the sanitised "Ye Olde Fishynge Village" of the 21st century ...
... reminds the visitor that life was really, really hard in "the good old days". Most people would be born, live, work and die in Mousehole with perhaps a trip to Penzance as an annual treat.

10 trips and nine hours revealed a range of positives for First's west Cornwall network. Drivers were polite and helpful, taking care not to set off until elderly passengers were settled. Advice was willingly and efficiently given and, although timekeeping could have been better, nothing was frighteningly late. Unfortunately the look of the vehicles was poor. Almost all vehicles working in the Penzance area were tired and tatty; some seemed to held together only by the paint as there were so many rattles. Perhaps 8 out of 10 for service but a grudging 5 for appearance. 

That was Thursday : Friday was VERY different!

And did fbb say "narrow" at Mousehole?
Oh yes!
Topless for Bill

First Bus start their Weymouth open top bus route on Saturday 5th July.
The vehicle First used to illustrate this story is ...
... L650 SEU resplendent in new First livery. In previous years the bus has been topless at Weymouth ...
... topless at Weston-super-Mud ...
... and topless at Bath!
Also it has worn ordinary barbie livery with its lid on, and had a spell on Bath's Park & Ride. The vehicle was in the Badgerline fleet livery on delivery.
Weymouth to Portland Bill 501; another fbb recommended ride!
 Next bus blog : Friday 4th July 

1 comment:

  1. I assume that Solo is the slightly longer one that always stuck when it's sent down there. Madness!