FOR the fiftieth time Mousehole’s famous harbour lights were switched on at the weekend, illuminating the village to celebrate Christmas.
On Saturday night crowds braved the wind and rain to witness the anniversary event, as founder members Dudley Penrose and Stuart Purnell joined the now retiring secretary of 36 years Diana Burroughs in turning on the historic spectacle.
All three said they were very proud that 50 years after Watson Trevaskis - another founder who now lives in Australia and could not be there at the weekend - first put up a simple string of lights along the harbour, Mousehole still shone brightly over the festive season.
“It was such a lovely occasion,” said Mrs Burroughs, whose grandmother Mary Williams was the first secretary of the lights’ committee.
“It was special to be a big part of the 50th celebrations. All the trials and tribulations we’ve got through - it’s hard to believe we’ve got there.”
Mrs Burroughs said she was surprised to talk to Watson on the phone just before switch on, and was emotional as she spoke to onlookers.
“After 36 years of involvement I didn’t know how to condense it down to a minute or two,” she said.
“We were just delighted with the lights - they look wonderful. I think the new nativity scene is quite something.”
Stuart Purnell, now 70, also had the honour of flicking the switch. He praised the hard work of everyone involved and also wanted to mention the fifth founding member, Nim Boden, who turned them on a few years ago.
“It went very well,” said Mr Purnell. “I was pleased to be asked.
“It’s looking fantastic. The harbour area looks really great - it will always be very special to me. There’s been a lot of hard work.
“All my family was down to watch - I feel very festive now.”
The Methodist minister Reverend Julyan Drew also said a few comical words, while Pendeen Silver Band and Mousehole Male Voice Choir gave the sparkling colours around the port a musical backdrop.
Shops, cafes and street vendors were open and lined up along the harbour side throughout the evening, with offerings of roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and other Christmas treats.
And on Twitter and Facebook many were keen to show their support to the “biggest display yet”.
Norma Moore, who lives in Mousehole, tweeted: “Howling wind and rain - and still crowds pour in to Mousehole to see the Christmas Lights switch on for 50th year”.
While some even braved the weather coming down from outside Cornwall. Laura Wickham posted: “At the 50th anniversary of the Mousehole harbour Christmas lights! Having heard about this since I was tiny it’s very exciting to be here!”