From 'The Cornishman', December 29th
There was something special at Mousehole this Christmas. A cluster of emotions, the 30th anniversary of the loss of the lifeboat Solomon Browne with all hands, the glory of the glittering lights around the picturesque old harbour, the voices with a galaxy of carols. Thousands visited the village ~ the roads through Newlyn and Paul were crowded with traffic ~ and Tom Bawcock and his inspirational cat were celebrated.
The famed Mousehole Male Voice Choir told of the Saviour's birth at their annual charity carol concert at the historic St Paul de Leon Church.
Hundreds packed the church to make it a record attendance and hear the choir, with its 75 members, the largest in its 102 year history. The traditional Cornish carol composers provided many of the highlights, from Hark What Music Fills Creation to The Star Of Bethlehem, and from Merritt to Ninnis, and songs from the mists of Christmas past, with several arranged by the conductor Stephen Lawry.
There were contemporary carols including The Christmas Lights Of Mousehole by Sheridan Tongue and an entertaining highlight was the feature of fisherman Bawcock and cat, with a flavourful poem written and read by chorister Jon Pender, telling of the night of December 23rd when a successful catch of 'seven sorts of fish' fed the community during hard times. The Lantern Song and Tom Bawcock's Eve by the choir, accompanied by Annette Turton, also delighted the audience.
The angel voice at the top of the carol cake was soprano Laura Nicholas, a local girl now studying music at Cardiff. Accompanied by Sheila Farmer, her sweet, clear voice charmed with In The Bleak Mid-Winter and The Candlelight Carol, and in the finale with the choir of the Adam classic O Holy Night.
There were also readings by the conductor, Rodney Ward, Colin Lawry and choir chairman Reg Osborne, who also thanked all those taking part ~ with a welcome and a blessing by the vicar, Rev. Tim Heaney.
Presentations were made by secretary Tim James and the organist was John Harry.
The charities to benefit are Cornwall Hospice Care and the Deborah Rendle Memorial Fund.
A retiring collection in aid of the Children's Hospice raised over £400, taking the total by Alfie Steggles for this fund at choir concerts during recent years to more than £5,000.