Tom Bawcock’s eve!……..Meur Ras Tom!

 In the far, far west of Cornwall. In the fishing area of Newlyn and  Lamorna, is the tiny fishing village of Mousehole – pronounced Mowzel. Those beautiful and barely changed villages are now delightful places to holiday, whereas, once the only living to be made was from fishing. The Cornish are a brave lot. The soil is so thin, it’s barely worth farming and yet Cornish farmers get the first vegetables of the season into the shops to beat the English at their game. For hundreds of years, the Cornish miners blasted through solid rock to mine copper and tin. To this day, fishermen will risk an ‘easterly’ in ‘ellish conditions to make a living.

 In times past, in fact so long ago that the date is forgotten, Mousehole was battered by storms for days and days and the fisherman couldn’t get out. The tiny gardens gave all they could and people were living off salted pilchards. The village was facing starvation. An older man, a widower, called Tom Bawcock risked his life and almost a certain death, on a dash to sea, that others would think nothing more than a suicide mission.

 Reputedly, he came back with nine different types of fish. To this day, in Mousehole, he is remembered and celebrated. People eat ‘star gazey pie’, which is a mixture of any landed fish, mixed with a cheese sauce, mashed potatoes and boiled eggs. I love Pilchards, but eat them in the summer and autumn when they are at their best…………..they’re almost too difficult to get hold of as most of them are sold to the French and Spaniards.

 Every year, Mousehole lights up the harbour side and has done since the 1960s. The brave tale is best told by Antonia Barber in her beautiful children’s book ‘The Mousehole cat’. Children on holiday will often look for the Mousehole cat. I can still remember reading this to both of my children when they were tiny and them being enchanted by the story and the magical illustrations in the book. Enjoy the links below to the ‘telling’ of the tale. Happy Tom Bawcock’s eve!

Click HERE for part one of the story.
Then! Click HERE for the second part of the story
And finally, Click HERE for the third part of the story.

9 thoughts on “Tom Bawcock’s eve!……..Meur Ras Tom!

  1. I bought this wonderful book and video when my grand children were small, we still take time to play the video, it's such a wonderful tale….
    Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places in England, I have spent many hours in Torquay, and on horse riding trails in Cornwall.
    Thank you for sharing this link, I'm going to take time this evening to read….
    I'm wishing you and yours all the blessings of Christmas, and look forward to visiting back and forth in the coming New Year !


  2. Thank you for “The Mousehole Cat”! I had never seen it before. My 7 year old granddaughter was here and we both sat down and watched it and loved every minute. Enchanting. We are sure we are never going to make a Star Gazing Pie!
    Thank you for your wonderful blog. It is my favorite and I check in at least once a day. I look forward to the coming year of all your frugal-ness.
    Many blessings this Christmas and for the New Year for you and your family.


  3. I have been to Mousehole and stayed just above a local pub near the harbor. I even have the book!:)
    Love the illustrations too.
    Greetings from Gunn in Stavanger.


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