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In the village of Mousehole in Cornwall, which is, incidentally, full of Mousehole cottages, there is a celebration every year to commemorate the legend of Tom Bawcock, though his actual existence is generally viewed as fiction.

Tom Bawcock was a man who, during the approach to Christmas, supposedly braved the stormy seas to feed the village of Mousehole.

The weather in the lead up to Christmas had been atrocious, with huge waves, constant rain and wind that buffeted everything. Nobody had dared go out to fish, and so the village was running out of food. On December 23rd, Tom Bawcock felt he had to brave the waters, and so he set out in his boat and caught enough fish for the whole village. When he returned, the fish was cooked into enough Stargazy pie to feed the entire village.

To remember the brave deeds of Tom Bawcock, Mousehole now light up a magnificent display of lights every Christmas, and it draws visitors from around the world to stay in self catering holiday cottages in Cornwall and admire it.

It’s thought that the name of Tom Bawcock comes from the Middle English usage where it was inspired by the French Beau Coc to mean a fine, upstanding person. But whatever the origin of the legend, the display it has resulted in is unarguably beautiful.


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