Past Projects

 

Love Lane Electricity Supply (2011)

A new electricity Supply box has to be manufactured to supply the "Merry Christmas" and "Father Christmas" displays at very top of the village. This supply box is site specific and is a bespoke design. It will be manufactured by one of our volunteer electricians. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around £500 and we have received a kind grant from the Local Council towards this cost. Although you will not actually see any difference because of this project it is necessary due to Health and Safety.
The New Supply has been installed and is working - thanks to Penwith Electrical for building it for us.

 

Replacement Church (2011)

Our old Church on the New Quay is getting very old and maintenance is becoming high. We have allocated a team to replace it with a totally new lightweight metal frame and Low Voltage lamps. This means that not only will it be easier to erect, it will be stronger, safer and use less energy due to the use of the Low Voltage power system. The current (Original) Church was made in the mid 1980's and manufactured from Wood with mains lampholders/cable and erected on scaffolding.  It has had several repairs over the years including a major repair following a severe storm which occured the night before switch on back in 1989. The waves crashing over the Quay and into the structure smashed the frame and bent the scaffolding tower used to support the church.

We have been awarded a Grant of £180 towards the cost of replacing the church from the BT Community Champions Award Scheme. One of our Technicians is a BT employee and BT Community Champions awards BT people with funding on behalf of local community groups, charities and organisations where they work on a voluntary basis. 

Our new Low Voltage Church has been installed and is looking splendid. Many thanks to he hard work of the team that built it.

Merry Christmas / Happy New Year rewire (2012)

The Merry Christmas / Happy New Year is in need of a rewire. It is the largest of our set pieces approximately 160ft (50m) long x 20ft (6m) high and contains nearly 1000 bulbs. The current mains "Festoon" lamp holders are worn out and the cabling is beginning to breakdown. The estimated cost for the work will be around £850 and will take approximately 350hours. During the rewire, we will take the opportunity to change the control system to allow us to "Dim" the lamps and have a softer transition between the 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy New Year' and we might even include a little surprise for our 50th anniversary next year!

 

The work to replace the Merry Christmas is Progressing well. The letter frames have been stripped of the old cabling and lampholders and structural repairs and painting has begun. Within the next few weeks cabling work will start and each of the individual lampholders will be fixed onto the timber frames ready for testing. 

 

               
                Rewiring one letter                                            New frame

We have received a generous grant of £1000 from BT People awards to help pay for the Merry Christmas work. This will cover the cost of the complete upgrade and also leave something over to help maintain it for a few years. One of our Technicians is a BT employee and BT awards BT people with funding on behalf of local community groups, charities and organisations where they work on a voluntary basis.
    
             
   Steam Cleaning the old Lampholders           Old Frame to be replaced (R/W)


New Quay Trees (2012)

To compliment our new Low Voltage Church, we are converting the 7 White Christmas Trees along the New Quay to Low voltage. This will improve reliability as well as safety for the maintenance personnel. 24Volt systems don't come cheap, the estimated cost is over £2000 and the work by our unpaid volunteers will exceed 200 hours. The recovered lampholders will be cleaned and recycled where we will use them to offset some of the repair costs for the 'Merry Christmas / Happy New Year'.
 

Photovoltaic Solar Panels for the Celtic Cross (2011/12)

We intend to fit 3 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to the supply for the Celtic Cross. The PV panels have been donated to us from Unité of France. The Celtic Cross is located on St Clement’s Island and has to endure some of the worst weather of any of the displays. No natural protection is available and unlike the displays in the village if a storm is forecast we cannot send a team out to remove or make it safe. The PV panels will help charge the batteries that power the Low Voltage cross. They will connect into the same power system as the wind generator which is currently located on the Island. Thanks to one of our technicians, the wind generator has some very clever electronics that applies a brake if the wind gets to strong to prevent the generator from damaging itself!

The solar PV panels are on the Island and charging up the batteries very well.

Images available in the "Image gallery" under "Working party"



Low Voltage Upgrades (2013)

We have plans this year to upgrade some of our older set pieces to low voltage systems. This increases safety for both the public and for our technicians who maintain them during the period the lights are on. Low voltage systems don't come cheap, we are planning on spending in excess of £5,000 on just 2 items.


The first of which is the cracker...



The Cracker was made in the early 1980's and was located on the Newlyn side of the village, so it could only be seen by walking around the harbour. After a couple of years we decided to move it to a more prominent location and to flash the star at the centre. Now it flashes alternately between the star and the cracker as if to illustrate the cracker 'bursting open'. Once we have completed the upgrade the hope is that it will actually burst open and you will see lots of stars!

UPDATE - We have now completed the upgrade and have used a new method of construction. Lightweight Aluminium framework with new LED technology lighting. Safety in mind for the low voltage system and easier erection due to the weight decrease, also we have reduced the electrical consumption by over 95 percent!


We also hope to upgrade the flickering candle...




The 'Flickering Candle' was made in the 1990's. It was placed below the Lobster pot hotel on scaffolding for many years. The Holly came from the old (By then retired and recycled) 'Bells and Holly'. The control unit is very basic, but also very clever, it's 2 fluorescent light starters that cause the flicker effect - each half of the flame switches between red and yellow. The starters do wear out and we replace them approx twice whilst the lights are on. We have tried several different techniques to control the flame 'electronically' and nothing gives the true 'random' flicker that the starters provide!

UPDATE - this project has been completed, new LV electrical system and electronic controller.



New Supply Box (2013)

It is necessary to upgrade a domestic supply which is kindly donated for our use with our own private supply.
This will allow future expansion, increase our ability swap some larger set pieces around and give us better control over testing and safety. Although you will not see any difference by this project, it is going to cost approx £1,200 for the supply connection and the bespoke control box that we require.

Update - our switchgear control box has been manufactured and we have a date from Western Power to connect our supply...

Thanks to Penwith Electrical for assisting with the installation.



Nativity (2013)

We've been unable to disclose this years "top Secret" Projects. One of them is our fabulous Nativity scene. This is located on the raised platform in front of the St.Clements Sunday School rooms at the top of Old Quay Street. You need to walk around the village and see it on foot to appreciate it fully. 


Many hours of work has gone into it and the final display is reputed to be the largest in the 'West country'. We think it's one of the best displays ever built by Mousehole Lights and we hope you agree. If you do get to see it, leave us a comment on our Guestbook to tell us what you think.

 

Celtic Cross Rebuild (2014)

The Mousehole Harbour Lights Celtic Cross which has stood the test of time since 1999, and was converted to solar power only last year has been swept away by the February 2014 storms. The new solar array and the whole of the cross were lost in the horrific storms. Although the cross was originally erected to celebrate the 2000 millennium it has become an iconic part of the Lights. The Harbour Lights team are committed to make an valiant attempt to rebuild and replace the cross by next Christmas , but the financial impact on the lights in general is significant. the Lights annual cost is around £16000 and the cost of replacing the Cross and solar panels will amount to around 25% of this at between £4000 and £5000.





          

Bottle and Glass (2014)

Our old Bottle and Glass required some major rework, so we have decided to rebuild it using low voltage LED's. These LV upgrades can cost huge amounts of money, the conversion of the controller from 240v AC to 24v DC and the upgrade to LED's will cost in excess of £2000 and take approx 200 hours of work from our unpaid volunteers.

    

We will have a saving on the prime power required to run the item of about 95%, but it doesn't offset the cost of the work. Currently the Bottle and Glass consumes approx 1KW of power and after the upgrade, the estimate is approx 0.05KW (50 Watts), it's only on for 6 hours per night for approx 3 weeks of the year, so if we tried to recoup the outlay just by power savings, it would take nearly 50 years!

Safety is the main reason for the upgrade, by removing the 240v AC from the item, it becomes much safer to maintain and also much more resilient to adverse weather
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