Tom Bawcock's Eve Mousehole has its own unique holiday. It is a particularly "merry place" to be on the evening of December 23. Tom Bawcock's Eve is in memory of a famous episode in the village's past. It seems that long ago bad weather forced fishing boats to stay in harbour, and the villagers were faced with starvation. In a short lull in the storm one brave man, by the name of Tom Bawcock, managed to catch enough fish to keep the villagers alive until the storm abated. The fish was baked into a large pie, called Stargazy Pie.
Stargazy pie, 4 pilchards, herring or mackerel juice and rind of 1 lemon 2 sliced hard-boiled eggs 6 oz. flaky pastry 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 chopped Spanish onion 4 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs 1 rasher bacon freshly ground sea salt and pepper 1/4 pint white wine
Clean and gut the fish but leave the heads on. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk to make them swell. Add the lemon peel, half the onion and lemon juice, and the parsley. Stuff each fish with this mixture, fold and place in a pie dish, with the heads hanging over the edge. Cover with the chopped eggs and bacon, the seasoning and the rest of the onion and lemon juice, then pour over the quarter pint of white wine. Roll the pastry out to size and cover, leaving the fish heads outside. Bake at 220 degreesC/425 degrees F/Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes, then for a further 10 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F/Gas Mark 4.