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Celebrating the end of winter's longest night

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

By SIMON PARKER

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It used to be only a handful of hardy souls with romantic notions who made their way up to the Hurlers stone circle on Bodmin Moor to welcome the sunrise on the shortest day of the year.

But the popularity of the annual pilgrimage – perhaps boosted by September's excavation of a stone pavement at the monument – has resulted in two separate events being planned for this Saturday.

The elevated location, coupled with an absence of artificial lights, has made the Hurlers a popular place to mark the coming of both the winter and summer solstices.

On Saturday, stargazers and archaeologists will mingle with new-agers and grazing sheep as dawn breaks on the shortest day of the year.

Vying for a glimpse at 8.15am – weather permitting – will be a group of singers and a group of walkers. The former plan to "sing the sun up" before retiring to the nearby Cheesewring Hotel in Minions for a full Cornish breakfast.

Organiser and singer Anne Hughes, who said anyone is welcome to join in, is expecting a large crowd.

"Well, the weather can't possibly be any worse than last year, when about 60 turned up," she added.

Meanwhile, local historian and Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project stalwart Iain Rowe will be leading a group on a walk across the open moor to view the sunrise from Craddock Moor Stone Circle.

Anyone wishing to join either of the parties should assemble at the Hurlers car park in Minions by at 7.45am.

OTHER EVENTS THIS WEEK

ALPHINGTON

St Michael's Church: Christmas Concert on Monday at 7.30pm. Free admission.

ALTARNON

St Nonna's Church: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with St Gennys Silver Band. Monday at 7pm.

BARNSTAPLE

Landkey Village Hall: Christmas music with Bett on the organ. Friday at 7.30pm.

BODMIN

Masons Arms: St Petrocs Hand Bell Ringers. Thursday at 7.30pm.

Masons Arms: Trigg Morris Men. Thursday at 8.30pm.

BUGLE

Village Hall: Bingo in aid of Bugle Silver Band supporters committee. Monday eyes down 7.30pm sharp.

CALLINGTON

St Mary's Church: Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir. Tuesday at 7.30pm.

EXETER

Cathedral: Exeter Cathedral professional choir. Wednesday at 7.30pm.

University, The Great Hall: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Thursday at 7.30pm

EXMOUTH

Glenorchy Church Hall: Country Market, wide variety of homemade produce. Friday 8.30am until 11.30am.

HALWILL

Parish Hall: Christmas Whist Drive, proceeds for Halwill Primary School. Thursday at 8pm.

ILLOGAN

Harris Mill Hall: Illogan Folk Dance Club. Thursday at 7.30pm.

Paynter's Lane End Hall: Country Market. Tuesday 9.15am until 11am.

INDIAN QUEENS

Methodist Church: Viewing of Tree Festival. Wednesday 2.30pm until 4.30pm and Friday 7pm until 9pm.

KINGSAND

Community Hall: Rame Peninsula Male Choir, Christmas Concert in aid of hall funds. Wednesday at 7.30pm. Admission £4.

LEWDOWN

Victory Hall: Table top sale. Thursday, sellers at 5.30pm, buyers at 7pm.

LISKEARD

Long Room: Country Markets. Friday from 8.30am until 12 noon.

St Neot Church: Loveny Male Voice Choir. Thursday at 7.30pm.

NEWQUAY

Sandy Lodge Hotel: Pentire Probus Club & Newquay Ladies Probus Club Christmas Lunch. Wednesday at 12.30pm for 1pm.

Sports & Community Centre: Blood Donor Sessions. Friday 1.15pm until 3.30pm and 4.45pm until 7.30pm.

NEWTON ABBOT

Courtenay Centre: Rebel Country. Friday at 8pm until 11pm. Admission £6.

OKEHAMPTON

Meldon Village Hall: Okehampton Sequence Dance Club. Wednesday 8pm until 10.30pm. Admission £1.50.

PAIGNTON

Methodist Church: Blood Donor Sessions. Friday 12.45pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 6.45pm.

PAR

The Gott Hall, Par Green: Prize Bingo including Christmas hampers draw. Thursday at 7.30pm.

The Gott Hall, Par Green: Coffee and Craft Group. Friday between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

PENSILVA

Millennium Centre: Lions Club of Liskeard, Santa visit. Thursday at 6.30pm.

PENZANCE

St John's Hall: Blood Donor Sessions. Monday 1.15pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 7.15pm.

St John's Hall: Blood Donor Sessions. Tuesday 1.15pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 7.15pm.

PERRANPORTH

Memorial Hall: Blood Donor Sessions. Thursday 1.15pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 7.15pm.

PLYMOUTH

Crownhill, Future Inns: Blood Donor Sessions. Monday 1.15pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 7.15pm.

Pilgrim United Reformed Church: Tamar Concert Choir. A Christmas Charity Concert. Thursday at 7.30pm. Tickets £5.

St Andrew's Minster Church: Music of the Night Choral Foundation Christmas Concert. Saturday at 7.30pm.

St Budeaux Methodist Church: Blood Donor Sessions. Tuesday 1.15pm until 3.15pm and 4.45pm until 7.15pm.

POOL

Trevenson Church: Carols with Cantabile Choir. Monday at 7.30pm.

ROCHE

Victory Hall: Whist Drive. Friday at 7.30pm

ST AUSTELL

Trewoon Village Hall: Christmas Concert with Tony Stace playing all types of electronic organ music. Wednesday at 7.30pm. Members £5.50, non members £6.50.

ST GENNYS

Legion Hall: St Gennys Silver Band Carol Concert. Friday at 7.30pm.

TAVISTOCK

Church of Our Lady and St Mary Magdalen: Midwinter Cantata and Christmas music. Friday at 7.30pm

St Eustachius Church: Ten Tors Orchestra. Saturday at 6pm.

TORPOINT

St James Church: Rame Peninsula Male Choir & Torpoint Lady Singers combine for a Christmas Concert. Friday at 7.30pm.

TRURO

Hall for Cornwall: Truro Country Market. Tuesday 9.15am until 3pm.

The Baptist Church: Cruse Bereavement Care Meeting of Truro Friendship Group. Saturday at 6pm. Call Helen on 01209 822464 before attending.

YEALMPTON

Riverford Farm Shop: Tamar Valley Male Voice Choir. Friday at 7.30pm.

YELVERTON

Rock Methodist Church: Christmas Tree Festival. Tuesday until Saturday from 10.30am until 6.30pm. Free admission.

Rock Methodist Church: Carol Service with mince pies and refreshments. Sunday at 10.30am.

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