Questions, questions!  Any Old Lights does have a pub quiz team and we do make rare appearances at various local venues.  We’ve come second twice. Nick says he is going to throw himself off the harbour wall if we don’t win the next one….

Customers wander into Fowey shops and ask all manner of questions – often they ask questions that aren’t anything to do with vintage nautical lighting.

At Bird Kids, where I also work, the staff are asked, ‘What’s at the top of this hill?’

At The Ready Money Beach Shop (another regular gig), at least ten people a day ask, ‘How do I get to the castle?’

And at Any Old Lights, since we moved into 14 Lostwithiel Street with its 1920s tiling, we are routinely asked if our shop was once a butchers.  We don’t mind. We are willing tourist information officers and amateur local historians.

But there is something refreshing about the customers who have ‘us’ asking more questions…

Like the man who used to sit in the gods, brightening a stage with the same vintage theatrical spotlights we now sell to you, to light the narratives of your homes with. I learned so much that day. We even spoke about the effects of coloured light on mood and melatonin!

A naval officer once appeared, like Mr Benn, seemingly in order to explain how a ship’s radio clock worked.

He told me about silent listening periods over specific frequencies, marked on the clock face using green and red triangles of colour. So officers were less likely to miss distress calls.

He told me about a dog, found way out at sea, first thought to be a seal, but discovered to everyone’s amazement, to be a labrador. He wondered what rescues had been passed from mouth to ear in the face of these clocks and, as I wrapped his up for him, I thought about that too.

I have stored radio room frequencies and melatonin facts in my head for our next pub quiz outing. You never know, that naval officer might indirectly also rescue Nick from jumping off the harbour wall.

Posted by TJ Tucker, girl Saturday

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