Brixham Angels

Ah a little post about the local legend of the Brixham Angels. What can I use to illustrate it? I know. Here’s another one of my mosaics. The angel wings are a favourite of mine made for a friend, one of my lockdown projects. It was her choice of subject matter but I loved conceiving and making it. I quite like others to decide on the challenge that they set me. It stretches me and helps me to develop my craft.

In the winter months of 1866 there was a storm, the ‘Great Gale’. The beacon light on the quay was put out by the waves One hundred fisherman died on one night but many were saved by their female folk who hauled clothes and household objects including their furniture down to the breakwater and made a massive fire. What a huge collective sacrifice in an era when this town was so poor. Anyway it was worth it. The flames, said to resemble the wings of an angel, guided their loved ones home. The women, the Brixham Angels, were commended in parliament for their brave act.

These Brixham Angels are not forgotten in our town. There’s a memorial in St Mary’s Churchyard up in the Higher Town, angel wings painted on a wall in one of the narrow streets and a man who sells wire and bead Brixham Angel talismen from a little cart near the harbour. You can buy them online too. Follow the link here.

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