The truth about Bude Tunnel

Opinion piece:

Among the many photos and articles celebrating Bude Tunnel come the cynics, the nasties, the negative. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so I don’t set too much store by people who cannot find anything positive to say about the latest Bude endeavour but some, mainly those who put the effort in, are saddened and distressed by it. That’s a shame. Huge all-round effort has been made to improve Bude by so many groups, Light Up Bude being notable in terms of its Christmas display. A big thank you goes out to them, and others.

Overwhelmingly , Bude Tunnel, both in its earlier Trip Advisor incarnation and now in its festive glow, has provided much fun, laughter, merriment and even joy. To me, that’s a positive, In these times of Brexit shambles, what is the harm in it? In Bude, the Tunnel has brought the community together even more than before. Sainsbury’s has played its big part in the town celebrations, in a response to suggestions to make the tunnel more of an attraction. People flock to Oxford St to see the lights, so what is the problem with Bude having something a little different? Visitors love the Tunnel but more importantly, locals do, too.

When I first moved to the area, I thought what a great idea the tunnel was from a purely practical level. That it has become a thing of fun and, at times, beauty, simply enhances it. Pieces like this are a tad offensive, but don’t even get the facts right; for example, Bude & Beyond does not own the photo mentioned and if it did, it might wonder why it was being used without permission. So who is actually cashing in on the Tunnel?

For those who say we should focus on more important issues like homelessness, obviously, homelessness is a massively distressing problem, one which is structural in origin. I can’t tackle it alone though try to create some moments of light/humanity buying food for people on the streets when I can. I simply want to show those in terrible circumstances that someone cares. Governments, national and local, should be tackling homelessness. Bude community helps where it can (see the refugee effort). It is an environmental leader, helping the planet. The recent Christmas Fair at the Castle involved a collection for the Foodbank, and other groups are also involved. Charitable community work goes on at so many levels, day in, day out, often unacknowledged by wider media because it isn’t news.

However, crucially, the point is that celebrating and enjoying something does not negate community efforts in other spheres.

Having some fun at this dark time of year does not mean people are blissfully unaware of poverty and its accompanying social issues. Many people are cutting their own consumerism and what shopping they are doing is done locally. I like to think we are all becoming increasingly socially aware.

Yes, we could all do more, but Bude does quite a bit to help those in need, so if a week of merriment around the Tunnel is going to cancel out all that in some people’s hearts and minds, so be it. We know that is not the case.


Guess what? I haven’t even seen the Tunnel lit up for Christmas yet. But I will.


  • carolyn braund says:

    well said

  • Bee Harris says:

    Well said. Some people are just born miseries. Love where we live 😊🐝

  • Janette Washington says:

    Very well said. A lot of people in Bude work extremely hard for the community as a whole and it is very much appreciated.

  • Den Griffiths says:

    Very well said. I have just read the article from that miserable cynic, who on earth is he anyway!! I can only add that I am very pleased to see the many reports about the tunnel, both earlier in the year and of course now in its festive glory. Very well done to all concerned!!

    I am sorely tempted to add my opinion about the cynical remarks but, uncharacteristically, I shall hold back.

    Happy Christmas to all

  • S Wilce says:

    Well said,made a lot of happiness. Well done Sainsbury.

  • Beverley Whitby says:

    Here here

  • Rosemary green says:

    I think the tunnel lit up is fun and I have seen the joy in so many people who have come to see it, so thankyou to Sainsbury’s, I have seen all the people picking up the litter , and looking after the lights let us all enjoy it .

  • chris Walton says:

    I was going to go up last night to see the spectacle that is grabbing the headlines but was told there were big crowds there and yet another film crew so I shall take a walk through this winter wonderland today.

  • Nigel Kivell says:

    I believe The Bude Tunnel and the fabulous lights which now adorn it, have had as much positive impact for Bude as any hot summer. We walked it on Sunday evening and the joy on peoples faces, especially the children was a sight to see. It’s fabulous, thank you all of those who were involved in this great enhancement to Christmas in Bude.

  • Barry (Baz) says:

    I took my grandchildren to see the Bude Tunnel yesterday evening. They were all delighted to see the lights, hear the music and be a part of the happy crowd of people. How can anyone see this as something negative? I know that one day, long after I’m gone, my grandchildren will look back to this event with fond memories of a special evening out with grandparents who love them dearly.
    Well done everyone who has been involved with this, in spite of criticism, I for one think it is really special and very much appreciated.

  • Angela Hopkins says:

    Very well said . The Bude Tunnel has always been a place for singing and fun, for me and my grandchildren , and now for a few Christmassy days it has become absolutely magical – well done Bude and Thank You .

  • Isla says:

    First of all I’ve never heard of this random guy, unlike BBC, ITV, Cornwall Live etc etc All of which have positive things to say about this glittery spectacle!

    It’s fun, it’s quirky, it brings business to a small independent town.

    The people moaning about the cost, I hope they never go to any light switch ons, equally moan at all city shops, high streets & people with a mad amount of lights.

    Shops (like in London) spend millions on over night lighting every single day.

    I also hope they are not spending excess on food, presents & decorations for Xmas, but donating it all to the homeless.
    Whom are homeless & need help all year round, not just at Xmas, when people seem to suddenly think of them.

    I’ve never seen Sainsbury’s so busy, or Bude high street, so Sainsbury’s probably have made a big chunk of the money spent back, they are a large corporate company, they could have done nothing with the money spent for the community.

    Plus another bonus all the local small businesses have been busy with people coming to see the lights, hopefully these small business, supporting their families have benefited as well.

    Stop seeing the negative in everything not benefiting you personally.

    Btw I know the photo he has pinched isn’t a “professional” one, but I hope the owner of the photo contacts him about copyrights!

  • Liz Northcote says:

    We came up to see it last Saturday from Launceston we spend a lot of time in Bude. We loved, The trip advisor comments kept me entertained all summer and we are so impressed with the tunnel. We live in difficult times and it is so heartening that a sense of humour prevails, besides which we went round town and did some.xmas shopping before dark, so it’s all good for the town .

  • Jackie says:

    Well done to everyone involved. I love the Bude Tunnel and everyone I speak to about it does too. In these depressing times, why can’t we have something that brings a little fun and entertainment to the young and old. I hope this becomes an annual event, but for a longer period of time up to Christmas. I think it’s amazing!

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