Artists, friends and well wishers gathered in Porthleven’s Old Life Boat Station gallery on Monday to celebrate the restoration of the storm damaged building and hear the announcement of the winners of the Spirit of Porthleven Art Competition.

Judges Neil Pinkett and Paul Lewin, both West Cornwall artists with international reputations, said they were impressed with the standard of work, as was the third judge, gallery owner, Sarah Brittain.

She said: “It was very hard to choose but after some deliberation we came to a unanimous decision, awarding the first prize to Mary Taylor for her evocative painting ‘Reed Beds, Loe Pool’.”

Second prize was a lively pen and ink portrait of ‘The Heart of Porthleven’ by Andrew Major; third prize went to Denise Stracey for her atmospheric painting of Porthleven Clock Tower entitled ‘Nearly Dawn’ and finally Highly Commended went to Hilary Wilson for a depiction of Bay View Terrace after the storm, entitled ‘Aftermath’.

The exhibition runs until this Sunday, July 6 and is open from 11am to 4pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite piece, which will receive ‘The People’s Prize’ at the end of the week.

Gallery manager Rosie Hughes thanked everyone for coming and paid tribute to the Harbour & Dock team who worked round the clock to restore the building.

She said: “This is the Spirit’s fourth year and it is possibly the best yet. However next year we will have a Spirit of Porthleven for photographers and give the artists a short break.”

This is The West Country:

This is The West Country: