Falmouth was alive with pipers, cheering children and well-wishers this morning as comic legend Dawn French was installed as the new chancellor of Falmouth University.

The Paint the Town Yellow parade started the proceedings, leaving The Moor at 10.50am and making its way to Falmouth Parish Church. Pupilsfrom ten local schools handed over daffodils along the route.

The academic procession, including Dawn, left The Moor at 11am and was led through the town by Kernow Pipes and Drums with the mayors and macebearers from Falmouth University, and Penryn and Falmouth Town Councils.

During her speech at the installation ceremony in King Charles the Martyr Church, Dawn highlighted the importance of art courses in universities and took a pop at the education secretary Nicky Morgan for discouraging students from taking art degrees.

But her speech was also peppered with humour as you would expect.

 She compared being installed as chancellor to being installed like a fridge and promised to literally fight every other chancellor in the country, with weapons, to protect and uphold the reputation of Falmouth University.

She said it was an extreme honour to be chosen as chancellor and she would do everything she could to uphold that honour.

Following the installation the Chancellor’s Procession left the church and made its way to Pendennis Castle. The Lizard Stallions and coach

took Dawn and the vice-chancellor to a reception, led along the sea front and up to Pendennis Castle by the Kernow Pipes and Drums.

Guests were then treated to a variety of entertainment and a sit down meal in a specially constructed marquee in the grounds of the castle.

Dawn’s ceremonial gown was designed by students from the Fashion and Textiles Institute where a small team collaborated to design the fabric, which has a Cornish theme including Cornish flora and tartan. A dedication to Dawn from the students has been sewn into the inside of the gown along with a ribbon design where all those involved have inserted a stitch.

The headpiece, which is a contemporary update on the traditional cap, is made from precious metals including serpentine and has been created by Mirri Damer, a contemporary jeweller based in Cornwall, with the students who have worked on the gown.

The creation of the gown and headpiece has been a “top secret” operation with very few catching a glimpse of them before the day.

Jon Boddy, head of fashion design, said: “This project has really shown the value of team-work. When you see the result that they’ve made something that’s so impressive. To be doing it for somebody like Dawn is amazing and their confidence has been really lifted.”

Sarah Johnson, who is studying for a degree in performance sportswear design and worked on the gown, said: “It felt great to be part of the team involved in creating this and we are all incredibly proud of what we have produced.”

Students from the University’s Academy of Music and Theatre Arts created performances which took place during the installation ceremony

and throughout the day. Dance students performed Come to the Edge, a specially devised piece choreographed by course coordinator Simon Birch and composer Jon Hughes.

Simon said: “Our aim was to create a work that captured a sense of optimism and took the idea of moving forward, celebrating both Dawns embarking on her new role with Falmouth University and our students as they contemplate their own leap into the future.”

Animation students created a “welcome Dawn” film, illustration students created a six foot high commemorative tree for guests to sign as a memento of the occasion which will go on display at the university and student ambassadors were part of the Paint the Town Yellow procession which involved local school children.

Here are some pictures and a video of the goings-on in the town.