A BAROMETER borrowed from a Falmouth pub 50 years ago by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has been returned - for one day at least!

Last week there was a ceremonial "handing back" of the distinctive pressure gauge, which he took from the wall of the Chain Locker bar after having broken his own before arriving in Falmouth in 1968.

Sir Robin lodged at the St Austell Brewery-owned Chain Locker before his departure and used the ‘Guinness is good for you’ barometer to monitor the changing weather conditions during his epic 312-day voyage.

The 79 year-old said: “It is wonderful to be back in Falmouth and to receive such a warm welcome.

"Everyone has been so kind and this week’s celebrations have all brought back so many memories of my short time here at the Chain Locker.

"We had a fabulous evening when we arrived earlier in the week and there was such an amazing atmosphere here in the pub, just like it was when I came here 50 years ago and you don’t get that in many places these days.”

While this original barometer was later stolen from his yacht, Sir Robin returned with a replica last week, which he dutifully handed over to Chain Locker manager Nathan Boundy on Wednesday.

However, just one day after the barometer had found its place back on the wall of the restaurant, it was gone again and, following a quick investigation of the facts, the "borrowing" was soon attributed to the scheming of the organisers of the 50th anniversary round the globe race.

After the sail parade of the boats taking part in the anniversary race, the skippers set off for Les Sables D’Olonnes in France, where the start of the race proper will take place.

One of the notable entries in the race is the Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin’s Suhaili, built in India and captained by Indian Royal Navy commander Abhilash Tomy.

Unbeknown to the crew, Golden Globe race organiser Don McIntyre sneaked the barometer on board the Thuriya before it set sail and, according to Don, the temptation was just too great: “Abhilash is the only Indian to sail around the world non-stop and solo like Sir Robin and we couldn’t let the fabulous story of the barometer just stop there.

So now it’s on its way around the world again on a replica of the Suhaili and history is repeating itself! Who’s to say that it won’t find its way back to the Chain Locker in another 50 years!”

As St Austell Brewery CEO and keen yachtsman James Staughton said: “When we first heard about the disappearance of the replica, we and the team at the Chain Locker were all naturally concerned, but who doesn’t love a good story and this really is one of the best.

"We wish Abhilash and his crew the very best of luck on their voyage and look forward to welcoming them all back with a pint of Tribute at the Chain Locker on their return.”

While the Thuriya, as a replica of a 50-year old boat, stands at a little of a disadvantage against the more contemporary designs of its competitors, having the mascot of Sir Robin’s barometer on board may well help to bring its crew home ahead of the field.

When it does, staff at the Chain Locker will no doubt be ready with hammer and nails to ensure the barometer becomes a more permanent fixture at the pub next time around.