The Cellardyke Echo – 23/3/2016


The haddock fishing at Cellardyke never was so abundant as at present; they are smoked there in large quantities by the fish curers, for the Edinburgh and Glasgow markets.



High Court of Justiciary – John Sutherland, skipper of the boat ‘Johns’ of Cellardyke, Fifeshire, was tried on a charge of culpable homicide, inasmuch as he went out to the Isle of May, in July last, in his boat with 65 persons on board, and from a swell the boat was driven among the rocks, and 13 persons were drowned. It appears from the evidence that the number of passengers was not greater than usual; that everything was done judiciously; that Sutherland had a good character. The crown gave up the case, and Sutherland was dismissed from the bar with his character untainted.


The members of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Total abstinence society have been accustomed for some time past to hold social meetings in the Town hall (Anstruther), when several members delivered lectures and read essays upon different subjects, and others enlivened the company with songs, and thus the evenings were spent in social and comfortable manner, everyone conducting himself with proper decorum. These meetings gave the members an opportunity of exercising their abilities, and at the same time tended to instruct and inform the illiterate. We learn with regret, therefore, that the magistrates have resolved not to give the Society the use of the hall in the future. It is hoped there can be little difference of opinion that the Magistrates have done very far wrong in discouraging the holding of these meetings, because it is a well-known fact that this society has reclaimed many men formerly the pests of society, and have thus lightened the labours of the magistrates in their judicial capacity. It is to be trusted that the Bailies will recall their decree.


Highland Destitution – On the afternoon of Thursday week several fishing boats arrived at Granton Pier, from the Fife fishing villages, on their way to the West Highlands, for the purpose of instructing the natives in deep sea fishing. There were three large boats with their crews, amounting to twenty four men, from Cellardyke, and two large and two small from St Monance. They were engaged by Captain Ross, of the Edinburgh committee, and are to proceed to Skye and Wester Ross. The men are fine hardy looking fellows, and their boats are in first rate order, and well supplied with fishing materials of all kinds. In each boat there was a smart attractive woman, for cooking, and baiting the lines, who are to initiate the highland women into the art. Early on Friday Morning, they all assembled at Granton Pier, and, after having been inspected by Mr Skene, the secretary, who addresses a few words of encouragement to the men, they departed in high spirits for their new field of enterprise.


Cellardyke – On Saturday afternoon as two of our crews were returning from the herring fishing, when within two miles from the shore between Anstruther and Cellardyke, they came in collision, and the consequence was, that one of them sunk almost immediately, leaving the crew just time to save themselves by leaping on board the other, which was also considerably injured. It was with difficulty that the two crews kept her afloat until they reached Cellardyke. The nets of the sunk boat were nearly all saved, having buoys upon them. The boat and other materials were lost. The crew of the sunk boat say they were in the act of tacking, and had not the command of their boat; in all probability the dispute will have to be settled by law. The name of the lost boat was Hamilton; the skipper’s name is smith. The name of the other skipper is Morris. The weather was very stormy when the accident occurred; wind blowing from the westward.


Stonehaven – Though fishermen lead a comparatively hazardous sort of life they are often rewarded for their hardihood in prosecuting their calling….. On Friday last week two south firth boats landed on our quays, something like 100 scores of cod, skate, turbot, ling &c value between £80 and £90 and the other day there came to our harbour a boat laden from the Coder Bank, but the price offered here not suiting the idea of the crew, they set sail with the same tide for Montrose.. Why don’t our fishermen use the bank? Why do they turn their large boats upside down for nine months of the year. The ground is as open and free to them as the Cellardyke fishers.


We learn after the divers have completed the raising of the cargo of the Temora, and effort will be made to recover the engines and boilers &c of the steam tug Robert Scott, which sank in the offing of Cellardyke about nine months ago.

Lieutenant Bainbridge of the coastguard had had an interview with Cellardyke Fishermen in reference to procuring a life preserving or Manby’s apparatus in this harbour, but that the Board of Trade, in answer to their application had intimated that, these apparatuses being supplied at Elie, Fife ness and St Andrews, they deemed the supply sufficient for the coast. The Lieutenant advised the fishermen to keep on board their boast a sufficient number of Life Buoys and cork jackets, as being most serviceable in cases of danger, and being of more use to them than Manby’s rockets, which in the case of fishing boats might turn out rather disadvantageous than otherwise to them. The fishermen appeared to concur in the recommendations made to them..


 A large Shark was landed at Anstruther Pier by the Cellardyke Deep-sea going boat belonging to Skipper John Pratt. It measured 14 feet long, and was singularly large for girth; after the liver, which filled a barrel and a half, had been extracted, the carcass weighed almost 11cwt. The fishermen had been drawing in their great lines on the previous night when the shark was found to have become entangled in the lines, which snapped with the sudden strain upon them.  This induced the crew to wait until daylight, when owing, probably to the fish becoming exhausted by its own struggles, they succeeded in drawing it to the surface of the water. Here the difficulty of taking it into the boat seemed to be insurmountable, but by passing a strong rope round its shoulders and using their capstan, the crew at length succeeded in hoisting it on board, where before it was killed it showed the deadly voracity of its kind by seizing the boat’s chains between it’s terrible teeth. On being landed here, it was bought by Mr Cormack, Cellardyke for £3.

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