The Cellardyke Echo – 2/8/2017



Joseph Walker, Skipper of the boat Delight of Cellardyke, was fined 25s, for refusing to obey the orders of the Harbourmaster.


Owing to the tides large numbers of boats on Tuesday could not take the harbour till the evening, then ensued a scene of bustle and activity for six hours, worth watching at sufficient distance. Four Cellardyke boats finding room difficult to obtain in the harbour discharged their fish, and they had good shots, from the back of the north quay, the men swinging the baskets over the parapet into the carts stationed on the quay way. It is many years since this has been done before, during the time when the herring fleet here numbered close on 1100 boats.

Three boats returned home from Wick Thursday, after having fished amongst them 1300 crans. George Anderson, Cellardyke, has fished for Mr John Simpson, at Scrabster and Wick, 470 crans. On Tuesday last be had shot of 102 crans—the highest recorded this season. now goes home;



The herring fishing at Wick has been fairly successful during the past week. The John O Groats Journal reports that one boat discharged 103 crans on Thursday, and on Friday the Cellardyke boat. James and Agnes, K.Y. 1527, James Smith, skipper, brought shore 103 ¾ crans. It is computed that the first-named boat would have on board upwards of 87,000 herrings, being fully £120 worth fish for the one night’s catch. He shot his fleet of nets, 6O in number, early on the previous night, and as showing the body of fish, there were 17 of his nets literally blank, while the rest were alive with herring. Smith after landing his catch to W. Begg, had made over 150 crans for the season.


Gourdon, Friday.— 50 boats were at sea last night. 14 returned at noon. The highest catch was 3 crans, and average about 1 ½ crans. 4 boats put to sea on Wednesday night, and returned on Thursday with average of 8 crans. Highest catch 15 crans. 2 boats fishing Aberdeen put here with 36 and 27 crans over day’s fish. They were sold at 12s 6d and respectively. Their Nos. were KY 2022 and 453. Tbye report having encountered strong gale.

 Anstruther.— The total catch at Anstruther Thursday was 386 ½ crans, giving an average of 35 crans for 11 boats. Yesterday 16 boats and three yawls arrived with takes ranging from 1 ¼ to 63  crans, the total catch being about 400 crans. With three or four exceptions all the cargoes were composed herrings caught on Wednesday and Thursday, and being soft only from 5s 7d  per cran was obtained for them, one crew only receiving 2s 6d per cran. The price of fresh herrings was 33s per cran. Great loss of nets was reported, a St Ives boat having their whole drift, which is much less than that of our local boats, either lost or damaged. Cellardyke boat lost 30 of their nets, and others reported loss and damage.

A few days later

Anstruther – The trial was renewed on the Fife Coast on Monday night, but the best take was only in few dozens. The Fife boats by of their great offing were amongst the heaviest sufferers by the gale. One Cellardyke boat, the Medium, lost as many nets, and another, the Goldie, lost 23. Great anxiety was felt in Cellardyke for the safety of the Floral Star, which was known to be out in the storm, until a telegram from Aberdeen stated that she had arrived there.

Mr Thomas Fowler, merchant, Forth Street, Cellardyke, died very suddenly on Monday night. He was in ordinary health, and watched during the day with natural interest the fitting up of fine new shop for his growing trade; but towards eight o’clock he was seized with a violent haemorrhage, which was almost instantly followed by the closing scene. He leaves a widow and family to mourn his loss.


Sad Occurrence.— The new railway near Kingsbarns was the scene of a deplorable accident on Monday afternoon. Two lads employed as “nippers,” were seated in the service waggon, when from some unhappy cause both tumbled to the ground. One escaped with slight abrasion on the head ; but the other, some fifteen years of age, James Fitz Symonds, the son of the Caiplie hut-keeper, was caught the wheels of the next waggon, which, before a finger could raised to save him, passed over one of his legs above the knee crushing the bone into splinters. Dr Saunders, who was promptly on the scene, met the danger of the moment by applying ligature, so to arrest the flow of blood, while he had the unfortunate youth conveyed to his own residence in Crail. It was evident from the first that amputation was not to be avoided, and with this view a telegram was sent in the meantime to Cellardyke, to his friend Dr Flaxman, when the operation was accomplished with signal success. Chloroform was in the last instance, of course, resorted to; but the poor lad bore his sufferings with extraordinary fortitude, and in the opinion of the doctors is doing as well as can hoped for in the circumstances.

On Thursday a Cellardyke boat No 1249, William Smith, skipper, fishing for , Messrs Sharpe and Murray, curers, of that place, arrived in Aberdeen harbour with her sails split. The crew having experienced very heavy weather, about one o clock on Wednesday afternoon, when they were about 4 miles off the Isle of May, a sudden gust came down upon the boat from the west and tore the foresail into shreds.

Our Peterhead correspondent telegraphed, —the south-easterly gale on Wednesday had its fatal consequences and several narrow escapes …………………… another carvel-built boat, Pride o’ Fife (KY, 1023) James Salter, master, was coming in last night, she was struck by heavy sea fourteen miles from land, which split the second board, next the keel. The water came in so fast that besides the pump the crew had to use buckets to keep her afloat. When she arrived the people on the quay were astonished especially when she kept sailing up the harbour at a rapid speed, and ran up the slip.


Boat Capsized in Aberdeen Bay.—On Saturday afternoon, James Gauld, plumber, had a very narrow escape from drowning in Aberdeen Bay. The man left the harbour in the course of the forenoon in a small boat for the purpose of fishing for mackerel. He had secured a quantity of fish, and was returning to the harbour under sail. A stiff south-westerly breeze prevailed, and there was a heavy roll to thes. When several hundred yards in a north-easterly direction from the point of the North Pier, the craft was caught in a sudden squall and capsized, its occupant being thrown into the water. This accident being observed from the pier, the alarm was immediately given, and No1 pilot boat, along with the steam tug Britannia, which was in the chancel the time, at once proceeded to the scene. Before, however, the pilot boat or the tug arrived at the spot, the herring boat Club, of Cellardyke, KY. 1578 (David Christie, master), which was returning from the fishing ground, and the crew of which had seen the occurrence, bore down on Gauld. who had seized hold of one of the oars belonging his own craft, with which succeeded in preventing himself from sinking. He was taken on board the KY. boat, which landed him Point Law. When rescued Gauld, who had been about half an hour in the water, was very much exhausted, but he soon recovered. The small boat sunk almost immediately after the accident. (NB the boat was the Globe, not the Club)


A collision of an alarming nature, by which a fishing boat was sunk, occurred in the entrance channel, Aberdeen, between one and two o’clock on Saturday morning. It appears that the fishing boat Mizpah (KY2024) of Cellardyke—James Cunningham, master, was returning to the harbour from the fishing grounds, between the hours mentioned, and, proceeding in a northerly direction, had just passed the south breakwater, when one of the crew observed the light a steamer which was coming down the channel. Thinking that the steamer was going to proceed south, the fishing boat was kept to the north of the entrance channel so to give the steamer plenty of way. The steamer the North of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland Company’s passenger boat, St Rognvald, was on her way to Wick, Kirkwall and Lerwick, and, of course, when leaving the channel was steering in northerly direction; and before the men in the boat had power to anything to save  their craft, the steamer was upon them. It is not exactly known whether those on-board the steamer observed the boat, which was carrying no lights, but the speed was somewhat slackened when the steamer struck the boat. The force of the collision was sufficient, however, to cut the boat to the water’s edge, and almost immediately after the craft sunk in deep water. Ropes were thrown from the steamer to the crew of the fishing boat, and fortunately they were all hauled board. The men were then transferred to the tug Bon-Accord, which brought them ashore. The men, as a matter of course, had no time to save any of their effects, and the whole of the nets and other fishing gear sunk with the boat. In the course of the day, two divers proceeded to the scene of the collision to attempt to save much of the fittings as can be got at; and in the afternoon the boat was raised by the tug Bon-Accord and beached at Torry.

Their names are :—James Cunningham (61), Cellardyke; Alexander Cunningham. Cellardyke: Alexander Gardiner, John Street, Cellardyke; George Oliphant, Cupar Fife; James Main, Green, Anstruther; Andrew Meldrum, Crail ; William Neil, Shore Street, Crail


The Relief Committee in connection with the loss of the ill-fated boat Sisters, of Pittenweem, announce the subscriptions at £433 9s 2d. It deserves to be remembered, how- ever, that, at the loss of the Cellardyke boat Helen, in the spring of 1865, Mr David Murray of St Ayles raised, all but single-handed, the sum of £380 within two months of the disaster.

On Saturday morning Donald Sutherland, belonging to Skerray, in the parish Tongue, was drowned the Ord of Caithness. He was a hired man on board the Cellardyke boat Jeannie Wood, KY 407, (Skipper David Wood), at present fishing at Wick, and when engaged about the job he was struck by the sheet and thrown into the water, and sank before anything could be done to save him. He was 27 years of age, and unmarried.


To-day the herring harvest is the grand event of the year along the Buchan coast; nevertheless, it only dates back to the year of the first cholera, i.e., 1832, when the Cellardyke skippers sailing from Wick were pelted with stones by the big crowd on this and that pierhead till they found a refuge, as it were, at Peterhead.


Cellardyke Fisherman Drowned.— On Tuesday the herring fishing-boat Black Prince (1169 KY.) arrived in Arbroath harbour, and reported that on the previous night, about a quarter of a mile off the North Carr lightship on the Fife coast, James Brodie, fisherman, 24 years of age, unmarried, and residing Cellardyke, was knocked overboard while shifting a sail. There was a strong breeze blowing at the time, and the boat was running before the wind; and before the crew could return to the spot the unfortunate young man had disappeared.

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