The Cellardyke Echo – 23/8/2017


The sad intelligence of the death by drowning of Mr William Smith, Cellardyke, at Hartlepool was received in Anstruther yesterday. Mr Smith was the only son of Mr James Smith (Ritchie), Burnside Terrace, Cellardyke, and was employed as fireman in the steam drifter Scot, belonging to Anstruther. Particulars of the fatality are at present very vague, merely giving the fact of the drowning accident, but it is added that the body has been recovered.

Rev. James A. Paterson, Anstruther Wester, who is the only minister at present resident in the burgh—the others being on holiday—made the sad news known to deceased’s parents. Deceased was in his 21st year.



There was a marked decrease in arrivals yesterday, 26 herring boats landed an average of 9 crans. The best Scottish catch was one of 30 crans by Home Finder of Cellardyke. There was a good market prices being better at from 37s down to 29s per cran.


David Pattie, ploughman, Balhouffie Cottar Houses, Anstruther, or 5 Shore Street, Cellardyke, admitted before Hon. Sheriff Osborne at Cupar to-day a charge of having, on 11th May, on the public highway, opposite the dwelling-house occupied by John Douglas, ploughman, Balhouffie Cottar Houses, Anstruther, assaulted Clifford McHugh, ploughman, 12 Shore Street, Cellardyke, by striking him severe blow on the right jaw with his clenched fist, causing it to bleed freely, and loosened several of his teeth.

Sentence of a fine of £1, or ten days’ imprisonment, was passed.

For the fourth year in succession the championship of Anstruther Bowling Green has been won by John Birrell.

A gallery of about 100 witnessed the final tie, Birrell’s opponent being James Smith, Cellardyke. Smith is a promising young player, and this season has figured in many of the principal competitions.

The game opened with 2 for Birrell, and at the fifth head he led by 7-1. Smith came away, and by the eighteenth head the match stood 14-11 Birrell’s favour. The champion was hard put to it to find an opening at the next head, where Smith lay 2, but with a cleverly executed bowl broke the end to lie the shot, and eventually scored 3. The next two heads saw Birrell in his best form, and ran out winner 21-11.

 Mr Birrell a member of well-known East Fife sporting family. His brother, Tom Birrell, was a footballer of note with Kirkcaldy United and Edinburgh Hibs, while a nephew, late of Raith Rovers, now foots it with Middlesbrough.


Anstruther – Several steam drifters which left on Monday returned yesterday afternoon well fished. Highest shots from the Cellardyke boats —Bene Vertat, 100; St Ayles, 100; Carmi, 40; Violet, 35. Early arrivals secured top price, 20s per cran. Herring good quality, and caught in the vicinity the ‘ Long Bank,” between 30 and miles east of the May Island.

2 days later

OnIy one arrival, the Cellardyke steam drifter Ayles discharging 90 crans, which realised 14r per cran.

3 days after that

North Shields – Fifty drifters landed 640 crans. Best shot 45 crans by Cellardyke steamer Acorn. Demand weak; prices, 14s to per cran. Total supply for week, 9725 crans, representing heaviest week’s fishing at the port since 1913. Total catch for season to date just under 45,000 crans. which is bigger than any full season’s catch since 1920.


There was breath-taking thrill the North Shields Fish Quay to-day, when a barring drifter escaped by a few inches from being crushed against the quay wall by a collier.

The steamer was the Sheaf Arrow, and was proceeding up-stream from sea when was forced to turn starboard to avoid a vessel backing into the stream. The turn developed into a steer, which caused the steamer to move toward the long line of drifters moored in parallel line with stems against the quay wall.

Tremendous excitement was caused by the appearance of the collier gliding toward the drifters, the crews of which literally held their breath.

The anchor of the Sheaf Arrow was then let down with roar and a plunge in order check the vessel, and this succeeded in bringing it to a complete stop when the colliers stem was only few inches from the stern of the Kirkcaldy drifter Daisy. The Sheaf Arrow was then able to move away up the river again without the slightest damage having been done. The Daisy, which is owned in Cellardyke, had all ten men of the crew hoard. Mr Alex. Reid, the skipper, told a “Shields Daily News” reporter that when the steamer was brought to & standstill: “You could not get a plate between our stern and her stem.” “A narrow escape,” he observed, opinion which was endorsed all the crew.

In close proximity were the drifters Fifeness, Aspiration, and Forethought.

The crew of a Port Seton steam trawler, Choice, had narrow escape when their vessel foundered about 20 miles off St Abb’s Head.

The men, who were taken on board the Anstruther steam drifter Copious, captained by Skipper Joseph Wilson, Cellardyke, arrived safely at Anstruther Harbour yesterday.

The first sign of trouble aboard the Choice was observed by the chief engineer. While the vessel was busily engaged fishing about 9.30 on Thursday night he reported that water was coming into the engine-room. It is believed that the trawl board or some other under-water object had damaged plate.

From the first the skipper realised that the position was dangerous, and orders were given for signals be put up. These were answered the Copious, which tried first tow the vessel to land. After struggling for two hours the task had to be abandoned, and the ship sank.

On landing at Anstruther yesterday the men were cared for by the local branch of the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society. The names of the crew are:—.John Home, skipper and owner, Port Seton; Peter Allan, mate, Port Seton: William McKechnie, chief engineer, Rosyth; James Thomson, second engineer. Port Seton; John Ross, fireman, Port Seton; Thomas Blackie and Robert Barber, deck hands, Port Seton; Charles Black, cook, Port Seton.



Town “Cut Off” When Post Office Closes

Residents in Cellardyke have a complaint against the Post Office regarding the inadequate public telephone facilities.

While Anstruther can boast of several public ‘phones in its Post Office, and a callbox in Shore Street which is available at all times, Cellardyke folks have to be content with one public telephone. This is situated in the local Post Office, and when the office is closed the telephone is not available.

In cases of illness during the night, “when it is desired to summon a doctor, the residents must either seek the use of some subscriber’s telephone or travel to Anstruther where all the local practitioners reside.

Should one require the services of a taxicab after Cellardyke Post Office has closed for the night it is necessary, should one fail to obtain the use of some subscriber’s ‘phone, to walk to Anstruther to order the taxi. Surely a remarkable state affairs.

Call Box Suggested.

Much inconvenience would be avoided if the telephone authorities placed a call-box in one of the main streets of Cellardyke.

Or the problem could be solved merely by removing the instrument from Cellardyke Post Office, which is in James Street, and erecting it a call-box on the opposite side of the thoroughfare. An alcove formed by a building there would meet the purpose admirably.

Anstruther, although having better facilities for public ‘phoning than its neighbour Cellardyke, also has a grumble.

The telephone in the call-box on Shore Street appears to be a relic of the old National Telephone Company days, and to put through a trunk call is almost a test of physical endurance. The coin box will accept only pennies, and at the entry of each penny a knob has to be turned.

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