The Cellardyke Echo – 11/10/2017


Free Church Bazaar –  about ten years ago the members of the Free Church in Cellardyke erected a large hall for religious meetings, but that building having been found inconvenient and incommodious, a movement was set on foot  in the spring for an improved edifice and this effort was so spiritedly carried out, that a new Free Church hall of ornate design and suitable dimensions has just been completed in a fine situation in that enterprising fishing town The hall has cost £640, the fund for which was so far provided for by the £200 paid for the old hall, and £200 of donations, that there was thus a debt upon the building of £240, which  the committee proposed to liquidate by means of a bazaar….. there naturally was a lively interest excited in the bazaar which was held in the new hall on Friday last, Some anxiety we hear, was felt owing to the very unfortunate close of the herring fishing season; but all fears were soon dissipated in the brilliant success which from first to last distinguished the opening day…. Throughout the whole day the hall was crowded the number of visitors being estimated at 700. Nothing could be more interesting than the picture which was thus presented – the handsome, airy hall, flooded with light, and garlanded all about with green leaves and choice flowers, the stalls heaped with their glittering richly tinted treasure loads – the hundreds of elegantly attired ladies, full of the spirit of animation of the hour, gave equal brilliancy and grace to the fascinating scene which received a charm all their own from the pianoforte music so sweetly rendered by Mrs McDonald, nor should we forget the Tennyson Hymns given with no less pathos and expression by Miss martin and other accomplished young ladies of the neighbourhood.  The total raise was about £170 9s… we understand that the substantial aid the will leave little more than £35 on the building and encouraged by their recent success the committee contemplate making an effort to discharge this balance at once..


After some days of anxious waiting for favourable change of weather, our fishermen, whose hopes are with the herring fishing on the Suffolk: coast, were enabled to make a start, with flowing sheet, on Monday morning. Within the last few years the fishing has become of great, may say of paramount, importance our Fife crews, most of them now betake themselves thither; preferring the chances of the season at Lowestoft or Yarmouth over the stormy voyages and fluctuating prices which are only too characteristic of the white fishing at home. The number of Fife boats which will be engaged at these English stations may be estimated as follows : — Cellardyke, which ranks as a kind of metropolis amongst her fishing neighbours in enterprise as in population, sends out 40 boats, which is one less than last year; Pittenweem, where the old spirit is once again pleasingly showing itself, has fitted out 9 crews; while the hardy sons of grey old St Monance have 16 boats so employed ; there are also two or three boats from Largo, and we hear of 14 or 15 crews from Buckhaven, so that about 90 boats, manned by nearly 940 fishermen, will, after this date, be nightly abroad on these English seas, some 400 miles away, where they will remain till about the beginning of December, when, with the close of the season, they will, if all goes well, once more hoist the sail on the voyage for home.

There is a twofold reason why our hardy fishers should prefer to seek their bread thus far from their own firesides. “We are sick of the haddock fishing,” the gallant fellows will tell you ; and no wonder that it should be so if we only take a thought of the winter squalls, and what is still more discouraging, the miserable markets which they may daily experience. Brighter prospects, however, invite them southward, where, unless the storm is all the more sudden, they have time to find secure shelter under the lee of the great sandbanks which stretch, like a vast breakwater, along the land, and effectually shield the harbours from those winds which every mariner has so much reason to dread on a tempest-beaten shore. “We escape many blast, and can sleep soundly there, when we could only look for wet jacket at the lines,” said the mate of the “Anna” to us the other day. But, besides this greater security and comfort the south-going crews have also the prospect of better returns at the herring fishing, which, since it was commenced has steadily proved an inexhaustible gold mine, though last year its very success so affected the markets as to make it very indifferently remunerative to most of our crews, though, with few exceptions, they are all willing to make another venture. The system of fishing is curiously enough, widely different on the Scottish and English coasts.  At home the nets hang from the head rope, which in turn is kept up by the floats some four or five fathoms under water, by which the ships can sail over the nets without doing any damage; but on the south coast the nets float at the very surface, with rope or messenger along their foot or sole of the drift, but most singular of all, the moonlight, which is reckoned a misfortune for the Scottish fisher, is, on the contrary, the chief hope and delight—welcome, in fact, as the harvest moon—to the sons of St Peter in English waters. Our fishermen, however, are in a position to prosecute the south fishing with Cc of success. At Yarmouth and Lowestoft the herring luggers—which, by the way, by no means possess the fine sailing and weatherly qualities of our fife boats—are, together with the outfit of sea gear and stores, the property of shore owners, who merely embark in the speculation for the sake of its profit, while the crews or the fishermen are simply in the position hirelings or of the half dealsmen who leave their work on shore to lend helping hand to our fishermen during the herring season. There is a broad contrast between these English fishers or beachmen, without any other stake than that of mere labouring men, and our Fife fishermen, who have a share every case in the nets, if not in the boat; and when this difference of relative position is understood, it can be easily inferred that the superiority of our Fife crews in industry and enterprise, as well as in the social virtues, are nowhere more conspicuous than while they sojourn in early winter on the English coast.

 A few days later

From telegrams received from England we learn that on Wednesday the Cellardyke boats landed from one to two lasts of herrings, which sold at from £8 to £12 a last. The report that appeared in Monday’s Scotsman stating that a memorial was to be forwarded to the Lord Advocate, asking hi  to grant permission to use scotch fir in the manufacture of white herring barrels, has excited some discussion among the fishcurers in Anstruther and Cellardyke, the opinions expressed are decidedly against the request being granted as the allege that the porous nature of scotch fir would allow the brine to escape from the barrels and render the herrings useless. The price of Norwegian larch delivered at Anstruther is at present 105s per thousand feet, and billet wood is 1s to 1s2d per cubic foot. Last year the prices were from 70 to 72s for the same larch and 8d for billet wood.


The Cellardyke boats at present prosecuting the herring fishing on the English coast have so far been very successful, some of the crews having netted over £100 during the first fortnight . From telegrams received on Saturday it appears that the whole of the Cellardyke boats fishing- at Lowestoft had been out in the storm of that morning, but up to four o ‘ clock in the afternoon all but three had been telegraphed as in safety.


Two brothers, residing in Kilrenny, David Kinnear, shoemaker, and Andrew Kinnear, miner, were charged with assaulting David Keith, jun., carter, Cellardyke, by striking and kicking him to the effusion of blood, near the Commercial Inn on Saturday night, and also with having committed a breach of the peace at the same time and place , The Panels pleaded not guilty …. Evidence being adduced for the indictment, David Keith, the complainer, whose face was frightfully bruised,  after evidence was heard the provost stated that the charge was clearly established and the brothers were sentenced to 21s or 20 days in prison.


Boat Insurance Club. — This new institution, which was established shortly after the great destruction of fishing property during the severe storm of last autumn, promises to be successful. For the current year upwards of 50 boats are insured with the Club, and others are expected to be added to the number. As yet, with the exception of two from St Andrews and one from Fraserburgh, the majority belong to Cellardyke; but it is hoped that the fishermen in the other villages along the coast will avail themselves of the benefits of the Club.


ANSTRUTHER. Departure of Fishing Boats fob the South. the course of last week than 70 of our fishing boats left for Lowestoft and Yarmouth, engaged in the autumn herring fishing there during the next two months. Each boat manned by seven men, and including the representatives of the carers, there will fully 500 persons from Anstruther and Cellardyke prosecuting the enterprise at these fishing ports.


Cellardyke. Unexpected Abatement.—ln the Small Debt Court, Cupar, on Thursday, Thomas M. Rae, family grocer, Aberdeen, sued Alex. Tarvet, skipper, Cellardyke, for an account for groceries, amounting to £10 6d. Defender said the account was quite just, but he required time to pay it. Sheriff Bell pointed out that there were several items for rum and whisky that he was not bound to pay for under the Tippling Act. Defender, not understanding the Sheriff’s remarks, still insisted that the account was just. On the point being again explained to him by gentleman at the bar, and the question repeated from the bench, Tarvet created considerable amusement by saying, “Oh! I ken naething aboot the whusky. The amount for rum and whisky—£1 3s 11d —was accordingly deducted, and decree granted for £8 18s 7d, with 5s of expenses.

NB the Tippling act in Scotland 1836 prevented traders selling small amounts of alcohol on credit, so this could not be part of any debt recovery process.

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