The Cellardyke Echo – 15/4/2021 – Issue 282


NO FURTHER CONCESSIONS. A deputation of Scottish fishermen had an in interview with Mr Tennant, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade, in London on Thursday with reference to the operation of the new regulations issued by the Department relating to certificates for skippers of fishing boats. The districts represented were Cellardyke, Anstruther, Pittenweem, the Firth of Forth, and the Moray Firth. The deputation was introduced Mr Duncan Miller, M.P., and accompanied by Mr Sutherland, M.P.; Captain Waring, M.P.; Mr Leicester Harmsworth, M.P.; and Mr Munro, M.P.

The regulation to which the members of the deputation directed special attention was the following—A fisherman who has served as skipper or second hand for a year’s fishing in a steam sailing liner or drifter of tons gross and upwards, and can produce evidence as to his genera good conduct, may be granted authority to act skipper or second hand on liners or drifters. For the purpose of obtaining an authority only one man can recognised as skipper and one second hand on each liner or drifter during any particular fishing year.

It was urged by the spokesmen of the deputation that the second hand on board fishing vessels had never been recognised by the Scottish fishermen. The crew of a fishing vessel which had sailed for a season or two stood on equal terms, and were considered equally capable of taking charge of a liner or drifter if the skipper was disabled. The concession they asked the Board of Trade to grant was that a second hand on a fishing boat should not be recognised as having any higher authority than any other member of the crew with the same experience. It was further pointed out that, if a skipper should happen to sell out his share a fishing vessel to the second hand, the latter was not granted an authority to act as skipper without going for an examination. This was held to be great hardship to many experienced fishermen who might not have the necessary education to pass the examination, but who were perfectly well qualified to navigate a vessel

The views of the deputation were expressed by Skipper Murray of Cellardyke; Mr J. Ogilvie, Pittenweem; and James McNaughton, of the Moray Firth Fishermen’s Association, and others.

Mr Tennant, in reply, said the anxiety of the Board of Trade was to safeguard the fishing industry, stimulate it, and foster its interests to the best of their ability. He believed the action which had been taken by the Department would be of lasting benefit to the whole of the marine interests of this country. Safety was the main consideration which they had in view the regulations which had been issued by the Board of Trade.

There had been one or two misconceptions with regard to the effect of these regulations. With the desire of meeting the fishermen in the fairest possible spirit, the Board had made very considerable concessions, and very large alterations in the regulations. With regard to second hands, they had made concession to the effect that man who had been acting in that capacity could come up for examination after he had served six months in a capacity subordinate to the skipper. They had relaxed that regulation further, and said that those men who had five years’ service and who were over 21 years of age .should be allowed come up for the examination at any time after the five years. The examination was of the simplest kind, and should have no terrors for men so well educated as their own countrymen were. The examinations were such, he believed, they could pass with ease. The “authority,” which was granted by the Board of Trade, was authority for a man to act in the capacity in which he had been acting. They could not expect the Board to give a man authority to act in a capacity in which he had not been acting. It was not possible demand to make that they should give authority to act as skipper to a man who had only acted in subordinate capacity. If he had acted in the capacity of skipper the position was changed at once, and the regulation provided that a man who had acted skipper and who passed the simple examination would be entitled to an authority from the Board of Trade. ….

BRIDE’S TRAGIC DEATH, sad story of the tragic fate of a bride elect comes from Cellardyke. Early yesterday morning a young woman, Elizabeth Thompson, 31 years of age, left her bed her father’s house, and, wrapping some clothes around her, walked the beach, and was later found drowned. On the family rising she was missed, and her body was found some hours afterwards. She was to have been married on Friday, and all the preparations had been made. On Monday she was busy making arrangements for the wedding, and was in spirits. No reason can be assigned for the act.


MOTOR ENGINES IN FISHING BOATS. Year by year the chance of the sailing drifter in the herring fishing has decreased. They have been cut out by the steam liners, so that only the winter herring fishing has been left to them. In no business at the present day can a living be made upon an uncertain harvest of a few months in twelve. It pays no one for valuable boats to be laid up for the greeter portion of the year. It has long been recognised that the oil engine, or as more popularly described “the Motor” would eventually give these sailing boats a new lease of life. Anstruther has seen several attempts at applying the oil engine or motor to the sailing drifter, and owing to the very qualified success obtained a few years since the fishermen have been somewhat backward in trying the more recent engines, which undoubtedly have developed in a marvellous manner. The fact that something had to be done, and the success attained at other ports seem to have at last stirred and awakened the Anstruther and Cellardyke fishermen to realise the capabilities of the motor, and that by its adoption the sailing drifter need no longer play second fiddle to the steam drifter, at least so far as sharing out money is concerned. The Sunbeam, ML.16 takes the lead at Anstruther, as the first boat to be fitted with the modern motor, and to Messrs R. & W. Anderson of Cellardyke, as owners of the boat, belong the credit and enterprise of taking a step that will have an immense effect on the well-being and future of Anstruther as a fishing port.

A first run with the motor was made with their boat on Thursday, which partook somewhat of the nature of a holiday excursion. It says much for the motor that although it had been turned round for the first time for half an hour only the previous day, a good run was made to the May Island and back, with what must have been a record in number of passengers. By a misunderstanding the oil fuel supplied to run upon was of a class that had not been previously used with the engine. Indeed up to a year or so ago, such oil was considered quite unsuitable for the motor. In several respects it required different adjustments to the American and Russian oil usually used. Owing to this the full power of the engine was not available. To those who were not aware of the circumstance this was disappointing, while on the other hand it demonstrated very clearly that it took a 1 lot disarrange the motor’s digestion, and that whatever you gave it in the shape of oil it would make the best of it. On Friday another run was made with a strong wind blowing, and s bit of a sea running, in fact the movement was sufficient for one man who boasted of being a blue water sailer succumbing, and being a sadder and for the time a less talkative man. It was a day to thoroughly test the motor, and as the skipper said just out of harbour he was going to do it. The motor came through in flying colours, the boat travelling at a speed that ensured it being well up to the guarantee of 7 ¼  knots in smooth water. In fact notwithstanding the sea and wind and the heavy use of the rudder, the speed of the boat was very much over that of the previous day in a quiet sea; and some of the crew were heard to say, “As fast again.” it was made evident that when the Scotch oils particular requirement were known, and the engine adjusted accordingly, there would be no difficulty in using this oil. The Sunbeam being a very heavy, very full fore, and in fact a bad boat to drive, the trial must be considered eminently satisfactory.

The engine, which is a “Parsons’ Fisherman” with the machinery was supplied and fitted by P. E. Weyman of Pilgrim House, Newcastle on Tyne, who first introduced the motor to Eyemouth boats, and who has probably put in the majority of motors in the east coast drifters so far. It may be of interest to say that the Annie Mearns of Montrose recently fitted with a similar motor made the journey in a heavy sea and wind from Blyth to Montrose at an average speed of over 7 miles as taken by the log and confirmed by the distance, the course being outside the Farne Islands, it being too rough to go inside. Two more Cellardyke boats are being fitted with the same motor, the Harvest Home and Jasper.


On Saturday afternoon a test was made of the new pipes recently laid between Balmonth reservoir, and the foot of the March. All seemed to go well at first, but on Sunday forenoon a burst occurred at the top of the March, near the St Andrews road, which occasioned a considerable flooding in the March ground and surrounding fields. Fortunately, the burst was soon discovered, and the supply screwed off at the reservoir.


YARMOUTH COLLISION CASE. Captain A- Wood. J.P., nautical assessor in the Technical College, Dundee, has just issued his decision collision case off Yarmouth on 29th October, 1912, between two Cellardyke drifters, Carmi III and Guerdon, which were insured in the same company. Both vessels claimed for loss of fishing, and the company offering £135 lie money, left the two skippers to settle who was at fault in the collision. To determine this, the skippers agreed to refer the case to Captain Wood, who after hearing evidence, found that the Guerdon alone was blame for the collision.


At a meeting of Kilrenny School Board last night, a letter was read from Mr Barbour, Headmaster of Cellardyke School, resigning his position, owing to the operation of the age limit. Mr Barbour has been in Cellardyke School for 36 years

Addressing the annual meeting the Cellardyke branch East Coast Fisheries Association on Saturday Mr. Bertram. Central hon, secretary, severely criticised the fishery authorities’ for spending so much on what was called scientific research. They had spent £150,000 on scientific research, and a greater farce one never heard of. Such research might be an educative force for those engaged in it, but it did absolutely nothing to promote the interests of the fishermen. There were too many scientists on the Fishery Board and too few practical men. During the past ten years the number of fishermen in Scotland had decreased by about 7000, and, in face of that, scientific research was of mighty little use. What they required was not scientific research, but definite legislation to protect the vital interests of the fishermen.

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