The Cellardyke Echo – 20/05/2021 – Issue 287



A new Friendly Society has just been formed here under the name of the Cellardyke Fishermen’s Union and Benefit Society. According to the rules, which have a curious identity with those of the Odd-fellows, none but fishermen may enter; but all such have an open door as long they go in the deep-sea boats. The entry money is only one shilling, and the payments two pence a-week; but the promoters build on these a platform wide enough to provide for hurt and ailing members, and even give permanent relief after “three score,” and to widows whenever rendered so by the dispensations of Profidence. This is by no means new experiment in the district; but has been launched at a time when there is a loud knock every door to provide, as Heaven shall give the means for a possible day of trouble and distress; and it speaks well for the true Scottish heart of the community that already about one hundred have embarked in the Association. Economists will be no less gratified to hear that life assurance is taking such good root in Cellardyke, that within the last week or two some twenty are entered for sums ranging from £50 to £200. Simultaneous with all this, active effort going on for the relief of the widow and the fatherless. Mr Robert Davidson, in his district of John Street, has collected £8 9s ; while Provost Watson and Mr Black, amongst the neighbours of Forth Street, have raised £12 0s 6d, and the other sections of the town are expected to be overtaken this week with no less substantial tokens of Christian sympathy and regard. The appeal is a touching one, and the public heart is vibrating to it; but special thanks are surely due to Mrs Murray, ST Alye’s Crescent, for her untiring devotion in the paths of the Good Samaritan. The total subscriptions this date in the hand of Mr Peter Thomson, treasurer, border on £100.

The Magistrates of Kilrenny are still in doubt and difficulty about pure water supply for Cellardyke. The other day saw them out on a tour of exploration in the uplands of the parish, when they visited the old mines at Pitcorthie and Carvenom, where like the “tappings” of some mighty cistern, the springlet sings gaily all through the longest summer day. Cool and crystalline also, they are in this respect, in grateful contrast to the thick and muddy streams flowing beside them in ditch and brook, though their birthplace in the iron and other mineral strata forbids their use or adaptation for the town. The complaints, especially in the west end of Cellardyke are, of course, increased and increasing as the drought advances, and the inconvenience and discomfort of the neighbours fully warrants the outcry which is to be heard upon the subject. In this, however, they are not alone – so far as the pure element goes, the inhabitants of Anstruther are in no better plight, though none but the housewife may know the sacrifices that have been made over kettle and tub. Sharing then as they do the same pressing wants, had almost said in those days of typhoid or worse – the same urgent peril – it is obviously the duty of the authorities of both towns to unite in the spirit, and for the object suggested at late meeting Provost Halson Anderson as to meet by some well-considered scheme, the necessity of both towns.


New Fishing vessel- -Important Improvements

Our townsman. Mr Alexander Cunningham, will launch in a day or two the largest fishing boat yet built to the order of a Fifeshire fisherman. She Is built on the lines of the model which obtained the Norwich award of medal to her builder, and is about 53 feet in length, 17 in beam, and over 30 tons Is measurement. Her cabin is designed with a special eye to the comfort and convenience of the crew, who, instead of cooking and sleeping it the same dingy cockpit are as snugly berthed as in any ocean liner. The stowage of gear or cargo is no less ingenious and complete; but the most salient feature of “Our Queen.” as she is to be christened is her rig, which is to be on the fore and aft principle so long advocated by the friends of the fishermen. The insuperable difficulty, as it proved on a recent occasion, of unshipping the mast when at the drift, has been met by a simple but effective arrangement. From the first, however, there were those who saw no great impediment in this matter, if only from the fact that the spar is about one third or so lighter as compared with one for such a boat rigged in the ordinary way with lug sail and jib. The sails, of course will be worked with an immense saving in tell and danger, and it will now be possible to hoist a flying topsail so as to take advantage of a light or summer breeze, when without it the reef points would be rattling idly on the sluggish folds. The bravest of the shore have perished while ” dipping the sails,” as it is called, but Mr Cunningham has another claim on the regard of the coast -to wit, in the safety rail, or bulwark, with which the smack is fitted. It will not soon be forgotten in Cellardyke how boat after boat came in, in the course of last year, with one or more of the gallant crew washed away in the storm, but, as a special preventative, a knee deep rail is built over the gunwale, which gives to the deck all the appearance and security of a first class sea trader. The smack is otherwise a superior specimen of her class, in respect both of material and workmanship. She is one of several orders to our coast builders from St Andrews, her owners being the Messrs Black, who, with characteristic energy, are to join in those branches of the fishery which have done so much of law to develop the wealth of the Scottish sea.

The first launch at West Anstruther took place on Friday, when the dashing craft, which is to the order of Mr John Seller, Cellardyke, was christened the “Pride of Fife.” Her handsome sister found her destined element on Monday, under the name for ever sacred to grace and beauty, “The Lady the Lake.” She is for Mr Alexander Davidson, also of Cellardyke. Councillor Millar has now his hands free to proceed with a cruising yacht. Our townsman. Councillor Jervis, has completed a first-class boat on the lines for which he, as in the case of Mr Alexander Cunningham, obtained a silver medal in Norwich. She is in the meantime quite an attraction to the Forth, and opinions are as one amongst the old salts about her capabilities fast and powerful sea boat. She is to the order of Thomas Anderson and Alexander Murray, and to, we hear, to be named the “Carmi.” The Councillor has two other first-class boats on hand for the drave –one and all for Cellardyke; but, with this exception, we have said, the trade is waiting for the “moving of the waters” in that all-important event of the fisher year. The Cellardyke is fleet then to number scarcely less than 180 boats which will make the total outfit from the East Fife not under or 340, being a decided advance on any former effort of the coast.


At a Burgh Court held on Monday–before Provost Anderson and Bailies Darsie and Graham—Alexander Macleod, labourer, residing in Cellardyke, was charged with offences within the meaning of the 251st section of the General Police Act, in so far as, between the hours of one and Iwo on Sunday morning, he did conduct himself in a riotous and disorderly manner by shouting and bawling; and also with having destroyed a pail while in one of the police cells. After some hesitation he pleaded not guilty. From the evidence of Police-constables Spark and Martin, it appeared that while patrolling Shore Street on the morning in question they came upon Macleod lying in the street drunk, and Spark knowing where he lodged endeavoured to get him home. He, however, threw himself from them, and lying down on the street commenced to roar at the pitch of his voice and tried to kick the constables. He was then handcuffed, and despite his struggles was removed to the cells. Here he continued to make a great noise, and apprehensive that he might do himself some injury his hands were handcuffed behind his back. In this position he managed to get hold of a pail, which he destroyed by repeated knocking on the door. Having nothing to say, the Magistrates imposed the modified penalty of is7s 6d, with the alternative of seven days’ imprisonment.

The Cellardyke deep-sea going boat, “James and Agnes,” has just been sold by Skipper Smith to Captain Joseph Moss for the sum, as the story goes, of £147. Captain Moss is well known in the Forth, seeing that instead of laying his fishing snack at the end of the season like his neighbours on the beach he used to fit her up as a kind of packet in the coasting trade. She had been a French pleasure yacht in her day, and a finer sea-boat did not weather St Nicholas Gap till she went to places in the midnight gale the other month on the English coast. Captain Moss and his crew all but found a grave in the raging sea, but, with the courage of a true sailor, he is to begin the world again with his Fifeshire boat. She sailed the other day for Yarmouth, there to be fitted out for the North Sea drave, in which her crew will engage, not on the old feudal system, which still continues like a rusty relic of the past to enslave the beachmen, but on the “share and share alike principle” of our Scottish fishermen, whose example, as well as the good seed of the temperance mission, is, as we see, here proving no mean leverage amongst the fishermen of the south.


The International Fisheries Exhibition, Norwich

… The show drift nets and other deep-Sea fishing tackle is large, and the nets differ from each other in appearance very little except in the size of the mesh. Wonderful progress is shown to have taken place even in the of this kind of thing, and the different varieties on view easily open for those who hold strong opinions one way or the other the controversy as to the size of the mesh. The leading exhibition, either English or Scottish, in the department of nets, lines, and fishing appliances of all kinds, are Messrs Sharp A Murray, Cellardyke, who base a most artistically arranged stand, a net with cured herrings being hung from poles as it would be suspended in the sea. The stand is very attractive, and few would have imagined without seeing it, the novel and pretty effects in the way of decoration which Means Sharp and Murray have accomplished with no other material than nets. The net with the herring in the meshes just they are caught has naturally been an object interest and the stand has a complete collection of deep sea fishing gear of all kinds.

On Wednesday night the large steamer “Queen,” of the Leith and Shetland steamships, called at Anstruther harbour about five o’clock. to take, in a cargo of barrels from Messrs Sharp & Murray, Cellardyke. In less than an hour and a half fully 1,500 barrels were packed away, and the steamer had sailed for Fraserburgh to take in another cargo there, and thence to proceed to Shetland. The pier was a scene of great activity for the time being, a large number of spectators being present, who apparently watched with evident interest the work as it was carried on. The steamer, which took on board a similar cargo here last year, is the largest that has ever been in Anstruther harbour. A good number of passengers (relatives of the fishermen who have gone from this quarter), left with the “Queen” for Shetland.


CELLARDYKE CRICKET CLUB. (To the Editor of the Record.) I was glad to see in your paper of last week that the Cellardyke Cricket Club had got started once more. The young men of this Club deserve every encouragement to go on with this manly end healthy exercise. But the question is, how can they go on when they haven’t a public park, or a park of their own to play in, where they can have every freedom? Why can’t the Magistrates of Cellardyke and Anstruther go hand in hand and purchase a park, where the young men of both towns could enjoy such healthy exercises as cricket and football? There is scarcely a town now but has its cricket field or bowling green. Elie, Leven, Crail, and St Andrews have their links, and Cellardyke and Anstruther can’t even boast of a cricket field. No doubt there’s a lawn tennis club, but it’s only those and such as those who are members of it. Numerous are the letters which have been published in your paper about the young men standing at street corners, but what else can we expect? There is no attraction to take them elsewhere. Numerous though the letters have been, they have failed to stir up the Magistrates to procure a remedy for this evil. Let them rent a park, say Bankie Park, or the park behind Union Place, where there would be ample room for cricket, football, bowling, and quoits, being freely indulged in. This, I think, would be a capital remedy. What I could say to the Cricket Club is to go on and persevere. Let your eleven practice often together. Challenge the Pittenweem and Colinsburgh Cricket Clubs to play a match, and charge so much for admission into the field, which would greatly help to increase your funds. I wish the Cellardyke Cricket Club every success.- I remain, yours truly, ALPHA.

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