The Cellardyke Echo -18/June/2021 – Issue 292

Cellardyke Pond

Page 199 of Harry Watson’s book “Later in the decade ambitious plans were drawn up for a golf course at the east end of Cellardyke – the ‘architect’ being the great James Braid of Earlsferry. Unfortunately the scheme fell through on the grounds of expense, but a proposal to cut out a swimming pool at the east end of the town was more successful, largely because much of the labour was undertaken by unpaid volunteers. The ‘Pond’ was opened on June 17th 1933 and at the suggestion of Provost Carstairs was called the ‘Cardinal Steps’ nearby a hut was erected for the East Neuk model yacht club.”  Harry then goes on to quote the whole of Poetry Peter’s poem “The Pond” which describes the building of the pool.

27 Sept 1930

Improvement plans – a mass meeting of Cellardyke rate payers was held in Cellardyke town hall. Almost 200 were present, and Mr Alex. Myles, Cellardyke, presided. Discussion centred around improvements which could be carried out to Cellardyke, including the building of a new bathing pond.

Advert 1931 – 1933

ANSTRUTHER and CELLARDYKE, the Fifeshire Coast.—Bracing air, low rainfall; facilities for Golf, Tennis Bowling, Boating, etc.; Swimming Pond;

 5th August 1932

Cellardyke Swimming Pond

The swimming and model yachting pond which is at present being built at the shoals, Cellardyke, by R Terras, builder East Wemyss, is expected to be completed within a fortnight or so. The original idea was to build a small boating pond, but the Cellardyke Putting Green Committee and the Improvements Committee decided to put their funds together so as to enable them to embark on a larger undertaking. A pond which also provides facilities for swimming has resulted.

The funds of the committees have been exhausted in the scheme, but the pond promises to be a very serviceable one. The deepest point, six feet, is at the middle, and the water grows gradually shallower towards a sandbank each end where children will be able to play in safety. There is unfortunately no retaining wall, but this addition may be provided at some future date.

29th Sept 1932

CELLARDYKE SWIMMING POOL SCHEME. Cellardyke Improvements Committee, Ratepayers’ Association, and Putting Green Committee are to co-operate in an endeavour to finish the construction of the new bathing pond. Bailie Carstairs and Councillor Mitchell have been elected presidents of the new body, and the other officials are the joint secretary and treasurer, Messrs Butters and Bowman. It has been resolved to proceed with the construction of the west retaining wall. When completed the pond will be one of the largest in Fife.

17th Oct 1932

Model Yachting Trophy Cellardyke Town Improvement Committee has received gift from Mr G. W. Wortley, of Falkirk. It is in the form of a beautiful silver cup to be named the Sherriff Cup, and to be used for model boat sailing. The condition laid down in connection with the Sherriff Cup competition is that boats must be made locally and sailed by the builder. Already many hands have been work, and on the return of the fishermen from the south some exciting races are looked forward to. The new bathing and yachting pond at Cellardyke is now completed and is expected to largely patronised both as a model yachting pond in the winter and bathing pond in summer.

27 Dec 1932

BOAT-BUILDING IN CELLARDYKE BOAT-BUILDING is booming in Cellardyke. Down at the harbour and in the streets there is no unusual activity. The town wears that pre-occupied demeanour, habitual to her after the close of the Yarmouth fishing. And the population is-to all appearances -quietly and methodically engaged in preparing for the coming “winter herring.” Nor is there anything secret or sinister about the new “industry.” Through the efforts of the Ratepayers’ Improvement Association, a large pond has recently been completed “east the toon,” beside the famous Cardinal’s Steps. This pond, which, I understand, is the largest of its kind in Fife, is to be formally opened early in the New Year as a yachting pond. During the summer months it will be used for swimming.

PERFECT MODELS A “Model Boat Club” is presently in process of formation. Nearly every man, young and old, is interested, and every day we see a boat-laden procession going pond-wards. In garrets, cellars, back shops, and by cosy firesides in the winter evenings, every “man body ” in the town, from the youthful schoolboy to the aged ” Dey,” is busily engrossed in making ” model boats.” Each dainty vessel is perfect in every detail, and thus reflects the greatest credit on the skill, ingenuity, and patience of her builders. There is no flaw in her exquisite workmanship, no error in her dimensions. With white sails set, she awaits that thrilling moment when, carried proudly Fife’s Biggest Yachting and Swimming Pond to Be Opened in New Year Ratepayers’ Improvement Association Provides Town with New Recreation

THE SPIRIT OF RIVALRY ABROAD By Mrs A. R. ROWLANDS I thither in the arms of her builder, she is launched, not only into her native element, but also into strenuous competition against her sister ships. It is charming sight to see the tiny craft, sails all taut, darting through the wind-ruffled wavelets of the pond, responding, as it were, to the shouts of encouragement from admiring and enthusiastic spectators, some of whom in their excitement run the risk of toppling into the > water. “THE FIFIE” At the first casual glance the boats | seem to differ only in size and colour. , A closer scrutiny reveals the fact that each has been designed from either of two models. The “Fifie ” type, which has no connection with our old friend of the Tay Ferry, is modelled on the lines of old-time fishing boat. She has two masts and carries jib, main, and mizzen sails. Her direction is controlled by the weight of her keel and the manipulation of her sails. The yacht models, on the other hand, have been designed to take the path of least resistance. As they cut through the water, their long, slender, graceful lines are easily discerned. Their complement is one mast and four sails, forejib and aft-jib, main-sail and top-sail, and they are directed by a rudder.

AN OLD AMBITION The “old order changeth.” This is true of Cellardyke. Altered conditions of living have engendered the desire for improvement, and improved circumstances have, in their turn, created the need of recreation The new bathing and boating pond has been the result of the united efforts of Cellardyke Ratepayers’ Improvements Association to foster the spirit of enterprise and to supply by artificial means that something lacking in the natural endowments of their burgh. The “Dykers” are well noted as a keen-witted, far-sighted, and progressive community; it has long been their ambition to make their clean and caller town valuable asset to her inhabitants. They are now endeavouring not only to cater for their own requirements, but also to minister to the needs of those who spend a brief annual holiday on their shores.

YOUTH ROUSED This new “industry” or “hobby,” as some may term it, has awakened the interest of Cellardyke youths. It has roused their latent ability and stimulated their ambition, for not only must they emulate their experienced elders, they must also attempt to surpass them by exhibition of workmanship superior to that of the “old-timers.” Although the spirit of rivalry is abroad, it is a friendly and kindly spirit. Each man tries to outvie his neighbour in the production of “champion racer.” Well and merrily, therefore, may the bonny boaties speed, their billowing sails filled by the sportive winds of the Forth.

12 Jan 1933

The Board of Trade intimated that they would grant the council a lease of the around on the site of Cellardyke Bathing Pond for 31 years at a rent of 10s per annum. The council resolved hand the letter over to Cellardyke Improvements Committee, who owned the pond.

19th Jan 1933

Cellardyke Improvements Committee held a bazaar in Anstruther Town Hall with view to raising funds to defray the cost of the new bathing and model-yachting pond at Cellardyke. Over £450 was realised. Provost Carstairs declared the bazaar open. He suggested that pond should be given a distinctive name, such the “Cardinal Steps Bathing Pond.”

The stallholders were:—Mrs Anderson, Mrs Boyter, Mrs Butters, Miss Smith, Airs Maxwell, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Fortune, Mrs Gardner, Mrs Bett, Mrs Mitchell, Mrs Watson, Miss Isa Henderson, and Mrs Birrell. Mrs Hosie and Mrs Swinton supervised the tea arrangements, and Messrs John Harrow and James Laing were in charge of the amusements.

16th March 1933

MODEL YACHT CONTEST AT CELLARDYKE BIG ENTRY FOR SATURDAY’S EVENT. Under the auspices of the East Fife Model Sailing Club the first heats of the Mitchell Cup competition were run off yesterday afternoon the Cardinal Steps pond, Cellardyke, about 20 entries being received. There was a large number of spectators. Weather conditions were ideal, and competition between the various craft was keen. About 80 entries have been received for Saturday’s events in the same competition. The finals will also held on Saturday if weather permits.

21 April 1933

MODEL YACHT RACE AT CELLARDYKE CUP COMPETITION FOR JUVENILES. The Wilson Cup competition for juveniles promoted by the East Fife Model Sailing Club, was held the Cardinal Steps Pond, Cellardyke, 31 models being entered. A large number of spectators watched the young competitors sailing their models. It is expected another competition for the juveniles will held before the start of the bathing season.

13th May 1933

CELLARDYKE. Improving Swimming Pond. —Work is fast going in improving the local swimming pond, and it the plan the Improvements Committee remove all the skerries from the pond floor and cover it with sand as much as possible. Much of the rock has already gone. A new feature to introduce this year is a water chute, while preparations are also being made for installing a set of diving boards at various heights. Members of the committee were at St Andrews swimming-pond on Monday studying its layout in effort bring about like conditions in Cellardyke.

20 May 1933

Names were taken for a party to attend the opening gala of the Cellardyke Improvement Committee, whose pond is to be formally opened 2nd June

10 June 1933

TEP ROCK AMATEURS.—On Thursday evening, Mr W. Bruce, the former Scottish diving champion, and Mr W. Reynolds, the well-known Midlands swimmer, commenced their classes at the Step Rock Pond. On Saturday next week, a party of Step Rock Amateurs are travelling to Cellardyke (leaving St Andrews at 3.30) to give a display at the opening of the new swimming pond

20 July 1933


A swimming gala was held by the Shaulds Amateur Swimming Club at the Cardinal Steps Pond. Cellardyke, last night, when prize-winners were: —Girls’ race—Lizzie Gardner; boys’ race —John Beaton; boys’ diving— 1. John Horsburgh, 2 Alex. Keay; open 100 yards race —Wm. Duncan; yards local handicap—Wm. Duncan; open diving competition—John Kellie; greasy pole fight—George Ritchie and John Smith (equal).

14 Sept 1933

Ancient Rite to Be Revived Next Wednesday evening an ancient rite is to be revived at Cellardyke. At 7.15 p.m. a torchlight procession of inhabitants dressed in fancy costumes will leave the town green. The local fishermen, as in olden times, will march through the streets and wallop ” the ” fast-steekit ” doors of the houses with tangle, or seaweed. The rite has been revived by the Cellardyke Improvements Association, who inaugurated the swimming pond at the Cardinal’s Steps

15 Jan 1934

AST FIFE MODEL SAILING CLUB COMPETITION. The East Fife Model Sailing Club held a competition at the Cardinal Steps Pond, Cellardyke, on Saturday, when 22 entries were received. With a fair westerly wind the various heats in each class were quickly sailed. Different members of the committee acted as umpires. The following were the winners:—24 in. and under—Martin Sutherland in. and under —Martin Sutherland; 30 in. and under —John Rodger, jun., in. and under—James Tarvit; i and under Thomas Murray. in. and over—James Stewart.

9th April 1934

Model Sailing Contest The members of the East Fife Model Sailing Club, Cellardyke, are looking forward to their second contest with Perth Model Yacht Club at Perth on Saturday, 19th May. The East Fife Club will compete with a team of four model ” Fifies,” which will be the four fastest boats belonging to the members. The last competition between Perth and East Fife took place at the Cardinal Steps Pond, Cellardyke, on 14th October last, but calm weather somewhat marred the event. On that occasion Perth Club defeated East Fife by 22 points to 10. In anticipation of the forthcoming competition trials are to be conducted at the Cellardyke Pond, and the four models gaining the most points during these trials will be selected for Perth.

1st June 1934

Bathing Pool Improvements The members of the Cardinal’s Steps Amateur Swimming Club, Cellardyke, are looking forward to a successful season. Galas have been organised for various dates in June, July and August, and an invitation extended to neighbouring clubs. During the winter about £200 has been spent on improving the Cellardyke pond. An additional diving board and cement platform have been provided, and the diving pit, 29 feet in radius, has been deepened to 8 feet 9 inches. At the outer wall extra sluice has been constructed, making it possible to empty the pond in about 1 ½  , hours

21 July 1934

CELLARDYKE. Cake and Candy Stall. Cellardyke Improvements Committee held a cake and candy sale on the town’s green on Wednesday. It was unfortunately marred by wet weather. The sale, which was in aid of improvements to the bathing pond, was opened Bailie Mitchell, and those in charge were:—Drapery—Mrs Gardner. Mrs Sutherland. Mrs Laing, Miss Williamson. Miss C. Smith, and Mrs Jas. Bett; tea—Mrs Hosie, Mrs Swinton, and assistants; amusements Councillor Laing. Messrs Motion, Myles, Brown, Sutherland, Wilson, and Stewart.

21 August 1934

COMEDY GALA. —The carnival spirit was much in evidence at Cellardyke pond, when a comedy gala was held under the auspices of the Cardinal’s Steps Amateur Swimming Club. Novelty races were provided in abundance. Regulation rules governing galas went by the board, and the awards were given, not to the actual winners, but in some cases to the last competitor. The “Good-night Race” in particular provided much merriment. The six male competitors carried candles and were arrayed in nightgowns and mutches. The starter and judge was the club president, Mr Duncan Macintyre. Results:- Boys’ race–Robert Davis; ” good-night ” race—Robert Cunningham; boys’ diving —John Horsburgh; girls’ race—Maggie Ritchie; men’s diving—Win. Duncan; ” bun and ginger pop ” race—Agnes Gardner; ladies’ race—Maggie Ritchie An open-air entertainment was afterwards held on the town’s green, at which Mr Reid, the Paisley ventriloquist, entertained a large crowd. Songs were also given by Messrs Gray and Burns, Glasgow.

July 1936

Swimmers from St Andrews assisted Cellardyke Improvements Committee with their swimming gala held at the Cardinal’s Steps Swimming Pond at Cellardyke on Monday night The visitors gave displays diving, swimming, and life-saving. The gala, which attracted a crowd about 2000 spectators, was organised by Mr Earl Gillespie, the coach the East Neuk district.

24th June 1937

RICYCLE SLIPS OVER SEA WALL CELLARDYKE CHILD INJURED. The three-year-old daughter of Mr and Mrs George Brown, Shore Street, Cellardyke, sustained severe head injuries when she fell over the sea wall the Cardinal Steps Bathing Pond, Cellardyke, yesterday. Her mother had taken her for outing to the east end, and the child, who was riding a tricycle on the braes, suddenly slipped over the sea wall and fell several feet on to the rocks. She was attended by Dr D. C. Wilson, who found her suffering from concussion and shock.

30 Sept 1938

STONE-AGE “FIND” AT CELLARDYKE A relic of the Stone Age has been found by Mr Robert Brown, Shore Street, Cellardyke, in the vicinity of Cellardyke Bathing Pond. It is a very fine example of a stone axe, and is now in the collection of Mr William White, F.S.A.(Scot), Shore Road, West Anstruther.

26 Feb 1947

To Attract Visitors Cellardyke resident Alexander Smith has started a “Monday Night at Eight” dance session for young and old. Object to gather funds for a children’s playing field and an improved bathing pond, additional attractions for holidaymakers. Mr Smith concerned with the effects of the decline of the fishing industry on the  population of the Anstruther united burghs In recent years has devoted much time to calling attention to this trend, and it was largely through his efforts that the East Fife Joint Development Council was formed. He is the council’s first chairman, and prosecuting plans for bringing light industries into the coast area. Its development a holiday centre it also receiving his enthusiastic support, and he now putting Cellardyke in the van of the movement for better summer facilities. Mr Smith served for a time on Anstruther Town Council.

20th Aug 1953

A sea queen is crowned Miss Agnes Brunton, 15-year-old Anstruther schoolgirl, goes to her crowning as Sea Queen of Anstruther at the Cardinal Steps Bathing Pond at Cellardyke. Crowning was by Miss C. Smith, niece of the late Provost W. W. Carstairs, Anstruther. The retiring queen, Miss Moira Stewart (16), of Anstruther, transferred her authority to the new queen by handing over the sceptre.

2 Replies to “The Cellardyke Echo -18/June/2021 – Issue 292”

  1. Loving reading of these bygone times.
    Having grown up in George street in the early 60s and 70s I was never away from the bathing pool as a bairn,and was proud to have been part of the sea queen as a bugler along my my good friend Colin Cummings .
    I would be interested to know if there are kept records of past Sea Queen ceremonies where members of the public cab look through them.

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