The Cellardyke Echo – 24/6/2021 – Issue 293


The arrangements for supplying the inhabitants of the East of Fife with telegraphic facilities are being rapidly carried out, and in a short time the wires will be in all the Post Offices in the district. In addition to the wire which has been in operation here for a considerable time, a new wire has lately been erected between St Monance and Anstruther, which is to be extended to Cellardyke and Crail. The head office for the district is Anstruther, where all messages for any of the neighbouring towns are first transmitted through the direct wire, and then forwarded to their destinations by the other wire.

WARNING TO PERSONS KEEPING DOGS WITHOUT LICENCES. —A Justice of Peace Court was held here on Wednesday. William Murray, Esq., Provost Todd, and Bailie Darsie on the bench, and John Smith, Esq., acting as assessor. After the disposal of two or three small debt cases, Wm. Pattie, carter, Cellardyke, was charged at the instance of Mr William Webber Sparke, officer of Excise, with keeping a dog without a licence, whereby he was liable in a penalty of £5. He pled guilty and was fined in the mitigated penalty of 25s. James Watson, fishcurer, Cellardyke, pled guilty to a similar charge, stating that he had inadvertently neglected to take out the licence and was fined 25s. James Salter (Carstairs), fisherman, Cellardyke, was fined 25s for the same offence. In the cases of David Brown and Thomas Tarvit, fishermen, Cellardyke, who did not appear personally, the service of the summons was sworn to, and no defence being set up, a fine of 25s each was inflicted. At the instance of Mr Stephen Youden, officer of Excise, West Anstruther, Alexander Watson, fisherman, Cellardyke, was charged with the same offence. Mr Sparke, who appeared for the Crown, said in this case the defendant had been keeping a dog for two years and five months without a licence, and he submitted that a heavier fine ought to be inflicted. Watson having admitted the charge, their Honours sentenced him to pay a fine of 35s. The fines were all paid.


A SEA HARVEST. Friday the 14th instant, will be long memorable in the East Neuk for the remarkable cod fishing in the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The deep sea boats had been detained for nearly day on the homeward voyage by calm weather, and only a few had arrived on the morning tide of the day in question. One of these -belonging to Skipper George Smith, of Cellardyke—landed what is believed the best take of fish on the east coast of Scotland. It consisted of upwards of 100 splendid halibut, with several fine turbot, or the famous  ‘bannock fluke,’ and about thirty-six score of fine cod, besides many ling and skate ; and with her noble freight, the large boat had all the appearance of a creer gunwale deep with herrings. This princely ‘shot’ was discharged at Cellardyke, and when spread out on the bulwark the singular sight attracted much curiosity and attention, and more than one old greybeard was heard to wonder over it as ‘the biggest tak’ he had ever seen . It was purchased at £25; but in Lent, or at a time when ‘mother sea ‘ was less fruitful, it might have had a value of nearly £100. In this way the arrivals of the morning anticipated the scenes which would take place with the evening tide; and certainly more interesting a picture was never presented at a fishing port. No fewer than thirty-two big boats came in, all well fished ; and when take after take was spread out for auction, and the old rusty piers of Anster, encored with the rich treasures of the deep, actually looked, in the words of a scientific cobbler, who could only tap his snuffbox with delight, ‘as if they bad been sulvereesed.’ In the previous week it is computed that nearly 20,000 cod were landed at Anstruther, and last week the takes were little less remarkable ; so that the sea is, in the meantime, yielding its stores to an extent altogether unparalleled on the Scottish coast. In general a ready market is obtained in England for halibut at the rate of or 3d or 4d a pound;  but cod fish are reserved for cure in a dry state, and, in consequence of the immense supplies, this branch of the business has scarcely before had a tithe of its present importance in the East Neuk.

Kindness to Excursionists.—The Band of Hope connection with the Good Templar Lodge of Cellardyke inaugurated their first excursion on Friday when they visited in grand style the picturesque sea braes of Kincraig, near the old burgh of Earlsferry. There were about 150 children of both sexes and the little army marched through the streets to the railway station and many an eye brightened with delight the animated spectacle, each and all being attired in real holiday fashion, and seemingly as proud of the “collar and rosette” as a lord of his star and garter There was no absence of flags, but one of the special features of the procession was the singing of many fine hymns, in which the sweet little voices joined with touching effect. On reaching Elie they marched in the same pleasing order through the broad sunny streets of the less ornate if ancient thoroughfares of Earlsferry to the beautiful braes, where the rich sward being in choice condition, the children had a famous opportunity of enjoying “the sports of the green.” Here they were visited by many good friends to the cause, amongst others being Mr Scott Moncrieff and his family, and Mrs Waddell, the lady of the respected town-clerk of Earlsferry. Mr Moncrieff addressed the children in a most affectionate and judicious manner; and his amiable family also evinced a kindly interest in the ruddy faced and comely little visitors from Cellardyke; while Mrs Waddell displayed as usual her true womanly sympathy and benevolence in promoting the comforts of young and old. The weather was exceedingly sultry, and there seemed to be no well springs in the vicinity but any inconvenience, if not actual suffering, from these causes, was entirely obviated by Mrs Waddell, who generously provided at her own charge an abundant supply water from Earlsferry, while, as a crowning act of considerate kindness, she entertained the mothers of the party to tea, which was particularly agreeable and welcome under the circumstances, and for which we are requested to tender the most grateful regards. In the course of the afternoon the happy party once more retraced their steps to the railway station, and after a pleasant ride the streets of Anstruther and Cellardyke once more echoed with their beautiful hymns, and in this way they concluded a holiday which appeared to be fraught to all with the liveliest pleasure and delight. As we have already incidentally stated, many friends accompanied the youthful excursionists, and special thanks are due to Mr Brown, farmer Anstruther; Mr Thomson and Mr Grubb, Cellardyke, for the affectionate care they evinced of the children.


The Herring Fleet of 1873

According to the preparations now so actively begun, the present season will see the largest herring fleet ever sent afloat from the East of Fife. Cellardyke promises to contribute about 175 of the finest and largest boats to the Scottish herring squadron, and Pittenweem can muster over 50, while St Monance, in that true spirit of progress which distinguishes her, soon will be able, if required, to send 105—making a total for the three stations of 335 first-class boats.

Artists in the East of Fife.—There are at present many five artists —including the distinguished landscape painter, Mr Samuel Bough, of Edinburgh—sketching various points of interest in the East of Fife. The favourite subject with all seems to be the romantic sea shore, where the busy fisher craft may be everywhere seen speeding along with dark, brown wings; but the memorable and picturesque, wherever it may exist in the neighbourhood, is likely to have more or less of the attention of these interesting visitors.

Birth at St Adrian’s Cave.—ln the course the last week or two band of gipsies have been “camping” out in the neighbourhood, though certainly with nothing of the romance and poetry which the popular fancy loves to associate with the swarthy and fortune telling tribe. Indeed, a more squalid and miserable crew could scarcely be supposed in a civilized land— dirty, ragged, and unkempt, hawking or rather begging away their tin ware by day, and sleeping under the midnight stars on the bare sward of some common or stray corner, just as chance or necessity may have led them thither. The gang consisted of two men and two women, with a motley group of young children; and they seem to have continued their rambles cheered, however, all propitious occasions by the ” wee drappie drink”— till one of the matrons, who was in a state of advanced pregnancy, was taken ill, in the end of last week, while the party were lurking amongst the herring boats at the green of Cellardyke. With that kind and sisterly feeling for distress which ever forms such beautiful characteristic of the seafaring life, some of the housewives spread a bed in the adjoining washing-house for the poor stranger; but some circumstance or another induced and her people to remove a mile or two along the shore to St Adrian’s Cave at Caiplie, where, the gossips tell truly, in the cell, and resting on the altar at which the holy Bishop of St Andrews is said to have prayed exactly one thousand years ago, before he was martyred on the Isle of May, the gipsy mother gave birth to male child on Sabbath last. There are few more interesting spots to the archaeologist than the cave of Caiplie; but for all that a more wretched place could not well be for a lying-in hospital; though, nevertheless, the swarthy mother and the ” little saint,” whose first hymn wakened up again the grand old echoes of the holy cell, prospered as well as if they had been surrounded by all the delicacies and comforts of palace. Her partner in love and lot took the place of midwife or doctor; but we may add that a mother’s agony was no sooner at a close than a panacea was next instant found in the darling “black cutty,” which, with true conjugal spirit, passed from her husband’s lips to her own; and so well did she improve that in the course of a single day or two she and the tribe were once more on the ” trail.”

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