The Cellardyke Echo – 22/7/2021 – Issue 297


MORE SAD NEWS FROM FIFE. ANOTHER BOATING DISASTER FEARED. FATE OF ANSTRUTER VISITORS. Great anxiety prevails in Anstruther regarding the safety of two visitors, an anxiety that has now deepened into belief that the worst has happened. Following so soon after the disaster at Leven, but a few miles to the west, it is not surprising the circumstances are exciting the community in an extraordinary degree. William Watson, a native of Cellardyke, but resident in Aberdeen and of the crew of the steam trawler Faith, and John Swanson (Haddington), swimming master, engaged in one of the Edinburgh baths, who had both come to spend a holiday in Anstruther, set off Wednesday after dinner for a sail. At the last moment they decided to go the May. Their boat, the Maggie Brown, a partan yawl, belonging to Mr William Sutherland, was smart craft, a little over twenty feet long, and rigged with a lugsail. Few other crafts were out so far, and no townsmen spoke them, but the island had been made all right. Both men were spoken to by the lighthouse keepers, and as they put off from the May about seven o’clock Watson remarked that he intended to show his friend round the island.

Shortly after the light craft was observed tacking round the South Ness, holding east, then the helm was put up, throwing her on a southerly course. Thinking the visitors intended making for Dunbar or North Berwick, the keepers paid no further attention to her. That was the last seen of the yawl and crew so far as is known.

As night fell those at home became alarmed, but they could do nothing. Next day inquiries were instituted in every direction, and, acting on the information secured from the May, telegrams were sent to Berwick, Dunbar, and other ports. Nothing had been observed from the south shore, and it is feared that in the grey of Tuesday night the craft must have heeled over, struck by a flange, and sunk. Circumstances which make the accident all the more pathetic are that one of the supposed victims was revisiting the scenes he left twelve years ago and mixing with his old companions. All gave William Watson hearty welcome, and were glad to hear from him how well the Faith was doing. This steam trawler was an experiment by Mr Stephen Williamson, who, anxious to see how his old townsmen would act a modern craft, had her built, and placed Skipper Michael Doig and a Cellardyke crew in charge. They did well, and Watson had run south for a brief holiday, bringing one of his children. He met Mr Swanson two or three times since the latter, accompanied by his wife and two children, came from Edinburgh to spend the week in Anstruther. The anxiety of Mrs Swanson and her children is exciting the liveliest sympathy in their terrible position, and deeply also do those in Anstruther feel for Mrs Watson and her children in Aberdeen, eight of a family being left. The only gleam of hope is that the yawl had met with an accident to the mast or sail, and that the men had been picked up by ship outward bound.

Proof was led—before Sheriff Armour—at yesterday an action at the instance of David Keith, fish-curer, Cellardyke, against Wm. Donaldson, farmer, Cauldcoats The sum sued for was .£8 10s, being the price of a horse which pursuer said defender purchased from him on 28th  March last Defender denied that he bought the horse his version of the transaction being that pursuer sent the horse up to his farm for his use for its keep, as had been done preceding season with a horse belonging to pursuer’s son. After hearing evidence, the Sheriff said he had considerable difficulty in coming to a decision, but the whole considered the balance of evidence was in pursuer’s favour, and therefore granted decree for the sum sued for, with £1 10s of expenses’ For pursuer.


Walter Peat, fireman, Fowler’s Street, Cellardyke, and Thomas Bowman, labourer, Kingseat Asylum works, pleaded guilty in Aberdeen Sheriff Court to-day having quarrelled and fought with one another in a train between Ellon and Pitlurg and smashed a pane of glass in the window of the compartment. The Fiscal said the accused were the only occupants of the compartment. When the train started the passengers in the other part of the carriage heard the accused singing together. Before they had proceeded far, however, high words arose between the pair. The guard asked them to pay for the broken window, but they refused, so noisy were they that he had to travel in the carriage with them to prevent a further disturbance. Sheriff Begg imposed a fine of £2, with the alternative of ten days prison, on each.

THE VISITORS. –  The Edinburgh and Glasgow holidays, and also those of other places having begun in the end of last week, there was a very large influx of visitors to Anstruther and the East of Fife on Saturday, special trains were run to this district from Edinburgh and Glasgow, and were well patronised, The trains were considerable late. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting lodgings by many of the people, and the streets in Anstruther and Cellardyke on Saturday night and Sunday were patrolled by many strangers. The weather was tine and bracing, and in strong contrast to the wet of the past week.

The housing accommodation, both in Anstruther and Cellardyke, has been taxed to its utmost. The Billowness, where both bathing and golfing can be enjoyed, has proved a source of attraction while Kilrenny Common, with its rustic beauty, has also claimed a fair share of attention.

Cellardyke Town Council

Mr Marr asked if it had ever been thought to try incandescent lamps for the streets. It might be as well to ask Anstruther if the lamps were a success or a saving of gas. Bailie Butters said there had been a good deal of expense with the mantles, and Cellardyke was a very drafty place, but they might resolve to try one or two lamps. It was left to the Committee to ascertain and report to Council.

The body of the late Mr George Fowler was brought across the Atlantic and was landed in Glasgow on Wednesday. The remains were conveyed to Anstruther at night, and taken to deceased’s house in East Forth Street, Cellardyke. The funeral takes place this afternoon to Kilrenny Churchyard. On his deathbed Mr Fowler had a great longing to get back to Cellardyke, and it was at his own request that his remains should rest in Kilrenny Churchyard beside “kindred dust.”

A Geelong newspaper says:—ln November, 1902, the Marquis of Linlithgow, a ketch belonging to Captain Cunningham, of Geelong, was lost at Sea Elephant Rock in a gale, and the captain and crew experienced much difficulty in saving their lives. The ketch was all that Captain Cunningham possessed in the world, and although he is a very old man he has since then built with his own hands another ketch, the Earl of Elgin, with which he has just completed a trip to and from Sea Elephant rock. He succeeded in recovering most of the spars, anchors and chains belonging to the wrecked ketch, but the sails and carpenters tools were not to be found.

 (Alexander was born May 1843 and would only be 59 at this point not a “very old man” he went on to live to be 92 and passed away in 1935)

Alexander Cunningham in Australia

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