The Cellardyke Echo – 29/7/2021 – Issue 298


Friday 28th July

Displenishing Sale at Cellardyke of the horses, Carts, Harness and other stock, which belonged to the late William Kirkcaldy, Contractor, comprising

  1. Livestock – 3 horses suitable of lorry work, 1 driving mare, 1 cross bred mare with foal at foot. 1 pig; also the pure Bred Clydesdale Stallion “Lathrisk Topsman” ( No 11784, Vol XXV, foaled 3rd June 1900
  2. CARTS, HARNESS, etc. 3 Heavy Lorries, 2 Coup Carts, 5 stone Carts (1 without wheels), 1 Wood Cart, 2 Heavy Spring Carts, several Sets Lorry Harness and Cart Harness, and Cart and Plough Chains, Irish Car, Gig, Governess Car, 2 Sets of Gig Harness, Wheel- barrow, Corn Box, Meat Barrow, Stable Utensils, Pails, Tubs, Harrows, Grubber, Water Trough, Sheep Troughs, Cattle Feeding Box. Turnip Cutter, Sheep Balks, Sheep Nets, Stobs, Bosses, Wood, Old Iron, etc., etc.
  3. AND THE FOLLOWING:— The produce of 1 acre, 35 poles, 17 yards POTATOES, “Langworthy,” growing at the Milton, West Anstruther.

The PASTURAGE up till Martinmas 1905 of the PARK at Cellardyke, which was occupied by Mr Kirkaldy.

WOODEN SHED in above-mentioned Park.

WOODEN SHED in the Ground at Anstruther Easter, belonging to the Harbour Commissioners.

Roup to commence at Two o clock p.m. DAVID MORTON, Auctioneer. Clydesdale Bank Buildings, Anstruther.



“Puritan” KY144, wrecked on rocks in Shetland, 19 July 1906, being salvaged. Skipper Jas Wood, St Monans. Scottish Fisheries Museum image

Last Thursday a fierce gale broke over Scotland, and the herring fleet at Shetland suffered considerably, while returning to the harbours. On Thursday afternoon, word was brought to Lerwick that a large fishing boat, the Puritan, KY. 144, (skipper James Wood), belonging to St Monans, was ashore on one of the outlying rocks near the north entrance to Lerwick harbour. The boat was stated to be in a bad place, and the crew in a perilous position. It turned out that the boat had first struck on the “Unicorn” rock, and had afterwards drifted on to the Green Holm, where the crew got ashore.

On the matter being reported, the Cellardyke drifter, Vanguard 111. KY. 693, (skipper Martin Gardner), immediately left the harbour to render assistance. Information was also conveyed to the coastguard station at Fort Charlotte, and steps were taken to send out the rocket apparatus to the scene of the wreck. The apparatus was put on board the drifter Mary Stephen, PD. 116. There was considerable excitement while the coastguards were bringing down the apparatus from the Fort, and the work of getting the articles on board the drifter, which was lying at Victoria Pier, was witnessed by a large crowd of people. Lieut. Buckle. Divisional Officer of Coastguards at Lerwick, proceeded with the vessel, and the apparatus was in charge of Chief Officer Drysdale, who has had considerable experience In life saving work. Mr James Moffat, Lerwick, went with the vessel as pilot. The Mary Stephen left harbour about seven o’clock, but when she arrived at the scene of the wreck, the Vanguard had just succeeded in getting the wrecked men safely on board.

Both vessels arrived back at Victoria Pier shortly after eight o’clock, when it was learned that the crew of the Puritan had been saved with great difficulty, and only after several attempts had been made to reach the isle in the small boat. The men had jumped ashore from their small boat on to the rocks. and in doing so one of them, named Patrick Rath, a native of Ireland, employed as a hired hand on the boat, had suffered injury by striking his head on the rocks. Medical aid having been summoned Dr McLennan came down to the vessel to attend to the injured man. Rath was quite unconscious, and he had to be taken ashore for treatment. Another of the crew, Thomas Guthrie, got one of his ankles badly injured while jumping ashore. The Puritan, by the time the crew were rescued, had sunk, there being nothing visible above the waves but the mizzen.

Great praise is given to the skipper of the Vanguard 111, for the persistent manner in which he stuck to the task of rescuing the crew of the Puritan. Being coxswain of the lifeboat at home, he has had much experience and possesses great skill in work of the kind. His crew also wrought very hard to get to the wrecked men, who were in a very exhausted condition when they were rescued.

In the course of an interview, skipper Martin Gardner of the Vanguard 111. gave the following narrative of the rescue:—

Word was brought here by one of the English drifters that the Puritan was on the rocks, and said he could not risk his own vessel as he was not acquainted with the place. I said I would go if I could get a man to pilot me there. We left harbour about half past four o’clock, and when we got out we saw the b oat on the Green Holm, and the men on the island. They signalled to us to run to the other side of the island, and we did so, and launched our small boat, and put five men into her. We ran in as far as we could go with safety, being in about 21/2 fathoms of water. There were only two oars in the small boat, and the wind was blowing so strong that they were unable to reach the island. They were driven off, and we had twice to go and pick them up. We were then going back to get more oars when we met a YH drifter and got a couple of oars from him. We then made another attempt, and the third time we were successful. The whole of the crew were taken on board at the same time. They were pretty exhausted, having been exposed for so long on the island to the cold and wet.

Vanguard III KY 693

James Wood, skipper of the Puritan, stated that they left Baltasound on Wednesday. They were reaching in for the north entry when they struck on the north part of the “Unicorn. This was about three o clock in the afternoon. They put up signals of distress, showed flagss and burned blankets and though there were three drifters that passed they took no notice of them. Then a sailing boat came along and saw and took the word to the harbour, and the Vanguard 111. came out to their assistance. Before this they had drifted on to the Green Holm where they got ashore. When trying to swim ashore, Rath struck his head on a rock and got hurt, and another man, Thomas, Guthrie, got an injury to his ankle. But for the Vanguard (said the skipper) they might all have been dead men in the morning. The Vanguard deserved great praise fur the way he did the business _ –

The Puritan was a first-class boat. 67 feet of keel, and was fully equipped. Most of the gear and the men’s effects were saved.

Rath recovered consciousness about one o clock Friday morning, and has since been making satisfactory progress towards recovery.

WRECKED ST MONANS CREW LANDED AT ABERDEEN. The steamer St Ninian, belonging to the North of Scotland Steam Navigation Company, arrived in Aberdeen last night with five members of the crew of the fishing boat Puritan, of St Monans, which was wrecked on a reef of rocks off Green Holm, near Lerwick, during the severe storm about ten days ago. Those who were landed last night at Aberdeen were James Wood, skipper and owner of the boat, St Monans; David Wood, 16 years age, son; William Davidson, St Monans; Thos. Swankey, Arbroath; and Patrick Rath, native of Ireland. The crew of the Puritan had an exciting experience, and were in an exhausted condition when rescued by the steam drifter Vanguard 111., of Cellardyke (Mr Martin Gardner, skipper). The unfortunate men were taken to the Sailors’ Home on their arrival in Aberdeen, and were provided with railway tickets to enable them to proceed to their homes.

( the boat was salvaged gaff rigged and worked from Shetland for a while . see photo here)


Boat wrecked at Eyemouth

On Tuesday forenoon a misfortune befell one of the Eyemouth fishing boats, whereby the vessel became a complete wreck, a considerable portion of the gear was destroyed. The boat was named J Ritchie Welch, and had been purchased recently from Cellardyke by James Patterson, one of our local fishermen. On the morning in question the fleet was proceeding to sea, but owing to the direction of the wind considerable difficulty and danger was experienced in getting out of the bay. About eleven o clock the J Ritchie Welsh mis-stayed in the roadstead and drifted onto the rocks at the east entrance of the bay. There was a heavy roll, and the boat and crew were in an eminently perilous position. The boat reeled to and fro and appeared as if she would capsize altogether. Great excitement prevailed on shore, where large crowds had gathered. The coble and a small boat went out to render assistance, but nothing could be done, even in the way of saving the men’s lives, as it was found to venture near such a dangerous position would bring destruction to their own craft. To add to the excitement and anxiety of the moment some fishermen, anxious to have the lifeboat launched jumped into the harbour in order to swim across to the lifeboat house, but they had not proceeded far when they showed signs of drowning and were picked up by a small boat in a very exhausted condition. Meantime a crowd of fishermen had gathered at the “Green-ends” where the unfortunate boat was being furiously lashed by the waves. Communication was ultimately effected and cork jackets from the lifeboat were sent aboard for the men. Amid great excitement and danger each member of the crew jumped into the water and was pulled ashore. The last to leave the boat was James Patterson, skipper whose coolness during a most critical time was most commendable. He was the only one who received personal injury, but we are glad to know this was not of a serious nature. When the tide receded, a large number of people viewed the wreck. The boat was smashed to pieces, and nets and sails and gear mixed up in a most inextricable tangle. The boat’s messenger and some nets were saved.

(The James R Welch KY 393 was the largest of the fleet when it was launched March 1886 at 57ft built by Jarvis of Anstruther for James Smith of Cellardyke. It was named after a St Andrews town councillor and friend to the Fife fishing community.)


The new steam drifter, Alices, built to the order of Messrs Bett, Cellardyke, and launched by Messrs Geddes, Portgordon, has been completed Messrs Cooper and Grieg, Dundee. After getting her gear on board at Anstruther this week, the vessel sailed for the fishing  on Wednesday.


Major Anstruther Gray asked the President of the Board of Trade, in the House of Commons on Tuesday, whether his attention had been called to the case of Alexander Smith, a fisherman of Cellardyke, whose nets were taken on or about 2d February last to the Elie Coastguard Station under the misapprehension that they had been abandoned or lost at sea ; whether when this fact was explained the nets were not delivered to their owner, but a claim made of £4 for salvage ; whether these nets were left out all night in frost and snow, and suffered damage thereby ; how many days and nights they were so exposed ; whether these nets were now to be sold by auction; and whether seeing that the owner, a hard-working man, had been deprived of the use of them ever since the beginning of February, and had thus suffered financial loss which he could ill afford, he would cause the nets to be handed over without payment to their owner and grant him some compensation for the loss he had sustained?

Mr Kearley—I am aware of the circumstances of the case. I am advised that the nets in question, having been found adrift, were properly brought as wreck by the finder to the chief officer of coastguard at Elie, representing the receiver, and that Section 546 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, accordingly operated to give the salvor a claim for reasonable salvage. It became the duty of the receiver under Section 552 of that Act to detain the nets pending a settlement of the claims or until security—which in this case was fixed at £4—had been given. I understand that the chief officer of coastguard did everything in his power to protect the nets, but that while they were spread out to dry and in his absence on duty a snowstorm unfortunately came on and covered them. They were then dried and stored as soon as possible, and l am informed that they do not appear to be any the worse of their exposure. The receiver was instructed by the Board to endeavour to effect an arrangement between the salvor and the owner of the nets, but though the claim of the former was substantially reduced the owner still objected to pay, and his solicitor stated that the receiver could keep the nets. In these circumstances instructions have been given for the a sale of the nets by auction, and the proceeds, if any remain after the settlement of the salvage expenses, will be handed to the owner, but I cannot hold out any hope that he will be paid anything beyond balance.


Shortly after the arrival of the trawler Rivardale of Aberdeen in Burghead Bay at 6 p.m. on Wednesday last week, a few of the crew came ashore for the evening. Between 9.30 and 10 o’clock, one of the number, John Falconer, of Cellardyke, recently in Aberdeen, set out for the vessel alone in a small boat. His departure was witnessed by a few persons standing on the quay, and when the boat was some distance out, he was seen to move about in it, overbalance himself, and fall into the water. The alarm raised by the onlookers was quickly answered by the coastguards, who, in a very few minutes, were on the scene of the accident, but despite a careful and prolonged search for the unfortunate man, they were forced to return unsuccessful. It is understood be was 32 years of age and unmarried, and resided at 60 Menzies Road, Aberdeen.

During a gale the Berwick coast Friday night the Fifeshire (KY43), a Cellardyke fishing vessel owned Thomas Reid, was wrecked on the Links, between Holy Island and Bamburgh, four men being drowned. (the boat had left Anstruther a couple of weeks before)


A herring fishing boat belonging to Cellardyke, has been wrecked in gale the on the Berwick coast, at Ross Links, between Holy Island and Bamburgh. There are no signs of the veesel’e crew, and it is feared that there has been loes of life. The vessel is stated to have been making for Sunderland. ,

Further information regarding the fishing vessel wrecked on Ross Links forms an extraordinary story. The boat is the Fifeshire, Cellardyke fishing vessel. No. 43. She arrived in Holy Island on the 9th, and remained until Monday evening, when at nine o’clock, in a strong breeze, she put out with her sail half up and only one man aboard. Nothing was seen of her until the following night, and she is believed to have picked two hands, for she was seen, making north from Seahouses with three persons aboard, and as she was labouring good deal the coastguard beckoned her to put in. She proceeded north, however, and on Monday morning was wrecked Ross Links between Holy Island and Bamburgh.

A telegram received in Sunderland on Monday stated that the crew of four or five men of the Cellardyke fishing smack Fifeshire, wrecked between Holy Island and Bambury on Saturday, had been picked up by a vessel trading to the continent. It was feared that the men had been drowned.

Later news

CREW OF THE WRECKED BOAT, Inquiries in Sunderland reveal a number of facts of interest.

It appears that the man Martin who hail charge of the boat was chartered to carry a cargo of coal from Sunderland to Holy Island for Brigham, and that he left the island the same day he arrived bound for the Wear, arriving there on Tuesday last, and discharging ballast at Wylam’s Wharf.

Later a cargo of thirty tons of coal was shipped ait Lambton Drape through Mr Cuthbert Wilkinson, coal exporter, West Sumnside. , _ ,

Martin engaged three or four men at Sunderland to assist him in working the vessel. The three of them were:—

James Miller (19), Russell Street.

George Lancaster (22), of Hogg’s Yard.

Christopher Craddock (18), High Street East.

The name of the fourth is not forth coming, but it is said that agreed take the trip for pleasure, and to work for his food and passage.

Four persons in addition to Martin were seen on board when his boat was towed out of the Weir on Thursday evening last week bound for Holy Island. Those on board the tug Kate which towed the vessel out to sea, remarked that her holds were uncovered.

The three men whose names are given had not been to sea as sailors, and it was not known that Miller had been employed until the boat had put to sea.

( The Fifeshire was 52ft in length and at least 20 years old)


When the herring fishing boat Star of Hope, KY. 672, arrived in Aberdeen on Wednesday night, the skipper reported that Angus McLeod, fisherman, was killed on board by the breaking of the mizzen mast about 75 miles south-east of Aberdeen that morning. The crew were shaking herrings out of the nets when the mast broke, and a heavy part of it struck McLeod, death being almost instantaneous. Deceased, who spoke Gaelic, is said to have belonged to the West Highlands.

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