The Cellardyke Echo – 7/10/2021 – Issue 308

First thing I would like to do this week is share the photograph of a fantastic jug, still in the Watson’s family possession. Sent to me by Stan Rae Son of Ena Rae ( nee Watson)

Success to the Duke and her jolly crew and long may she be able the ocean to plough
William Watson and Mary Galloway 1836

William Watson was the famous “Water Willie”

On  24th Feb 1800,  The boat  he was a crew member of was washed into the Skellie Point near Cellardyke harbour mouth. 

According to Harry Watson’s research  “ the crowd on the pier could only watch helplessly as the boat was crushed on the rocks, and the crew one by one disappeared into the sea. ‘I see’t noo’, cried an eyewitness sixty years later. ‘ The cry’s in my lug yet’ wept another even later Only one man escaped the maelstrom”

Philip Anderson, Leslie Brown, William Muir, Thomas Fowler, Thomas Smith, Andrew Robertson and Thomas Chrighton were all lost.

Willie was the only one able to swim ashore, the rest died within sight of the crowd on shore.

He was later to have said “I felt as if I had walked on the water”  into the bosom of his wife (hence the name Water Willie). It was said that she had rushed into the water to help pull him in.

This jug was obviously intended to be given to the skipper of a Fisherrow boat the Duke of Buccleugh.  Whether it was one of several or whether it never made it to its intended recipient it matters not as it has survived since 1836 and is a fantastic artefact for the family.

The Cellardyke Echo


CELLARDYKE PRESENTATION.—On Friday evening last, at the close of the prayer meeting, the Rev. John D. Fisher, who has been labouring here with much acceptance during the time of religious awakening, was presented by the Rev. Mr Gregory, in name of the community, with a purse of thirty sovereigns, and also from his Bible class with a beautiful pocket Bible and a gold chain. Mr Gregory, in presenting these gifts, had very much pleasure in doing so. It was peculiarly gratifying to him. During the time of spiritual anxiety, he was quite unable to overtake the duties of his congregation, so many seeking spiritual advice and direction. He had happily obtained the able services of Mr Fisher, and they all knew how faithfully and diligently Mr Fisher had discharged these duties, not only to his own congregation, but to all with whom he had come in contact.


Coast Guard Volunteers. The fishermen of Cellardyke, Pittenweem, and St Monance, enrolled in this naval force to the number of 80 90, left this port on Tuesday by the Leith and Anstruther steamer Forth for Leith, to undergo a month’s drill on board H.M.S. Edinburgh, lying in Queensferry Roads.

The white fishing – A partial commencement of the haddock fishing was made by two Cellardyke boats on Tuesday, when they returned with about forty five dozen each—one-fourth of which were full -sized marketable fish.

Cupar small debt court

David Reid, Cellardyke, v. Alex. Christie, Inspector of Poor for the Parish of Ferry-Port-on- Craig. The case, as stated by Mr Nicholson for Reid, was as follows:—The father of the pursuer died about years ago, when he was only about years of age. The father was possessed of a house, which on his death fell to be the property the pursuer, as eldest son. The pursuer had supported his mother and the rest of the family, and acted as head of the house in every respect. He also purchased at different times various articles of household furniture with his own money, which were placed in the house occupied by his mother, with whom he resided. About 10 years ago his mother was married to James Simpson, who brought no furniture of any kind the house. Simpson had subsequently to his marriage got considerably into debt, and in course of this year a poinding was executed at the instance of Mr Christie, the defender, and the furniture the house, consisting of the articles purchased by pursuer, were sold by public roup, on the footing that they belonged to Simpson as reputed owner. These were re-purchased by a sister of the pursuer’s, who furnished her with money for the purpose. Mr Farmer, for the defender, disputed the pursuer’s right to the house, and evidence was adduced to show that the articles in the house, as well the house itself, belonged to David Reid. At the close the Sheriff held it clearly proven that neither house nor furniture was the property of Simpson, but of the pursuer, and he decerned in favour of pursuer to the extent of £1 9s 6d. being the amount paid David Reid in re-purchasing the furniture, with expenses.


Naval Coast Volunteers.—On Saturday last, the Coast Volunteers belonging to the fishing towns of the East of Fife, embarked here for Leith on their way to join the training ship Menai, now lying off Queensferry. By the terms of enrolment, a month’s attendance is required at drill the course of the year; and as the present is the least productive period of the fishing, it has been preferred for this purpose. They numbered about seventy altogether— forty being from Cellardyke, and the remainder from Pittenweem and St Monance. Their appearance was highly creditable to their respective communities, they were all active, spirited young men.


CELLARDYKE. Concert.—On Friday evening, a concert of vocal and instrumental music, under the patronage of the officers of the 3d Fifeshire Rifles, was given in the Female schoolroom here, by and for the benefit of the brass band of that corps. Besides the band, who acquitted themselves in admirable style, in a number of popular tunes, Mr Alexander Hay, and other amateurs also took part in the proceedings. Mr Hay sung with his usual taste and spirit several patriotic and sentimental songs, while the humorous element of the entertainment was contributed by Mr Gr. Thomson, who ably sustained, on this occasion, his wide repute as a comic singer and ventriloquist. Mr G. Butters also gave in a creditable style a number of select recitations. The various pieces were, all cases, much enjoyed and applauded by the audience, which, however, was less numerous than the merits of tie entertainment deserved.

CELLARDYKE. Matrimonial. —Not the least of the many gratifying consequences of the late prosperous herring fishing are the numerous marriages which are going off amongst us. Besides those which have been already celebrated or proclaimed, the gossips, who have thus a busy time of it, enumerate a number of others, which are likely to come off at no distant date. Amongst our fishermen the opinions of Malthus are as little respected as they are known, for in most cases they enter into the circle of matrimony before they have well passed the threshold of manhood. These marriages, however, can be neither called improvident nor imprudent, every fisherman must needs have someone to bait his lines, or take oversight of his gear, and who, of course, can do this well, because who has so much interest in doing it as the partner of his fortunes ? This circumstance also explains why fishermen so seldom go without their own community to select a wife, although, it must be confessed, there are but few inducements to a contrary course, as far as Cellardyke is concerned, for, besides their invaluable expertness and experience, more blooming, strapping damsels, or warmer, truer hearts to cheer partner through the toils and storms of the voyage of life, are not to be found than those who usually fall to the lot of our dautless sons of Neptune.

On Saturday last the following properties were exposed for public auction in the Town Hall here. The first offered was a tenement and garden, situated at the Braehead , recently possessed by Thomas Riebairn, which was exposed at the upset price of £100, and sold without competition for that sum to Mr John Montadore. The  second subject was a property belong to Mr James Corstorphine which was purchased bv Mr William Grubb tailor, for £50, being an advance of £10 on reduced upset price. The next succession was the house which was recently burned, situated near the Town Hall, and to which the garden is also attached. It was first exposed at the upset price of £130, but no offers were made until it had been reduced to £105 after which a spirited competition ensued up to £122, at which sum it was knocked down to Mr James Fervit ( Probable Tarvet)  fisherman.

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