The Cellardyke Echo – 09/12/21 – Issue 317


Throughout the whole of Fifeshire a feeling of the deepest sympathy has been aroused for the widows and children of the St Monance and Cellardyke fishermen who lost their lives during the recent terrible gale the English coast. Altogether thirty-seven fishermen belonging to these villages have met with a watery grave, and fully one hundred dependents have been at one blow deprived of their breadwinners. Sir Robert Anstruther, the member for the county, has been energetic in his endeavours to bring the case, of these poor people before the country, and subscriptions amounting to well-nigh L.2000 have already, we understand, been received. In addition this, subscription sheets have now been opened in various spinning-mills, factories and other public works in our own district—we hope also throughout the whole county—while at several of our churches special collections in aid the helpless and bereaved families will made to-morrow. With these remarks we need hardly add that look hopefully forward to the appeal now being made to the public, convinced that it will result in the provision something substantial for the many wives and bairns who have at one blow been made widows and orphans.


CELLARDYKE. APPLICATION FOR ALIMENT UNDER TUE ACT GRACE.—Walter Myles, carter, Cellardyke, appeared before Sheriff Beatson Bell at Cupar on Tuesday as an applicant for aliment under the Act of Grace. Mr Jamieson appeared for the petitioner, and Mr Davidson for the incarcerating creditor. Interrogated by Mr Jamieson, the petitioner deposed that he was not able to keep himself in prison or pay the debt (£9 6s 3d) for which he was incarcerated. By Mr Davidson —He was at the herring fishing this season at Aberdeen as a half-dealsman and returned in September. He got £9 for his half-deal. He never had a horse and cart of his own, but had worked at the harbour for 5d an hour, and had got 10s in a fortnight. Mr Davidson stated that the debt was an affiliation case. By the Sheriff—Part of the £9 was spent in drink. The Sheriff—What did you do with the rest of it? Petitioner—l just threw it away—lots of the neighbours got some of it in drink. The Sheriff —Both these statements can’t be true, and unless you make a clean breast of it I won’t give you aliment. You know the consequences are sometimes serious when a man disposes of money to defraud his creditors. Petitioner— I have got no money to dispose of. The Sheriff —What did you do with the £1 10s ? Petitioner —lt went the same way. The Sheriff refused the application in hoc statu, remarking that the petitioner would certainly never get cessio until he had made a more clear statement.

The rapidly increasing population of Cellardyke has again led to a pressing want of house accommodation, definite arrangements have only to be come  to with Admiral Bethune the superior of Kilrenny, for feuing the one field in the south west corner of the Barony, where an airy new street of commodious fisher homes would be at once proceeded with. These feus are still talked at the rate £26 the acre, but without any casualties or feudal burthens, the impost of which so astonished the canny folks of Anst’er some twenty years ago ; and then it is also to be remembered that the new street will boast perhaps the most sunny and beautiful elevation in all the neighbourhood, with every household convenience in the way of area and garden. As an index to the lasting demand for sites, we may observe that the old tenement belonging to the late Mrs James Brown at the jetty has just been purchased as a building stance by Skipper Henry Reid for the sum £120. This time-worn edifice, we may remark, was often five six times exposed to public auction, and, curious enough, £200 was one day offered and refused, though as in other cases the purchase price accepted in the end far exceeds the charge for the new feus.

Shortly after seven o ‘ clock last night one of the Cellardyke fishing boats attempted to enter the new harbour , Anstruther , when the tide was low , and being struck by a wave was knocked up against the west breakwater . There are no lights near the new harbour except one , which forms the guide to the entrance , and in the darkness a fisherman who was throwing a  rope to the men in the boat fell over on to the rocks, and had to be conveyed home injured . All the crew consisting of young men were saved. Nearly the whole of the Cellardyke fishermen and a large number of women assembled on the occasion, and were all loud in their condemnation of the unsafe condition of the new entrance, although some acknowledged that it was foolhardy to attempt to enter the harbour at low tide and in darkness.

( at this point the old harbour entrance on the west pier was still open)


The screw steamer Anna, of Leith, which stranded some time ago near Randerston Castle, but floated into Anstruther harbour, was sold as she lay by the pier by public roup, on Thursday afternoon. The vessel insured for £900, and our townsman. Mr Jarvis, shipbuilder, is said to have received £200 for her salvage but on being offered for sale the upset price had to be reduced from £700 to £50 before any offer was made, when, after a small “skirmish.” the steamer was knocked down to Mr James Skinner, merchant, Cellardyke, for £62. The Anna is an old foreign brig, but though sadly crippled in the hull by her late awkward berth, her machinery is understood to be in serviceable condition.


CELLARDYKE. ENTERTAINMENT TO STRANGER FISHERMEN.-The presence of a large number of fishermen, belonging to the Moray Firth, who had put in here for shelter while on their voyage from the south fishing, led one or two of our own skippers to put their heads together, and the result was that all the strangers, to the number of nearly 130, were invited last Thursday evening to a friendly meeting in the Free Church Hall. Ex-Provost Martin occupied the chair, and after a substantial service of tea had been provided, addresses were delivered by several of those present, and heartfelt thanks expressed fur the accomplishment in safety of the voyage from Yarmouth and Lowestoft of both local and stranger crews. The meeting was a most enjoyable one, and the Moray Firth men were loud in their praises of the kindness and sympathy which had promoted the welcome invitation they had received.

Hairbreadth Escape of a Fishing Craft.—Last Wednesday morning, as the white fishing fleet were weathering the Forth, they were beset by what described as the most bewildering fog of recent years. One of the Cellardyke boats in particular had most providential escape. This was the “Abeana,” Adam Watson, master, which was standing in on the port tack with foresail and mizzen spread full to the land breeze, when a passing rift in the cloud disclosed the white breakers immediately under the weather bow. The cry, “hard up,” had been scarcely given when the boat struck with headlong force on a towering rock. The boom snapped like a dry reed, and the stem was crushed into splinter wood by the collision, which for the moment overpowered the stoutest heart; but taking courage from the fact that the boat was making little or no water the crew pushed from the rock, which proved to be the gullet on the south-east side of the Isle of May, known as ” Willies Hole.” Deliverance from such peril might well be regarded as the act of Heaven, and with thankful hearts Skipper Watson and his crew bore up for the shore, which they gained before daylight. On examining the damage stem and keel told unmistakably of the extreme hazard which had been encountered, and which, but for the fidelity of the builder, must have ended in the loss of the boat, if not of the precious lives of her crew.


The arrival of so many boats from the south has made the fortnight an eventful one, but we must not forgot the home coming, the other day, of another splendid addition to our deep sea fleet. This is the “Favourite” of Anstruther, owned by skipper John Watson, and just turned out from far famed Fraserburgh building yard of Mr Weatherhead. “I’ve come haime in the fleein boat” exclaimed a hardy fisher the other day, exulting with a seaman’s pride in the matchless speed of a darling craft; and built on the same noble lines and with the same handsome sheer, we have no doubt that the new clipper will be worthy of her consorts already sent us by Mr Weatherhead, and prove at the same time a source of honest pride and satisfaction to her gallant owner and his crew.

Wick, December 10.—The fishing both of flat fish and haddocks is extremely light. On Saturday the two or three trawlers sea landed from five to ten cwts. of trawled fish….. We learn that a number of Cellardyke boats have been engaged to fish from this station by local fishcurers.

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