The Cellardyke Echo – 24/02/2022 Issue 328


A number of the crews intended to have gone to sea early on Monday morning, the tide then being suitable, but they were prevented by a strong gale of wind, which continued with almost unabated force the whole day, and only the large boats belonging to Cellardyke left the harbour in the afternoon. These were as a rule poorly fished on Tuesday morning, but the same afternoon the whole fleet proceeded to sea, and on Wednesday the fishing was the best that has yet been experienced this season. Although very general, a large number of the crews had only small quantities, but takes of from 20 up to 49 crans were not uncommon, and over the fleet there was the excellent average of six crans……. As the fishermen report that they have seldom if ever seen the herrings so closely packed together, this trifling shortcoming may be made up in a single day. . Chiefly in consequence of the strong tides this week, a good many of the fishermen on Wednesday night suffered considerable loss by the destruction of their nets. In one case, (that of Skipper Martin Gardner, who landed the highest take yesterday), the nets were so torn and destroyed that it will probably be a day or two before he can proceed to sea, while Skipper Thomas Birrell was heard to declare, that he would rather not have seen the 40 crans which made up his cargo……….. The most of the Cellardyke crews, however, ventured out. In the course of Wednesday and yesterday, no less than 200 waggons loaded entirely with fish were despatched from the railway station here. Each waggon holds from 35 to 40 barrels, so that the consignments were upwards of 7000 barrels of herrings and big fish. Of this immense quantity, about 150 waggons were sent to English towns, the remainder going to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Perth, Dundee, Forfar, Aberdeen, &c.

A letter was read front Miss Mary Ann Forrester, intimating that on account of ill health she was compelled to resign her situation as pupil teacher in the Infant School, Cellardyke. The resignation was accepted, and Miss Lawrie authorised to prepare a candidate for presentation at the next examination of pupil teachers.


Breach of Certificate. –  Another case breach of grocers’ certificate came before the magistrates Kilrenny on Thursday—Provost Watson and Bailie Brown the bench. The panel, this instance, was Isabella Smith, the widow of the late Thomas Anderson, John Street, Cellardyke, who is charged with supplying drink to be consumed on the premises to Donald Morrison, flesher, Crail, and Angus Mackay, fisherman, Cellardyke, Saturday, the 1st of February, in contravention of her certificate a grocer. The detection had been made by the constables on the beat; but Mrs Anderson pleaded guilty, and being the first offence, she was fined in the mitigated of 23s, with 5s 6d of expenses, which was paid in Court.

Sale or Fish Curing Premises. — We understand that the well-known fish-curing premises on the skirts of Cellardyke, occupied by Mr James Watson, have just been purchased by him for the sum of £500. These premises, like so many others, were erected in the golden days of the Fifeshire curing trade some five-and-twenty year- ago, when the old gardens, however sunny and picturesque, were brushed away to make room for kiln and cooperage. But fortune like the tide is not always in one direction as appears from the price now paid for the property, which in situation as in repair, is one of the most eligible on the coast. The property has been for many years in the hands of Mr Robert Cormack Coldingham shore. Mr Watson, the new proprietor, has long been the father of the Anstruther trade, and his many friends, we are sure, will now cordially unite their good wishes over the interesting transaction.

Herring Engagements on the Fife Coast.— With notably few exceptions the three hundred and twenty boats or so, belonging to the East of Fife, are now under missive for the ensuing Lammas fishery. The fleet will be distributed from Stonehaven to Wick, but the Fraserburgh district will gather about one half of the whole, and the reason lies at the finger point, seeing the more seaward the search is the more possible or probable if look to experience, are the chances of the season. The conditions, rule, are 22s in full or 21s a cran, with £10 of bounty for the usual compliment of 200 crans. With regard to late herrings, that is when the fish are landed the day after capture or when the expedient has been resorted to of preserving them in salt is now so frequently dune with light haul, the price will range from 12s to 15s a cran. It is a hopeful sign that the terms are not receding; on the contrary, we hear of several Cellardyke skippers closing with local firm at 22s barrel.

The Magistrates of Pittenweem held a Burgh Court on Tuesday, when a young Cellardyke carter, Walter Myles, was placed at the bar under the following circumstances:—It appears that on the previous day Myles and a cronie had been drinking in ” Willie Heugh’s public,” when, instead of calling in the other gill, he had gone to the spirit cellar and run off a bottle with which to continue the spree. The trick was complete, but at the moment, and when the coast was all but cleared, the landlord himself stood like a barricade in the doorway, from which the poor carter only emerged in the custody of the constable. On being asked to plead to the indictment, “I was sae drunk,” said he, “that I ken naething about it.” Eventually, however, he admitted the charge of theft, when, after the Bench consulted together, Provost Henderson said that it was the recognised rule to punish theft with imprisonment, but the Magistrates had been induced to make an exception in the present case for the sake of the culprit’s father, to whom he made a feeling allusion, which was evidently not lost on the better part of the unhappy panel, who was then sentenced to pay a fine of 15s, or twenty days in jail, His friend and brother whip from Anstruther, David Parker, was next at the bar charged with a breach of the peace by cursing and swearing and causing a tumult at the lock-up door, which, however, had been summarily ended by the constable thrusting him into a vacant cell as soon as he had disposed of the other culprit. Parker also pleaded guilty, and after a pointed reprimand was fined in the sum of 7s 6d, with the alternative of eight days in jail. The fines were paid.

We understand that Mr John Ritchie, Fishcurer, Cellardyke, has secured the site at St Ayles Crescent adjoining the Baptist Manse, and intends proceeding as soon as possible with the erection of a twin villa. Only two sites of the Trades Box Society’s ground at St Ayles now remain to be taken up.

Our Households.—Notwithstanding one of the most severe and frost-bound winters on record, the health of the district has been exceptionally well maintained, and more than one hoary sexton has remarked to that he has seldom seen the rust on the church-yard spade so little disturbed as during the quarter now registered with the past. Of late, however, and almost from the day ushering in the change of weather, affections of the throat and distress of a more or less febrile type has been prevalent amongst the little ones, but as a rule the attacks have not been severe, though in more than one case we regret to observe the change has been of a fatal character. Amongst these is a sweet child of six summers- smitten like the opening blossom by the cruel frost wind—of the household of Mr Robert Davidson, of Cellardyke, whose claim on the sympathy of friends and neighbours may be inferred from the fact that this is the fourth time the grim destroyer has robbed him of the lambs of his flock. Much regret has also been expressed in seafaring circles for the death of a young English mother, who left the shores of Yarmouth to settle with her husband in Cellardyke, though, as the sad event which took place on Saturday, has proved, only to find a grave where the brook sings to the sunshine in the ancient burial-yard of Kilrenny, at the premature age of 24.

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