The Cellardyke Echo – 4/08/2022 – Issue 350



A former Cellardyke man, Mr John Boyter Tarvit, Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, has died after a brief illness following an operation. He was 31 years of age. Tarvit was very popular in Port Dover. During his six years’ residence there he made many friends. At the time of his death he was employed on the tug Alva W. At the funeral many beautiful floral tributes were received, and there was a large attendance. A member of Port Dover Post 158, Canadian Legion, full military honours were accorded deceased. Sincere sympathy is extended to his aged parents and brother and sister in Cellardyke.


Mr Robert Hunter, a promising student of Andrews University, has died suddenly at his home in Cellardyke. Mr Hunter, who was the only son of Mr and Mrs J T Hunter, The Schoolhouse Cellardyke, had been attending a course in Edinburgh in connection with the O.T.C. when he became ill. He returned home, but his condition became worse, and he died on Saturday. Deceased was educated at Madras College, St Andrews, and Waid Academy, Anstruther. He continued his studies at St Andrews University, and recently took his B.Sc degree. He was intending to research work in chemistry, and for that purpose remained at the university in order to secure honours.

He was a prominent member of the University O.T.C and was in cam0p with them at Silloth a few weeks ago. He was a fine athlete, and was one of the best forwards in the University Rugby team. Unfortunately, an injury kept him out of the game for a great part of last season.

He had a very fine nature, and was most popular with his fellow students. Mr Hunter was only 21 years of age. His father who is headmaster at Cellardyke Primary School, was previously first assistant in St Andrews Burgh School.


Skilled Craftsmen

Cellardyke is noted for its craftsmen skilled in the art of making model sailing ships. Among these is a member of Anstruther Town Council, Councillor Bett, and the art has also a worthy exponent in Mr Shireff, George Street, Cellardyke.

In window in George Street, first-class specimens of their work is exhibited, and they are constant source of interest, not only to visitors but to everyone in the district. Many years ago Mr Shireff was made the recipient of a model of the Golden Hynd, which also may be seen in Cellardyke. The Golden Hynd was one of the scouting ships which was believed to be the first to sight the Spanish Armada. It was also thought to be the first vessel to double Cape Horn.

The older fisher folk of Cellardyke have clear recollection of the days, 40 or 50 years ago, when the sailing of model ships used to be a very popular diversion among the young people of the district, but from that time until recent years practically no interest was taken in sailing ships. This was due to the advent of the steamship. Now Cellardyke craves for the return of the sail— so far as it is practical under modern conditions—in the form of model yachting.

Cellardyke Swimming Pond

The swimming and model yachting pond which is at present being built at the shoals Cellardyke, by R Terras, builder, East Wemyss, is expected to be completed within fortnight or so. The original idea was to build a small boating pond, but the Cellardyke Putting Green Committee and the Improvements Committee decided to put their funds together so as to enable them to embark on a larger undertaking. A pond which also provides facilities for swimming has resulted. The funds of the committees’ have been exhausted in the scheme, but the pond promises to be a very serviceable one. The deepest point, six feet, is at the middle, and the water grows gradually shallower towards a sandbank each end where children will be able to play in safety. There is unfortunately no retaining wall, but this addition may be provided at some future date.


FIFE PROVOST’S CRITICSM County Council ” Backstair Methods “

A letter was submitted at Anstruther Town Council from the clerk to the Council with reference to the classification of the loop road leading from Toll Road to Cellardyke, through the burgh to the foot of Rodger Street, Anstruther Easter. Provost Carstairs, who presided, recalled the circumstances under which road was classified. The Town Council of the united burghs. he said, after a proper census of the traffic on the road had been taken, applied to the Ministry of Transport to have the road classified on the ground that it was a main loop road largely used by heavy motor traffic coming from outside the burgh. The Ministry of Transport agreed to classify the road, but the County Council objected because they had not been consulted. A new census of traffics was accordingly taken, followed by a public inquiry at Anstruther, which was conducted by one of the chief officials of the Ministry of Transport. The outcome was that the County Council representative, sir Thomas Erskine. agreed to recommend to the County Council to agree to the classification if the Town Council improved the corner at Caddies Burn. The Town Council agreed to do so, and submitted a plan to the Ministry of Transport, which was passed as satisfactory. Th e result of the census and official inquiry was that the Ministry of Transport had again decided to classify the road when the alterations to the corner were completed.


East Fife Couple Wed St Andrews Church Ceremony

The wedding took place in Hope Park Church, St Andrews, this afternoon of Miss Ina Caird Murray, only daughter of the late Mr A. C. Murray and of Mrs Murray, George Street, Cellardyke, and Mr Alexander Watson, elder son of Mr and Mrs R. Watson, Craigholm, Anstruther. The officiating clergymen were Rev. J. R. Lee and Rev. Mr Mclvor, St Andrews.

The bride, was given away by Mr James Bett, Cellardyke, wore charming dress of ivory crepe and halo headdress fine net and orange blossom, from which flowed long veil of Brussels net. She carried a bouquet of harrisii lilies and white heather. The bridesmaids. Miss Margaret Murray and Miss Gracie Watson, Anstruther, those white chiffon dresses patterned with pink flowers. They also wore crinoline hats, and carried bouquets of pink sweet peas. Mr James Watson, brother of the groom, was groomsman. Mr W. R. Small, Anstruther, was at the organ. Fifty guests were present at the reception which” followed in Macarthur’s Cafe, St Andrews. For going away the bride chose a speckled fawn and brown coat, with collar edged with sable squirrel, and a halo hat.



“May Island Gone; No Hope; off Shetland; Good-bye”


“May Island on the Flugga Rocks.”

This dramatic SOS followed by ominous silence was picked up by an Aberdeen skipper off the island off Unst in the Shetlands, when the Leith trawler went to her doom in a fierce gale on February 18 with her crew of ten men.

A bottle containing the despairing message: ” May Island gone; no hope; off Shetland; good-bye,;’ was also picked up near Thurso. An inquiry into the loss of the vessel was held at Lerwick, when the jury returned a formal verdict. A twenty-nine-year-old widow identified a petrol pipe lighter which had belonged to her drowned husband. She is Mary Blaikie, wife of John Blaikie, of Terrace Road, Cockenzie.

Competent Seaman

John J. Loston, Newhaven, superintendent engineer to Messrs Thomas Scales and Son, Newhaven, the owners of the May Island, said the trawler was thoroughly seaworthy when she left on her last voyage, and her skipper, James Tarvit, was a competent and experienced, seaman. The trawler was fitted with transmitting and receiving wireless telephony, and was equipped with direction finder, charts and flares. Witness identified part of the May Island’s wireless set which was washed ashore.

Dramatic evidence was given by the only man who heard the last words spoken from the ill-fated trawler. He is James E. Anderson, 3 Middlefield Terrace, Aberdeen, skipper of the Aberdeen trawler Fitzgerald which, with fifty other trawlers, sought shelter on the lee side of Unst during the gale. When watches were changed at 3.30 a.m. on February 18, and Just before returning to his bunk, Skipper Anderson switched on his wireless and heard the SOS “May Island on the Rocks.” Mr Anderson heard this message twice, and then there was silence. The Fitzgerald has only receiving set. and could not ask for the May Island’s exact position.

Coast Searched

The Fitzgerald and other trawlers twice searched the coast unsuccessfully, but did not go as far the south side’ of Lambaness. Skipper Anderson said the red sector of the Lighthouse, which was visible only three miles that night, could not have been seen by the May Island when she was close in on Lambaness. Henry W. L. Hunter and other local witnesses described the great amount wreckage which was driven ashore, detailed the exact spot where the trawler struck, and spoke of four unrecognisable bodies being found. The weather that night was the worst they had ever known.

Message in Bottle

Donald a fifteen-year-old Caithness boy, said he found thirteen miles east of Thurso the bottle message that came from the May Island. The bottle contained the following last despairing message: “May Island gone; no hope; off Shetland; good-bye.” Stuart Tarvit, Cellardyke, identified the writing on this message that of his brother, John Tarvit, the mate of the trawler, who was also brother if the skipper, James Tarvit. Another local witness stated that a high intervening hill prevented coast watchers their station from seeing a vessel close at Lambaness. The jury returned a formal verdict.


SCHOOLMASTER DIES ON HOLIDAY Was to Have Judged Fancy Dresses To-Night

Mr J. Y. Hunter, schoolmaster, Cellardyke, who was on holiday at Crieff, was found dead in bed d Crieff boarding-house this morning. A sad feature was that Mr Hunter had agreed to be one of the judges in a Crieff fancy dress parade to be held to-night. Mr Hunter left home on Friday for a holiday at Crieff. He’ is survived by his wife and a daughter.



 “Join the Army and see the world” is a well-known slogan. We would take the opportunity of altering the phrase to read, “Join the B.B, and have the finest holiday one can get.”

This year the company made its annual summer camp in that most pleasant spot on the Fife coast, namely, Cellardyke, where we renewed the acquaintance of a host of old friends and made quite a lot of new ones. Arriving in Anstruther about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, we began the trek to our camp, about a mile and a half from the station. Reaching Kilrenny Mill, we discovered everything in perfect order, tents, marquee, and cookhouse erected, and a hot dinner well on its way to maturity. Our advance party had worked wonders, and the company showed their appreciation of the services which they had rendered by making them orderlies for the day. Saturday passed uneventfully, and on Sunday morning we paraded to Kilrenny Parish Church, where we were welcomed by an old friend and former minister of St. Modan’s, Mr Pryde…………… In closing, we would like to thank all our friends, both-in Kilrenny and at home, for their help in making the camp a success. To those “hardy annuals” who, without fail, give the prizes for our camp sports we give thanks most sincerely; to our friends also, who gave us gifts in kind; and to that wonderful chap, our cook, who never lets us down, we are grateful.

Ordeal with Broken Leg

Elderly Fisherman’s All-Night Vigil

A sixty-six-year-old fisherman received a fractured thigh-bone result of fall at the corner of Broad Street and Frithside Street last Saturday evening.

Alexander Bridges, 1 Harbour Head, Cellardyke, Fifeshire, was walking along the pavement when was seen to slip and fall. Several young men who happened to be in the vicinity assisted him on board his boat, the Bene Vertat (KY. 20), which was berthed in the South Harbour. Apparently, the injured man did not go bed that night and was found sitting in the cabin at seven o’clock next morning by member of the crew. Mr Bridges complained of severe pain in his left leg. Dr Wilson was summoned and suspected a fracture of the left femur. He ordered the injured man be conveyed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

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