The Cellardyke Echo – 8/9/2022 – Issue 355 –


About twenty of the Cellardyke crews have already returned from the stations on the north-east coast, and have given up the Lammas fishing for the season. The whole of these have fished the compliment of 200 crans, and many have landed considerably over that quantity. So far as can be learned, the great majority of the Cellardyke boats have grossed £200, and while others only require a few crans to complete their complement, a few are mentioned as having only caught about 100 crans. Skipper Andrew Henderson, who returned home on Wednesday, will almost to a certainty be the ‘ King of the Fishers’ this summer, the sum realised by him and his crew amounting to the handsome figure of about £400. Next to a successful fishing at home, the success of the fishermen elsewhere is the most gratifying news for the people in this district, and it is to be hoped that those crews who have not yet fished their complement may yet do so before the close of the season. The fishermen who have returned will be occupied during the next fortnight in preparing for the herring fishing at Yarmouth and Lowestoft, whither nearly all the crews speak of going this autumn.

SUPPOSED LOSS OF THE CREW OF BANFFSHIRE BOAT. —Last night the Cellardyke fishing boat Janet, Mr John Salter, skipper, arrived here from the north, and the crew reported that between four and five o’clock on Wednesday afternoon, and while about 14 miles off Buchanness Light, they passed a fishing boat with masts gone and full of water. The nets were on board, but no person could be seen. The boat was marked B.F., No. 773, and there is every reason to fear that the crew have been drowned during the storm which raged in the beginning of this week. The weather was so boisterous that Mr Salter did not deem it prudent to risk going alongside the damaged boat, or the nets would have been recovered.

Suicide of a Young Man.— On Friday afternoon a young man named James Imrie, residing at 34 James Street, Cellardyke, committed suicide by hanging himself in a stable. He was 24 years of age, and for some time has been the sole support of his parents. No cause can be assigned for the rash act


Only one boat has entered the harbour in the end of last week. It was that of Skipper John Dickson, Cellardyke, who landed 45½ crans on Friday last. Yesterday forenoon, the first Cellardyke boat to reach home from the fishing arrived in the harbour. Skipper James Wilson and his crew were engaged to fish at Aberdeen, but were unfortunate in the early part of the season in losing the greater portion of their nets. After new ones had been got, however, they met with fair success, and up to Wednesday had landed about 260 crans. The crew now intend to prosecute the fishing from this port, and as there was a good fishing at Dunbar this week, they will probably be joined by other boats as they arrive from the north. Another boat, that of Skipper William Brown, arrived in the afternoon with 20 crans of herrings.


FISHERMEN. JOHNSTON’S FLOATS are best Quality, Shape, and Size, are Edged and Nicked ready to put on Nets. Sold only by WATSON & Co., and A. MARR. Cellardyke, who also supply LIFE BUOYS and CORK JACKETS, &c., without which Fishermen should never hazard the tempestuous South Fishing. Largo Cork Factory, September 1877

Burgh Court – At a sitting this court on Friday last, Lilias Reid or Dick with committing a breach of the peace the 13th August, but after hearing the evidence the Magistrates found the complaint not proven.


Two versions of the tragic accident.

Fatal Accident. —Anstruther shore was the scene of melancholy accident about five o’clock on Friday afternoon. At that time a number of children were amusing themselves about some travelling booths in the woodyard, when they suddenly sprang out on the street, on which were several passing vehicles. Unfortunately, however, one little foot slipped—that of a fine girl verging on five summers, the daughter of James White, master of the screw lighter Retriever, and unable to recover herself she fell in front of a bread van. Mr Bayne, baker, Cellardyke was himself the driver, but before he could draw up or even observe the prostrate child one of the wheels had passed over her head, causing death almost on the instant, so that it was only left for Mr Bayne, the innocent cause of the unhappy tragedy, to bear home as a melancholy burthen the bright young existence, singing and dancing but a few seconds before in the beautiful sunshine. The afflicted mother had arrived from Dundee but a few hours before to find the family full of the joy of her coming, but thus soon and darkly to see the scene reversed in suffering and death, for which, we need scarcely say, the profoundest sympathy has been excited throughout the neighbourhood.

FATAL ACCIDENT. —Last Friday evening an accident occurred in Shore Street whereby a girl named Jessie White, aged 5 years, daughter of James White, muter of the S.S. Retriever, lost her life. It appears that a number of children were playing in front of a caravan stationed on the Folly ground, when a young man of weak intellect belonging to Cellardyke, who had been annoyed by someone crying names, commenced to throw stones. To escape from these, the girl White ran across the street right in front of a bread van driven by Mr William Bayne, baker, and after either falling or being knocked down the wheel went over her head. The poor girl died almost instantaneously.

Yesterday – Before Provost Watson and Bailies Brown and Sharp, John Harrow, fishcurer, Crail, was Charged with having committed a breach of the peace in Tolbooth Road on the previous evening, with having kicked Police-constable Black while he was being taken to the lock up. He pleaded guilty, and was fined 15s, with the alternative, of fifteen days’ imprisonment. Fine paid.

OPENING OF THE NEW SCHOOL -The new school erected in Cellardyke was opened without any formality on Monday, when Mr Barbour, the head teacher, was introduced by Bailie Sharp, chairman of the School Board. The building, which was designed by Mr Currie, architect, Elie, has been erected according to plans approved of by the Education Department, and will accommodate about 240 scholars This week the pupils who have been enrolled number upwards of 140, which is regarded as highly satisfactory for the first week of the session.


THE GALE. A VESSEL IN DANGER. GALLANT RESCUE OF THE CREW. At daybreak on Tuesday a small smack rigged vessel was observed at anchor flying a flag of distress, between the Isle of May and the mainland. The gale was blowing hard, but as craft of all kinds were bearing about in every direction, and more especially as one of the big Aberdeen steamers and a Leith tug boat were seen to hail the smack, no attempt was made to reach her from the shore till about two o’clock, when a Cellardyke boat, with a volunteer crew, went out, under close-reefed sails, to her assistance. On coming alongside Pilot Cunningham sprung on board, and shipped the chain and cable, thus leaving nothing to be done but another dexterous stroke of seamanship, to take the smack in tow, by which means she was safely run into Crail harbour. She proved to be the coasting smack Trader, of Buckie, bound in ballast to the Forth, where she had been overtaken, as we have seen, by the heavy gale from the westward. Nor was the rescue too soon, her crew, consisting of two men and a boy, were all but overcome with anxiety and fatigue, while the rickety old craft, which was leaking badly, seemed ready founder in every recurring wave.

Rescue from Drowning. —With the instinct so natural to the shore—several urchins were busy with their little fishing lines on board an outlying boat in Cellardyke harbour on Monday afternoon, one of their number, a lad about seven years old, the son of Skipper James Watson (Coull) tumbled into the water. It was full tide, and the poor child seemed to drop like lead to the bottom, thus intensifying the excitement of his little playmates who could only give vent to their terror in cries of despair which almost on the instant filled the shore with a distracted crowd of women and children, who with the men at the fishing ground could only swell the tumult and confusion the scene. At this critical moment or rather by a striking providence, it so happened that Trinity pilot, Alexander Cunningham, was within bearing of the cry for help, and only waiting to divest himself of his jacket, he plunged in to the rescue, and happily succeeded in tearing the helpless and all but lifeless boy from the bottom. Restored, however, to his mother’s arms, and with the usual kindly appliances he soon recovered from his long and dangerous immersion. We understand that this the third time that Captain Cunninghame has saved life at the hazard of his own at Cellardyke harbour. On three occasions also his services were no less heroic at St Monance, and he was also the happy instrument of deliverance, in some fifteen or twenty cases of shipwreck in various parts of the world to which duty has from time to time led him; yet strange to say in the face of all that he has suffered and sacrificed in the cause of humanity, his services have never once been recognised by a vote of thanks, not to speak the gold or silver medal which has been seldom bestowed on one so worthy of the award.

We understand that our townsman, Captain Alexander Cunningham, has just obtained a certificate as deep-sea pilot from the Trinity House, Leith. In referring to this gallant sailor, we may not inappropriately give an extract from the letter of an old sea captain at Fraserburgh with regard to the exploit in which he and his fisher friend took part last week. It is as follows: —” That was a noble act done by that veteran skipper, James Murray. I am proud to hear of such a man. I would have willingly enlisted under his command (although I have spent 41 years of my life at sea.)  I might have shared in Cunningham’s honours. It was nobly done, and the warmest wish of an old tar is, that the whole crew may be long spared to be Murray’s and Cunningham’s, on such errands of mercy.

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