The Cellardyke Echo – 22/09/2022 – Issue 357


WALKS IN FIFE; , The Travels of Timothy Tramp …………. Nether Kilrenny, is situated on the shore, and is the largest and most populous village in the parish of Kilrenny. Besides other schools there is an infant school there. The name of Cellardyke is said to derived from the cellars built there for the storing and preserving of fish. Like most fishing villages, the houses are closely packed together, and, it is not remarkable for cleanliness. The fishing population are a hardy, adventurous, and industrious race, often exposed to storms and tempests while engaged prosecuting their calling on the world of waters, and dexterous in the management of their little vessels. In some years the take of herrings has amounted to 25,000 barrels, besides large quantities of cod, haddocks, and other kinds of fish, which are cured and exported to London, Liverpool, and other large towns. The value of boats, fishing-tackle, &c., belonging to the village, has been estimated exceed £12,000. The harbour, however, is small for such an important fishing station, and not very safe during storms from the cast, but is now to be” improved, which will be of great advantage to the village. A successful herring fishing to the fisherman what an abundant corn harvest to the farmer, but this season it has been very unfavourable.

Cellardyke, East Anstruther, and West Anstruther, form one long town, divided from one another by two small streams. The Burgh of Kilrenny consists of two villages, namely Upper Kilrenny and Cellardyke. At one time it sent a member to the Scottish Parliament. From the Union to the time the passing of the Reform Bill it joined with four of the neighbouring burghs sending a member to the British Parliament, and since then is conjoined with six other burghs for this purpose. Kilrenny was disfranchised in 1828, and now governed by three managers appointed the Court of Session. At the census taken this year the burgh contained inhabited and 4 uninhabited houses, and one house building, and had 435 separate occupiers; while the population amounted to 1860 persons, 878 being males, and 982 females.

………. Behind me, lay the little village of Kilrenny, with its church and spire, its woods and beauteous fields of ripening grain; on my right, a school-house stood the most prominent object on the brow of the bank; while below lay Cellardyke, with its long narrow street and fish-smelling lanes, seldom disturbed by the broom of the scavenger. The harbour was crowded with boats.; while on the street that stretches from a dirty-looking runnel which divides the village from Anstruther on the west, to the haven on the east, numbers of fishermen, with scaly jackets, loose flowing trousers, and glazed hats, or Kilmarnock night-caps, were gathered together in groups, talking of the failing fishery, while their dames, with creel-bearing backs that need bran-filled bustles to bulk and bunch out their healthy frames to fashionable prominence, or increase their embonpoint, gave full scope their loquacious propensity, so that their tongues may not fail for want of use. Before me lay the deep blue sea, calm and beautiful, whose little wavelets rippled and murmured among the rocks, while, a little distance from the shore, some French vessels lay gently rocking their watery cradle. At length the sun sunk beneath the horizon, and the beacon light of the May appeared like a ruddy planet, guiding the watchful mariner how he might eschew the rocks, shoals, and dangers of the deep. The moon, too, rose red and round, and shed its luminous effulgence on the tremulous bosom of the sea, and made the waves gleam, as it were, with a fiery glow. How bright and beautiful was the scene! and as slowly wended my way along the brow of the brae, seek a resting-place for the night among the houses, lanes, and streets that stretch along the shore from the harbour of Cellardyke to the dark rocks of Billow-Ness….


One day last week, while a number boys were amusing themselves angling for small fishes in the harbour of St Monance, one of them fell over the pier, and sank to the bottom. As the water was deep when the accident happened, the little active fisher must have infallibly perished but for the intrepid conduct of lad named Tarvit, belonging to Cellardyke, who, perceiving the imminent danger in which the boy was placed, instantly plunged into the water, and, having dived to the bottom, he succeeded in catching hold of the unconscious sufferer, and holding him with his teeth while he plied his physical energies swimming, till he landed his captive safety on terra firma. This disinterested manifestation of intrepid humanity is  highly commendable, and justly entitled to the approbation of the humane public, as well as the sincere gratitude of those parents whose son was thus rescued from premature death.


ELlE.—About ten o’clock on the dark stormy night of Wednesday last week, the inhabitants of South Street were alarmed by cries of distress, which proceeded from the crew of a Cellardyke boat, laden with coal, who, trying gain the harbour, had got among the breakers. The boat having filled and settled down, left the poor creatures clinging to a small portion above water, while the waves made a fair passage over them. They remained a considerable time in this perilous situation, but were ultimately landed in safety. The boat has become total wreck.


Anstruther – The fishing now ended for a season is the heaviest on record this district Total catch, 75,132 crans, from 338 boats, fishing at the following places, viz. : —Anstruther and Cellardyke, 115 ; Pittenweem, 50 ; St Monance, 56 ; Buckhaven, Methil, Largo, Crail, &c., 117.


The total produce on the Fife seaboard (exclusive of the winter catch) may be roughly estimated amounting to 17,700 crans, against 75,132 last season, showing a deficiency this year of 57,432 crans. The following is the average of crans per boat at the four principal stations, compared with 1855


Anstruther and Cellardyke, 319

Pittenweem, 293

St Monance, 200 ½


Anstruther and Cellardyke, 55 ¼  

Pittenweem, 82

St Monance, 80


CELLARDYKE. Theft. —On Wednesday last, Mr Robert Watson, fisherman, discovered that £2 had been abstracted from a sum of money which he had by him locked up inn drawer. His suspicions rested upon a young woman named Christian Dingwall, who had been in his employ as a house servant for a few weeks past. Although destitute of any evidence of her guilt, or even grounds for his suspicions, except unaccountable irregularities in her conduct lately, he nevertheless gave information of his loss to the police constable, who, with a decision and  acuteness for which we think he deserves a more substantial acknowledgement than mere empty commendation took up the complaint, and traced her movements in such a manner  as to lead to a conviction of her guilt, and had forthwith lodged in Cupar Jail to await her rial. This is the third case within a short period while the guilty parties would have escaped detection had it not been for the energy and promptitude of the constable at present stationed in this district.


CELLARDYKE. MARK OF RESPECT.—Miss Grieve, the teacher of the Female School here—and who has conducted that seminary with great efficiency, and to the satisfaction of all classes for the last ten years—having been removed from her situation, a number of the inhabitants of Cellardyke, entertaining feelings of the deepest sympathy for Miss Grieve on account of this treatment, and as a small mark of their respect and esteem, subscribed and presented her with nine sovereigns before she had left the district; and this donation was accompanied with a sincere expression of regret that the community should have been deprived of the services of one who has always conducted herself with the most exemplary propriety, and whose qualifications and attainments as a teacher have been so long known and established.


Alexander Martin, fisherman, Cellardyke, pled guilty to stealing a hen, and was sentenced to IS days imprisonment

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