The Cellardyke Echo – 12/10/2022 – Issue 360


STEAM CAPSTAN ‘AND PROPELLOR FOR FISHING BOATS. We have much pleasure in calling attention to MACDONALD’S – IMPROVED STEAM CAPSTAN, and to their New and Highly Satisfactory PORTABLE PROPELLOR for FISHING BOATS. The Propellors, which can be fitted into any boat, have surpassed all expectations, and are capable of driving a boat at six knots without interfering with her as a sailing craft. We shall be glad to give particulars to interested parties regarding this most important invention to Fishermen. JOHN MARTIN & Co., CELLARDYKE

NB it is a Macdonald’s capstan that is aboard the Fisheries Museum’s Reaper

THE UNIVERSITY, ST ANDREWS. —ln the results of the examinations for the M. A. degree held recently at the above, we note the name of W. S. Birrell, Cellardyke, passed in Greek.


THE FISHING AT SCARBOROUGH. —At Scarborough on Wednesday night last week a storm of great severity raged. Seven boats belonging to Cellardyke were at sea. Two of their number arrived at Bridlington, one pulled his nets and came in on Thursday afternoon, but the other four were riding at their nets. These all received great damage and loss of the gear. They had shots ranging from ten up to 30 crans price 19s per cran. One BF. boat broke his chain and parted from his whole drift, which meant a big loss of messenger ropes, nets, buoys, &c. It was one of the severest gales that has been experienced by fishermen for a long time.

FATAL ACCIDENT INQUIRIES CUPAR. Cellardyke Brothers Drowned. Before Sheriff Armour and jury at Cupar to-day two public inquiries were down for hearing in connection with fatal accidents which took place the county recently. The first case had reference to deaths of John Deas, fisherman, and Alexander Gilmour Deas, assistant fisherman, who resided Rodger Street, Cellardyke. They were following their usual employment on the forenoon of Monday, 25th July, in the service of their father, James Deas. on board the Thistle, and after leaving Anstruther Harbour, Alexander Deas -was accidentally struck by the main sail and knocked into the water. His brother John leapt into the water his assistance, but both were drowned. The witnesses in this case did not appear, and the inquiry was adjourned.


Sam, Bough RSA – a biography

One of the best known etchings of Cellardyke Harbour after a Sam Bough painting

… a few years before his death (Bough) painted a picture in water colours for the benefit of the Cellardyke Fisherman’s disaster fund. The subject was “Fishing Boats putting out to Sea” – a stormy effect. The picture bore an inscription to the effect that it was presented for the benefit of the sufferers of the Cellardyke disaster by Sam Bough.

Upwards of 80 females from Cellardyke, Pittenweem, and ST Monans have left for Yarmouth and Lowestoft to employed gutters during the next two months.

RESIGNATION OF TOWN OFFICER. —The resignation of Mr John Mitchell, town officer of Cellardyke, will no doubt be heard with deep regret by his many friends and acquaintances. Mr Mitchell has held the post of town officer for the long period of 22 years, during which time he has been a familiar figure to all who had occasion to meet him, privately or officially. Always cheery and having a greeting for all, John wag universally liked and respected. For a long  number of years he led a seafaring life, having been nearly twenty years on Messrs Currie’s boats in the Leith and Hamburg trade He sailed on the ” Forth,” the old paddle steamer engaged in the Anstruther and Leith trade, and afterwards on the “new” screw steamers on the same line of sailings. The Anstruther and Leith steamers claimed his services for nearly 20 years, and he also acted as their porter on shore, for a long time collecting the money due to the steamship company, in which capacity he was well known along the mast from Elie to Crail. He commenced his duties as town officer 22 years ago under the late Provost Watson, who only held office for a fortnight after Mr Mitchell’s-appointment. During these 22 years, he has served under no less than five Provosts, via., Provosts Watson, Skinner, Martin, Thomson, and Black, the former three having long since joined the great majority. John has, in his official capacity, attended no less than 789 funerals, including those of several local personages. Between 50 and 60 marriage suppers have been held in the Hall during his term of office, and for soirees, well—” he couldna say, there’s been that mony, it wisna easy mindin’ them a’.” John never got anything but praise for his services, and he never heard anyone say anything against him. All who know him will heartily concur in this and wish him and his worthy spouse quiet and comfort in their well-earned retirement.

After the appearance of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Gospel Temperance Band at the recent opening of the Williamson Memorial Fountain in Shore Steet, the Committee of the union decided to approach Mr Archibald Williamson and solicit a subscription in aid of the funds of the Bind. Their appeal has met with a ready response, as on Monday, the secretary received a letter from Mr Williamson, enclosing a cheque for two guineas.


Skipper M, Gardner’s Bravery.—We have been favoured with a look at the watch presented to Skipper Martin Gardiner for his brave action in going to the rescue of the crew belonging to the St Monans boat Puritan while at Lerwick on July. The watch and guard is an exceedingly handsome specimen of the watchmaker’s craft, bearing the skipper’s initials in cleverly embossed work on the front, while under the cover the following inscription is to be seen: — “Presented by the Fish Trade to Martin Gardiner, mater of the SS. Vanguard 111 for bravery in rescuing the crew of the boat Puritan, wrecked on Green Holm, Lerwick. 19th July 1909.” The chain is also a handsome one, and has a masonic pendant attached.

Mr George Smith, son of Skipper William Smith (Black), Cellardyke, has passed the Board of Trade examination as second mate at Victoria, British Columbia.


Last night a contingent of some 120 fish workers, drawn from Cellardyke, Pittenweem, St Monance left by special train composed of corridor carriages for Edinburgh direct, where they were to be joined on to the south-going trains for Lowestoft, Yarmouth, &c.

OFF TO YARMOUTH. DEPARTURE OF FIFE FISHER LASSIES. The female fish-workers East Fife who had been previously engaged, both local and North Country fishcuring firms work the herring curing stations at Lowestoft and Yarmouth, were called upon to leave on Friday evening. There being over sixty all told, arrangements were made on this occasion whereby the lot were conveyed by special train composed of three corridor carriages, which left Anstruther after the last ordinary west-going train with a contingent of workers from Cellardyke, picking those from Pittenweem and St Monans en route, and thereafter proceeding direct for Edinburgh, where the carriages were coupled to the south-going English train. The contingents had a hearty send-off from a large following of their comrades at the respective stations.

The Rev. Peter T. Thomson, Leicester, who has suffered seven days’ imprisonment as passive resister the education rate, son of ex-Provost Peter Thomson, draper, Cellardyke.


A telegram was received this forenoon in Anstruther announcing the fact that the local drifter, the Scots Greys, Skipper James Dick, Cellardyke, had . gone ashore in foggy weather early in the morning, at Happesburgh, about 20 miles north of Yarmouth. The telegram added that the expectation was that the drifter would be floated off next tide.

On Monday morning, twenty-four drifters and an Inverness sailer, left for the south. Seldom indeed if ever before have so great a crowd lined the piers, and it looked as if the whole inhabitants of Cellardyke had turned out to bid farewell to the fishers. All the vessels got away in good time, the only drifter left being the Vanguard 111, which had come home after being repaired. She sailed on Tuesday for the south.

THE SOUTH HERRING FISHING. —Not much has been done yet by the local drifters and boats at the south. On Tuesday at Scarborough, the SS Breadwinner had 12 crans at 27s per cran, while at Shields the same day, the Craignoon and Pride of Fife had £10 each, the Daisy £9, the Eva £6, and the Edith £2. At Grimsby on Tuesday, herrings were sold at a penny each, the scarcity sending up the price to 65s per cran. The Venus had £33 and the Evening Star £12 also at Shields on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the following drifters had shots at Shields :—Pride o’ Fife £24, Violet £23, Morning Star £21, Unity £18, Edith £15, Alices £13, and Daisy £11.

CARGO OF  BARRELS FOR YARMOUTH.—On Tuesday, the SS. Kilburne of Whitehaven entered Anstruther harbour and took on board a cargo of 2000 barrels from Messrs Melville & Sons, for Yarmouth. The steamer smiled with the evening tide. The captain of the steamer was informed by the harbour-master that he entered and lay at the head of the east pier on his own risk, and Mr Melville had to accept the risk before the captain would consent to remain. Nothing happened. however, and the Kilburne sailed in the evening.

THE RETURN OF THE DRIFTER VANGUARD. — The steam drifter Vanguard 111., Skipper Martin Gardner, jnr., arrived at Anstruther harbour on Saturday morning. It will be remembered that this drifter stranded on the sands at Saltburn on the English Coast on the 10th of September, and after a few days was success fully floated, and towed to Shields where she underwent a thorough overhaul and repair. The expense was borne by the Herring Drifter Insurance Company. Peterhead, and no cost has been spared by them to deliver the drifter to the owners in a first class condition. Besides having all her machinery overhauled and the hull put in order, she has been painted outside and in, all at the cost of the Insurance Company, who willingly offered to see that all was made right. The owners are satisfied that the Company have treated them very generously. The vessel was inspected by numbers of the fishermen during the weekend, and all were loud in their praise of the insurance company having done the work of repair so well and without any loss of time.


A series of meetings, under the auspices of the Scottish Branch of the Free Trade Union is being held in East Fife during the present week. On Monday night a meeting was held in the Public Hall, Upper Largo, when the Rev. Ian Bruce presided, and Messrs J. C. Haig and R. B. Ditch spoke on the question of Free Trade. Ur Haig, illustrating the benefits of Free Trade, gave a striking local example. He told how some 60 years ago two brothers left the little Fifeshire village of Cellardyke, where their father kept a miscellaneous store in which he sold “treacle, tar, and testaments,” to quote his own description. The brothers went to Adelaide, South Australia, which was then a small township, and while there the sons thought there were certain goods which their father sold which would fetch very much higher prices in Adelaide than in Cellardyke, and that on the other hand there were certain goods which could be bought cheaply in Adelaide which would fetch good prices in Fifeshire. So they sent out a small consignment of Australian goods and received a small consignment in exchange, and was the beginning of a profitable intercolonial trade, and the two brothers founded the great firm of D. & J. Fowler, Ltd., the largest in S. Australia. Free Trade tended to foster international trade, whilst so-called “Tariff Reform” tended to check. it. Several questions were put and answered. Other meetings will be addressed by the same speakers this week at Leuchars, Tayport, Newport., and Ladybank.

Considerable anxiety was felt in Cellardyke last Saturday and Sunday in consequence of no word having been received of the whereabouts of six boats belonging to Cellardyke, which bad been fishing from Yarmouth. Frequent telegrams were passed between the South and Anstruther, and on Sunday morning word came that three bad come in all safe. The others turned up at night, the crews having ridden out the storm and gale at’ their nets. The satisfactory news of the safety of the boats gave much relief to the anxious ones at home

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