The Cellardyke Echo – 5/1/2023 – Issue 372


CELLARDYKE. Burgh CourtSnowballing – At a Burgh Court held here yesterday—Provost Martin and Bailies Sharp and Watson on the bench–George Moncrieff, Robert Moncrieff, William Muir, and Alexander Lawrie, all men, were accused of committing a breach of the peace by throwing snowballs on the public street near the shop of Messrs Sharp & Murray, on Wednesday afternoon, by reason of which James Simpson, fisherman. was assaulted or injured. The accused all pled not guilty. Being the first case of the kind in the burgh, the Magistrates did not think it worthwhile to examine the evidence, and the accused were dismissed after receiving severe admonitions from the Provost and Bailie Sharp. We may mention that a great many complaints have been lodged within the last day or two as to the practical of throwing snowballs on the public streets, as a great many windows have been broken, and one woman, we believe, was cut on her person to the effusion of blood. The complainer in the above case, after he had lodged his complaint, got three panes of glass in his windows wilfully broken. This was carrying the ‘diversion’ to a too great extent.


Through the liberality of Mr. Stephen Williamson, of Liverpool, eighty householders in Cellardyke and East and West Anstruther have been presented with a cartload of coals each.

CELLARDYKE AND ST MONANCE ART AID, There is at present on view in Mr Aitken Dott’s gallery in Castle Street a collection of pictures oil and water colour, contributed by artists for behoof of the widows and children of the fishermen of Cellardyke and St Monance who were drowned in the late storm. While the object in view of which this exhibition is held is a charitable one, the pictures being to be disposed of by subscription sale, the collection is worthy of a visit from the intrinsic worth of the pictures and sketches. There are altogether between sixty and seventy works of art, of which about fifty are watercolour drawings, and the rest pictures in oil. Sir Noel Paton sends a pen-and-ink drawing, entitled “The Bathers,” possessing all his exquisite beauty of line, and representing a girl endeavouring to induce her younger sister to enter the water. By Waller H. Paton, ” Near Dollar,” is one of his fascinating evening scenes, meadow and river, under autumn sky, with the last rays of the setting sun disappearing behind the hills, and reflected in the water in the foreground. W. Douglas sends small landscape, “Near Dunnottar.” By the late Thomas Duncan, A.R.A., there is a characteristic study of Shylock, and by Robert Herdman a Roman study—an Italian boy standing beside a pillar with grape branches above him, which possesses much facile grace of execution. Among the best of the contributions is a sea piece by Sam Bough; fishing boats in a gale, grey clouds glooming above storm tossed sea, good in colour, and painted with a dashing brush. Alexander Fraser has two coast scenes, “On the Berwickshire Coast,” with curiously shaped rocks in the foreground, and ” Tarring the Boat,” possessing the artist’s usual rich colour, and the breezy freshness of nature. John Smart in “Glenogle,” W. B. Brown in “Falls of Tummel,” and W. F. Vallance in “The Hero’s Targe,” send the sketches for their pictures in last year’s Royal Scottish Academy’s Exhibition. There is abundance of rich colour in ” Street Scene in Granada” by W. E. Lockhart, the deep blue sky, white walls, and gay dresses forming fine harmonies of tint. “Landing Place, lona, Midsummer Evening,” by Thomas Clark, shows that scene under calm summer sky, and “A Highland Stream,” by J. B. McDonald, has an effective mingling of woad and water. Otto Leyde sends an attractive study of a boy’s head in “Childhood;” and James Cassie a small moonlight scene in “Buchan Ness Lighthouse.” Of extra – academical contributors Samuel Edmonston sends four drawings in water-colours —” St Monance,” “Cellardyke,” “The East Neuk o’ Fife,” and “Gullane,” which, besides being interesting and appropriate to the occasion, are characterised by skifull handling, and bear evidence of having been painted on the spot. C Lodder sends a powerful rendering of The Bass—Herring Boats in a Breeze,”, and in black and white, ” Colintraive, Kyles of Bute”, by Pollok S. Nisbet. “At Venice” one of his attractive Italian sketches—a bridge with gondolas in the water beneath. John Nesbitt contributes a good study of waves dashing against rocky coast in ” Looking towards Pittenweem.” “A Winter Day,” by George Aikman, effective rendering of a snow covered moor, across which slowly trudge a girl and donkey. There is some careful work in R. Sanderson’s small picture of ” Bait Gatherer, St Monance,” and in J. H. Oswald’s ” View of Stromness.” Other drawings in water-colour are landscapes Robert Frier, James and G. S. Ferrier, W. G. Kemp, &c, and view of “Leith Harbour,” by Miss C. P. Ross. Of the pictures in oil, J. R. Reid sends effective bit of out-door work in ” A Sketch in Surrey;” W. B. Hole, in “Into the Pleasance:” view through a doorway into a garden with sunlight glinting on the green sward W. D. McKay, in “Showery Evening, Garleton Hill:” rustics coming along a hillside path ; and J. C. Noble in “At Queensferry :” a landscape, with an old woman resting at the foot of a tree. One of the best of the pictures in oil is “Sympathy,” by J. Denovan Adam: a little girl left alone and with her arm round collie’s neck, while a terrier licks her face—an attractive, homely touch from life.

Colinsburgh – The bazaar for the benefit of the St Monance and Cellardyke Shipwrecked Fishermen’s Fund was held here on Friday and Saturday last. The stall. holders were: Lady Lindsay of Balcarres, Lady Anstruther of Balcaskie, Lady Bethune of Kilconquhar, and Lady Hamilton, Pitcorthie House. The bazaar was attended by a considerable number of visitors on both days, including the whole of the aristocracy in the East of Fife. Considering the short notice given of the bazaar, there was a large and varied assortment of plain and fancy work of all kinds, conspicuous amongst which were a number of paintings and water colours by Sir Coutts and Lady Lindsay, General Anstruther, &c., which were rapidly disposed of at handsome figures. The amount realised was £346 6s 8 1/2d

CELLARDYKE FISHING BOAT MISSING. The public excitement consequent on the late disasters has scarcely subsided when considerable anxiety is again being felt for the safety of another Cellardyke boat and its crew. The boat in question is owned by Skipper Robert Davidson, and in which one of the crew was so severely injured while returning from Yarmouth. She left the harbour along with the other boats on Monday night, and was last seen making for sea about three o’clock on Tuesday morning, at which time there was a strong wind out at sea. All the boats with this exception returned on Wednesday morning, but up to a late hour last night nothing whatever was known of its: whereabouts. There were on board the boat mix men, all belonging to Cellardyke. It is earnestly to be hoped that good news will speedily be received of the boat and its crew.

Addendum – 14th Jan – The Cellardyke boat which was stated in our last issue to be missing entered the harbour on Friday about twelve o’clock, by which time she was believed to have been lost. It appears that the rope attached to the lines had broken while they were being put into the sea, and that the crew had anchored the boat and stopped the four days in order to recover the gear, which, with the exception of five or six lines, was ultimately accomplished Their conduct in remaining at sea for such long time, and thus causing great anxiety for their safety, was much commented on.


DEATH OF A WIDELY-KNOWN INHABITANT THE EAST OF FIFE. -James Lindsay, so long associated with the University Edinburgh as mechanical assistant to the Chair of Natural History, died at his house in Cellardyke on Tuesday evening week. He was abroad in his favourite haunts only a fortnight before, but his iron constitution at last yielded to a vital malady which had been creeping upon him for years; and those watching by his bedside saw the lamp growing dimmer day by day till the closing scene, which occurred about seven in the evening. James Lindsay, who was seventy-eight years age, was a native of Cellardyke. His father was in the service of the Brothers Leslie, who then farmed Mill lands on the barony of Kilrenny. Thus it was that one harvest day in 1813 James, as a young lad, was standing with a gun the field when the weapon suddenly exploded. His life was a miracle, but it was to him the loss of a finger. “Pair laddie, hoo is he to get through,” sobbed the anxious household. “Affliction is but a stepping-stone in the providence of God!” said the earnest if not over-gifted parish minister, Joseph Duncan, and the good man was right. The farmer’s great brother, the Professor, afterwards Sir John Leslie, wanted boy for his Edinburgh establishment, and James being presumably unfitted to earn his bread by any manual vocation, was drafted to the situation. There he remained from 1814 till 1819 page and butler and something more, for during those five years he and his illustrious master would work day sod night at these magnificent experiments in Natural Philosophy which secured for Sir John Leslie a world-wide renown. Quick, docile, and attentive, and withal an adept in mechanics, the young assistant was a right hand to the old philosopher, who, on exchanging in that year the Chair of Mathematics for that of Natural History, at once installed him into the service of the College. Principal Shairp of St Andrews tells in his valuable memoir of Principal Forbes, that James Lindsay made almost whole of Sir John Leslie’s original mathematical and philosophical apparatus with his own hands. He acquired in particular rare dexterity in glassblowing, but all this was perhaps secondary to the invaluable service he rendered Sir John as a kind of factotum in the true old Scottish meaning, for whenever the philosopher was in any dilemma, he would exclaim in his own abrupt way, “Get Lindsay, he’ll solve the difficulty,”‘ and to confess the truth this was occasionally no easy task. With all his imperial endowments Sir John was often an inordinate miser—and tradesmen would rise in open rebellion before their accounts were adjusted. After Sir John Leslie’s hurried death at the Coates, near his native village of Largo, James Lindsay found a new master in his youthful successor, the amiable and gifted James Forbes, whose confidence and regard are pleasingly commemorated in his Alpine letters. He was also presented by Professor Forbes with an elegant gold watch as a mark of esteem: and the friendship, for such it was, continued till the master was appointed to the Principalship of the United College of St Andrews, when the veteran assistant passed like heritage into the service of the present distinguished incumbent the Chair, Professor Tait. Here remained till 1872, when, after being in the service of Sir John Leslie as mechanical assistant in the Natural History Chair for fourteen years, Professor Forbes for twenty seven years, and Professor Tait for twelve years, in  all a period fifty-three years – the gathering infirmities of old age induced him to resign the situation to his son, being at the time of the venerable of seventy three. With regard to the efficiency with which he discharged his duties, no better testimony can be given than the letter of Principal Forbes, in which In particular he describes a favourite Alpine guide, “He really promises to turn out another James Lindsay—in short, an admirable assistant.” less remarkable for his affable and kindly address than for his matchless skill in the difficult experiments of the class, he was much the favourite of Professors and students that his resignation was signalised by a handsome testimonial, to which H.R.H. the Prince of Wales was one of the contributors. The testimonial was in a form of a beautiful horologe and purse of about 180 sovereigns. It was presented in very flattering terms by his distinguished master; and the occasion had also an interest all its own as a delightful reunion of friends and friendships of half century. During the summer of college recess his time had been his own, but was always pleasantly and often profitably passed in his gardens or at the fishing. He was an ardent meteorologist, and the philosopher, was he was familiarly called by his neighbours, could never be idle with his gauge and his register, and these, of course, were cherished with redoubled interest the days of his retirement, which were all the more enjoyable, his intellect and cheerfulness remained quite unclouded till the last. He was twice married his first wife. Marjory Marr, died the midsummer of 1837; but he is survived by a widow and numerous family of children and grandchildren. His tastes were other than those of the politician, but though mixing comparatively little with his neighbours, he had, as in a nobler field, the confidence and esteem of all that knew him, and that reverend face and agile step will long missed in old walks which he loved so well to frequent.


End of a Life.

Intelligence has been received by friends in Cellardyke the death of Mr David Doig,whose life story may well be compared to a chapter of romance. He was a native of Cellardyke, where childhood takes as lovingly and instinctively to the sea as the cygnet to the lake; but our hero preferred to cast in his lot with the tradesmen of Anstruther, where he wrought as an apprentice wright or cabinetmaker. With laudable enterprise he sought improvement in Edinburgh, and for a time seemed as if his fortunes were launched on a summer sea, till one day he suddenly, and without a single word of warning to any one, disappeared from his lodgings and his workshop. Search was made in every conceivable way and direction, but not a single clue could be found to solve the mystery, other than that a friend had seen him near the harbour of Leith, in which after while none could doubt but that unlucky stumble the darkness had consigned him to a watery grave. So the world talked and believed all with a single exception, and this was his brave hearted mother, who clung to hope as one having an inner revelation that someday her beloved son would return, and that, like the patriarch of old, she would be spared to fall upon his neck and weep the fathomless depths of a mother’s love. Had it been the whisper of an angel, or only the fond longings of the heart, we leave with our readers to say, but at the end of four weary years the long-expected message that her son was alive and well was put into her trembling hands, and not long after she had the inexpressible delight of seeing him again at the old fireside. The secret was soon told. The high-spirited young man had in the dullness of trade scorned to be a burthen on his friends, and rather than do so had enlisted in the Royal Engineers but remembering the Fifeshire prejudice against the life of a soldier he had never communicated much, often he had thought of his darling home. He returned once more his to gallant service, notwithstanding the pressing wishes of his relatives to buy his discharge, and being remarkable for his honour and honesty, well for his kindly heart, he was a general favourite, whether in garrison or camp, till now he has heard the bugle call which has summoned him once for all to rest, though in the summer of his days, he being only about thirty-seven years of age, and in the sixteenth year of his military service.


Reduction of Coopers Wages.

As a consequence of the comparative failure of the fishery in the Forth and the coasts elsewhere associated with local enterprise, notice has been given by Mr Cormack to the operatives in his cooperage that the wages will be reduced from 20s to 18s a week. Mr Cormack employs about one-fourth of the total number of coopers at work in Anstruther and Cellardyke, these being chiefly employed in the meantime in connection with the white fishery. Such, however, is the sinister influence of the times that the journeymen coopers have been reduced to a skeleton corps, as may say, some five and twenty in all, while in happier years the herring cooperages alone have been ringing with three or four times that number.

The new carvel-built boat launched by Mr Fulton (Pittenweem) from his building yard a week or two ago has been purchased by Skipper A. Keay, Cellardyke.

Cellardyke Post office – We understand that Mrs James Bruce has been appointed to succeed Mr Brown in charge of the Post and Telegraph Office in Cellardyke. Considerable difficulty, we believe, has been felt in filling up the appointment, hence the delay which has taken place; but from the strong recommendations in her favour, Mrs Bruce will enter on the duties with the best expectations of the public

Workers Fete –   The employees in the fish curing establishment of Messrs Sharp and Murrayhad their annual festival in honour of the opening year in the end of last week. According to the good old rule the workers of either sex had to bring a partner to the tryst. And some thirty damsels are employed in connection with the export of herrings to Australia – the result was that some forty couples or more sat down to a steaming supper to which was added the dainties of the season. Some appropriate toasts followed, including health and prosperity to the members of the firm, which was given with a ringing three times three “when the decks were cleared for action.”  In one of the sections of the spacious store, than which by the way, a more suitable ballroom could not have been improved on this side of the Forth – there with a couple of fiddlers, by the way of orchestra, the dance was led off as if Maggie Lauder herself once more “bobbed “ in the East Green, and so reel and waltz went on with unabated glee till six o’ clock next morning sent the revellers to their respective homes after one of the most cordial and happy gatherings that ever gladdened and knit young hearts on the shores of Fife.

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