The Cellardyke Echo – 16/02/2023 – Issue 376


Whist Drive.—A whist drive organised by Cellardyke Improvements Committee was held in Cellardyke Town Hall. Over tables were occupied, Mr A. Bowman was card master, and prizes were presented by Mrs Martin Gardner to the following:—Ladies– Miss Janet Hodge, 2 Mrs Muir. Miss Cormack, 4 Miss H. Smith: consolation. Miss L. Smith. Gents. —1 A. Butters, 2 David Reid. 3 G. Hodge. 4 D. Jamie; consolation, J. Watson.

“CADGERS ” —OLD AND NEW Anstruther, which at one stage in its history could claim to be the largest port on the East Coast of Scotland, with considerable exports to Holland and other Continental ports, is now almost entirely dependent on the fishing-industry. The narrow, tidy streets which ramble out and in with a complete disregard for order that would grieve the heart of a modern town-planner, and with puzzling results for the stranger not familiar with the unexpected” twists and turns, speak of the age of the town. It is all corners. There is a High Street, but it is a more modest thoroughfare than its name would suggest, and it is not to be compared in spaciousness with the front street at the harbour. The ancient burgh now includes Cellardyke within its bounds. In other days a great many “cadgers” drove their fish carts from Cellardyke. They had a reputation for being rough, reckless, loud-voiced fellows, galloping their carts uproariously into quiet country villages, their big blue bonnets pulled belligerently down the nape of their neck—ready for anything from selling herring up to engaging in single combat with a customer who’ was inclined to haggle a little about the price. It would be an excellent thing for the herring industry to-day if a modern counterpart of the old-time “cadger” could be recruited and organised in sufficient numbers to go with herring from door to door, minus, of course, the aggressive manners alleged to have been the possession, of the old school in this part of the East Neuk, where the present-day inhabitants, at any rate, strike one as being as peaceful and industrious as their neighbours. Not so long ago Anstruther had about a dozen curing sheds, but there is not one today, centralisation of this part of the industry having led to the transfer in recent years of these activities to ports in the North. There is, however, a well-conducted factory in the town, where oilskins and woollens are manufactured, and welcome employment is given to the daughters of the fishermen. During the last three or four months of 1934 the number employed was nearly 300.


LADY’S DISTINCTION. Miss N. S. Oliphant, Mayview, Anstruther, has been presented by the Guild of the Church of Scotland with their long service medal and certificate. Miss Oliphant became secretary the newly-formed branch the Guild of Cellardyke Church in 1883, and served without a break that capacity until last year, when, owing to failing health, she resigned. Owing to her illness, the presentation was a private nature.

An operatic and dramatic entertainment was given in Anstruther Town Hall last night in aid of Cellardyke improvements scheme. The entertainment was arranged by Mr James Wood. Solos were rendered by the Misses Margaret Murray, Rena Smith, Jean Smith, Mrs Myles, Meg Hodge, Messrs M. Sutherland. R. Sutherland, James Wood. Wm. Riddell; duets by Mrs Hosie and Miss Margaret Murray, Mr James Wood and Miss Jean Smith, Messrs R. Sutherland and James Wood; trios by Miss Lizzie Anderson, Messrs David Jack and Melville Hodge; and a quartet by Miss Rena Smith, Mrs Hosie. Messrs M. Sutherland, and James Wood. Several items were rendered by the chorus, and a humorous play, ” Blatherwick’s Diplomacy,” was enacted by Messrs Melville Hodge. Wm. Riddell, David Jack, James Weir. Mrs Hosie, and Misses Lizzie Anderson, Meg Hodge, and Margaret Murray. Orchestral items were included in the programme, the orchestra consisting of Mrs Moule (piano), Mrs Henderson (harmonium). Mr Fred Higgins (violin), and Mr Eric Drinkwater (drums).


Fife Men on Trawler Feared Lost Off Shetlands

It is feared that two trawler disasters have occurred, one off the Orkneys and the other off the Shetlands. There are no signs of life on a trawler stranded on the Pentland Skerries. Longhope lifeboat has set out. Wreckage bearing the name May Island LH 194 ” has been washed ashore on the Shetlands. The May Island, a Leith trawler, carries a crew of ten including a number of Fife men.

LEITH TRAWLER FEARED LOST FIFE MEN AMONG CREW OF TEN Cellardyke Brothers on Board –  It is feared that the trawler May Island has been wrecked in Shetland. The May Island is owned Messrs Thomas H. Scales & Sons, Newhaven, and is registered at Leith. Her crew consists of ten men, belonging to Fife, Leith, and Cockenzie. A considerable quantity of wreckage was driven ashore at Norwick. at the north eastern end of the island of Unst, Shetland; during the gale. The wreckage gave the name and registration indices, May Island (LH 1.94).” It was stated in Unst that whistling from unknown vessel had been heard at 3 am – It was suggested that the vessel might have been wrecked on lonely part of the island.

Weather Bad. “I have been in contact with the Coastguard on the spot, and he could give me no definite information,” Mr Thomas H. Scales told Press reporter. “He said that the weather was bad, and that the wreckage had come ashore, but they were hoping the crew would be safe.The wreckage which was driven ashore includes a wireless set, a lifebelt, fishermen’s clothing, lifeboat, and a mass of other material, including fish-boxes.

The Crew. The master, James Tarvit (31), belongs to Cellardyke. He lives at 32 Fowler Street. His brother, John Tarvit (39), 8 Fowler Street, Cellardyke, is the mate. The other men are David Birrell (31), fisherman, 42 West Forth Street, Cellardyke; David Young, jun., (27), deckhand, Bracklinn, Station Road, St. Monance; John Blaikie (28), married, deckhand, 9 Edinburgh Road, Cockenzie; Graham Alexander (29), married, second engineer, 12 Winton Park, Cockenzie; Scott W. Herd (26). fireman. Bowling Green Street, Leith; James Herd, engineman, brother of Scott W. Herd; F. Auchinleck (41), trimmer, 12 Admiralty Street, Leith; R. J. Searle (49), married, cook 12 Perth Street, Edinburgh.

Took Brother’s Place.

Mr Scott Herd, the fireman on the missing vessel, is a young married man residing 5 Bowling Green Street, Leith. He has no family. He was accompanied in the ship by his brother. James Herd, who took the place of a third brother, Alexander, who was unable to sail owing to illness. James Herd, who is married, has a family of two.

In interview with Mrs Searle, whose husband was the ship’s cook, it was ascertained that Mr Searle had been at sea all his life.

Strong Swimmer. Mrs Searle said that although she was worried, she was confident that if anyone of the crew could be saved it would be her husband. “He is a strong swimmer,” she said, “and he has already been wrecked. That was before the war when he was on a wrecked oil tanker in the North. He had to fight both fire and water then. He was in the water for over 17 hours, that he has a good chance of being saved now.”, Mr Searle has three sons and three daughters whose ages range from three to fourteen. Only one, the eldest, is working. Mr Searle was 13 ½  years in the Navy, including the four war years.

The May Island left for the fishing grounds north of Shetland last Friday, and was not expected back until the end of this week. A sister trawler was reported to be lying Balta Sound, not far from Norwick.

The May Island was built by Russell, & Co., Ltd.. Aberdeen, in 1911 and was of 195 tons gross.


MALE VOICE CHOIR AT CELLARDYKE— Speaking at the close of the evening service in Cellardyke Parish Church on Sunday evening, the Rev. James R. Lee expressed appreciation of Crail Male Voice Choir for having led the praise. It was something unique in these days, he said, to have the praise led by male voices alone. Many congregations would be better if a larger number of young men took part in the work of church choirs. The choir, which was under Mr William Blair, A.R.C.O.. gave beautiful renderings of the 24th Psalm, the lovely “All in an April Evening,” “The Old Woman,” the hymns Nos. 309 and 83, and the 23rd Psalm.

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