The Cellardyke Echo – 20/4/2023 – Issue 385


Anstruther Harbour Commission

..Other two applications were submitted for the situation of harbour master—one by Thomas Tarvit, harbour pilot ; the other by Mr Alexander Stewart, late of Elie. who stated that he had been for years in command both of home and foreign vessels. A strongly-phrased memorial in the name of certain fishermen in Cellardyke was also lodged on behalf of Alexander Jack, one of the two previous applicants; but, on the motion of Mr Bonthrone, seconded by Mr Adamson, it woe agreed with one voice to appoint Mr William Lyall, retired shipmaster, Cellardyke ;—to enter on the duties on the 1st proximo —at a salary of £25 a year.


The most remarkable step, however, yet achieved in the way of progress is at the steammills of Cellardyke, where Mr Thomas Cormack has so utilised that wizard steam, that he can, and is, usually turning out some 400 barrels a-week. Who has not seen the cooper sweating and panting with truss-hoop and hammer? It ruined, as we all know, many a noble constitution; “but this worse than Alabama slavery,” as the poet Gilfillan used to say, is a thing of the past at Cellardyke, while the trussing is so perfected—we use the word advisedly—by the all-persuasive embrace or leverage, if you will, of the steam-wrought cone, that the cooper is only left to fasten the hoop by the hour with the same quiet and steady hand as you see the carpenter at work on the contiguous bench. The value of such an Invention is not to be over-estimated. How often has the sea harvest proved other than a blessing to those engaged in it, by the failure of the supplies which are now provided with such facility by Mr Cormack.


Leith Police Court – Alex Hodge , fisherman, Cellardyke charged with being drunk, forfeited 5s.


Impressive Scene. — Thursday morning last week the young man, Charles Coull, of the Ferryden boat, “Alexander,” who was struck with lightning in the late storm, died after severe suffering. His corpse was conveyed to Ferryden by boat, and the whole of the Cellardyke fishermen, dressed their blue clothes, to the number of between 400 and 500, attended the mournful procession to Anstruther harbour—walking four abreast. The father briefly expressed his thanks for the kindness which he had experienced on every hand in Cellardyke.

John R. Foubisher, master of the steam trawler, “Malta,” of Granton, was charged with anchoring on 28th January his trawler a little to the east of the Isle of May, where drift net fishing was going on, whereby the nets of the “Maggie Scott’’—skipper Alex. Gardiner (Watson)—Cellardyke, were damaged to the extent of £1; and those of the “ Four Brothers —skipper Thomas Birrell— Cellardyke, to the extent of £12. The crews of the “Maggie Scott” and the “Four Brothers” deponed to having on the afternoon of Friday 28th January shot their nets in the shelter of the Isle of May, at a distance of about half or three quarters of mile from the trawler, which was then at anchor. Through the unexpected action of the tides, which are very fickle at that point, the nets were carried down upon the trawler, and sustained damage to the amount named. Both crews said there was nothing to prevent the trawler from lifting her anchor, and that the customary lights were not put up to show that the trawler was unmanageable. For the defence the mate and others of the crew of the trawler stated that they had been obliged to anchor in the shelter of the May through stress of weather, and that their bunker of coals had caught fire on the afternoon of the day in question, and was not yet extinguished, it was unsafe to raise the anchor in the circumstances, as the whole boat might have been set on fire. Sheriff Henderson deemed that excuse quite satisfactory, and found Foubisher not guilty.

FATAL ACCIDENT AT KILCONQUHAR STATION. Last night a sad accident occurred at Kilconquhar Station. A large crowd had gathered at the station waiting on the half-past six o’clock train. and as it entered the station, Charles Clark, an ironmonger with Mr Dalzell, Anstruther, and residing with his parents in Cellardyke, tried to get into a carriage while in motion. Owing to the surging of the crowd he lost his hold, and fell in between two carriages. Immediately the signal was given to the driver to have the train stopped, but this was not done before two of the carriages had gone over him, almost severing his right leg from his body, and inflicting severe internal injuries. Clark was conveyed to one of the waiting rooms, and the services of Dr William Fordyce, who fortunately happened to be in the train on his way to Anstruther, obtained. Everything was done to alleviate the sufferings of the injured lad, but although he regained consciousness and retained it to the last, he died about an hour afterwards, about eight o’clock. Dr Clouston, Colinsburgh, arrived before life was extinct, and said that the injuries were so serious that nothing have been done to save him. Intelligence was conveyed to his parents in Cellardyke, and last night the body was brought to Cellardyke. The melancholy accident has evoked a considerable amount of sympathy for the parents in being so suddenly bereft of their son who was so well known. The young lad, who was in his 19th year, expressed a wish to see a minister before he died and the Rev. Mr Legge of Kilconquhar arrived is time to engage in prayer with him. At the conclusion he fervently joined the Amen, and shortly afterwards expired.


DISPUTE AS TO A NEW BOAT. William Jarvis, boatbuilder, Anstruther, sued Thomas Ritchie, fisherman, Cellardyke, for £8 1s 10d for supplying material to his boat. Ritchie, on being asked for his defence, said he had a number of complaints to make. He contracted with Mr Jarvis for a new boat, and everything was to be satisfactory . He objected to the stern posts, which were insufficient, and he found there were two or three rotten timbers, and the forestep, which was the moat particular thing in a boat, was very bad. He had paid for the boat in different instalments, and when Mr Jarvis asked for this money for putting in the things he had mentioned, he said “you have taken your own way to build the boat, and I will take my own way of paying you.” Had he known then what he knew now about the boat he would have kept £15 off the account. He had to buy a new mast at Peterhead for which he paid £6, and he lost £3 10. upon the old one supplied by Mr Jarvis. Besides the boat Mr Jarvis had sold to another skipper should have been his. This boat cost £205, and Mr Jarvis charged him £216 for the one he got. Mr Jarvis held he was perfectly entitled to charge for the articles supplied, and was not bound to give them for nothing. The boat was one of the best of the fleet. The Sheriff said from what the pursuer had said he was taking the law into his own hands, and he could not allow that. He said he knew from the beginning that he was getting a bad boat. If that were so he was not bound to take it, and he ought to have seen that everything well done according to the contract. He had not seen to that, but took the boat knowing that in his opinion the contract had not been carried out to his satisfaction. In these circumstances he did not see what else he could do but grant decree. He was sorry if he had got a bad boat, but he had his own self to blame. Mr Welch suggested to his Lordship that he should remit the account to a practical boatbuilder not connected with Anstruther, and let him, say whether the new articles charged for were reasonable or not, or should have been contracted for at the first. The Sheriff accepted the suggestion, and remitted to Mr Miller, boatbuilder, St Andrews, to go over the contract and account. Mr Miller’s report would come before the court in July, but he advised defender to try and come to a settlement with Mr Jarvis, as that would be the cheapest course in the end. Defender said in that case he would require time to pay. He was not able at present. The Sheriff—You can consult with Mr Jarvis afterwards, and we will hear the result in July.

A DESERTION CASE – The next case was that of Westwood against Marr, fishermen, Cellardyke, which had been continued from last court. Pursuer claimed damages for inlying charges of a child of which defender was the father, and also for the upkeep of the child since he had left his wife, a daughter of the pursuer. Mr Welch, who appeared for defender, said he was afraid his Lordship had no jurisdiction in a case of this sort. It was a claim for damages in a case of desertion, and that could only be taken in the Court of Session. The Sheriff agreed, and said he had no status in this case He advised pursuer to apply to the Court of Session for a divorce, and for damages for desertion. The Court of Session had decided that a man was not bound to pay for the upkeep of his wife when she lived outside his house. At present he was asked to practically decide a case of expenses in a case of separation, and could not do such a thing. The action was dismissed.

The last contested case was that of John Morris, baker, Cellardyke, against Alexander Pattie, carter, Cellardyke, for an account for bread and bran. Defender and his wife appeared, and held that they had paid £6 they had not got credit for. This was denied by Mr Guthrie on behalf of Mr Morris. Some wrangling ensued between the parties, and the Sheriff had twice to speak sharply to Mrs Pattie, whom he threatened to put into custody. Ultimately the Sheriff said he did not believe a word the defenders had said, and granted decree with expenses. The Court lasted nearly three hours.

CELLARDYKE. A NEIGHBOURS’ QUARREL—A rather conflicting case came before the Magistrates of Cellardyke on Saturday—Provost Martin and Bailie Sharp on the bench. Robert Watson and Betsy Keay were accused of assault, in far that the one kicked and the other scratched their neighbour, Catherine Sutherland, the wife of Alexander Wood, on the afternoon of Friday of last week. They protested their innocence, and the complainer and also Thomas Muir and Mrs Agnes Wilson or Sutherland were examined by the Fiscal. Four witnesses appeared for the defence, but, after a long and patient hearing, the Magistrates held the charge so far proved, but in respect of the very conflicting nature of the evidence the sentence was modified in the case of the skipper to 10s, and in that of his wife to 2s 6d, or in default to six days’ imprisonment in Kirkcaldy jail. The fines were paid.

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