The Cellardyke Echo – 2/11/2023 – Issue 413



On Tuesday night Mr Williamson, in pursuance of his candidature of the St Andrews Burghs, addressed crowded meetings in Cellardyke and Pittenweem Town Halls. After referring to several local questions, Mr Williamson proceeded to explain his attitude the Church question, regarding which he was to be opposed. He had always been in favour of religious equality, and therefore of the separation of the Church from the State. (Applause and hisses.) He would like this vexed question settled, believing, as he did, that they would have no religious, social, or political peace until then; but he had never been an agitator or desired to rush at it hammer and tongs, in season and out of season. He had been grossly misrepresented, both in the pulpit and on the platform, for declaring that only the Government could deal with the question, and that the time for bringing in a Bill must be left to the judgment of the Government. He would discourage any private Member dealing with it; but if an abstract resolution, which was only expression of opinion, was moved on disestablishment in the next session he frankly told them he would support it. (Applause and hisses.) He did not, however, believe that the Government would bring in Bill for disestablishment during the next Parliament, as there would be too much other legislative work to accomplish; but if the Government did so he would resign his seat if asked by a majority of the electors to do so by requisition honestly got up and signed without undue pressure.

The other morning he had a conversation with Principal Tulloch at Andrews, and he (the Principal) then expressed himself to the effect that he thought the proposal was very reasonable, and regretted that he (Mr Williamson) had not given expression to the proposal when he spoke at Cupar lately. But he replied that it was not for him to effusively placard the walls with all the details of his opinions upon this question, but it was for the electors to ask him his opinions. He could not understand why electors were so alarmed at his views or why he should be subjected to such gross misrepresentations of his views.

The parish minister of Kilrenny had said that he was in favour of converting the Church into a place for storing herring barrels or fishing gear. (Laughter.) Were simple-minded fishermen to be taken in by nonsense of that sort He told them that he would sooner cut off his right hand than vote for a Bill to do that; but nobody would ever propose anything so unreasonable. It was a monstrous idea to accuse him of anything so horrible and base. (Applause.) He did not expect gratitude for the services he had rendered during the past six years to his constituents, but he did expect courteous treatment, and that, he ventured to say, had not been extended to him by many of whom he could have expected better things. (Applause and hisses.) He knew that freedom of election had been largely interfered with in St Andrews and other burghs. Kirk-Sessions had transformed themselves into Political Associations, the Tories being at the bottom of it. (Applause and hisses.) A paper was largely signed addressed to him St Andrews, but left blank in other places. It was in the form of a pledge, designed, or at least calculated, to operate adversely on the freedom secured by the Ballot Act. Instead of being brought to him, it was submitted to Sir Robert Anstruther to induce him to oppose his election. Many signed it without knowing its import; others because they thought it had no political significance; and others because they believed it was to be presented to him as giving faithful representation of the opinions of Churchmen. Sir Robert had now agreed to stand on account of it, and because of a subsequent requisition well. He held that if there had not been infringement of the Corrupt Practices Acts there had been very near approach to it. (Applause and hisses.) He asked them to be strong and robust Liberals, and to remember that under the Ballot Act their just rights and liberties were preserved. (Applause.) In both places votes of confidence in Mr Williamson were vigorously carried, amid loud applause and hisses.

NEW BAKING ESTABLISHMENT. THOMAS SWINTON, BARER, CELLARDYKE, respectfully informs the Public of that place and District, that he has now Opened that Shop, 25 Shore Street, Cellardyke, so long tenanted by Mr Alex. Donaldson, where he intends to carry on the Business of a BAKER in all its various branches. T. S. trusts that, by bestowing careful attention on his business, and selling Goods of the finest quality, he may receive a share of public support.


CELLARDYKE. SALE OF PROPERTY.—The fine corner shop and dwelling house in Rodger Street, so well suited for a general store, have just been acquired by Mr David Pratt, merchant, from the builder, Mr James Henderson, for fully £500.

GIVING UP BUSINESS. DAVID R. CUNNINGHAM, DRAPER, 54 JAMES STREET, CELLARDYKE, EGS to announce to his Friends and the 1/ Public generally that, owing to his going abroad, he intends GIVING UP BUSINESS in CELLARDYKE, and has commenced a CLEARING SALE. He will clear out his Whole Stock of GENERAL DRAPERY GOODS at from 20 to 30 per cent, below former prices. AN EARLY CALL IS SOLICITED. READY CASH


THE FISHING AT THE SOUTH.—Notwithstanding the severe weather, the Cellardyke boats have, on the whole done exceedingly well this week, and the telegrams to hand have been the bearers of good news so far as splendid shots and prices are concerned. The fishing up to the present will be the best for some years, and a good number of the crews have from £100 to £200. There has, however, been a great deal of destruction to gear, and this week several new nets have been sent to Yarmouth and Lowestoft by the train. It will likely be another fortnight yet ere the boats leave for home, and should moderately good weather prevail, a successful fishing is anticipated.

APPRENTICE WANTED for the TRADE. Apply JOHN BUTTERS, Merchant, Cellardyke.

A Singular Adventure – The Melbourne Mail has just brought some interesting details to the East of Fife. This is especially the case with regard to that Robinson Crusoe of our day — Captain Alex. Cunningham, late of Anstruther who, with no one so much as to turn the grindstone or blow the bellows, built and launched the tidy little trader of 70 tons, which he now navigates all alone between Swan River and the city. The little smack sailed with as many loads of timber on the 24th September. “You ought to wear a life-belt,” said’ an old Cellardyke acquaintance. William Doig to the Captain. A joyous laugh was the only answer as the mainsail filled to the breeze, and so, like a bird on the wing, the little craft flew on the moonlight sea till by-and-by the treacherous calm was succeeded by a dreadful typhoon. But the presence of mind, as well as ingenuity, of the Captain did not forsake him. His anchors were only the sport of the storm, but he prepared a novel kind of drag by fastening iron bolts into so many lengths of chain so as to hold like birds’ claws on the bottom. But where is the human arm that can fight the hurricane? And so the Captain could only wait, as the brave man waits for his doom, till he was so far roused by the clang of the breakers on the reef. He tried, as sailors say, first to stay and then to wear, but the canvas flew like gossamer out of the bolt ropes. Another lurch and the surf hissed in his ear. He turned to gaze for the last time on sea and sky, when— No !— Yes !— there, under lee of the mainsail on the starboard side, was the red buoy on Coles Bank. It was far to windward, but I can at least try, he thought, and so with an energy born of despair he threw his grapnel. A wild cheer almost escaped his lips, for singular to tell one of the claws had caught the iron ring in the neck of the buoy which, scarce breathing the while with his critical task, he drew so near as to fasten the smack securely with hawser and chain. But a new terror flashed on his mind. Was it possible that the mooring of the buoy could stand the fearful ordeal to which they were now exposed and so as one on the brink of the grave, with the spindrift flying in drenching showers over his head he waited for hours till, providentially, the gale blowing past, he recovered his tackle, and bore away on the voyage. But this is not all. He arrived in such a fortunate turn of the market as to sell his cargo at the profit of 100 per cent.

FISHERMAN’S FUNERAL IN FIFESHIRE. An understanding having been come to with the Railway Company to remove the remains of the unfortunate skipper, John Black, to Buckie with the train at half the usual expense, viz., about four guineas, the seafaring men of Cellardyke united in paying the last tribute of respect. Though some 430 men are in the meantime fishing at Yarmouth and Lowestoft, scarcely fewer than 150, from the stripling who yesterday made his first trip to sea to the veteran bent and battered with the storms of three score and ten, assembled between eight and nine a.m. yesterday on the west pier. On the coffin, which was in varnished oak, being landed from the boat Jubilee, it was touching to see so many sad and subdued faces falling in four and four into the procession, which, with slow and solemn step, walked by the Cross and the Waid Academy to the railway platform, where the melancholy burden was rested till the arrival of the first down train (9.20) for St Andrews and the north, every corner, we ought to say, being crowded with sympathising neighbours, as you could hear the stifled sob, many being all the way from Pittenweem well as Cellardyke. One of the skippers, with the cousin of the ill-fated mariner, left by the same train for Buckie, which has had its own share of calamities of late. In particular, only Saturday week a fine young man in his 23d year, Peter Hay, one of the crew the boat Maggie and Jane, was lost the River Yar, with none to give a helping hand, or even to hear his drowning cry, he perished in the night.


The Scottish Mussel and Bait Reds Commission

To-day, the Mussel and Bait Commission met in the Fishermen’s Hall, Newhaven. The Right Hon. Edward Marjoribanks, M.P., presided, and the other Commissioners were also present. The first witness examined was James Smith, Cellardyke, a fisherman, who said fishermen now experienced much greater difficulty in getting bait supplies than formerly. He thought the Government should take the mussel beds into their own hands—in the Clyde, for instance, which was a proper nursery for them. It would be much better for the fishing population if this were done, because a great many good beds had been destroyed by carelessness. As a case in point, he instanced the beds at the Eden. He did not wholly attribute the decrease of line-fishing to the scarcity of bait, although the price of it now was three times as much as it used to be.

Death of A Fife Heroine,—Another sleeper was laid in the beautiful churchyard of Kilrenny on Tuesday in the silver haired widow of Cellardyke, Mrs Elizabeth Henderson or Wilson, verging on if not over fourscore and ten. Few have done so much to sweeten the little circle around them as one who was in no idle phrase heroine in humble life. She was a native of Burntisland, not the bustling coal port it is today, but with its grass grown High Street little if at all altered since it rang with the iron tread of Cromwell, Kinghorn was the principal ferry, but boats or pinnaces were now employed—that is, if hire was to be got at Burntisland. So it is that her father was led by an errand to the pier that night he stumbled and fell in the darkness. No one heard his drowning cry, but it cut as it were the sheaf knot that held together his little household. Thus in the mysterious ways of Heaven Lizzie was led along the old coast road with hardly a bridge with the carrier’s cart every now and then sinking to the axle tree, as it was some eighty years ago, to her relatives in Cellardyke. Here in the unwinding thread of destiny she espoused the stalwart crofter who by and-by like so many others left the russet muir of Dunino to gather the harvest of the seas till smitten down in the morning of his days. The unfledged nest was not more desolate than the widow and her little ones, but she did not sit down to weep and repine. No, for, stooping to the burden, she with her back creel trudged for years from farm to farm in sunshine and rain to supply eggs and butter, or on the errand entrusted to-day to the rural postman. was a hand-to-hand conflict, with as little time for rest or leisure as in the castaway bailing for life in the rising gale, but she was content enough for her that from day to day strength was given for the journey, and that He was faithful whose promise to the widow and the fatherless faileth never. It is the poor that help the poor, as we all know ; but this was never so beautifully, so sublimely true, as in the story of Lizzie Henderson. In those dismal days in Cellardyke during the autumn of 1849, when cholera so raged that no one could tell who was to be the next victim, the late Dr Black had such confidence in her kindness and experience that she followed him like a shadow in his mission of mercy, and once and again she put forth her hand to assist the dead and the dying when the relatives had fled in terror from the spot. More than one priceless secret has died with her to the care of this and that malady. She treated sprains, &c., by a kind of sleight of hand, and there was touch of healing in her tongue which brought relief when the case had defied the most skilful and accomplished scientist. It is seldom that the pilgrimage is so long extended, but she was patient and cheerful, indeed, it was with her with the sailor on the deep, the star only grew brighter and brighter with the shadows of the night till the end came, it will sooner or later come to all. Mrs Wilson was the mother of seven children. Once and again, she saw her loved ones fade like the blossom before the north wind, but she was spared, like the matron old, to have twenty-four grandchildren, and no fewer than fifty-one great grandchildren


LEAVING FOR AUSTRALIA.—On Wednesday, Mr James Cunningham, fisherman, Cellardyke, his family, and his son-in-law, Henry Gardiner, left Anstruther station for Australia. A large number of their friends turned out to bid them farewell. Among those present were Provost Martin, Messrs H. Brown, D. Black, C. Carstairs, J. McLeod, and the other teachers at present at home of Forth Street Hall Sunday School. Previous to the train starting, the hymn ” God be with you till we meet again,” was heartily sung. Mr Cunningham replied, and thanked them for turning out to wish him and his family good-bye. He sincerely re-echoed the wish of the hymn just sung.

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