The Cellardyke Echo – 8/2/24 – Issue 429


A few days since, a one pound bank note was in circulation here, which had the following quaint couplet written its back :—

“You came to me in time of need,
But off you went with railway speed.”


Small Debt Court, Cupar.—The fortnightlyDebt Court was held here on Thursday—Sheriff Taylor presiding. There were only a dozen cases on the roll, none of which possessed any points of interest or importance. The only case worth noticing was that of Hatch vs. Skinner, which the pursuer sued the defender, who is a grocer Cellardyke, for £8 15s, being the price a quantity of soap which, it was alleged, had been bought by the defender. The defence was that the soap was not according to sample, and such that the defender could not sell some of his customers returning it to him, after having purchased it…………. The Sheriff seemed prepared to give judgment in favour of the defender, but on the motion of the pursuer’s agent, who took to pay the defender’s expenses to Cupar, the case was remitted to the Small Debt Colinsburgh.



Narrow Escape of a Fishing Boat.
-On Thursday morning, as the boat of which Mr Alex. Fowler is skipper and owner was attempting to enter the Harbour, a heavy sea running at the time, and the tide being more than at half ebb, she struck on the dangerous ledges of rocks which obstruct the fairway. The rudder was knocked away, by which the boat was rendered unmanageable amongst the heavy surf. Fortunately the accident occurred at a time when, assistance was abundant, and a small coble was immediately  launched to render the needful aid, and a rope having  been conveyed from the pier to the boat, she was soon drawn into safety.


Meeting of Fishermen.— On Friday evening last, a meeting of the fishermen of Cellardyke was convened by the town crier, and held in the Female School there. Nearly all the fishermen attended, and Mr Alexander Tarvit was elected to the chair, on taking which he stated that the meeting had been called to consider the advisability of having a suitable boat or coble stationed at Anstruther harbour to be ready for use in the event of any emergency. All present appeared to concur in the desirableness of the project, and it was all but unanimously agreed that the sum of 2s should be weekly contributed by each boat now prosecuting the herring fishing, the sum being continued for three weeks, when a total sum of about £18 would be collected — the estimate expense of the boat. A committee was appointed to meet with the Commissioners of the Union and Harbour as to the obtaining of a proper place to deposit the boat when not re- quired, and also to solicit them to use their best exertions to have a Manby Apparatus Station at Anstruther —a suggestion which, by the way, we earnestly urged a few weeks ago. In the course of the proceedings, the present by no means unreasonable dissatisfaction of the fishermen, was manifested at the ruinous state of the Anstruther Harbour works. The business then terminated with a vote of thanks to the Chairman. We cannot conclude this notice without expressing our sincere admiration of the praiseworthy spirit of self- help which on this, as indeed on all other occasions, so eminently distinguishes our fishermen; and we earnestly hope that their exemplary conduct will be appreciated as it ought to be by the Union and Harbour Commissioners, and that every encouragement and support will be afforded for the successful carrying out of these most desirable schemes.


One week later


The Clerk then stated that he had been waited upon by a deputation from the Cellardyke fishermen regarding a site for a wooden house for a coble 29 feet long and 9 feet broad, to be used in cases of emergency; and also that the Commission should use their influence to have a rocket apparatus stationed at Anstruther. The Board unanimously agreed to grant a site at the road leading from the Forth, and contiguous to the back of the East Pier; and the Clerk was instructed to communicate with Lieutenant Bainbridge, R.N., Elie, in order that an application might be lodged in due form with the Board of Trade.




Sad News. —The distressing intelligence has this week been received of the death, at Shanghai, of dysentery, on the 9th August, of a fine young man, belonging to this place, of the name of Alex. Smith, son of Captain Wm. Smith, of Cellardyke. The unfortunate young man was a seaman board the ship Neville, of Liverpool, which was then lying in port. The deceased was of quiet, kindly disposition and bore an excellent character ; and the intelligence of his death has been received here with sincere sorrow and regret.


Sale of Property.—On Saturday, the property consisting of a dwelling-house and yard, situated in Urquhart Wynd, Cellardyke, which was possessed by the late Janet Anderson, merchant, was exposed for sale by public auction in the Town Hall there. The property was set up at £150, but after a most keen and exciting competition between two offerers, it was knocked down to Mr William Fowler, land labourer, for £215.


Tea Meeting. –On Saturday evening, the members of the Cellardyke Total Abstinence Society held their usual monthly meeting, when there were about forty present—Mr Robert Brown, fisherman, in the chair. After partaking of tea and the other etcetera’s, Mr Macdonald, coast missionary, and others, addressed the meeting in a very pointed and friendly manner, which was wall calculated to enlist without wearying the attention of the hearers. Altogether the proceedings were of such a character as to fully realise the object of the meetings, which is to prove that cheerful and profitable enjoyment can be obtained, and the social feelings of our nature fully gratified, without resorting to ardent spirits, which in numberless cases can traced as the fell source of misery and ruin.



Assault by a Fisherman — At a Burgh Court held here on Tuesday—Provost Todd on the bench- Robert Stevenson, fisherman, belonging to Newhaven, but presently residing in Cellardyke, was charged with having committed an assault upon Thomas Tarvit, boat skipper, Cellardyke. by striking him blow with his fist upon the face to the effusion of blood and the serious injury of the person of the said Thomas Tarvit, on the morning of the same day. From what was contained in the indictment, it appeared that Stevenson was one of Thomas Tarvit’s crew, and that, while the boat was lying near the east pier at the time in question, he (the panel) had quarrelled with Robert Birrell another of the crew, which induced the skipper to interfere to preserve order, when he had been assaulted, as set forth in the charge. The panel pleaded guilty, but stated that he had been struck three or four times by Thomas Tarvit, who, he said, was as bad as himself. The Procurator-Fiscal said that he would examine into the case, with the view of prosecuting Thomas Tarvit if the complaint was well founded. The Provost then proceeded to pass sentence, by which Stevenson was fined in the sum of 15s, with the alternative of fifteen days’ imprisonment in Cupar jail. The fine was paid.


Amusing Scene in Burgh Court,—At a Burgh Court held here on Thursday— Provost Todd on the Bench—John Parker, fisherman, was charged with having committed an assault on Mr John Kerr, manager of the Anstruther and Leith Steam Shipping Company, by striking him on the head with a boathook on Saturday afternoon last. The panel pleaded not guilty, when Mr Kerr was called and deponed that while he was standing on the West Pier, Parker, who was on board of a boat, struck him, without any provocation, on the side of the head with a boathook. The blow was not so severe as to break the skin, but he felt it smart at the time, and still continued to do so although slightly. (Great uproar was here manifested in the Court.) William Nelson, jun.. carter, corroborated the above evidence. Mr John Dougall, teacher, West Anstruther, deponed to having seen Mr Kerr struck, but he was not prepared to say whether intentional or unintentional on Parker’s part. This closed the evidence for the prosecution, when witnesses were heard for the defence. The first of these was Mr John Burns of the Coastguard, who said that he was so busy the time that did not see what was going on. He heard Parker swearing, at the same time he was aware that the panel had “had a glass,” although he did not think he was incapable of knowing what he was about. Mr George Greig, also of the Coastguard, said that he was not present at the time when the assault was alleged to have been committed, and he therefore could not say anything about it. James Moncrieff, fisherman, Cellardyke, next came forward, but as he admitted to having been present in the Court, his evidence was not heard. Thomas Muir, another fisherman, deponed that he saw and heard everything that passed. He had also been struck with the boathook by Parker, who, in his opinion, could not help doing what he did. Like other fishermen when using a boathook to push off their boat, Parker was all in ” hurry skurry.” When asked by the bench if he heard the panel swearing, the witness replied that ” Parker was doing nothing but speaking ordinary words in the auld use-and-wont way, just as fishermen dae at sic times.” (Roars of laughter in the Court.) The panel having asked and obtained leave to make a statement, he went on to say if he had struck Mr Kerr, which he was quite unaware of doing at the time, he had done so without the
least intention or malice. He was the last man in the world to hurt anybody. He  was quite sure had not done “so in this case; for, although Mr Kerr’s head had been fu’ o’ lice, the stroke would not have crackit the taes o’ ony o’ them.” (Uproarious laughter.) The Provost having taken some time consider the evidence, said that, although he considered the fact of Mr Kerr being struck fully established, yet as he had no reason to think that it was dealt in malice, and, besides, as it was the first time that the panel had come before the Court, h (the Provost) considered that the ends of justice would be sufficiently served by warning him be more careful in future. Parker was accordingly dismissed from the bar. The Court was densely filled with fishermen, to whom the proceedings and the finding of the Provost appeared to be the cause of the highest satisfaction.



Chapter of Sea Accidents- On Friday afternoon, while the fleet was leaving for the fishing ground, and as sail was being hoisted on th Cellardyke boat owned by skipper Leslie Brown, which had little more tha cleared the harbour, she was run into by the steam-lighter Hemaja, employed at the new harbour works. The sharp iron prow of the steamer cut through the gunwale and several planks of the boat, which compelled the crew put back to  mthe harbour, and so lose their fishing for the night. That the vessel was in the fault may be inferred from the fact that the carpenters employed at the new harbour were set to work next day to repair the damage sustained by the boat, but we hear that the claim for compensation for the loss of the night’s fishing, to which the crew consider they have right, is not yet arranged. On Saturday morning as the St Monance boat under the charge of Mr David Ovenstone, was attempting to cross the bows of the Largo boat belonging to Mr .James Gillies, which had just tacked for Anstruther harbour, a collision took place in consequence of the latter having gained headway sooner than the master of the St Monance boat anticipated. The occurrence took place in the offing of the Billowness, but the St Monance boat although considerably damaged was able to reach the shore in safety. We understand that claim has been made upon the Largo boat for one half of the repairs which were required by the St Monance boat, but the owner has declined to agree to it. Neither of the boats are said to have had their lights exhibited, a circumstance which, true, would tell against both parties in a court of law.


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