The cellardyke Echo – 13/01/2022 – Issue 322


ELIE. Return Football Match.

On Saturday, the Elie United met on their ground the Bluejacket team from Cellardyke. Elie won the toss but the Bluejackets pressed them hard during the first half, scoring 3 goals to Elie nil. In the second half the game was easier played, but the Blues again carried off the goals, securing a second 3 to 0, and claimed a fourth goal. Play, on the part of the strangers particularly, was rough, and some of the Elie team had to betake themselves to bed to recruit.


The Late Mr John Anderson —Mr John Anderson, of the Forth Tavern, who has been unwell for several months, died at his house on Monday morning, within four days of his 69th  year. Deceased was a native of Cellardyke, and began life as a grocer. He commenced business for himself at the Bridge 46 years ago, and used the Stenters as his bottling establishment, where he carried on a large trade. He changed from there to the harbour head 26 years ago, sometime after the erection of the new harbour had commenced. He remained theres ever since, but the expectations entertained by himself and so many others as to the prosperity of Anstruther being vastly increased by the harbour were never realised, nor from present appearances are ever likely to be. Mr Anderson kept up a life-lung correspondence with the Rev. Mr Ferrie in America, who was at one time minister of Kilconquhar, but came out at the Disruption in 1843, It was only last year that he raised a jubilee testimonial to Mr Ferris, who still lives and carries on his ministerial labours. The funeral took place on Wednesday to Kilrenny Churchyard, and was largely attended.

At Dunfermline Poultry show last week, Alex. Drysdale, Anstruther, obtained third and fourth tickets in the owl class, and at Forfar was also successful in gaining a third card. R. A. Fowler, Cellardyke, was first at Leslie in the Hamburgh class, and John Butters third at the same show with a turbit in turbit and owl class.

Anstruther harbour board – It was agreed to accept the offer of £15 by a Port Essie skipper for the deep sea boat, “John Bunyan,” KY 1197 of Cellardyke, which has been lying in the harbour since the death of the owner, and to restrict the claim to £6, paying the balance to the widow.  (Duncan McRuvie was the skipper/owner in 1889)


At a special meeting of Cellardyke Parochial Board on Saturday, Dr Wilson, Elm Lodge, was appointed medical officer of the parish by 26 votes against 25 for Dr Ferguson.

THE APPOINTMENT OF A MEDICAL OFFICER – -The election of a medical officer at Cellardyke last Saturday, for the parish of Kilrenny, shows how much keen and partisan feeling can be exhibited in an appointment of this kind. People seem to have as strong feelings for their doctors as they have for their ministers, for the meeting brought out some who never take the trouble to bother themselves about the administration the Poor Law except when they have a special end to serve in the spoils of office being given to some personal friend or relative. Apart altogether, however, from the appointment which has been made, it does seem strange that when the Cellardyke members got the chance of getting a medical officer for themselves only, and not one holding the same offices in other parishes, they should not have been anxious to have stipulated for this. It is patent to all that the poor would have been better looked after by one medical gentleman confined to the parish, than by one who is the officer for three or four parishes. But apparently partisan feeling is too strong in some people to look at what is best for the interests of the poor of the parish. It is a miserable excuse, but is the only one that can be traceable from the action of the majority.



The annual reunion of this school took place on Monday night—Provost Martin presiding. His remarks, full of exhortation and advice, contained also a hopeful report on the state of the school and the work. The number on the roll was 230, and the average attendance 200. The repetition of the fifty-two texts learned in the course of the year had resulted in thirty-five managing without one mistake, and thirteen failing in two. The teaching staff numbered thirty. The Young Men and Women’s Bible Class was flourishing, and an average of 70 now attended. There had been over £92 collected for mission purposes, and, taking the year altogether, it had been prosperous. The Rev. Messrs Macalpine, Anderson, and Gregory also delivered appropriate addresses, while the choir rendered sacred pieces during the evening. The usual compliments to the Chairman, kn., terminated the meeting.

A very curious incident is reported to us from the East Neuk. A young woman was proceeding along one of the streets Cellardyke on some message when a gallant, with the intention having some fun, let fly a snowball. It struck the young woman on the cheek, and she turned, no doubt, highly indignant at the insult. This was, however, speedily changed into triumphant laugh, for she found embedded amongst the snow stuck on her face silver sixpence. It is not said the thrower intended the gift.

Intimation has been received that the three inspectors, who are to take evidence of Scottish fishermen on the subject of Irish South Coast Fisheries, are to hold an inquiry in Cellardyke Town Hall, on Tuesday, 31st  instant, at 12.30 These inquiries are being held by the Irish Fisheries Inspectors in pursuance of a request of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to whom the Inspectors will report on the completion of their inquiries in Scotland on the subject of the evidence tendered by the fishermen in connection with the early herring fishing in the Irish South Coast waters, and the effect of such fishing on the Irish mackerel fishing industry. From the fishermen’s point of view these inquiries are of a very important nature.


Crail New Years Day – At night a ball was carried through with great glee in the Town Hall dancing being indulged in till well on in the morning. The only other thing in the nature of an entertainment was the conduct of several fishermen, said to be from Cellardyke, who were very much the worse of drink, and made sad exhibitions of themselves on the streets, not a few being bespattered with mud, from the face downwards. One worse than his chums had evidently been interviewing the metal on the roads, and had got a poor reception, judging from the blood and dirt about him. But for this invasion the town would have been quite dull.

The steamers had gone out on Thursday, and now returned. Captain Lyall, seeing the heavy sea sweeping over the east pier, and knowing how quickly the waves would master any vessel caught broadside on, hoisted a signal for them to stand off. The Maggie Lauder was twice put to the entrance, but Skipper Sheriff eventually steered for Leith. A little later the Tennant hove in sight, and made straight for Anstruther. Although the flag might not have stopped her, the sight of the waves, which every instant rose high over the piers and rolled away to the west, showed the great danger, and Skipper Gourlay followed the example the Maggie. The shots were small, and, as they managed one trip, the earnings were not high. Only one boat came into Anstruther—the Resolute—landing fifteen crans at 13s each.

A new impetus was given to the fishing on Monday. All the boats were out, and nearly two hundred lights might have been descried between Fidra and Methil, the favoured spot at present. On the following morning fifty boats were back with the first tide. The demand for bait took away a few crans at 20s each. A fair quantity was sold at 15s to 19s. In the afternoon ten boats landed average of seven crans, and these drew 12s each. Nor did the returns of Wednesday prove less encouraging. The average was not so high, but the fishing was general. In the afternoon the wind was light and baffling, so that the task of getting out was very tedious. Only about a score managed it, they had a long tack ere they could reach the shoals. They returned well fished, but now the price had fallen to 8s. The wind was so high on Thursday that no boats left the harbour.

The liners have now a plentiful supply of bait close at hand. They have not been able to get far to sea yet, and the takes are small. The Anster Fair made a couple of trips, grossing £49, the Edith £26, the Maggie £5 for one shot, the Rob £11, the Tennant £12, and the Effort £5.

On Tuesday the Jeannie Wood, of Cellardyke, came sweeping through the inner entrance with much speed that she ran into the Lady James and damaged her stern. The schooner was not ready for sea, and so Mr Jarvis has been able to repair her ere the cargo of potatoes was completed. The damage will be within £5.

The Cellardyke Echo – 6/1/2022 – Issue 321


Under will of the late Mr John Williamson, late of Claughton Grange, Birkenhead, native of Cellardyke, the sum of £200 has been left for distribution among the deserving poor and West Anstruther, Cellardyke, and Kilrenny. (The total he left was £111, 779 modern day equivalent £9,943,171.97) £20, 000 was left to Birkenhead council which eventually went to the Art Gallery and museum mentioned last week

The public school was re-opened on Tuesday.

Private N. Bowman, stretcher – bearer, 1/7th  Black Watch, arrived home from France on Saturday for a few days ‘furlough. He declares himself to be as tit as a fiddle.

Vital Statistics.-The births registered for 1915 numbered 47, the deaths 25, and the marriages 10. Of the deaths notified, 7 were between the ages of 70 and 80, and 4 between the ages of 80 and 90.

The New Year. Christmas, 1915, will be remembered chiefly on account of the wretched climatic conditions which pre vailed, and the New Year was ushered in by weather of the same disagreeable nature. On Friday forenoon, the young folks kept alive the old custom of going round for their “cakes,” and in Cellardyke in particular, the bakers and grocers had any number of these youthful “customers,” whose appetite for “penticuts” and other seasonable dainties seemed insatiable. But while the custom was fully observed, the old rhyme which used to be sung on these occasions has disappeared. So far as memory serves, it used to run something like this:-

Ma feet’s cauld, ma shoon’s thin;

Gie’s ma cakes and lat me rin.

and used to be chanted by the youngsters when going their rounds of the merchant. The district was busier on Friday than it had been for some time. A good many of the crews of patrol boats had obtained leave; there was also a fair sprinkling of soldiers also home, while natives working in other parts of the country had arrived home for a few days. The heavy rain which fell frequently throughout the day kept most folk indoors, while in the evening, when the lighting restrictions began to apply, the streets were ‘still further emptied, and it was a quiet, old year’s night, indeed. In happier days a goodly crowd could be reckoned on to patrol the streets, waiting until midnight struck before starting first footing operations, but this year the crowd were absent and first footers few and far between. The year that is gone never had so quiet passing as was the case on Friday. On New Year’s Day, a good many left the town, the traffic at the station was pretty heavy, although the weather again proved the deciding factor with many others, who elected to “keep the home fires burning,” and spend the day visiting friends in the town. Monday was also a holiday with many of the merchants. An improvement had taken place in the weather, and the morning trains to Edinburgh and Dundee ran very heavy.


………………..” Scottish Drifters and Mine-Sweepers. ” Aye, there’s plenty Scotch drifters here, sir,” replied brawny, sandy-bearded son of the sea to a naval officer who sought to gratify a desire I had expressed to visit some of the many trawlers and drifters in the Dover command. Their task is the hazardous one of clearing our sea routes of the mine peril and setting traps for bigger fish than the hardy toilers of the deep ever dreamt of the piping days of peace. Of the many branches of the fighting service none have greater achievements to their credit or won higher admiration. A great proportion of the heroes who man this type of craft hail from the fishing villages and towns on the East Coast. Scotland has brilliant record both in respect of the numbers and the sterling qualities of the men she has contributed for this special work.

“Do you belong to one of the Scotch boats?” asked my gold-braided guide.

“I’m fae Pittenweem, sir,” said the fisherman proudly.

We were standing on the quay at particular corner of the dock, which, with its forest of masts and spars, in some respects resembled the familiar scenes at big trawling port. But the fish odour was absent. Sandy and Tam themselves have undergone a complete transformation. Mine-sweeper “in letters of gold adorns many of the caps, while the skippers of the little craft have blossomed out into regular “brass bounders.” The naval badge, with its silver anchor, laurel leaves, and golden crown, adorns the caps they wear jauntily on the head, and some of the gallant skippers are now to be seen with the broad gold braid on their uniform distinguishes them as commissioned officers in His Majesty’s Navy.

A Renowned Fishing Village.

My guide made several futile attempts to grasp the name of Sandy’s native village. The skipper’s astonishment became more and more marked as each repetition of Pittenweem” met with no comprehensive response. Ultimately I relieved an embarrassing situation by explaining that Sandy hailed from one of the renowned fishing villages in the Kingdom of Fife, and expressing the wish that he would show us over his lugger. With true Scottish caution the skipper first satisfied himself as to my credentials.

Then, walking from deck to deck of the drifters moored abreast, we ultimately arrived on the Azrael, of Pittenweem, a spick-and-span little craft with the White Ensign flying proudly from the masthead. On the deck were appurtenances for the catching of hostile submarines and the laying of mines. It is inexpedient at the moment to describe the various methods adopted by the drifters and mine-sweepers in connection with their work. Suffice it say that they lack neither ingenuity nor imagination. Obligations of secrecy also prevent any details being given as to their success. The full history of their work must remain a closed book till the war is ended.

The life of those brave and daring crews who keep watch and ward in the Channel, clear our sea routes of the mine peril, and distinguish themselves in the strafing of enemy under-water craft is full of thrills, and of deeds of heroism and self-sacrifice.

“They are great men,” remarked a lieutenant of one of the drifter patrols, “They handle the things if they were lumps of coal, and they stick at nothing.”

Arbroath and Cellardyke Boats.

“That’s the Violet 11., of Cellardyke, Iyin’ there.” said the skipper, pointing to another craft. “It wis mentioned in despatches for observation work aff Zeebrugge. The Calceolaria is anither o’ the boats fae Pittenweem. That boat at the ither side o’ the dock belangs tae Arbroath, the Good Friend. Her crew had a share o’ the prize-money an English boat in her diveesion got fur catchin’ a German submarine in the nets. If a boat in diveesion_ catches a submarine, the money that boat’s crew git is divided amang a’ the ithers in the diveesion.”

I asked the skipper if he was not longing to get back to Pittenweem. “I wis there; last week, but,” he added, determinedly, “maun see this thing through tae the feenish afore tak’ tae the fishin’ again.”

The spirit of the Pittenweem skipper is that which animates the whole of those brave fishermen who are now playing noble part in the work of the Dover Patrol. “Have you a copy of Burns to read in the cabin?” asked a Scot who accompanied me. “Na,” laughingly replied the skipper. “We dinna git much time for readin’. Six hoors on an’ aff.” As we parted my friend assured Sandy that at any rate the deficiency in the cabin library so far as the works of the National Bard were concerned would be made good immediately on his return to town.


DEATH OF FORMER ANSTRUTHER HARBOURMASTER. One of the oldest and best known fishermen on the East Coast was Mr Martin Gardner, Cellardyke, who has just died at the age of 82. Throughout his life he had been closely associated with the fishing industry. He manifested a keen interest in public affairs, being for some time a member of Kilrenny Town Council, and till quite recently also member of the Parish Council. He was also for a time Harbourmaster at Anstruther. He was the oldest elder in Cellardyke Parish Church, and was also one of the oldest members of the St Ayles Lodge (No 95) of Freemasons

The Cellardyke Echo – 30/12/2021 – Issue 320


Mr Robert Ray, son of the Rev James Ray, has just returned from South Africa. It is his intention to offer his services in some capacity to the authorities.

It is now generally known that one of our local drifters, operating in the Mediterranean, was instrumental in saving the lives of 390 of the passengers on board the emigrant ship Ancona, torpedoed by the Austrians.

Information came to the town on Friday that Private James Dick, 1/7th Black Watch, had been severely wounded while coming out of the trenches recently. He is now lying at the Base Hospital. Private Dick is the son of Mr John  Dick, fishermen, Urquhart Wynd.

Cellardyke Native’s Career


Last week we briefly commented on the death of Mr John Williamson, J.P., and the following sketch of his career is taken from a current issue of the “Journal of Commerce,” Liverpool;

A familiar figure in Liverpool shipping circles has been removed by the death of Mr John Williamson, J.P., of Claughton, Grange, Birkenhead, after a lengthy illness extending about twelve months. Mr Williamson was a prominent shipowner, having established the sailing-ship firm of Williamson, Milligan & Co., which, some 30 years ago, was one of the largest sailing-ship owning firms in the country. He was. also an ex-director and deputy Chairman of the Cunard Line, an ex-member of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, and closely associated with the numerous associations and institutions which are working for, and interested in, the development and progress of the shipping trade of the port. Mr Williamson was of a very kindly and genial disposition, and his philanthropy was very bountiful, but of such a character that none but himself knew to what a great extent it reached. He was a most conspicuous figure; on account of an accident which befell him when 14 years of age he was lame for the remainder of his life, and had to depend on crutches. It appears that while on visit to his grandfather’s house, boylike, he was climbing up a flagpole apparently depending upon the flag halyards for his support when, unfortunately these carried away and he came down to the ground from a good distance, so severely injuring his knee that he was maimed for life. He, however, did not allow this physical disability to hamper him in his career, for, being blessed with a strong measure of determination and energy he devoted himself ungrudgingly to business, and so successful did he become that he secured many of the prominent positions which it is possible for the shipowner and merchant to occupy.

The deceased gentleman was born at Cellardyke, and, like his brother, the late Mr Stephen Williamson, was educated at the Anstruther Burgh School and Madras College, St Andrews. Their grandfather was a shipowner, farmer, and maltster. Their father at first followed the sea, and eventually commanded a brig belonging to his father, but afterwards settled ashore as a shipowner.

Mr Williamson came to Liverpool in 1849 and began his business life at 20 years of age. He could look back on a long career of active and successful work, his most notable work, in addition to tint connected with his own firm of Messrs Williamson, Milligan & Co., shipowners and merchants, of Preeson’s Row, Liverpool, of which he was the founder in connection with the late Mr W. C. A. Milligan (which has been some years extinct,) and Milligan & Wilson, of Buenos Ayres, was a director and deputy-chairman of the Cunard Line. It was in this connection that he was better known in shipping circles of Liverpool. He became a director of the Cunard Line at its formation as a public concern in 1880, and remained on the directorate until 1902. During his long association with the Cunard Company, Mr Williamson witnessed many changes in ship construction. The evolution of the steamship while he was on the board covered the building of such giants in their day as the Semis, Umbria, Campania, Saxonia, Ivernia, as well as the laying down of the Coronia. Carmania, and the preparation for the plans of the Lusitania and Mauretania. When leaving the directorate after 23 years’ indefatigable and useful service he was, with the exception of Mr Beavan, the only one who had held office in that capacity from the company’s formation. On his retirement, he was presented with a beautiful silver gilt bowl by his co-directors and a massive silver-plated loving cup with double handles mounted on an ebony stand, the cup hearing the following inscription : “Presented to Mr John Williamson, J.P., on his retirement from the board of the Cunard Company after upwards of 22 years’ close association with the management of the Company, by the undermentioned heads of departments and Commanders of Cunard ships, etc., as a small but very sincere token of their esteem and affection.—December 31, 1902.”

Mr Williamson was elected a member of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board in 1878, and served on the Warehouse, Traffic, Pilotage, Marine, and the Docks and Quays Committees, and was Chairman of the Special Committee which was appointed to inquire into railway charges. He did not seek re-election in 1889. During his association with the Dock Board he took a leading part in connection with the dredging of the bar and other important matters vital to the interests of the port He was a member of the Committee of the Liverpool Shipowners’ Association for a long time and it’s Chairman for some years. Mr Williamson was a member of the Committee of the Shipowners’ Mutual Indemnity Association, and was one of the leading founders of the Association, and was one of its Chairmen.

On his retirement, he was the recipient of a handsome silver cup as a mark of the esteem and respect of his colleagues. He was also a member of the Committee of the Chamber of Shipping of the United Kingdom from its commencement, and one of the leading founders; was its first Vice-President, and the second year its President. On that occasion, and for many years after, he submitted statistical tables bearing on the relation of tonnage to exports and imports, which were so much appreciated by the Chamber that they appointed him a member for life—the only such honour conferred by the Chamber.

For many years he was on the Committee of Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, London and Liverpool, and for some time the Chairman of the Liverpool Underwriters’ Association, and was honorary secretary to the Committee of inquiry into the condition of the merchant seamen from 1870 to 1880, when its labours ceased after accomplishing good and useful work. Mr Williamson was also on the Committee of the school ship Conway for a long period, and for some its Chairman, and also on the Marine Board for some time. Mr Williamson was a director of the Standard Marine Insurance Company, since its formation, and for many years its Chairman, and was a director for some years of the Asiatic and Eastern Steamship Company. Besides, he acted in connection with many other associations and committees, in deputations to Board of Trade, Admiralty, etc. In public and private life he was an indefatigable worker, and his life was a useful and valuable one to the community. He had resided in Birkenhead from 1850, and was perhaps the oldest ferry contractor at Woodside. He was for some time one of the Birkenhead Commissioners, but did not enter the Council on the incorporation of the borough. He was one of the first batch of Magistrates appointed, and always took a hearty interest in the affairs of the borough, having been presented to His Majesty the King in March, 1914. He was about 40 years on the Committee of the Schools of Science and Art, and for a long time its Chairman, and took a prominent part in getting the Corporation to take over the schools and work them; the result justified this action. He was also for a long period on the Committee of the Albert Memorial Industrial Schools. It was one of Mr Williamson’s usual and daily customs not to take luncheon, but to abstain from food from the time he partook of breakfast until dinner in the evening. He was a moderate smoker and a temperate man, but not a teetotaller. Mr Williamson was probably one of the oldest subscribers to “The East of Fife Record.” He leaves one surviving son.

The Cellardyke Echo – 23/12/21 – Issue 319


FOR SALE, By Private Bargain,

Steam Drifter WHITE CROSS KY 571. Built at Anstruther …. after Lloyds’ Special Survey. Length 90 feet: Beam 19 ft. 2ins, Depth 9 ft. 7 ins. Compound surface condensing Engine. Cylinders14x 29 x20 stroke.

New Boiler and Casing 1907.

This vessel is in very good order, and is presently lying in Alloa. Private Offers to be lodged with W. S. BONTHRON. Anstruther, on or before 14th Jan., 1911.

THE BOAT, HENRY REID, KY. 657, for Sale. Apply D. BOYTER or THOMAS REID, Shore Street, Cellardyke.

One hundred and fifty fishermen are at present attending the Fife Committee’s navigation classes at Anstruther Cellardyke, and St Monans. The teachers are supplied by the Dundee Technical Institute.

A distressing case of suicide was brought to light on Tuesday morning at West Forth Street, Cellardyke, when James Watson (51), fisherman, was found dead in a loft or garret, hanging from one of the rafters. It seems that Watson’s nonappearance at breakfast roused alarm in his household, and a search was made for him. It was noticed that the key of the loft was missing, and his son-in-law entering it found the unfortunate man’s suspended from the rafters. Medical aid was called, but life had been extinct for several hours.


Sale of Steam Drifter

The steam drifter Scot, WK. 608, belonging to Messrs George and David Cormack, has just been sold to Henry Bett, fisherman. Cellardyke. Fifeshire. The Scot was built for the Messrs Cormack by the Smith Dock Cov., North Shields, in 1893. The new owner, Mr Bett, already owns the K.Y. steamer Breadwinner. The Scot was taken to Anstruther on Wednesday.  ( incorrect build date it was 1903)

PARISH COUNCIL.—Rev. Mr Ray and Messrs Leslie and Barbour were the members present at a meeting of the Parish Council held last Friday. On the motion of Mr Barbour, seconded by Mr Leslie, Mr Ray was appointed Chairman for the ensuing year. Mr Ray thanked the members for his re-appointment, and said he would, as before, do what he could for the interest of the town. The various committees were then appointed. Reporting on the conference held with East Anstruther Parish Council, the Chairman stated that they had a very pleasant talk with the Anstruther members on the subject of a joint purchase for vagrants, and, as was already known, it was unanimously agreed that each Council should provide a room in their own Parish, the room in Anstruther to serve males, and the room in Cellardyke for females, the expense to be borne equally by the two Councils. West Anstruther had been asked to join in the scheme, but he understood that they had refused to do so. The next thing for the Council to do was to consider the question of renting a house suitable for their purpose. Mr Ray mentioned two properties, one James Street and one in West Forth Street, either of which might be adapted to suit the Council’s requirements. On the suggestion of Mr Barbour, it was agreed to leave the matter in the hands of a committee, with full powers to obtain a lease of the property thought most suitable. It was agreed to make the usual distribution of coal to the poor.


At a meeting Cellardyke Fishermen’s Benefit Society the following were elected Directors Messrs Robert Murray, James Martin. Leslie Henderson, William Sutherland, Thomas Murray. John Carstairs, and John Murray. The treasurer reported that the funds on hand amounted to £1426, while the membership stood at 118.

Fife Fishermen and Herring Trawling.—Mr Bertram Dunbar, Secretary of the East Coast Fisheries Association, addressed a large meeting of Cellardyke fishermen on the question of trawling for herring. He pointed out that after pegging away at the Government, the Association had at last got a Departmental Committee to inquire into the latest development of the destructive trawl. Trawling for herring was a monstrous evil which was threatening the herring fishing with absolute ruin. Not only were large quantities of immature herring destroyed by the trawl, but this murderous form of fishing also destroyed the herring spawning grounds, and did incalculable injury to the herring. The only remedy was total prohibition, and this could only be done satisfactorily by international agreement. The Government should be pressed to call an urgent conference of the Powers, arid by unanimous agreement take immediate steps to stop the barbarous trawling for herring. Mr Martin Gardner, Cellardyke, suggested to ask every skipper to hand in the names of his crew for membership of the Association, and this suggestion was unanimously agreed to.


On Friday afternoon Robert McRuvie was presented with the Royal Humane Society’s Parchment in recognition of him bravery in saving life of a little boy, Alexander Pattie, on first August last.

Provost Black presided over a well-attended meeting held in the Council Chamber. Bailies Butters and Marr, Rev James Ray, Rev. A N Scott, Mr C. H. Maxwell and others were present.

The Provost said he was very pleased to see a good turn out to do honour to one of their fellow townsmen. He was sure he spoke the minds of all when he said they were very prowd of Mr McRuvie. (Applause) It was often asserted that the spirit of bravery and of daring was passing away, that the present generations was not so brave as former generations. He had had on occasions before to present similar diplomas to different men, and he for one believed that the present generation was as reedy to do brave deeds as any previous generation. He believed Mr McRuvie was a descendant of old Malcolm McRuvie who fought in the battle of Trafalgar, and they found that he had been as ready to risk his life as was his forefather. (Applause.) The Provost then recalled the facts of the rescue effect, by Mr McRuvie, how he jumped into the water with his heavy sea boots on and pulled out the little boy. There was 12 feet of water at the time, and but for Mr McRuvie’s prompt action there was no doubt but that the lad would have been drowned. The Provost then read the Parchment, and in handing it over said that should the occasion again arise, Mr McRuvie would be found ready. (Applause.)

Mr McRuvie said he was not accustomed to public speaking, but be wished to thank the Sergeant of Police for forwarding the report to the proper authorities. (Applause.)

Rev. Mr Ray, in response to an invitation by the Provost, said he was very pleased to be present and to know that another Cellardyke man had proved himself a brave man. He desired to associate himself with all that the Provost had said. Mr McRuvie had done honour to himself and honour to Cellardyke, and as Minister of Cellardyke he felt that some of the honour had fallen upon him. He therefore congratulated Mr McRuvie on having saved a child’s life. He thought it very desirable that every fisherman should be able to swim. Some time ago there was a little talk about the institution of a swimming bath, but as he was not a member of the School Board he did not know whether anything had been done. He thought it would be an excellent thing to have a swimming pond if it were at all practicable, it would be a very good thing for children to learn the art of swimming. He had no doubt that many valuable lives would have been saved in the past had swimming been taught to fishermen. He again congratulated Mr McRuvie and hoped they would always find men in Cellardyke ready to risk their lives to save the lives of others. (Applause.)

The Provost also agreed with Mr Ray that every fisherman should learn to swim. He considered that the provision of a bathing pond could be easily carried out. He then called upon Mr Noble Scott.

Rev. Mr Noble Scott said he thought It was an occasion for shouting rather than for speaking. Such an occasion as this kindled enthusiasm and gladdened the heart. He congratulated Mr McRuvie but was sure that had he been accustomed to public speaking, he would have be to the first to say that many another man in Cellardyke would have done the same. (Applause.) He considered that any lad could learn to swim very easily. They had the whole sea at their doors and the art could be so easily acquired. He know of no better exercise and pleasure than swimming, and was proud to say he was once able to save the life of the man who had taught him to swim. As he had said, he thought the occasion more fitting for a shout than for a speech, and if the Provost called for three cheers he would join in heartily. (Applause.)

On the call of the Provost, three very hearty cheers were given for Mr McRuvie, and a similar compliment was paid to the Provost for presiding.


The Merchants of Cellardyke will observe THURSDAY and FRIDAY 1st and 2nd January, as New Year’s Holidays.

To he sold by public roup at the Middle Pier Anstruther, on Saturday first, 20th December, the following fishing gear belonging to the late Mr THOMAS TARVIT. Cellardyke:—10 White Nets, 5 Lines, and 1 Bait Net. Sale to commence at 2 o’clock afternoon. W. S. BONTHRON, Auctioneer.


MR DAVID PRATT, son of Mr Alex. Pratt, Ellice Street, has just received his commission as Second Lieutenant in the H.L.I., and proceeds south this week. Mr Pratt has been a couple of years attached to the O.T.C. of St. Andreas University.

Grocer Fined

With his face terribly bruised, and so frail that he had to be assisted to stand from the dock when he appeared before Sherriff Armour-Hannay is Cupar Sheriff Court, on Tuesday. Walter Myles grocer, 26 John Street, Cellardyke, did not appear capable of doing any one much injury; the charge him was that on the 19th December he assaulted Isabella Foster, outworker, residing at 26 John Street, by striking her several blows on the head, face, and body with a hearth brush, to the effusion of blood, and further, that he committed a breach of the peace. Accused tendered a plea of guilty, and Sheriff Armour Hannay assessed the penalty at £2 or 20 days. The fine was paid.


In Peterhead Sheriff Court, on Friday, before Sheriff Laing, proof was heard in an action at the instance of James Muir (Keay), Fowler Street, Cellardyke, registered owner of the steam herring drifter Innergellie, KY 604; John Muir, Shore Street; George Keay (Reid), Shore Street ; David Corstorphine, Dove Street ; George Smith, Fowler Street; and William Mair, James Street ; all of Cellardyke ; and Alexander Reekie, fisherman, St Monans ; against Andrew Whyte, Alexander Stephen Whyte, Andrew Whyte, jun., and Robert Whyte, all of 17 Fredrick Street, Inverallochy, registered owners of the steam herring drifter Resolute, FR 556, for the recovery of £24 2s  1d, being the damage done to the pursuer’s boat at Yarmouth on October 15, 1913, through the alleged negligence and recklessness of those on board the defenders’ vessel. The defenders admitted liability for the damage to the boat, but objected to pay the pursuers the sum of £8 1s 6d, being the estimated loss arising through the detention of the pursuers’ boat in the harbour through the collision.

The Pursuers’ Evidence.

James Muir (Keay), skipper of the Innergellie, said he was the sole owner of that boat. He had been engaged in the English fishing of 1913. He had gone to that fishing for over forty years. On the morning of October 15, they arrived at Yarmouth harbour with a shot of 51 crans. When they were berthed, the defenders’ vessel Resolute ran into them shortly after 7 o’clock a.m. He sent for Alexander Farquharson, insurance surveyor, and he, along with another surveyor, came made a survey of the damage. It was then arranged that the drifter should be temporarily repaired, and he got carpenters for this purpose and the boat was docked. When the carpenters came on board he asked them when they would be finished, but they could not give an answer. They finished about 6.30 p.m., and when they left the crew had to clear away all the rubbish both on the deck and in the hold. The damage affected the fish hold. If they had been wanting to get to sea that night, it would have been between 9 and 10 o’clock before they could have left. It was a dull, cloudy night, but the moon was full. He never shot his nets after dark at Yarmouth, because he ran a risk of damaging another boat’s nets and losing his own. There was a record fleet down at Yarmouth that year. There was little chance of getting a berth going out in the middle of the night, and they went out at 6 o’clock next morning, and found that the boats were hauling their nets with plenty of herrings.

Cross-examined by Mr Masson, pursuer said the night in question was not a clear night. The cost of the temporary repairs was £3 15s. He never went to sea after 4 p.m. but he might have gone if he had been clear at that hour.

Alexander Farquharson, marine surveyor. Aberdeen, who is in the employment of the United Scottish Herring Drifter Insurance Company, said he had surveyed the damage and had ordered the temporary repairs. The fishermen could not have “redd” their nets while the repairs were going on, but they could have had steam up. Pursuers used all expedition to get the repairs executed.

In cross-examination, he said it was the case that Scottish boats went to see after midnight on Sunday.

George Keay (Reid), one of the pursuers, said they got Mr Farquharson, surveyor, and Mr Grier, another surveyor, to survey the damage done, and the Innergellie was docked and the repairs commenced that forenoon. After they had finished at 6.30 p.m., the crew had everything to put in order. It was their custom never to go to sea while it was dark at Yarmouth, as it was almost impossible to get a berth at daylight.

William S. Bonthron, Anstruther, fishsalesmen to pursuer, said the custom for the boats he had charge of at Yarmouth was not to proceed to sea in the dark. The fishing at Yarmouth was very congested, and if a boat went out in the dark it would have difficulty in securing a berth and ran the risk of losing its own nets and destroying others. If a boat was prevented from going to sea from 6.30 to 10 o’clock, it lost the daylight fishing, and had a chance of losing the night fishing. John Muir, one of the pursuers, and son of the first witness, also gave evidence of a corroborative nature. Thomas Milne, skipper of the Peterhead drifter Caledonia, and James Strachan, skipper of the Peterhead drifter E. J. M., said it was not the usual custom from their experience for Scottish boats to go to sea after dark, although some of them did risk it. William Strachan, skipper of the Peterhead drifter W. J. R., having given evidence, the defence was then submitted.

The Defenders’ Case.

Andrew Whyte, one of the defenders, and skipper of the Resolute, said he was in charge of the Resolute during the English fishing season of 1913, and he was on board when the Resolute collided with the Innergellie. They went to sea that day about 12 o’clock, and came in next morning with a shot of fish. There were no particular hours for going to sea at Yarmouth, They went out at all hours of the day and night. Assuming that the Innergellie was ready for sea between 6 and 8 o’clock p.m., there was nothing to prevent her going to sea that night. There was no risk that he knew’ of. He was not sure if Scottish’ boats went to sea on Sunday night, but they went early on Monday morning, sometimes shortly after midnight. The reason was because Scottish people always kept the Sabbath day. He saw the Innergellie immediately after the damage. The gun-wale was broken in, and on the other side some planking was damaged, but the planking of the ship itself was not damaged. In his opinion, if it had been his vessel, he would have been ready for sea in a few hours. He would have made ready his nets, and cleared away the shavings as he went to sea. There was no excuse for remaining in the harbour. His experience was that there was as much congestion at Yarmouth fishing grounds during the day as at night.

Cross-examined by Mr Troup, witness said it was nearly as dangerous shooting nets in daylight as in dark.

James Burnett, Fraserburgh, skipper of the steam drifter Clara Buchan, of Fraserburgh, said he frequently went out on Monday morning after midnight, and returned the same day with fish. If the weather was favourable, and everything clear, boats often left for the fishing grounds in the evening. They could shoot their nets in the dark.

John Cow, 11 Maiden Street, Peterhead, said there was no difficulty for a boat leaving Yarmouth about 7 or 8 o’clock to go to the fishing assuming that the sky was clear. If a vessel went to sea at that hour she could shoot her nets that night. There might be a difficulty about getting a berth, but one could be got according to the manner the tide affected the rest of the fleet.

John Masson, 16 Commerce Street. Fraserburgh, gave corroborative evidence, and John Hugh Cow, Peterhead, was held as concurring with John Cow. The case was adjourned until the evidence of Captain John George Bammant, Harbourmaster, Yarmouth, for the defenders, and Captain John H. Smith, fish wharf-master, Yarmouth, for the pursuers, could be taken on commission at Yarmouth. The agents were:—For the Pursuers. Mr D. Troup, Peterhead: for the Defenders, Mr C. G. Masson. Peterhead.

The Cellardyke Echo – 16/12/21 – Issue 318


John Gilchrist has on hand a Quantity of Prime Salt beef  which he will sell at 5 ½ d to 6d per lb,

John Gilchrist has to hand a large lot of Gutta Percha boots which he will sell cheap,  Ladie’s Balmorals from 4s 6d men’s Bluchers from 6s

Opening of the Free Church Hall Cellardyke

The Free Church Hall – this building erected by adherants of the Free Church here for holding their Sabbath school and other religious  meetings, is now about finished, and will be formally opened by a social meeting on Wednesday evening first, conditionally on the boats not going to sea that evening. The Building is a large one, divided into two compartments the larger one being seated to hold 250, and the smaller one 150, Both externally and internally the building is as plain and unadorned as could be. There being no windows in the side of the building, it has rather a dull and heavy appearance; but has been erected more for utility than ornament, and everythiung being strongly and substantially built, we have no doubt it will fully answer the purposes for which it is intended. The lighting is principally from windows in the roof, and the entrance to the whole building is by a single door of ratehr small dimensions for so large a building. The approaches to it are being all newly repaired and gravelled and everything will be done to make it complete and comfortable as possible.


A social meeting in connection with the Sabbath School, will be held in the hall on the evening of Wednesday next, the 19th *inst when the

Rev Alex Gregory, Rev J C Brown, Rev John Fisher, Mr Munro missionary, St Andrews and others are expected to take part in the proceedings..

Doors open at half past six o clock, chair to be taken at seven o clock. A service of fruit will be given at the door on entrance.

Tickets 6d each to be had as Messrs Sharp and Murray’s , D Black’s, J Gilchrist’s and J Martin’s Cellardyke, and at the Record Office and Mr Graham’s bookseller Anstruther.

*If however the boats be at sea on that day, the meeting will necessarily  have to be postponed to another night, and , if so, due notice will be given in Anstruther and Cellardyke

22 December 1860

Opening of the Free Church Hall

This new meeting house at the east end of Cellardyke, erected by the adherents of the  Free Church for holding their Sabbath school and other meetings religious and social description, was opened by a fruit soiree. There was a very good attendance considering the stormy state of the weather, the front and largest compartment of the building ( which is separated from the other by a sliding partition, thereby converting the whole , when required, into one, by the removal of the slides )  being quite full and the other about half filled. The Rev A Gregory, took the chair and commenced the proceedings by giving out the 100th Psalm to be sung, after which Mr Thomas Cunningham offered up prayer.

 Mr Gregory then briefly narrated the steps which had led to the erection of the building, which, though a plain one, was very suitable for the object in view; the necessity there was for it, the parties who had been instrumental in carrying the work through, and the object for which it was designed. He paid a high tribute to Mr John Martin, who had not only been the designer, but also the architect and inspector while in course of erection; and though the building was wholly under the direction and belonged to the Free Church, yet he was confident they would ever be ready to afford the use of it to other parties and denominations for meetings when their object was to promote the civil or religious welfare of the community, He then called on Mr Martin, who, in a very neat and fervent address, spoke of the disadvantages at which the large Sabbath school classed at Cellardyke were placed by not having a building large enough for their Sabbath evening meetings. So many assembled in their place of meeting that often standing room was difficult to be had, and this led the teachers to devise some other means for their better accommodation. The late revival in the place had also forced the subject on their consideration as there was no church in the town or other place large enough to contain the numbers who attended; and the building would stand as memorial to future generations of the outpouring of the Holy spirit which had lately taken place among them. The Sabbath school teachers accordingly took steps to meet the want, and having gone energetically about it, they had at last succeeded in erecting the building in which they were now assembled. He then mentioned the parties who had liberally aided them, both by donations and the carting of stones; and stated that then building had been erected at a cost of about £270, all of which with the exception of a few pounds , had been subscribed, and the building consequently free from any debt. He then addressed parents as to their duty in sending their children to the Sabbath school, and their duties in relation to their spiritual interests. Mr Martin in the course of his address was loudly applauded.

 The Chairman, after a portion of another Psalm had been sung, called Mr Fowler to the platform to address the meeting who briefly congratulated the Free Church brethren on the completion of their place of meeting. He said he had very often seen and felt the want of a sufficiently large building for their meetings, and he could now only express the gratification he felt at being present at the opening of which he hoped would meet their necessities.

The rev Mr Fisher then gave an address on the benefits arising from Sabbath Schools, the duties of both teachers and parents in regard to them; and the encouragement teachers had to preserve in the good work, notwithstanding the many discouragements they met with.

The Rev J.C. Brown of the Baptist Church followed with a lengthened address, first in regard to the different Christian denominations all working together for the same end, the salvation of men and good souls, which he compared to the building in which they were now met, which, though divided by sliding partition into two places, they only had to remove the sides and it became one meeting. Such he said would be the case when the great harvest of the world would be gathered in. they all associated in this world according as each party thought right, but then they would all be gathered in one assembly and all participate in the same heaven. He then spoke at some length in regard to Sabbath schools and the great good they had accomplished; and narrated some interesting anecdotes to the young as to their conduct to their teachers. He concluded by expressing his great pleasure at being permitted to take part in the present proceedings.

Mr Munro , Missionary, St Andrews was to have been present to give an address, but, the stormy state of the weather prevented his being able to reach the place on that evening.

Mr Thomas Cunningham then gave a short address after which the benediction was pronounced, and the meeting separated.


Cellardyke Fishing boats at St Andrews

Thirteen fishing boats belonging to Cellardyke and vicinity having on Thursday, last week, been overtaken by a strong southerly gale, were obliged to make for this harbour for safety in the afternoon of the same day. Only three of these reached the harbour, on account of the lowness of the tide and the darkness was just setting in. However the others got anchored safely at the pierhead. An accident occurred to one of the fishermen by which he had one of his thigh joints dislocated. One of the three which got within the harbour having been moored alongside a schooner, the fishermen obliged to board her in order to get on shore, and one of them in the act of crossing the deck in the dark, the hatchway not being covered, fell though it into the hold, and thereby sustained so serious and injury. Immediate assistance was rendered to the poor sufferer and medical aid procured with the least possible delay, and he was in such a favourable position as to warrant removal to his own home on the coast on Saturday.

In the different towns spirited efforts have been made in the organisation of instrumental bands. Within the last week or two such bands have been formed in Cellardyke and Crail. As yet their members perform only on the flute; but there is little doubt, from the zeal and attention they are evincing, that they will ere long qualified for the using of more effective and powerful instruments. In the former place, were the interest of the fishermen to continue, such movement is most likely succeed, as they are not affected by those fluctuations in trade, nor the other inducements to removal, which have been the cause the up-breaking of most of the bands in this district. Here our Volunteer Brass Band still continue to devote themselves with unremitting attention to improvement; and, although unassisted for several months past by teacher, such is the proficiency that they have acquired that they are generally admitted—alike in appearance and performance—to be unsurpassed, if equalled, any others in the county.


In reference to improved means of fishing, we may here add that this week one of the Cellardyke boats was purchased and despatched to England for the purpose of being used as a model for others, which are to be constructed of iron, for the fishermen on the English coast.

Sale of Property.—On Saturday last, old tenement, with garden attached, situated the back Cellardyke, was exposed for sale in the Town Hall here. Being well adapted for building stances, for which in the crowded state of that town there is great demand, considerable degree of general interest was evinced on the occasion. The competition, however, was rather dull, and after few had been made, the property was knocked down to George Sharp, at the upset price of £220. may here mention, that in Cellardyke, where the want adequate house accommodation has been long and loudly complained of, a scheme being carried out which will to a great extent ameliorate the evil. In the course of the present year, a number of public spirited gentlemen in the locality, who were mainly induced to move iv the matter from philanthropic motives, formed themselves into a building society. They shortly afterwards purchased small field at the back of town, on which they are now to erect number commodious dwelling-houses, according to plans specially prepared by experienced architect.

(This was later to become Ellice Street)


CELLARDYKE, MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT AT SEA.- Early on Monday morning, one of our fishing boats was proceeding the fishing ground, being long way out sea, when, preparatory to casting their lines, the fishermen proceeded trim the sails. One of them, named Gellatly, promising and exemplary young man, had hold of the rope which was attached to the top the mast, and was the act of tightening it, when some piece of wood on which he stood at the time slipped from under him, and he fell backwards into the sea, at the same time losing hold the rope. Every effort was made by his fellow fishermen to give aid, but he never again rose the surface of the water, and no trace of his body could be found, though the boat remained near the spot for a considerable time. The boat then set sail for Crail without casting their lines, and the fishermen proceeded to Cellardyke to convey the melancholy tidings to Gellatly’s parents.


Buckie, 10th Dec.—The fishermen of Cellardyke, in their letter to Mr John Caldwell, Fishery Officer here, which enclosed the munificent sum of £37 35., as their contribution to the fund for the destitute widows and fatherless children, expressed the desire that this testimony of their sympathy made known to their brother fishermen in Buckie and Portessie, not, however, with the view of acquainting their friends here of the amount of substantial aid they sent, but rather as an indication of the friendly feeling entertained by them at Cellardyke towards their own class here, and in hope that such an expression of kindly friendship on their part might tend to form and establish that brotherly feeling which is so desirable, and which ought, as fishermen, to exist between them. The Cellardyke people, in the most Christian spirit, wished that the ties of the purest brotherhood should unite them to the people here; and they, moreover, hoped that whenever a Buckie boat was met by them, there might be no petty jealousies or hatred, but a mutual flow of truest friendship. For the purpose of carrying out this wish, public meetings of fishermen were held, this week, both in Buckie and Portessie, when members of committee for the fund addressed them, and read report of the meeting in Cellardyke, and also letters from Mr Cunningham there. It need not be stated how highly gratified our fishermen were to hear these warm sentiments of their friends in the south; and it was very evident that its announcement had the desired effect. Due mention was also made of other fishing towns, which were not forgetful of the cause of the widow and fatherless in this place; nor was it overlooked to remark how much sympathy had been shown by all classes, high and low, in different parts of the country.

SUPPER. On Wednesday evening, Mr David Black, baker, Cellardyke, the leader of psalmody in the Free Church here, entertained the members of the choir, to the number of twenty-two, to an excellent and substantial supper. After full justice had been done to the good things so kindly and liberally provided, the evening was pleasantly passed with song and sentiment, the only regret being the rapid flight of the ” winged hours,” which brought parting time when enjoyment was fullest, although the recollection of the happy meeting will, we hope, ever remain a link of union between the worthy host and his interesting guests.

The Cellardyke Echo – 09/12/21 – Issue 317


Throughout the whole of Fifeshire a feeling of the deepest sympathy has been aroused for the widows and children of the St Monance and Cellardyke fishermen who lost their lives during the recent terrible gale the English coast. Altogether thirty-seven fishermen belonging to these villages have met with a watery grave, and fully one hundred dependents have been at one blow deprived of their breadwinners. Sir Robert Anstruther, the member for the county, has been energetic in his endeavours to bring the case, of these poor people before the country, and subscriptions amounting to well-nigh L.2000 have already, we understand, been received. In addition this, subscription sheets have now been opened in various spinning-mills, factories and other public works in our own district—we hope also throughout the whole county—while at several of our churches special collections in aid the helpless and bereaved families will made to-morrow. With these remarks we need hardly add that look hopefully forward to the appeal now being made to the public, convinced that it will result in the provision something substantial for the many wives and bairns who have at one blow been made widows and orphans.


CELLARDYKE. APPLICATION FOR ALIMENT UNDER TUE ACT GRACE.—Walter Myles, carter, Cellardyke, appeared before Sheriff Beatson Bell at Cupar on Tuesday as an applicant for aliment under the Act of Grace. Mr Jamieson appeared for the petitioner, and Mr Davidson for the incarcerating creditor. Interrogated by Mr Jamieson, the petitioner deposed that he was not able to keep himself in prison or pay the debt (£9 6s 3d) for which he was incarcerated. By Mr Davidson —He was at the herring fishing this season at Aberdeen as a half-dealsman and returned in September. He got £9 for his half-deal. He never had a horse and cart of his own, but had worked at the harbour for 5d an hour, and had got 10s in a fortnight. Mr Davidson stated that the debt was an affiliation case. By the Sheriff—Part of the £9 was spent in drink. The Sheriff—What did you do with the rest of it? Petitioner—l just threw it away—lots of the neighbours got some of it in drink. The Sheriff —Both these statements can’t be true, and unless you make a clean breast of it I won’t give you aliment. You know the consequences are sometimes serious when a man disposes of money to defraud his creditors. Petitioner— I have got no money to dispose of. The Sheriff —What did you do with the £1 10s ? Petitioner —lt went the same way. The Sheriff refused the application in hoc statu, remarking that the petitioner would certainly never get cessio until he had made a more clear statement.

The rapidly increasing population of Cellardyke has again led to a pressing want of house accommodation, definite arrangements have only to be come  to with Admiral Bethune the superior of Kilrenny, for feuing the one field in the south west corner of the Barony, where an airy new street of commodious fisher homes would be at once proceeded with. These feus are still talked at the rate £26 the acre, but without any casualties or feudal burthens, the impost of which so astonished the canny folks of Anst’er some twenty years ago ; and then it is also to be remembered that the new street will boast perhaps the most sunny and beautiful elevation in all the neighbourhood, with every household convenience in the way of area and garden. As an index to the lasting demand for sites, we may observe that the old tenement belonging to the late Mrs James Brown at the jetty has just been purchased as a building stance by Skipper Henry Reid for the sum £120. This time-worn edifice, we may remark, was often five six times exposed to public auction, and, curious enough, £200 was one day offered and refused, though as in other cases the purchase price accepted in the end far exceeds the charge for the new feus.

Shortly after seven o ‘ clock last night one of the Cellardyke fishing boats attempted to enter the new harbour , Anstruther , when the tide was low , and being struck by a wave was knocked up against the west breakwater . There are no lights near the new harbour except one , which forms the guide to the entrance , and in the darkness a fisherman who was throwing a  rope to the men in the boat fell over on to the rocks, and had to be conveyed home injured . All the crew consisting of young men were saved. Nearly the whole of the Cellardyke fishermen and a large number of women assembled on the occasion, and were all loud in their condemnation of the unsafe condition of the new entrance, although some acknowledged that it was foolhardy to attempt to enter the harbour at low tide and in darkness.

( at this point the old harbour entrance on the west pier was still open)


The screw steamer Anna, of Leith, which stranded some time ago near Randerston Castle, but floated into Anstruther harbour, was sold as she lay by the pier by public roup, on Thursday afternoon. The vessel insured for £900, and our townsman. Mr Jarvis, shipbuilder, is said to have received £200 for her salvage but on being offered for sale the upset price had to be reduced from £700 to £50 before any offer was made, when, after a small “skirmish.” the steamer was knocked down to Mr James Skinner, merchant, Cellardyke, for £62. The Anna is an old foreign brig, but though sadly crippled in the hull by her late awkward berth, her machinery is understood to be in serviceable condition.


CELLARDYKE. ENTERTAINMENT TO STRANGER FISHERMEN.-The presence of a large number of fishermen, belonging to the Moray Firth, who had put in here for shelter while on their voyage from the south fishing, led one or two of our own skippers to put their heads together, and the result was that all the strangers, to the number of nearly 130, were invited last Thursday evening to a friendly meeting in the Free Church Hall. Ex-Provost Martin occupied the chair, and after a substantial service of tea had been provided, addresses were delivered by several of those present, and heartfelt thanks expressed fur the accomplishment in safety of the voyage from Yarmouth and Lowestoft of both local and stranger crews. The meeting was a most enjoyable one, and the Moray Firth men were loud in their praises of the kindness and sympathy which had promoted the welcome invitation they had received.

Hairbreadth Escape of a Fishing Craft.—Last Wednesday morning, as the white fishing fleet were weathering the Forth, they were beset by what described as the most bewildering fog of recent years. One of the Cellardyke boats in particular had most providential escape. This was the “Abeana,” Adam Watson, master, which was standing in on the port tack with foresail and mizzen spread full to the land breeze, when a passing rift in the cloud disclosed the white breakers immediately under the weather bow. The cry, “hard up,” had been scarcely given when the boat struck with headlong force on a towering rock. The boom snapped like a dry reed, and the stem was crushed into splinter wood by the collision, which for the moment overpowered the stoutest heart; but taking courage from the fact that the boat was making little or no water the crew pushed from the rock, which proved to be the gullet on the south-east side of the Isle of May, known as ” Willies Hole.” Deliverance from such peril might well be regarded as the act of Heaven, and with thankful hearts Skipper Watson and his crew bore up for the shore, which they gained before daylight. On examining the damage stem and keel told unmistakably of the extreme hazard which had been encountered, and which, but for the fidelity of the builder, must have ended in the loss of the boat, if not of the precious lives of her crew.


The arrival of so many boats from the south has made the fortnight an eventful one, but we must not forgot the home coming, the other day, of another splendid addition to our deep sea fleet. This is the “Favourite” of Anstruther, owned by skipper John Watson, and just turned out from far famed Fraserburgh building yard of Mr Weatherhead. “I’ve come haime in the fleein boat” exclaimed a hardy fisher the other day, exulting with a seaman’s pride in the matchless speed of a darling craft; and built on the same noble lines and with the same handsome sheer, we have no doubt that the new clipper will be worthy of her consorts already sent us by Mr Weatherhead, and prove at the same time a source of honest pride and satisfaction to her gallant owner and his crew.

Wick, December 10.—The fishing both of flat fish and haddocks is extremely light. On Saturday the two or three trawlers sea landed from five to ten cwts. of trawled fish….. We learn that a number of Cellardyke boats have been engaged to fish from this station by local fishcurers.

The Cellardyke Echo – 02/12/2021 – Issue 316


Coals for the Poor. – At a meeting of the Parochial Board of Kilrenny held Wednesday last, it was agreed to distribute half ton of coals to each of the registered poor of the parish, about the end of the year.

The Fishing.- Our boats have all except four returned from the Yarmouth fishing, twenty-five in number, and although the success has been varied upon the whole, our fishermen have made very good thing of it. A good many have grossed £350 or upwards, and perhaps £250 may be taken as an average. It is likely that the result will induce good many more to try their luck, in that quarter next season.

Discussion over water in Anstruther –

….Mr Graham, in speaking of the well at the foot of Haddfoot Wynd, said a good deal of money had been expended and trouble taken in regard to it both by the people in the neighbourhood and the Cellardyke fishermen. About 22 or 23 years ago Mr Peebles’ father and Mr Donaldson started a subscription for laying down that pipe, and ever since that time no public body had taken any interest in it. He did not believe in boring for water in the front street, because if their fishing seasons were to come back as they were some 15 or 20 years ago, the ground would get saturated with salt and brine, and the water would be certain to get contaminated by surface impurities.


WANTED immediately, as a SAWMILLER, an Active, Steady Workman, who thoroughly understands his Business. Apply to, T. CORMACK, Cellardyke Sawmills.

From what we hear, there seems to have been some dispute between the Scotch and English fishermen. The Englishmen are in the habit of not hauling their nets until daylight, while the Cellardyke and other Scotch fishermen haul them as soon as they ascertain there are herrings in the nets. As the helms of the Scotch boats are made straight down, a slight space being left between it and the stern of the boat, they caught the nets of the English boats, and sometimes tore them. This led, it is said, to some retaliation on the part of the Englishmen, and hence the dispute. The most of the boats that have returned will prosecute the haddock fishing for a month or six weeks previous to the commencement of the winter herring fishing.

HERRINGS FROM THE CLYDE.—A large quantity of herrings have arrived per rail from the Clyde this week, several of the curers, including Provost Todd, Bailie J. T. Darsie, Bailie Bonthron, and Mr Cormack of Cellardyke, having had agents through at Greenock. The fishing there in the beginning of the week was very successful, and prices one day were as low as 14s. per cran. The herrings, which are large in size and of excellent quality, are being made into reds.

A very sudden death took place here on Wednesday. Mrs George Barclay, after going about as usual all day, complained of a pain in her side. Shortly after eight o’clock, and on the advice of her husband, she went to bed. About ten o’clock Mr Barclay thought he heard a groan, and on going to the bedside he found his wife dead. Medical assistance was at once called in, but life was quite extinct. The cause is said to have been paralysis. Mrs Barclay, who was a very exemplary wife and mother, was about 62 years of age, and has left a large family who are all grown up.

THE MORTALITY. —The cold raw weather we have experienced during the past fortnight is telling severely on persons in delicate health, and the ” Shadow fear’d of man,” as death has been called, has been making its appearance in our midst this week oftener than usual, and filling the air with ” farewells to the dying and mournings for the dead.” The death of Miss Christian F. Marr, youngest daughter of Mr John Marr, is a peculiarly affliction, and has called forth the sympathy of the community. The ruthless hand of death has been busy in Mr Mars’s family during the past few years. First, his second son, a very promising young man, died three years ago; then followed a daughter in the beginning of the year ; and now another daughter has been taken away, leaving to their bereaved parents only the consolation that

“These same afflictions

Not from the ground arise.

But oftentimes celestial benedictions

Assume this dark disguise.”


HADDOCK FISHING Cellardyke,. Sir,  -As the “Wick Fisher” in yesterday’s Scotsman thanks us for information anent haddock fishing, and asks other questions, we, with your permission, beg to reply. But, to begin with, we have a strong suspicion that he is not a “thorough-bred, ” as his lingo betrays him – for whoever heard, from Tweed to John o’ Groat’s, any fisher speak of a “haddock voyage.” No, Sir, he smells strongly of leather, and he seems more a theorist than a practical fisherman, as he dives too much for us into the long-talked-of theory of over-fishing, a subject that we will not discuss with him.

“All of us,” he says, gives us credit for being crack fishermen. Well, this is something even from him; but we are not proud of it, as our grandfathers earned this in old Wick, when they used to go there in very small open boats, carrying only 15 nets, while 20 to 30 crans of herrings was quite their cargo. This was what he likely calls the olden time, and before he or Pulteney harbour was made. The only harbour then was up the Burn. and where likely he and his brethren wish it was still; from then to this we have slowly, but surely, been making progress, advancing with the times, stepping from boat to boat – not jumping – until we have reached (now ten years ago) the large decked boat. Correspondingly, we have added to our lengths of line, but not ten times more as he supposes, but only three times more; and as to going out forty to sixty miles for haddocks we have done so thirty years previous to the decked boat era in open boats, but only in the summer season; and now, following up, we venture there in the winter season, and find haddocks as plentiful as we did in the summer season.

We are glad that the “Wick Fisher” admits his ignorance in being willing to learn to haul lines on rough ground, but that is a small part in successful haddock fishing. The wives and families are also to train in line baiting – a most essential part. And we know that Wick Is poor indeed in line baiters, and we venture an opinion that it will be some time yet before successful haddock fishing will be carried on as here, notwithstanding their costly £100, 000 breakwater. And now, to finish up, would it surprise him to know that as all our boats are home from the Yarmouth herring fishing, making our haddock fleet now of sixty decked boats, we could, with our combined lengths of line, stretch from the Isle of May to the Naze of Norway-there? Well might he exclaim, ” Och …. boy , that’s ‘ prodigious . ‘ “—I am, &c. A CELLARDYKE FISHER ?


Two of the Cellardyke fishing boats, belonging to Skippers Alex. Brown and David Wilson, left Yarmouth on Saturday, and considerable anxiety was felt as to the safety of the crews. On Monday, however, a telegram was received that the former had taken refuge in Hartlepool, and on Tuesday morning Skipper David Wilson entered the harbour, having been out during the whole of the gale. The storm had overtaken them on Sunday, and deeming it impossible to gain any harbour, the crew determined to face it out. Their boat is fortunately a full-decked one, or it would undoubtedly have been swamped; but even with this protection it is marvellous that they were able to escape without damage. Frequently they were compelled to lay the boat to, and on one occasion one of the crew was swept overboard by a heavy sea. Providentially he caught hold of some of the halyards as he was carried away, and his companions at once pulled him on board again. The attention of the whole of the crew was continually devoted to securing their safety, until they were not far from the May Island, by which time the weather had moderated.

There would appear to obvious improvement day by day in the sanitary condition of the neighbourhood.  Scarlatina, there reason to trust, is on the eve taking its departure, but three fatal cases have been reported in Cellardyke during the last nine days. One of these was a fine girl of three summers, the child of Mr James Dick, fisherman, Cellardyke, who died on Friday; another was a son of Robert Thomson’s, whose sufferings closed on the following day in his sixth year; and the third victim was a promising boy about thirteen years age, who was reft from the household of John Dickson. But while the young blossoms are falling thus thickly as the green leaves are withered in a night in the beauty of the spring time, the old familiar faces who have been with us like the ancient trees by the wayside, are also fast yielding to the inevitable autumn. On Tuesday evening a venerable widow, Alison Brown, the relict of John Smith, died at West Anstruther, in her eighty-fourth year, and on Thursday morning Mr Robert Cunningham, the oldest fisherman in Cellardyke, breathed his last at the ripe old age of eighty-nine.

The Cellardyke Echo – 25/11/21 – Issue 315


The sloop Industrious Mary which lately struck the Carr rock, and went to the bottom, has by great exertions, been weighed by a few boats from Cellardyke, and taken to Crail Harbour, where she now lies to be repaired. The Cargo is all lost, a subscription is begun behoof the owner.



Cellardyke, which has of late years suffered much from accidents by sea, has again been plunged into a state of extreme grief by the loss of another bout with eight of a crew. Friday morning was very stormy, the wind prevailing from the north-east. The crews as usual proceeded to sea, but the storm increasing, the crews returned without attempting to work lines. It is reported that one crew observed some floating material of a wreck, but took no notice at the time until night came on, and the unfortunate crew not returning excited alarm. It is supposed that they had suffered a few miles east of the May Island. Conjecture will be afloat, of course, and people will be busy. The gale was heavy, but whether the boat had been overset in a squall, or some other unforeseen accident happened the boat, none can say. One of the sufferers was saved, about six years ago, when all the crew were drowned. This dreadful calamity has thrown six widows and twenty-seven fatherless children to the care of the benevolent.  (The boat was the “John and Mary”)

The fishermen of Cellardyke are last bestirring themselves. The stereotype character which a well-known writer attributes to this class appears to breaking up in the “East Neuk” by the calamitous event of the 3rd instant, whereby twenty-eight of their townspeople have been deprived of their natural protectors, they are now throwing aside their past indifference to the dreary future in reserve for their dependents in the event being overtaken by a similar fate. In London there is a society, The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Benevolent Society,” membership to which constituted annual payment of half-a-crown. Should a fisherman, being member, have his boat or gear damaged, a certain small sum is paid him in name of repairs, or if he should himself lost, a sum, varying from five to ten guineas, is paid to his family. Although conditions more favourable could scarcely be invented, and although the society, for years, has had an agent the spot, yet, at the time the above catastrophe occurred, out of our adult population of about three hundred, only two fishermen were enrolled members. A few benevolent individuals resolved to make an effort to awaken the fishermen to the advantages held out by the society, and for that purpose secured the services of the clergymen of the neighbourhood for a public meeting of the inhabitants. This meeting, which was numerously attended, was held in the Infant School-room on the 9th inst,, and although there was more speaking over and at the audience than with them, its result was gratifying. An auxiliary to the parent society was organised with staff of working officials; before the meeting broke up sixty-five fishermen had enrolled themselves members. There is room for a wider extension of the society, and no reason why every adult in should not be entitled to the privileges of a member. Whether the fact originates from their class feelings, from the limited/range to which they confine their ideas, or from the ever-awake selfishness lest fate should make them benefactors rather than their families recipients of the society’s beneficence, there are none more jealous of being taken advantage than they. And were it not that strong faith may be placed In the staff of the auxiliary, fears might be entertained lest this promising appearance should prove but a mere periodical ebullition of a feeling which will die away, and exhibit the same symptoms on the recurrence of a similar calamity. This being the first seamen’s meeting we had the’ opportunity of attending, we had much pleasure in finding it formally conducted and more orderly than many landsmen’s. And while the eye occasionally rested on one (as will in all similar meetings) who seemed a walking argument for the repeal of the soap duty, and on another whose unkempt locks and bearded cheeks were rather hirsute, yet, as a whole, we have seldom seen a roomful of men whose clean appearance and respectful demeanour, and whose brawny, well-knit muscular frames, made them favourable specimens of humanity. Gratifying as was that meeting, was our happiness on the following evening to attend another in the Town Hall, which, from the promising hopes it excites, is more interesting still: the first annual meeting of the Cellardyke and Kilrenny Savings’ Bank. As stated in the director’s report, during the forty-seven weeks of its existence, deposits had been paid to the extent of £442, and the balance then outstanding due depositors was £386. And to show its working, it was stated that 106 of the accounts, the balance under £5. There no class in our county on whom banks for savings have stronger claims than on our fishermen. There are many amongst them who can bear comparison with those other trades; yet it may be said of them in general, that the uncertainty of their earnings, their dangerous, laborious, and incessant occupation, have called into exercise habits of the most reckless improvidence and wastefulness, which have acted, as naturally they must, on their moral and intellectual natures. And we fully adopt the words of the directors’ report, maintaining that the bank “has claims on the community, from the more elevated ideas of comfort it is calculated to excite, and the habits of prudent forethought, economy, and independence it will naturally foster and maintain.” Cellardyke, with a labouring population of about 1600, has been stated annually to squander from £1800 to £2ooo in tobacco and whisky. Looking at the sanitary condition of the place, its ill-ventilated houses and densely packed population, its miserable sewerage, although washed the sea, its uneven streets with (at certain seasons) their stagnant pools and heaps of putrescence, and the consequent domestic discomfort and frequent fevers and sicknesses of its inhabitants, one cannot help wondering at so expensive a purchase of misery, and concluding that there is urgent necessity for a Savings’ Bank to gather up, and if possible to retain from working mischief, the loose sixpences of its improvident inhabitants. We understand the funds of the institution are lodged in the chartered Branch Bank at Anstruther, and every confidence may be reposed in the directors of the Savings’ Bank : Mr Murray, chief magistrate of East Anstruther, being one of them, and Mr Fowler, the active and benevolent chief magistrate of Cellardyke, chairman. Steps are being taken to entitle it to the provisions of the Act of Parliament anent Savings’ Banks.

John Smith, master and owner of the boat, left a widow and four children, the eldest five years, the youngest seven months.

James Fleming, left a widow pregnant, besides seven children from two to sixteen years old. Henry Reid left a widow and seven children, five of whom are under fourteen years, the youngest being born on the same morning on which the father perished.

Thomas Fleming, left a widow and six children, four whom are from nine to sixteen years old. A son Thomas Fleming perished along with his father.

James Dick, left widow and two children, eldest five years.

David Birrell left a widow, supposed to be pregnant.

James Dickson, unmarried.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, That virtue of the Powers contained an Act passed in the Third and Fourth Years of King William the Fourth, intituled “Act to enable Burghs in Scotland establish a General System of Police,” the Occupiers of Premises of that part of the Burgh of Kilrenny, called Cellardyke, of the real Yearly Rent or Value of Ten Pounds and upwards, are hereby required to meet upon Wednesday the 29th current at  twelve the Clock, within the Town hall in this Burgh, for purpose of Electing One Commissioner in the place of one going out of Office, in terms of said Act.

JAMES FOWLER, Chief Manager. Cellardyke, Nov. 19, 1849.

Queen’s and Lord Treasurers Remembrancer’s Office, Exchequer Chambers, Edinburgh, 12th Nov 1849.

Notice hereby given—That William Thomson, residing in Cellardyke, in the Parish of Kilrenny and County Fife, has applied to the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury for a Gift of the Estate of Alexia Martha Muir Alexander, otherwise Martha Alexander, who resided in Cellardyke aforesaid, deceased, which Estates has fallen to Her Majesty as Ultima ….

The Cellardyke Echo – 18/11/2021 – Issue 314


Turnip Stealing.— Before Provost Martin Cellardyke Police Court on Saturday three young boys pled guilty to stealing turnips from a held near the Infant School belonging to Mr Hutton, farmer, Kilrenny Mill. Accused were let off on the recognisances of their parents to come up for sentence within the next six months if they did not behave themselves during that period, and were ordered to pay Is 6d of costs each

The publishers of the `Free Press,’ Aberdeen have issued the above useful almanac for 1896. As usual it contains a great deal of needful information to fishermen and seamen, and every care has been taken to secure accuracy. Tide tables are given for Aberdeen, Yarmouth, Shields, Hartlepool, and a number of other ports, while the information as to the dues, depth of water, and lights at all the various harbours must prove of great advantage to all who require to know these different points. A list of Scotch vessels, when built, the tonnage and the names of the owners and masters is given, as well as the list of the fishing boats in Scotland, with the names of the owner or master, and the length of keel is printed at the end of the book. Thus under Anstruther and Cellardyke the names of 130 boats, eight steam liners, and the S.S. Faith are given. The St Adrian and East Neuk are not included. In Pittenweem there are 42 boats, and in St Monans 69. The almanac should meet with a ready sale from those interested.


A meeting of fishermen and others was held in Cellardyke on Saturday, to ask the Harbour Commissioners to arrange for the opening of the Anstruther harbour during the winter herring fishing. A deputation was appointed to wait on the Harbour Commissioners, which they did on Monday, and received the promise that everything possible would be done to meet the necessities of the case. Arrangements have since been made whereby the improvements at the harbour will be discontinued before the commencement of the winter herring fishing. The same gentlemen were instructed to inquire into the new scale of dues and charges to be made by the Provisional Order, and to report.

Several cues of scarlet fever are reported this week in Anstruther and Cellardyke, but the fever fortunately is of a mild type, and none of the casts are serious.

Kilrenny Parish Council

THE LIABILITY OF SONS TO PAY FOR THEIR PARENT’S. The Inspector reported that he had called upon the son of one old woman to refund the money the Council had paid out for attendance to his mother, but he had refused on the ground that he was unable to do so. Since the claim had been made she had stopped the woman, who had attended her. Rev. Mr Ray considered that the Council should have made it plain to this woman that her son was liable for any expense incurred in attendance upon her and her husband. He did not know the son, but he did not like to approve of this application to the son, because they had gratuitously given this attendance to his mother. The Chairman It is a principle we have acted upon all along both in this Council and in the old Parochial Board, that when relief was given to any person, and any of the family able to pay, that, we fall back upon them for the expense. Rev. Mr Ray—l understand that that has been done, but in this case, I was informed that the son had made very little at the drave, and quite unable to pay. The Chairman-Supposing he had done well at the drave, is it not fair that he should, try and help his parents. Rev. Mr Ray—Decidedly, I think we should try and make it plainer to Cellardyke young men that it is their duty to look after their parents, and that in future when we give attendance to old people we will apply to them for payment. Mr Martin Gardner – I don’t see why any old body should not be looked after even if the son is not responsible for the repayment of the money, for there are some in Cellardyke who don’t care where their parents sink or swim. Mr Marr- It is only by taking action like this that we can bring them to their senses. It was then agreed to press for the money from the son. Mr Marr reported that he had seen the fisherman whose wife was in the asylum, and pointed out the necessity for him contributing more than 3s weekly towards her maintenance. He promised to pay 4s and 5s if he was able. The Inspector said the fisherman had also called on him, and agreed to pay 4s per week during the present time when the liners were at their worst, but during the rest of the year he would try and make up the sum to 5s per week. The offer was accepted.

THE NESS FISHING COMPANY. The first general meeting of shareholders in this company was held in the Council Chamber on Tuesday evening. There was a good attendance of local shareholders, including Bailie Darsiet, Messrs Andrew Wilson, Alex Marr, William Bayne, W S. Bonthron, Thomas Cunningham, A. C. Mackintosh, H. Watson, and others. Mr John Marr was on the motion of Bailie Darsie, called to the chair. Mr Mackintosh produced Memorandum of Association and the Certificate of Incorporation and the agreement with Hall Russell & Coy., Aberdeen, to build a combined liner and trawler for the Company, the details of which have already been described in our columns, at a cost of £3.305. The boat is to he named the Fife Ness It was agreed that the number of directors be nine, and the following gentlemen are unanimously elected :—Stephen Williamson, George Darsie, John Irvine. Aberdeen, Alex Marr, Cellardyke, A. C. Mackintosh W. S. Bonthron, John Marr, Wm. McLaren, Innergellie. Wm Payne. Mr Cunningham, Harbour Head, was appointed manager of the Company, Mr H. Watson, the auditor. At a meeting of Directors held afterwards, Mr John Marr appointed Chairman of the Company, and the payments of calls were arranged, which payable at the National Bank of Scotland, Anstruther, Cellardyke, and Pittenweem.

THE BAY FISHING COMPANY LIMITED. —The first general meeting of the shareholders of this company was held in the Council Chamber on Tuesday evening. Mr Alexander Marr, Cellardyke, presided over a large attendance of local subscribers, including Ballie Darsie. Messrs John Marr, Andrew Wilson, Philip Anderson, John Bett, Robert Heugh. W. S. Bonthron, Henry Watson, Thomas Cunningham, A. C. Mackintosh. Henry Bett, William Lothian, Alexander Lothian, Donald Fraser, Robert Murray, David Wilson, &c. Mr Mackintosh laid on the table for inspection by the shareholders a copy of the memorandum of association and the certificate by incorporation of the company. The agreement with the Dundee Shipbuilders Company was produced to build a steel boat, the dimensions of which we have already described, at a cost of £2980. It is expected the boat will be ready for sea by the beginning of March. Mr Bonthron reported on behalf of the Committee that they had seen Mr Jarvis, and had all but closed a contract with him for a wooden boat at the cost of £2550 to be ready for sea by the first of September. The Dundee built boat is to be named the Largo Bay, and the boat to be built by Mr Jarvis the Mill Bay. The following gentlemen were appointed Directors of the Company: Messrs Stephen Williamson, George Darsie, Wm. McLaren, Innergellie; John Bett, John Blair, W. S. Bonthron, A. C. Mackintosh, Alex. Mum and Philip Anderson. Mr Thomas Cunningham was elected Manager of the Company, and Sir H. Watson, the Auditor. At a meeting of directors afterwards held Bailie George Darsie was unanimously appointed Chairman of the Company, and the dates of payment of calls were arranged, which are payable at the National Bank of Scotland Limited, Anstruther, Cellardyke, or Pittenweem.

(the wooden  boat in the end was  not called Mill Bay but Rothesay Bay, launched September 1897)


The Anstruther and Cellardyke Gas Company are to take in estimates for the erection of a new gasometer at their works East Green, in order to be able to store more gas, in view of the increased consumption of recent years.

A number of Cellardyke boats have arrived home from the fishing at Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The earnings of the crews range from £150 to £400

THE FACTORY ACT AND THE FISH TRADE. The concessions which the authorities have at last made the fish trade shows the absurdity of making a hard and fast rule in all trades for the administration of the Factory Acts. The rules in regard to the hours of working for young persons and females have had to be relaxed in order that one important part of the food supply of the country might not be lost or rendered useless by exactions which many still regard as grandmotherly legislation. The Acts, in the fish as well as other trades, press very hardly, and there should be some relaxity in special cases, where the conditions of employment are not at all onerous or prejudicial to health. For the fixed rules an opportunity should be afforded employers to change the hours of employment with the sanction of the Inspectors to suit the exigencies of the trades from time to time as required. Those who are in this position should follow the example of the trade, and ask for an alteration in the rules to suit their business.

A WARRANT FOR APPREHENSION. — At the Burgh Court on Monday, the case against Thomas Murray, junior, fisherman, Cellardyke, was called but he failed to appear. Sergeant Anderson said he had cautioned Murray to appear. The Fiscal applied for a warrant of apprehension which was granted by the Magistrates. It was understood that the warrant would not be put in force if Murray consented to come to next Court.


On Saturday night at nine o’clock, while Agnes Ritchie, net factory worker, Rodger Street, Cellardyke, was returning home from Pittenweem, she met with a severe accident. Just as she turned the Buckie House corner, a large black dog came running along the pavement at a great speed, and before she could get out of the way, it collided with her, knocking her down. She fell on the concrete, breaking her right collar bone, and the right side of her head was cut and bruised. She was assisted into Mr Robert Pratt’s house by her sister and Mr John G. Gray, who happened to be passing at the time. Dr Ferguson as sent for, and dressed the wounds, after which she was conveyed home. She is progressing very favourably since then.

On Friday morning, Mrs Peter Murray, Rodger Street, while going about her usual household duties, took a shock of paralysis, from which she died in about two hours. She was 52 years of age.

Derelicts and Wreckage

Calais, Oct. 27.—0n the 22nd inst. a French smack picked up, to the NS of Cromer, about 20 fishing nets, much damaged, 20 floats for supporting the nets, 3 hawsers of 50 fathoms length, each in good condition. This property is marked Black and Co., Patent Cellardyke, Fife,” and is in the possession of the marine authorities at this port.

DIAMOND WEDDING AT CELLARDYKE. The Weekly News Old Folks’ Competition was the means of revealing many wonderful records of married life, but a modesty which old people maintain is unknown to younger folks, kept Mr and Mrs Davidson, Cellardyke, from taking the place in it in their length of wedded life entitled them to.

They were married on the 16th November, 1838, and thus yesterday (Wednesday) celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their nuptials. Hearty and numerous were the congratulations that poured in upon the aged and happy couple. Friends vied with each other in their friendly remembrances of the anniversary. Gifts from the family were also handed in. The couple received their friends with cordial hospitality, and pleasant little gatherings were held in home daring the week. They are a couple typical of Scottish life, warmly affectionate, God-fearing, and industrious. Born and brought up in Cellardyke, they have spent their days within its bounds, save, of course, the absence at the fishing from other ports, or in the old days when in the mansion house near Colinsburgh Mrs Davidson acted as maid. They were married in the same street as their present house by the late Rev. Mr Dickson, the parish minister. Eleven children blessed the household but of these only four are alive, some resting in far-off lands.

There are thirty-three grandchildren alive and seven great-grandchildren. Mr and Mrs Davidson are hale and hearty. Mr Davidson carries his eighty-three years lightly, and his wife, two years his junior, is able to move about her household duties. They have an interesting life story. For sixty years Mr Davidson prosecuted the fishing. He has seen complete revolutions in the industry – methods, boats, and resorts. As a hauflin he worked in the 30-feet crafts that then represented the best and biggest of the fleet. Today the boats exceed 60 feet. He has seen the reform in the outfit, the introduction of steam, and the changed feelings with which the fishermen now regard it. Herring was then, as now, the chief part of the fishing, but as he tells, the men now follow it round in whole coast from north to south. The haddocks held a second, but important, place in the life of the fishermen: in the ‘forties they were followed ten to twenty miles to sea in the small open boats: now in season it is an everyday trip half-way to Norway in pursuit of the cod, with mileages of line that would have served four or five of the old-time crews. But on that theme Mr Davidson’s, reminiscences are well-nigh inexhaustible.

During his lifetime at sea narrow escapes were inevitable, and four of these, where the boat was mercifully spared by the Higher Hand, are ineffaceably impressed on his memory. One of these dates back to the year ‘60 when Skipper Bett’s boat was swamped by a heavy sea. but kept up. Next, in Yarmouth River, he was sinking tor the third time when succour reached him. Again, five miles east of the Carr, the boat was filled and momentarily expected to go down, and nearer home, one day when running for Anstruther Harbour, the craft had a miraculous escape from going to pieces on the Beacon. But vividly, and still as if yesterday, will ever be before his mind’s eye the terrible scene at the May Island when, on the 1st July, 1837, no fewer than thirteen women and children perished within a stone’s throw of the shore. He was one of the young men who, in accordance with the time-honoured custom, manned a drave boat to give friends and neighbours a holiday on the island. It was a Saturday morning, a glorious day, when five boats set out from Cellardyke Pier, each crowded with excursionists. The “Johns,” the admiral of the fleet, carried sixty-five souls. This and that consort took other creeks, but the “Johns” was steered for the little pier at Kirkonhaven. All were preparing to land, but at the moment a wild plunge and a deafening crash heralds the fact that the doomed boat had been washed by the surf upon the skerry. All was confusion and terror; women and children shrieked in despair, but already brave men had seen the one chance, and firm feet bearing precious burdens were leaping the chasm as the boat lay with the gunwale to the sloping skerry. A panic seized the remnant, and pushing to the higher gunwale, they sent the boat reeling from her perch, when she sank like a stone leaving a frantic mass of women children clinging to each other with the grasp at death.

Mr Davidson says but little of his own share in what followed, but happily others can tell the story. Of the brave men who plunged again and again to the rescue, returning with a struggling woman or child, he was conspicuous; his work was not over so long as a head or hand could be seen above the water. As the bodies were recovered, for all floated again, he was also active. One by one the corpses were carried up the beach, but one– was it instinct? caught his eye ” This woman’s no’ dead,” he declared and setting to work, he eventually had the pleasure of seeing her look up and recognise him. His work amongst the rescued was highly recommended by Dr Goodsir. This was the ending of a once favourite holiday trip.


The Cellardyke boats which have been fishing at Yarmouth and Lowestoft returned home on Thursday and Friday after the most successful season in the history of the South fishing. Twenty-four boats were engaged, and the average shot is considerably over £600, the highest yet on record. The best boats had fully £900, and the most, between £500 and £600; some to £700 and £800, and the lowest £300. It is computed that the boats have brought home fully £10 000 from the South.

(£10 000 would be the equivalent of £1 349 541 today –  the lowest earning £40k the Highest £135K)

Changing the Luck – The wife of a Cellardyke skipper with whom I acquainted once told me that she caught the wife of another skipper one washing morning taking the first jug of hot water from the boiler“ I kent fine what she was after” said my friend “She wantit oor Jamie’s luck. He had been daein weel a’ the season an’ her man had naething; but I made her put back the water.” This was young, wife, fairly intelligent and when at school had passed the preliminary examination for pupil teacher.

The Cellardyke Echo – 11/11/2021 – Issue 313


Intelligence was received Anstruther on Saturday night stating that William Montadore, one of the crew of the Cellardyke fishing boat Venus Star, fishing at Lowestoft, was washed overboard and drowned in the storm at an early hour of Friday morning. He leaves a widow and family. He is the eighth East of Fife fisherman who has been lost within fortnight at the English fishing.

Anstruther Harbour – some employment has this week been got at the harbour by the arrival of the schooner Johanna from Mandel with a cargo of staves for Mr Cormack, Cellardyke. As showing the inconvenience arising from the want of a customhouse officer the captain and crew had to lie idle nearly a whole day before they could begin to discharge, and work was only commenced on Tuesday forenoon after the arrival of the officer from Methil. The board of trade should see that this annoyance is not suffered in future by making better arrangements for the discharge of cargoes from foreign vessels.

Baking Enterprise – A long step advance has just been made by the energetic Cellardyke bakers, Messrs Black Son, by the introduction of the patent decker oven in conjunction with their steam machines. This oven is unique. It embraces an upper and lower chamber of tire bricks, eight feet by six. The furnace, situated at the right angle, is seven times heated, as it were, with coke, which issues by three streams into a lake of living fire, if we may use the simile, between the two chambers, which are thus bathed all round with continuous flow or current from the moment it leaves the furnace till escapes into the air. The bricks are such excellent conductors of heat that the loaves or biscuit are baked in third less time than in the ordinary ovens, while the chambers are, of course, entirely free from the smoke, &c., which renders it expedient to use the primitive implement known as the scuffle. To this end the sides are encrusted with a kind of porcelain, which glitters like white glass—in fine, the patentee has done as much for the economy of the bakehouse as the inventor of the hot blast in the furnaces of the West. The effectiveness of the oven will be of special value to the Messrs Black their large orders for biscuit in the fishing season to all parts of Scotland. Some years ago Mr Black made series of ingenious experiments which was enabled to utilise his steam engine in the stirring, kneading, cutting out of the biscuit, so that the oven now bridges over the last difficulty in the way of the firm. The oven, which is patented in Cardiff, is the first of the kind in the East of Fife.


MAN FOUND DEAD IN FIFESHIRE. Last night the body of a man was found lying among the rocks the shore between Cellardyke and The body was dressed in brown and black tweed trousers, tweed vest, and on the feet Wellington boots. On the stockings were the initials 44 T. S. L.” while in one of the pockets was copy of Scott’s 44 on Religion,” with a label on the inside page, 44 Markinch Parish Library, No. 29.” The Markinch authorities have been communicated with lead to the identification.

In the course of the forenoon, a telegram arrived announcing the loss of a Fisherrow boat with seven of a crew drowned, Walter Brown, the skipper, being a nephew of Mr Robert Brown, Cellardyke. Further on, another telegram came to hand, stating that a Hopeman boat had been lost with five men. These sad news did not tend to allay the anxiety, and wires were sent off to Yarmouth asking if all the Cellardyke boats had returned. Reassuring messages came back in the case of some, but in the evening about a dozen boats were still unaccounted for. Yesterday forenoon, however, the number had been reduced to six, and by the afternoon, to four. In the evening, up to seven. o’clock, all the boats had arrived in Yarmouth but one, Rob the Ranter, Skipper Henry Rett, Cellardyke, and it was considered that intelligence would come to hand about it to-day.

Read more about the Fisherrow boat on a Fisheries Museum post today


CELLARDYKE, DISTURBING THE SALVATION ARMY – At East Anstruther Burgh Court on Friday David Davidson, fisherman, Cellardyke, was charged with creating a breach of the peace by swearing and shouting at the Cross Shore Street, on the 28th October. Two previous convictions were recorded against him. He pled guilty. The Fiscal stated that accused had interrupted an open-air meeting, and when the Salvation Army marched to the ” Fort ” he followed and renewed his swearing, &c. Davidson said that he had been attracted to the spot by the singing when a minister said, “Let us pray for a drunken brother,” which vexed him. After further remarks, he became so rambling that Provost Anderson called him to order. In passing sentence, the Provost said that as the other convictions were dated several years ago they would not be emoted. The fine was 7s 6d, or days.. Davidson loudly declared his inability to pay, and was again warned. The money was subscribed by friends in court.

At Kilrenny Burgh Court Alexander Keith, labourer, Cellardyke, was charged before Provost Martin and Bailies Thomson and Williamson with creating a breach of the peace and assaulting Thomas Brown, fisherman, in his own house on the 28th alt. Four previous convictions were aloe produced Keith pled guilty. There had been a family quarrel, and he had gone to his father in law’s house and committed the assault. He was fined 10s.



Yesterday morning intelligence reached Anstruther from Yarmouth of the sudden death of Mr David Murray, of the firm of Murray & Co., fishcurers Anstruther, Aberdeen, and Yarmouth. Deceased was bred as a fisherman, but in 1852 he, along with many others from Cellardyke, went out to the Australian goldfields, and being unsuccessful he entered the coastguard service at Williamsburgh, near Ballarat. He afterwards became captain and part owner of a small trading vessel, but owing to an accident, by which he lost one of his legs, he was ordered home. He started in partnership with the late Bailie Sharp the business of fishcurer, oilskin and net manufacturers, and ere long their trade became one of the largest in Scotland, with connections in Aberdeen , Shetland , Yarmouth , and various parts of Australia , to which they exported large quantities of dried and tinned fish every year . The business continued very prosperous until 1884, when, owing to the large bounties paid to the fishermen at the North, and the failure of the fishing, the firm were compelled to become bankrupt They were soon re-established again ; and went on until last year , when on the death of Ballie Sharp Mr Murray took the business into his own hands. Mr Murray was one oi the best known fishcurers in the North of Scotland. Mr Murray was sixty years of age, and has left a widow and one daughter.


 A telegram from Yarmouth on Wednesday forenoon received by the Rev. Mr McAlpine announced the death of this widely-known gentleman, and stated that deceased had been found dead in bed. The intimation was startling as it was unexpected, and excited the deepest expressions of surprise on all sides. The sincerest sympathy is felt with Mrs Murray and her daughter in their sudden and sore bereavement. Letters from Mr Murray on the preceding day had been received regarding business arrangements, and contained not the slightest intimation that he felt in any way out of his usual health. Mr Murray was a native Cellardyke, where his father and grandfather occupied positions of honour in the burgh, and were long the lending spirits. While barely out of his teens, Mr Murray, one of the most strapping fishermen the port, along with fifteen companions, emigrated to Australia, where the fame of the gold fields was then leading all. They soon saw that it was not altogether so remunerative, and Mr Murray returned to the coast. Here he ultimately became captain of one of the smartest schooners in the lightering trade. His energy and perseverance soon gained the confidence of the leading merchants, so that the vessel was almost in constant commission to lighter their ocean packets. But a terrible misfortune gave new turn to his destiny. The schooner was lying at anchor in the river, when a careless steersman caused collision. Murray so far averted the peril of the night, but his leg was so crushed that it had to be taken off below the knee. With indomitable spirit he turned to a new sphere, and was soon managing partner in store. He was a second time laid aside by the fretting of the wound, and had to return to Scotland. Not long after his return, Mr Fowler one night sent for him and announced his intention of retiring. Mr Murray was overwhelmed for the moment, but he soon proceeded to realise the expectations which Mr Fowler had formed of his future. He associated himself with Mr George Sharp, at that time accountant in the Clydesdale Bank. The latter acted as resident partner, while Murray attended to the buying. In this connection he became one of the most familiar visitors at and Aberdeen. He showed himself shrewd and far-seeing man of business. This was shown nowhere so clearly in the success which long attended his supervision of the net factory, of which he was also managing partner. His practical knowledge of this department enabled them to keep well in touch with the times, and in the end overcame all attempts many of the leading houses which then directed their attention to crushing out all competition. For many years the firm was the most extensive employers of labour in the district, sixty and eighty people being in their pay as net and oil workers, while the fish-curing and general merchant departments employed many others. All along the East Coast their names were like household words for the superiority of their sea-gear and outfit. Their fame was also spread in Australia, where their cases of preserved herring were paraded luxuries, and familiar to every settler. Thus their business increased in every direction, until a series of reverses were sustained. The firm was restarted, and were fast regaining their name, when in 1891 Mr Sharp was suddenly called. It will be remembered that, although ailing for some time, Mr Sharp was on the pier in the forenoon. In the evening while at supper he was taken unwell and died within a few hours. Mr Murray then dropped the net factory and merchant’s shop, continuing the fishcuring business. He had premises at Anstruther, Aberdeen, and Yarmouth, and bought large supplies at the latter ports. His long experience enabled him to take foremost place in the trade, and was in the midst of this work that he was cut off. Mr Murray was in his sixty-first year. With the exception of intermittent pains in his injured leg, he was rarely indisposed. He was an ardent Liberal, and a lifelong friend of Mr Stephen Williamson, M.P., and during his contests in the burghs was untiring in forwarding his interests. He was twice married, and his first wife had one daughter, for whom and Mrs Murray the deepest sympathy is being felt. Mr Murray is to be interred in Kilrenny Churchyard on Monday, where he will rest beside the kindred dust of many generations.

It would be an insult to the Cellardyke and other fishermen to suppose that any or many of them entertain the very absurd notions of Skipper Adam Reid as to the payment of their debts. This skipper has been the ” king fisher” of Cellardyke for two Lammas draves in succession This year alone it is commonly rumoured that he had upwards of £200 for his own share, besides selling his boat to considerable advantage. He has given orders for a new boat to be built at a cost of £300 or £400, and yet he objects to pay an account of £5 which he admits to be correct, and puts the Harbour Commissioners to the trouble of getting decree against him in the Sheriff Small Debt Court. With rare magnanimity he offers to get clear of his debt by paying £3 provided be receives a full discharge for the £5. He generously lodges the 60s in the hands of the Clerk of the Commission on this condition, and coolly gives the order that if his terms are not complied with the money is to be returned forthwith. The Commissioners seemed to be much taken aback at the amazing effrontery of the man, and it was some time ere several of them found their tongues. But one and all were unanimous in insisting on full payment being made, and the usual steps taken at once to enforce immediate payment of the debt and the expenses incurred. It is only right and honest that action of this character should be taken. The Commissioners cannot allow themselves to be defied by a man who seems to have very crude ideas as to the payment of his just debts. The Commissioners would be acting dishonestly if they exhibited the least leniency to him. He has no valid excuse whatever for declining to pay, and his case must be made a salutary lesson to himself and others that they cannot be permitted to go on incurring liability in connection with the harbour, and then shirking the fulfilment of their obligations. By a display of firmness at this time, the Commissioners will not only recover the amount due and their expenses, but also administer a telling rebuke to people who, with empty-headed bravado, sometimes boast of their ability to escape the payment of the harbour dues and rates.

(£200 in 1893 is the equivalent of approx. £26,790 today)


A Cellardyke boat, the Reliance, had nearly £100 for one shot of herrings at Yarmouth last week, the quantity landed being 12 lasts. (Adam Reid was Skipper)