The Cellardyke Echo – 23/09/2021 – Issue 306


There will be Sold by Private Bargain, ALL and WHOLE these TWO DWELLING-HOUSES, CLOSE, and SMALL HOUSE and CORNER STANCE, which belonged to the late Mrs Mary Henderson, and situated on the south side of the Street of Cellardyke, and immediately to the west of Mr John Gilchrist’s Property. This is a most desirable Property, both in point of extent and central position, and will be Sold either in Whole or in the following Lots, viz.:-

1st, The Eastmost House of Two Flats, and Garden behind.

2nd, The Westmost House of Two Flats, and Buildings behind the same.

3rd, The Close or Yard, laid with Pavement, and entering from the Tolbooth Wynd.

4th, The Small House, Stable, and Shed, opposite the Town House.

Lots 2 and 3 are well suited, and indeed fitted up, for a Fishcuring Yard. Lot 3 would by itself make an excellent Site fronting to the Tolbooth Wynd. Lot 4 is the best Site in Cellardyke on which to build a good House and Shops fronting either to the Street or Wynd, or both. Offers for the whole, or separately, will be received by Messrs SMITH & COOK, or PHILIP OLIPHANT, Writers, A Anstruther, ‘twixt and 7th October, and from either of whom all necessary information will be obtained. Anstruther, 22nd September 1871.

On Saturday last, before Provost Martin and Bailie Sharp, Robert Murray, fisherman, and William Murray, his son, were charged with assault and breach of the peace committed on the 14th July last, they having then left for the fishing in the north. They both pled not guilty, but on evidence being led the charges were found proven, and they were sentenced to pay a fine of 6d each, with the alternative of eight days in prison. The fines were paid. The cases were tried separately. During the trial and at the close great disturbances was manifested in court by some relatives of the accused interrupting the proceedings and maintaining that justice was not being administered. Provost Martin endeavoured to still the tumult, by threatening to clear the court, and the policemen also announced that if the interruption was persisted in he would apprehend some of them for contempt of court. This had little or no effect, and quietness was only restored by the Magistrates leaving the court at the close of the trial. The hall was quite crowded, and great commotion and disorder prevailed the whole time. It is probable that some of the ringleaders will be apprehended for contempt of court.


A concert under the auspices of the Thistle Lodge of Oddfellows came off in the Sessional School-room, East Green, on Friday evening last. Mr Millar, boat builder, M.N.G., Cellardyke, occupied the chair. The programme embraced songs, glees. &c., which were rendered in excellent style by Messrs W. B. Watterston, A. J. Stevenson, William Binning„ James Peebles, and George Peebles, Anstruther ; Mr John Pratt, Cellardyke; Miss Wallace, Lundin Mill; and Mr Welch, Largo. The proceeds of the concert are to be devoted to a benevolent purpose, and we are glad to learn that a goodly sum was realised.

On Monday, an accident occurred to Mr Noble, the engineer of the engine belonging to Messrs Gilchrist Son, which happily did not turnout so serious as was first anticipated. The engine had been taken to Cellardyke for the purpose of hauling up the boats, and the van in connection with the engine —which is used as a bothy by the men—was being placed close up to the paling near to Mr Cormack’s dwelling house. Mr Noble was at the time standing at the paling when the van was driven up against him, and he was pinned up against the paling, which fortunately gave way, or the consequences would have been very serious. As it was it was found necessary to procure medical aid, and Mr Noble was conveyed home, where he is now recovering.

Rise in the Price of Gas.—The Directors of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Gas Company consideration of the advance on the price of coals, have resolved to raise the price of gas from 6s 8d to 8s 4d the 1000 feet. The high profits of this Company have long led to much public dissatisfaction, and this step, we hear, has induced some leading gentlemen to consider the possibility of starting new concern, and taking public feeling into account, such an idea may not be without some practical results


CELLARDYKE. CONVICTION TOR ASSAULT.-At a Burgh Court held here on Monday—Provost Martin and Bailie Watson on the bench—David Spittal, shoemaker, Anstruther-Easter, was charged with the crime of assault, in so far as, upon Saturday the 6th instant, between 6 and 8 o’clock evening, and upon the public street opposite the house occupied by Alexander Myles, carter, he did wickedly and feloniously assault David Murray, merchant, residing in Anstruther – Easter, by striking him several blows with his clenched whereby his head was cut, and did conduct himself in a riotous and disorderly manner, and used threatening language towards the said David Murray, whereby he was put into a state of alarm. The panel pled guilty, and was sentenced to pay a tine of 15s, with the alternative of fifteen days’ imprisonment.


The number of boats belonging to the district that are to be engaged in the herring fishing at Yarmouth is this year considerably more than last year. From Cellardyke alone, 50 boats go to England, while Pittenweem and St Monance will furnish nearly as many more. One of the St Monance boats left in the end of last week and arrived safely on Sabbath, and on Wednesday one of the Cellardyke boats left. A good many more left on Tuesday, but the weather was not favourable. Yesterday, however, a considerable number of boats left the harbour here, and by next week the whole fleet will have departed. As a consequence of so many boats going to Yarmouth, the number left at home to prosecute the haddock fishing will not much exceed half a dozen, and the crew of these have already started on their first trip to sea.

KILRENNY SCHOOL BOARD.-This board met on Friday evening –  -Rev. G. Smith presiding. Miss

Janet W Lawrie, Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh, was appointed teacher of the Cellardyke Female School, at a salary of £17 10s, together with the school fees and Government grants. The salary of the teacher of Cellardyke Infant School was raised to the same amount. The income of the board for last year was stated to be £265 15s 4½d, and the expenditure £285 15s 2½ d.

The Cellardyke Echo – 19/ 9/2021 -Issue 305


The following is the gross catch of herrings, the number of boats, and the average per boat, at Anstruther and Cellardyke for the last sixteen years :

 Years                   Crans caught                    Average per boat            Number of Boats

1855                      36,685                                               119                                        115

1856                     7,726                                                  55                                         140                       

1857                      9,000                                                 75                                         120        

1858                     33,204                                              242                                       136                       

1859                     10,545                                                70                                        150

1860                     38,257                                                229                                       170

1861                      15,265                                                93                                        170

1862                      14,150                                                 79                                        180

1863                     6,220                                                  34                                        184

1864                     14,150                                                 84                                        187

1865                     4,580                                                 27                                         173

1866                     4,050                                                 24 ½                                    165

1867                     7,260                                                  52                                         150

1868                     6,955                                                 47 ½                                    140

1869                     3,260                                                  22                                         145

1870                     6,265                                                  40 ½                                    155

SERIOUS ACCIDENT. – On Wednesday night, while a man named Leslie Brown, fisherman, was coming out of the public house belonging to Mr David Wilson, he missed his footing and fell to the bottom of the stair. He was immediately conveyed home on a stretcher, and Dr MacArthur having been sent for, his skull was found to have been fractured by the fall. He still lies in a very precarious condition.

THE CLOSE OF THE DRAVE.- The close of the herring fishing this week has witnessed a more than usual number of inebriates in the streets, and more than once we heard the remark that the poorer the drave, the greater number of drunken people. A few of the crews settled up on Wednesday afternoon, and after getting their money they proceeded to spend a portion of it in getting ” fou,” it being the opinion of a good many who go to the fishing that getting drunk at the end of it is a regular part-and the best of the work of the drave. At night, consequently, some difficulty was experienced in walking along the street, a crowd being collected every now and then to witness a struggle between someone who had taken a drop too much and a friend doing his best to keep him quiet, or perhaps a wife or female relation striving to get their demonstrative relatives to go home. At one of these, a man was shouting and swearing, and threatening to do some mischief, while a female was endeavouring to push him into a house, in which, after a hard struggle, she finally succeeded. ‘this same man, according to the assertions of several persons who had been attracted by the noise, had specially distinguished himself in a late revival ; and not a few of them took occasion of the opportunity to condemn revivals and revivalists generally as being “no better than other folk.” Further on, two men who had begun to quarrel and fight were being separated before doing any harm, although if the anathemas they hurled at each other had been at all effective, they would have been in a very nice pickle. The crowds were as a rule composed chiefly of the younger members of the community, who, if one might judge from the criticisms and narratives of the exploits of former draves, seemed to view the behaviour of their seniors with great gusto. The public houses of course did a roaring trade, and a fair share of the earnings of not a few of the half-dealsmen were expended in drinking and treating friends. Walking along the streets, one was sure frequently to hear the remark made by someone who had evidently been cultivating the acquaintance and spirit of John Barleycorn, to some friend whom he had met, “Come awa’, an’ I’ll gie ye a glass.” One half dealsman, who was taken to the police-office on Monday night for being drunk and incapable, had 38s 7d in his possession when released next morning after leaving bail, and on Wednesday forenoon he was without a penny. Few or no accidents seem to have taken place, which, however, did not appear to be the fault of many who were seen endeavouring to limit their walk to the half of the street, but with very indifferent success. One man, it is said, fell into a tub of “tarry,” as the stuff used for barking nets is often called ; but as it was not very warm at the time, he was none the worse.

Remarkable Rescue.

ln the course of last week one of the Cellardyke boats was on herring cruise along the Kincardine coast, a half-dealsman, while in the act of drawing a pail full of water, lost his balance and fell into the sea. The boat was sailing rapidly, and when the struggling fisher next appeared on the surface it was in her wake ; and, though an oar was thrown towards him, and everything possible done for his rescue by his comrades, his situation appeared to be hopeless, when the Pittenweem boat of skipper Michael Heugh, which was astern, succeeded in taking the poor fellow on board just as he sinking into watery grave. He was very much exhausted, but by the kind treatment of Skipper Heugh and his crew, he gradually recovered. What makes the case the more remarkable is the curious coincidence that the Pittenweem boat by which this providential rescue was effected is the same from which the unfortunate half dealsman, John McLeish, of Dundee, was drowned while also drawing a pail full of sea water, in the previous week

On Thursday, a great many of the half-dealsmen left, by both coach and steamer. In the latter there would be nearly 100 of them, the most of them being the worse of drink. A fight took place shortly before starting, and the police apprehended an Irishman who had been concerned in it. Immediately on the steamer leaving the quay, a regular melee took place between five or six half dealsmen on board the steamer, and blows were freely exchanged. The steamer, however, kept on her course, and the fight lasted as long as she was in sight. Mr Kerr, the manager of the Steam Shipping Company, telegraphed to the superintendent of police at Leith to have force of constables awaiting the arrival of the steamer, in order to be in readiness should anything have occurred on the voyage up.


The movement for this object has been taken up here with a spirit very creditable to the community. On Saturday, the ladies’ committee appointed at the meeting on Friday, together with a large number of others from Anstruther, Cellardyke, &c., met in the Town Hall for the purpose of making up bandages, belts, ix., a large quantity of materials for that purpose having been presented by several merchants and others in Anstruther and Cellardyke; and meetings have been held daily up to Wednesday, all the materials having been exhausted by that time. Dr Macarthur attended each day, and gave valuable advice as to the making-up of the different articles; while the other members of the committee of gentlemen also attended, and gave every assistance in their power, Mr Jamieson acting as secretary and corresponding treasurer. Two large boxes of material have been sent off to the Association in London, the contents of which were-14 shirts, 22 sandbags, 20 sheets, 3 doz. flannel bolts, 16 pillow-cases, 61 ½ dos. bandages from 3 to 10 yards in length, 2 bundles of charpie, pairs worsted and cotton socks, 27 towels, 12 bundles of rags, 3 cape, 25 Nightingale capes., 1 pair trousers, 2 pairs drawers, 6 blankets, and 2 cravats. At the conclusion of the work on Wednesday afternoon, Bailie Darsie and Mr Murray thanked the ladies for their attendance, and for the prompt manner in which they had come forward to give their services. The industry and diligence of the ladies in this matter are worthy of all praise, and is another proof of the statement made by Dr Cleghorn at the meeting on Friday last as to the valuable assistance which can be given by the fairer portion of the community; and the ladies in the East of Fife have shown that they are not a whit behind other districts in ministering to the comforts and sufferings of the sick and wounded soldiers. The number of ladies who gave their services in this work in Anstruther, Cellardyke, and Pittenweem was about fifty.

The fishermen who are going to the south are hard work making the necessary preparations, and the most if not all of them will be away by the beginning of next week. From twenty-five to thirty boats are going south from Anstruther and Cellardyke, and the same number from Pittenweem and St Monance. What with a bad Lammas drave and so many of our fishermen leaving for the south, the prospects of trade in the district during the next few months are very dull. A few of the boats have made a trials at the haddock fishing, and this morning two boats landed 13  and 13 ½  cwts. respectively, which sold at 10s. per cwt. These boats, which are not to be used till next Lammas fishing, are now all pulled np. The time now occupied in hauling up the boats is very limited compared to what it was some years ago, the engine of Messrs Gilchrists’ steam plough being employed instead of the old method. The system of keeping boats only for use at the summer herring fishing is not in general a profitable one, and this year we hear of several of the boats thus kept having to be sold in order to defray expenses. It is only when a good drave has been obtained that these boats can pay, and that is a condition which during the past five years has in the majority of cases been awanting.

The Power and Profit of Steam,

In the end of last week the traction engines connected with steam cultivation of Mr Gilchrist of Carvenom were employed in beaching the boats of Cellardyke, when in the course of two or three days, as many eighty-six were drawn from the harbour to the station ground in the east of the town. Previously, this was a work of the most trying kind for both for men and horses; but with the engines thee big boats were moved about as if they had been so many skiffs. While they thus eased the shoulders of our gallant fishermen, they also yielded a handsome return to their owner, as the rate was 11s a boat.

The Cellardyke Echo – 9/9/2021 – Issue 304


Finest home grown Grapes to be had at John Buttars, Merchant, Cellardyke

CELLARDYKE. NIGHTINGALE —ln the Parish Church, on Sunday evening, Rev. James Ray, M.A., gave a lecture on the life of Florence Nightingale, the heroine of the Crimea, before a large congregation. The rev. gentleman based his remarks from the text, Proverbs 31 and 29. In an exceedingly interesting manner he drew for his hearers a graphic word picture of the life of this heroic woman. Referring to the early portion of her life, he commented on the fact that she always showed a predilection for nursing, and her playthings were usually converted into sick persons, and were nursed and tended into good health. He then gave interesting details as to her course of studies which were ultimately to fit her for the arduous labours of the Crimea, and in the latter part of his remarks spoke of her transformation of the poor, ill equipped building at Scutari into a commodious and well-ordered hospital for the alleviation of the terrible sufferings of the soldiers. Commenting on the effects of Florence Nightingale’s work, the rev. gentleman said that now, instead of a set of ignorant and often immoral assistants, there existed a well-trained, intellectual, and refined body of nurses, who followed the course of an army in the field, while almost every village and hamlet in the country was provided with a trained nurse. The address was followed throughout with great attention by the audience. During the collection taking, an anthem was rendered by the choir,

House ENTERlNG.—Kilrenny is seemingly not the only place where houses have been entered this week, as at 21 James Street, Cellardyke, .the house of James Watson entered on Wednesday morning between 12 and 2 o’clock. Entrance had been obtained by means of the gas lamp opposite the stair window of the house, the catch of which had been pushed back with a brand new pocket knife which was left behind. Seemingly before going upstairs the intruder roamed about in the cellar and wash-house, and pulled up some of the windows of several of the rooms in the house. He entered two of the rooms upstairs, in one of which a young woman was sleeping, but the noise made on entering awakened her and she screamed, causing the man to retreat hurriedly. Apparently there was no motive as nothing was removed from the house, the Police are investigating the case.

PROPERTY IN CELLARDYKE TO SELL OR LET. The NET FACTORY presently occupied by Mr GEORGE DICK, at WIND MILL ROAD, and the OILSKIN FACTORY adjoining, with Entry at Martinmas. For further particulars apply to WK. OLIPHANT, Anstruther,

SIX TEACHERS APPLYING FOR AN INCREASE OF SALARY. The Clerk said he had received applications from six of the female teachers in Cellardyke School for an increase of salary, from Misses Rennie, Yannie. Thomson, White, Mitchell, and Taylor. All the letters, which were couched in much the same phraseology, were read. Mr Dobie said they were not in a position financially to make any increase just now.


The East of Fife like other districts experienced the heat wave last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There was scarcely a breath of wind the whole of the three days, but Saturday was thought to be the worst of the three days, when the temperature was nearly up to 90 in the shade. The heat on Monday was not nearly so oppressive, and in the afternoon an air of wind from the south-west tempered the warm rays of the sun. ( 90 degrees is 32C, we’ve experienced nothing like that in September even with yesterday’s record temps)

A Row on the East Pier. -A father and son, named Alexander and David Pattie, carters, Cellardyke, appeared before Provost Dalzell and Bailie Burd on Monday, charged with having on Thursday, 9th August, on the east pier of Anstruther harbour, assaulted Robert Keith, carter, Cellardyke, by striking him on the face with their clenched lists, and with kicking him. A plea of not guilty was tendered, and evidence was led. Keith stated that the son put a barrel before his cart, and when he was remonstrating with him the father came up and struck him, and they both threatened to put him in front of the wheel. They blackened his eyes, and he had to remain in bed for three days owing to the smashing he got. Several witnesses corroborated. One witness was so long in turning up that the Fiscal was about to ask for a warrant for his apprehension when he came into the Court. He was warned that in future he must obey the summons of the Court and be punctual. One witness was examined for the defence. The Fiscal said although it was not a strong case for the prosecution, sufficient evidence bad been led to warrant a conviction. Accused were ordered to pay 7s 6d each, or suffer five days imprisonment, the Provost stating that whatever the provocation they had no right to take the, law into their own hands.

FIFE FISHERMAN DROWNED. COAL MINE FATALITIES. Fatal Accident Inquiries at Cupar To-day Sheriff Armour and a jury were engaged bearing evidence in Cupar Sheriff Court under the recent Fatal Accident Inquiry Act, regarding three cases of death accident in coal mines and one case of drowning on the high seas.

The first inquiry had reference to the death of David Moncrieff, fisherman, Fowler Street, Cellardyke, and the evidence showed that he was engaged on board the fishing boat Nil Desperandum fishing at North Shields on the 16th May last, when a high wave struck the boat, and carried Moncrieff off the deck. He was visible for a quarter of an hour afterwards, but owing the heavy seas could not be reached. The line was thrown him, but did not take it, and it was thought that he was stunned- He was good swimmer.


At a mass meeting of the fishermen at Cellardyke and others interested in the securing of a deep-water harbour for Anstruther, it was resolved to make an appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide a grant for this purpose, one of the reasons advanced being the unfulfilled promise of the Government to make a deep-water harbour at Anstruther, on the faith of which valuable local concessions were made.

The Town Council on Tuesday christened the new street the Caddies’ Burn, Burnside Terrace.

The Council have agreed to suggest to the Technical Education Committee that this winter classes in navigation should be held Cellardyke during the month of December.

Launch. —On Wednesday afternoon Mr Milter launched another steam drifter, this one being to the order of Skipper Henry Bett. Cellardyke. The vessel was christened the Breadwinner by Miss Bett, daughter of the owner.

Police Court. At a Police Court on Monday, Robert Robertson, fisherman, Pittenweem, John McRuvie, fisherman, Cellardyke, and Alexander Moncrieff, fisherman, Cellardyke, were, for committing breaches of the peace, fined 10s each, and bond of £2 for six months, respectively.


A letter was read from Mr D. Watson, Rodger Street, Cellardyke, stating that he was the owner of the boat Providence which was laid up in the harbour. He had been endeavouring to sell the boat, and had been in correspondence with three offerers. He had not yet effected a sale, but was continuing the negotiations. He fully expected that the boat would have been sold before the expiry of the period. The boat was an old one, and was in exactly the same position as the Smiling Morn, to which they had granted a reduction of the dues from 6s to 2s per week. He had to ask for a similar favour as had been granted to Skipper Bett.

Provost Black -Having reduced the dues to Bett, we must do the same to Watson. Mr Oliphant-That was my objection when we granted the reduction, and I don’t see how we can get out of it. The reduction was unanimously granted.

CELLARDYKE. GALLANT RESCUE BY DRIFTER— A sad disaster, resulting in the loss of one life, occurred between Scarborough and Whitby on Tuesday morning. The Jane and Priscilla, a motor vessel of Filey herring fishing fleet, had had a very big catch of herrings, and was making for Scarborough when the crew got the assistance of a Scottish steam herring drifter, Venus, of Cellardyke, Skipper William Smith, to tow them to port. The drifter took about twenty crans of herrings from the Filey boat, but the catch was so big that she was still lying low in the water, About a quarter of an hour after being taken in tow, John Stonehouse one of the crew of the Jane and Priscilla called to the skipper that water was coming over the stern. The skipper told him to tell the steam drifter to slacken speed. A few minutes later the motor boat turned almost perpendicular and sank stern foremost. The crew of five were thrown into the sea, and were all rescued, with the exception of Stonehouse, who sank before he could be reached. Deceased was 35, and lived at Filey where the owner of the lost boat, Mr Arthur Douglas also resides. The work of rescue was made more difficult through the heavy sea boots and clothing which the crew of the ill-fated craft were wearing. .The steam drifter later arrived at Scarborough and landed the rescued men.

The Cellardyke Echo – 2/09/21 – Issue 303



A fire, which was soon extinguished, broke out in the coal bunkers of tho liner, Rob the Ranter, on Sunday afternoon. The vessel was moored at the concrete pier, and as smoke was seen rising from the coal bunkers, the alarm was given. Firemaster Elliot and the engineer of the liner soon arrived, and by pouring water on the coals extinguished the fire. Very fortunately the coals on board were very few, no fresh supply having been put in on Saturday. The damage done consisted only of a small quantity of coal being consumed.

Messrs D. H. Watjen & Co., Bremen, Germany, who recently lost their iron ship Adelaide’ on the Japanese coast while on a voyage to Japan, have replaced her by the magnificent steel four-masted barque ‘Holkar’ which they have purchased from Messrs T. & J. Brocklebank, Liverpool. The Holkar ‘ whose new name will be the Adelaide’ is 2960 tens register, and was built by Messrs Harland & Wolff, Belfast, in 1888. Mr Montador, Cellardyke, is one of the mates. The purchase price was £23,000. Another of Messrs Watjen’s ironships, the ‘ Louise’ (ex-Sherwood) 1774 tons register and built in 1883 left about the same time as the Adelaide’ on a similar voyage, and is supposed to have foundered with all on board, as nothing has been seen or heard of her since. She dropped out of the overdue market some weeks ago as quite uninsurable, and will soon be posted at Lloyd’s as missing.

On Saturday afternoon there was launched from Mr Fulton’s yard at Pittenweem one of those large sailing liners now being adopted by our East Coast fishermen. The craft, which is 68ft. in length and attractive in design and finish, has been built to the order of Skipper Thomas Bett, Cellardyke, and was christened the “Cornucopia’ by his daughter, Miss Maggie Bett. After being fitted up with patent steam capstan, for hauling gear, &c the craft pro-ceeds to the herring fishing at Yarmouth.


WANTED Mechanic with some experience of Net Loom-. Wages good; constant employment; Young Man preferred-Apply. Robt. Watson & Co , Net Makers. Cellardyke, Fife

On Aug. 31 Messrs. A. and J. F. Scott launched at Montrose a strong fishing boat of fine lines for Mr. Robert Davidson, Cellardyke. The craft is 69 feet long, 20 feet broad, and 11 feet deep, and was christened Guide Me.

SALE OF NETS AT CELLARDYKE. There will be sold by Public Roup at 31 Shore Street, Cellardyke, on Wednesday, 11th inst., at Two o’clock, Afternoon. A Quantity of NETS, STOPPERS, and PALLETS, belonging to Skipper Jas. Watson. Mr Bonthron Auctioneer.

FOR Sale the Boat “Phoenix,” K.Y. 2005, 50 feet in length, and Appurtenances, Cheap. Apply George Watson, 36 West, Forth Street, Cellardyke.

On Saturday afternoon, Mr Fulton launched from his building yard large sailing liner to the order of Skipper William Brown (Reid). Cellardyke, which was named the “Vineyard” by Miss Brown, daughter of the owner. The craft, which is similar in design and dimensions to the other seven which the builder has executed for district owners during the course of the past year, is be fitted up with all the latest fishing appliances, and starts shortly on her maiden voyage to the Scarborough and other south herring fishings.


THE POLICEMAN’S LOT. A CELLARDYKE FISHCADGER’S REVENGE. Before Hon. Sheriff-Substitute Gray at Cupar yesterday, D. Ross, fish-hawker, Cellardyke, admitted having, on 2nd September, on the Crail and Kingsbarns highway, opposite the police station at Crail, committed a breach of the peace, conducted himself in a disorderly manner, and used threatening and abusive language towards Wm. Robertson, police constable, and at the bleaching green known as the “Dams” assaulted Wm. Robertson, and kicked him on the legs and body. The Procurator-Fiscal said that a spirit revenge was at the bottom of this case. The police constable at Crail had reported the accused for driving without lights, and since then had evinced a spirit of revenge not only towards the constable, but towards his wife and family! As the constable had an extensive beat, and was often away from his home for long intervals, his wife and family had oftentimes been placed in a state of fear and alarm. His Lordship, in passing sentence of a fine of 30s, or fourteen days imprisonment, remarked that if came back again on similar charge would be dealt with very severely.

The Anstruther fishing fleet, which encountered the full force of last Wednesday’s gale, all successfully weathered the storm but two. One of them, however, turned up on Friday evening, and relieved considerably the anxiety that was being felt. The other not having arrived by Saturday afternoon, five of the steam liners left Anstruther to make a complete search of the fishing grounds near the spot where the boat was last seen on Wednesday afternoon, about 45 miles off Aberdeen. In the fishing community very slender hopes were on Saturday entertained of her safety, and the belief was pretty general that she had foundered, and that the crew had all been drowned. The boat was named The Brothers, and was owned by Skipper William Watson, who was accompanied by his two sons, Adam and Alexander Watson, unmarried; David Muir, fisherman, Cellardyke, unmarried; William Peat, fisherman, Cellardyke, unmarried; and two hired hands from Broughty Ferry, one of whom was named Charles Norrie, and the other David Ferrier.


On Aug. 26 there was launched at St. Monans, by Mr. James Miller, a first-class fishing boat, built to the order of Messrs. John Boyter and William Tarvit, Cellardyke. The boat was named Guiding Star. The craft is 69 feet 8 inches extreme length.

SALE OF FISHING NETS &c., belonging to PETER MURRAY (Brunton), Cellardyke. There will be Sold at the Lifeboat House Middle Pier, Anstruther, 15 Black NETS 8 White NETS, 3 Messenger ROPES, Number of PALLETS and other Fishing Gear. Sale to Commence at Two o’clock Afternoon on SATURDAY, 12th September.


On Saturday night William John Morgan, Kilcone, halfdealsmen, caused a disturbance in Shore Street, committing a breach of the peace, and assaulting James Braid by catching hold of him, shaking and threatening to do for him. Accused pled guilty. The Fiscal said Morgan was very much the worse of drink on Saturday. There had been some dispute about the deal, but he wished their honours to make known that halfdealsmen could not take the law into their own hands in that manner. The fine was fixed at 7s 6d or three days. Morgan expressed regret at what had happened, and said he had no cash, but the skipper of the boat had money belonging to him. The skipper came in and said that although he had money he questioned whether it was Morgan’s. The Provost–But we have nothing to do with that. The skipper then agreed to pay accused’s fine.

The New Lifeboat.

The launching of the new lifeboat tor Anstruther is to take place to-morrow. The united choirs of Anstruther and Cellardyke are expected to take part in the singing of the hymns, while large number of young ladies have agreed to act collectors of subscriptions for the institution and its work.

The Cellardyke Echo – 26/8/2021 – Issue 302


About four o’clock on Tuesday morning, Margaret Doig, residing in Dove Street, Cellardyke, was found dead in bed by her sister. She resided with her sister, and on Monday complained of being sick. The slyer rose during the night, and noticed that Margaret was breathing heavily, but nut caring to waken her she went to bed again. Shortly afterwards she found her dead. On the doctor being called the cause of death was certified to be haemorrhage on the brain. She was 62 years of age, and unmarried.


Gallant rescue from Drowning at Aberdeen Harbour

A correspondent writes to an Aberdeen paper:—Having seen no notice taken of the incident I am about to narrate perhaps you will allow space for it in your valuable paper. On 15th July last while two young girls were walking along Pocra Pier the youngest one, aged seven years, fixed her foot on a ring and fell into the harbour. As no one was near, the little girl struggled in the water for some time, and then sank. Coining to the surface again, her companion ran along the quay and gave the alarm. A fisherman named William Smith (Melville), who at the time was engaged taking out his nets, heard the cries of the girl, and at once ran to her assistance, but by the time he reached the spot she was completely exhausted, and again sank. Smith, having on his sea boots and oilskins at the time, got hold of a boat, and thus succeeded in getting the little girl safe on land. The girl was taken to a house in Footdee, where she received every attention. On her recovering her name was found to be Jane Johnstone, residing in Schoolhill. Great praise is due to Mr Smith for his gallantry, especially as this is the third life he has saved within the last four months. Besides giving him praise, I think he ought to be awarded the Humane Society’s medal.


Wednesday was observed as a holiday in Anstruther and Cellardyke—in the latter place the closing of the shops being a weekly practice as long as the boats continue the north. The town, however, was little altered, so quiet is the aspect of everything and everybody. The number of summer visitors staying in the district is about the same last year; but the number of people taking tour round the burghs is greater than ever. Colinsburgh Horticultural Show attracted a good few pleasure-seekers, but many contented themselves with round of the golf course, upon which interesting match took place at the close of the day.

The Fishing Season.— The herring fishing has been prosecuted with fair success ; but the weather and prices had an adverse tendency. A strong gale set in on Friday, and many boats came for shelter, including a few strangers. Only 25 crans in all were landed, and like quantity on Saturday. The storm continued on Monday, but few crews set out to try the Firth, with the result that the Sovereign landed 35 barrels at 17s 6d, one yawl 4 ½ at 25s, and another boat later on 40 crans 5s. After the gale dropped, the others sailed on Tuesday. The northern fishing, about which so high hopes were entertained on its opening, has so far proved failure for most of the fishermen. Takes there are of from £300 to £500, and even £600; but by far the largest portion of the fleet are yet between £50 and £100, and several under that, which they have landed as high as 400 crans. The Fife boats, however, are no worse than their neighbours, the trawlers also capturing enormous quantities, but sharing in the ridiculous prices so general at Aberdeen. The liners at St Monans and Anstruther are to be launched on the 22nd and 27th inst. respectively.


On Wednesday morning the boat Alices, of Cellardyke, KY 1676 (John Bett, skipper), fishing at Aberdeen, got her mast broken while at sea by steamer crossing her stem. The Alices was riding by her nets, with her mast on the crutch, and projecting over the stern, and her rudder unshipped.

The lights were up, but the steamer —the Rita of Copenhagen, on a voyage to Fraserburgh—had not, it is believed, given the boat wide enough berth, sailing close past her stern and carrying away part of the mast. The Rita stood Captain Belt till got his nets hauled, and afterwards towed the Alices into Aberdeen bay and signalled for tug.


On Wednesday afternoon, while Mary Pattie, 12 years of age, daughter of Alex. Pattie, Cellardyke, was sitting at the door-step of her father’s home in Forth Street, an empty cart which was standing till the west of the door, was knocked down by a young boy. The shaft lighted upon her right leg, breaking it above the ankle.


At West Forth Street. Cellardyke, on the 24th instant, the wife of Skipper William Motion (McRuvie), of a daughter.

At 30 Rodger Street. Cellardyke, the 25th instant, the wife of David Carstairs, fisherman, of a son

At 16 Shore Street, Cellardyke, on the 28th instant, the wife of Alex. Brown, fisherman, of a son.

ASSAULT IN A PUBLIC HOUSE.—At a Burgh Court on Monday, before Provost Anderson, John Pitt, publican, Cellardyke, was charged with having on the 2nd August, in the public house at East Shore, Anstruther, occupied by Thomas Dunsire, assaulted John Elder, fish hawker, Cellardyke, by striking him with his clenched fists several severe blows on the eye and other parts of his person. Accused admitted his guilt, but with great provocation.

The Fiscal said it was a very unprovoked assault. Elder had gone into the public house where accused and another party were playing at dominoes. Elder made the remark that he would play the winner, and he was told with a curse to go to the door. Without anything further accused seized him by the throat, and struck him several severe blows on the eye to the effusion of blood. Accused said the beginning of this case was a few days before this, when Elder came up to him at Mr Jarvis’ woodshed and called him a lot of bad names, which he was ashamed to repeat. But being drunk he did not chastise him then. Had the police been there he would have been taken up for breach of the peace. He had been provoked several times by Elder, and he deserved to be chastised. He admitted he was wrong in taking the law into his own hands. The Provost—Especially in another party’s house. Accused—But it was more than flesh and blood could stand. The Provost—it was a great pity to commit an assault of that kind in a licensed house, and you will be fined 10s or seven days.

The Cellardyke Echo – 19/8/2021 – Issue 301


The herrings have now appeared upon our shores. Several boats from St Monance came in this morning with seven to eight barrels each, and one boat delivered at Cellardyke about 14 barrels. The present Shoal of herrings appears to be close inshore.


1t is gratifying to be enabled to state, that there never was a better appearance of herring fishing on the east of Fife coast than at present. Shoals of these fishes are seen extending four or five miles in length, and the quality is excellent. About forty boats are employed, and all are getting more or less. Some boats, yesterday, landed 18 crans. The cadgers are paying 12s., and the curers about 11s., per cran. It is a pity there are not more boats at hand, as the fishing is expected, from the state of the tide, to very heavy next week. The fishing ground at present is about half a mile to the eastward of Cellardyke, in 15 or 16 fathoms water, and about two miles from the shore.


The herring fishing here is going on prosperously. Two boats have come in this morning with about thirty crans each. A number of the fishermen went to a place called Auld-Haiks, neat Fifeness, last night, to try the fishing there, appearances were said be favourable, but the boats have Dot yet returned, and their success is not known. At the fishing on this coast, we understand that up to the 14ih, the boats had averaged about fifty-four or fifty-five crans each, and the prices have never been below I Is. to curers, while some times and 39s pet cran have been paid by the cadgers the fishermen. One boat’s crew have caught upwards of 150 crans.

( Some of the largest single shots landed in Scotland that season were landed at Cellardyke of over 60 Crans per boat, huge for boats that were on average only about 35ft, that is 2ft longer than the Fisheries Museum’s Whitewing, The landings were so large that the prices fell dramatically and boats had to sail to Leith or Burntisland to get decent prices, for the season one boat landed over 600 crans, and 80 local boats averaged over 350 crans)


Cellardyke, Aug. 13 The herring fishing has been very successful this morning. The take considerable both sides of the Frith. On the Fife side, the fishing ground is now off the Billowness, a scene which was so beautifully and so truly delineated by J. F. Williams, Esq. in the exhibition of paintings this spring. The boats came into Anstruther this morning, loaded with 30 and 40 crans, and the price down to 12s. per cran. Cadgers’ carts, to the number of 100 and upwards, and containing three and four crans each, are now setting off in all directions the bustle of which, with the number of persons employed carting, gutting, packing, and curing, gives this town and Anstruther a very animated and interesting appearance at present. August 14,—Two French vessels have arrived at Anstruther harbour in order to take in herrings; and although there have been good shots this morning, the price is still 12s. and 13s. per cran. The concourse of cadgers very great. The boats which went to Dunbar last night have not yet arrived at Anstruther; but they are observed to be on their passage across, and as they appear pretty deep the water, it inferred they are well fished.

August 15 – the heaviest fishing this morning that has taken place since the commencement of the Drave. Many boats have brought in twenty, thirty, and forty crans, and upwards—and the demand being brisk, both from curers and from cadgers, nearly the former prices were maintained, viz. eleven shillings, and eleven and sixpence per cran. About ninety boats came and discharged their herrings in Anstruther harbour alone, besides what went to Cellardyke and Pittenweem. The fishing ground is off Craignoon Haven, the proposed harbour at Cellardyke, and quite close in, namely, five or six fathoms water. The fish are of an excellent quality, having no appearance of being near spawning; and the fishermen say there every prospect of a heavy fishing. The boats ‘will now average fifty crans each, and the price fourteen shillings per cran.

Another report states – Great inconvenience is experienced for want of a sufficient number of women to gut and pack herrings.


Wick – Seldom has there been such an irregular fishing as this year; for, while some boats do not exceed 20 crans, others range from 200 to 349-the latter quantity having been caught by the “The Brothers” of Cellardyke, James Murrav, master, in fourteen shots.


Great Take of Herrings.-There was an enormous take of herrings on the Fife coast, on Monday week, such as has not occurred in that quarter for many years. The boats from St. Monance, Pittenweem, Anstruther, Cellardyke and Crail, were literally overloaded, many of them bringing in upwards of one hundred crans. In connexion, with this extraordinary fishing, it is rather remarkable that on the following evening the immense shoals of herrings entirely disappeared, and the boats out on that evening took few or none.

1848 – John o Groats Journal

The distressing circumstances of Saturday morning will not surely lost on the authorities Wick and well as on the fishermen, in teaching them some useful lessons for their future guidance under similar circumstances. I was out at four o’clock at the shore on Saturday morning, and shall relate what saw, that may enabled the better to see where we have failed in our duties, and the course I think ought to pursue in providing against similar contingencies. When I got to the shore it blew a perfect hurricane, with thick rain, so that 1 could only sea short distance into the bay, perhaps not much beyond the farthest out pall. Out of the gloom beyond, boat after boat made its appearance, some making for the harbour, others for the river. Two or three reached the harbour in safety, while others were either swamped before they reached it, or struck the north and south quay heads, and became perfect wrecks, and the crews, either wholly or in part, were drowned. Of those who made for the river, three were safely moored alongside the jetties, and two were stranded on the bank, but the crews, boats, and nets were saved. All this in little more than half hour. The suddenness the whole affair, and the tremendous violence of the raging elements, seem, at first sight, to defy all human calculation and forethought. This I question.

A good deal, l am persuaded, might be done to save life and property that has not been done. Thomas Cunningham, from Cellardyke, ran the river, and got safe in; but, before encountering the broken water, he and his men cut their buoys from their nets, and tied the bladders round them. Like cool calculators, and men accustomed to look danger in the face, they saw the risk they were run, and did their best to increase their chances of saving themselves. What have the authorities of Wick and Pulteneytown done to lessen the risks of their dangerous harbour and river? Literally nothing.  No Thomas Cunningham has ever sat at their boards. A light on the quayhead would have been of great service; but there was none. Life buoys and other apparatus for saving life and property, on each quayhead, would have shown humanity and forethought, but there are none. A lifeboat would have been of practical service, but no lifeboat have we; nor is there a single person whose business it is to give directions in any exertions that may put forward aid to poor fishermen at the mercy of the pitiless storm. Such state of things ought not surely to continue. Blame, great blame, attaches somewhere; indeed, I would say, an amount of negligence disgraceful to all concerned. ……………

To the fishermen, I would say, never attempt Pulteneytown harbour in storm, make for the river rather, but before you do even this, mind on Thomas Cunningham of Cellardyke and cut your buoys from your nets, and tie them round you. You will feel more secure, and, consequently, do your work better

l remain, &c., A  Looker on – Wick, Aug. 21, 1848.


Sherriff Criminal court – Christian Kay or Thomson, Cellardyke, pleaded guilty to having stolen a number of articles at Crail, and was sentenced to sixty days’ imprisonment.


There will be Sold by Public Roup, within the Town Hall Cellardyke, on Saturday the 29th September 1849, At Two o’Clock P M,

1. All and Whole that TENEMENT of Two Flats, with the Yard and Pertinents, as presently possessed by George Smith, and others, bounded by the late Ann Simson’s subjects on the west, the Vennel leading to the sea the east, the sea on the south, and the street Cellardyke on the north.

2. All and Whole these Three DWELLING-HOUSES of Two Flats, with Offices and large Gardens attached to situated on the north side of the street Cellardyke, and immediately the east of the Town Hall, and possessed by Robert Anderson and Others ;—as also All and Whole that Small HOUSE of One Flat immediately to the north of the Shambles of Cellardyke.

3. All and Whole that new DWELLING-HOUSE Two Flats, possessed by James Wilson and others; small HOUSE adjoining, possessed by Widow Marr; – FISHCURING YARD the south thereof, situated east side the Tolbooth Wynd, with the eastmost ROOM and CLOSET on the second storey of the eastmost House, with the GARRET above the same, and westmost CELLAR of said House, possessed by James Jack and others, situated on the south side the street of Cellardyke, opposite the Town House.   

These Properties are most convenient and valuable, and will subdivided into small Lots, if not sold in whole. For further particulars, apply Oliphant, Writer, Anstruther, in whose hands are the Articles of Roup and Title-Deeds. Anstruther, August 1849.

The Cellardyke Echo – 12/08/2021 – Issue 300



David Birrell, baker, Cellardyke, at sent residing at Fowler Street, Cellardyke.

SALE, by Private Bargain, on death owner, THE OILSKIN FACTORY, 31 to 39 James Street, Cellardyke, with the OILSKIN MANUFACTURER’S BUSINESS carried on during the last forty years by ALEX. BLACK & CO. (Inventors and sole manufacturers the Patent Canvas

The Buildings, which are in excellent order, and include ample storage, are equipped with all the necessary Machinery, driven by Steam Power. The present Stock will be taken over by the Purchaser at mutual valuation. Very moderate ingoing terms.

For further particulars apply GUTHRIE & MAXWELL, Solicitors, Anstruther, with whom Offers may be lodged on or before 18th August.


SPEED OFFENDERS PAY UP AT CUPAR. For exceeding the speed limit in a 10-mile control the following motor offenders were dealt with by Sheriff Dudley Stuart at Cupar yesterday Martin Gardiner, motor driver, Rose isle, Burnside Tce, Cellardyke, 28 miles, fined 30s: James Gardiner, engineer, Shore Street, Anstruther, 25 miles, fined 25s;

AWARDS FOR HEROISM SCOTTISH RECIPIENTS. The Royal Humane Society have made the following awards for heroism in life saving : — VELLUM AWARDS . ….. James Mitchell (50) , West Forth Street , Cellardyke . Fife , for saving Robert Crookes (9) , of Church Row , Limehouse , who fell into the Thames on June 26 .



David Pattie, ploughman, Balhouffie Cottar Houses, Anstruther, or 5 Shore Street, Cellardyke, admitted before Hon. Sheriff Osborne Cupar to-day a charge of having, on 11th May, on the public highway, opposite the dwelling-house occupied by John Douglas, ploughman, Balhouffie Cottar Houses, Anstruther, assaulted Clifford McHugh, ploughman, 12 Shore Street, Cellardyke, by striking him severe blow on the right jaw with his clenched fist, causing it to bleed freely, and loosened several of his teeth. Sentence of a fine of £1, or ten days’ imprisonment, was passed.



By permission of the Air Force Commander, the Scouts of East Neuk of Fife visited the aerodrome at Leuchars. The party numbered over 70, and were drawn from the troops at Anstruther, Pittenweem, Elie, and Kilconquhar. Mr J. Y. Hunter, headmaster, Cellardyke, as senior Scoutmaster, took charge of the combined troops. On arrival at the base they were received by the chief officer in charge, and were divided into sections under instructors, who conducted them severally through the aerodrome, and explained the main features of the work of the aeroplane and its construction.

The boys were eager, and followed their instructors with rapt attention. After two hours of intellectual enjoyment, the companies re-formed, and marched off to their respective charabancs to the strains of the Air Force band. The difficulties of transport were overcome through the generosity of R. Brown, of Colinsburgh, and Bailie Carstairs, of Anstruther, to whom special thanks are due.


When the fishing boat “William Wilson” arrived at North Shields, to-day, it was reported that a deck band, David Smith (a), of Cellardyke, was missed on Wednesday. The crew were having breakfast when Smith said he was going on deck. Later he could not be found. Smith, who left a letter in his bunk addressed to his wife, had complained recently of pains.

The Cellardyke Echo – 5/8/ 2021 – Issue 299


PUBLIC MEETING (Anstruther Easter). A public meeting of this place and the two neighbouring burghs Cellardyke and West Anstruther, was held evening of Monday last-Provost Greig in the chair —for the purpose of expressing satisfaction at the passing of the Anstruther Union Harbour Act of Parliament, and the passing vote of thanks to our member, Mr Ellice, for his praiseworthy efforts to get the bill passed safely through both Houses. Mr Mackintosh, banker, read a lengthened resume of the transactions connected with the originating and passing of the bill, and the different measures adopted by the local committee for bringing the bill before Parliament, from which it appeared that the counsel and aid given by Mr Ellice were greatly instrumental in bringing it to a successful issue.

Mr John Todd, fishcurer, moved the first resolution—”That this meeting, composed of the inhabitants of East and West Anstruther and Cellardyke, in public meeting assembled, unanimously express gratification with the passing of the Anstruther Union Harbour Act, and that the meeting believes the harbour, when erected, will render the fisherman’s occupation, more remunerative and less hazardous; will not only prove a boat harbour of refuge, but will be available for the general coasting trade and will lead to the development of the resources, and to increase the commercial importance and of the whole district.”

In support of his resolution, Mr Todd said that one fact of great importance that would be derived by the passing of the act would that the boats could enter or depart from the harbour at any state of the tide, thereby not only enabling the fishermen to go oftener to sea at less risk, but also that the different markets would be supplied with the fish in a fresh state, for which a higher price would be got, which would both benefit fishermen and the inhabitants of the district. …..


Herring Fishing.—Since Thursday last little has been done at any of the stations of this district. From one to six crans have been the highest takes landed within this period, and only a very few crews have been so successful, the majority having such poor results as not to be marketable. The St Monance and Pittenweem boats still continue to prosecute the fishing the Firth, but many of the Cellardyke boats have proceeded to the north. Prices have been well maintained at from 30s to 37s per cran.


 Dr Guthrie’s talk on behalf of the benevolent Institution and coast Missions in Thurso

…….THE CELLARDYKE FISHERMEN PRAISED. Our fisher friends here will be delighted hear me extol the fishermen, but I do it honestly and sincerely. I was lately over in Fife, and at famous fishing place, Cellardyke. The fishermen of this place are fishers to much greater extent than the Newhaven folks. A finer people you will not see. Well, when I was there I spoke to one of them and asked him about the habits of the place. “Oh, Dr Guthrie,” he said, “the habits of the people are much improved in the last thirty years. I remember when no boat went out to the German Ocean without two or three bottles of whisky, and I remember when no herring boat was hauled up, when the fishing was over, but she cost many shillings (I forget the exact sum) for whisky. Now,” said he, “Sir, do you see these boats?” and I saw about 70 boats run up the beach, and lying there during the winter season. “These boats have been all run up twenty years ago, and cost £25 for whisky. These boats were run up last year, and not drop of whisky was drunk. Now, instead of our men taking their whisky when they out to sea (some of them, indeed, do that still, but not the bulk) they take coffee; they take (I think he called it) a coffee boiler; (it was not a coffee pot); they take machinery for making coffee. They plough the deep and ride through the storm, and come back again sober as judges, and more sober than many judges used be.


CELLARDYKE. DOG-FIGHTING. – A burgh court was held here yesterday—Bailies Sharp and Watson on the bench. John Scott, carter, Cellardyke, was charged, at the instance of the burgh fiscal, with committing an offence within the meaning of the Act 13 Vict. c. 92, entituled ” An Act for the effectual prevention of cruelty to animals (Scotland) 1860,” by encouraging and inciting a dog in his charge to fight with another dog belonging to George Henderson, Cellardyke, on the evening of Monday the 18th of July, near the town hall, in consequence of which both dogs fought for a considerable time and injured each other, whereby he rendered himself liable to a penalty not exceeding £5. The panel pled guilty, and he was sentenced to pay a fine of 10s or go to prison for ten days. Bailie Sharp said the bench had mitigated the penalty in order to allow the panel an opportunity of paying the fine, but should he appear again before them on a similar complaint, it would be more serious for him, as the Magistrates were determined to put an end to the practice.


Pleasure Seekers from Leith.—ln thee course of the last eight days so generally observed as a holiday time in Edinburgh and Leith, the steamer Forth has made repeated cheap trips from that port, which induced not a few to make a passing visit to the East of Fife. These pleasure seekers appeared for the most part to belong to the industrial classes, but although the weather was occasionally wet and unfavourable for being out of doors, they, with only a few exceptions, avoided the common temptation of the public house, and conducted themselves with exemplary order and propriety. Chalmers’ birthplace was looked at with curious interest, and many eager inquiry was made after Maggie Lauder’s house, but though disappointed in this instance, many our Edinburgh friends were much struck and delighted with the long streets and clean comfortable houses of Cellardyke, so widely different from the usual characteristics of a Scottish fishing village. Large numbers visited Pittenweem with much interest, and a few enterprising groups extended their walk as far as St Monance and Crail, when the beautiful sea braes and the boats on their way to the fishing ground were gazed with lively enthusiasm and pleasure; and altogether their visit to the East Neuk appeared to yield the highest satisfaction and enjoyment to pent-up denizens of ” Auld Reekie,” well those of its prosperous seaport.


Drowned at Sea.—On Monday afternoon a lamentable accident happened near the Bell Rock, by which a young man named Andrew Carstairs, one the crew of the Cellardyke fishing boat ” Planet,” No. 22 (Skipper Duncan McRuvie), lost his life. He had gone to the side of the boat to draw some salt water with the peggin”—a wooden vessel fitted with a long handle —when in attempting to lift it on board he was dragged overboard by the strength of the current, owing to the speed at which the boat was going through the water. This circumstance, however, enabled the boat to tack with the utmost readiness, but promptness and activity were all unavailing, as before the drowning young man could be reached, his boat mates, looking with feelings not to be described, saw him throw his arms into the air, and then sink into a watery grave. Carstairs was about twenty years of age; but however short his lifetime he had been peculiarly the child of misfortune and sorrow. In early youth he was deprived by death of both his father and mother, and some years ago a melancholy calamity having overtaken his maternal grandmother, who lived in comfortable circumstances in Crail, he was sent into the world all homeless and friendless growing up without any steady employment, and open to every snare and temptation around him; and now that his brief blighted life is over, leaving few if any to mourn his untimely fate.


French Fishermen.—Several French fishing vessels have arrived Anstruther harbour this season for the purpose buying the old nets of the Cellardyke fishermen, with which to prosecute the herring fishing in the North Sea. These vessels are lugger rigged; but, though clumsy in appearance, they are good sea boats. They have a crew of twenty men and boys, who, when compared with our fishermen, have few if any of the comforts of life. Sleeping, in their clothes on the hard planks, and using cider only instead of hot tea or coffee, where for dinner they have a miscellaneous diet of fish, flesh and vegetables, which they devour out of the cooking pot, in the same way that country urchins sup their porridge out of same bowl. Notwithstanding, however, the many discomforts of such a life, they maintain all the gaiety and flow of animal spirits so characteristic of Frenchmen; and on an evening they land from their vessels and dance and caper and sing with all the glee of children, drawing around them large numbers of the town folks, who enjoy many hearty laugh over their fantastic manoeuvres. The French luggers, though fitted out with gear which the Scottish fishermen regard as useless, are frequently very successful in the North Sea ; but they are the dread of our home crews, who have not only reason to fear a collision with their stronger tackling, but who also not suspect then wrongly of pirating their nets and herrings.

A boy named Alex. Martin, ten years of age, son of Skipper Alex. Martin, was drowned last week a little to the west of Cellardyke harbour.

The Cellardyke Echo – 29/7/2021 – Issue 298


Friday 28th July

Displenishing Sale at Cellardyke of the horses, Carts, Harness and other stock, which belonged to the late William Kirkcaldy, Contractor, comprising

  1. Livestock – 3 horses suitable of lorry work, 1 driving mare, 1 cross bred mare with foal at foot. 1 pig; also the pure Bred Clydesdale Stallion “Lathrisk Topsman” ( No 11784, Vol XXV, foaled 3rd June 1900
  2. CARTS, HARNESS, etc. 3 Heavy Lorries, 2 Coup Carts, 5 stone Carts (1 without wheels), 1 Wood Cart, 2 Heavy Spring Carts, several Sets Lorry Harness and Cart Harness, and Cart and Plough Chains, Irish Car, Gig, Governess Car, 2 Sets of Gig Harness, Wheel- barrow, Corn Box, Meat Barrow, Stable Utensils, Pails, Tubs, Harrows, Grubber, Water Trough, Sheep Troughs, Cattle Feeding Box. Turnip Cutter, Sheep Balks, Sheep Nets, Stobs, Bosses, Wood, Old Iron, etc., etc.
  3. AND THE FOLLOWING:— The produce of 1 acre, 35 poles, 17 yards POTATOES, “Langworthy,” growing at the Milton, West Anstruther.

The PASTURAGE up till Martinmas 1905 of the PARK at Cellardyke, which was occupied by Mr Kirkaldy.

WOODEN SHED in above-mentioned Park.

WOODEN SHED in the Ground at Anstruther Easter, belonging to the Harbour Commissioners.

Roup to commence at Two o clock p.m. DAVID MORTON, Auctioneer. Clydesdale Bank Buildings, Anstruther.



“Puritan” KY144, wrecked on rocks in Shetland, 19 July 1906, being salvaged. Skipper Jas Wood, St Monans. Scottish Fisheries Museum image

Last Thursday a fierce gale broke over Scotland, and the herring fleet at Shetland suffered considerably, while returning to the harbours. On Thursday afternoon, word was brought to Lerwick that a large fishing boat, the Puritan, KY. 144, (skipper James Wood), belonging to St Monans, was ashore on one of the outlying rocks near the north entrance to Lerwick harbour. The boat was stated to be in a bad place, and the crew in a perilous position. It turned out that the boat had first struck on the “Unicorn” rock, and had afterwards drifted on to the Green Holm, where the crew got ashore.

On the matter being reported, the Cellardyke drifter, Vanguard 111. KY. 693, (skipper Martin Gardner), immediately left the harbour to render assistance. Information was also conveyed to the coastguard station at Fort Charlotte, and steps were taken to send out the rocket apparatus to the scene of the wreck. The apparatus was put on board the drifter Mary Stephen, PD. 116. There was considerable excitement while the coastguards were bringing down the apparatus from the Fort, and the work of getting the articles on board the drifter, which was lying at Victoria Pier, was witnessed by a large crowd of people. Lieut. Buckle. Divisional Officer of Coastguards at Lerwick, proceeded with the vessel, and the apparatus was in charge of Chief Officer Drysdale, who has had considerable experience In life saving work. Mr James Moffat, Lerwick, went with the vessel as pilot. The Mary Stephen left harbour about seven o’clock, but when she arrived at the scene of the wreck, the Vanguard had just succeeded in getting the wrecked men safely on board.

Both vessels arrived back at Victoria Pier shortly after eight o’clock, when it was learned that the crew of the Puritan had been saved with great difficulty, and only after several attempts had been made to reach the isle in the small boat. The men had jumped ashore from their small boat on to the rocks. and in doing so one of them, named Patrick Rath, a native of Ireland, employed as a hired hand on the boat, had suffered injury by striking his head on the rocks. Medical aid having been summoned Dr McLennan came down to the vessel to attend to the injured man. Rath was quite unconscious, and he had to be taken ashore for treatment. Another of the crew, Thomas Guthrie, got one of his ankles badly injured while jumping ashore. The Puritan, by the time the crew were rescued, had sunk, there being nothing visible above the waves but the mizzen.

Great praise is given to the skipper of the Vanguard 111, for the persistent manner in which he stuck to the task of rescuing the crew of the Puritan. Being coxswain of the lifeboat at home, he has had much experience and possesses great skill in work of the kind. His crew also wrought very hard to get to the wrecked men, who were in a very exhausted condition when they were rescued.

In the course of an interview, skipper Martin Gardner of the Vanguard 111. gave the following narrative of the rescue:—

Word was brought here by one of the English drifters that the Puritan was on the rocks, and said he could not risk his own vessel as he was not acquainted with the place. I said I would go if I could get a man to pilot me there. We left harbour about half past four o’clock, and when we got out we saw the b oat on the Green Holm, and the men on the island. They signalled to us to run to the other side of the island, and we did so, and launched our small boat, and put five men into her. We ran in as far as we could go with safety, being in about 21/2 fathoms of water. There were only two oars in the small boat, and the wind was blowing so strong that they were unable to reach the island. They were driven off, and we had twice to go and pick them up. We were then going back to get more oars when we met a YH drifter and got a couple of oars from him. We then made another attempt, and the third time we were successful. The whole of the crew were taken on board at the same time. They were pretty exhausted, having been exposed for so long on the island to the cold and wet.

Vanguard III KY 693

James Wood, skipper of the Puritan, stated that they left Baltasound on Wednesday. They were reaching in for the north entry when they struck on the north part of the “Unicorn. This was about three o clock in the afternoon. They put up signals of distress, showed flagss and burned blankets and though there were three drifters that passed they took no notice of them. Then a sailing boat came along and saw and took the word to the harbour, and the Vanguard 111. came out to their assistance. Before this they had drifted on to the Green Holm where they got ashore. When trying to swim ashore, Rath struck his head on a rock and got hurt, and another man, Thomas, Guthrie, got an injury to his ankle. But for the Vanguard (said the skipper) they might all have been dead men in the morning. The Vanguard deserved great praise fur the way he did the business _ –

The Puritan was a first-class boat. 67 feet of keel, and was fully equipped. Most of the gear and the men’s effects were saved.

Rath recovered consciousness about one o clock Friday morning, and has since been making satisfactory progress towards recovery.

WRECKED ST MONANS CREW LANDED AT ABERDEEN. The steamer St Ninian, belonging to the North of Scotland Steam Navigation Company, arrived in Aberdeen last night with five members of the crew of the fishing boat Puritan, of St Monans, which was wrecked on a reef of rocks off Green Holm, near Lerwick, during the severe storm about ten days ago. Those who were landed last night at Aberdeen were James Wood, skipper and owner of the boat, St Monans; David Wood, 16 years age, son; William Davidson, St Monans; Thos. Swankey, Arbroath; and Patrick Rath, native of Ireland. The crew of the Puritan had an exciting experience, and were in an exhausted condition when rescued by the steam drifter Vanguard 111., of Cellardyke (Mr Martin Gardner, skipper). The unfortunate men were taken to the Sailors’ Home on their arrival in Aberdeen, and were provided with railway tickets to enable them to proceed to their homes.

( the boat was salvaged gaff rigged and worked from Shetland for a while . see photo here)


Boat wrecked at Eyemouth

On Tuesday forenoon a misfortune befell one of the Eyemouth fishing boats, whereby the vessel became a complete wreck, a considerable portion of the gear was destroyed. The boat was named J Ritchie Welch, and had been purchased recently from Cellardyke by James Patterson, one of our local fishermen. On the morning in question the fleet was proceeding to sea, but owing to the direction of the wind considerable difficulty and danger was experienced in getting out of the bay. About eleven o clock the J Ritchie Welsh mis-stayed in the roadstead and drifted onto the rocks at the east entrance of the bay. There was a heavy roll, and the boat and crew were in an eminently perilous position. The boat reeled to and fro and appeared as if she would capsize altogether. Great excitement prevailed on shore, where large crowds had gathered. The coble and a small boat went out to render assistance, but nothing could be done, even in the way of saving the men’s lives, as it was found to venture near such a dangerous position would bring destruction to their own craft. To add to the excitement and anxiety of the moment some fishermen, anxious to have the lifeboat launched jumped into the harbour in order to swim across to the lifeboat house, but they had not proceeded far when they showed signs of drowning and were picked up by a small boat in a very exhausted condition. Meantime a crowd of fishermen had gathered at the “Green-ends” where the unfortunate boat was being furiously lashed by the waves. Communication was ultimately effected and cork jackets from the lifeboat were sent aboard for the men. Amid great excitement and danger each member of the crew jumped into the water and was pulled ashore. The last to leave the boat was James Patterson, skipper whose coolness during a most critical time was most commendable. He was the only one who received personal injury, but we are glad to know this was not of a serious nature. When the tide receded, a large number of people viewed the wreck. The boat was smashed to pieces, and nets and sails and gear mixed up in a most inextricable tangle. The boat’s messenger and some nets were saved.

(The James R Welch KY 393 was the largest of the fleet when it was launched March 1886 at 57ft built by Jarvis of Anstruther for James Smith of Cellardyke. It was named after a St Andrews town councillor and friend to the Fife fishing community.)


The new steam drifter, Alices, built to the order of Messrs Bett, Cellardyke, and launched by Messrs Geddes, Portgordon, has been completed Messrs Cooper and Grieg, Dundee. After getting her gear on board at Anstruther this week, the vessel sailed for the fishing  on Wednesday.


Major Anstruther Gray asked the President of the Board of Trade, in the House of Commons on Tuesday, whether his attention had been called to the case of Alexander Smith, a fisherman of Cellardyke, whose nets were taken on or about 2d February last to the Elie Coastguard Station under the misapprehension that they had been abandoned or lost at sea ; whether when this fact was explained the nets were not delivered to their owner, but a claim made of £4 for salvage ; whether these nets were left out all night in frost and snow, and suffered damage thereby ; how many days and nights they were so exposed ; whether these nets were now to be sold by auction; and whether seeing that the owner, a hard-working man, had been deprived of the use of them ever since the beginning of February, and had thus suffered financial loss which he could ill afford, he would cause the nets to be handed over without payment to their owner and grant him some compensation for the loss he had sustained?

Mr Kearley—I am aware of the circumstances of the case. I am advised that the nets in question, having been found adrift, were properly brought as wreck by the finder to the chief officer of coastguard at Elie, representing the receiver, and that Section 546 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, accordingly operated to give the salvor a claim for reasonable salvage. It became the duty of the receiver under Section 552 of that Act to detain the nets pending a settlement of the claims or until security—which in this case was fixed at £4—had been given. I understand that the chief officer of coastguard did everything in his power to protect the nets, but that while they were spread out to dry and in his absence on duty a snowstorm unfortunately came on and covered them. They were then dried and stored as soon as possible, and l am informed that they do not appear to be any the worse of their exposure. The receiver was instructed by the Board to endeavour to effect an arrangement between the salvor and the owner of the nets, but though the claim of the former was substantially reduced the owner still objected to pay, and his solicitor stated that the receiver could keep the nets. In these circumstances instructions have been given for the a sale of the nets by auction, and the proceeds, if any remain after the settlement of the salvage expenses, will be handed to the owner, but I cannot hold out any hope that he will be paid anything beyond balance.


Shortly after the arrival of the trawler Rivardale of Aberdeen in Burghead Bay at 6 p.m. on Wednesday last week, a few of the crew came ashore for the evening. Between 9.30 and 10 o’clock, one of the number, John Falconer, of Cellardyke, recently in Aberdeen, set out for the vessel alone in a small boat. His departure was witnessed by a few persons standing on the quay, and when the boat was some distance out, he was seen to move about in it, overbalance himself, and fall into the water. The alarm raised by the onlookers was quickly answered by the coastguards, who, in a very few minutes, were on the scene of the accident, but despite a careful and prolonged search for the unfortunate man, they were forced to return unsuccessful. It is understood be was 32 years of age and unmarried, and resided at 60 Menzies Road, Aberdeen.

During a gale the Berwick coast Friday night the Fifeshire (KY43), a Cellardyke fishing vessel owned Thomas Reid, was wrecked on the Links, between Holy Island and Bamburgh, four men being drowned. (the boat had left Anstruther a couple of weeks before)


A herring fishing boat belonging to Cellardyke, has been wrecked in gale the on the Berwick coast, at Ross Links, between Holy Island and Bamburgh. There are no signs of the veesel’e crew, and it is feared that there has been loes of life. The vessel is stated to have been making for Sunderland. ,

Further information regarding the fishing vessel wrecked on Ross Links forms an extraordinary story. The boat is the Fifeshire, Cellardyke fishing vessel. No. 43. She arrived in Holy Island on the 9th, and remained until Monday evening, when at nine o’clock, in a strong breeze, she put out with her sail half up and only one man aboard. Nothing was seen of her until the following night, and she is believed to have picked two hands, for she was seen, making north from Seahouses with three persons aboard, and as she was labouring good deal the coastguard beckoned her to put in. She proceeded north, however, and on Monday morning was wrecked Ross Links between Holy Island and Bamburgh.

A telegram received in Sunderland on Monday stated that the crew of four or five men of the Cellardyke fishing smack Fifeshire, wrecked between Holy Island and Bambury on Saturday, had been picked up by a vessel trading to the continent. It was feared that the men had been drowned.

Later news

CREW OF THE WRECKED BOAT, Inquiries in Sunderland reveal a number of facts of interest.

It appears that the man Martin who hail charge of the boat was chartered to carry a cargo of coal from Sunderland to Holy Island for Brigham, and that he left the island the same day he arrived bound for the Wear, arriving there on Tuesday last, and discharging ballast at Wylam’s Wharf.

Later a cargo of thirty tons of coal was shipped ait Lambton Drape through Mr Cuthbert Wilkinson, coal exporter, West Sumnside. , _ ,

Martin engaged three or four men at Sunderland to assist him in working the vessel. The three of them were:—

James Miller (19), Russell Street.

George Lancaster (22), of Hogg’s Yard.

Christopher Craddock (18), High Street East.

The name of the fourth is not forth coming, but it is said that agreed take the trip for pleasure, and to work for his food and passage.

Four persons in addition to Martin were seen on board when his boat was towed out of the Weir on Thursday evening last week bound for Holy Island. Those on board the tug Kate which towed the vessel out to sea, remarked that her holds were uncovered.

The three men whose names are given had not been to sea as sailors, and it was not known that Miller had been employed until the boat had put to sea.

( The Fifeshire was 52ft in length and at least 20 years old)


When the herring fishing boat Star of Hope, KY. 672, arrived in Aberdeen on Wednesday night, the skipper reported that Angus McLeod, fisherman, was killed on board by the breaking of the mizzen mast about 75 miles south-east of Aberdeen that morning. The crew were shaking herrings out of the nets when the mast broke, and a heavy part of it struck McLeod, death being almost instantaneous. Deceased, who spoke Gaelic, is said to have belonged to the West Highlands.

The Cellardyke Echo – 22/7/2021 – Issue 297


MORE SAD NEWS FROM FIFE. ANOTHER BOATING DISASTER FEARED. FATE OF ANSTRUTER VISITORS. Great anxiety prevails in Anstruther regarding the safety of two visitors, an anxiety that has now deepened into belief that the worst has happened. Following so soon after the disaster at Leven, but a few miles to the west, it is not surprising the circumstances are exciting the community in an extraordinary degree. William Watson, a native of Cellardyke, but resident in Aberdeen and of the crew of the steam trawler Faith, and John Swanson (Haddington), swimming master, engaged in one of the Edinburgh baths, who had both come to spend a holiday in Anstruther, set off Wednesday after dinner for a sail. At the last moment they decided to go the May. Their boat, the Maggie Brown, a partan yawl, belonging to Mr William Sutherland, was smart craft, a little over twenty feet long, and rigged with a lugsail. Few other crafts were out so far, and no townsmen spoke them, but the island had been made all right. Both men were spoken to by the lighthouse keepers, and as they put off from the May about seven o’clock Watson remarked that he intended to show his friend round the island.

Shortly after the light craft was observed tacking round the South Ness, holding east, then the helm was put up, throwing her on a southerly course. Thinking the visitors intended making for Dunbar or North Berwick, the keepers paid no further attention to her. That was the last seen of the yawl and crew so far as is known.

As night fell those at home became alarmed, but they could do nothing. Next day inquiries were instituted in every direction, and, acting on the information secured from the May, telegrams were sent to Berwick, Dunbar, and other ports. Nothing had been observed from the south shore, and it is feared that in the grey of Tuesday night the craft must have heeled over, struck by a flange, and sunk. Circumstances which make the accident all the more pathetic are that one of the supposed victims was revisiting the scenes he left twelve years ago and mixing with his old companions. All gave William Watson hearty welcome, and were glad to hear from him how well the Faith was doing. This steam trawler was an experiment by Mr Stephen Williamson, who, anxious to see how his old townsmen would act a modern craft, had her built, and placed Skipper Michael Doig and a Cellardyke crew in charge. They did well, and Watson had run south for a brief holiday, bringing one of his children. He met Mr Swanson two or three times since the latter, accompanied by his wife and two children, came from Edinburgh to spend the week in Anstruther. The anxiety of Mrs Swanson and her children is exciting the liveliest sympathy in their terrible position, and deeply also do those in Anstruther feel for Mrs Watson and her children in Aberdeen, eight of a family being left. The only gleam of hope is that the yawl had met with an accident to the mast or sail, and that the men had been picked up by ship outward bound.

Proof was led—before Sheriff Armour—at yesterday an action at the instance of David Keith, fish-curer, Cellardyke, against Wm. Donaldson, farmer, Cauldcoats The sum sued for was .£8 10s, being the price of a horse which pursuer said defender purchased from him on 28th  March last Defender denied that he bought the horse his version of the transaction being that pursuer sent the horse up to his farm for his use for its keep, as had been done preceding season with a horse belonging to pursuer’s son. After hearing evidence, the Sheriff said he had considerable difficulty in coming to a decision, but the whole considered the balance of evidence was in pursuer’s favour, and therefore granted decree for the sum sued for, with £1 10s of expenses’ For pursuer.


Walter Peat, fireman, Fowler’s Street, Cellardyke, and Thomas Bowman, labourer, Kingseat Asylum works, pleaded guilty in Aberdeen Sheriff Court to-day having quarrelled and fought with one another in a train between Ellon and Pitlurg and smashed a pane of glass in the window of the compartment. The Fiscal said the accused were the only occupants of the compartment. When the train started the passengers in the other part of the carriage heard the accused singing together. Before they had proceeded far, however, high words arose between the pair. The guard asked them to pay for the broken window, but they refused, so noisy were they that he had to travel in the carriage with them to prevent a further disturbance. Sheriff Begg imposed a fine of £2, with the alternative of ten days prison, on each.

THE VISITORS. –  The Edinburgh and Glasgow holidays, and also those of other places having begun in the end of last week, there was a very large influx of visitors to Anstruther and the East of Fife on Saturday, special trains were run to this district from Edinburgh and Glasgow, and were well patronised, The trains were considerable late. Considerable difficulty was experienced in getting lodgings by many of the people, and the streets in Anstruther and Cellardyke on Saturday night and Sunday were patrolled by many strangers. The weather was tine and bracing, and in strong contrast to the wet of the past week.

The housing accommodation, both in Anstruther and Cellardyke, has been taxed to its utmost. The Billowness, where both bathing and golfing can be enjoyed, has proved a source of attraction while Kilrenny Common, with its rustic beauty, has also claimed a fair share of attention.

Cellardyke Town Council

Mr Marr asked if it had ever been thought to try incandescent lamps for the streets. It might be as well to ask Anstruther if the lamps were a success or a saving of gas. Bailie Butters said there had been a good deal of expense with the mantles, and Cellardyke was a very drafty place, but they might resolve to try one or two lamps. It was left to the Committee to ascertain and report to Council.

The body of the late Mr George Fowler was brought across the Atlantic and was landed in Glasgow on Wednesday. The remains were conveyed to Anstruther at night, and taken to deceased’s house in East Forth Street, Cellardyke. The funeral takes place this afternoon to Kilrenny Churchyard. On his deathbed Mr Fowler had a great longing to get back to Cellardyke, and it was at his own request that his remains should rest in Kilrenny Churchyard beside “kindred dust.”

A Geelong newspaper says:—ln November, 1902, the Marquis of Linlithgow, a ketch belonging to Captain Cunningham, of Geelong, was lost at Sea Elephant Rock in a gale, and the captain and crew experienced much difficulty in saving their lives. The ketch was all that Captain Cunningham possessed in the world, and although he is a very old man he has since then built with his own hands another ketch, the Earl of Elgin, with which he has just completed a trip to and from Sea Elephant rock. He succeeded in recovering most of the spars, anchors and chains belonging to the wrecked ketch, but the sails and carpenters tools were not to be found.

 (Alexander was born May 1843 and would only be 59 at this point not a “very old man” he went on to live to be 92 and passed away in 1935)

Alexander Cunningham in Australia