The Cellardyke Echo – 11/08/2022 – Issue 351


MarriageWILLIAMSON—SMART. —At Kitchener Avenue, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on the 18th July, by the Rev. A, Maksfty, George. youngest son of Robert Williamson, Cellardyke. to Aggie, eldest daughter of James Smart, Guardbridge.



THE MISER OF CELLARDYKE. If there was humours in the characters of old Fifeshire there was also eccentricity. This was certainly the case with John Ramsay, the miser of Cellardyke, who died early in the last century. For the greater part of his life he was engaged in building dykes in the various estates in the vicinity, work for which the remuneration was very poor. The best contract which he assisted was the erection the mausoleum over the grave of General Scott in Kilrenny Churchyard, and for this his wages were only twenty pence a day. When John fell ill a young surgeon from Kennoway informed him that the only suitable medicine was Holland gin. I’se gaun tae the fountain heid, tae the kintry itsel’,” he replied, and although his neighbours laughed, he trudged to Kinghorn and took the ferry in the hope of finding boat at Leith which was about to make the journey. As luck would have it, the first person he encountered in the port was an Anstruther skipper on the point of leaving for the Maas. skilfully did the miser plead his case that he was taken board, although his belongings were only a bag oatmeal and a little salt. He remained in Holland until the boat returned, and while he contended afterwards that he had gained new vigour, he was really prematurely old, and gradually passed in misery to the grave. But his secret had been well kept, and even the aunt with whom he resided did not know until after his funeral that he had left £450. (that’s the equivalent of £57 700 today)


A foolish prank that nearly resulted in serious consequences was committed by two young Cellardyke girls on Monday afternoon. While a motor lorry, conveying a number of Territorials, was passing through Kilrenny, they stupidly threw a handful of gravel into the face of the driver, who was suddenly blinded by the sharp stones. The lorry was nearly wrecked, but the driver managed to draw up quickly before the vehicle had run into the side of the road. The driver was removed into a house, but it was some time before the gravel and small bits of glass were successfully removed from his eyes. His companions promptly searched for the girls, but they hid in the Churchyard and there escaped the just wrath of the Terriers. Had they been caught, they would undoubtedly have been severely punished for what was a most dangerous assault,

Before Provost Oliphant and Bailies Burd and McConnell on Saturday, Wm. Palmer, labourer, of no fixed residence, and John Woodward, marine engineer, 65 James Street, Cellardyke, were charged with having fought each other and created a breach of peace in Rodger Street on Friday evening. Both the accused pled guilty. The Fiscal stated that the police observed a crowd about 10.30, and on approaching, noticed the accused fighting. They were separated, and Woodward at once stepped aside and created no further disturbance. Palmer, however, attempted to reach Woodward, and was then removed to the cells. The Fiscal considered that an admonition would suffice in Woodward’s case, but asked the Court to inflict a penalty on Palmer, who was the cause of the trouble. The Magistrates adopted this view, and Woodward received a warning from the Provost not to interfere in street brawls. Palmer was given the option of paying 15s or undergoing ten days’ imprisonment. He went to Dundee for the ten days.

CELLARDYKE FISHERMEN AND THE WAR. A large meeting of fishermen was held yesterday Cellardyke Town Hall to consider as to whether any steps could be taken utilise the steam drifters, which would give employment to the fishermen whose ordinary occupation has been interrupted by the war. The men were addressed by Sir Ralph Anstruther of Balcaskie and Mr H. T. Anstruther, ex-M P. for St Andrews Burghs. Mr Anstruther submitted communications from the Admiralty to the effect that at the present the steam drifters could not be utilised for defensive purposes. Mr Anstruther submitted details of the terms of service in the Royal Naval Reserve, and about 30 young fishermen indicated that they were prepared to join this force.


The late Robert Watson, fisherman, 65 John Street, and the late Henry Stevenson, retired fisherman, West Forth Street, left £1181 14s 10d and £1040 14s respectively.

Funeral of the Late Mr Wm. Birrell. On Sunday, the remains of Mr Wm. Birrell, baker, James Street, whose tragic death we chronicled in our last issue, took place to Anstruther Churchyard. The funeral was very largely attended, the Special Constables of the three burghs, of whom the late gentleman was a member, holding a special parade, and marched in front of the hearse, one of their number carrying a wreath, while eight acted as pall-bearers up to the grave. Other floral tributes had also been received. The’ Rev. James Ray conducted the nervier at the house, and the Rev. A. Urquhart at the graveside.

Golden Wedding. Many congratulations have been received by ex-Provost and Mrs Thomson, who this week celebrated their golden wedding. With the exception of a son and a daughter, who are at present abroad, all the family were with their parents over the week-end, and a happy family re-union was the result. Mr and Mrs Thomson were married in Largo in 1865, but have spent most of their life together in Cellardyke. In his time, Mr Thomson has identified himself with the public life of the town. He was Provost for several years, and also chairman of the School Board. The hope of their many friends is that many years of life together lie ahead of Mr and Mrs Thomson.


Twice Wounded It is reported that Private A. Lowrie. Black Watch, who is a son of Mr And. Lowrie. fisherman, has been wounded in action for the second time, and is in a base hospital.

Cellardyke Black Watch men “Gassed.” It is reported that Private Andrew Dick, Black Watch, son of Mr Jas. Dick (Henderson). fisherman, East Forth Street, has been “gassed” in action in France, and is undergoing treatment in a base hospital. Private David Barclay. also of the Black Watch, was also gassed recently. but after being in Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, he is now able to he home convalescent. He is a son of the late Mr Stephen Barclay (Galletly). fisherman.

The Late Private Cunningham.  – From the Chair of the Y.M.C.A., Cellardyke, Mr Wm. Carstairs made the following reference to the late Geo. Cunningham:-

Over there in France where our minds and our thoughts so often are, amidst the din and noise of battle strife, has happened an incident carrying with it the tragic and sorrowful. Last Sabbath after the actual fighting had been accomplished, and to that extent a certain degree of danger had been safely passed, a wounded and fallen comrade required his aid, and ready as he ever was, unthinking of himself. to give assistance where he could, it was in the act of succouring this comrade that death’s shaft found him. So that to-day this Society is immensely the poorer in, his being taken from us. He was Secretary of this Society, and Treasurer of our sister Society. the Gospel Temperance Union, when he joined the Army; and no one ever brought to the duties of these offices a deeper interest or a more ungrudging service. We have lost in him one of the best types of members, and to-day we honour his memory and his! courage.

The Norwegian Consul-General under yesterday’s date :–

In your issue for Saturday last I find a paragraph headed ” Norwegian Steamer helps Submarine.” According to the paragraph the skipper of the herring boat Prestige had stated that he saw a German submarine obtaining supplies from a Norwegian steamer. Feeling certain that the statement was not correct I asked the Norwegian Vice- Consul at Methil to make inquiries, and I have today received from him the following telegram:– ” In accordance your wire of last Saturday have now seen skipper Watson Smith of herring boat Prestige at Cellardyke. Skipper states he did not see German submarine obtain supplies from Norwegian steamer and declares he has made no such report as imputed to him in newspapers.” I should like to add that even if the skipper had seen a vessel carrying the Norwegian colours close to a submarine this might well have been a ship just captured by the submarine, or a vessel disguised as a Norwegian one.


D.S.M. FOR CELLARDYKE MATE. Mr David Lowrie, Shore Street. Cellardyke, who is mate of one of HM. boats, has awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for auxiliary patrol duty. He has been active service for about three years. His son, Adam Lowrie, Black Watch, has a done his bit for his country, and having been twice wounded has now received his discharge.

Tobacco and Drink – It appears that one evening last week an elderly Cellardyke fisherman named John McRuvie went into the cream shop in Shore Street, and demanded an ounce of tobacco, for which he tendered 6d. On being told that the price of it was  6 ½ d took exception to this, stating he could get it elsewhere for 6d. The shopkeeper then told McRuvie he had better go there for it, upon which he conducted himself in a disorderly manner and challenged a fight. A sequel to all this was that McRuvie was brought before Provost Readdie at a Police Court on Friday, when he was charged with having conducted himself in a riotous and disorderly manner, the offence being aggravated by eight previous convictions being recorded against him. On being asked by the Provost if he had been drinking, the accused stated he had “a wee drop: not much.” The Provost said that the shopkeepers must be protected against such disturbances. especially in time of war. such must be put down. As accused had a bad record of previous convictions, he imposed a fine of 10s with the alternative of ten days’ imprisonment. The fine was paid.

SLIDERS DON’T KEEP OVERNIGHT. Giovinni Brattesani, ice cream vendor, at Cupar to-day was fined 10s, or five days, for selling three sliders to Cellardyke girls after eight o clock Mr T. W. Davidson, solicitor, Cupar, stated that the assistant who sold the sliders thought it pity to waste Them. The Sheriff—Do sliders not keep over night? Mr Davidson I believe not in consequence of sweetening mixture that is now used instead of sugar.

ON THE SEA. FIFE FISHING BOAT DISASTER IN NORTH SEA, Quite a sensation was caused In Anstruther and Cellardyke on Tuesday when it became known that the motor boat Jane, of Eyemouth, had been blown up a mine explosion, and that all the crew had been lost. The boat was manned by Andrew Henderson, his only two sons (Alexander and Andrew), Thomas Boyter, and James Wilson (Wallace), all Cellardyke men, who were married and leave families. Andrew was one the best known and most esteemed of fishermen in the district, and he was owner of the boats Cromorna and Ina, Cook. He had another boat building at Eyemouth, and this was to have been his last voyage with the Jane, which he had on hire. It left Anstruther on Monday afternoon, it seems that in shooting the nets they got tangled in the mine, with the result that the boat, was blown up.

The Cellardyke Echo – 4/08/2022 – Issue 350



A former Cellardyke man, Mr John Boyter Tarvit, Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, has died after a brief illness following an operation. He was 31 years of age. Tarvit was very popular in Port Dover. During his six years’ residence there he made many friends. At the time of his death he was employed on the tug Alva W. At the funeral many beautiful floral tributes were received, and there was a large attendance. A member of Port Dover Post 158, Canadian Legion, full military honours were accorded deceased. Sincere sympathy is extended to his aged parents and brother and sister in Cellardyke.


Mr Robert Hunter, a promising student of Andrews University, has died suddenly at his home in Cellardyke. Mr Hunter, who was the only son of Mr and Mrs J T Hunter, The Schoolhouse Cellardyke, had been attending a course in Edinburgh in connection with the O.T.C. when he became ill. He returned home, but his condition became worse, and he died on Saturday. Deceased was educated at Madras College, St Andrews, and Waid Academy, Anstruther. He continued his studies at St Andrews University, and recently took his B.Sc degree. He was intending to research work in chemistry, and for that purpose remained at the university in order to secure honours.

He was a prominent member of the University O.T.C and was in cam0p with them at Silloth a few weeks ago. He was a fine athlete, and was one of the best forwards in the University Rugby team. Unfortunately, an injury kept him out of the game for a great part of last season.

He had a very fine nature, and was most popular with his fellow students. Mr Hunter was only 21 years of age. His father who is headmaster at Cellardyke Primary School, was previously first assistant in St Andrews Burgh School.


Skilled Craftsmen

Cellardyke is noted for its craftsmen skilled in the art of making model sailing ships. Among these is a member of Anstruther Town Council, Councillor Bett, and the art has also a worthy exponent in Mr Shireff, George Street, Cellardyke.

In window in George Street, first-class specimens of their work is exhibited, and they are constant source of interest, not only to visitors but to everyone in the district. Many years ago Mr Shireff was made the recipient of a model of the Golden Hynd, which also may be seen in Cellardyke. The Golden Hynd was one of the scouting ships which was believed to be the first to sight the Spanish Armada. It was also thought to be the first vessel to double Cape Horn.

The older fisher folk of Cellardyke have clear recollection of the days, 40 or 50 years ago, when the sailing of model ships used to be a very popular diversion among the young people of the district, but from that time until recent years practically no interest was taken in sailing ships. This was due to the advent of the steamship. Now Cellardyke craves for the return of the sail— so far as it is practical under modern conditions—in the form of model yachting.

Cellardyke Swimming Pond

The swimming and model yachting pond which is at present being built at the shoals Cellardyke, by R Terras, builder, East Wemyss, is expected to be completed within fortnight or so. The original idea was to build a small boating pond, but the Cellardyke Putting Green Committee and the Improvements Committee decided to put their funds together so as to enable them to embark on a larger undertaking. A pond which also provides facilities for swimming has resulted. The funds of the committees’ have been exhausted in the scheme, but the pond promises to be a very serviceable one. The deepest point, six feet, is at the middle, and the water grows gradually shallower towards a sandbank each end where children will be able to play in safety. There is unfortunately no retaining wall, but this addition may be provided at some future date.


FIFE PROVOST’S CRITICSM County Council ” Backstair Methods “

A letter was submitted at Anstruther Town Council from the clerk to the Council with reference to the classification of the loop road leading from Toll Road to Cellardyke, through the burgh to the foot of Rodger Street, Anstruther Easter. Provost Carstairs, who presided, recalled the circumstances under which road was classified. The Town Council of the united burghs. he said, after a proper census of the traffic on the road had been taken, applied to the Ministry of Transport to have the road classified on the ground that it was a main loop road largely used by heavy motor traffic coming from outside the burgh. The Ministry of Transport agreed to classify the road, but the County Council objected because they had not been consulted. A new census of traffics was accordingly taken, followed by a public inquiry at Anstruther, which was conducted by one of the chief officials of the Ministry of Transport. The outcome was that the County Council representative, sir Thomas Erskine. agreed to recommend to the County Council to agree to the classification if the Town Council improved the corner at Caddies Burn. The Town Council agreed to do so, and submitted a plan to the Ministry of Transport, which was passed as satisfactory. Th e result of the census and official inquiry was that the Ministry of Transport had again decided to classify the road when the alterations to the corner were completed.


East Fife Couple Wed St Andrews Church Ceremony

The wedding took place in Hope Park Church, St Andrews, this afternoon of Miss Ina Caird Murray, only daughter of the late Mr A. C. Murray and of Mrs Murray, George Street, Cellardyke, and Mr Alexander Watson, elder son of Mr and Mrs R. Watson, Craigholm, Anstruther. The officiating clergymen were Rev. J. R. Lee and Rev. Mr Mclvor, St Andrews.

The bride, was given away by Mr James Bett, Cellardyke, wore charming dress of ivory crepe and halo headdress fine net and orange blossom, from which flowed long veil of Brussels net. She carried a bouquet of harrisii lilies and white heather. The bridesmaids. Miss Margaret Murray and Miss Gracie Watson, Anstruther, those white chiffon dresses patterned with pink flowers. They also wore crinoline hats, and carried bouquets of pink sweet peas. Mr James Watson, brother of the groom, was groomsman. Mr W. R. Small, Anstruther, was at the organ. Fifty guests were present at the reception which” followed in Macarthur’s Cafe, St Andrews. For going away the bride chose a speckled fawn and brown coat, with collar edged with sable squirrel, and a halo hat.



“May Island Gone; No Hope; off Shetland; Good-bye”


“May Island on the Flugga Rocks.”

This dramatic SOS followed by ominous silence was picked up by an Aberdeen skipper off the island off Unst in the Shetlands, when the Leith trawler went to her doom in a fierce gale on February 18 with her crew of ten men.

A bottle containing the despairing message: ” May Island gone; no hope; off Shetland; good-bye,;’ was also picked up near Thurso. An inquiry into the loss of the vessel was held at Lerwick, when the jury returned a formal verdict. A twenty-nine-year-old widow identified a petrol pipe lighter which had belonged to her drowned husband. She is Mary Blaikie, wife of John Blaikie, of Terrace Road, Cockenzie.

Competent Seaman

John J. Loston, Newhaven, superintendent engineer to Messrs Thomas Scales and Son, Newhaven, the owners of the May Island, said the trawler was thoroughly seaworthy when she left on her last voyage, and her skipper, James Tarvit, was a competent and experienced, seaman. The trawler was fitted with transmitting and receiving wireless telephony, and was equipped with direction finder, charts and flares. Witness identified part of the May Island’s wireless set which was washed ashore.

Dramatic evidence was given by the only man who heard the last words spoken from the ill-fated trawler. He is James E. Anderson, 3 Middlefield Terrace, Aberdeen, skipper of the Aberdeen trawler Fitzgerald which, with fifty other trawlers, sought shelter on the lee side of Unst during the gale. When watches were changed at 3.30 a.m. on February 18, and Just before returning to his bunk, Skipper Anderson switched on his wireless and heard the SOS “May Island on the Rocks.” Mr Anderson heard this message twice, and then there was silence. The Fitzgerald has only receiving set. and could not ask for the May Island’s exact position.

Coast Searched

The Fitzgerald and other trawlers twice searched the coast unsuccessfully, but did not go as far the south side’ of Lambaness. Skipper Anderson said the red sector of the Lighthouse, which was visible only three miles that night, could not have been seen by the May Island when she was close in on Lambaness. Henry W. L. Hunter and other local witnesses described the great amount wreckage which was driven ashore, detailed the exact spot where the trawler struck, and spoke of four unrecognisable bodies being found. The weather that night was the worst they had ever known.

Message in Bottle

Donald a fifteen-year-old Caithness boy, said he found thirteen miles east of Thurso the bottle message that came from the May Island. The bottle contained the following last despairing message: “May Island gone; no hope; off Shetland; good-bye.” Stuart Tarvit, Cellardyke, identified the writing on this message that of his brother, John Tarvit, the mate of the trawler, who was also brother if the skipper, James Tarvit. Another local witness stated that a high intervening hill prevented coast watchers their station from seeing a vessel close at Lambaness. The jury returned a formal verdict.


SCHOOLMASTER DIES ON HOLIDAY Was to Have Judged Fancy Dresses To-Night

Mr J. Y. Hunter, schoolmaster, Cellardyke, who was on holiday at Crieff, was found dead in bed d Crieff boarding-house this morning. A sad feature was that Mr Hunter had agreed to be one of the judges in a Crieff fancy dress parade to be held to-night. Mr Hunter left home on Friday for a holiday at Crieff. He’ is survived by his wife and a daughter.



 “Join the Army and see the world” is a well-known slogan. We would take the opportunity of altering the phrase to read, “Join the B.B, and have the finest holiday one can get.”

This year the company made its annual summer camp in that most pleasant spot on the Fife coast, namely, Cellardyke, where we renewed the acquaintance of a host of old friends and made quite a lot of new ones. Arriving in Anstruther about 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, we began the trek to our camp, about a mile and a half from the station. Reaching Kilrenny Mill, we discovered everything in perfect order, tents, marquee, and cookhouse erected, and a hot dinner well on its way to maturity. Our advance party had worked wonders, and the company showed their appreciation of the services which they had rendered by making them orderlies for the day. Saturday passed uneventfully, and on Sunday morning we paraded to Kilrenny Parish Church, where we were welcomed by an old friend and former minister of St. Modan’s, Mr Pryde…………… In closing, we would like to thank all our friends, both-in Kilrenny and at home, for their help in making the camp a success. To those “hardy annuals” who, without fail, give the prizes for our camp sports we give thanks most sincerely; to our friends also, who gave us gifts in kind; and to that wonderful chap, our cook, who never lets us down, we are grateful.

Ordeal with Broken Leg

Elderly Fisherman’s All-Night Vigil

A sixty-six-year-old fisherman received a fractured thigh-bone result of fall at the corner of Broad Street and Frithside Street last Saturday evening.

Alexander Bridges, 1 Harbour Head, Cellardyke, Fifeshire, was walking along the pavement when was seen to slip and fall. Several young men who happened to be in the vicinity assisted him on board his boat, the Bene Vertat (KY. 20), which was berthed in the South Harbour. Apparently, the injured man did not go bed that night and was found sitting in the cabin at seven o’clock next morning by member of the crew. Mr Bridges complained of severe pain in his left leg. Dr Wilson was summoned and suspected a fracture of the left femur. He ordered the injured man be conveyed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The Cellardyke Echo – 27/07/2022 – Issue 349


Reported Wounded. Intimation has been received by Mr and Mrs James Smith (Watson) that their son has been wounded at the Dardanelles. Smith was a Naval Reservist, and was called up on the outbreak of hostilities.

Canadian Soldier’s Death. – Lance-Corporal Murray, of the Canadian Highlanders, son of Mr and Mrs Murray (Pratt), who was reported some weeks ago to be lying unconscious in an hospital in Rouen, has now been reported as having been killed on the 22nd April. When Mr and Mrs Murray received a letter from France from another soldier who knew their son, they had hopes of his recovery, but unfortunately this first message has proved mistaken. It is pathetic to think of the hopes and fears of the parents. Eight long weeks elapsed ere they heard of Lance- Corporal Murray’s unconscious condition, but this latest letter, from the stretcher’ bearer who attended their son, leaves no room for doubt that he died on the field of battle, and that the soldier at Rouen must have mistaken the identity of the wounded man he saw in the hospital there. Every sympathy is being extended to Mr and Mrs Murray.

Defective Dairies.

The Medical Officer’s report for the year was read. The question of an increased water supply was one of long standing. The question of boring with a view to augmenting the supply was receiving consideration. A complaint was received in respect of an alleged nuisance arising from the deposits by the local authority at the east end of the town. The refuse site, when visited, was found offensive, but the nuisance was limited to the immediate area of the toom. The local authority are recommended to remove the refuse further afield and to a site where there could be no reasonable grounds for complaint on the part of the public.

The byres and dairies were found in an a very unsatisfactory state. The Burgh Bye-laws are not observed, and as their provisions cannot be regarded as too stringent, it is much to be desired that they be enforced. The dairies at the time of his visit were dirty. They had not received the reasonable bi-annual cleansing, far less a daily one. The cows were dirty, with hind quarters caked with manure. The yards were not clean or tidy. In two instances, the milk houses were clean and well-kept. One of the milk stores was a press partitioned off in a cellar belonging to the dwelling-house- This milk store is in direct contravention of the Bye-laws, and should be abolished. The byre of this dairy is unsuitable for cows and for the production of milk. The dairies in Cellardyke, in several respects, were much below the standard of the Dairies Regulations Act, which came into force sixteen years ago.

Eighteen cases of infectious disease occurred and six patients were removed to the Hospital. There were 36 births, equivalent to a rate of 21.3 per 1000 of an estimated population of 2240. Sixteen marriages gave a rate of 6.6 per 1000, and 28 deaths of 10.5 per 1000.

The Provost It does not seem to be very satisfactory. I thought the dairies were all right.

Bailie Butters – This is the first I have heard of it.

Bailie Marr – There has been no complaint in the years past.

The Provost – Are we to take action, then?

Bailie Butters – Judging from that report, we will need to do something.

The Sanitary Inspector (Mr H. Elliot) – The one he mentions specially is at the east end. The byre was dirty.

The Provost – He says it is not suitable for cows. If it is unsuitable, it cannot be allowed to go on. Mr Elliot –  I was not aware that he made any objection to it while he paid his visit.

Mr Mitchell – If we do nothing just now, We will be forced to take action later on.

The Clerk – l will write and ask the proprietors to make their premises conform with the bye-laws. This was agreed to.


The Veterinary Surgeon reported that he had examined 16 cows, and found them correct.

FIFE SKIPPERS MAKE A SERIOUS MISTAKE. Eighteen skippers of fishing boats from Buckhaven, St Monans, Pittenweem, and Cellardyke appeared before Sheriff Armour Hannay at Cupar on Tuesday on charges under the Defence Act fishing within the prohibited area in the Firth of Forth. Mr T. W. Davidson, solicitor, Cupar, who appeared for the Pittenweem and St Monans men, said after they had set their lines over the line they returned to their proper place, but were driven by the flood-tide and the wind into the prohibited waters. They were all elderly men.

Alexander Lothian, skipper of the fishing boat Thistle, 25 Rodger Street, Cellardyke, who had a previous conviction, was fined £5, or 20 days’ imprisonment, while the other eleven in the dock with him were each mulcted in fines of  £2, or ten days’ imprisonment.


CELLARDYKE MINISTER FOR DUDDINGSTON. The Established Presbytery of St Andrews met yesterday at St Andrews—Principal Galloway moderator. The principal business was a call to the Rev. James Rae, Cellardyke, to be minister of St James’ Church, in the parish of Duddingston.

Mr Henry Watson, Mr Robert Forsyth, Mr William Smith, and Mr David Smith were commissioners from Cellardyke. A hearty tribute was paid to Mr Rae for the work he had accomplished during his long ministry of 33 years in Cellardyke. When he first came there were only 40 names on the communicants’ roll, and now the roll numbers 700. Mr Forsyth specially referred to Mr Rae’s work of maintaining the fishermen’s independence, and of the observance of Sunday. In the social life of Cellardyke Mr Rae had taken a conspicuous part, being chairman of the Waid Academy Governors and of the Parish Council.

Another Cellardyke War Victim.

The supreme sacrifice of devotion to duty is telling pretty hard on the quiet Fifeshire fishing village of Cellardyke, quite a number of families having now lost sons who were in the Army or Navy. The latest victim is Lance-Corpl. John Moncrieff, the Seaforth Highlanders, second son of the late Mr John Moncrieff, fisherman, George Street. Official intimation was received on Tuesday evening that he was killed in action on the 1st inst. The Lance- Corpl. was a promising young fellow of 28 years of age, and after serving his apprenticeship as a cooper with Messrs Melville & Co., was working at his trade at South Shields when war was declared. He shortly afterwards enlisted in the Seaforths, and had seen a good deal of active service. He was home on furlough some time ago. Much sympathy is felt for his widowed mother and family in their bereavement.



Much has been said of the work the drifter patrols, but of the actual part they play in the vast arena of sea warfare little is allowed to emerge from behind the veil of press censorship. Now and then, however, the veil lifted for a moment, and a glimpse is given of a scene as thrilling as any yet described in the annals the war. Thus, incidental on the conferring of well-deserved honours on Skipper David Watson, of the Anstruther drifter, Morning Star, the story is told of a stirring incident of patrol work in which that vessel has been engaged. She was one of the fleet recently attacked by an Austrian cruiser, and the attack is well described in a letter sent by the skipper his father. He wrote; –

“We had a narrow escape when an Austrian cruiser came down and attacked the line. You never saw such a sight, drifters bursting and sinking all around. The drifter ahead of us and astern of us were sunk. He fired three times on us, but we got clear, only few marks of shrapnel on the rail. We were the only boat saved in our group.

SHOTS WHIZING AROUND. “I thought the time had come. He passed us. but never headed us. We were trying to make the land for shelter, but he cut us off.  Shots were whizzing all around us, so I sang out to the to “stick it” to a man, and we might come through, and we did get clear. I think the guardian angel must have been hovering about us. It was a time when a man was tried to his uttermost. We brought in three crews and some dead and wounded men. When the cruiser commenced firing a bird flew to our boat and kept around us during the action. We lost our small boat during action, but she was picked damaged

“There ace 16 drifters sunk and 72 men taken, prisoners, a few killed, and some wounded. Drifters are hardly strong enough for submarines when attacked alone, but when it come, to great cruisers it is all up for drifters.  SOS messages were sent, but no ships of war came in time to save the drifters’’.

Intimation has since been received from the  Admiralty by Skipper Watson’s father – Mr James Watson, 19 John St. Cellardyke-that his gallant son has been offered a commission in the Royal Navy while a letter from one crew of the Morning Star states that his skipper been presented with an Italian medal for valour.

A DONATION of on behalf of the local Red Cross Fund has been received from Mr And. Henderson and the crew of the motor boat “Jane,” Cellardyke. (only one month later Andrew,  his two sons and the other two members of the Jane’s crew were blown up by a mine)


EAST FIFE FISHERMEN ON STRIKE. Serious Situation at Anstruther.

Since the early part of this week there has been a complete stoppage of the fishing industry in Anstruther owing to the demands of the men for better conditions not being conceded by the owners. The harbour is full of drifters, and the men have lifted all their gear from the boats. This serious state of affairs is bound to have a most injurious effect upon the district, and in the interests of the community an early solution is hoped for. The men, it is stated, sent in a request for an eighteenth share and all expenses paid of the gross total. These terms, the fishermen allege, have been in operation in the North for some time, and the men there are now demanding a sixteenth share. At present the fishermen in the Anstruther district are working what they say is nominally a twentieth share, but by the time they pay for their own food, cart hires, &c., it practically amounts to a twenty-seventh share. The owners regard the present terms as quite fair when compared with other ports, but say there was no occasion for the fishermen to take such high-handed action. A further meeting of the men was held yesterday in Cellardyke Town Hall. Mr R. Ritchie presided, and after an address was delivered by Mr R. VV. Clouston. Leith. district secretary of the National Sailors’ and Firemen’s Union, it was resolved to form a branch of the Union. One hundred and twenty-one members were enrolled, and the men have expressed their determination to hold out until their demands are conceded.


The dispute between the fishermen and owners of drifters in Anstruther and Cellardyke still continues, and matters have now reached a deadlock. The Fishermen’s Committee, along with; Mr Clouston, the Union official in charge of the strike, met representatives of the owners and discussed proposals for settlement. These proposals were drawn up by the owners, and asked the fishermen to accept terms on the principle of the twentieth share, eight of which would go to the boat, six to the gear, and six to the crew, no food, cart hires, &c., to be allowed from the gross, total earnings of the boat. The owners also agreed to pay 2 ½ per cent, of the total earnings of the boat to be divided between the crew and gear. These terms were refused by the fishermen, and it was resolved to continue on strike until the original claims put forward by them were conceded the owners. The fishermen’s demands include an eighteenth share, allocated —six to the boat, seven to the crew, and five to the gear. ” We contend,” said Mr Clouston to our representative, “that our claim with regard to the eighteenth share is fairer, as six shares set apart for the boat is ample.” The next step rests with the owners, a few of whom have expressed their determination not to give way. As result of the strike several of the drifters are being offered for sale, while other owners are contemplating beaching them for a time.

 In Anstruther Harbour over 30 steam drifters are lying idle, involving a capital of over £120,000, while the loss in wages for last week, taking the average earnings of each boat at £100, which is a low estimate, amounts to over £3000.

The Cellardyke Echo – 21/07/2022 – Issue 348


PRESENTATION TO A NATIVE OF CELLARDYKE IN SOUTH WALES. The “Glamorgan Free Press” of last Friday contains a long report and photo sketch of Mr W. W. Pratt. electrical engineer to the National Collieries, Wattstown, and who is leaving that district to take op an appointment in Western Canada. Mr W. W. Pratt is a son of the late Mr David Pratt, Cellardyke, where he was born. The Free Neel says: —Mr Pratt is a Scotchman typical of hie race, a clever young engineer. and when he came down from Scotland live or six years ago on construction work for his firm, he immediately made a number of friends, and when it was learnt that the popular Scot had been offered and had accepted a position as electrical engineer at, the collieries the news was received with delight. The predominant feeling, now that he is leaving, is one of sincere regret. Mr Clissold presented Mr Pratt with a handsome case of instruments. It was, he said, to him a pleasant duty, as he would have considered it a reflection on them if Mr Pratt had been lamed to leave without some recognition. (Applause.) On behalf of his friends and admirers in Wattstown and Porth he had pleasure in handing him the present subscribed for, and he hoped it would be a source of delight to his family when he came to have one. (Laughter and applause.) Mr Pratt, on rising to reply, was loudly cheered. When he first thought of leaving Wattstown he intended to go away quietly as he came. But his friends had other views, and when he heard that they were arranging to give him a send-off, he had never anticipated that he would be treated like this. When you come to leave a place you find out who, after all, are your real friends, and that they are substantial friends. (Hear, hear.) He thanked them all from the bottom of his heart for the way they had treated him. He would never forget It. The memory of it would live with him always, and his thoughts would often stray back to the friends he left behind.

NOTES AND COMMENTS Apropos of our note the other week on the necessity of securing deeper water at Anstruther Harbour, a Cellardyke fisherman writes: —”l heartily approve of your remarks on the best plan for getting deeper water in Anstruther harbour. I have long maintained, and many more in Cellardyke besides myself, that the most practical way to obtain seven to ten feet of extra water, is to excavate, and have the same depth at the Folly and foot of middle and west piers as at the pier head. Everyone can see what an enormous advantage this would be to the harbour in developing the fishing industry very considerably, and increasing the prosperity of the district. Let the Harbour Commissioners employ an engineer to draw up plans and give a probable estimate of the expense of this scheme, including of course the blasting of the rocks on the outside of the east pier, westwards and southwards. I think it is better to go in for deepening rather than extension, for if we had deeper water to enable boats and drifters to get in at all states of the tide an extension scheme could be resolved upon as the necessity for such made itself felt. You have, wisely, I think, urged the need of the Harbour Commissioners to lodge a claim with the Development Commissioners, as you call them. Then why not consult their engineer at once, and send his report and estimate with their claim to the Commissioners as soon as possible. I suppose all the members of the Harbour Board admit the great need there is for deeper water. Well, let them stop thinking and speaking, and take action. They may have a chance of getting something by sending in a claim, but if they sit still and do nothing, they cannot expect any grant of money. They have our new member of Parliament anxious and willing to do all in his power to assist them, and his powerful support ought to be taken advantage of.



SMITH WATSON. —A t Yonkero, New York, U.S.A., on the 23rd of June, by the Rev. Paul Stratton, George, fifth son of Thomas Smith, fisherman, Cellardyke, to Lilias, eldest daughter of the late William Watson. fisherman, Aberdeen.


MELDRUM. —Ate Skinningrove Hospital, the result of an accident, on board the fishing boat Golden Rule, of Cellardyke, John Meldrum, aged 40 years, son of John Meldrum, shoemaker, West Anstruther, Also their eldest son, James Gerard Meldrum, who died August 5th 1900, from the result of an accident on H.M.S. Charybdis, aged 35 years, and is interred in St John, Newfoundland. Mr and Mrs Meldrum desire to return their sincere thanks for the many kind expressions of sympathy received by them in their recent sad bereavement. Elizabeth Place, West Anstruther. July 10th 1911.

CELLARDYKE. Water Shortage— Owing to the prolonged drought the Cellardyke authorities have restricted the water supply to Cellardyke and Kilrenny to twelve hours, the water being shut off each night at six o’clock until six o’clock the morning. The reservoir Balmonth is down nearly 14 feet, and as there is very little inflow, the supply has to be conserved as much as possible.


FIFE-MANNED STEAM DRIFTER IS LOST, BUT CREW ARE SAVED. Intelligence has been received of the loss of the Shields drifter manned Cellardyke crew and skipper, near Wick. The Roamer, which was engaged the herring fishing, sprung a leak, and made water so rapidly that the pumps choked. Fortunately, the Chance, Wick, another steam drifter, was near and succeeded saving the crew and their gear. The Chance towed the Roamer a considerable distance, but the latter was making water so rapidly that the crew of the former had to abandon their attempt at saving the boat. The Roamer, skippered by Chas. Gen, Cellardyke, was owned by the Roamer Fishing Company, Ltd., North Shields.

WEST ANSTRUTHER. Cycling on Footpath. —A young Cellardyke lad pled guilty before Provost Porter and Bailie Menzies last Friday to having ridden a cycle on the footpath along Pittenweem road. He paid a fine of 5s in alternative to 3 days imprisonment.

CELLARDYKE CREW’S FIND. On Saturday while the steam drifter Capella (DE. 131) skipper, Thos. Boyter, Cellardyke was returning from the herring fishing to Anstruther, and while about sixteen miles east and south from May Island, the crew picked up a toy balloon. On the outside was a printed Liverpool newspaper, while inside was a slip of paper with an intimation that the finder, on returning the same before 3rd August would receive» £1 Needless to say, Skipper Boyter lost no time on his return to the harbour in sending on the document.



MOTION —TAWSE—At Elbow Park, Calgary Canada, on June 20th by the Rev, A.D. Archibald, Knox Church, William, third son of the late Wm. Motion, to Janet Anderson, only daughter of the late Alexander Tawse, Cellardyke. –

McMURRAY – CLARK – At Chicago. Illinois, on the 27th June, by Special Licence, to Christopher R. McMurray to Davina Mackie, daughter of John Clark, Parkview, Cellardyke.


SMART GIRL wanted for Boot Department. Apply JOHN BUTTERS, Cellardyke.

WANTED experienced Cock General, for Leeds, good wages. Apply Comely Bank, Cellardyke, before August 4th.

The friends of Mr Robert Ray, Lecturer in Zoology in the South African College, Cape Town. will be pleased to learn that he has been elected a Fellow of the Linnaean Society. It may be mentioned that the Linnaean Society was founded in London in 1788 in memory of the celebrated Swedish botanist Linnie, commonly called Linnaeus, for the promotion of the study of all departments of botany and zoology, and that most of the leading scientists of this country are Fellows of it.

The Cellardyke Echo – 14/7/2022 – Issue 347


Telegrams were to-hand on Thursday that the “James” of Cellardyke had landed 86 crans on Tuesday at Cullivoe, Skipper James Brunton having thus fished over 200 crans for the fortnight or so. In some cases the engagement is 150, as at Uyea Sound, where the “Reform” of Anstruther, with only fifty crans in the end of the week, was so fortunate as to fulfil her contract by Wednesday. Indeed, the present week has witnessed perhaps the most extraordinary herring harvest thus early at the Island. Thus, at Balta the boats fished so well that some of the merchants had an average of 40 crans, but the luck was shared all round, so gratifying are the advices concerning the Fife crews at the most opposite points of the group—though here and there the gale was so severe as to occasion more or less damage to the nets. As a consequence, barrels and salt are at a premium. Messrs Sharp and Murray sold another thousand barrels this week, and we are not surprised to hear that lot after lot are already changing hands at 4s.

Fraserburgh Sudden Death. David Henderson, aged about 32 years, labourer, from Kirkcaldy, and at present engaged on board a Cellardyke boat, died very suddenly here yesterday morning. Deceased had been drinking heavily lately, and his condition was such that a doctor had to be called in some three days ago. Henderson got up about 1 a.m., and wanted to go out of the window, but on his friends remonstrating with him, he went back to his bed. and almost immediately thereafter expired. He leaves a widow and four children in Kirkcaldy. Death is supposed to have resulted from the bursting of blood vessel the region of the heart.

An interesting export

The other day a consignment of 40 cases, or as many cwt, of dry ling left the station here (Anstruther) to export to New South Wales, to the order of Mr David Corstorphine who lately left Cellardyke to ush his fortunes in this rising province, where he has just opened a general store in Waverley. East of Fife ling, however, have long been a prize tit bit on the tables of Australia.


On Stephen Williamson being elected to Westminster for the Kilmarnock burghs

RECEPTION OF THE NEWS IN ANSTRUTHER. The news of Mr Williamson’s victory was received in Anstruther Coast Burghs on Wednesday in forenoon. The telegram announcing the result was read to a number of people in Shore Street, who at once raised loud cheers for Mr Williamson. Congratulatory telegrams were at once despatched to the hon. member from several persons. The news soon spread everywhere there was a good deal of rejoicing over the victory. The skippers of some of the boats lying in the harbour at once hoisted flags, while from a number of private houses bunting was also displayed. The captain of the schooner Anapira run up a streamer of flags, while one was also suspended from the Chalmers’ Lighthouse by Mr John Parker. In Cellardyke there was a good profusion of flags in James St, and other places.

Aberdeen – A number of yawls from Cellardyke arrived at Point Law to-day, and negotiations were entered into between the crews and curers here, but no engagements were made, the fishermen demanding 18s per cran. which the curers declined give.

FISHERMAN DROWNED This forenoon intelligence was received Anstruther that a young fisherman named Robert Watson, belonging Crail, had been drowned late last night. was one of the crew of the Cellardyke fishing boat Alaska, which left Anstruther Harbour for the north fishing stations. While trimming the sail the vicinity Fifeness he was knocked overboard. Every effort was made to save him, but without avail. He was 20 years of age and unmarried.

(The skipper was David Davidson and the boat had a crew of six, the boat was under full sail, they threw an oar to him but by the time they got the boat round he had disappeared)


Holidays. – With the fishermen out town, business in Cellardyke almost comes to a standstill. So much so is this the case that the merchants, as in former years, have begun this week to close at 6 o’clock in the evening, and observe Wednesday as a whole holiday. In Anstruther and Cellardyke, Wednesday and Thursday first are to be observed as the usual summer holidays.

Large Eggs. – We have had handed to us for inspection two eggs, dropped by hen belonging to Ex Bailie Brown, Cellardyke, which, on account of their size, demand a passing notice. One measures 6¼ inches in circumference, 4 inches in diameter, and within a fraction of ¼ of a lb. The other is 6 inches in circumference, 4 inches in diameter, and weighs 3½ ozs. The hen which acknowledges these eggs doesn’t lay often but when she does lay she seems determined to make a good job of it.

Laying Water pipes in Cellardyke

On Monday the contractor made a beginning in laying water pipes through the streets of Cellardyke. The commencement was made at the head of Tollbooth rd. So far the progress has been easy; but as advance is made along John Street and George street it is anticipated that rock will be largely met with. As traffic just now is at a minimum, interruption won’t be so great as it would have been at any other season of the year.


An Ancient Mariner. — Mr John Baxter, one of the oldest seamen in Fife, died at Cellardyke on Tuesday. He was born at Pittenweem in 1803, or 85 years ago, and took to sea when it was usual to sail to London and even to the Baltic in a smack of 30 tons burden. He had his own share of the dangers of the deep — in particular, he was on board the Anstruther sloop, Janet, which foundered in Largo Bay, when one of his shipmates was drowned. He had also a miraculous escape in the St Laurence, being all but frozen to while clinging for four-and- twenty hours to the rigging in a fearful snowstorm, when the old brig was expected to go to pieces every second. It was, indeed, a terrible experience — one after the other fell into the boiling flood. It is well it is we, not they, who are to be pitied, wept the captain, who died with the cheer of the boat- men in his ear. After a cruise in this and that ocean ship to all parts of the world, he sailed in his own tidy little smack, the Barbara, till, like Othello, his occupation was gone, by the extension of the railway, which left him without even a freight of coals to the East Neuk. He was a fine type of a Scottish sailor, one with little to say, but who knew and did his duty. He lost his eyesight, and was likewise a martyr to one of the most terrible of maladies, but, as he said, he held by an anchor that never slipped in the gale.


This has been a disastrous week at sea, notably with the Buckhaven fleet fishing at Shields. One skipper telegraphs, ” This is one of the blackest days that ever befell Buckhaven. We’ve lost thirty nets, but let us be thankful, others have lost all.” The gale, indeed, was so terrific that seven or eight crews despaired of life till they came to anchor in the Weir. So far as advices are to hand the loss in gear cannot be less than £1200, and comin,’, as it does, on the back of so many misfortunes it will bring only too many to the verge of ruin. The gale was encountered in all its fury by the Cellardyke boats on their way the north, in consequence of which one and all were glad to flee for shelter, in some cases with the loss of sails and spars. As a rule, however, the Fife crews were busy getting their boats and nets ready for the coming venture. The weather was not inviting. “So intensely cold, cried the visitor, shivering in the bleak wind, while at every turn of the street there were the hardy sons of St Peter toiling away with busy fingers, so as to knit the yarn the raip. Being usually in double file the streets had animated look strangely in contrast to what it will be a week or two hence, when these manly faces will be so many leagues afar at sea. But these preparations are never stirring as at the launch of the big boat How strangers came to gaze and wonder, as this and that gallant craft was hoisted on the wheels, and drawn with the same ease as child pulls its toy from the green to the slip, where the traction engine being out of the way, the wire rope of second on the opposite pier sends it dancing like the plaything of a giant on the bosom of the sunny tide. In this way the outfit has sped so well that many, if not most, of the fleet between Cellardyke and St Monance, are expected to sail on Monday. Owing to the gales little or nothing has been done either with the jig or haddock lines this week in the Forth. The Fife boats are returning on every tide from the Irish coast. It has been lost errand, i.e., as compared with the doings in the North Sea. Not so the advices from Shetland, where one day Skipper Pratt landed 100 crans at a haul. His townsman the skipper of the Thistle with one or two others fished their complement, and sailed to the Scottish main. There is a tacit engagement between a number of Fife skippers and merchants in the north, but the price will not be fixed till the boats arrive the station. Mr W. H. Dickson lectured Friday night in Cellardyke Town Hall on “Storm Warnings. ” The address, which was under the auspices of the Meteorological Society, was an interesting resume of the teachings of science, but this busy night the attendance could not be other than disappointing.

The preparations for the great fishing harvest of the year are now well advanced, and boats are sailing with every tide. The east wind in not a few cases has interfered with the arrangements. It is a singular fact that of late years the supply has exceeded the demand, and not a few of our skippers have sent a remittance along with the usual intimations to well-tried hands. On this occasion the number of boats will be fewer than usual. The outfit between Cellardyke and St Monans is 353 boats, which will rendezvous between Stonehaven and Balta. Four years ago the Fraserburgh merchants sailed to Yarmouth in autumn to engage our skippers on the spot at £1 the cran, with £40 to £60 of bounty. These golden days have come and gone, and engagements are not even talked of though not a few have come to an understanding to deliver their herrings at the price of the day as fixed by the auction bell. So far, however, as appearances go, our fishermen have every encouragement to look hopefully forward to the herring sea. Large shoals are hovering on the banks, and boat atter boat is tacking in with a tidy haul. The prices at Anstruther are 12s a cran.


George Dick, son of John Dick, East Forth Street, Cellardyke, has secured the prize of £1 for essay on the Sabbath in connection with the welfare of youth scheme for the Free Church.

Sunday School Excursion

On Wednesday the annual excursion of the Established Church Sunday School of Cellardyke took place. There was a large attendance of scholars and parents from all denominations in addition to the regular scholars. The party were conveyed to Cambo in upwards of 30 carts, and it is estimated that there were present in the perish at one time nearly 1000 people. The weather was delightful, and a very enjoyable day was spent by all. The usual compliments were paid to Sir Thomas Erskine for his kindness.

The Anstruther district is follows : —Cellardyke, 185 boats; St Monans, 90, being the same as at Buckhaven ; Pittenweem, 69. Largo, like St Andrews, has 13, being, with boat here and there as at Crail, 465 in all. This is not a gain, we have so often to record, but a falling off compared with last year

THE HERRING DRAVE. THE RAVAGES OF THE DOGFISH. Little nothing has been done this week in consequence of the gales at sea. It was blowing so hard at the Isles that the boats bore up for Brassy. There was the same stern experience at Eyemouth, but on this side most of the fleet got under weigh, so that the drave is now fairly opened to north and south. Shetland, on which so many hopes were built, is dreary failure. One skipper writes :—” We are fortunate with hundred crans, but, like our neighbours, our drift is sadly crippled the dogfish. On all sides you are told by the luckless folk that it was the misfortune of their lives to come here. We were engaged in the middle of the month, but we were thankful to get leave to take on board our dunnage in the middle of the week.” So it was all round, where it was no rare incident to fill the boats to the gunwale though the greybeards tell you that the pest has seldom if ever been so universal as today. No one can tell the secret of their coming and going. There was time at Peterhead when a couple of thousands had been taken over night by a Cellardyke crew. It was rare sport for rising to a herring light. They were tossed by the ugly black dorsal into the boat without given time, eel like as they are, to strike the fingers. One autumn when the was ringing with the cry, “the herrings in the haiks,” they appeared in such numbers as to brush away the strong lint like spider’s web. At another time they appeared in the Firth when 500 were taken in ten nets in the offing of the Billowness. Their ravages are confined to no single fishing or period of the year. A Cellardyke crew once had 400 haddocks with every fish more less bitten by this greedy pest indeed, “a guid dougfish an’ a flounder ” was said of to be poor man’s feast. There is the same tale the Cornish coast, where 20,000 were once taken in a single net. Nevertheless, they are never so destructive today, as the curious spines in front of the dorsal cut or tear the light cotton like so many knives. They are eaten and dried in the Orkneys, but as a rule they are only so much manure on the East Coast. At the foot of the Vennel the other day it was said one veteran—”Cellardyke, sir, is puirer by £3000 wi’ Shetland, what wi’ torn nets and the loss o’ the June fishing.” In consequence, we said, of the gales the fishing is little else than a blank on the East Coast, but all opinions agree that the outlook has not been so hopeful for years. There is also whisper that an understanding is being come to about the price, though not a few Fife skippers prefer to sell by an agent or salesman from day to day. The prospects continue as encouraging as ever at the entrance of the Forth. From 100 to 500 herrings are being jigged near the May in a single night, and several baskets were likewise fished by the net in the same teeming waters. Once and again our skippers were induced the-signs to make trial to tack for the north.

The Cellardyke Echo – 7/7/2022 – Issue 346


THE LATE ACCIDENT AT SEA. — The subscriptions for the widows and families of the Cellardyke fishermen who lately perished at sea now amount to about £150, which, by the resolution of the relief committee, are being distributed in the proportion of 2s to each widow and 1s to each child unable to make any provision for its own support. We understand that according to this scale the sum in hand will suffice for the next three years, but kind friends, it is hoped, wilt yet strengthen the fund.


We understand that the half of the twin-house in Rodger Street, now in course of completion by Mr Thomas Brown, has just been sold to Mr John Watson (Lyall) for the price of £320. These houses are models what fisher homes ought to be, with every convenience required to indurate and store away the fishing gear. Area and garden are also attached, and every twin house is so far self-contained for four families, they, at the present rate of interest, afford most inviting facilities for ” every man being his own landlord.” The dry and airy locality likewise contrasts most favourably with the damp and closely built lower part of the town; and it is not surprising to those who know the spirit and self-reliance of the fishermen of Cellardyke, to be told that very extensive building operations are expected to progress here in the course of another season.

Fatal Result of an Accident. -The son of Mr Alexander Watson (Murray), Cellardyke, who had his head severely injured by the fall of a mast on Wednesday fortnight, succumbed to the effects of his injuries on Sabbath morning. He was a lad of fine promise, an only son, and had all but entered on his 19th year.


There have been times when the manning of the herring fleet, like the manning of the royal ships, has entailed no end of sacrifice and trouble; but it is far otherwise today with the cry of little work and less wages all over the country.  About eleven hundred men are needed to assist the mariners of the coast from St Monance to Cellardyke, and the ” berths” are already so well filled up that scores have had to turn away to begin the search elsewhere, after a long and weary journey, in which perhaps the last shilling was exhausted. We may almost conclude, in fact, that this is no exceptional circumstance. Any one may see at the railway station and omnibus stand how pocket after pocket has been turned out with doubtful and uneasy glances over the result in order to settle the fare, and with the exchequer in this forlorn situation at the end of a fruitless errand, what, of course, can the poor strangers do; but betake themselves as many are nightly doing to the nearest cart shed or outhouse, or even to the open fields, for the bed which misfortune will not refuse to the penniless traveller. Our half-dealsmen flow into us from many channels. Some were busy but yesterday, with the stone-breaker’s hammer, or the builder’s barrow. Others, as you can guess from their pallid faces, have just risen from the shoemaker’s stool, or the tailor’s board, or mayhap have to-day emerged from the dark galleries of the coal or iron mine in the hope that like his boat mate from the steam factory, may draw “health and wealth” from the silver sea. These, however, are but specks scarcely seen in the picture as compared with the men from the Western Highlands and the Isles- Duncan, or Sandy, or Donald, who have just quitted the ” sheiling ‘ on the hillside with the double object of repairing the past and bridging the future – that is to be able on his return to face the factor and buy the few necessaries which in addition to the “potatoes and salt” are needed round the pent fire in the course of the winter. As a rule, however, they are big, well-knit men, with all the native courtesy of the Celt, and at the same time with his deep and inborn reverence for the venerable truths of religion, and as to their fitness and conduct, it is enough to say that not a few have sailed in the same boat or under the same skipper, not for one, but for several consecutive seasons.


Mr James Seaton Hairdresser Begs to intimate to the inhabitants of Cellardyke and surrounding districts, that he has opened those premises, 22 James Street, Cellardyke as a shaving and haircutting saloon, and hopes by strict attention to business to merit a share of the public support.

All kinds of Ladies Work done on the shortest notice. Combings &c,. made into plaits. Gentlemen waited upon at their own residences. All orders shall receive prompt attention.

Business hours from 8am till 8pm, Saturdays 8 till 10

Razors Ground and set.


Smart Capture of a Land Shark

Yesterday afternoon William Spice, about 25 years age, said to belong to Sittingbourne, England, was examined before Sheriff Bell, and committed to prison pending inquiries regarding his antecedents, on charge of having, on Tuesday night, stolen from the fishing smack Paine, of Cellardyke, Fife, about, £18 in money, the property of hie employer, the master of the vessel. The smack, in charge of the owner and crew, was homeward bound from thin Irish herring fishing, and lay to at Grangemouth. About nine o’clock Spice left the smack, telling his master he was going to post a letter and would be on board in minutes. A couple of hours elapsed, when the owner of the vessel, going to his cabin, discovered that his trunk had been broken open and about £18 in gold and silver stolen therefrom. Information lodged with Sergeant Ballingall, who instantly commenced a search in Grangemouth and vicinity for the young Englishman, who, up to this time, failed to return from the post office. Finding no trace of him, information was dispatched to Falkirk, the sergeant himself starting for Bo’ness in search of the man. In course of the morning he discovered the Englishman fast asleep in a coffee house in that town, and on his person the whole of the stolen money, minus 7d. The officer deserves credit for his promptitude and success. Spice, who is unknown to the police, has only been in employment of the owner of the smack for the last few weeks.


A number of spirited young men in Anstruther and Cellardyke have organised themselves into a cricket club, in connection with which this delightful game is being played with much enthusiasm. It is a search for pleasure under many difficulties, but the Anstruther players meet on the Billowness. Their Cellardyke friends, however, are so fortunate as to have the verge of the beautiful field beyond the golden strand, for which they are indebted to the kindness and courtesy of Mr Clark, the esteemed factor on the lands of Kilrenny, who in this considerate act has set an example which cannot be too well commended, especially when we reflect that not a single facility for outdoor recreation is open to our young men. Hence the concourse that is so often -and we had almost said unavoidably -to be met with at the corner of our thoroughfares.

On Wednesday, Mr Yool, depute county procurator-fiscal, arrived in Anstruther and took a precognition of witnesses in a case of alleged fraud and wilful imposition. It appears that a man named Robert Tyrel, a sailor, called at the shop of Treasurer Duncan and obtained a guernsey and a Balmoral bonnet, stating that he would go to his skipper and get the money to pay for them. He did not return. The same is man is alleged to have gone into the shop of Mr David Lumsden, watchmaker, and asked to see some gold keeper rings, stating that he washed to give one to his sweetheart. He selected one, and while looking at it gradually edged near the door. He then stated something about going to get the money, but Mr Lumsden said he must leave the ring until it was paid for. The man then bolted, and as there was no assistant in the shop at the time he got away. Information was lodged with the police, and the same day Constable Martin apprehended the man in Cellardyke, who at once gave up the ring, and as Mr Lumsden declined to prosecute, he was liberated. The man, however, was wanted for similar tricks at Pittenweem and St Monance, and the following day he was tracked by Constable Anderson, Pittenweem, and apprehended in Kingsbarns.

The fleet this season includes the finest and largest boats ever fitted out from the East of Fife. Amongst these being notably the dashing clipper Ruby, which was launched the other day by Councillor Jarvis to the order of the old Cellardyke skipper, Mr David Wilson. For the last thirty years boat-building has been carried on with no greater enterprise on the East coast than at the Brae of Anstruther; but the Ruby is beyond question the queen of the fleet. She is longer by a foot than any other built here, her dimensions being – length, 55; beam, 18; and depth of hold, 7 ½ feet; but, in addition to this, she also challenges attention by the fineness and symmetry of her mould. Councillor Jarvis has also contracted, not for a boat, but a regular deep-sea going smack to the order of another Cellardyke skipper, Mr Robt. Cunningham.


Sharp and Murray, NET MANUFACTURERS. CELLARDYKE, have always a supply of Nets—made from Wadkin & King’s Prize Medal Yarn—Barked thoroughly and ready for Backrope or with Backrope, either string or boltrope, all of Best Material and Workmanship. Usual discount. | Cellardyke, 28th June, 1882.



An award of £7 has been granted to James Smith, Cellardyke, and his crew, for saving the lives of five persons from the boat Jessie, of Lerwick, which was, during stormy weather, in danger off Moussa on the 14th April last.


A fisher lad of Cellardyke, John Henderson, was placed at the bar of East Anstruther Bailie Court on Friday, charged with being riotous and disorderly while in drink, to the fear and alarm of the neighbours on the previous Saturday night. He pleaded guilty; but in respect of a previous conviction, he was fined, after a pointed reprimand by the presiding Magistrate, Bailie Darsie, in 15s

The Cellardyke Echo – 30/6/2022 – Issue 345


The wife of a fisherman residing in Rodger Street, Cellardyke, gave birth to triplets, all sons, on Tuesday, but the children only survived an hour.

PARISH CHURCH—RECENT GUILD COMPETITION. —Five girls belonging to Rev. Mr Ray’s Junior Bible Class competed in the recent Guild examination in connection with the Church of Scotland. The results have just come to hand, from which it appeared that the girls have done better than was stated in the “Record” a few weeks ago. Not only have all the girls won certificates, but one of them has so distinguished herself as to receive a certificate of merit. The names of the girls are: — Certificate of Merit – Maggie Muir, 67 ½ per cent. Pass Certificates—Jemima Corstorphine 61 per cent; Maggie Gardner 58 ½ per cent; Betsy McLeod 52 per cent; and Lizzy Bett 42 per cent.


The accounts of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Gas Company for the year have been published, and show a record year. Nearly eleven million cubic feet of gas was sold. and brought in an income of £2065 5s 6d, the net profit for the year being £669 17s 6d. A dividend of 5 per cent. is recommended.


SUMMER GOODS. Straw HATS and Chiffon HATS. A big Stock of these small Fancy TOQUES. The very newest in Fancy BLOUSES in Delaines, Prints, and Silk.

Children’s HOODS and HATS. PLEISES and COATS all the very latest.

Gent’s TIES, SCARFS, MUFFLERS, HATS, and CAPS. A nice variety of small Boys’ SUITS in Velvet and Serge.


SERIOUS ACCIDENT. – An accident attended with very serious consequences took place last Thursday afternoon in one of the backyards off James Street. Mrs John Fleming was engaged in hanging out some fishing nets belonging to her husband on the gallows, which are so prominent a feature of Cellardyke gardens, when the rung of the ladder on which she was standing broke, and she was precipitated to the ground. Her cry as she fell brought a neighbour to the scene, and Mrs Fleming was found lying huddled up between the wall and the gallows, quite unconscious. She was taken indoors and medical assistance speedily procured, when her injuries were found to consist of a severely fractured skull and dislocation of the shoulder bone. Although a week since the unfortunate accident. Mrs Fleming’s condition is still highly precarious.


A new steam drifter was launched at Port Gordon last Saturday, to the order of Skipper Henry Bett, Cellardyke, and christened the Alices by a daughter of the owner. The Alices is to be towed to Dundee to engined by Messrs Cooper and Greig.

Price of Nets Raised. —The net manufacturers have just intimated to the merchants that the price of herring nets has been raised by one-third. The action is understood to be owing to the enhanced price of cotton, and the increasingly heavy demands of the cotton spinners. This increase seriously affects the Scottish and English herring fishermen. It adds 10s to the price of each net, or £30 per boats’s float, and will mean an additional yearly tax of thousands of pounds, and proportionately affect English fishermen. The steam drifters will be severely hit.

SAD FATALITY ON THE RAILWAY NEAR KILRENNY. —The community and district has been singularly immune from railway accidents of any description for a good number of years, but the spell was broken on Saturday, when a rumour, which, unfortunately, ultimately became substantiated, was circulated early in the forenoon that a man had been killed on the railway near Kilrenny. The goods train which leaves Anstruther about nine o’clock, while travelling between what are known as the Commontry and the Cornceres Bridges, at the westmost portion of Innergellie Woods, met with some obstruction, and the driver, on arriving at Crail, reported the fact. On examining his engine, he was horrified to discover of blood on the wheels, with other evidences of the obstruction having been a human body. Intelligence of the affair was immediately telephoned to the station at Anstruther whence ambulance aid was sent to the spot at which the accident had occurred, Dr Wilson and the police being also in attendance, but on the body being retched, life was found to be extinct. The back of the head was severely battered, while one of the legs was broken, and the right-hand cut, but the features were untouched and perfectly recognisable, a fact which, on the body being taken to Anstruther Goods Station, rendered identification easy. The relatives of the deceased identified him as Robert Murray, fifty years of age, fisherman, George Street, Cellardyke. There was nothing to show how the accident really occurred, but it is surmised that deceased, who had been lately very much worried on account of some family matters, had been stalking along the line in a preoccupied state of mind when he was overtaken by the train, with the above fatal consequences. Appearances also go to show that after being knocked down by the engine, he had been dragged along underneath for a considerable distance, as his knife, tobacco, and pipe, were found lying a point about thirty yards further back, from where the body was found lying. When he left home in the morning it is mutated that he was wearing a watch, with a gold chain, but, on the recovery of his body, only the minute hand, and the broken glass of the watch was found in the pocket of his vest. Deceased, of a quiet, frank nature, was generally well-liked and respected by his fellow fishermen. The drifter Rob the Renter, of the crew of which he was a member, arrived at Anstruther from Aberdeen on Monday afternoon flying a flag at half mast, out of respect to the memory of deceased. Much sympathy has been expressed by the community, over which quite a gloom was cast on Saturday, for his sorrowing family and friends.


Three small boys from Cellardyke were brought before Sheriff Armour at Cupar on Tuesday, charged with maliciously throwing stones at and breaking a quantity of glass at the vinery at Croma House. They all pleaded guilty. The Fiscal said this was one of the worst pieces of mischief that had come under his notice. The affair was very deliberate and destructive. The Sheriff said he had great difficulty in refraining from sending the oldest boy to be birched, but as his father had already punished him, he would let him off this time. The other boys were too young for that punishment.


MUSICAL EXAMINATION. In the list of passes of the Trinity College Examinations, held in Edinburgh, appears the names of Miss Alice Black, James Street, Cellardyke; and Miss Nellie Davidson, Rustic Place, Anstruther. In the preparatory examination in pianoforte playing. These candidates were prepared and entered for the examination by Miss M. J. Anderson, West Anstruther.

The Cellardyke Echo – 23/6/2022 – Issue 344



Cyclists Collide. — On Saturday afternoon, while two cyclists named Dick and Myles, belonging to Cellardyke, were cycling through West Viewforth, another cyclist, said to be a farmer, was coming east. Myles and the farmer came into collision, the former being bruised on the hands and legs, while both machines were rendered unfit for present use. The case is likely to be more heard of yet.

David Ross, fish hawker, Cellardyke, was charged with having on Saturday, 16th instant, in the lodging house in Card’s Wynd, occupied by Mrs Mayes, committed a breach of the peace by cursing and swearing, making a great noise, and challenging one of the male lodgers to fight. He pled guilty. The Fiscal said the police heard the noise in another street while on duty, and on going to Card’s Wynd they saw a large crowd outside the lodging house. On going inside the lodging-house accused was found with his coat off, challenging one of the male lodgers to fight. He was cautioned and warned to leave. Accused—l sold them a few fish that week, and I went up there to see about it. I am in the wrong. I had some drink in me, and when I have drink I am rather quarrelsome, but when sober nobody can say I interfere with them. I hope you will be lenient. The Provost—You have 8 previous convictions against you. You say you had drink, but that is no excuse, and the community is not to suffer because you take drink. You will be fined 15s or 14 days. I hope that as this conviction makes the ninth in your case, you will try and reform and not come back here again.


Sudden Death. —On returning home from church on Sunday afternoon, Mr Andrew Ireland, Cellardyke, suddenly expired. He was in his 88th year. He was a joiner to trade, and had been in business for more than 60 years in Cellardyke.

A FIFE ACTION. DAMAGES ASSESSED AT £20.- Sheriff Armour, Cupar, yesterday issued judgment the slander action for £100 raised by Mrs Paton, Blacklaws, Anstruther, with the consent and concurrence of John Paton, jun., farmer, Blacklaws, against Wm. Smith, fisherman, residing at Cellardyke. His Lordship finds it proved the occasion forth in the record the defender slandered the pursuer falsely and maliciously representing that her eldest son was born before marriage. He finds in law that the pursuer is entitled to £20 damages, with expenses.

RESIGNATION or PROVOST THOMSON – At the end of last week, Provost Thomson sent in his resignation as a Councillor and Provost of the burgh of Kilrenny to the Town Clerks. It is understood that the reason of the resignation is the motion carried at the Town Council meeting last week in regard to the dispute relating to the memorial service held in Cellardyke Church for the late Queen Victoria. The majority of the Council apparently held that the parish minister was not asked by the Council to preside, and the Provost argued that as the arrangements for the service were made at a Council meeting, and it was understood that Mr Anderson was to preside, it was equivalent to the Council asking him to do so. The subject was sprung upon the Council at the close of the ordinary business, and led to some lively talk. Bailie Williamson was officially informed of the resignation on Friday by the Town Clerks, no step has as yet been taken in regard to it. The resignation has to lie three weeks before it can be accepted, and any move made to fill the vacancy. Provost Thomson has occupied the civic chair since the summer of 1897, succeeding the late Provost Martin. During his reign several very important schemes have been inaugurated and are still being carried through.


Three Cellardyke boats which have been fishing for the past four weeks on the Donegal coast, arrived home on Saturday. The season was a very poor one, the stormy weather preventing them frequently getting to sea. The earnings were about £50, and the prices sometimes want up to £3 per cran for the herrings, which were of splendid quality. The rest of the Cellardyke boats are to remain for three or four weeks yet in the hope that better weather will enable them to secure more herrings.

On Monday afternoon Mr Miller launched deep sea fishing boat built the order of Skippers John and Andrew Watson, Cellardyke. The extreme length was 68 ½ ft and the vessel was named the Lily by Miss Peebles, a niece of the owners. The boat has been fitted out for all branches of the fishing, and her workmanship and model has given much satisfaction.

CELLARDYKE BOAT ABHORE AT SHETLAND. — The daily papers of Saturday brought the intelligence that the Cellardyke boat Cornucopia, Skipper John Bett, went ashore on Friday on the Wand of Hildasay, while making for Scalloway harbour. There was a strong gale blowing at the time. Small boats went out from Scalloway and rescued the crew. The boat was fortunately got off in the end of the week, for on Monday a telegram was received in Anstruther by his brother, Skipper Henry Bett, to bring an anchor with his boat for the use of the Cornucopia.


A SATURDAY NIGHT BRAWL. —Before all the Magistrates on Saturday. William Stophina Carrol, lodging house keeper, and Robert Keith, carter, Cellardyke, were charged with having on Saturday night, the 13th instant, in High Street, committed a breach if the peace, by using foul and disgusting language, quarrelling with each other, whereby a large crowd was collected. Both pled guilty. The Fiscal said the scene was a most disgraceful one. For about 20 minutes the men used disgusting language to each other, and the police had ultimately to separate them. They were both under the influence of drink. He knew nothing about Carrol’s history, but Keith had a bad record from 1892 on to February last when he was sentenced at Cupar to 30 days. Carrol said Keith was the aggressor, and Keith said he had nothing to say for himself. Carrol was fined 10s or 7 days, and Keith 20s or 14 days, the Magistrates stating that they were determined to put down these Saturday night brawls.

KEEPING A DOG WITLIOUT A LICENSE. – At a J.P. Court in Anstruther on Saturday morning, David Pattie, carter, Cellardyke, was charged with having on 20th March last, kept a dog without taking out a license. Accused pled guilty.

THE LATE MR STEPHEN WILLIAMSON. In the parish churchyard of Thornton Hough, Wirral, the remains of Mr Stephen Williamson, citizen and philanthropist, of the firm of Balfour, Williamson, and Co., of Liverpool, were reverently interred on Saturday afternoon. Many friends from Liverpool attended to pay their tribute of respect. ……. the bells in Chalmers Memorial Church, Anstruther, and in Cellardyke Town Hall were tolled for an hour, while on the different public buildings, and on the liners in the harbours, the flags were flying half-mast. In the Chalmers Memorial Church on Sunday morning, a memorial service was conducted by the Rev. A. G. MacAlpine. The pulpit was draped in black relieved by a strip of purple……


The Clerk submitted the letters which have already been published from Mr Arch. Williamson, Liverpool, offering to present a granite ornamental fountain 10 to 12 feet square, and 14 to 16 feet high as a memorial of his late father. Mr Williamson had since forwarded the following letter: Liverpool, 8th June 1904. Dear Sir, -I duly received your letter of 26th May, and I am gratified to learn that your Council are willing to accept a memorial fountain to be placed upon the site named. I have been waiting to hear farther from you as to the acquiescence of the Harbour Commissioners, who, I note, are also interested in the site. As soon as you can let me know what decision they have arrived at, I shall be obliged if you will inform me. I shall communicate with the architect as to providing a water trough for horses, and this shall be done if it is possible to do so without interfering with the elegance of the design. If there is any difficulty on this score, perhaps an oblong trough could be provided at the side of the pavement near the Cross. —Yours faithfully, Arch. Williamson

Mr Oliphant said he supposed they would only be too glad to give permission for the fountain being erected on their ground. The Chairman said the statement ought to be corrected that not Anstruther but Cellardyke was Mr Williamson’s native place. In the tablet in Cellardyke Town Hall it was stated that Cellardyke was his native town. Mr Oliphant —That’s where amalgamation comes in. (Laughter.) Mr Darsie—Do you think that Mr Williamson means Cellardyke, and that the fountain should be erected there? (Laughter.) The Chairman—Oh no, but this mistake should be rectified. The fountain at the Cross was erected as a memorial of the late Queen Victoria’s jubilee, and I cannot see why you should take it away, and have another erected for quite a different purpose. Mr Bonthron—But the feuars who gave it have given permission for its removal. The Chairman—Still, the fact remains that it was put up as a memorial to Queen Victoria, and Mr Williamson’s fountain could be put elsewhere, the best place being in the Folly opposite Mr Walker’s shop. To remove the present fountain to the east end of Shore Street would be dangerous to traffic as there was not sufficient room at that part for it. Mr Oliphant—If Mr Williamson desires to get this site at the top of the west pier for an ornamental fountain I think we should grant it. The Williamson’ family have done a great deal for Anstruther and Cellardyke, and he was favourable to this site being granted. Mr Bonthron agreed, and said in his opinion this was the only place for it. Mr Darsie said a 12 feet base for the fountain would take up a great deal of room, double the present fountain took up. He would rather have it there than opposite Mr Walker’s shop where it would be surrounded with boxes and barrels in the winter time. Mr Bonthron— The fountain will be a great ornament to the town, and we cannot help it not being given to Cellardyke. (Laughter.) We may send you the present fountain, Provost. The Chairman— We don’t want it in Cellardyke.

It was agreed to give every facility to the fountain being erected, but to insist on the plan being sent to the Board for inspection and approval.

The news came to hand yesterday of the death of Mr George Fowler, late of Cellardyke, at Evansville, America. Mr Fowler was for many years a very successful fishermen, and gave up the fishing a good number of years ago going out, with some of the other members of his family to his son, who has built up a very prosperous business in America. Mr Fowler was in his 80th year, and many friends in Cellardyke will learn with regret of his demise. He was a man of a very quiet disposition, and always held in great respect.

Th Cellardyke Echo – 16/6/2022 – Issue 343


DEATH OF AN AGRICULTURIST. Mr David Edie farmer, Cornceres, one of the best-known agriculturists of Fife, died very suddenly this morning on the public road between Kilrenny and Anstruther. He was walking  to Anstruther when he fell down. He was carried unconscious into Cellardyke Manse, where he expired. Mr Edie took an active part in parish affairs, was chairman for the Kilrenny School and Parochial Boards, and was lately appointed chairman to the Parish Council.

SHOEMAKERS (Any Number) WANTED. To meet the increasing demand for the K Y. SEA BOOTS, the Manufacturer opened a Branch WORKSHOP, at 52 James Street, Cellardyke. Shoemakers wishing Employment might apply there by MONDAY, or to the manufacturer, Wm. SMITH, Leather Merchant, Colinsburgh.


A court case that takes up a full column and a half  here’s a few snippets

At a Burgh Court at Anstruther on Monday —before Bailie Morton – Thomas Dunsire, publican, East Shore, was charged with having on the 18th May, between the hours of five and seven in the morning, trafficked or give out by others for whom he is responsible, to James Barclay, fisherman, Cellardyke, one half mutch-in bottle containing whisky or other excisable liquors This was said also to be the second offence. Dunsire, who was defended by Mr Grosset, Cupar, pled not guilty. …………….. Evidence was led, the first witness being James Barclay, fisherman, Cellardyke, who deponed that he was on the East Brae opposite or near Mr Dunsire’s public house on the 18th of May. He saw and spoke to Mr Dunsire. He had a little conversation with Mr Dunsire but not much. He gave Dunsire nothing at that time. No money passed between them. He left and went east to the urinal. Dunsire shortly after joined him there. Dunsire did not give him anything. He did not get a bottle containing whisky or ether excisable liquors from Dunsire. He left Dunsire there and went down the east pier to his craft. He saw and spoke to the constables on the pier. He did not take anything or a bottle from his pocket or jacket and and throw it over the pier. He never had a bottle. He did not make the observation to the constables that they would not get it there.

Sergeant Anderson said he was on duty on the 18th May between the hours of 5 and 7 in the morning. He saw the liner Chancellor come into the harbour, and watched the crew coming up the pier. About 20 minutes to six he saw Barclay come up the pier, and on passing Dunsire’s public house he looked up. He went to the end of the middle pier, and on coming back he was met by Dunsire opposite his public house. He saw Barclay give Dunsire something, and Constable Wright made the remark—He is handing him money. Barclay went on to the urinal, and he was joined there shortly after by Dunsire, and put his hand into his pocket, pulled out a bottle, and handed it to Barclay. Barclay then went down the pier, and when within 15 or 20 yards of the liner he called on him to stop. Barclay turned round, and threw the bottle of whisky over the pier, remarking that you will not get that at any rate.

Cross-examined by Mr Grosset —What was in the bottle ?—lt was the colour of whisky and it had the appearance of whisky. That is no answer to my question, what was in the bottle ?—I never tasked the contents of the bottle. But – you say it was whisky: How do you know ?- I say it had the colour of whisky. But how do you know it was whisky ?–By the colour and appearance of the contents. I did not taste the contents. I never hadthe chance of doing so. But you cannot tell whether it was whisky or not ?—I can only say it had the appearance and the colour of whisky.

After another  three or four hundred words of the same type of argument – Bailie Morton decided the case was not proven.

Several Cellardyke crews have been for weeks at Lowestoft, and the highest has not yet got £20. The theorists are telling that a change of wind is required ; a northerly breeze would in their opinion send in the shoals, and though one can take this idea for what it is worth, the skippers mean to hold on for a time yet, and give the venture a fair trial.

John Montador, second mate on board the ship Forthbank, a native of Cellardyke, died from yellow fever at Santos on 22d April last; (The Montadors later named their house in West Forth Street, NO 32 I think,  in Memory of their son)



On the morning of Jubilee Day, Provost Martin of Kilrenny, died at his residence at St Ayles Crescent, Anstruther, in his 76th year, and a gloom was met over the rejoicings of the day in the community. The Provost had been failing for some time back, and been confined to his room for the last five weeks. He gradually grew worse at the end of last week, and on Sunday it was seen that the end was near. He lingered on until Tuesday morning, when he slipped away. A pathetic incident connected with his death is the fact that he was looking forward to his only daughter, Mrs Bruce, coming in from South Africa, to pay him a visit, but unfortunately he has been taken away before Mrs Bruce could arrive. Had he lived he would have celebrated his golden wedding at the end of August, and it is betraying no secret now to state that it was the intention of his fellow-townsmen, whom he has served so long and faithfully, to present him then with a suitable token of their appreciation and respect for him. His demise has also put an end to this.

Mr Martin was a native of Cellardyke, and he has been one the prominent figures in that community for at least 50 years. He served his apprenticeship to the drapery trade with the late Provost Greig, Anstruther, and while he was comparatively a young man he set up business for himself in his native town. He soon established a successful business in 1844 he extended by beginning to manufacture different kinds of fishing material. The latter grew so much on his hands that he felt compelled to give up the drapery business, and stick entirely to his manufacturing concern. He disposed of his drapery shop to Mr, now Bailie, Thomson, in 1866, and from then on to a few years ago, successfully carried on his manufactures, which he developed to a large extent. He had an extensive connection with the north of Scotland and many fishing centres. His business enterprise was soon recognised, and he was led at a very early age to interest himself in his native place.

It was as far back as 1846 that he was chosen by his fellow-townsmen to be a manager of the burgh in conjunction with the late Mr Fowler and others. The burgh was at that time disfranchised, and had been in that position for mere than twenty years. That he soon established himself a favourite is shown in the fact that he was called to the office of Chief Manager in the Burgh, an office he held off and on for nearly 20 years. During all that time he was ever foremost at in the endeavours made to advance the interests of the burgh. He was the leading spirit in trying to get a harbour erected at Craignoon, and spared no end of trouble to accomplish this desirable object. But the expense was too great, and the project had to be abandoned in favour of the Union harbour at Anstruther. In 1868 the burgh was again raised to its full municipal status, and out of 19 candidates at the first election of a Town Council he, along with the late Bailie Sharp, was returned at the top of the poll. He was unanimously chosen Provost in December of that year, and continued to be the Chief Magistrate to his death, with the exception of two terms, when the chair was filled by Provost Watson and the late Provost Skinner. What he has done for the burgh since 1868 is too well known to be recapitulated here. but through all these years he never spared trouble, time, nor expense to further schemes and projects for the welfare and prosperity of the town. He made himself thoroughly acquainted with all questions he took up, and despite a somewhat brusque manner occasionally, he retained the confidence of his colleagues, by all of whom he was heartily supported. In his public life he set a splendid example to his fellow men to take a share in the work of the community in which they reside. But Provost Martin did not confine himself solely to the public life of the community, and fulfil his part on different public boards, the Parochial and School Boards especially, but he was equally at home, if not more so, in religious and philanthropic work. In this connection he has been a great moral force in Cellardyke. Through his instrumentality he got erected in 1860 a hall at the east end of Cellardyke for religious meetings, many of which he conducted himself. The Hall soon became too small, and he set about the erection of a larger place and one which would be more central. In this he succeeded, and early in the seventies, the present Forth Street Hall was put up. Here he superintended a large Sunday School and Bible-class every Sunday for many years and the great good he accomplished in this respect is almost incalculable. He was an enthusiastic Free churchman, and very soon after the Disruption was made au elder in Anstruther Church. He was a faithful attender at the meetings of Presbytery and Assembly, and did much to promote the prosperity of the denomination in the locality. The Provost never interfered much in politics, but he leaned to the Liberal side, and always entertained great respect for Mr Gladstone. His death is a great loss to the community in which he watt so much interested, and for whose moral and social prosperity he did so much. The funeral to-day is to be a public one, and will doubtless be largely attended. Out of respect for his memory the bunting on Cellardyke Town Hall on Tuesday was hoisted half-mast high, and his death has caused a general expression of regret in Cellardyke  and district.


CELLARDYKE – THE SCARLET FEVER.–All the recent cases of scarlet fever are now convalescent, but yesterday a fresh case occurred in School Road, in a family of seven. The epidemic is of a mild type.


In the East of Fife Record’s version of the Echo – they reported from the Pittenweem Register of 1849

EXTRAORDINARY BIRTH. -On Wednesday the 9th instant, Agnes Boyter, wife of James Robertson, fisherman, Cellardyke, was safely delivered of three children—all daughters.

The work of repairing the piers of Cellardyke harbour is to be begun next week by Bailie Williamson.

THE Public School.–Dr Dunn on Monday and Tuesday inspected Cellardyke School. There was a large attendance of the pupils, and the inspection is expected to turn out a very successful one

The Cellardyke Echo – 10/6/2022 – Issue 342


Parochial Board at a special meeting of this Board on Friday night, on the motion of Provost Martin, seconded by Skipper Thomas Birrell, Mr Edie, Cornceres, was unanimously elected the representative of the Board to this District Committee of the County Council.

SUDDEN DEATH OF SKIPPER WATSON. — On Saturday evening Skipper John Watson, of the “Margaret Taylor,” was seized with illness at the tea-table. He rapidly grew worse, and passed away in the course of a few minutes. He had been afflicted for some time with disorder of the heart. Skipper Watson, who was 55 years of age, leaves a grown-up family. It will be remembered that at the election of 1885 in the burghs Watson was personated by some unknown person at the polling booth in Cellardyke.

ANSTRUTHER HARBOUR COMMISSION—Appeals for remission of dues.

The June meeting of this Board was held on Monday night—Provost Darsie in the chair. The treasurer submitted a vidimus of the revenue of the harbour for the month ending the 17th ult. In consequence of the growing usage amongst the North Sea crews of seeking a market elsewhere, it was reported that the revenue only amounted to £38 6s 6 ½d being a decrease of £7 3s 9 ½d, as compared with the corresponding period last year. The petition of Skipper James Smith for the remission of the lying-up rate of the “Good Design,” on account of the boat being detained in the harbour by the illness of the crew. was considered, and it was agreed to remit the dues. An application, revealing a peculiar state of affairs, from Messrs Robert Watson & Co., Cellardyke, was also considered. The boat ” Day Star” was held in pledge by the firm, who found that, instead of being an asset for a large debt, it was not worth the sum owing for anchorage (£18). They sold the boat to a party in Leith for £7 10s, and this sum the firm now asked the Board to accept in full of the claim. On the motion of Bailie Sharp, the offer was accepted ; and a second application, by the same firm, was to the effect that on the boat “James and Agnes,” belonging to Alexander Ogilvie, who had left the East of Fife, the dues amounted to £2o – one half the sum of which she was bought by Skipper Joseph Walker. They enclosed a cheque for the amount, which, as in the case of the “Day Star,” it was agreed to accept.


Attendance at School report by Truant Officer James Jack.

…In the case of Cellardyke Public School There is a roll of 256.. What about the case of John Muir, playing truant everyday for a whole twelvemonth. He is undoing what I am trying to do, to stop truanting. (Laughter) He has got it in his head that the Board is powerless, and is letting his fellows know. The case of May A Wilson also for a whole year out of school, and others day in and day out. He had mentioned these things in order that the board might try to remedy it for another year. (laughter). Great complaints from the teachers.

The Chairman – I am afraid we will have to censure the officer if he lectures us like that (laughter).

On the roll of Cellardyke School were 25, and the average attendances were 235,239,242 and 241. The Chairman – I don’t see the teacher has any cause for complaint there. At the infant school 256 on the roll with 208,212,208 and 208 in average attendance…

The officer was instructed to do his utmost to keep the children at school after the inspection until the holidays. It was resolved to procure an attendance order against John Muir, and to insist upon his going back to school, and attending regularly. The Clerk was instructed to write to four other parents stating that unless their children were kept regularly at school they would be prosecuted.


CELLARDYKE. Boys Brigade

This Brigade held their first excursion for the season on Saturday, when they were invited to Cairnie, Colinsburgh, the residence of Captain Scott-Davidson. The Brigade, to the number of fully 70, met at their Drill hall at 9 o’clock, and under the command of Captain George Black, and accompanied by Lieutenants Watson, A. Black, and R. G. Thomson, marched to the railway station. They were taken by the train to Kilconquhar, and from the station they marched to a field in front of Cairnie House. A number of swings were set up, and ether amusements were carried on for some time, after which the company were put through their drill by the Captain by Sergeant Drill Instructor Downey of the Volunteers. Captain Scott-Davidson had, with his usual kindness, made every provision for the wants of the inner man, and the boys were liberally supplied with pies, milk, and lemonade, while the officers were entertained to lunch in the house. In the afternoon, Captain Scott-Davidson inspected the Company, and put them through several movements. The boys showed a marked improvement since the first, and the manner in which they executed several of the movements, would done credit to a company of volunteers.


The partan fishing is now ended at Cellardyke, and is the poorest on record. The same may be said of the salmon fishing, which has never yielded so few fish.

John Martin Ritchie, of the crew of the Isabella, Cellardyke, had an undesirable adventure at sea on Thursday. He was engaged hauling in the lines, and bent down to lift on board a fish when, his hand slipping, he fell into the sea over the bow. His companions observed the mishap, and kept a sharp lookout for his reappearance. The current swept Ritchie under the boat, but he rose at the stern and was grasped by the skipper. Is another minute he was hauled on board, and after the exhaustion had worn away was none the worse of his immersion.


CELLARDYKE. Cellardyke fishermen and the May Island.

At an inquiry at Dundee on the stranding of the steamer Jasper on the May Island on 17th April last, the following evidence was led: John Gardener (67). Cellardyke, said he had been a fisherman at Cellardyke all his days. He was out fishing on the evening of the 16th April, and got into the harbour about eleven o’clock. The weather was very foggy. He thought he was within two miles of the May Island, and although he saw no lights on the island he observed the lights on the north shore. He saw a glimmer of light on the May light about ten o’clock, but did not see it again. If the wind was from the north-east and the sea from the eastward there was a heavy top current between the Carr Lightship and the May Island. While out fishing he had experienced it many a time. That current would certainly have an effect upon a vessel in ballast. He had known of the current running a fishing boat on the May Island even in clear weather.

By Captain Wood—Witness said the fishermen had studied the Admiralty tables, but found them of no use in bad weather. Thomas Tarvit (68), fisherman, Cellardyke, and pilot at Anstruther, said at two o’clock on the morning of the 17th April he left Anstruther for the May Island, and reached it about four o’clock. When he left Anstruther he could not see the May Light, but he reached the Island by means of his compass. He heard rockets fired, but thought they came from the Lightship. Witness then corroborated previous witness as to the current ; and, in reply to one of the Assessors, he said the fog kept him from seeing the May Light. Asked if he knew any difference between the electric light and the old light on the May Island, Tarvit replied that the fishermen liked the old light best. They thought they could see the old light better through a fog. Martin Gardner (60), another Cellardyke fisherman, corroborated, and said the fishermen did not have very much faith in the May Light. His experience, was that the electric light did not pierce the fog so well as oil or gas.