The Cellardyke Echo – 01/12/2022 – Issue 367


Ex Pupil Teacher (Female) wanted for Cellardyke Public School, Salary £40, Applications stating qualification with testimonials, to be lodged on or before 6th December with Provost Thomson, Cellardyke, Chairman of Kilrenny School board

THE HARBOUR IMPROVEMENT FUND CONCERTS. The first of a series of entertainments for Cellardyke Harbour Fund was held in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, last Friday, when a most enjoyable evening was spent. The Hall was crowded to its utmost, and Mr Robert Melville, occupied the chair. A first-rate programme was gone through. Solos were sung by Misses Hepburn and Rennie, and by Messrs Harris and Wood— Miss Mary Melville being the accompanist. The comic songs sung by Mr Harris took exceptionally well, and he had on both occasions to respond to encores. Mr Alex. Watson also contributed two violin solos in his usual efficient manner. A humorous reading was given by Mr James Fortune, and the two recitations by Mr Peter Smith, was listened to with great interest. Encores were demanded from all the performers, and a most successful and enjoyable entertainment was brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem. Judging from the enthusiasm displayed by the audience and from the large numbers present, it augurs well for the future meetings of this class, which are to be held every Friday evening through the winter.

BOATBUILDING Pittenweem. —The remaining bauldie which Mr Fulton had on hand has just been disposed of to a Fisherrow owner. This one, along with the one sold the previous week, were both launched on Tuesday this week. From the same yard there is to be launched in the end of the present week, two large deep-sea boats built to the order of Skipper Alex. Hughes (Irvine), Abbey Road, and Skipper John Watson (Salter). Cellardyke, respectively.


BRAVE FIFE FISHERMAN. HANDSOME REWARD FOR HEROIC CONDUCT. To-day at Yarmouth the Mayor announced the Police Court that h« had received a vellum certificate of the Royal Humane Society and silver hunter watch specially subscribed for presentation James Patterson Wallace of Cellardyke, and belonging the Kirkcaldy fishing boat Morning Star, who a short time since plunged into the harbour, though wearing heavy sea clothing, and saved a boy who drowning. Wallace was not present, and Mr Former, salesman, said the boat sailed Sunday. The Mayor directed the awards be forwarded to the Provost at Anstruther for public presentation to Mr Wallace.

BOATBUILDING ORDERS (Millers Anstruther yard)—The new boat on the stocks at the shipbuilding yard is to be launched by Mr Miller next week.  (This was sold to Skipper Pratt, Cellardyke) Another two orders for large boats 68feet in length, have been secured by Mr Miller, one for Skipper David Brown, Cellardyke, and the other for Shetland, the latter to be smack rigged, for which class there is a strong demand in Shetland. The carpenters are thus assured of full employment for some time to come.


The Gale – From 12 until 3 o’clock it made a clean sweep over every pier in our neighbourhood, as if nothing lay in its way, and the noise which it made among the rocks of our iron-bound shore was frightful. We hear that a part of the pier of has been damaged. Three fishing boats belonging to Cellardyke, which were lying at Craignoon, were dashed to pieces. They were the properties of David Watson, John Pratt, and Alexander Scott. John Carstairs lost two large sails, about 90 yards in each of them. A great many masts, oars, and others articles belonging the fishermen have also been swept away, and about 90 yards of the new bulwarks of Cellardyke harbour greatly damaged.


Mission Yacht Albatross – UNITED SPECIAL MISSION, CONDUCTED BY W. F. STEWART And CREW of the “ALBATROSS,” In Cellardyke Town Hall, ON SABBATH. 6th Dec. at 7.45, Week Nights at 7.30. All welcome, Yacht Hymns

LAUNCHES ON THE TYNE. There was launched from the Shipbuilding Yard of Smith’s Dock Company, Limited, North Shields, on Thursday, three finely modelled steel steam herring drifters the following dimensions: 82ft. by 18it. 3 inches. by 9ft. 1in. They have been built under Lloyd’s special survey to obtain the highest-class A.1., will with compound engines 12in., and 10in, stroke, supplied by W. V, V. Lidgerwood, of Coatbridge, fitted by the Shields Engineering Company, Limited, of North Shields. They have been built specially for the Scotch herring fishing and will be equipped with all the latest improvements for such vessels. The names the vessels are the Emily Reaich, Nina, and Vanguard III. The first two are built to the order of Provost W. H. Leask, Peterhead, and the latter, which was christened by Miss Hastie, of North Shields, to the order of Messrs Martin Gardner & Sons, of Cellardyke.

Vanguard III KY 693


CELLARDYKE. Town and Parish Councils. — A nomination meeting for the Town and Parish Councils of Kilrenny took place in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, on Tuesday evening. The retiring members of the Parish Council were all re-elected with the exception of Provost Black, who refused to stand, and are—Messrs Ray, Leslie, Barbour, J. Downey, and Gardiner. The three vacancies in the Town Council were filled up by the retiring members, who are—Messrs G. M. Black, J. Clark, and W. Dewar.

CELLARDYKE. A Burgh Court also took place last Friday in Cellardyke, the presiding Magistrate being Provost Black and Bailie Butters. The cases before them were all relating to carters leaving their carts standing on the public streets longer than was necessary for the loading or unloading of goods. The persons charged were Messrs J. Hodge, A. Blyth, R. Christie, G. Pattie, but a certificate was road from Dr Wilson stating that Blyth was unable to attend Court through illness

ACTION AGAINST KILRENNY TOWN COUNCIL THE, CELLARDYKE HARBOUR EXTENSION. In Cupar Sheriff Court last Thursday, Sheriff Armour closed the record, and ordered parties to be heard on 8th December, in an action raised against Kilrenny Town Council, being the authority for Cellardyke harbour, by Messrs Adam Co., contractors, Glasgow, for the balance due on their account ender the contract for work at the harbour amounting to £116 5s 9d, the sum of £13 for lighting the harbour, and £217 12s of additional claims. The pursuers state what their offer for the work was made on 7th April 1902, and in terms of the specification it was to be completed within six months. In making their offer the pursuers anticipated that they would be allowed to proceed with the work at once, and would thus have had the advantage of the summer months and the possibility of fair weather. The engineer on 16th April 1902 intimated that their offer had been accepted, and they continually asked that they should be allowed to proceed with the work, but they did not receive a formal acceptance until 9th June, and were not allowed to start till 30th June 1902. The work was net completed till 31st December 1903, but about a month was spent in executing work not in the original contract. Had they been allowed to start within a reasonable time of their making their offer they would in all probability have been able to complete the work within the time stipulated. Owing, however, to a delay of more than three mouths, they lest the best part of the summer, and were thrown into the winter, during which they had to contend with unusually bad weather. The Council admit that the offer by the pursuers was made on the date specified, and that they were told that the Council on April 14th 1902, had unanimously resolved to accept it. But they were also told that the offer could only be accepted subject to the consent of the Fishery Board being obtained, which was not got till June 6th, and a formal acceptance by the engineer was sent them on 9th June, when they were requested to proceed at once with the works. The pursuers did not ask that the period of six months stipulated in the contract should be extended, and the contract was entered into and accepted on the footing that the harbour works would be executed within the time named. The contract contained no weather clause, and the pursuers undertook all risk of delay arising through unfavourable weather or otherwise. They took the whole of the year 1903, in addition to the six months of 1902, to complete the work. The pursuers say that when signing the contract, they pointed out to Messrs Jamieson & Guthrie, that owing to delay in starting the job, it would be impossible to complete it to time, and these gentlemen assured them that the time clause would not be insisted on. During the progress of the work the engineer made several alterations in the original plans. These necessitated considerable additional work, and the carrying out of certain portions under entirely altered conditions in a manner not expected by either of the parties when the contract was entered upon. Some of these alterations were made after the expiry of the six months within which the contract ought to have been completed. The defenders admit the alterations, but say they are usual in the execution of harbour works or undertakings of the like nature. By the conditions of the contract, they, or their engineer, were to have full power to make such alterations on the form, dimensions, and arrangement of the works as they might see fit during their progress, and that such should in no way invalidate the contract, but should be deemed a part thereof.

The Cellardyke Echo – 23/11/2022 – Issue 366


CELLARDYKE. School Board

A meeting of this body took place last night, Provost. Black presiding. The Rev. Jas. Ray, Messrs Swinton and Thomson were also present. The officer reported a percentage of attendance of 89 for Cellardyke and 92 for Kilrenny Schools. A letter was read from Miss McLaughlan, resigning her position as assistant in Kilrenny School. The Chairman said they should leave it over for a time, as the whole question of the staff might have to be considered if Mr Smith left. to join the Forces. Mr Smith had called on him, stating that he was quite willing to go. Should that take place his idea that Kilrenny School should be closed and Mr Forsyth brought down. The Rev. Mr Hay was afraid that such an arrangement might get them into trouble with the Department. They could not say they were unable to make any other arrangement. The Chairman—We can say that it is the easiest way for us. It was agreed to delay filling up the vacancy. The Clerk (Mr H. H. Soutar,) read a letter from the Department agreeing to allow the grant for the Continuation Class in English, which had been discontinued owing to the small attendance. The Scottish Band of Hope Union wrote asking permission to give lectures on temperance to the scholars, and inviting the members of the Board to the lectures. Mr Ray—You would think there was some need for us to attend. (Laughter.) The Chairman—Mr Smith could give a temperance lecture himself, or Mr Soutar even. (Laughter.) It was agreed to refuse permission. It was agreed to allow Mr Forsyth permission to start a soup kitchen in December, and instructed him to have the swing in the playground removed as it was in a defective condition. The Board’s bank book stood creditor £21 9s 9d.

KILRENNY. Mr James Cairns son of the Laird, leaves tomorrow to take up military duty with the Army Service Corps, in which he has obtained a commission.

Mr Herbert Russell has been appointed official recruiter by the Admiralty for East and West Anstruther and Cellardyke.

Sudden Death.—Mrs Wm. Anderson, a widow, died with tragic suddenness early on Saturday morning at her residence in Caiman’s Wynd (Pittenweem). On Friday evening she was engaged in baiting a line, when she complained of not feeling well, and the medical aid of Dr Wilson, Anstruther was summoned. The deceased, who was 6o years of age, was a native of Cellardyke, and was respected by all with whom she came in contact. She leaves a grown-up family of four daughters.

Private Robert Dunsire of the machine gun section of the 13th Royal Scots is awarded the VC Although he belonged to Denbeath the newspapers report his Cellardyke connections as his wife Kate Pitt was daughter of  Dyker John Pitt who had a general merchant’s shop in Denbeath.  

Mr Thos. Gilmour. son of Mrs Gilmour, West Forth Street, Cellardyke, has been granted a commission as 1st Lieutenant, R.N.R.

Soldier Dies at Home. Private John Doig, late of the 1/7th Black Watch, and son of Mr Thos. Doig, Rodger Street, died on Saturday in his father’s house. The deceased was with the local Company of the Black Watch at Kinghorn, and while in training there developed unexpected weaknesses. To his regret, he was unable to accompany the rest of his comrades to France, and received his discharge on account of ill health not long after their departure for the front. He was buried in Kilrenny Churchyard on Tuesday, the obsequies being attended by Captain C. H. Maxwell and Privates Boyter and Elliot of the 1/7th Black Watch, Private Carstairs, Gordon Highlanders, and T. Tarvit, RN., The soldiers and sailor carrying the coffin from the hearse to the graveside.

Natives Death in Aberdeen. — Information arrived here on Monday night of the death of Mr James Watson, son of the late Mr Thos. Watson (Martin), at his residence in Aberdeen, The deceased, who was a native of Cellardyke, left this district a good few years ago, and carried on his calling as skipper of a trawler from Aberdeen, but to many fishermen from the East Neuk his death will come as a personal loss. He was familiarly known as “Hawley,” and his home in Aberdeen welcomed many of the fishermen from Cellardyke while they prosecuted the North fishing. Before he left this district he was identified with the social life of the town, and took a keen interest in Y.M.C.A. and Christian Endeavour, and he was also a member of the Baptist Church. He is survived by a widow and grown-up family, for whom much sympathy is being expressed. The funeral took place this afternoon to Kilrenny Churchyard from the Baptist hall, where the remains had rested for the night.


Leven  -An application from Martin & Co., oilskin manufacturers, Cellardyke, for permission to lay the electric cable under the road to their new factory at Glenlyon Road received the assent of the Council.

Sphagnum Moss. – It is satisfactory to learn that since the picking of Sphagnum moss was commenced at Cellardyke there has been a larger turn-out of workers, and that 341 bags of picked moss have been despatched from there. The Treasurer (Mr C. Gardner) has just received acknowledgment for the last consignment, which the headquarters say was very well picked. It is also stated that during the last four months over 160,000 dressings have been supplied in response to War Office requisitions. The Committee further express a hope that the various workers will continue their help throughout the coming winter, and if possible, increase their numbers, in order to cope with the ever-increasing demands from War Hospitals. A large stock of Sphagnum moss has been laid in for the winter’s work, sufficient for a largely augmented staff of workers.


Canadian Falls. Another promising young man connected with Cellardyke has fallen. On Saturday, intimation was received that Gunner John Bayne Brown, of the Machine Gun Section of the Canadian Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the 9th of October. He is the second son of Mr Thos. Brown, builder, Alberta, Canada, late of Cellardyke. Prior to the war, Gunner Brown was engaged as a joiner in Canada. He was 33 years of age, and had been over a year in France.

Another Cellardyke Casualty. —Official confirmation has now been received as to the death of Private Alex. Boyter, of the Black Watch, letters having now come to hand from Adjutant Glen and Lieut. Philip 0. Ray, stating that he had died on 19th October from wounds sustained in action in a bomb raid, and expressive of sympathy with the family in their bereavement. Private Boyter, who was 22 years of age, was the third son of Mrs Boyter, Rodger Street., and it is about two years since he enlisted in the Black Watch. Prior to that he was a plasterer with Mr Williamson. His father was a fisherman, and was drowned at sea about 16 years ago.


Further meetings of local Tribunals were held in Cellardyke, East-Anstrutber, and Crail on Monday afternoon and evening, the Military representative at each being Major Sibley.

CELLARDYKE. The meeting at, Cellardyke was held in the Council Room, the members of the Tribunal present being–Provost Black (presiding), Councillors Laverock and Bett, and Mr D. Bruce.

The first case called was that of John Bett, fisherman, Fowler Street, and the military assenting, conditional exemption was granted.

James Watson (25), fisherman, John Street, claimed exemption on the ground of ill-health, it being stated that while at work at the Forth Bridge he overstrained his heart. Major Sibley stated that he would have to undergo medical examination. The appeal was continued to see if arrangement. could be made for a medical examination.

John A. Scott (32), grocer, George Street, appealed for conditional exemption, it being stated that he was engaged in a certified occupation, and that he was rejected under the Derby scheme. This was not assented to by the military.

In answer to Major Sibley, appellant stated that his father was going back and forward attending to the business, but that he was not able to give it. constant supervision. He had two girls, but both were at school.

The Provost—It is not easy getting girls just now.

Major Sibley—They can be got somewhere; and it is not a certified occupation now.

Conditional exemption was claimed for Andrew Donaldson (36), baker, Burnside Terrace, it being stated that he was suffering from cardiac, a certificate being given by a doctor. He was in the employment of his brother, James Donaldson, baker, who also claimed exemption for him on the ground that he could not continue to carry on his business without his brother’s assistance.

Mr D. Cook, solicitor, stated that this was a double application, and he considered that it was a strong enough case for conditional exemption. One of the old established bakery businesses in Cellardyke had already been closed for want of hands, and it would come to be very hard on the community if this one were also to be closed.

Major Sibley—ln some populations there is more over-lapping than there should be. There are a tremendous number of bakers in Fife, more in proportion to the population than there is elsewhere. Mr Laverock said that conditional exemptions had been granted in cases that were not more deserving of it than this, and that this should be treated as others.

Major Sibley—Baking is an essential business for women. When they can make bread at home and do similar work at munitions, there is no reason why they should not do it at bakeries.

Conditional exemption was granted. At this point Provost Black vacated the chair, which was taken by Councillor Laverock, and claimed conditional exemption for William Tarvit Bowman, who was a foreman in the oil skin manufactory of A. Black & Co He stated that it was a certified occupation, and that it was impossible to get men to do the work that was required. Bowman already had three sons with the colours, and offering himself under the Derby Scheme he was then rejected. If every family in the country had given the same in proportion, it would have been different with the Army to-day. Owing to the want of hands, contracts bad been greatly delayed. Major Sibley said that military doctors were passing men that would not have been passed twelve months ago. It could not be said that men who had been rejected before were now absolutely unfit. Exemption was granted for three months.


The steam drifter Innergellie (KY. 609), which belonged to Mr James Muir, Cellardyke has purchased Mr Alex. Smith, Portessie, Moray Firth, for the sum of £2190. She is 90 feet in length, of 100 gross tonnage, and it is about 20 years since she was built.

The Cellardyke Echo – 17/11/2022 – Issue 365


GOLDEN WEDDING. Watson—Moncrieff. —At 38 George Street, Cellardyke, on 18th November, 1850 ( should this be 1860?), by the Rev. Alex. Gregory, Anstruther, William Watson, fisherman, to Lucy Moncrieff, daughter of Robert Moncrieff, fisherman, Cellardyke. Present Address, 5 Shore Street, Cellardyke.

MR DUNCAN MILLAR’S TRAWLLNG BILL. Mr Duncan Millar’s Illegal Trawling Bill is (says a London correspondent) evidently receiving a great deal of support in the fishing towns on the East Coast. He has just presented a petition in its favour from fishermen in St Andrews, Crail, and Cellardyke, and I believe that petitions to the same effect are coming from Arbroath, Johnshaven, Ferryden. and Gourdon. There is, therefore, no doubt that this measure has the general support of the fisher population.


A letter was read from the Local Government Board stating that in a report from the General Superintendent of the Poor on a recent visit to Cellardyke, it was stated that the books were properly posted and the clerical work of the Inspector’s office well done. This was considered very satisfactory. After passing several accounts the Council adjourned.


DAIRY STOCK &c., FOR SALE. There will be sold by Public Roup at the DAIRY, TOLBOOTH ROAD, CELLARDYKE, on FRIDAY, 24th November, the whole Stock, Implements etc., belonging to the Estate of MR ALEXANDER MCFADYBAN, Cellardyke, consisting of:—16 Cows, (some newly calved and mostly in full milk), 1Horse, 2 Pigs, 1Milk cart, 1 Cart, Harness, and usual Dairy and Stable Utensils. Roup to commence at 2 O’clock, afternoon. Fifeshire Auction Co., Ltd., Ladybank, Auctioneers. Rodger Street, Anstruther, 16th November, 1911,


CELLARDYKE FIREMAN’S BODY FOUND AT YARMOUTH. Intelligence was received in Anstruther yesterday that the body John Watson, Cellardyke, fireman on the Cellardyke steam drifter Guerdon, who went amissing about three weeks ago, had been found in the river.

Although an inquest was held at the Mariner’s Refuge, Gorleston, upon the body of John Watson, aged 27, fireman on the Kirkcaldy steam drifter Guerdon, which was recovered from Yarmouth Harbour after he had been for three weeks, no real light has been shed upon his fate. He had lived with his mother, a widow, Cellardyke, and, according to the skipper of the Guerdon, Adam Reid, he left his vessel on the night of October 18 to on shore for the evening, and never returned to her. Adam Reid, son of the skipper said he met deceased in King Street, Yarmouth at 10.15 p.m.. more than an hour after he had left the Guerdon, and he was not the worse for drink, but the night was dark and thick with rain, and as the Guerdon was the fourth boat off the quay, Watson might make a slip getting on board. No cry was heard during the night, and deceased never came board again. On his body being searched by policeman, he stated he found nothing in his pockets. The Coroner said there was no evidence to show how or where deceased got into the river, but was most probable he stumbled and fell when getting to his boat from the quay. An open verdict of “Found drowned ” was recorded.


In the Yarmouth Court on Saturday, it was announced that the action which should have been heard by Judge Wilmot, in which the skipper and crew of the Cellardyke boat, Unity, (Skipper D. Corstorphine) claimed for salvage services rendered on October 10th, in the North Sea, to the drifter Scots Greys, had been privately settled! The terms of settlement have not transpired, but it is stated the sum is substantial. ( Scots Greys KY 52 was another Cellardyke Boat owned by the Betts of Fowler Street, the boat was lost)

Unity KY 162 – Alex Stevenson at the bow, and Alex Stevenson Jnr by the Wheelshouse


Death Notice

Sutherland- At 2 Carmelite Street, Aberdeen, the 16th inst . James Sutherland, trawl fisherman, late Cellardyke, aged years—deeply regretted. Funeral Wednesday the 19th inst., at 2-30 p.m. St Peter’s Cemetery. All friends please accept this (the only) intimation and invitation.

CELLARDYKE. SCHOOL SOCIAL and DANCE—On Friday evening, the annual social and dance promoted by the Headmaster and staff of Cellardyke school was held. There a very large company present, the largest since the inception of the social. The room were magnificently decorated and gave ample tribute to the artistic energies of the staff. Prior to the commencement of a varied and excellent concert, Mr Barbour welcomed those present and hoped they would all have an enjoyable evening. The programme consisted of a piano duet by Misses Calder and Pattullo; song, ‘Promise Me’ by Miss Travis; recitation, ‘Soliloquy of a chicken’ by Miss Cattanach; Sword dance by Mr J. D. Lawson; song ‘Hush-a-by Birdy,’ by Miss McMeekin; Sketch by Mr and Mrs Maxwell; song ‘Because’ by Mr James Wood; violin solo by Mr Fred Higgins; duet, ‘The Elfin Call’ Misses Rennie and Travis. Dancing was afterwards engaged in Mr Macfarlane discharging the duties of M. C. in a very efficient and energetic manner. The dance music was played by Mrs McPherson, Dundee, while the purveying was daintily attended to by Messrs D. Black & Son, Cellardyke. From beginning to end, the function most successfully and enjoyable.

CELLARDYKE FISHERMAN DROWNED While on Passage from Yarmouth to Anstruther. Intelligence was received in Anstruther today of the drowning of Cellardyke fisherman, John Wilson, one of the crew of the Shields steam drifter Baden Powell while a voyage from Yarmouth to Anstruther. The vessel put into Shields, and intelligence was sent to Anstruther of the accident. Deceased, who was about 55 years of age leaves a widow and a family.


OUR WOUNDED “POSTIE.” Private D. Brown, Black Watch, the Cellardyke “Postie” who was wounded and invalided home, left yesterday for the Perth Headquarters, where he had to report himself. Although Private Brown has been steadily improving, it is questionable as to whether he is yet fit or service. While in the fighting line, Private Brown had more narrow escapes from death On one occasion he had been told of to prepare tea for his Company. Leaving the “dixie” for a few moments, and while only a short distance away, a shell landed right in the “dixie,” which was shattered and scattered. On another occasion, he was sitting in one of the trenches, with his legs crossed. A large piece of shell landed right in between his legs, and made a deep hole in the ground, but he was untouched. To his regret, Private Brown never took part in a bayonet charge, although like many of his comrades he would have been glad of the opportunity of getting to close quarters with the enemy. In addition to the names already published of those from Cellardyke now serving in the Forces, we have to add those of George Hodge (Bowman), lst Class Petty Officer, H.M.S. Patrol, and Private Harry A. Bowman, 7th Black Watch (Territorials). From West Anstruther there is Leading Seaman James Smith, H.M.S. Warrior, a son of Mr James Smith, West Anstruther.

The Cellardyke Echo – 10/11/2022 – Issue 364


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

GREAT TERM SALE BOOTS, SHOES, AND SLIPPERS ALEX. WILSON’S, 31 JAMES STREET. CELLARDYKE. HAVING just received delivery of First Consignment of his AUTUMN and WINTER STOCK, A. W. desires to call the attention of his numerous Customers and the Public generally to the excellent value he is able to offer them. For extent, variety, and excellence of quality his Stock is unsurpassed in the East of Fife and Customers will find it much to their advantage to call and examine the same before purchasing elsewhere.

Undernoted are a few of my leading lines: —

Ladies’ Dress Slippers, from 1/11—extra value.

Ladies’ Strong Elastic Sided Boots, from 3/6 to 7/6.

Ladies’ Buttoned Kid Boots, from 6/9 to 13/6.

Ladies’ Kid Load Boots, from 7/6 to 12/6.

Ladies’ Lorne Shoes, from 4/8 to 6/6.

Ladies’ Strong Laced Boots, from 5/6 to 9/6.

Gent’s Dress Shoes, 7/6.

Gent’s Dress Boots, 10/6.

Gent’s Lorne Shoes, from 6/6to 12/6.

Gent’s E. S. Boots, 6 /6, 7/6, and 8/6—extra value.

Gent’s Strong E. S. Boots 9/6 to 17/6.

Gent’s Lacing Boots, from 7/6 to 16/6.

Navvies’ Strong Waterproof Boots, from 7/6.

Boys’ and Girls’ School Boots, from 2/9.

Ladies’ House Slippers, from 10 ½ d per pair.

Ladies’ House Boots, from 2/9 per pair.

Children’s Boots and Slippers in endless varieties, from 6 ½ d per pair.

To Fishermen. Sea Boots, Long, H and Made, extra value, from 30/.

Fishermen’s Wellington Boots, extra value, from 9/6.

Fishermen’s Blutcher Boots extra value, from 5/6.

Boots and Shoes Repaired on the shortest notice, at the following reduced prices:—

Ladies’ Boots or Shoes Soled & Heeled, from 1/9 p. pr.

Gents Boots or Shoes, Soled & Heeled, from 2/6


An Early Call respectfully solicited.


On Saturday morning, the dead body of Elisabeth Jack or Thomson, wife of James Thomson, fisherman, Cellardyke, was found at the bottom of the deep cliff of rocks at the Billowness ‘ at a point right below the Kirklatch. Deceased had gone to Pittenweem the previous night, but little is known as to the hour at which the accident occurred. It is supposed, however, that on her way home at a late hour she mistook the May light for some other, and had wandered off the public road and walked over the cliff, which is fully 60 feet high. Death must have been instantaneous. A young man, residing in West Anstruther, was taking a walk over the Billowness, when he saw the body lying among the rocks. He lost no time in communicating with the police, who soon arrived at the spot. The body was examined by Dr Flaxman, Pittenweem who found that the neck and other parts had been broken by the fall, and it was afterwards conveyed to Cellardyke. Mrs Thomson was about fifty-five years of age, and was well known in the district. (another paper suggests this was suicide and that she stated to her sister on leaving the house at Pittenweem that “she would never see her alive again”)


A Singular Adventure

Alexander Cunningham and Family in Australia

The Melbourne mail has just brought some interesting details to the East of Fife. This is especially the case with regard to that Robinson Crusoe of our day—Captain Alex. Cunningham, late Anstruther (Cellardyke Boat Builder), who, with no one so much to turn the grindstone or blow the bellows, built and launched the tidy little trader of 70 tons, which now navigates all alone between Swan River and the city. The little smack sailed with as many loads of timber on the 2nd September. “You ought to wear a life-belt,” said an old Cellardyke acquaintance, William Doig, to the Captain. A joyous laugh was the only  answer as the mainsail filled to the breeze, and like a bird on the wing, the little craft flew on the moonlight sea till by-and-by the treacherous calm was succeeded by a dreadful typhoon. But the presence of mind, as well ingenuity, of the Captain did not forsake him. His anchors were the sport of the storm, but he prepared a novel kind of drag by fastening iron bolts into many lengths of chain so as to hold like birds’ claws on the bottom. But where is the human arm that can fight the hurricane? And the Captain could only wait, as the brave man waits for his doom, till he was so far roused by the clang of the breakers on the reef. He tried, as sailors say, first to stay and then to wear, but the canvas flew like gossamer out of the bolt ropes. Another lurch and the surf hissed in his ear. He turned to for the last time on sea and sky, when—No!—Yes !— there, under lee of the mainsail on the starboard side, was the red buoy on Coles Bank. It was far to windward, but I can at least try, he thought, and with an energy born of despair he threw his grapnel.  A wild cheer almost escaped his lips, for singular to tell one of the claws had caught the iron ring in the neck of the buoy which, scarce breathing the while with his critical task, he drew near as to fasten the smack securely with hawser and chain. But new terror flushed his mind. Was it possible that the moorings of the buoy could stand the fearful ordeal to which they were now exposed, and so as one on the brink of with the spindrift flying in drenching showers over his head, he waited for hours till, providentially, the gale blowing past, he recovered his tackle, and bore away the voyage. But this is not all. He arrived in such a fortunate turn of the market as to sell his cargo at the profit of 100 per cent.


CELLARDYKE FOOTBALL MATCH AT LOWESTOFT—CAXTON CLUB v. CELLARDYKE BLUE JACKETS (SCOTCH Fishermen) –This match, played at Beccles on Saturday last, was a very hard-fought struggle from start to finish. It was seen from the play of the few Blue Jackets, who assisted Lowestoft the week before, that their whole team would be a hard nut to crack; and so it proved, they being a most dashing lot, and their kicking and ” heading ” extremely good. Caxton had three other games going at the same time, and this would seem to point to the fact that they had a strong team in the field. A glance at the teams, however, will show that quite half a dozen of the leading players were absent and to add to this an unwarrantable and unsportsmanlike “call off” at the last moment hampered Caxton considerably, a back having to be taken from the second team to fill the vacancy. The finish of the first half saw Caxton leading by a goal (kicked by Hockey), and the second had some way advanced before the fishermen equalised matters. Their success caused them to play up with even greater dash than before. Twenty minutes before time they had a goal to the good, and some sharp play near the home goal later on enabled them to score again. The game thus ended in a victory for the Blue Jackets by three goals to one. With about one exception both teams played well. Blue Jackets team—J. Smith, J. Watson, T. Faulkner, D. Doig, T. Doig, forwards; W. Sutherland, J. Cunningham, D. Moncrieff, half backs ; A. Thompson (captain), J. Wilson backs ; M Doig, goal


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

James Thomson, fish cadger, and James Robertson, fisher, Anstruther, were accused before the magistrates of Cellardyke on Friday with a contravention of the Lindsay Act, in so far as they piled a heap of seaware in James Street, and so obstructed the thoroughfare on the last day of October. They pleaded guilty, and as a warning to others, were fined 5i each, or 7 days in jail.

The Cellardyke Echo – 3/11/2022 – Issue 363


Arbroath –   The Gale – During the forenoon a fleet of Cellardyke boats, seven in number, came in for shelter, and remained. They left home on Monday night, at which time there was nothing to hinder them. They had sailed for the fishing at eight o’clock and when they were outside the Isle of May a strong westerly gale began to blew, compelling them to run for Arbroath, which they reached in safety.


BRICK AND TILE WORKS.— understand that the Clephington Brick and Tile Works, which have been for a length of time in the hands of Mr Skinner, Cellardyke, are now in lease by Mr Wilson from the neighbourhood Falkirk. The rent is continued, we hear, at £35 per annum, with a royalty at a given sum, only to be anticipated, however, from more drainage improvements that have taken place in recent years.


An affecting instance of the uncertainty of life occurred in Cellardyke on Sabbath morning in the death of Mr John Marr. He had partaken supper with his accustomed zest and cheerfulness, and at a late hour retired to rest without seemingly a single ailment; but an unseen enemy was at the door, for wakening up an hour after midnight he complained of pain his breast, and almost on the instant expired. Mr Marr was about seventy-eight years of age. For a lifetime he was the landlord the change-house at the shore, which about sixty years ago had no little notoriety attached to it by an exploit of that prince thieves, David Haggart, who had broken from his pursuers at Newhaven pier by a desperate leap into a boat under weigh for Cellardyke. He retired from business some years ago, but to the last day of his life his agile step and cheerful face were as familiar ever in the old haunts- in truth, he was one of those bright and happy spirits who weave themselves by finer threads than silk or gold into the best affections all that come in contact with them. Mr Marr is survived by the worthy partner, who so long shared with him the joys and sorrows life. His eldest son is our respected townsman, Mr John Marr, draper, and his younger son, Mr Alexander, a leading merchant in Cellardyke.


OPENING ANNOUNCEMENT. J OGILVIE, TAILOR and CLOTHIER, 31 James Street, Cellardyke, begs to return thanks to the Inhabitants of Cellardyke, Anstruther, and surrounding District for the support they have given him since he commenced Business. He now begs to inform them that he has Opened that Shop lately occupied by Mr Duncan, Oilskin manufacturer. Parties bringing their own cloth can have it made up at the lowest possible prices. Workmanship and Fit Guaranteed.


In the Debts Recovery Court, Banffshire, William Duncan, manufacturer, Cellardyke, raised an action against George Flett, merchant, Findochty, for the sum of £88 11s 7d, with interest since 6th July, 1882, being the balance of an Account for goods supplied in October, 1881, and on the first mentioned date. The items in 1881 amounting to £4 2s 2d, were paid for, and the other goods were stated by defender to have been of inferior quality and part of them returned: The pursuer withdrew his to claim for the above item of £4 2s 2d, and restricted the conclusions of his summons to £54 9s 5d, with interest since the date of citation, and expenses. After the defender had retained certain of the goods sued for, as restricted, and sold part of them, he returned to the pursuer what remained unsold. The pursuer of admitted that intimation of the goods having been sent him had been received: but he refused to take delivery. Sheriff Scott Moncrieff, after hearing evidence at some length, yesterday issued the follow judgment :-“Having heard parties’ procurators and made avizandum with the evidence adduced: Finds that the items  in the account now-sued for supplied in 1881, and amounting to £4 2s 2d, ‘have been d, paid, and therefore sustains the first plea stated for the defender: Finds that the goods forming the remaining items were ordered and obtained by the defender from the pursuers; that the defender broke bulk, sold part of  them, and sent back the remainder, which the pursuer  has refused to receive: Finds in law that the defender is liable for the price of said goods, amounting to £34 9s 5d. Therefore, decerns against the defender for the sum of £34 9s 5d, with interest thereon at the rate of 5 per centum per annum from this date: – Finds: the defender liable in, expenses of process, subject to modification: Modifies the same to the sum of £6 12s, and decerns, at the pursuer’s instance, against the defender for said expenses.


At the Burgh Court of Kilrenny on Saturday—Provost Skinner and Bailie Smith on the bench—an itinerant corkcutter named David Bain was charged under the Lindsay Act with being drunk and disorderly, especially in using obscene and abusive language to Mrs Sarah Woodward or Watterson of the Cellardyke Café on the previous night. Pleading guilty with a rueful look, he was fined in 7s 6d or 7 days in jail.


“Sair wark; I wish oor folk only safe hame,” was the exclamation all round as neighbour met neighbour with anxious and clouded brow on the door step to discuss the message the other day from Yarmouth to the effect that one of the Cellardyke crews had sold their herrings at the manure price of “three bawbees” the hundred. So far the season has been by no means encouraging to the Scottish boats; but happily this proved to be an extreme case, for only a few doors away a letter by the same post went on to tell “the weather was so calm on Tuesday that we could not land till next day, when our take fetched £4 the last, but others of us who had cast a second time only realised 1s a swill.” But not a few beside the young lover are wishing to-day for the green shores of Fife, for now that November is here very few except perhaps this and that crew who fished by way at Scarborough can yet count £100, while many, or rather most, do not figure so well in the salesmen’s ledger as to square the landlady’s bill, and with it the current expenses of the station. Thus, instead of looking hopefully forward to the third or fourth week of the month, more than one skipper has resolved, he writes, to leave on an early day. Thus message after message is giving the hint, so well understood those who to bait the line whether it may be for “Kellie by ower the kirk,” or the “Long Forties” in the North sea.” Take every chance to go to the park to gather grass, for if the wind is fair we intend to take the first moonlight for home. Of course, a turn In the market, or rather of the shoals, for Yarmouth and her sister are famous, would be like a burst of sunshine on sea and shore, but as it is the experience is in marked contrast to that of two years ago when the Fife crews, in some cases, at least, fished £550 to £750. Nor, we regret to say, is the prospect with hook and line Improved at the doors. We are not making daily bread, the old fathers would tell of a weary season, and this is so much the case to-day that the run to the North Sea does not always recoup the outlay for bait. Now and again it is true the rise to twenty, or it may be thirty baskets; but sales continue stagnant, if we may use the word, at a shilling a stone. Here is an anecdote in point, the big boats came scudding in the if week to Anstruther pier. ” I’ll gie ye 9s the cwt.,” said one of the buyers. “No, no. there’s male going at St Monance,” was the reply, as first one crew and then another hied for the westward, but the result, as the whisper goes, was not to find, but to lose a shilling by the journey. In short, according to the outcry on all sides, the industries of the sea on the Fife coast as elsewhere has not been so dull for a long series of years.

The Cellardyke Echo – 27/10/2022 – Issue 362


The storm of Wednesday last in the Firth of Forth was succeeded another of equal severity on Saturday night and the following morning. About six o’clock on Sunday morning, a Cellardyke fisherman observed a sloop endeavouring to work up the Firth. The wind was SSE. at the time. The vessel, which bad lost the greater part of her canvas, began to drift rapidly to the eastward, and shortly before seven o’clock she went ashore among the rocks, about two miles from Anstruther. The vessel was seen among the rocks by the foreman the farm, who once gave the alarm. Several persons then proceeded to the shore, where the waves were rolling with great force. The ship was on high rock; but the sea broke over her in such a manner as to cause the greatest fear for the safety of the crew, who had taken to the rigging. While those on shore were engaged in trying effect some communication with the ship, her mast gave way, precipitating the crew (two men and boy) into the sea. They were all washed on rock, however, but it was too far from the shore for the spectators to render assistance. In a short time one the seaman was washed off the rock to which be and the two others were clinging; but, fortunately, he managed to get hold of another, which held until a ploughman went into the water up to his neck, and succeeded in palling him ashore. Meanwhile, the other two were washed off by a huge wave, and drowned. The vessel turned out to be the Watsons, of Thurso, Thomas Barry, master and owner, from Newcastle Andrews, with coal. The vessel a total wreck.

A “LIGHT” CASE. John Adamson, manager of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Gas Co., sued George Peebles, tailor, Anstruther, for the sum of 11s 2d, for gas consumed by him. Defender stated that his reason for refusing to pay the amount was that he considered it a gross overcharge. He handed the gas-book to his Lordship, remarking that he would see the great difference in the quantity of gas burned in the other quarters, while he (defender) was of opinion that he had burned less instead of more. From the evidence of the pursuer and another witness, if appeared that the meter in defender’s house had been taken out and repaired. The meter was examined on the 4th of February 1869, indicating at that time 300 feet, which was paid for at the time. It was again examined on the 4th of May, when it indicated 1900 feet, being a consumption of 1600 feet, the price of which was now sued for. The Sheriff said as the meter seemed to have been going regularly enough after it had been repaired, it would never do for him to decide against the company on such slight grounds as a comparison of the quantity consumed in former quarters. Decree for pursuer, with 4s 7d of expenses.


CELLARDYKE. STABLE ON FIRE. —About eight o’clock on Wednesday night, a fire broke out in a stable occupied by Mr Alex. Myles, it appears that a boy had gone in to supper the horse, and while doing so had laid the lantern on the floor, when by some means or other the straw got ignited. The alarm was at once given, and in a few minutes a large number of persons turned out, by whose assistance a part of the roof was taken off, and the fire soon subdued. The horse was got out of the stable immediately after the fire commenced, but some pigs which were also in it received a slight scorching. The stable, which was insured, is not very seriously damaged.

Cheap Sloop.— The other week we reported that tut Anstruther herring boat had been offered for five shillings, and failed to find a purchaser; but that incident folly found a parallel on Friday last, when a smack of fifty tons burden, fully equipped for sea, was sold by public auction at the harbour for £14 10s. The smack was the well-known coaster Maggie Lander, which has been owned for some months past in South Shields, but, in consequence of the dull state of the times, her owner determined to sell her here at any sacrifice. No upset price was named, but a Cellardyke shipowner made offer of £5, which led to a short but spirited competition that resulted in the vessel being knocked down at the figure already stated to Mr David Anderson, slater, St Andrews. This sloop is of great age, having been built at West Anstruther in 1790. The old sloop was singularly fortunate, and it was often a jocular remark that the wind would become fair when the Maggie Lauder was ready for sea; and though she often embarked on a London and Caithness passage, and that at a time when no Bell Rock lighthouse, or even serviceable beacon of any kind cheered the mariner as he toiled along the dark and dangerous coast, the little Dutch-looking smack out-braved All perils, and is one of the last of the numerous fleet of coasters built at Anstruther, which, indeed, in the end of the last and beginning of the present century, was the principal ship-building seat in the Firth.

CELLARDYKE. OPENING OF A TELEGRAPH OFFlCE.—Although the telegraph wires have been extended to the Post Office here for some time back, it was not until Wednesday that the office was formally opened fur the despatch of messages. On that day, four telegrams were sent off, which, taking into account the dull state of trade at present, may be considered very satisfactory for a commencement. This office, however, does not as yet deliver messages, those arriving at Anstruther for persona residing in Cellardyke being delivered by the message boy at the former place. This materially detracts from the benefit the opening of the office was expected to confer, but it is to be hoped that the Post Office authorities will favourably consider the representations of Provost Martin, who, ever attentive to the interests of the burgh, has already taken steps to endeavour to have messages delivered as well as despatched from the office here.


Fishing boat ashore at Yarmouth

Last Thursday afternoon, as the fishing boat belonging to Skipper Robert Keay, of Cellardyke, was proceeding to sea with a strong breeze blowing, she struck the ground at the side of the river. Fearing that they were in danger, the sail was let go, and the boat made fast to the side of the quay. The crew then made fast thick ropes aft and forward to the shore, in order to keep the boat from being driven down by the tide, which runs very fast. While in this position, one of the beachmen let go the stern rope, and immediately ran off, and the boat then went down the river until she went on shore at the north bank. The sea was running pretty high at the time, and breaking over the boat; which soon filled with water. The assistance of other Scotch fishermen at present at Yarmouth was obtained, and the boat hauled up as far as possible, but it was not until four o’clock next morning that she was got up at the back of the quay, with her ‘ gibber strikes’ split, and her bilge ropes off. It is to be hoped that the beachman who played the dastardly trick to the crew will be discovered, and receive the reward he so richly deserves.


Another severe gale from the south-west raged over the Firth of Forth on sabbath night which again has swelled the calendar of the sea with wreck and disaster. When daylight broke on the Fife coast many an anxious eye scanned the stormy offing, and she foreboding  was not in vain, for scarcely a vessel was to be seen, but was more or less broken spars and rigging though the most unfortunate of all was a large schooner which lay dismasted about midway between the Billowness and the Bass Rock. The veteran Cellardyke pilot, Thomas Cunningham, there and then braved the tempest-tossed waves in a small yawl, and, after hailing the disabled craft, returned on shore with the intelligence that she was the Isabella of Arbroath, coal laden, from Shields to Grangemouth, when Mr Keay, of H. M.’s Customs, at once telegraphed to the owner and also for one of the steamers stationed at Leith. The schooner which had only a stump of her foremast standing rode gallantly at her anchors ; but, in the course of the forenoon, as the tempest began to shift to the northward, the Rev. F. K. Lloyd, of St John’s, Pittenweem, seeing the danger of the disabled ship which in the freshening gale would have drifted as helpless as a log on the surf-beaten lee, communicated with the secretary of the lifeboat, when the echoes of the signal gun had scarcely died along the shore when she was manned by an intrepid crew of Cellardyke fisherman, George Moncrieff as coxswain, and so with fore and main sheets tightened to the blast, the noble boat sped like bird on her errand of deliverance and mercy towards the disabled hulk. The Piers and every look-outpoint were crowded with anxious spectators, but before the lifeboat could reach the schooner, two tug steamers fortunately came alongside and by their united agency —though with great difficulty— she was towed to Leith. In the meantime, however, an exciting scene was going on at Anstruther pier, where a disabled foreign schooner lay in a situation of great alarm and danger. The vessel was steering for the harbour under the charge of the experienced old pilot already named, when the wind fouling as she neared the east quay, she was carried on the outlying skerrie known as the Wildfire, on which she rested, notwithstanding the anchor was cast, and every effort made to avert the disaster. Happily, however, a rope was taken to the West pier, when by the willing help of the large crowd who had gathered on the spot, the schooner was dragged int safe moorings with comparatively little damage. She proved to be the Karen Elese of and from Christiana with a cargo of wood for Burntisland, and had been thirty-six days on the voyage before she had encountered the gale, which had carried away her foreyard and damaged the rigging. The crew were suffering from want of provisions, but on being examined by Dr Mac Arthur, who went board at the request of Mr Keay, of the Customs, no contagious disorder had made its appearance.


NARROW ESCAPE OF YOUNG WOMAN.—Yesterday morning a young woman, a daughter of Mr John Muir (Anderson), Cellardyke, had a very narrow escape from being run over by a cart. She was turning the corner at the entrance to Cunzieburn Street, just as two casts loaded with barrels full of herrings were passing, when her dress got entangled among her feet, and she fell with her head right in front of one of the carts. The carter was on the other side of the cart at the time, and did not observe the occurrence, but the young woman succeeded in raising her head just as the wheel was about to go over her, although so narrow was her escape that the side of her face was slightly bruised grazed by coming into contact with the wheel.

A COWARDLY ASSAULT.—At a Burgh Court held on Monday—Provost Todd and Bailie Darsie presiding—Henry Williamson and Peter Murray, fishermen, Cellardyke, were charged with assault and breach of the peace, in so far as, between seven and eight o’clock on the evening of Thursday the 15th instant, one or both of them did strike Alex. Parker, fisherman, one or two blows with clenched fists, and with kicking him while he was lying unconscious on the ground. Williamson pled guilty with greet provocation, but Murray denied the charge. From the evidence whim was led, it appears that the panels and Parker had been in the Forth Tavern together, and that the former had been struck by each of his companions. Williamson alleged that he had first received a blow from Parker, but this the latter denied. The landlord hearing the noise which they made, turned them out of the house, and on reaching the Street Parker was knocked down, and while insensible Williamson kicked him twice, Murray, according to two of the witnesses, urging him to ‘go into’ Parker. Both Williamson and Parker bore the marks of fighting. Murray alleged that Parker took ‘ glass for glass’ with him, and that the latter was ‘ drunker’ than himself. The Provost characterised the assault as a very brutal one on the part of Williamson, and the Magistrates sentenced him to pay a fine of 30s, or suffer 30 days imprisonment and Murray to a fine of 20s or 20 days in jail. When the sentence was read over, Murray exclaimed against Parker not being fined as well as himself, and on being cautioned to be quiet he shouted out that the Bench could not prevent him speaking. He, however, paid his fine and disappeared, when Williamson commenced to complain against the Magistrates’ sentence, and to cry ‘Shame.’ Although asked to be quiet he refused to be so, when he was fined other 10s for contempt of court. On hearing this, he declared his intention of going to prison rather than pay, and wished to get his first fine refunded. This, however, the officials declined to do, and ultimately a friend of Williamson’s paid the 10s and he was allowed to depart. The proceedings at the close created much excitement in the Court, which was crowded while the case was being heard.

CELLARDYKE. SCARLATINA.—ScarIet fever is at present very prevalent here, and there is scarcely a family where one or two of the children are not affected. It is generally of a mild type, but two fatal cases have occurred this week. Acting under the advice of Dr Macarthur, the Rev. Dr Christie, Chairman of the School Board, deemed it prudent to instruct the teachers under the Board to close their schools until the epidemic abated, and this was accordingly done in the beginning of the week.

WANTED two BOYS for the Boat Building Trade. Good Wages, and short Apprenticeship. Apply to J. A. MILLAR, Cellardyke.

The Cellardyke Echo – 20/10/2022 – Issue 361


Mr Jarvis,( the boatbuilding yard next to the lifeboat shed) we may also observe, is busy with a singular experiment – that is, in recasting an old clinker boat into a carvel one, it is being executed on Cellardyke Green, and is at the instance of Mr James Dick.  We hear with unqualified pleasure of certain long-term improvements about to be fulfilled in an order entrusted to Mr Alexander Cunningham. This boat we hear will be the largest of her class, being three and fifty feet in length, and is to be rigged not at a lugger but as a ketch or dandy, so as to obviate the deadly hazard, as tearful eyes will tell you in Cellardyke, of dipping the sails in the midnight storm.

CURIOUS ACCIDENT IN THE HARBOUR. — AS the steamer Diamond, trading between this port and Leith, was edging her berth in the ebb of Monday, her propeller struck so violently on a piece timber fixed in the mud as to snap the shaft. A steam tug bad to be telegraphed for Leith to tow the disabled vessel thither for repair. The stray log, the cause of so much mischief, was part of a raft consigned many weeks ago to Mr Cormack, of the Steam Mills, Cellardyke, but the question damages over the accident will all probability be discussed early meeting of the Harbour Board.


UNRULY COOPERS at the Bailie Court of Kilrenny on Friday— Provost Watson presiding—four coopers employed in Cellardyke, George Lawson, David Dun, John McLeod, and William Blyth, were charged with assaulting Mr David Muir, fisherman, at the harbourhead on the evening of Saturday week, and also with a breach the peace on the same time and place. All the panels appeared except Blyth, who is in the meantime at Yarmouth. They pleaded not guilty, but the evidence of several of the neighbours brought home the charge in the opinion of the court, and they were each fined 7s 6d, or ten days in jail.

Eyemouth Disaster

We understand that the Cellardyke Magistrates have held a conference with a view to raise a relief fund for the widows and children rendered destitute in consequence of the lamentable loss of life on the Berwickshire coast. As all the fishermen are at present absent on the Norfolk coast, it was deemed advisable to postpone the calling of a public meeting until next month.


Agnes Lindsay or Moir, widow, residing in Cellardyke, sued Peter Montidore, fisherman, there, for the aliment of an illegitimate child. The pursuer’s mother explained that he was absent at his calling in Yarmouth; but she also took exception to the summons on the ground that the child had been born two years ago, and yet this was the first time the claim had been raised. Here the Sheriff quashed the case, as one, he said, not for the Small Debt, but for the ordinary roll, seeing that the paternity of the child was still undetermined in court.

WRECKAGE ON THE FIFE COAST. At daybreak yesterday a large quantity of stores, American provision casks, with several bags flour, were cast ashore in the East of Fife. At such points as the currents set at Crail, Cellardyke, and Anstruther the stores were gathered by hundreds. Several pieces of timber supposed to be part of a ship’s bulwarks were also picked up, and the waifs at Cellardyke include a hat, almost new. Various miscellaneous articles are likewise reported, and this circumstance has led to the opinion that the wreckage was cast overboard, or has floated away from the Hartlepool steamer Preston, which went ashore on Friday night on the Goswick Sands, near Berwick, while on the voyage from New York to Newcastle. Yesterday the gale and sea continued, with the result of adding largely to the quantity of wreckage cast the shore.


HERRING-CURING YARD TO BE LET AT SANDHAVEN, With entry at Martinmas, 1893. That Large CURING YARD, with Cooperage, Salt Cellars. Smoke Houses, Cutting Shed, and extensive storage, presently occupied by Messrs Sharp & Murray, Cellardyke. Apply to Mr Shives. Bank Agent, New Pitsligo.

THE TRAWLING COMMISSION. (To the Editor of the East of Fife Record.)

Sir, —The enquiry going on about trawlers has brought to my mind what a respectable old fishermen of Cellardyke told me about 40 years ago. He had used a trawl for a year or two, but gave it up, as he saw that although very profitable for a short time, he was ruining the herring harvest to which he and most of his class looked forward to pay old scores. He told me that he had pulled to the surface in the Traith about two tons of herring spawn at one haul. Of course this would stop a small sailing boat, and he would be obliged to bring the net to the surface to empty it, but the power of a steam trawler is so great that she could go ahead with more than that, and smash it so small that it would be always escaping from the net as he went on, to make room for more, and being thus let loose would be tossed up and down with the strong tides in the Firth and never could come to life, and he would in a day or two destroy more herrings than are caught on the whole Scottish coast in a season.

Our townsman, James Henderson, is likewise giving the finishing touch to the eastern section Rodger Street, Cellardyke, in handsome block which has been by that practitioner, Dr Flaxman.


It gives a pleasing idea of the unslackened energy in the herring trade that Messrs Duncan & Black’s net factory in Cellardyke is busy, in the meantime, by night as well as by day. There are at present 16 machines in motion, hitherto, as elsewhere, by the fair sisters of the coast; but in the course of the week a party of young men arrived by rail to work the night shift, so as to enable the spirited firm to overtake the orders thus early in hand.


SHOP TO LET., that CORNER SHOP in Rodger Street, Cellardyke, recently occupied by Dr Flaxman. Apply James Henderson Anstruther;

The ENCLOSURE OF CELLARDYKE PUBLIC SCHOOL PLAYGROUND.  Mr Clark reported that Mr Sharp and he had conferred as to the enclosing of the playground at Cellardyke School, and came to the conclusion that it would be best to enclose the ground with an iron railing. He had made some enquiries as to the cost, and that it could be done for £72. The present wall and the coping were not suitable, and would have to be taken down to the bottom, as it was much too light. The cost included that, two iron gates, and a wooden gate at the top for the entrance of carts. The estimate included exactly a similar railing to that round Cellardyke Church. Mr Sharp said he would have some dubiety as to a wooden gate at the top, as the Cellardyke boys had a confounded practice of cutting and carving at doors, and he was afraid they would soon cut at it. Mr Clark replied that an iron gate would cost £10. If the wall and the coping had been suitable the cost would have been a great deal less, but it was not heavy enough to carry any weight. Mr Thomson thought the railing would be an improvement so far as looks were concerned, but the question was would it be effective in keeping their property from being destroyed. It was a very expensive matter to carry out. Mr Clark—if the boys get over the railing they will be easier caught. The railing itself only coat £28 with the gates. The height is to be 6 feet 3 inches over all, including 3 feet of a stone wall. I think it is not possible to go into the matter just now without more consideration, as the expense was serious. The Chairman suggested that the Committee should make out specifications, and submit them to next meeting, which after some discussion was agreed to.

THE OVER-ATTENDANCE AT CELLARDYKE PUBLIC SCHOOL The Chairman called attention to the large attendance at Cellardyke School, and said the teacher had stated that he was not to admit any more pupils. The accommodation in the school was for 225, and he thought the Board should see that the average attendance did not exceed that this year. They could not expect to get off as easily as before. The number on the roll was now 275, and the average attendance 250. The question was whether the teacher had not already taken in too many pupils. Mr Clark—l thought there was an understanding that he was not to exceed a certain number at the conference we had with him last year. The Chairman—There was nothing definite agreed to. Mr Clark— Well he should be at once instructed to take in no more. The Chairman—l would be disposed to have stopped short with 20 lees than he has. I think he has too many. Mr Clark—it appears to me that we are in the same mess as last year. It is most unsatisfactory that this matter should crop up again after the discussion we had about it last year. How are we to weed them out Mr Sharp—Leave it to Mr Barbour. I don’t think he will run the risk of getting something taken off his grant. On the suggestion of the Chairman the Clerk was instructed to write Mr Barbour, asking him not to take in more pupils or new names without the consent of the Board

THE BREAKING OF THE WINDOWS IN CELLARDYKE SCHOOL. It was reported by Mr Clark that 21 panes of the windows in Cellardyke School had been broken, and an account was presented amounting to £2 for putting them in again. Mr Clark thought it was absurd that two panes should have been mended only two days before the school closed to be broken shortly after the schools vacated. He refused to initial the account for payment. The account was ordered to be paid, as were some others. The Clerk stated that he had received no reply from the father of the boy who was known to have broken a number of the windows, in answer to his request to pay the damage, but that as soon as he came home from the south fishing he would be again requested to pay.

Mr Sharp mentioned that a part of the zinc of the roof of Cellardyke School had been displaced, and the rain had been coming in to the school, causing great discomfort. He suggested that it should be looked after at once. Mr Clark —That roof has been a perfect humbug to us and a great expense. It is a pity that it was not set fire too, and us to get the insurance. (Laughter.) The Committee were instructed to have the roof repaired. After a long discussion on the question of cleaning the schools and offices, it was agreed to engage, if possible, a suitable man to do the work at a salary of £l2 10s per annum. The Board then adjourned.


ACCIDENT TO AN APPRENTICE BAKER. –On Wednesday morning, while George Fleming, a young apprentice baker with Mr Black, Cellardyke, was loading straw in a cart at Anstruther farm, the horse shied at some object and suddenly ran off, causing Fleming to fall out. When picked up it was found that his left arm bad been broken and severely bruised by the fall. The injured limb was attended to by Dr Craig, and he is recovering as well as could be expected.

THE FEVER EPIDEMIC. Scarlet fever and diphtheria have been very prevalent in the East of Fife during the past two or three weeks. Precautions were adopted to isolate the disease by the Local Authorities and the School Boards, but the number of cases continues on the increase. Dr Craig, the Medical Officer of Health, has at the request of the Board of Supervision prepared a report, in which he attributes the cause of the disease to overcrowding and the want of a proper drainage system and water supply. The cases have mostly been of a mild type, and there have been 103 cases of scarlatina, 21 of diphtheria, and of measles in Cellardyke. He recommends the closing of all the schools, but from the varied nature of the cases hospital isolation would, he finds, be impracticable. The Local Authority are resolved to reply to the Board of Supervision that they have been prevented by a proprietor interested not coming to terms with them from carrying out a drainage system which they had begun. Anstruther have unanimously refused to agree to the recommendation to close the schools, maintaining that there is no necessity for it.

According to the information received from the south, the fishing has this week been a blank owing to the stormy weather. The boats left for sea on Monday, but were forced to return by the severity of the gale. One Cellardyke boat had her mast broken, but fortunately none of the crew were injured. Similar news came from Scarborough, and a number of the boats there will leave for home next week.


THE CELLARDYKE URQUHART WYND WELL. (To the Editor of the Record.) Cellardyke, October 11th, 1888

Dear Sir,—ln finding the report of the meeting of the Kilrenny Town Council, in your last issue, I was amused at the charming simplicity shown by the members of Council in acceding so tamely to the proposal of Bailie Smith, to retain the old Urquhart Wynd well, merely because 3 boilers in that district are supplied therefrom. while all the other fishermen get supply either from their own wells, or from the new water supply, He seems to argue that the new water is unsuitable for barking purposes, while ” ony auld wife ” could tell him that the softer the water the better for that purpose He is also reported, in another paper, to have said, in answer to a question by Councillor Melville, that the fishermen, when in Aberdeen, largely use salt water. (I presume he means because of the softness of the Town’s water.) This is contrary to fact. However, this may be, are the members of the Town Council aware that for every gallon of water drawn from that old well for barking purposes 100 gallons are used for domestic purposes? This is a serious affair, after the Board of Supervision have condemned the water, the Council would do wisely to shut it up altogether. – I am, yours truly, A B

LATE Mr James Murray. —The death is announced of Mr James Murray, Cellardyke, after a short illness of a fortnight’s duration. Skipper Murray was the pioneer of the south fishing, having upwards of 30 years ago been the first skipper who ventured to go to the fishing in Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Having been successful, his example was soon followed by many of the crews in Cellardyke, and has been continued ever since.

The Cellardyke Echo – 12/10/2022 – Issue 360


STEAM CAPSTAN ‘AND PROPELLOR FOR FISHING BOATS. We have much pleasure in calling attention to MACDONALD’S – IMPROVED STEAM CAPSTAN, and to their New and Highly Satisfactory PORTABLE PROPELLOR for FISHING BOATS. The Propellors, which can be fitted into any boat, have surpassed all expectations, and are capable of driving a boat at six knots without interfering with her as a sailing craft. We shall be glad to give particulars to interested parties regarding this most important invention to Fishermen. JOHN MARTIN & Co., CELLARDYKE

NB it is a Macdonald’s capstan that is aboard the Fisheries Museum’s Reaper

THE UNIVERSITY, ST ANDREWS. —ln the results of the examinations for the M. A. degree held recently at the above, we note the name of W. S. Birrell, Cellardyke, passed in Greek.


THE FISHING AT SCARBOROUGH. —At Scarborough on Wednesday night last week a storm of great severity raged. Seven boats belonging to Cellardyke were at sea. Two of their number arrived at Bridlington, one pulled his nets and came in on Thursday afternoon, but the other four were riding at their nets. These all received great damage and loss of the gear. They had shots ranging from ten up to 30 crans price 19s per cran. One BF. boat broke his chain and parted from his whole drift, which meant a big loss of messenger ropes, nets, buoys, &c. It was one of the severest gales that has been experienced by fishermen for a long time.

FATAL ACCIDENT INQUIRIES CUPAR. Cellardyke Brothers Drowned. Before Sheriff Armour and jury at Cupar to-day two public inquiries were down for hearing in connection with fatal accidents which took place the county recently. The first case had reference to deaths of John Deas, fisherman, and Alexander Gilmour Deas, assistant fisherman, who resided Rodger Street, Cellardyke. They were following their usual employment on the forenoon of Monday, 25th July, in the service of their father, James Deas. on board the Thistle, and after leaving Anstruther Harbour, Alexander Deas -was accidentally struck by the main sail and knocked into the water. His brother John leapt into the water his assistance, but both were drowned. The witnesses in this case did not appear, and the inquiry was adjourned.


Sam, Bough RSA – a biography

One of the best known etchings of Cellardyke Harbour after a Sam Bough painting

… a few years before his death (Bough) painted a picture in water colours for the benefit of the Cellardyke Fisherman’s disaster fund. The subject was “Fishing Boats putting out to Sea” – a stormy effect. The picture bore an inscription to the effect that it was presented for the benefit of the sufferers of the Cellardyke disaster by Sam Bough.

Upwards of 80 females from Cellardyke, Pittenweem, and ST Monans have left for Yarmouth and Lowestoft to employed gutters during the next two months.

RESIGNATION OF TOWN OFFICER. —The resignation of Mr John Mitchell, town officer of Cellardyke, will no doubt be heard with deep regret by his many friends and acquaintances. Mr Mitchell has held the post of town officer for the long period of 22 years, during which time he has been a familiar figure to all who had occasion to meet him, privately or officially. Always cheery and having a greeting for all, John wag universally liked and respected. For a long  number of years he led a seafaring life, having been nearly twenty years on Messrs Currie’s boats in the Leith and Hamburg trade He sailed on the ” Forth,” the old paddle steamer engaged in the Anstruther and Leith trade, and afterwards on the “new” screw steamers on the same line of sailings. The Anstruther and Leith steamers claimed his services for nearly 20 years, and he also acted as their porter on shore, for a long time collecting the money due to the steamship company, in which capacity he was well known along the mast from Elie to Crail. He commenced his duties as town officer 22 years ago under the late Provost Watson, who only held office for a fortnight after Mr Mitchell’s-appointment. During these 22 years, he has served under no less than five Provosts, via., Provosts Watson, Skinner, Martin, Thomson, and Black, the former three having long since joined the great majority. John has, in his official capacity, attended no less than 789 funerals, including those of several local personages. Between 50 and 60 marriage suppers have been held in the Hall during his term of office, and for soirees, well—” he couldna say, there’s been that mony, it wisna easy mindin’ them a’.” John never got anything but praise for his services, and he never heard anyone say anything against him. All who know him will heartily concur in this and wish him and his worthy spouse quiet and comfort in their well-earned retirement.

After the appearance of the Anstruther and Cellardyke Gospel Temperance Band at the recent opening of the Williamson Memorial Fountain in Shore Steet, the Committee of the union decided to approach Mr Archibald Williamson and solicit a subscription in aid of the funds of the Bind. Their appeal has met with a ready response, as on Monday, the secretary received a letter from Mr Williamson, enclosing a cheque for two guineas.


Skipper M, Gardner’s Bravery.—We have been favoured with a look at the watch presented to Skipper Martin Gardiner for his brave action in going to the rescue of the crew belonging to the St Monans boat Puritan while at Lerwick on July. The watch and guard is an exceedingly handsome specimen of the watchmaker’s craft, bearing the skipper’s initials in cleverly embossed work on the front, while under the cover the following inscription is to be seen: — “Presented by the Fish Trade to Martin Gardiner, mater of the SS. Vanguard 111 for bravery in rescuing the crew of the boat Puritan, wrecked on Green Holm, Lerwick. 19th July 1909.” The chain is also a handsome one, and has a masonic pendant attached.

Mr George Smith, son of Skipper William Smith (Black), Cellardyke, has passed the Board of Trade examination as second mate at Victoria, British Columbia.


Last night a contingent of some 120 fish workers, drawn from Cellardyke, Pittenweem, St Monance left by special train composed of corridor carriages for Edinburgh direct, where they were to be joined on to the south-going trains for Lowestoft, Yarmouth, &c.

OFF TO YARMOUTH. DEPARTURE OF FIFE FISHER LASSIES. The female fish-workers East Fife who had been previously engaged, both local and North Country fishcuring firms work the herring curing stations at Lowestoft and Yarmouth, were called upon to leave on Friday evening. There being over sixty all told, arrangements were made on this occasion whereby the lot were conveyed by special train composed of three corridor carriages, which left Anstruther after the last ordinary west-going train with a contingent of workers from Cellardyke, picking those from Pittenweem and St Monans en route, and thereafter proceeding direct for Edinburgh, where the carriages were coupled to the south-going English train. The contingents had a hearty send-off from a large following of their comrades at the respective stations.

The Rev. Peter T. Thomson, Leicester, who has suffered seven days’ imprisonment as passive resister the education rate, son of ex-Provost Peter Thomson, draper, Cellardyke.


A telegram was received this forenoon in Anstruther announcing the fact that the local drifter, the Scots Greys, Skipper James Dick, Cellardyke, had . gone ashore in foggy weather early in the morning, at Happesburgh, about 20 miles north of Yarmouth. The telegram added that the expectation was that the drifter would be floated off next tide.

On Monday morning, twenty-four drifters and an Inverness sailer, left for the south. Seldom indeed if ever before have so great a crowd lined the piers, and it looked as if the whole inhabitants of Cellardyke had turned out to bid farewell to the fishers. All the vessels got away in good time, the only drifter left being the Vanguard 111, which had come home after being repaired. She sailed on Tuesday for the south.

THE SOUTH HERRING FISHING. —Not much has been done yet by the local drifters and boats at the south. On Tuesday at Scarborough, the SS Breadwinner had 12 crans at 27s per cran, while at Shields the same day, the Craignoon and Pride of Fife had £10 each, the Daisy £9, the Eva £6, and the Edith £2. At Grimsby on Tuesday, herrings were sold at a penny each, the scarcity sending up the price to 65s per cran. The Venus had £33 and the Evening Star £12 also at Shields on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the following drifters had shots at Shields :—Pride o’ Fife £24, Violet £23, Morning Star £21, Unity £18, Edith £15, Alices £13, and Daisy £11.

CARGO OF  BARRELS FOR YARMOUTH.—On Tuesday, the SS. Kilburne of Whitehaven entered Anstruther harbour and took on board a cargo of 2000 barrels from Messrs Melville & Sons, for Yarmouth. The steamer smiled with the evening tide. The captain of the steamer was informed by the harbour-master that he entered and lay at the head of the east pier on his own risk, and Mr Melville had to accept the risk before the captain would consent to remain. Nothing happened. however, and the Kilburne sailed in the evening.

THE RETURN OF THE DRIFTER VANGUARD. — The steam drifter Vanguard 111., Skipper Martin Gardner, jnr., arrived at Anstruther harbour on Saturday morning. It will be remembered that this drifter stranded on the sands at Saltburn on the English Coast on the 10th of September, and after a few days was success fully floated, and towed to Shields where she underwent a thorough overhaul and repair. The expense was borne by the Herring Drifter Insurance Company. Peterhead, and no cost has been spared by them to deliver the drifter to the owners in a first class condition. Besides having all her machinery overhauled and the hull put in order, she has been painted outside and in, all at the cost of the Insurance Company, who willingly offered to see that all was made right. The owners are satisfied that the Company have treated them very generously. The vessel was inspected by numbers of the fishermen during the weekend, and all were loud in their praise of the insurance company having done the work of repair so well and without any loss of time.


A series of meetings, under the auspices of the Scottish Branch of the Free Trade Union is being held in East Fife during the present week. On Monday night a meeting was held in the Public Hall, Upper Largo, when the Rev. Ian Bruce presided, and Messrs J. C. Haig and R. B. Ditch spoke on the question of Free Trade. Ur Haig, illustrating the benefits of Free Trade, gave a striking local example. He told how some 60 years ago two brothers left the little Fifeshire village of Cellardyke, where their father kept a miscellaneous store in which he sold “treacle, tar, and testaments,” to quote his own description. The brothers went to Adelaide, South Australia, which was then a small township, and while there the sons thought there were certain goods which their father sold which would fetch very much higher prices in Adelaide than in Cellardyke, and that on the other hand there were certain goods which could be bought cheaply in Adelaide which would fetch good prices in Fifeshire. So they sent out a small consignment of Australian goods and received a small consignment in exchange, and was the beginning of a profitable intercolonial trade, and the two brothers founded the great firm of D. & J. Fowler, Ltd., the largest in S. Australia. Free Trade tended to foster international trade, whilst so-called “Tariff Reform” tended to check. it. Several questions were put and answered. Other meetings will be addressed by the same speakers this week at Leuchars, Tayport, Newport., and Ladybank.

Considerable anxiety was felt in Cellardyke last Saturday and Sunday in consequence of no word having been received of the whereabouts of six boats belonging to Cellardyke, which bad been fishing from Yarmouth. Frequent telegrams were passed between the South and Anstruther, and on Sunday morning word came that three bad come in all safe. The others turned up at night, the crews having ridden out the storm and gale at’ their nets. The satisfactory news of the safety of the boats gave much relief to the anxious ones at home

The Cellardyke Echo -6/10/2022 – Issue 359


The fishing boat Alaska, Skipper Peter Muir, left Anstruther on Monday for Yarmouth, and arrived there after a remarkable quick passage of 30 hours, the lowest on record.

Mr Daniel Cormack, Cellardyke Public School, has passed the recent July examination for admission into the Training College, Moray House, Edinburgh, and gained a scholarship of £230.

The Lammas herring fishing at Anstruther has been the poorest on record, but the Cellardyke boats which were engaged at Fraserburgh, Peterhead, and Aberdeen have done well. Some 120 of these boats are now prosecuting the fishing off Scarborough, Yarmouth, and Lowestoft, with every prospect of success, and is hoped this will neutralise the poor returns obtained at home.


About six o’clock yesterday morning, as Charles Tulloch, labourer, residing in Lodge Walk, was walking along the south bank of the River Dee, discovered the dead body of a man lying in a foot of water about fifty yards south the Victoria Bridge. The body was at once removed to the Police Office, Torry, here was identified as that of David Corstorphine (50), fisherman belonging to Cellardyke. On the previous night the unfortunate man had been in town along with some companions, and is supposed he had been returning to his lodgings along the river bank, when owing to the slippery nature of the ground had missed his footing and fallen in, and had been unable to extricate himself from the mud. The deceased came to town about fortnight ago, and had been engaged as fisherman on board steam fishing boat. Dr Robertson, examining the body, found that life had been extinct for some hours.

NB – Note from Harry Watson – The age of David Corstorphine was incorrectly reported he was only 19


On Saturday, while some children were playing on board the boats in the inner harbour, one of them, a boy of seven years, son of Mr Alex. Fraser, shoemaker, Cellardyke, fell into the water. His companions gave the alarm, and fisherman, named George Anderson, West Anstruther, immediately leaped in after him. With some trouble, caused by the struggles of the child, he swam to the side of the boats, where others relieved him of his charge. Fraser was unconscious, but was speedily brought round. Anderson was none the worse, but he deserves great praise for his promptitude, and it to be hoped the affair will not be allowed to rest here and suitable recognition made for his gallant conduct, this is the seventh life he has saved within four years.

Burgh Court. —On Thursday—before Provost Martin and Bailie Thomson, Cellardyke–James McGee, vagrant, was charged with breach of the peace and breaking two panes of glass in a dwelling house in James Strut. He pled guilty, and was fined 7s 6d or 7 days. He went north. (Dundee Jail)

Yarmouth fishing – …….The KY boat Hawarden Castle, from Cellardyke, had a collision with another Yarmouth vessel in the harbour, and she also in dock. The herrings caught by the Scotch boats are still small and ordinary quality.

Early on Sunday morning the joists of a house in James Street, Cellardyke, were found to be on fire. The brigade was called out, and the flames extinguished without difficulty, A neighbouring chimney had been on fire the preceding night, and the flames had smouldered till the smoke alarmed the inmates. Little damage was done.


There was still very little done at Islay last week. The weather being fine all the boats were et sea every night. The takes on Thursday were a little more encouraging than the former part of the week. Some of the Cellardyke boats had a few crans, one had as high as 30 baskets, and on Saturday another one had 36 baskets. The prices ranged from 4s to 4s 6d per basket.


The Train Service. —Mr Conacher, the Manager of the North British Railway, has replied to the petition sent to him by the merchants of Anstruther and Cellardyke asking for a continuance of the present morning train service in order secure an expeditious letter delivery in the East of Fife. Mr Conacher regrets that the amount of traffic will not allow the present morning service to be continued. Mr Marr, on behalf of the memorialists, has written to Mr Conacher to state definitely whether the 6.15 and 7.40 a.m. trains are to be withdrawn in November and one substituted at 7.25. No further reply has been received, but the Town Clerk has written to the Post Office authorities to send down an official to make inquiries into the unsuitable and inconvenient arrangements of last winter, by which a letter took nearly 24 hours before it was delivered to towns a few miles away.


On Wednesday last a woman went into a public-house in Cellardyke and drank half a gill of whisky, which being done she discovered that she had no money, and offered the key of her door as a pledge, until she would go home and get it. (How was she to get into her house?)


Sudden death in Castle Street. On Wednesday evening, a very sudden death occurred in Castle Street. Mr Thomas Moncrieff, fireman aboard the Anster Fair, arrived in the afternoon with the liner. He was then in his ordinary health, and continued at his work until the evening. Shortly after nine o clock he went to bed and lay talking with a member of his family. About half past nine, his wife heard him breathing heavily with a curious sound in his throat, and at once called in her neighbours, one of whom ran to Dr Wilson. Before the Doctor reached the house Moncrieff had expired. Moncrieff was 41 years of age and left a widow and several of a family. He belonged to Cellardyke, and served his time as a cooper with Mr Bonthron. Until lately he resided on the English coast. He was well known and greatly respected in the district. The Anster Fair did not proceed to sea yesterday morning but her flag was flying half mast all day out of respect for the fireman.

The Cellardyke Echo – 29/9/2022 – Issue 358

On the 70th Anniversary of the death of Provost Willam Carstairs

Dundee Courier – Tuesday 30 September 1952

EAST FIFE BURGHS LOSE PROVOST Provost W. W. Carstairs, civic head of the united royal burghs of Anstruther and Kilrenny for the past 20 years, died yesterday after a long illness. Provost Carstairs was highly successful business man, a public benefactor and an authority on Scottish fishing affairs. A native of the burgh, he went to sea as a boy, but gave up to train with a Glasgow accountant. He returned to his home town to enter the business of Messrs J. Martin & Co., woollen goods and oil skin manufacturers, and eventually became head of the business. He was also managing director of Messrs Gray & Pringle, ironmongers. Provost Carstairs maintained a keen interest in the sea and fishing. He owned several fishing boats, and was frequently consulted by the Government on fishing problems. He had the finest collection of model fishing boats in Scotland. For his national service to fishing Provost Carstairs received the O.B. E. He started his Civic service on Kilrenny Town Council, and was Provost in 1929 when the neighbouring burghs were amalgamated. He became magistrate of the new Town Council in 1929, and in 1932 was appointed Provost, office he held until his death. He had many other local appointments. keen church worker, Provost Carstairs was an elder of Chalmers Memorial Church. A fine baritone, he took a leading part in the promotion of music in the burgh, and appeared on concert platforms many parts of East Fife. There was hardly a local organisation which did not benefit from Provost Carstairs’ generosity. At his own expense he built a bridge across the burn at Kilrenny Mill; he presented the local football club with a pavilion; and he bought ground and presented it to the local bowling and tennis clubs. Provost Carstairs was unmarried.

St. Andrews Citizen – Saturday 04 October 1952

Well-known in St Andrews as managing director of Messrs Gray & Pringle, Ltd., South Street, and as a prominent East Neuk business man, Provost W. W. Carstairs, civic head of Anstruther for the past 20 years, died on Monday after a long illness. A fine baritone singer, he often appeared on St Andrews platforms. A native of Anstruther, he went to sea as a boy, but gave up to train with a Glasgow accountant. He returned to his home town to enter the business of Messrs J. Martin & Co., woollen goods and oil skin manufacturers, and eventually became head of the business. Provost Carstairs maintained a keen interest in the sea and fishing. He owned several fishing boats, and was frequently consulted by the Government on fishing problems. He had the finest collection of model fishing boats in Scotland. For his national service to fishing. Provost Carstairs received the 0.B. E. He started his civic service on Kilrenny Town Council, and was Provost in 1929 when the neighbouring burghs were amalgamated. He became a Magistrate of the new Town Council in 1929, and in 1932 was appointed Provost, an office he held until his death. He had many other local appointments.

Dundee Courier – Saturday 01 November 1952

FIFE PROVOST LEFT £92,170 Provost William Watson Carstairs, 0.8.E.. J.P., manufacturer, of 18 West Forth Street, Cellardyke. who died on September 29, left £92,170 4s. In his will, lodged with the Sheriff Clerk Fife at Cupar yesterday, he bequeathed to the Town Council of Kilrenny, Anstruther Easter, and Anstruther Wester, over which he presided for 20 years, portrait himself in oils and a picture, “The Tea Clipper Race,” in view of its historical connection with both Anstruther and Cellardyke. His only other public bequest is £250 to Chalmers’ Memorial Church, Anstruther.

Dundee Courier – Thursday 04 May 1922

OVER £10,000 DAMAGE BIG FIRE AT CELLARDYKE WORKS. The big blaze which raged at the oilskin works of Martin & Co., Cellardyke, on Tuesday night and yesterday morning was successfully overcome about five o’clock. Throughout yesterday the workers (over one hundred) were engaged returning the large stocks of oilskins, pallets, silk, cloth, &c-., to the stores which were preserved from the flames. The damage is considerable and cannot yet be estimated. A rough calculation places it between £10,000 and £15,000. Only two stores, the offices, the stitching machine room, and the cutting-room were saved. The factory was proper completely gutted, involving the loss of valuable machinery. . The cause of the fire outbreak is unknown. A similar fire occurred at the factory twenty years ago, but during the intervening years the firm had made extensive additions.

Dundee Courier – Wednesday 03 May 1922

BIG BLAZE IN FIFE CELLARDYKE WORKS GUTTED Heavy Damage One of the most disastrous fires that has occurred in the East of Fife for many years broke out last night in the oilskin works of Messrs Martin & Co., Cellardyke. Fed on the highly inflammable contents of the factory, the flames spread with amazing rapidity, and although St Andrews Fire Brigade was early on the scene, so fierce already was the blaze that for a time they could do little to check its progress. The fire originated in the new wing of the factory which was erected during the war, but soon the greater part of the works was involved. The blaze lit up the sky with a ruddy glow that was seen for many miles around, and the scene of the fire a great crowd collected, watching with awe the progress 61 the flames. About midnight the Buckhaven Fire Brigade arrived and added their efforts to those of the St Andrews brigade. The fire fighters worked with feverish zeal, but for long time little progress could be made against the roaring flames. Householders in the vicinity of the blaze worked with frantic energy to remove their belongings to places of safety, and in this they were aided by many willing hands. An old church standing next to the factory, which was used as a store, was cleared of its contents. Strenuous efforts were made to remove as great quantity of the oilskins and pallets from the stores as possible, and lorries were requisitioned to carry the salvaged goods to safety. The machine-room and the store to the east of the factory have been saved, but the rest of the factory has been practically gutted. The fire was still raging in the early hours of this morning, and the damage will amount to several thousands of pounds.

Dundee Courier – Saturday 11 January 1930




Refinements for Crew ; Electric Light, Radio and Searchlight Comparisons with Drifter Earnings By a Special Correspondent. Realising how serious is the situation confronting the Scottish herring industry, a Cellardyke man, Bailie W. W. Carstairs, set himself the problem of finding a solution. That he has in large measure succeeded is obvious from the return he receives from two special motor bauldies he has had built to his own specifications. These two bauldies, named the and the Winaway, are arousing considerable interest in Scottish fishing circles. They are the forerunners an entirely new type of fishing boat.

CHIEF OBJECT building these two bauldies Mr Carstairs’ chief object was to construct vessel which would be within the reach of owner fishermen so far as capital outlay was concerned, and would at the time bring in reasonable remuneration for the other fishermen. Although Mr Carstairs has scored an economic success in the building of those boats, he has, with commendable foresight, given careful study to the requirements of the crew. The men’s quarters on each vessel are the last word in comfort. The fo’c’sle, which is extremely large, beautifully panelled with mahogany. beds are cosy and comfortable, and ample provision is made in the way of lockers, &c., for the storing of clothes. Each boat is fitted with wireless, is provided with a small boat, and is lit throughout by electricity. Another novel feature is a high-power electric searchlight.

CREW PROTECTED Instead of the usual steam boiler and capstan. there has been a new type of motor capstan installed in the fore-hold and takes up little space. Each vessel, also, is fitted with very latest type of semi-Diesel crude oil engine of four cylinders and 48 h.p. While setting up their nets the crews are protected from spray and cold by means of canvas, which is stretched over special safety rails. Each boat has magnificent wheel-house, surrounded with glass and with spars of pitch pine. The engine room, which is aft, is also beautifully fitted up. Each vessel has speed of eight knots per hour.

OBSOLETE BOATS In an interview I had with him, Mr Carstairs described how he conceived the idea of building the Onaway and the Winaway. ” It has been announced,” he began, “that 47 per cent, of the Scottish herring fleet is obsolete, and there is no doubt that that proportion is a correct one. ” I can give you instance of a skipper who spent £20 on his boat so that it might go to Yarmouth, and then the insurance. surveyor came along and would not allow that boat to go to sea. The consequence was that the skipper had to find a berth for himself another boat. There are many more cases like that. ” At. Yarmouth recently one of our own big drifters had to go twice into dock for repairs, and, taking these things into consideration, it is an accepted fact that a great crisis in the herring fishing industry is looming up before us.

DIFFERENT SYSTEMS ” I am referring to the Scottish industry. The English and Scottish systems arc entirely different. In England it is almost wholly capitalistic system, whereas in Scotland the system is individualistic. ” Many of the drifters are years old or more, and it, is absolutely impossible for ordinary fisherman —from the point of view of capital—to get a new steam drifter. I know from experience that the present steam drifter is a very expensive craft to keep running. For a steel drifter, for instance, the expenses over the year total as much £1500.

A COMPARISON ” The cost of a pre-war drifter and its post-war equivalent shows tremendous difference price. ” Before the war, drifter would cost about £2500. To-day that boat, without slightest alteration, would cost somewhere the region of £4500. Such drifters were wooden ones. “A steel drifter nowadays would cost between £6500 and £6700. “It is, therefore, almost an impossibility for the fishermen to obtain capital order to replace a drifter, mainly because of increase in the initial cost as compared with the pre-war period and also owing to tremendous running costs.

COST £1600 ” I reasoned that, as the cost of a drifter was so prohibitive, some kind of boat must be got which would cost less and yet would just as efficient as drifter. The ultimate result has been the building of the Onaway and Winaway. ” Each of these motor boats, which contains everything of the very best, costs £1600. You will see, therefore, that practically three of these motor boats can be obtained for one wooden drifter to-day. ” The men on these new boats have three geographical chances of getting good shots. A drifter has to stay in the one place, but three motor boats can be miles apart. The fleet of drifter is about 80 nets. The Onaway carries 67 nets. “That means that a craft costing £4500 has about 80 nets, and for the same sum one can have three motor boats, with about 200 nets, and three different chances of getting fish.

SAME EARNINGS ” Admittedly has been proved that the steel drifter is the best type of craft that has yet been put at the disposal of the herring fishing industry, on account of the fact that she may take weather which another type of boat could not take, but against that is the fact that for the same initial cost you can take a bigger proportion of nets with the motor boats. ” A steam drifter went from Anstruther to Fraserburgh on the same day as the Onaway and the Winaway. They fished for the same time, and came back in the same week. The steam drifter had £860 gross earnings, and divided £36 per man. ” The Onaway had £480 gross, and divided £36 per man. showing that the crew of the motor boat had the same earnings the men on the drifter, and yet the motor boat had only half the gross earnings. ” In another case a successful steam drifter had £4084 gross, and divided £190 per man; Winaway had £1770 gross, and divided £152 per man. The motor boat’s individual earnings, therefore, were only £38 short a very successful drifter with £1770 gross compared with the drifter’s £4084 gross.

RUNNING COSTS, The running costs both these motor boats are really very remarkable. They can cover 100 miles comfortably for £1. ” The all-in cost of running the engine, including crude oil, lubricating oil, and paraffin oil, for the year is slightly over £80, and that, with a large amount of steaming. The average works out at under 2 ¼d per mile. ” One of these boats can go out at the shortest notice, sail 50 miles out to sea, sail back 50 miles, and, if she can get two crans (four baskets) of herrings and sell them at 10/- per cran, she is not in debt.

AT YARMOUTH “The Onaway was at Yarmouth when so much gear was lost, and proved herself a most seaworthy boat. She came ashore drier than any drifter, and had it not been for the special electric searchlight she might have lost her whole fleet of nets. ‘ Then men were hauling in when some of the nets broke adrift. The searchlight, however, was trained on a buoy to which was attached the remaining nets, and after half hour’s steaming they were able to get hold of the buoy and “bring the remainder of the nets on board. ” I believe,” he went on, “that these two motor boats are just on the small side and could do with perhaps an additional eight or ten feet in length, thus giving room for a bigger engine. ” Each of these boats is about 53 feet long, and I am of the opinion that a boat 65 feet long with a 75 h.p. engine could be built for £2000, and that boat could carry a fleet of 80 nets, equal to an ordinary drifter, and would only cost one-quarter of the sum to run, with a bigger proportion of earnings divisible among the men. ” Among other things which might be mentioned is the fact that a motor boat can started up within five minutes, while a drifter has always to have steam up before she can get away. ” In addition to the steam engine on a drifter there is the steam boiler, which cuts off from 15 to 20 feet of the length of the boat.

CREW OF SIX ” A drifter has 10 men of a crew, seven fishermen, a fireman, engineer, and cook, whereas a motor boat has six men of a crew when fishing from Anstruther and seven men when at the other fishings.” In concluding, Mr Carstairs said that the only way out was for the Government to develop some scheme whereby the fishermen could get a cheaper capital than by going direct to the bank. ” Surely of all industries,” said, ” the fishing industry is most deserving to be kept up and taken in hand by the Government. as the miners have been. ” The fisherman is a fine type of man who did his duty during war in the most hazardous form of warfare —mine-sweeping ” It would great pity to allow the fishing industry to get into such serious financial position that it was practically crippled.

EASY REPAIRS ” Something must be done to preserve a port such Anstruther from going into decay, and I think these motor boats will help solve the problem. If anything goes wrong with a steel drifter it has to be sent to Aberdeen, Leith, or North Shields. A motor boat, other hand, can be dry docked by being pulled on to the beach at Anstruther, and can there be attended local sailmaker, engineer, or carpenter, as the case may be.” Mr Carstairs told me that he would soon be seeing Mr Adamson, Secretary of State for Scotland, who was greatly interested in his motor boat experiments. The Onaway was built Mr Walter Reekie, of St Monance and Anstruther, exactly a year ago, and the Winaway was built at the same time by Mr Alexander Aitken, Anstruther. Each boat is 53 ½ feet over stems, 16 feet 3 inches of beam, with a tonnage of about 26.75 gross.

HIGHLY ESTEEMED Carstairs is a well-known and a highly esteemed figure in public life in Anstruther district. He was for 17 years a member the now defunct Kilrenny Town Council, and was magistrate of that burgh for ten years. At last month’s historic election of the united burghs

 of Kilrenny, Anstruther Easter, and Anstruther Wester, took fourth place out of total of 25 candidates. A few days later had the honour to appointed one of ‘the Bailies of the new united council. Mr Carstairs belongs Cellardyke, and his life-story reads like a romance. Born son of a poor fisherman, he was sent to sea a tender age as fisher boy. By dogged perseverance and attention to his studies was successful in securing bursary which enabled him to attend Waid Academy. His school days over, entered office a local solicitor and bank agent. From there went to the offices of a shipping company in Glasgow.

SOLE PARTNER By sheer ability gradually worked his way up the ladder of success. After few years in Glasgow, he returned his native town and became joint partner in the firm of John Martin & Co., oilskin and buoy manufacturers, Cellardyke. At that time there were three partners, and some 25 hands were employed. To-day is sole partner in the firm, which now has 230 employees. He is also chairman of directors of the Bon-Accord Ship Stores. Ltd., and of the Ship Repairing Co., Ltd., Aberdeen.

Aberdeen Press and Journal – Wednesday 10 September 1930


Gleanaway on Sea Trials from Anstruther

Speaking at a launch at Sandhaven, Aberdeenshire, yesterday, Mr Adamson, Secretary for Scotland, said the great desideratum in connection with the herring fishing industry was the cutting down of capital and running costs in order to secure a larger margin between earnings and expenses. Reducing Cost of Drifters, At present, owing to the heavy cost of drifters, it was impossible to set aside adequate reserves for replacement, but he was assured that vessels of the oil-driven type that had been launched could be built at about half the cost of steel drifters and that the running expenses would he much less.

What Has Been Done.

Mr Adamson mentioned that since the Government assumed office they had provided for the relief of the industry, by way of grants, loans, remissions of debt and new services, approximately £350,000. Mr Adamson, Secretary for Scotland, christened the new vessel, which has been built by Messrs J. & G. Forbes & Go., Sandhaven, to the order of Mr Wm. W. Carstairs, Anstruther, the Gleanaway, and at banquet which followed dwelt on the crisis through which the herring fishing industry is passing.

Last summer, he said, he had spent a considerable time in personally acquainting himself with the conditions at the great Scottish herring fishing ports, because he realised that the importance of this industry to Scotland, and the problems with which it was faced, demanded that he should be fully acquainted with the position and equipped with first-hand knowledge. (Applause.) Everywhere he went he was met with the same cordiality, but also with the same urgent pleas for a policy which would assist the industry and the harbours from which it was carried on. He took back with him to London a resolve to bring before the Government the need for something to be done. (Applause.) Amongst the problems was that of restoring the fishing fleet to a condition that would enable it, in the altered economic circumstances, to restore the industry to the prosperity which it once enjoyed, and so richly deserved. (Applause.) With that question to-day’s events there were closely associated. Government Inquiry.

As regarded all those problems and difficulties of the future organisation and development of the industry, the Government felt that there should be a comprehensive inquiry. Accordingly, a subcommittee of the Economic Advisory Council was set up, and had for several months been carefully collecting and sifting the views of representatives of and branches of the fishing industry. He sincerely hoped and believed that these inquiries would fruitful of good guidance for future policy. (Applause.) Since the present Government took office, grants or loans had been authorised for harbour schemes a total of no less than £185,538, which had enabled a large number of schemes, costing less than £268,211, to gone with. The amount grants or loans authorised for Fraserburgh alone was £25,890. (Applause.) .Further schemes, at a total estimated cost of nearly £200,000, were under consideration for assistance. This record spoke for itself, especially when he added that during the last Government’s term of office the total amount of grants or loans given for these purposes was only £34,540.

Harbour Debts. Another big question which they turned their attention was that of the debts which were weighing down so many of the herring fishing harbours, and none more so that Fraserburgh. The result of the examination that was made was that the Development Commission remitted debts to an amount of about £127,000, of which Fraserburgh’s share was £23,501. The debts due the Public Works Loan Board were on a somewhat different footing, but he was glad to be of such assistance as he could in facilitating the settlement which was reached to their satisfaction with that Board, and which resulted in the very substantial wiping off of Fraserburgh Harbour debts by the Public Works Loans Act of last session to the extent of £67,000, (Applause.)

Of a different character was the assistance offered to fishermen who lost their gear in the great storm off East Anglia last November, by way of loan to assist them to replace their losses. Loans to a total of £19,810 bad been made for this purpose. It might be taken that the sums made available since June last year by way of the grants, loans, remissions (not including those of the Public Works Loans Board), and new services, amounted approximately to £350,000. large part of this expenditure was attributable to works which, apart from their value to the industry, would productive of considerable direct and indirect employment. (Applause.)

The Great Desideratum. The great desideratum in the herring fishing industry was the cutting down of capital and running costs in order to secure a larger margin between earnings and expenses. He had been examining the question of boats very closely, and in his opinion the securing of a type of boat, the capital cost and the running costs of which should be much less than that of the old types of boat, was of vital importance. The capital cost of a steel steam drifter the present time was in the region of £5600, and of a wooden drifter £4500. But the average annual earnings of steam drifters nowadays amounted to only about £2300, and of this sum about half was swallowed by running expenses. Under the share system in vogue in the herring fishing industry, only one third of the residue, or about £400, was consequently available to meet the cost of maintenance, insurance, depreciation, interest on capital, etc., which together averaged about £550, so that loss was inevitable, and it was impossible to set aside adequate reserves for replacement. Similarly, only one-third of the residue was available for the fishermen’s labour share, so that their average earnings for a year’s work were only about £74.

Devising a Cheaper Boat. Mr Carstairs had already made valuable experiments with the object of bettering this state affairs, and they were very much indebted to him for the interest he had taken in trying to devise cheaper boat, and a boat less costly to run. He had built two medium sized motor-boats—the Winaway and the Onaway—at about one-third of the cost of steam drifter. These vessels had already proved themselves, but they were only 50 feet long, they were handicapped as compared with the steam drifter in carrying on fishing in the open sea in rough weather. Notwithstanding these limitations in this respect, however, the earnings of their crews compared very favourably with those of the larger vessels, and an adequate return on the capital cost had been secured.

Earnings of the Vessel. Mr Carstairs has felt, however, that even better results were to be expected from a vessel more closely approaching the steam drifter in size and power, and the results of his study of this question were to be seen in the Gleanaway. This vessel was equipped with extra powerful engine to give a speed of about 12 miles per hour, and her cost had consequently been higher than would have been the case had a less powerful engine been installed. But a similar vessel engined to give a speed of 9n miles, could be built at cost of from £2750 to £2800 or approximately half the cost of a steel drifter, and the advantage thus conferred from the outset was obvious. The earnings of such a vessel might be expected at least to equal those of the average steam drifter, but he was assured that the running expenses would be only about 30 per cent, of the gross earnings, as compared with 50 per cent, in the case of steam drifters, and if this was so. an adequate return on the capital cost was assured and the vessel represented an attractive investment. (Applause.)

High Average Age.

Provost Walker, Fraserburgh, who presided, in proposing the toast of their guest, the Secretary for Scotland, said Mr Carstairs, the owner of the new vessel, might prove to be a pioneer in the development of the fishing industry. (Applause.) Those interested in the industry knew the difficulties that were facing it. A great problem at present was the high average age of the steam drifters, which necessitated a very extensive overhaul before insurance companies considered them worthy of risk. If the Gleanaway was to fulfil what was expected of it as an economic proposition, then their problem would be largely solved. (Applause) R- Gordon Nicol, harbour engineer, Aberdeen, proposed Continued Prosperity to Mr Carstairs,” who, had great hopes, would lead the fishermen back to prosperity with boats that would be an ideal as regards speed, efficiency, and economy. (Applause.) Mr W. M. Carstairs, responding, said felt that he had made an effort contribute the solution of the difficulties that were threatening the fishing industry. John Dunbar, fishcurer. Fraserburgh, proposed The Builders,” and Mr George Forbes replied. Other toasts followed. The Launch. The Fraserburgh lifeboat conveyed Adamson and a Email party to the launch at Sandhaven, the company including Provost Walker, Mr R. Gordon Nicol. Aberdeen; Mr H. R. Barr, Aberdeen, Baillie Peterkin, Baillie Brown, John Dunbar, Mr Tarras, harbour clerk; and others. As the Gleanaway was cut from her moorings, Mr Adamson performed the christening ceremony by breaking bottle of wine on her bow, and a large crowd the quay and the beach raised a lusty cheer. The vessel is different from the ordinary type drifter in respect that she is driven by Diesel engine of 140 h.p.. and using crude oil will be able to stay longer at sea than a steam vessel, and at about a third the cost. Her fuel consumption is calculated at 3s 6d an hour all in, whereas a steam drifter takes much as £400 for coal for the herring season. There will be a crew of eight in place of nine. The length of the vessel is 76 feet, her breadth 18 feet 9 inches, and her draught 8 feet.

Willie Carstairs aboard the Gleanaway

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Thursday 11 December 1930

CELLARDYKE FISHING BOAT’S RECORD JOURNEY. The motor fishing boat, Gleanaway, belonging to Bailie W. VV. Carstairs, Cellardyke, earned reputation for speed which she well sustained on the return journey from Yarmouth. With fair weather almost all the way, the Gleanaway did the journey to Anstruther in a little over twenty-four hours, the fastest of standard drifter taking upwards ‘of thirty-three hours for the journey. The Gleanaway’s maximum speed is rated at a steady eleven knot s per hour.

Gleanaway when she was working in South Africa 1936 +

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 23 June 1931

The Modern Way of Making Our Fishermen’s Gear


By Mrs A. R. Rowlands, Cellardyke.

 “WHAT big balloons, mummy !” shrieks the city child as he points an excited finger at the huge globes crowning a lorry load of fishing gear which was being driven down to the boats in preparation for the “drave,” or summer herring fishing.

Those gaily painted spheres which often cause much speculation among towns folk paying their first visit to a fishing port, are the “pallets” floats, buoys, or ” cows,” as they are called in some districts, used for supporting the drift nets, and also for indicating the location of the nets in the water.

To our grandfathers, those well finished, easily handled, and indispensable items of a fisherman’s equipment were unknown. The pallets of a past generation were made not of foiled canvas, like those of to-day, but of sheepskins.

The wool having been first removed, the pelts were soaked in lime water for period of fourteen days, being thus thoroughly cleansed. The hides were then dried the sun before subjection to a further few days’ ” steeping” in strong solution of salt and water.

After a second drying in the sun, the skins were cut in circular shape in readiness to receive a good coating of tar on both outer and inner surfaces. This operation rendered them strictly water and air tight.

The Old Way

After a visit to one of the best equipped and most modern of our pallet making factories, I not unnaturally inquired from an experienced old fisherman, “How did you fill the ‘ bows ‘ before the invention of compressed air machines?”

“Blew them up wi’ oor breath,” was the laconic rejoinder.

“You would need- good pair of lungs,” I retorted, sensing fun at my expense.

“Weel, ye see!” continued the pawky old salt, tilting his cap, while he scratched his “pow ” reflectively. “If ye didna hae enough wind, ye taen the bellowses.”

The pioneer of the canvas pallet was the late Provost Black, Cellardyke, whose factory “wast the toon” has, within recent years, been acquired by Messrs A. & W. Myles.

The large modern erection of John Martin & Co., Ltd., in Cellardyke is known throughout the East Neuk o’ Fife as “Carstairses’ Factory.”

The large and extensive premises erected within recent years at the top of the Urquhart Wynd are devoted not only to the manufacture of fishing gear, such as pallets, but, also to the making of fishermen’s oilskins; that is, their heavy coats, “sou-westers,” and frocks.” The last-mentioned are these chemise-shaped garments which cover their wearers from the neck to well below the knee.

Let it not be supposed that only useful, unromantic “oilskins ” are made in this factory. In the warehouses and showrooms hang hundreds of the daintiest and most delicately coloured silk oilskin coats, fit wear for the fairest ladies in the land.

When Tar Was Scarce

Near the huge- entrance gates the hum and babble of many girlish voices greet us. Entering the large yard, we pass wide open doors through which the summer air enters.

On our way we catch glimpse of youthful forms swaying, and busy arms moving to and fro. as their owners tend to their machines. There is no need to wonder whence Anstruther lassies obtain their graceful figures and erect carriage. Our observation tells us that their day’s work provides all the necessary figure forming and “slimming exercises.

Two or three pairs of bright eyes smile at us, and several rows of white teeth flash a greeting as their possessors revert once more to their tasks.

The modern pallets have been for many years made of oiled canvas. The divisions, shaped like a quarter of an orange, are firmly sewn together with strong thread before the article is handed over to the oilers.

Before the war, oiling of “pallets” was unknown, tarring being the uniform process. During the war-time, owing to the scarcity of tar, oiling was adopted, and this method having proved more satisfactory has been retained.

The pallets are first turned wrong side out and completely and carefully oiled inside, after which they are hung in the drying shed to dry. After a further coating of oil and a second they are turned to their right side ready for the broding machine.

Coloured Buoys

The “brod or board is that circular piece of wood which fits like a lid exactly into the opening of the pallet. The rim of the “brod” is firmly lashed to the pallet with strong twine by the broding machine.

On the “brod” is a strong handle through which passes the hole for the rope which binds the float of the net and bored through the ” brod ” is also a small round aperture for the insertion of the air-plug.

The finished or “broded” pallet, having now been removed from the broding machine, a coating of oil is given to the outer surface. A further time is spent the drying-room before final coat is bestowed.

The pallet is now ready to receive its “top-dressing” of paint; a special group of girls being detailed off for this branch of the work. Many years ago Scottish fishermen preferred an all-black buoy; English buyers were the first to use the pure white pallet, which, since its introduction, has become first favourite in the fishing world. Preference for the white buoy is due to its visibility in the pitch blackness of a starless night.

It is quite common, however, to see gaily painted pallets—red, blue, and even green—clustered like huge balloons beside fishermen’s gear.

Buoys in olden times were uniformly round in shape. With the development of the canvas float, they became orangeshaped. Recently, however, the pearshaped pallet has been copied from those used by Dutch and German fishermen.

The Air Plugs

The buoys, all painted and ready for sale pendant in a very flabby condition in the factory stock room, present quite different appearance from those inflated globes which will in due time float the nets.

We have’ already noticed in the “brod” or lid that tiny round hole for the reception of the air plug, which forms a small but indispensable part of the pallet.

A tiny cone-shaped article is this plug, made of stout white cord wrapped with tow. While examining the neat little accessory, our attention is drawn to the machine used in its manufacture.

We are shown a cord drawn taut between two clamps of a machine beside which is a bundle of tow and a jar of tar. The girl in charge seats herself and sets the machine in motion; taking a few strands of the tow, she weaves them deftly at the right hand end of the cord, which is now revolving rapidly, at the same time coating them liberally with the tar, which is used not only to bind the strands together, but also render the plugs strictly waterproof.

By means of a few strokes of a peculiarly shaped knife, the machinist forms the plug, drawing the thickness from right to left, thus obtaining the cone shape.

When the exact shape and size is obtained, the worker immediately adds further strands of tow for the formation of another plug, and so on until the complete length of cord has been used.

The line of plugs is then detached from the machine and is neatly clipped asunder into its several sections ready for use.

The Hot Plate

We now turn aside to where at long tables, and with hard brushes, girls are oiling pieces of canvas which, by their shape, we know to be fisher men’s overalls.

Later we notice the finished garments hanging in the store room; we have seen others like them covered with herring scales, enveloping their owners as they trudged up the pier on a cold morning during the “winter herring.”

In another department, a long steel topped table arrests our attention; we touch it gingerly amid amused smiles from the onlookers; it is hot, in fact, too hot for our comfort.

This, we are informed, is the hot plate; its use is presently explained to us.

A web of. crimson-hued oiled silk is lying near, and close at hand are buckets containing a mixture; we are told that a coating of this liquid is first applied to the oiled silk before the latter is rolled over the hot plate. In this way all stickiness is removed from the oilskin used in coat making.

Having passed through ” kilns ” or drying rooms, and visited stock rooms, wherein hang rows upon rows of pallets, fishermen’s oilskin frocks, coats, and “sou-westers,” we come to a little room in which is a line of porcelain basins with bright nickel taps, each bearing the well-known letters ” H ” and ” C.”

Opposite the basins is row of presses or wardrobes, where the girls hang their outdoor garments.

We have seen these girls at work, wearing heavy oilskin, aprons, their fingers coated and sticky with tar. We notice them later going to meals with all traces of toil removed. Here, the workers have both the means and the opportunity of making themselves clean and smart before appearing in public.

D’ye Want a Dook?

The Broding Machine

Within the nearest shed a large tank of paraffin is making its presence felt; its purpose is doubtless to remove all superfluous tar from the plugs before they are fitted into the pallet brods.

“D’ye want a dook?” queried the damsel in charge, waving her hand suggestively towards the tank and its oily and uninviting contents.

There is another, and as yet unexplored territory, where woollies of every shade, size, and design are made. Many golfer on our classic Scottish links wears .pullover of intricate pattern knitted by Cellardyke lassies in “Carstairses’ Factory.”

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Monday 06 July 1936



 “A boat’s gaun tae be built in Cellardyke.” Animated groups at the fit o’ the Wynd,” ” the Corner,” and ” The Rockery” recalled in regretful tones the palmy days of the town, speculated as to the prospects of the coming venture, or argued good-naturedly regarding the precise date of the launching of the last boat built in the auld shipyard east the toon.

“Aye ! An’ she’s gaun tae come oot o’ the same yaird,” was the reflective remark, as signs of preparation. became evident; sheds appeared, and engines and circular saws were installed in the long-disused enclosure. More than half a century has elapsed since the last boat left the auld yaird. The builder, Mr Thomson, has long since passed away, but his widow, a hale and hearty old lady over eighty, still survives. Recently she visited the new boat, and at the same time renewed acquaintance with the workshop and yard so long associated with her husband. In those days, so the old folks relate, Cellardyke Harbour presented a busy spectacle, with its incoming yawls unloading their cargoes on the rough, stone quay. Long lines of cadgers’ carts, drawn up close to the harbour wall, awaited the return of the cadgers, whose shrill voices mingled with the deeper tones of the fishermen as they argie-bargied over the prices of the ” catches on sale that morning. The deal amicably completed, and the scaly mass tilted into the capacious hold of the cairt,” the bargain was finally sealed by the exchange of ” pints in one of the many porter and ale shops which then did a roaring trade in the vicinity of the harbour.

One bright spring morning, about Eastertide, we gazed down upon long plank of wood, curving at both ends, stretched lengthwise along the Bulwark,” – which forms the northern boundary of the ancient harbour of Cellardyke. Doubtfully, critically, thoughtfully, we gazed, marvelling that from such a humble foundation a thing so brave and daring a boat should arise. So that’s the keel laid,” we silently commented, at the same time observing with interest the varied expressions on the faces of the old fishermen standing by—some speculative, others uncertain, all wholly absorbed in the new venture. Day by day watched her grow under the skilled fingers of her builders. Little by little the keel took shape and form and curved outward to bear the ribs which were securely dovetailed into their fittings.

Mysterious things are now being done with foot-rules and spirit-levels and planes; measurements are chalked up her bow, her stern, and her ribs; while hours are spent in smoothing away every shred of superfluous wood and in slimming her until her form becomes the emblem of grace and beauty. The period of silent workmanship soon passes. One by one, planks, specially prepared in the shipyard, are laid over her bulging ribs. The whirr of the electric drill is now heard, as holes are bored for the reception of the huge nails which rivet the wooden walls of the elegantly-curved hull. Intermingled with the clanging of hammers and the whirring of machinery, we distinguish the “couthy ” accents of the Norlanders,”for the boat-builders, on whom rests  the responsibility of creating our boat, hail from the northern waters of the Moray Firth. Co-operating with them are the jolly skipper and crew of the Gleanaway, that intrepid Diesel drifter which lately left Anstruther Harbour on her venturesome voyage to Africa. The ” prentice loon ” is also very much in evidence, and his humorous quips and sallies provoke many a laugh from his preoccupied and somewhat serious seniors. Now follows what we consider the most interesting part of the boat-building programme—” calking the ship.” We have read about calking,” and heard of from various sources but we confess to having “entertained very hazy idea about the operation itself. It is with some wonder, therefore, that we watch each boat-builder appear equipped with a coil of ” tow,” a flatheaded hammer, and a tool which is cross between a huge nail and a wedge. We attend eagerly while the workmen insert the tow between the planks, and, using the wedge a medium, hammer the lengthy coil into the seams of both hull and deck. “So that’s calking,” we observe with interest. Why do you calk boat?” “To make it watertight,” rejoins the skipper, as he deftly slaps a knifeful of putty over the sunken nail heads, thus making smooth surface for the initial daubing of pitch which precedes the first coat paint. Uneven shafts of wood still remain two or three feet above the now completed hull, and, in our ignorance, we inquire whether these must now be sawn off uniform with the deck. We wonder, too, how, in event of this, the crew would retain their precarious footing on deck.

Na, na!’ ‘is the laughing response to our query. These are sawn to an even length, and then boarded in to form the gunwale.”

Round the hull, just below the base of the gunwale, is now clamped a strong iron band. The whirring electric drill soon bores the rivet holes. few swift, sure taps from the hammer and the securing belt is firmly fixed.

Are you clearing the decks for action?’

“Yes,” is the laconic retort, as a plank of wood narrowly misses a member of the crew standing on the roadway. The skipper, armed with broom and shovel and busily engaged in scooping up shavin’s,” grins slyly as he plies his task. We wait until the various missiles have been heaved overboard, then view with interest the rigging of the capstan.” until now only associated with a famous brand of cigarette.

For nearly three months our friendly boat has been our neighbour; we shall miss her when she launches out on unknown waters. It is more than half a century since her ancestors glided into the same tiny harbour; therefore are the ‘Dykers both proud and pleased that the enterprise of Provost Carstairs has made it possible for an ancient industry to be revived.

Our Diesel drifter, made on our shores, built within our view, goes out on her first voyage with many hopes that her successors may, ere long, occupy her cradle on the ” Bulwark. “

As Eve was made of a rib from Adam’s side, so was this bonny boat formed from a rib of wood laid on the rude quayside. By patient and kindly fingers was she fashioned, ” till she grew a noble lady, and the people loved her well.”

A boat built by Provost Carstairs is being launched to-day (or to-morrow, depending upon the depth the water) Cellardyke. The name of the boat, ” Royal Sovereign,” was kept a close secret till it was painted up on Friday.

Mrs Rowland’s shop can be seen just to the right of the Manx Fairy’s wheelhouse. Helen Deas wife of John, can be seen leaning out of their window.

The Scotsman – Wednesday 16 September 1936


 Reduction in Running Expenses Essential


There is a limit to the possible extension of the herring market; if the industry is saved, it will be by means of a reduction in running expenses, and this type of boat is most certainly pointing the way to the salvation of the industry, ” said Mr George Hogarth, chairman of the Fishery Board for Scotland, following the final trials of the Diesel-engined drifter Royal Sovereign in the Firth of Forth yesterday.

The Royal Sovereign, built to the order of Provost W- W- Carstairs, Anstruther, a well-known figure in the fishing industry, incorporates many innovations, and the accommodation for the crew of nine is far in advance of usual drifter practice. One of the most important innovations, however, is the deckhouse, which communicates with the wheelhouse and the saloon. No longer need the fisherman risk life and limb on a pitching deck when on his way to take his turn at the wheel. Instead, aboard the Royal Sovereign, he merely walks through the deckhouse.

ENGINEROOM IMPROVEMENTS In the engine room many marked improvements have been made. A new type of four-cylinder Diesel engine has been installed which is totally enclosed, and is controlled directly from the wheelhouse. The engine made ” by Messrs Blackstone & Company. Stamford, works on the four-stroke Diesel cycle, with clutch and reversing gear, and develops 160 b.h.p. at 600 r.p.m. Every part of the engine and reversing gear is lubricated from a central dry sump force-feed system, a sea-water cooler being incorporated, maintaining the oil at an efficient working temperature. The clutch and reversing gear unit is a new development of the Blackstone engine, and consists of a metal-to-plate clutch and helical epicyclic reversing gears operated by oil pressure. The oil control valve is operated by a small lever in the wheelhouse, mounted with the engine speed-control lever. A bronze propeller is fitted, and runs on rubber bearings while the fuel storage tanks on each side of the engine room carry five tons of Diesel oil. In addition to the main engine room there is a small auxiliary engine room forward, containing the auxiliary engine, bilge pump, and a small dynamo for driving the electrically-driven Capstan, another feature of the vessel. Among those who boarded the vessel for her final trials, which were from Kirkcaldy Harbour, were Mr Hogarth, chairman of the Fishery Board, and Mr J. Henderson Stewart, M. P. for East Fife. The skipper, John Watson, Anstruther, was in command.


The trials were a complete success, an unexpected feature of the trip being an inspection of the Fishery Beard cruiser Fidra. which the Royal Sovereign hailed in mid-Forth. The cruiser went alongside the Royal Sovereign, and an invitation was extended to those on board the new vessel to inspect the cruiser, the opportunity being gladly taken advantage of.

The Royal Sovereign is built for a service speed of ten knots and is much faster than the majority of drifters. On returning to port, those who had been on board the vessel during her trials were entertained by Provost Carstairs.

Dealing with the advantages of a Diesel engined drifter over that propelled by steam. Provost Carstairs said that to begin with, the cost of an oil-driven drifter was less than half of that of a steam drifter. As an illustration, he said that in one particular case last year a steam drifter with gross receipts of £445 had been able to pay the members of the crew only £16 each, while a Diesel-engined drifter with cross receipts of £433 had been able to pay the men £32 5s each. The future of the industry lay in the employment of oil-driven craft, he said.

Dundee Evening Telegraph – Tuesday 25 March 1947

ANSTRUTHER MUSICAL REVIVAL People In The News Anstruther Philharmonic Society have 1 chosen Mendelssohn’s oratorio, ” Elijah,” to inaugurate their second post-war revival. Formed in 1892, the Society has given a concert every year except during the periods of the two great wars. This year’s concert takes place to-morrow in Anstruther Town Hall. Indefatigable in her efforts to get the Society off smooth start again is Mrs Agnes Gardner, wife of Bailie Thomas Gardner, area traffic manager of Messrs Alexander. A native of Blairgowrie, Mrs Gardner is a former secretary and principal of Blairgowrie Operatic Society. In addition bearing the brunt of the organisational work, she is member of the chorus. ** * * Of the three life members, two are still active supporters of the Society, and the other, Mr T. Brownlie, Paisley, maintains his interest in practical form. Provost W. W. Carstairs has been president of the Society for many years, and his connection with it extends over 48 years. A singer of more than local repute, the Provost still freely gives his services at local functions. Proprietor of the firm of John Martin & Company, Cellardyke, oilskin and woollen manufacturers, he was member the old Cellardyke Town Council and has been Provost of Anstruther United Burghs since shortly after the amalgamation in 1929.