The Cellardyke Echo – 2/5/24 – Issue 440


MELANCHOLY OCCURRENCE TO A CELLARDYKE BOAT. MORE LOSS OF LIFE. Last week a telegram in our columns announced the loss of another Cellardyke fisherman, being the fifth in the course of the present year; but it is now our painful duty to supply the particulars of this distressing event, and also the miraculous escape of others of the crew. On Wednesday (the 21st), and at a point on the North Sea, not less than a hundred and ten miles from the Isle of May, the Cellardyke deep sea going boat “Garland,” Adam Watson, master, was busy with her big lines, when an hour or two of a deceitful calm was followed by one of the most violent southerly gales of the season. Every sailor knows how in the spring months the sea appears to anticipate the wind, so quick does it rise to the whistle of the gale, and thus within the hour nothing was to be seen on the unbroken wilderness of waters but tumbling breakers and driving spray on which the lurid canopy appeared to rest, as if black with the shadow of destruction and death. Clinging to the last hope of saving their fishing gear, the crew of the “Garland” held to their lines, till seeing the struggle fruitless, they like the rest of the squadron, slipped the remnant and bore away to the land. It was a race for life, so fierce was now the conflict between wind and wave, but the gallant craft swims like a seabird in the storm. The moment required it, and every precaution was taken. The veteran skipper at the helm, and each of the crew, like a faithful sentinel, stood at his post. In particular, the foresheet, led up from the belaying pin to windward, lay to the hand of Thomas Watson; while his comrade, David Watson, was busy on the lee gunwale shipping the “range” or guard ropes, when a tremendous sea, hovering for a moment in the distance, burst like a cataract over the boat. Thomas Watson let go the sheet—it was the last act of a heroic life—it saved the boat, but that instant the strong man was swept sway like a withered leaf in the autumn gale. David Watson clung to the stay, but the same fatal sea struck him like the blow of some giant hand from his hold, and he also was cast as a prey to the billows. Nor does the disaster end here, as another of the crew, John Stewart, was driven along the deck with such terrible force that his leg was broken against a projecting plank, but in all probability it saved him from a sadder fate. So destructive, indeed, was the sweep of the wave, that a chain, weighing at least four hundredweight, was washed like a piece of driftwood aft to the stern-sheets. But what of the perishing mariners in this terrible interval? Thomas Watson was soon called away from the struggle, but he seemed to meet his fate with the calm intrepidity of one whose anchor holds fast in heaven. His companion, David Watson, now began one of the most resolute and gallant efforts at self-preservation in the annals of the sea. A friendly hand in the boat had thrown out an oar, which he was so fortunate to seize, along with a small spar. His next movement was to form them into a cross, which became to him an ark of refuge during the full three-quarters of as hour he was cast away at the mercy of the storm. In the meantime, the disabled crew were doing and daring to the utmost for his succour, but every attempt seemed to end in heart-sickening failure till for the fifth time the boat was headed towards him, when he was takes on board all but exhausted by the dreadful ordeal of exposure and hardship through which he had passed. Without lingering further on the sufferings of the crew, suffice it to say that the “Garland” arrived at Anstruther harbour at an early hour on Friday morning, when no time was lost in placing John ‘Stewart, whose right thigh had been broken in the gale, in the hands of Dr MacArthur, who was also called upon to unburthen her sad loss to the young widow.


ANSTRUTHER. Presentation. — Mr William Gillis, officer of fisheries here, being promoted to Leith, his friends in Anstruther and Cellardyke have presented him with an elegant gold watch and chain in recognition of the admirable manner in which he has acquitted himself during the all but twenty years he has held the appointment at Anstruther.


A meeting in connection with the Blue Ribbon Army, lately introduced into Cellardyke, was held in the Forth Street Hall on Friday evening last. There was a large attendance. Es-Provost Martin occupied the chair, and briefly introduced the speakers, concluding by entreating all, for the sake of themselves, their families, and those in whom they were interested, to take the pledge that night.


James Wallace, fisherman, Cellardyke, was charged at the instance of the Kilrenny School Board with grossly and without reasonable excuse failing to educate his son John, who is between eleven and twelve years of age. He pleaded not guilty, when Mr John Barbour, teacher, Cellardyke, deponed that the lad had only made 154 attendances out of possible of 314, and that he was not farther advanced than the third standard, that is in the situation of child say in his ninth year. For his defence the panel urged that he did everything in his power to coerce the boy to attend the school, but Mr Murray said that this did not relieve him from his responsibility as a parent, and after some judicious remarks in the same key by Provost Anderson, he was found guilty, and fined in the sum of 5s.—Another Cellardyke fisherman, named David Brown, was charged with a similar offence in the case of his daughter Euphemia, also of eleven years of age. Her attendance, according to the teacher, was still more irregular, but the panel pleaded that the girl had been required home like others in his circumstances to wait on her mother during confinement, and also that she had been suffering from a sore throat, although in his own words, “It is poverty that has brought me here, in so far that for a time the girl had been kept from school because of the want of clothes and shoes. No man,” he said, was more anxious to have his children educated: but times had been so bad with him and his that he had been thankful to see his children with bread, not to speak of schooling.” Provost Watson defended the course taken by the School Board, when the panel was likewise convicted, and fined in the sum of 5s.

As resolved at the public meeting, the four delegates for Cellardyke to the great Fishery Exhibition were chosen by “lot” from the list named by the deep-sea going crews on Saturday. Unfortunately. however (for reasons but too well understood in the locality) only twelve, or less than one fourth of the deep sea going crews, took part in the nomination , or rather the voting, which resulted in the election of Skippers John Carstairs , Robert Davidson, Robert Montadore, and John Pratt.


The salient business of the night was in reference to the water supply question, which has entered on an entirely new and critical aspect in consequence of the analysis of the public wells by Professor Stevenson Macadam as ordered at last meeting. The report was submitted by Mr Sharp. Without (Altering into technical details, suffice it to say that the first of the three samples, to wit that from the copious spring pierced the other year above Cellardyke church—though full of organic particles held in mechanical solution, and actually colourless—was not only saline and hard, but so tainted with putrescent matter so as to be unsafe for domestic use. The famous old-world well at the Urquhart Wynd and the new pump at Kilrenny were of the same composition; but in their case the presence of secret poison, so to speak, was such that it was dangerous, according to the analyst, even to use them to wash dishes in which milk or other food was to be kept. Independently, however, of the “nitrates and ammonia” with which the wells were charged, the Professor urged the Local Authority to search at once for a new supply, if only for economical reasons in such essential duties as cooking and washing in the every-day life of the community.

Sea Luck.—The old saying that “there are as good fish in the sea as ever were taken out of it was curiously verified on Anstruther pier the other day. It seems that the “Benjamin” on board the Cellardyke boat “Vivid” was beguiling the “Watch” while fishing for herrings in the North Sea with the “Murderer” —that is a long plummet bristling all round with hooks and worked precisely like the well-known jig or dandy line —when it became entangled with what proved to be a magnificent halibut, weighing about seventy lbs. The prize, coming like the rest of the take under the Hammer of our worthy townsman, Mr Bonthron, realised to the youthful captor the tidy little sum of 22s 6d.

Burgh Court—An Unruly Souter and Heedless Carters. —At a Burgh Court, in Cellardyke on Friday—the Provost and Bailie Smith on the bench—a young shoemaker residing in Anstruther, Robert Drummond, was charged with disturbing the peace in the house of Mr George Watson, Forth Street, by cursing and swearing, and threatening the inmates while under the influence of drink, three previous convictions being recorded against him. He pleaded guilty; but in respect of the very black complexion of the case, he was fined in 30s or the option of a month in jail.

Two carters, belonging to the town, John Elder and Alexander Carmichael, were prosecuted under the Lindsay Act, for leaving their horses and carts unattended in the street. They admitted the charge, and after pointed warning not to repeat an offence only too common amongst local carters, but so fraught with danger to the public safety, they were each fined in the sum of 5s ,

The fishing boat Anapira, of Cellardyke, which put into Leith on Friday . with fish for the Edinburgh market, had on board a shark, about 4ft. in length, which has been caught in the Firth of Forth.

The Snowdrop, of Cellardyke, again landed the magnificent haul of 68 halibut, 72 ling, 450 cod, 20 saithe, 192 codlings, 35 big and 40 small skate, which yielded the tidy little sum of £44 8s. 6d.

The white fishing has been so far very productive at islands, one Cellardyke crew at Balta having earned £50 in a single week. Within the last few days several splendid additions have been made to the east of Fife fleet. The building yard of Cockenzie, on the other side of the Forth, sent a first-class boat to Cellardyke and another for St Monans, Councillor Fulton, of Pittenweem, launched the Ocean Herald for a townsman, while Councillor Jarvis here has turned out the Onward, of Cellardyke, and the Mary Anderson, of Pittenweem. The last is the admiral ship of the coast, being fifty-eight feet in length. We also note that she has been riveted through and through with half-inch bolts, and in other respects also she is a decided step in advance. This fine craft, however, is still on the old-world lugger rig, with a spread of canvas in foresail, mizzen and jib of 532 yards.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 25/4/24 – Issue 439


During Saturday there was a good deal of grumbling among the fishermen at the uneven state of the ground in the inner harbour, which they assert is damaging their boats. About a dozen skippers refused to pay their rates, and a hastily summoned meeting was held in Cellardyke Hall in the evening. The attendance was not large. There was unanimity of opinion as to the necessity of something being done to the harbour, but several thought that before they took the extreme step of refusing to pay their dues they should lay their grievance before the Harbour Commissioners. A number, however, held to their decision not to pay the boat rates until the harbour was sorted, with the result that eleven out of the 40 odd skippers held back their dues. About 30 paid their rates as usual declining to be parties to the arrangement until the Harbour Commissioners had refused to remedy any grievance laid before them, and unless there was united action among all the skippers.


Death Notice – At St Ayles Crescent, Anstruther, on the 24th inst., Agnes M. Martin, aged 43 years, wife of James Leslie, manufacturer, Cellardyke. Funeral on Saturday 27th at 2 o clock, All friends emitted please accept this invitation.


SCOTCH FISHERMEN AT SCARBOROUGH.—During the last week or two no fewer than 20 Scotch fishing boats have been engaged in line fishing out of Scarborough, and on Sunday about 100 men were in the town. The boats chiefly hail from St Monance, Anstruther, Aberdeen, Cellardyke, Banff, and Peterhead. So far, the Maggie Scott (Cellardyke) heads the list, with 50 score of cod and ling for her two trips during the past week. The Paragon (St Monance) comes next, with 45 score, which realised £40. For this large catch the Paragon shot 28 lines, equivalent to 80 English lines. The Ruby (Cellardyke) also arrived with a large catch, the fish realising £33, the result of one night’s fishing. The average catch for the week of the Scarborough and Filey sailing boats was from four to six or eight score. The Scotchmen, however, have the advantage over the Englishmen, inasmuch as they use their own fresh bait (chiefly whole herrings), which they catch themselves. They also have machines for hauling the lines aboard, and use much larger hooks. Several of the Scotch boats landed 17, 18, and 20 score for a single catch last week, and the prices have ranged from 15s to 17s per score. When on shore a great number of fishermen visit the Fishermen’s Self-supporting Club and Institute, which is maintained chiefly through the energy of Mr Tudor James, the manager and owner of the building, A football match between the Scotch fishermen and the Scarborough Magpies (a junior eleven) caused a large crowd to assemble on the plateau on the Castle Hill, neatly all the fishermen in the town being present The Scots eventually left the field the winners its follows:—Scotch fishermen, 3 goals; Magpies, 1 goal.

FATAL ACCIDENT AT METHIL DOCKS.—Another of those heart-breaking accidents which in a moment throw whole communities into gloom, occurring as they do at moments when apparently all is going well and to men in the prime of life, happened at Methil docks on Tuesday evening. The night squad, which goes on at six o’clock, had been at work for about an hour and a half, . when suddenly Alexander Pattie, a stower, was crushed between two waggons and killed on the spot. He was engaged at No. 1 hydraulic hoist, where for the time the men were obliged to push forward the waggons to the turning table owing to some hitch in the working of the hydraulic capstan for pulling forward the waggons. Four men were pushing at the leading waggon, which was evidently a stiff one, while a second was uncoupled and pushed down behind. It overtook the first, and Pattie, who had his breast to the buffer of the latter, was caught between the two and struck with a force which crushed his chest. When released he fell back dead, a low moan being all that escaped from his lips. His companions carried him under shelter and summoned Dr Crole, the examination being however formal, death having been instantaneous. The sad news was broken to the bereaved family, after which the remains were conveyed home. Deceased, who resided in Greig’s Row, Leven, was a native of Cellardyke, being a son of the late Alexander Pattie. He was 32 years of age, and leaves a widow and four young children. He was very popular amongst his fellow employees, in this as well at former work in which he has been engaged.


PROVOST MARTIN ON CELLARDYKE SCHOOL At the lunch given in the Town Hall in connection with the re-opening of Cellardyke School, Provost Martin was prevented by a slight attack of illness from making the following remarks : Allow me heartily to congratulate you and the whole members of the School Board, in short, all interested in the education of the young in Cellardyke, on the opening of this splendid School. I had the pleasure a few days ago of walking through the School, and I was surprised at the arrangements, both inside and outside, for the comfort and convenience of both scholars and teachers. I was a member of the first School Board when the present School and School house, were first erected, or rather rushed up with the greatest speed. If I remember right the slates of the house were all put the roof on one day. I recall also more than fifty years ago of two Schools, being in Cellardyke, but one of them could scarcely be called a School or hardly had the resemblance of a School. The teacher, however, was an excellent navigation teacher, and not a few of the young men of Cellardyke at that time. turned out to be excellent masters and mates of vessels. This School was situated at the west end of James Street. It was a sort of two storey old fashioned house with an outside stair to the lower storey, where the School was held. The entrance to it was somewhat wide because not only was it necessary to allow the scholars to get into the school but also to let the teacher’s cow get up and down from the byre, which was a little lower down. I have also heard of another, a story which is quite true, because one of the culprits told me after he was an old man. The fire place of the school which was an old fashioned one, had the iron ribs built in, and a building at each side. The master was one day standing before the fire with his hands behind his back. A boy or two were leaning with their elbows upon the sides of the fire places, and putting their hands to fondle the master’s hand. He seemed quite content and pleased. But the spirit of mischief was abroad, and did not the young scamps take up a hot cinder, and put it into the hand of the old man. Instantly there was an explosion. He turned round to get hold of the culprit, but all the boys at the time went off like a shot, over table., and forms, and out at the  door in a moment. But with all his weakness he was a good man, and I knew him well to the close of his life. I again congratulate our whole community on such a splendid school, where their children will get an excellent education. We must all deeply regret that our friend Mr Barbour has been so long laid aside from his duties, but we hope that he may be soon restored now to his wonted health. Mr Barbour, we know is highly respected by all, and we trust he will still be spared long to go out and in amongst us and be a blessing to the commonly at large, as he has been in the past. I think also very great credit is due to the present members of the Board who have wrought so very hard , and in fact many of them have spared no effort, and have done their very best, to make the school almost perfect. Wishing it all continued success, and that it may be a monument in after days of what effort and energy can do, and when many old scholars, are fighting, their way in the world, will look back, with pleasure and satisfaction on the education and training they received at Cellardyke.


On Thursday week, about four o’clock afternoon, while a Cellardyke bread cart was passing through Earlsferry, it unfortunately came in contact with a boy 4 years of age, named Fortune, and broke his thigh bone. The case is undergoing investigation. It is somewhat remarkable that the driver’s name is also Fortune.

FISHING BOAT AND A TRAWLER IN COLLISION. On Monday morning the Cellardyke boat, Vine, Skipper Daniel Henderson, left Anstruther harbour for the fishing. About 10 o’clock, while between 30 and 40 miles off the May Island, the boat ran into one of the Granton trawlers which had only a short time before put down her trawl. The boat was struck on the left side near the bow. So forceful was the collision that one or two of the crew of the Vine jamp on hoard the trawler in case the boat might sink. Shortly afterwards it was found that the damage consisted of the stem being broken through and part of the gunwale torn away, with several of the planks sprung. The trawler refused to take the boat in tow, and the Skipper set sail for home arriving in the afternoon. The boat made very little water on her way back, and has since been under the carpenter’s hands. The damage is covered by insurance. Whether the trawler was damaged in any way is not known.


Last Friday night, while Mrs Alex Rodger was coming out of Mr Bayne’s shop in Fowler Street, she slipped on the pavement and fell. She got up and tried to walk home, but she fell again and had to be carried home. She was attended by Dr Wilson, who found one of her legs broken. The injured limb was set, and she is now progressing.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 18/04/2024 -Issue 438


LOSS OF CELLARDYKE FISHING BOAT AND ALL HANDS. In the end of last week considerable anxiety was felt in Cellardyke and Anstruther at the absence of the boat, Garland, Skipper Adam Watson. She left for the deep-sea fishing on Monday morning, the 7th, at four o’clock, and when the gale of Tuesday arose it was noticed she did not return with the rest of the fleet. As there were two or three other boats out as well not much was thought of the circumstance, but when Thursday arrived and no word from her, combined with the fact that all the others had returned, some uneasiness was experienced. From inquiries made at the crews of the other boats it was found that the skipper and crew of the Carmi saw the Garland riding at the nets about 55 miles to the east the May Island on Tuesday night, shortly after five o’clock. The crew of the Livonia also saw her then as well trying to weather out the gale by riding at the nets. On Saturday there were still no word of the Garland, and telegrams were sent to different ports asking inquiries to be made at vessels and steamers about her. Mr Mair, the fishery officer, also wired to Lowestoft for a steamer to be sent out in search, and on the Lowestoft officer communicating with the Admiralty instructions were given to the gunboat stationed at Lowestoft to cruise the sea and try and find out any particulars of the missing boat. H.M.S. Hearty at once sailed, and the captain and crew were engaged all Saturday afternoon, Sunday, and Monday in cruising about. The particulars about the boat and where last seen had been previously communicated to the captain. Meantime on Saturday anxious friends were on the outlook at Anstruther and Cellardyke for a sign of the Garland, but without success, and all Sunday the suspense which had been felt gave way to despair as to the safety of the crew and boat.

On Monday no tidings came to hand, and shortly after seven o’clock at night the Hearty arrived off Anstruther and signalled for the fishermen to come on board. One of the fishing boats was manned, and on reaching the gunboat the captain stated that, according to instructions, he had been cruising the North Sea that day in search of the missing Cellardyke boat Garland, and her crew of seven men. He had passed and repassed the place where the boat as last seen riding at her nets, 55 miles to the East of the May Island, but could find no trace whatever of her. He had found the gear of a fishing boat, but it was seen that it belonged to Skipper Birrell, of the Livonia, another Cellardyke boat which had been obliged to run for shelter from the storm. The captain offered to make another search with the fishermen, but this was deemed useless, the fishermen considering that everything possible had been done to find out her whereabouts. They thought it probable that the crew of the boat, after doing what they could to weather the storm without avail, would retire to the cabin and await their fate, and that the first or second heavy seas would sink her with all on board. Being filled with fixed cement for ballast there would be no chance of the boat floating. The fisher. men thanked the captain for all the trouble he had taken, and said there could now he no doubt of the fate of the missing crew. The Hearty left for Leith about midnight.

The crew of the Garland consisted of seven, and the most of them were related to one another. The names were. —Adam Watson, 65 years of age, grownup family; James Salter, 34, son-in-law, married; John Brown, 30, son-in-law; David Watson, 39, nephew by marriage, married and four of family; Alexander Smith, 28, married and two of family; Robert Brown, 22 unmarried; and Robert Watson, 16, unmarried. William Watson, son of the skipper, was unable to go with the boat through illness.

The crew were all well-known and highly respected in Cellardyke and district. The boat it is understood is insured, and so were also some of the crew. The loss of the beat and men has cast quite a gloom over the community. On Wednesday forenoon a Cellardyke boat arrived in Anstruther, and reported having picked up the jib boom of the Garland 35 miles off Shields. Funeral services are to be conducted in Kilrenny Church and in the Free Church in Cellardyke Forth Street Hall on Sunday afternoon.

The Garland KY 390 in Anstruther Harbour


The Fishing Industry Anstruther and Cellardyke. —An attempt has made in Anstruther and Cellardyke to revive the fishing, which for the past three or four years, has been in a state of severe depression. In Cellardyke so serious has been the loss that many of the fishermen have left the district and sought employment in other occupations elsewhere. It is computed that in Cellardyke alone there are 60 empty houses, where five years ago one was not to be had for love or money. The particular method adopted for the revival of this industry is the formation of limited liability company to purchase steam liners to fish principally at Anstruther. Every encouragement has been given to the project, and already a representative committee has been appointed to ascertain the working expenses and cost of the liners, and the amount of capital which can raised in the district. It is considered that steamers of about 80 feet in length, and drawing from to 9 feet water, could be accommodated in Anstruther Harbour, and it is likely that one or two of these dimensions will purchased.

SUPPOSED TRAGIC OCCURRENCE IN THE FORTH. Cellardyke was plunged into a state of indescribable excitement on Wednesday night by the telegram from Elie to the effect that the yawl Pioneer had been picked up near Leven. The yawl was owned by Skipper Ritchie, who sailed from Anstruther towards the midnight of Tuesday for some tackle lying at Leith. With the adventurous spirit so like the man he pushed away in the shadows all alone. He was excelled by few either at the tiller or the sheet, but there is only too much reason to fear that a false step in the darkness had precipitated him into the water, or the little craft was caught in one of the black squalls flying the night, with no one near to pity to save. He was well known on this side of the North Sea as skipper of the Royal Diadem, and no little sympathy, need we say, being felt by the firesides of the coast for his wife and family, which includes four sons and four daughters, two of the latter being married. Up to Thursday afternoon nothing had transpired as to the fate of the poor skipper, but the yawl, which was found with her sail set, is lying in Elie, in the charge of the Coastguard.


Fire in A Shop.— Shortly before ten o’clock on Tuesday night fire was discovered to have broken out in the grocer’s shop in George Street, Cellardyke, belonging to W. Sutherland. The fire got good hold of the counter, but by the aid of buckets water it was extinguished before a great deal of damage was done.



1. DRAPERY STOCK, BOOTS and SHOES, FISHING GEAR, &c., contained in the Shop occupied and so long carried on by Messrs Sharp & Murray, near Harbour Head, Cellardyke

2. The SEWING MACHINES and STOCK of OILSKINS in preparation, which may be in the Oilskin Factory; at the Braehead, Cellardyke, where a Good Business been carried on for a number of years.

3. The whole of the NET LOOMS, ENGINE, TURNING LATHE, and BLACKSMITHS TOOLS, &c., contained in the Net Manufactory, Cellardyke.

The Shop and above in which the above businesses are at present carried on may by arrangement be either sold or let on Lease, separately or together, and may along with the above stock be seen any day. For further particulars apply to John Guthrie, Solicitor, Anstruther, with whom Offers may be lodged on or before 14th April 1892 . The highest or any of the offers may not be accepted.


The Blue Jackets, Cellardyke, vs the Vale of Leven, the Blues speedily settled their adversaries, beating them by 1 point to nil

ACCIDENT AT COLINSBURGH. The East of Fife Agricultural Show was not allowed to pass without someone carrying home a disagreeable memento of the occasion. As Alexander Gardiner, lorryman, Cellardyke, was leading a spirited young horse down the lane, and while near the cross roads, at the moment a bustling spot, the animal reared and pulled him forward. He fell near its feet, and the horse dragged him a few yards, and struck him in the side. Gardiner was obliged to let go, and a bystander took hold of the horse. On an examination being made it was seen that one rib had been broken, while the whole body was bruised. He was conveyed home, and the symptoms so far speedy recovery.


CELLARDYKE. SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION. -Hon.—The following nine candidates, for the seven vacancies were nominated last Friday:—Messrs Alex. Black, manufacturer, Cellardyke; John Butters, grocer; Thomas Cormack, fishcurer; David Edie, farmer, Corn Ceres; David Gibb, farmer, Rennyhill; John Hutton, farmer, Kilrenny Mill; James Leslie, manufacturer: John Paton, jun., farmer, Blacklaws; and Peter Thomson, draper, Cellardyke. Messrs Gibb, Button, and Paton are the new candidates.

The old men attending John Street weekly meeting held their social meeting in the Town Hall last Friday evening. After a sumptuous tea, provided for by a few friends, the Chairman, Rev. A. G. Macalpine, said that theirs was a very unique meeting, and such as any minister would delight to attend and address. Their youngest worshiper was about 60 years of age, and their oldest 90. For 31 years their meeting had been carried on without a break under the supervision of their friend, Mr James Cunningham (Rodger) It appeared from the 20 present that their combined ages reached 1530 years, of which over 900 years had been spent on the sea. One present was the only survivor of a shipwrecked crew; and one had been twice washed overboard. Several had met with severe disasters, and thus their little meeting represented men whose limbs had been full of striking provinces. Further he urged that their long life told of three things— deepening shadows, coming night, and a near sunrise, the aged Christian being on the sunny side of heaven. Several young ladies and members of the Band of Hope enlivened the proceedings by songs, recitations, and instrumental music. Mr Alex. Cunningham (Nicol) also addressed the meeting. It is hoped that during the summer the veteran fishermen will have a day’s outing, in aid of which, donations will be received by Mr James Cunningham.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 11/4/2024 – Issue 437


SALMON FISHING-LOSS A YAWL —While the tacksmen of the salmon fishings alone the shore are busy girdling the coast with their long stretching nets, the adventurous fishers who prosecute the drift on the Northumbrian shore have also been taking their departure for that distant rendezvous. St Monance as usual sends the majority the crews and notwithstanding the risk and danger a voyage of a hundred miles in the little craft so employed, one brown sail after another has merrily sped the Forth. Skipper Alex. Davidson, of Cellardyke and his young companion, the son of Skipper William Watson Jack, had, however, a narrow escape on Thursday, for while scudding past the romantic cliffs of St Abbs a violent squall struck the sail, and next instant threw the yawl on her beam ends, filling her at the same terrible juncture gunwale deep with water. Providentially a friendly boat was soon alongside, and the gear and nets were saved, but the yawl named the ‘Nil Desperandum,” was totally lost. William Davidson was landed at Burnmouth, where he purchased another yawl, and has once more sailed to resume the fishing at the Tyne

SAD RELIC OF THE SEA.— On Wednesday evening the Cellardyke deep sea going boat “Advice,” Skipper George Watson, arrived the new harbour, having in tow a derelict yawl, which had been found all adrift in the North Sea. The yawl is about twenty-four feet long, and is lettered “P. D. No. 523,” the initials being those of Peterhead; but the identity of the boat is fully established by the names painted the stern, “The Band Hope, Inverallochy, Andrew Ritchie,” thus proving the derelict to be the unfortunate boat which was swamped in the offing of Kinnaird Head on Saturday morning, when five out the six crew were drowned. Four wives were made widows and twelve children left fatherless by this sad calamity, which is all the more distressing as a similar catastrophe occurred only a month before to another boat belonging the little fishing hamlet of Inverallochy, the near neighbourhood of Fraserburgh. The boat was seen by the crew of the “Advice” in the forenoon of Tuesday, floating keel up and ever and anon washed by the mournful waves, some forty miles seaward of Peterhead. The melancholy spectacle told its own sad tale of sorrow and disaster, and with full and subdued hearts Skipper Watson and his crew secured the boat; but in the act of righting her some of the fittings floated away. Mast and oars were gone but the sail was still fastened to the boat, which now is in the charge Mr Keay of the customs, as receiver wrecks for the Anstruther district.

CELLARDYKE. DEATH OF AN OLD MAN-OF-WAR’S MAN.—On Sabbath last there died at Cellardyke, in the person of David Wilson, probably one of the last of the veterans belonging to this district who were engaged in the great wars which terminated with the final overthrow of the great Napoleon on the field of Waterloo. David was born in St Andrews, and sometime afterwards his father was foreman on the farm of Brownhills. When a young lad, he went to the whale fishing, and while on the voyage home from Davis’ Straits, they were hailed by a war ship. Knowing full well that if caught he would lose the best of his crew, the captain endeavoured to escape by flight; but as soon as this intention was discovered, the ship of war commenced firing with a view to bring them to. With the exception of Wilson and another, who were at the wheel, the crew were all ordered below to avoid being killed or wounded. While pressing on with all sail, the balls came sweeping over the ship every minute, and one of them actually broke one of the spokes of the wheel which Wilson had in his hand, but without injuring him. The upshot was that the vessel was soon taken, and the greater part of the crew pressed. Wilson, however, for the prominent part he had taken in the vain attempt to escape, was put into irons, and on his arrival at London was taken before the authorities on a charge of mutiny. After a trial of four days, however, he was acquitted, chiefly in consequence of the advice he received from the captain’s clerk, who had been superseded from his office, and in order to have revenge, instructed Wilson to such effect that the captain was deposed from his command. Wilson, who was at this time little over seventeen years, served in several sloops of war, and in a privateer during the eventful years from 1809 to 1816, and on one occasion was captured by the French. Along with about 150 other captives they were confined at first in a church, but one of the tars having set fire to the building while cooking his food, they were, as a punishment, put into a dungeon, where Wilson remained until the capture of Napoleon and the occupation of Paris by the allied armies put him at liberty. He afterwards entered the merchant service, and after a short time married and settled in Cellardyke. He was able to go to sea until about three years ago, and although in his 83d year he retained the use of his faculties until the very last.

Vessel Dismasted near the May Island.— On Tuesday afternoon, two fishing boats arrived at Anstruther harbour, having in tow the smack Emu, and from Falmouth to Arbroath, in ballast, which had lost her foremast early the same morning. The master reports that while about twelve miles to the eastward of the May Island, with a fresh breeze blowing, the vessel struck heavy sea, which caused the forestay to snap, and the mast thereafter broke over a little above the deck. About three hours after the occurrence two fishing boats, belonging to Cellardyke and St Monance respectively, made their appearance, and, as above stated, towed the Emu into the harbour. No agreement was made with the fishermen. and the amount salvage will probably be settled arbitration.

On Tuesday, a man named John Gardner, in the employment of Mr Cormack, Cellardyke, met with an accident while engaged in carting wood from Balcaskie. The carts were coming down from the high ground at the wood, when the wheels from which a large tree was suspended swerved to the side, and one of them passed over Gardner’s foot. He was conveyed to his home in Cellardyke and attended by Dr Macarthur, when it was found that although his foot was severely bruised no bones were broken, and he is now in the way of recovering.


INTERESTING CASE TO FISHERMEN. At the Sheriff Small Debt Court at on Saturday—before Sheriff Crichton—23 cases on the ordinary roll were disposed of, but none of these presented any feature of interest. Under the Debts Recovery Act there were four cases, one of which was of considerable interest to fishermen. It was at the instance of John Henderson, jun., Pittenweem, who sued James Watson (smith), boat skipper, Cellardyke, for £17 2s 4d, being wages and earnings to which he was entitled as half-dealsman while engaged at the herring fishing at Fraserburgh in July and August last year, the account showing that it was one-thirteenth of the proceeds of the fishing, and subject to his share of the expenses being deducted. The pursuer, it appeared, was engaged by the defender to fish at Fraserburgh, and did so until they had caught 250 crans, when he became dissatisfied with the price which he alleged the defender had agreed to accept from the curer without consulting the crew, and left the boat, the result being that the defender could not proceed to sea, and had to procure assistance to bring the boat home to Anstruther. The defender maintained that he had engaged the pursuer for the fishing season, and that he was not entitled to leave until the close irrespective of the quantity landed. A large number of witnesses were examined, and it being clearly proved that the invariable practice was to engage half-dealsmen for the whole season and not until the complement only was fished, his Lordship held that a breach of contract had been committed by the pursuer, found that he was only entitled to one-fourteenth share of the proceeds, or £12 2s 8d, and deducted £2 from that sum in name of damages besides finding him liable expenses. This decision ruled another case brought by a half-dealsman who sailed in the same boat.


IMPROVEMENT IN FISHING BOATS. —On Saturday afternoon Mr J. A. Miller launched from his boatbuilding yard at Anstruther a fishing boat for Mr George Watson, Cellardyke, in which several important improvements have been effected. She is 47 feet in length, or two feet longer than those presently in use, has the deck flush with the gunwale the same as a ship, and a bulwark round the sides, two cabins instead of one, and increased accommodation for storing gear. The new boat is to be rigged like a sloop, and in consequence of this the Board of Trade have refused to grant a fishing boat’s certificate, and have classed her as a ship.

On Tuesday evening last, the employees of Messrs Cairns, Ainslie. Co., Leith Walk, Edinburgh, assembled in the house of Mr John McKinnell, Lorne Street Tavern, to do honour to Mr Robert Skinner, of Mr James Skinner, merchant, Cellardyke. on the occasion of his leaving the employment of the above firm, and commencing business for himself. Mr Graham, cashier, was called to the chair, ably assisted by Mr K. McDonald as coupler. After supper and the cloth drawn. Mr Graham in a few suitable remarks presented Mr Skinner with a handsome writing desk, with inscriptions, in the name of the employees. Mr Skinner in a neat reply, remarked how gratified he felt at thus being remembered by his fellow workmen. The usual loyal and patriotic toast, having been proposed and responded to, the toast of the evening was proposed by the Chairman, and responded to with musical honours. The remainder of the evening was spent in a very enjoyable manner, songs and recitations being  given in abundance, conspicuous among those who contributed largely to the evening’s entertainment being Messrs Milne and Taylor. The party broke up at a seasonable hour.


The Kilrenny Magistrates had three new applications before them, two for small beer licenses, the one by Margaret Doig, spinster, residing in Dove Street, and the other by Mrs Christian Jack, widow in Shore Street, Cellardyke—the third being for a transfer of the public house the Harbourhead, so long and successfully kept by Mr John Marr, to his new tenant, Mr Richard Webster. Provost Watson and Bailie Brown presided. Margaret Doig’s application, being of the nature of transfer from her father, was granted; but Mrs Jack’s was refused, the Provost remarking that such beer shops were only in too many cases harbour for young men, where they learned those drinking habits which only too often adhered to them for life. Mr Webster supported his application by the most flattering testimonials as to character; but Provost Watson said that he remained unaltered in his resolution of last year, and that as then he thought that the eight licensed houses retained in the burgh was quite sufficient, if not more than sufficient, for the population, which, assumed at 2500, was licensed house to every 300 inhabitants. For these reasons, he repeated, he could not be consenting party to the transfer, and Bailie Brown having concurred, the application was rejected.

OBJECTING TO DELAY. This was an action at the instance of Mitchell Doig, fisherman, Cellardyke, against Robert Allan, fisherman, St Monance, to recover as the price of a shawl left in defender’s house. Mr Oliphant, for the pursuer, produced a medical certificate that one of the principal witnesses was unable to attend, and asked that the case should be continued. The pursuer’s wife, however, on the ground that the witness would not be so able to appear three months hence as she was that day, objected to the delay, whereupon Mr Oliphant said he might as well throw up the case. The Sheriff advised the pursuer to act as her agent advised, and, although with apparent reluctance, she ultimately agreed not to go on with the case that day.


The Herring Fishing. — One of the Cellardyke boats has this week started on a new enterprise that is, to fish the herring at Kinsale, where the success of the other Forth boats in former seasons give, at least, the hope of better returns than what can be expected, if not from the North Sea, least from the low markets at home. The depressed state of the white fishery has also induced number of our local crews turn their attention once more to the Lewis, notwithstanding all the herring slips and hazards of the past. A Berwick firm has some four or five Cellardyke crews under missive, the nature of which is somewhat curious—the contract being for fifty crans in May at 17s and a hundred crans in June at 20s a cran, with £10 of bounty money. Other merchants are also in the field; but several crews are disposed to take the chances of the daily market, if they cannot close with terms to their mind at the island, which is more than probable they will do from the new spirit which has been awakened in the herring enterprise of the North of Scotland.

Household Shadows —The spring months are bringing their own sore tide of suffering and death. On Saturday last no fewer than three households in Cellardyke were weeping over their little ones laid out for the grave. One of these was Mary, the infant daughter of Mr Duncan McRuvie, whose family circle is the less by four little sleepers in the churchyard. Another bereavement is scarcely less affecting, in which a fine child of six summers, Helen, the youngest daughter of Mr Andrew Keay, is the third blossom gathered in the springtime. A few weeks ago, a young couple rejoiced over two fine children, but one was taken, and on Thursday last, just fortnight from the fatal day, the elder brother David, then the only child of Mr James Hodge, also fell martyr to the same cruel malady, in the fourth year of his age. The malady was whooping-cough, through which the arrow of death has struck another of our little ones this week, the victim being David, son of Mr Adam Reid, aged five years. But the turf in the churchyard is being spread over the old well as the young. Thus, on Thursday the remains of an old inhabitant, Mrs Andrew Tod, were laid with kindred dust in West Anstruther burying-ground. She died at Birmingham, from which the body was conveyed by rail, so that the mourners met at the platform. Here it was the usual programme; but at the grave side, after prayer by the Rev. Alex, Gregory, old friends were Invited to embrace the opportunity of seeing the face of the dead, which was done by lifting the visor or shutter from the glass, which had been inserted in the lid of the coffin. The grave holds many a terrible secret; but in this case the venerable octogenarian lay as one in calm and childlike slumber.

26th April 1879. To be Exposed for SALE by Public Roup, on the above day, THE FISHING BOAT ” The Andrews,” No. 106, as it lies in Anstruther Harbour,  Also, immediately thereafter, At the TOWN HALL, Cellardyke, the SAILS and APPURTENANCES of said boat ; and About 18 BLACK NETS, PALLETS, CORK for Boats &c., Roup to commence at the Harbour at 5 o’clock. Mr BONTHRON, Auctioneer

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The Cellardyke Echo – 4/4/24 – Issue 436


CELLARDYKE Crab Fishing.—Although the season for this fishing has arrived, the start, it is expected, will not be made for a fortnight yet, owing to the extreme coldness of the weather. The fishermen of Crail and Kingsbarns have commenced, but as yet have caught nothing. The engaged price this year is 1s 4d a dozen, 3d above last year’s rate. There are upwards of a dozen yawls fitted out for it here, and as many in Anstruther, all owned by old fishermen whose day has now gone by for long sea voyages, but whose failing strength and ripe experience is still utilized in the training of their youthful crews—the fishermen in embryo of a year or two hence.

Two Cellardyke boats which came into our harbour late on Saturday night, brought in two sharks which they had captured. The largest measured nearly 14 feet long and fully 3 yards girth. Some difficulty was experienced in capturing it, from its body having got entangled among the great lines attached to the boat. The fishermen, however, after a good deal of trouble, managed to hoist it into the boat alive, and it was landed here early on Monday morning. The animal was bought by Provost Todd for 35s, and the liver, which filled two barrels, having been taken out, the carcass was sold to a person who intends exhibiting it in some of the inland towns. The other shark was a small one, measuring only 3 feet.


Gale on the East Coast Aberdeen Vessel Ashore –  On Thursday morning the wind in the Firth of Forth again veered to the north-east, and increased to the force of a fresh gale. Early in the morning, a schooner was observed from the Fife shore to be aground on the Island of May. A Cellardyke boat went off for the purpose of rendering assistance, when it was found that the vessel was the Matagorda, of Aberdeen. It appears that the schooner was on her voyage from Burntisland to Danzig with cargo of coals, and while staying about nine o’clock on Wednesday night, had missed stays, and gone ashore on the northeast side of the island. The master and crew were saved; but the former had his arm injured by the falling of the wheel when the vessel struck. The schooner, which is 153 tons register, and belongs to Messrs George Milne & Co., Aberdeen, is likely to become a total wreck. The crew remained on the island on Thursday for the purpose of trying to save the stores, &c.


James Watson, the father of the curing trade in Anstruther and Cellardyke, so long ago as 1834, within some five or six years of the opening of the drift net fishing for winter herrings, has paid 40s and 50s a cran for fish, which were sent as bloaters by the Dundee and Leith steamers to London; but previous to the incoming of the English buyers, the bulk of the East of Fife herrings had been for years cured into ” reds,” which were often by no means popular in the market. Happily, however, a new day has risen on the Fife coast, and “fresh herrings from Anstruther” are now the ” people’s food” in every old minster city and bustling factory town in England.


The other day a crew of one of the Cellardyke fishing boats landed a shark, which they had caught while at the deep-sea fishing. The monster measured nearly fourteen feet in length. It sold to the local curers for 31s; but a Glasgow auctioneer afterward purchased it for exhibition in that city.

Remarkable Prices for Fish.—On Saturday last the Pittenweem deep sea going boat of Skipper Gordon Lindsay landed a take of halibut, ling, cod, &c, which realised the handsome sum of £63. Larger takes of fish have been landed by our own Cellardyke crews; but we understand that, in point of value, it is altogether unprecedented at Anstruther pier. Keen, however, as were the competitors on Saturday, it was entirely eclipsed by its unparalleled warmth on Monday morning, when the takes of two boats, which were billeted on Saturday night, were sold by auction, at which halibut sold at about 10s a stone, or nearly 9d a pound; ling at a crown, and cod at 3s each. These singular prices were paid in consequence of the rising storm and the anticipation of an interrupted fishing, at so critical a time as the last week of Lent, has proved only too well founded, as what, with the boisterous weather and the scarcity of herring bait, the whole fishery has for the time being ended entire failure so far as the East of Fife is concerned. The two boats referred to belonged to Cellardyke, and the skippers were the Brothers Watson; and the coincidence becomes all the more curious from the fact that the one take realised £35, and the other £39.

The Steamer “Forth”

No offers for this steamer, which was some time age for sale, have yet been received, and it is likely that a special meeting of the shareholders will be held soon to consider What is to be done. It was considered that if the Forth could have been sold, a handy screw steamer might have been got sufficient for the goods traffic, and thus the passage would have continued for the benefit of traders ; but some other suggestion will have to be made if an offer is not soon received for the Forth. Some repairs which were found necessary last week prevented the sailing of the steamer after Monday, and by the end of the week some of the provision merchants had run short of stock, so much so that it is said there was scarcely, a pound of butter to be obtained in Cellardyke on Saturday evening. The largest cargo of spirits for a considerable time was landed on Monday, so that the efforts of the Good Templers do not appear to have much effect on the consumption of the ‘barley bree.’

The large steam-boiler like float for the recovery of wreck, which was sent adrift from the Drum Sands by the storm of Saturday fortnight, was secured and towed into Anstruther harbour by one of the Leith tugs on Monday afternoon. The float had remained at anchor, so to speak, in the offing off Cellardyke, by its own ponderous mooring chain becoming entangled amongst the rocks, where it outbraved the tempest, which, day after day, drenched it with foam and spray during the whole of last week, but, when brought into harbour, it appeared to be nothing the worse all its stormy adventures.

 “The Wee Drapie.” —Three young fishermen- Alex Gray and Lockhart Horsburgh from Pittenweem and Alexander Robertson, Cellardyke, were charged before the Burgh Court of East Anstruther on Friday—the two bailies the bench—with being drunk and riotous at the Foreshore on the ult. The two first pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to a fine of 5s but the latter insisted that he had been insulted and ill-used by the others, and that, under the circumstances, the prosecution was cruel and unfounded. Evidence was then adduced, when David Pringle and David Brown, and the two first named panels, were examined in support of the charge, which the Magistrates declared established, and, notwithstanding his protestations of innocence, Robertson was sentenced to a fine of 10s, the penalty in his case being doubled.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 18/3/2024 – Issue 436


THE COURT-MARTIAL TRIAL AT CHATHAM. —There was never any doubt from the first as to who was responsible for the unfortunate accident which occurred in the Firth of Forth on the 25th of February, when the large Cellardyke fishing boat Cornucopia was run down, and one of her crew drowned. The evidence led at the Court-Martial trial at Chatham last Friday proved very conclusively that the Lieutenant in charge for the time being of the gunboat Speedwell was solely responsible. The trial was an eminently fair one, and the accused had every opportunity afforded him of breaking down the testimony of the witnesses by cross-examination. He was unable to do so. The witnesses were all very emphatic and pronounced in their opinion, that it was entirely owing to his action that the rundown happened, and that if he had altered the course of his vessel when he was told of the light ahead it would easily have cleared the fishing boat, and prevented the loss of life and damage from taking place. The verdict of guilty was the only possible one that could have been adopted by the Court. The punishment meted out to Lieutenant Henson was severe to one in his position, but he cannot complain that it was not deserved, and all who peruse the evidence will readily acquiesce in it. The Admiralty have been made liable for the occurrence through the negligence of one of their officers, and should promptly and liberally settle the claims for compensation made by the widow and crew of the fishing boat.

Launch. —The ceremony launching the large new fishing boat recently built by Mr Fulton, and purchased from him Messrs Robert and David Anderson, Cellardyke, was performed on Wednesday afternoon in the presence of good turnout of spectators. Favoured with a good high tide, the craft, which is one of the largest of its class used in the district and in model and workmanship reflects great credit on the builder, moved gracefully into the water, at the same time being christened the Sunbeam Miss Leslie Ritchie, niece of the owners. After gelling fitted out with the necessary spars and steam hauling gear, &c , the boat will ready to take part in the ensuing early fishing


Word has been received of the death of Constable John Wallace, a member of the Sydney police force, and eldest son of Skipper Robert Wallace, Cellardyke, who was shot by an Indian while going to the rescue of a family attacked by the man.

Photo of John Wallace from Australian Police Department here


Cellardyke Gospel Temperance Band, under the leadership of Bandmaster Lindsay, had a march out last Friday night through Cellardyke and Anstruther, and the members played lively tunes during the march. They also gave a selection of popular airs at the Cross, Anstruther, in presence of a large audience, who greatly enjoyed the music. The members showed great steadiness and efficiency in their playing.


The inquiry relative to the death of William Smith, fisherman, Toft Terrace, Cellardyke. Wednesday, 26th February, he was engaged as a fisherman board the fishing boat Amethyst, of Anstruther, when he accidentally fell overboard and was drowned. Formal verdict was returned

In the class prize lists of St Andrews University, just issued, James Wilson, Anstruther, is in the first rank of the ordinary class of English literature. Robert Gardner, Cellardyke. bas passed in the advanced division of the Greek honours class, and also is in the first rank in the honours class of ancient history.


FACTORY HAS TO STOP WORK. At Anstruther huge breakers swept the East Pier continually, causing a strong run in both the outer and inner harbours. Additional ropes had to be put in the fleet in the harbour, as there was considerable risk of them breaking loose from their moorings. A portion of the West Quay wall seems to have suffered most severely, while some plant at the boatbuilding shed was washed away. A Cellardyke factory situated on the seashore had to stop work early in the afternoon on account of the storm, the heavy seas having broken the windows, which had to strongly barricaded to prevent the ingress of the water.

ANSTRUTHER. HARBOUR Nine liners were in the harbour for the week-end. The Rob the Ranter sailed for the Orkneys on Monday morning, while the others are getting ready to begin to the deep-sea fishing next week. The other liners are expected to come down shortly from their winter quarters, and be fitted out for the fishing. The ketch Alabama, of Jersey, arrived on Monday afternoon to load a cargo of -potatoes for Mr Bell, the destination being the south markets. On Tuesday the schooner Ignats Beun, which went adrift from Leith Roads during the recent gale arrived with a cargo of ice.

ACCIDENT TO YOUNG LAD.—Last Thursday night, a rather serious accident befell Angus Mackay, a young lad of about fifteen years of age, son of John Mackay, fisherman. While coming ashore from his father’s boat, the lad had to cross the drifter Carmi 111. In doing so, he tripped, and fell into the hold. Fortunately, he did not land on his skull, but received the force of the fall above the right eyebrow. He was removed home immediately, but remained unconscious for several hours. He is now making rapid progress towards recovery.

PHILHARMONIC DANCE –  On Wednesday evening, the Philharmonic session was terminated by a dance held in the Town Hall. In previous years it has been the practice to precede the dance by a social, but a new departure was made this year, the dance without the social being given. There was a large company numbering about eighty persons, Mr J. D. Lawson acted as matter of ceremonies. McPherson’s Band, Dundee, supplied excellent music, while the satisfactory catering by Messrs D. Black & Son, Cellardyke, fully met the heavy demands for refreshments.

GALLANT FISHERMAN. The Royal Humane Society has awarded a bronze medal to William Wilson, fisherman, Cellardyke, for his heroic action on February 11 whereby four lives were saved. Shortly after midnight the fishing boat Triumph, in attempting to enter Anstruther Harbour, was driven on the rocks by heavy sea running. Clad thick clothing and wearing heavy sea boots Wilson took line, and plunging into the boiling surf succeeded, after hard struggle, in reaching land, his four comrades being got shore in safety.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 21/3/24 – Issue 435


THE WAID PUPILS AT ST ANDREWS UNIVERSITY. —The prize lists of St Andrews University shows that the following Waid pupils have taken honours as follows: —In humanity classes, Lucy B. Pratt, Cellardyke, has passed in the second rank, and also in the same rank in the mathematical class. Margaret M. Nicol, Largo, and Harriet A. Masterton, Methil, have passed in the first rank of honours in the ordinary classes of mathematics.

The Harbour Commissioners held a special meeting on Monday night to consider the applications for the harbourmastership in place of Skipper Martin Gardiner, resigned. The salary offered was £52 per annum. Provost Morton presided, and the following members were present. Messrs Darsie, Cunningham, A. Watson, Black, Porter, Rodger, and Oliphant. The Clerk mentioned that 34 applications had been received, but two had withdrawn, leaving 32 to be dealt with. The Provost thought the best plan would be to hear the applications read, and then consider their marks in Committee, perhaps reducing them to a short leet, and asking those on it to come and see them. They would never think of appointing a stranger without seeing him. Of course, it was perfectly competent for them to appoint a local man if they liked. The other members concurred in the Provost’s suggestion, and the Clerk then read over the names of the applicants. They were from all quarters, and the most were retired sea captains in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee. Aberdeen, Buckie, and retired coastguards in Dunbar and Rosshire. The local and district men were Skipper John Watson, (Bisset), Crail; John Carstairs, Cellardyke; David Davidson, Dove Street, Cellardyke; James Wilson, fruiterer, Anstruther; Captain John Hill, Castle Street, Crail; and Captain Hansen of the Speculator. The Board then met in private. A short leet of five, all strangers, was drawn, and a suggestion made that a local man should be put on the leet was agreed to. Skipper John Watson’s name was added. A vote was taken whether the appointment should be made now or delayed until all those on the lest had been seen, when it was agreed to proceed, and the result was that Skipper Watson, Crail, was unanimously elected harbourmaster. Skipper Watson is at present engaged at the herring fishing. He was the captain of the Crail steam liner East Neuk, and he is generally looked upon sea very capable man for the position.



The Kilrenny Steam Fishing Company, ltd., Crail Road, Anstruther, with a capital of £2OOO in shares of £4 each. Signatories: Wm. Oliphant, bank agent, 26 Rodger Street; Wm. S. Bonthron, fish-curer, 7 Melville Terrace; Wm. Jarvis, retired boatbuilder, 1 Union Place; James Milne, farmer, Anstruther Farm; and Thomas Dunsire, fish merchant —all Anstruther; John Guillan, baker, 1 Shore Street; and James Fortune, draper, George Street—both of Cellardyke.


CELLARDYKE. NEW BUILDING. –Mr George Melville, Anstruther, intends to beg n the erection of a dwelling house at the east end of Cellardyke in the field facing the sea, between Sharp’s House and the fishcuring premises of the late Mr Cormack, The house is to be on the south side of the street, and will command a splendid view.

PURCHASE OF PROPERTY. —That block of buildings in West Forth Street, formerly occupied as the boot factory, has been purchased by Bailie Williamson, from Mr James Leslie, the present proprietor. The price has not transpired. Bailie Williamson intends to convert the block into dwelling houses, and has had already several applications for occupancy of the houses as soon as they are ready.

THE ADDITONS TO THE SCHOOL – The following are the successful contractors for the addition to be made to Cellardyke school:—Mason, John Clark; joiner, James Miller; plumbers, Gray and Pringle ; and plasterer and slater, Robert Williamson. The contracts amount to fully £480.

At an early hour on Wednesday morning, a Cellardyke and a Pittenweem boat came into collision in the vicinity of the May Island. The nets had just been hauled. and the boats were sailing away when the Pittenweem boat struck the Cellardyke boat. Several planks were sprung, and a number of the crew jamp into the Pittenweem boat, but it was soon ascertained that the damage done was not so serious as was at first anticipated, and that there was no danger of the boat sinking. Both boats reached Anstruther all right, the Pittenweem boat standing alongside the whole way and giving a tow. The boat was laid up to be repaired.

SAD DEATH OF FIFE FOOTBALLER. It has just transpired that a tragic incident resulted from the meeting of Crail Union and Cellardyke Bluejackets in contesting the semi-final of the Martin White Cup competition at Anstruther on Saturday. When the match was in progress one of the members of Crail Union, Anstruther Corstorphine, complained of illness, and had to be assisted off the field. His illness was not thought at first to be serious, but Corstorphine rapidly became worse, and within a few hours had passed away. The immediate cause of death is said to have been a ruptured heart. The touching episode ‘has naturally caused profound gloom in, East Fife football circles, where ““ Anster” Corstorphine was so well known. He was a member of the old brigade, and was a mainstay in the Crail team when the Union was, ten or twelve years ago, one of the best clubs in the county. On this occasion Corstorphine had come forward to assist the younger players in reorganising a club. Of a cheery disposition, “’Anster’ was one of the most popular players in the East of Fife, and, robustly built, was of the greatest service in the exciting games peculiar to the East Coast of the Kingdom. What adds pathos to the tragic event is the fact that Corstorphine contemplated going to South Africa, and had secured the necessary papers, Much sympathy is being expressed for his widowed mother.


PUBLIC MEETING. THE ROYAL NATIONAL LIFEBOAT INSTITUTION. LIEUTENANT BASIL HALL, District Inspector of Lifeboats, will hold an enquiry in the TOWN HALL of CELLANDYKE on SATURDAY first, 21st March 1903, at Half past One o’clock p.m., with regard to the complaints made against the suitability of the Lifeboat ” Royal Stuart,” stationed at Anstruther, and more particularly as to the Boat’s behaviour when called on service to the Fishing Boat ” Providence,” of Cellardyke, on the morning of Friday, 27th ulto. It is expected that the Lifeboat Committee, Coxswains, Crew, Fishermen, and all others interested will attend in order that the Inspector may have the benefit of local knowledge, and the fullest particulars to enable him to report to the Parent Institution. Chair will be taken at 1.30 p.m. prompt. MACKINTOSH, WATSON, & MURRAY, Honorary Secretaries. National Bank Buildings, Anstruther, 18th March 1903.

WANTED, APPRENTICE for the Grocery Trade. Apply R. A. Fowler., Forth Street, Cellardyke.

LIFEBOAT INEFFICIENCY AT ANSTRUTHER. INQUIRY BY THE INSTITUTION. STRONG SPEAKING BY LOCAL FISHERMEN. Consequent on the allegations by local fishermen that the present boat, the Royal Stuart, is unsuited to the coast, an inquiry was held by Lieutenant Basil Hall, of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution on Saturday in Cellardyke Town Hall. Provost Morton presided, and was supported by Provost Black; Messrs G. Darsie; J. Keir; Captain Webster; Rev. J. Ray; Lieutenant Roger, Elie,  Messrs A. C. Mackintosh and H. Watson, secretaries; &c.

Lieutenant Hall explained he had been ordered to hold this inquiry in consequence of the representations made at a recent public meeting, where the lifeboat, slip, and house were all condemned by the fishermen.

Skipper James Pratt, one of the best type of Scottish fishermen, was the first to speak. He said the boat had been thoroughly tested on the 27th February, both under canvas and under oars, and was thoroughly satisfied she was useless for this part the coast. She might do for other stations. Ferryden and Buckhaven fishermen told him their lifeboats would have cut right across the light, but he could not get this boa,t away from the lee wall. They had no confidence in her.

Another representative voice was that of Skipper James Jack, also old coxswain, who endorsed the previous speaker’s remarks from his own observation. He had complained to the secretary about the boat, slip, and house two years ago. He had tried over and over again to put the boat to windward, but could never manage it. She always came up to the place from where she started. That was the reason he resigned as coxswain two years ago. His name was given in the register when the boat came, as one who declared her unmanageable, or heavy on oars. Answering the Chairman, he said no crew could get out the boat in hurry from the present house

Mr Watson said could not recall Mr Jack ever speaking other than in a general way about the house or boat. The committee never heard a complaint about the boat until at the public meeting. When the committee two years ago heard the complaints about the slip they fitted up the rail. A veteran coxswain. Skipper Martin Gardiner, referred the qualities of the previous boat. He had always got the present boat to stay, but never had any object in trying to see if she could beat. He never thought her so good a boat as the old one. He had never seen a man hang back, and there were as brave men yet as of old in Cellardyke. The fishermen were never pleased with the slip or house. The best thing was to launch the boat over the pier. When lives were in danger, quickness was the thing. A service boat would be better than the present boat. He added that the district was self-supporting. Some people refused to subscribe because of the boat, and money would come in better if people had confidence in it.

Skipper Robert Meldrum said from the first time he put his foot in her he never liked this boat. They needed lighter one with a centre-board.

One of Cellardyke’s dreadnoughts, Skipper W. Sutherland, told his experiences as one who had been of the crew, and the three separate trials get the boat out. It was the same when the Tinto (a Dundee trader) was lost in September. They might just as well have a raft.

Answering Lieutenant Hall, Skipper Meldrum said, the boat was sent from headquarters first class, he never liked to speak out.

Lieutenant Hall replied that what he came for was to hear if there was anything wrong. He did not want them to wait until there were lives waiting to be saved before complaining.

Skipper Gardiner criticised the superior arrangements in Ireland, and naively added “The Irish were the boys for “getting a’thing.”

Lieutenant Hall said would lay the statement before the Institution. He could not promise a new boat, but if one was given, the fishermen would have the selecting the style of boat themselves. The boats cost about £800.

Messrs P. Muir, John Jack, W. Smith, and Rev. Mr Ray took part in a further discussion, in the course of which Mr Jack said no boat could have gone out of the harbour during the September gale. Another grievance was the fixed crews. The community wanted to see it settled that the first men forward should man the boat. It was stated the committee was considering this. Votes of thanks to Lieutenant Hall and the Provost concluded the inquiry.


THE STRANDING OF A BUOY. —On Monday afternoon, there was washed up on the shore at the east end of Cellardyke, a large buoy, about 15 feet long, with the letters S.N. printed on it. It is supposed to have been broken from its moorings on the sandbanks of the Scandinavian coast, and floated across the North Sea during the recent severe weather. The buoy gave evidence of the great dashing it had received. It was claimed by the coastguards.

SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO A YOUNG LAD. —On Saturday afternoon, a rather serious accident happened to a young lad, named John McLaren, an apprentice butcher with Mr Kirkcaldy, Tolboth Wynd. He was engaged mincing beef with the mincing machine, and when pushing the beef into the machine with his hands, the forefingers of his right hand got among the knives and they were cut off. It took some little time to get the machine dismantled in order to extricate the lad who was conveyed home to Rustic Place, Anstruther, where the two local doctors attended and dressed the wounds. He was removed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by the seven o’clock train.

SALE OF A FISHING BOAT.—The large new deep sea fishing boat completed by Mr Fulton (Pittenweem), some time ago, has found a purchaser in Skipper William Murray, Cellardyke. The craft is about 70 in length, and is constructed of the first-class material, while her design has few equals in the district. She is to be fitted out with all the latest improvements, and be ready for the ensuing summer herring fishing. With the view of working up material on hand Mr Fulton is laying down another keel for a similar craft.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 14/3/2024 – Issue 434



Kilrenny War Memorial Unveiled.

Kilrenny Parish War Memorial, which has been erected on a commanding site at the Town’s Green, Cellardyke, overlooking the Firth of Forth, was unveiled on Sunday by Lieutenant-Colonel T. D. Murray, D.S.O. 

Previous to the unveiling a memorial service was held in Cellardyke Parish Church, when an address was given by Professor Arch. Main. Rev. J. MacNaughton, M.C., and Rev. James R. Lee also took part the service.

At the ceremony at the memorial Provost Black, J.P., presided. A hymn was sung by Cellardyke School children, and, following the unveiling of the memorial, Rev. J. R. Lee gave the dedicatory prayer.

Ex-service men, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Brownies, and representatives of the various public bodies and of Lodge St Ayle (No. 95), Anstruther, formed a conspicuous part of the large gathering at the ceremony.

The Memorial.

The memorial has a triangular base 11 feet wide, surmounted on each side by two panels, the one above the other.

On the lower panels are a laurel wreath and crossed swords, a figure of Black Watch soldier with fixed bayonet, and a navyman throwing a rope. On the panel above the crossed swords is the inscription:

“In proud and reverent memory of those connected with the parish who laid down their lives in the Great War, 1914-1918.”

The panel above the soldier gives the names of those who fell the army, and the panel above the sailor gives the names of those lost in the navy. The double panels rise to height of about 10 feet, and above them rises a circular pillar, on top of which is a large polished granite ball. The whole monument stands 23 feet high, and is made of beautiful Doddington stone.

The names the fallen are: Navy— 1st Engineer Mitchell Anderson; Deck Hands John Bett, George Brown, Alexander Brown, Alexander Corstorphine, and James M. Gourlay; Skipper Andrew Henderson, jun.; Mate Alexander C. Keay; Deck Hand David Reid; Trimmer Wm. Tarvit; Mate Robert Wallace; Skipper Alexander Watson; and Deck Hand David Wilson, R.N.R.T. Second Engineer John Christie, Seaman James Dick; Seaman Robert Gardner, Stoker James A. Moncrieff; Seaman Wm. Reekie; Leading Seaman Robert Thomson; Stoker Wm. Watson; and Seaman John M. Wood. R.N.R. Master Mariner John Thomson, R.T.S.

Army—Privates David Bell, Alex. Bisset, Alex. Boyter (Brown), Alex. Boyter (Smith), Alex. Boyter (Bowman), George Corstorphine, George M. Cunningham, Andrew H. Dick. John Doig, Angus MacKay, C. M. Parker, Robert Sherriff. and James Tarvit, Black Watch; Lance-Corpl. Wm. B. Watson, Ptes. Alex. Watson and Robert Watson, Black Watch; Corpl. Charles Elder, Pte. Wm. Moncrieff, Second-Lieut. Thomas Smith, and Pte. Jolin Smith, Royal Scots; Ptes. Andrew Halcrow, Wallace Low, and George Moncrieff, Gordons; Ptes. John Herd and Alex. Moncrieff, and Sergt. George Wilson, Canadians; Sapper Andrew Black and Sergt. D. Allan Clement, R.E.; Captain George M. Black, R.D.F.; Lieut. James Cairns, R.A.S.C.; Gnr. W. L. Cairns. Canadian Artillery; Pte. P. H. Keay, Canadian Engineers; Lance-Corpl. John Moncrief, Seaforths; CorpL James Murray, Canadian Highlanders; Second-Lieut. P. O. Ray, R.F.C.: Pte. David Robertson, Scots Guards; Pte. Andrew Robertson, Labour Corps; Lieut. Robert Smith, M.G.C.; Lance-Corpl. John Thomson, A. and S.H.


SUCCESSFUL EAST FIFE CANDIDATES IN BOARD OF TRADE NAVIGATION EXAM. The following candidates from Cellardyke Navigation Classes were awarded certificates at the Board of Trade examination held at Anstruther Skippers—William Muir, 28 James Street; David Parker. 19 West Forth Street: John Tarvit, 22 Fowler Street: David Tawse. 63 George Street: Alex. Thomson. 24 George Street: and James Watson. 9 Burnside Terrace, Cellardyke; Fergus Hughes, 9 Abbey Park, and James Anderson, 21 Mid Shore, Pittenweem. Second Hands—James Barclay. 8 Fowler Street; David Gourlay, 9 Dove Street; John Stewart, 16 James Street; David Christie, 26 Rodger Street: Thomas Corstorphine, 41 John Street: Alex. Doig. 12 West Forth Street: Alex. Gardner, 20 James Street; David Henderson. 51 James Street; Alex. McRuvie 20 James Street, Cellardyke.


Remains of Col. Murray, Anstruther,

Laid to Rest.

Amid many manifestations of sorrow the remains of the late Lieutenant-Colonel T. D. Murray, D.S.O., Anstruther, were laid to rest yesterday in Anstruther-Easter Churchyard with full Masonic honours. The attendance of mourners was the largest ever seen at funeral in the district, and crowds of women and children assembled around the churchyard, many of whom showed emotion.

Besides the large representation of the general public there were present about 150 brethren of Lodge St Ayle (No. 95), Anstruther, and other Lodges in the East Neuk; over 100 ex-service men; members of Anstruther-Easter, Anstruther-Wester, and Kilrenny Town and Parish Councils; members of Earlsferry Town Council; and the rector, staff, and senior boys of the Waid Academy, Anstruther. The services at the residence and graveside were conducted by Rev. J. R. Cellardyke, (Chaplain of Lodge St Ayle, and six brethren carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave. Pall-Bearers. The pall-bearers were: —Mr T. D. King Murray (cousin) advocate; Messrs John and Tom Watson (cousins), Dundee; Rev. A McLauchlin (brother-in-law) ; Messrs A. C. Mackintosh and H. Watson, solicitors and bank agents, Anstruther; Mr P. F. Milligan, W.S., Elie: Dr Wilson, Anstruther ; Mr C. H. Maxwell, town clerk: Mr. D. Cook, solicitor and bank agent, Anstruther ; and Colonel Muir, Dundee. Marks of respect to the deceased officer were numerous throughout the district. The bell at Anstruther-Easter Parish Church was tolled for an hour, and the of the shops and places of business were closed for a similar period. Flags flew at half-mast on all the public buildings in Anstruther-Easter. Anstruther-Wester, Cellardyke, and Earlsferry, and also on the numerous drifters lying in Anstruther Harbour, while in many private residences the blinds were drawn.


ANSTRUTHER HELPS LORD ROBERTS WORKSHOPS. In connection with the Dundee bazaar in aid of Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops committee has been formed for Anstruther, Cellardyke, and Kilrenny – Mrs Wilson convener —to promote a series entertainments during the spring and summer. The first these a whist drive, took place in Johnson Lodge, Anstruther, by kind per- Mrs T D Murray- sum £9 was realised.


HERRING FISHING. ANSTRUTHER. Thursday. – Lighter returns, only about 150 crans being landed. Highest shot, 30 crans from Cellardyke steam drifter Cromorna.  Demand poor. Prices from 9s to 15s per cran! Three drifters returned from West Coast fishing.

CELLARDYKE FACTORY SOLD. The premises in James Street, Cellardyke, long occupied by Alexander Black & Co. a net and oilskin factory, have been sold to William Myles, fishcurer, Cellardyke, on behalf of a client at the upset price of £250. The business was for many years carried on by  the late Provost Black, but since his death several months ago the factory has been closed.

Yesterday’s fishing was fair, over 200 crans being delivered. The Cellardyke steam drifter Cromorna had the highest shot (35 crans). Prices were from 18s to  24s 6d per cran.


In the absence of their husbands at the fishing, Cellardyke women, accompanied in most cases by younger members of the family, paid tribute by their presence yesterday at the funeral to the late Rev. G. S. Anderson, minister of the parish of Kilrenny for the past 47 years. The remains were interred in Kilrenny Churchyard with full Masonic honours. About 30 brethren and companions of Lodge St Ayle (No. 95), Anstruther, of which deceased was Past Master, and Dreel Castle Royal Arch Chapter preceded the coffin, which was conveyed by hearse from the manse to the churchyard gates. Members of the Kirk Session, the Presbytery of St Andrews, and the general public followed. The service in the house was conducted by Bro. Rev. J. R. Lee, Chaplain of Lodge St Ayle. Six brethren and companions representing the Lodge and Chapter carried the coffin  to the graveside, where the Masonic service was performed Bro. C. H. Maxwell, R.W.M., assisted by Companion R. Sime, M.E.Z., and Bro. Lee. The depositing of sprig of heather by the brethren and companions completed a most impressive service.



One of the most enjoyable entertainments ever produced in the Town Hall, Anstruther, by local artistes was that last night of a fund being raised for the purpose of constructing a bathing pond at Cellardyke. The function was under the auspices of Kilrenny Town Council, which has in recent years carried out several necessary improvements in the burgh, all with the object of enhancing the reputation of the district summer resort.

To Mr James Wood, Cellardyke, reckoned be the leading tenor of the East Neuk, falls the credit of the successful training of the singers and the first-rate staging arrangements, while the dancers had expert tuition from Mr Graham Macneilage, Anstruther.

Every seat in the large hall was occupied, while booking for to-night’s (Friday) performance also satisfactory. Miss Maggie Anderson, Anstruther, was pianist.

St Andrews – BOATING STANCES The minutes of the Town Council in Committee bore that Bailie Mackie moved that stances for three motor boats should be allowed at the Bruce Embankment; that Mr Alexander Ritchie, 5 Burnside Terrace, Cellardyke, should be given sole permission for rowing boats at the Bruce Embankment:


FOR SALE – CELLARDYKE. “Boat tavern” with dwellinghouse above and Garden. Modern premises. Well fitted with all conveniences. Only Public House in Burgh. Proprietor retiring. Full particulars From D. & A. COOK, Solicitors, Anstruther, with whom offers may be lodged by 22nd inst.

MR J. DUNCAN MILLAR AT CELLARDYKE “TRADE WITH RUSSIA” ADVOCATE. Mr J. Duncan Millar, K.C., prospective Liberal candidate for East Fife, spoke in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, on Saturday. Provost J. Mitchell occupied the chair, but, contrary to expectation. Sir Robert Hamilton, M.P. for Orkney and Shetland, was not present. Mr Millar said that until business relations were again opened with Russia the fishermen on the Fife coast could not expect a speedy return to pre-war conditions. Instead of attempting to open up trade with Russia the present Government were closing all doors. The Government were spending millions on the mud flats at Singapore while they could be doing a great deal towards the alleviation of unemployment at home if they would take in hand home harbours. Cellardyke possessed a fine harbour, which could be made a prosperous centre if the Government would give up their policy of false economy. The fishermen had not received fair treatment at the hands of the Government.

When the country was faced with a crisis the Liberals were generally called upon to take over the reins and hoped that East Fife would soon return to its old position as Liberal constituency.


CELLARDYKE. MAN MISSING. —John Bett, a Cellardyke fisherman, has been missing since last Tuesday evening. Bett was last seen on the 13th inst. between nine and ten in the evening, as if on his road home. His description is: —Height, 5 feet 3 or 4 inches, fresh complexion, and fair hair turning grey. When last seen he was wearing a brown suit, blue jersey. and light cap. His initials, J. B., are tattooed on his left arm.


CELLARDYKE LANTERN LECTURE. Rev. J. R. Lee presided over a gathering of the congregation of Cellardyke Parish Church, when Mr W. Cecil Collinson gave lantern lecture on Mission Work in Algeria.” Mr Collinson is honorary secretary of the Algerian Mission.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 7/3/24 – Issue 433


Last Friday morning, two Granton trawlers were captured by two Cellardyke fishing boats trawling within the limits. The trawlers were neatly caught. They were trawling between Caiplie and the May Island and as the two boats made up to them it was observed that the numbers and names of the trawlers were covered with sacks which were soaked in water to prevent the wind blowing them about, and also with the lids of fishing boxes. In the act of turning the trawl nets got fixed round the propellers, and the trawlers could make no headway for a time. The two fishing boats came upon the trawlers, and passing close to them, and even speaking to the crews, took the names and numbers. They made a complaint to the police, who reported the matter to the Cupar authorities with a view to a prosecution on two separate charges, trawling within the limits and covering up the names and numbers.

FIFE FISHERMEN WANT PROTECTION AGAINST TRAWLERS. meeting of Cellardyke, Crail, Pittenweem, and St Monans fishermen was held at Cellardyke on Saturday night Provost Black in the chair —to protest against the amount of illegal trawling which has been going on in the Firth Forth, especially near the May Island. A number of fishermen spoke of the loss suffered the operations the trawlers, one man asserting that the whole coast had lost hundreds of pounds within the past two months. It was complained that the Fishery Board cruiser Brenda was too seldom on the grounds, and that it ought to be stationed for three months near the Island of May. It was suggested that the Fishery Board. should get another cruiser and man her with local fishermen. It was also suggested that the Northern Lighthouse Commissioners should be approached to give instructions to the lighthouse keepers on the island to report all cases of illegal trawling, and that the fishery cruiser should be removed from Granton to another port, as the trawlers were made aware every time she entered and left Granton Harbour. It was unanimously agreed to appoint a deputation to meet with the Fishery Board at their next meeting, and lay all the facts of the case before the Board, and Skippers Jack, Wilson, and Gardner were appointed for this purpose.


For Sale, the Boat, Livelihood. K.Y. 508 belonging to Cellardyke, length 58 feet and all Appurtenance’, which are in good order, and ready for sea. For further particulars apply to DAVID BROWN (MURRAY), Fowler Street.

Fatal accident Inquiry at Cupar

THE PERILS OF THE DEEP. Two of the inquiries had reference to accidents of fishermen. Both were returning home from the fishing ground at the May Island, and were engaged tacking the sails, when a heavy sea caused their boats to lurch, and plunged the unfortunate fishermen into the sea. The names of the deceased were Peter Boyter, Cellardyke, who was on board the Elizabeth Keay, and Alexander Gowans, Cellardyke, who was aboard the Balmoral.


Launch of a Steam Drifter

On Monday afternoon, in presence of a large turn-out of spectators from all parts of the district, Mr Miller, shipbuilder, Anstruther and St Monans, launched a steam drifter which he has built to the order of Messrs Melville & Sons, fish-curers, Cellardyke. The launch was successfully accomplished at 4.30. Miss Melville, daughter of the owner, gracefully performing the christening ceremony, and naming the boat the Primrose. Unfortunately on going across the outer harbour, she came into collision with a Buckhaven boat the crew of which had failed to sail outside, and were coming back to reset the sail. A small hole was knocked In the Buckhaven boat’s stem, and a small part of the gunwale was knocked away. No damage whatever, was done to a drifter. The Primrose was very much admired, her fine model being a subject of very favourable comment by the fishermen and others, She has been built of the strongest materials, and the workmanship put into her has been of the best. The dimensions of the Primrose are similar to the other three drifters Mr Miller has launched since September, and other three orders from local owners are still on hand, along with a trawler for the Belgium Government. The Primrose is to be taken to Leith shortly to be engined, and is expected to be ready for the great line fishing in April. After the launch, Mr G. Melville invited a number of friends to a champagne banquet in his house in Shore Street. Mr R. Melville presided. Mr James Bonthron, in a few appropriate remarks, wished all prosperity to the Primrose, and hoped she would not be the last to be ordered and owned by the owners. Mr R. Melville acknowledged the compliment, and said he was always anxious to do his best to encourage local industries, as he was convinced that the Anstruther shipbuilders could build the best boats. He proposed the health of the builder, and Mr Miller responded, saying he was glad the owners were satisfied with the model and workmanship of the boat. Short speeches were also made by Mr Miller, South Africa, Melville, Mr W. S. Bonthron, and Mr Martin Gardner. The health of Miss Melville, who christened the boat, was also proposed in suitable terms.

HERRING NETS PICKED UP.—On arrival at Granton of the trawler Challenger on Saturday, the master, Edward Forbes, reported having picked up about 50 herring nets, with 13 floats attached, on Friday afternoon about four or five miles east of the North Carr lightship. From the marks on the floats it is supposed that they belong to Cellardyke fishermen, and were abandoned during the gale which prevailed last week. The nets were heavily laden with herrings. The letters C. D, are common to all.

THEFT AT CAPLIE – Albert McCourt, a labourer with no fixed residence was brought before the Sheriff Court at Cuper on Saturday, charged with stealing a pair of men’s worsted drawers from a house at Caiplie Toll on the previous Thursday. On the Anstruther policemen being informed of the theft, a search was made, and the drawers found on accused. He was sentenced to five days’ imprisonment.


THE GOOD BEHAVIOUR OF KILRENNY SCHOOL CHILDREN. —A correspondent signing himself “One who saw,” writes— The thanks of those attending the funeral of the dear little boy on Monday to Kilrenny Churchyard are due to Mr Forsyth, who had the scholars all drawn up in a line as the remains of their late companion were borne along. It touched a sympathetic chord in the hearts of those who witnessed it, and it speaks of the excellent discipline maintained in the school when such was possible. It was such a contrast of what is seen at Cellardyke school, which is painful to witness.


CELLARDYKE FISHERMAN CLAIMS AGAINST ADMIRALTY FOR LOSS HIS NETS. Major Anstruther Gray asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether had received claim from David Parker, of Cellardyke of the fishing boat John & Agnes (ML. 95), who lost the whole of his nets to the value of £25, having been cut away by the ships of His Majesty a fleet between 3am and 4 am on the 3rd inst. Whether he would favourably consider his claim, and would, further, compensate him for the loss of his time while deprived of his means of livelihood; and whether he could now see his way to take any steps towards safeguarding the lives and property of the fishermen in the Firth Forth

Do you enjoy and follow the Cellardyke Echo and the work of the Cellardyke Trust?

There are costs behind everything we do, such as, Web hosting fees for this website which provides the weekly Cellardyke Echo and all the other info and research. Public Liability Insurance for our events such as the Sea Queen and the Phone Boxes. These are general operating costs which we cannot avoid.

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The Cellardyke Echo – 29/2/ 2024 -Issue 432


Grave Fears concerning a Steam Liner. —Some anxiety is felt here concerning the safety of the steam line fishing vessel Bernicia, belonging Mr Irvin , fish salesman, South Shields, and manned by a crew of Cellardyke fishermen. This vessel left Anstruther on Monday last week for the deep sea great line fishing with a supply of herring bait, and, like the majority trawlers and liners, must have experienced the full force of the storm on Thursday last week. The crafts belonging to the Anstruther Coys., which were overtaken the storm, reached land on Saturday, and it was expected that the Bernicia would reach Shields on Sunday; but up till Wednesday night there was word from any port. The crew, which consisted of eight, belong to Cellardyke—their names being Thos. Watson, skipper, married, with three of a family; Daniel Henderson, father-in-law of the skipper, who has a grown-up family of four; Alex. Boyter, who has six of a family; Alex. Murray, who has five grown up; Alex. Gardner, five; Thos. Gardner, married, but no family; James Stevenson, unmarried and Thos. Ritchie Cook, aged 18 years. The engineer and fireman belong to Shields. Our correspondent, writing on Thursday afternoon, says there is still no news of the missing liner Bernicia, and the fishermen and relatives here have given hopes as to her turning up.

Accident on Board a Liner. —Early on Thursday morning, as the Anstruther liner White Cross was lying off the harbour, the roll of the boat caused a paraffin flask to fall on the stove, with the result that in a short time the cabin was on fire. The fire was, however, speedily put out, but not before two of the crew sustained injuries by burning on the hands and face. The injuries, although severe, were not dangerous, and were attended to by Dr Wilson.

Loss of Cellardyke Fisherman. —Wm. Martin, second fisherman on board an Aberdeen trawler, who was washed overboard during the recent storm, is son of the late Alex. Martin, fisherman, Cellardyke.

Purchase of Property. The fishcuring yard, at the east end of Cellardyke, belonging the representatives of the late Mr Cormack, has been bought this week by Mr Melville, fishcurer. The total cost of the buildings, machinery, &c., was only £180—about a sixth of the original cost.


ANSTRUTHER Launch.– A large fishing boat to the order of Messrs D. & Leslie Brown, Cellardyke, was launched yesterday from Mr James Miller’s boatbuilding shed at the harbour. ‘ The boat was named the Otway, and is to be fitted out for all classes of fishing.

FOR SALE, Privately. that very desirable Property situated in West Forth Street, Cellardyke, formerly used as Fishcuring Premises and recently as a Boot Factory, with Lofts, Shed., and Large Yard. Cart Entrance at Back. Entry at once.. Upset Price £250. No Fee duty. Apply to JOHN MARTIN & Co., Cellardyke.


ASSAULT ON FIFE RAILWAY CONSTABLE. Before Sheriff Armour Cupar Sheriff Court to-day, William Myles, carter, John Street, Cellardyke, pleaded guilty having Tuesday, February, at the steelyard the fish loading bank, Anstruther Wester, assaulted William Thomson railway constable, while engaged controlling traffic, striking with his lists and tripping him up. A fine of 30s, with the alternative fourteen days in jail, was imposed.

Cellardyke Post – Bailie Butters said there was one matter he would like to bring up. It was about the delivery of the letters at night through Cellardyke. He did not think they were being treated quite fairly since the Post Office had been changed to the Shore Street in Anstruther. He understood the Cellardyke postman had got the whole East Shore Street to go over before he began in Cellardyke, with the result that practically they were an hour later in getting their letters at night. He knew it was always nearly nine o’clock ere he got his letters at night. He had spoken to a few of the merchants in Cellardyke, and they were all very much dissatisfied. He did not blame the postman, for he had always been a very energetic and obliging servant. He would like to know what form their objection or complaint should take. The Provost—The Council and merchants can get up a petition, and have it forwarded to the Post Office authorities. I know my own letters are very much later and I heard the other night it was ten o’clock ere he got to Rodger Street. It would appear the postman has too much to do at nights. Mr Melville said the Bailie was quite right in bringing this matter up before the Council. The Clerk can write on behalf of the Council and the merchants to the Postmaster-General on the subject, and see what effect it had It the postman had to go through all Cellardyke at nights he had plenty to do without taking any part of Anstruther. The Clerk agreed to write, and report the reply to a future meeting.

EXCITING SCENES AT ANSTRUTHER. NARROW ESCAPE OF LIFEBOAT AND CREW. A heavy south-easterly gale sprang early this morning when the fishing fleet were at sea. About two o’clock an alarm was raised that a fishing boat was in danger off the Billowness. The lifeboat was immediately launched, and manned, but owing to the heavy sea it was impossible to row out. Eventually after three attempts she was got out, but colliding with the back the west pier the oars on one side were broken to pieces, and but for the assistance rendered the boat would doubtless have gone to pieces. About half-past seven the wind moderated, and the crew proceeded to the assistance of the vessel, which proved to be the Providence of Cellardyke, Skipper John Birrell, who, in order to avoid a collision with a bauldie had in jibbing the boat broken her mast. The crew immediately put out anchors, which, fortunately for them, held. Meantime the North Berwick lifeboat had been wired for. When the crew of the Anstruther lifeboat reached the boat, the wind had considerably moderated and veered round to the west, that the danger was past. The North Berwick boat thereafter stood by the boat until she was eventually berthed safely into the harbour. The unsuitability of the Anstruther boat was freely commented on, as she is considered too heavy to pull and too light for under sail such times as to be of any service.

Before Sheriff Armour, in Cupar Sheriff Court on Tuesday, Robert Keith, carter, West Forth Street, was charged with having, on Wednesday, 4th February, within the shop at 21 John Street, Cellardyke, occupied by Albert Morris, confectioner, committed a breach of the peace, and caused Albert Morris and his wife to run out of the shop in terror; taken possession of the shop, locked the doors, destroyed a quantity of fried fish, chipped potatoes, and cakes, and assaulted Mrs Morris by striking her with his fist. Another man was implicated in the row, and was tried last week, Keith on that occasion pleading not guilty. On Tuesday Keith pleaded guilty, and admitted 10 previous convictions, and was sent to prison for thirty days, the Sheriff remarking that he could not see no feature in the case that could justify leniency. It ‘seined to be a most unwarrantable outrage, and accused had caused further trouble and expense by causing the Fiscal to bring witnesses when there was no need for them coming.


CELLARDYKE HARBOUR LIGHT. —The light at the harbour was lit as a teat for the first time on Saturday evening. did not prove altogether a success, as it was considered that two lights instead of one would be required. The one lamp gave fishermen no guidance whatever, as they could steer for it from any direction, whereas the presence of two lamps would indicate the whereabouts of the passage. The contractor, Mr George Clark, plumber, notified the engineers as to this defect, but has received no further intimation on the subject.

The Geelong Advertiser, of January 6th, says, —Captain Alexander Cunningham of North Geelong late of Cellardyke, who early in November last had the misfortune to lose the craft —Marquis of Linlithgow—in heavy weather on Sea Elephant Rock near King Island, has lost no time in building her successor. On New Year’s Day he launched the deep sea fishing vessel, Earl of Elgin, at Hutton’s wharf, North Geelong, and the launch marks the completion of a unique and difficult task. The builder had neither mould nor model to work upon, but his resourcefulness overcame all difficulties, and he has turned out a very handy looking craft. The Earl of Elgin 55 feet long 19 feet beam and 7 feet 9 inches in draught, and let in amidships is a “well” 16 feet by 8, in which fish will be kept alive for delivery on the market in perfectly fresh order. She is built of best materials throughout and be jury rigged to proceed to Sea Elephant Rock to refit from the salvage of her predecessor. Captain Cunningham is the builder of six North Sea Scottish fishing boats which have stood their rough work admirably.

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