The Cellardyke Echo – 4/11/2021 – Issue 312


JOHN GILCHRIST begs to intimate to the Inhabitants of the district that, having resolved to discontinue the Grocery department of his Business, he disposed of the Cellardyke Business to Mr JOHN BUTTERS and of the Anstruther Business to Mr CHAS. ROBERTSON; and as both of these persons have been a number of years in his employment, he can confidently recommend them as having a thorough knowledge of their business. He trusts that his old customers will give them as liberal a share of their patronage as he himself so long enjoyed.

J. G. is still keeping on the Boots and Shoe Department in his present Shop usual in Cellardyke.

JOHN BUTTERS, with reference to the above, begs to intimate that, as he is resolved to keep a FRESH and WELL-SELECTED STOCK of GROCERIES, IRONMONOGERY, &c., and to Sell on a Small Ready-Money Profit, he trusts to merit that support so long enjoyed by Mr Gilchrist, Cellardyke, 4th November 1875.

POLICE CONSTABLE GORDON is to remove from Cellardyke next week to join the force in Kirkcaldy. He petitioned for a removal on account of being frequently subjected to attacks from some persons when going his rounds late at night. Police-constable Black has been removed from Dunfermline to Anstruther; and a constable for Cellardyke is to be appointed in a few days.


On Saturday morning a married woman named Leslie, wife of Wm. Leslie, John Street, and Cellardyke committed suicide by hanging herself. It appears that about nine o’clock Mrs Leslie had gone to the back premises, and on her daughter going to feed the hens, she was horrified to see the body of her mother suspended from the roof of the henhouse. Her father had been confined to bed by illness for some days, but on hearing the sad news he immediately rose and had the body conveyed into the house, but by that time life was found to be quite extinct. Mr Leslie is well known and respected in the district, and much sympathy is felt for him in his affliction.


THE Cellardyke boats fishing at Lowestoft and Yarmouth are all expected home before the end of this month. So far as we can learn, the crews have not been so successful as last year, the highest reported being Skipper George Barclay with £200.


At St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Westbourne Grove Terrace, London, on the 10th ultimo. by the Rev. Dr Morison, JAMES ROBERT CORPE, of Moonta, Sooth Australia, to THOMASINA HUGHES ROBERTSON, of No. 3 St Stephen’s Square, Westbourne Park, and only daughter of Captain Robertson, Cellardyke. and niece of W. W. Hughes, Esq., Wallaroo, South Australia.


The herring fishing at Lowestoft and Yarmouth this season is being attended with melancholy accidents to some of our local fishermen. Only a fortnight ago we reported the drowning off Lowestoft of Andrew Lyall, a native of Cellardyke, and this week we have to add other two to the list of those who have lost their lives since the boats left here in the end of September……

Distressing intelligence was received in the end of the week that Anstruther sailor, named John Duff one of the crew of the Cellardyke herring boat belonging to James-Tarvit, now fishing at Yarmouth, had been accidentally drowned in the river. The unfortunate man was last seen alive on Monday week, when there is every reason to believe that while walking along the quay – a stranger the darkness – he had stumbled into the water when no one was near. Failing to return, the crew instituted search far and near, but his disappearance remained a mystery till Thursday, when an urchin fishing in the river dragged his lifeless body the surface in pulling home his line. John Duff was about forty-five years of age, and has left a widow West Anstruther to bewail loss.

Yesterday a telegram was received at Anstruther intimating that Alexander Watson, owner and master of the Cellardyke fishing boat Star, had that morning been washed overboard and drowned off Lowestoft. The deceased, who was about 50 years of age, leaves widow and five young children. This the third Cellardyke fisherman drowned since the boats left Anstruther for Lowestoft and Yarmouth six weeks ago.

Same incident

Scotch Fisherman Drowned.— Alexander Watson, aged 42, while steering near Corton sands Tuesday morning, was washed overboard by a heavy sea. Efforts were made by the crew to rescue the unfortunate man (who swam for some time), but without success. The deceased, who has left widow and family, belonged to Cellardyke, and was master the fishing boat Polar Star. Five pounds reward is offered for the recovery and delivery of the body Lowestoft. ( Reports were that he was knocked over board by the tiller)


BOOT AND SHOEMAKING. RAMSAY & MOTION RESPECTFULLY intimate to the Inhabitants of CELLARDYKE and Neighbourhood that they have commenced the above BUSINESS in all its Branches, in 39 GEORGE STREET, CELLARDYKE, Where by strict attention to Business, and Moderate Charges, they trust to merit a share of Public Favour.

ENGAGEMENTS FOR CRAB AND LOBSTER FISHERY. —Thus early contracts are being entered into between fisher and merchant for the ensuing crab and lobster season. The last had not been an unprofitable one to the latter, at least we may infer so front the advance in prices. Mr Robert Melville, of Cellardyke, who holds a leading place on the piers of Crail, has engaged his crews there as follows : Crab or partans, 1s 10d a dozen; lobsters, 1s each till, and 6d after, the 15th of May, with a sovereign for “aries.” Mr Commack, on the other hand, alters the conditions, so as to allow 2s the dozen for crab; but he follows Mr Melville in the figure for lobsters, and merely gives a shilling or two by way of earnest money. Several of our local fishers, we hear, are holding back; but the above rates will presumably be the staple price of the season in the East Neuk of Fife.

(according to one inflation calculator 1 shilling per lobster is about £6.53 today)

The Cellardyke Echo – 29/10/21 – Issue 311


THE LOSS OF THE SLOOP “THE WATSONS.”— The following letter regarding the loss of this vessel appeared in Tuesday’s ” Scotsman” :- -” Sir, I take notice of this day week’s ” Scotsman” about the wreck of the Watsons of Thurso, which was wrecked between Anstruther and Crail. We were bound from Shields to St Andrews, laden with coal. We got the length of the May Island, when the gale overtook us. We lost our canvas, and drove abreast of Caiplie farm-house. A Cellardyke fisherman observed the smack -one hour before we struck. They say the Anstruther lifeboat was in readiness. Could she not have come a distance of two miles in one hour, and have saved all the crew of the ill-fated vessel?—l am the only survivor of the crew,— JOHN BLACKIE, Leith.” [It is almost necessary to say that had the lifeboat been of any use at the spot where ” The Watsons” went ashore, an attempt would have been made to have taken her there. Instead of there being an hour to spare after the lifeboat was in readiness, it was hardly that time from the vessel being seen by a fisherman at the east end of Cellardyke and her being ashore; and the fisherman had to come to Anstruther and give the alarm, so that by the time the lifeboat was in readiness it was impossible to reach the vessel before she was among the rocks, where the lifeboat would have been of no use.


Anstruther New Town HALL.—This building is now rapidly progressing towards completion. …………….In alluding to the town hall, it may not be out of place to refer to a suggestion which has been made regarding the space of ground between the new town hall and the brewery. A movement is said to be making at present to provide a more suitable lock-up than the damp and unhealthy one below the town hall of West Anstruther. Now, at very little expense, a lock-up could be erected on the space of ground above alluded to. It would be a most fitting and central place for such an adjunct to the town hall and the courts of justice which may be held in it. The present lock-up serves for the three burghs of East and West Anstruther and Kilrenny; and West Anstruther is rather distant at any rate from Cellardyke, from whence sometimes a good many offenders against law have to be conveyed. Towards the expense of erection, which would be very little, the three burghs and the county would contribute; and it would be as well to get the thing done now while the new town hall is building. Two walls and a roof is all that would be required. The suggestion is worth taking note of by our civic authorities.


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


Intelligence has reached Liverpool, by telegraph, from Hong Kong, of the total loss of the celebrated China tea clipper ship Taeping, for many years the favourite ship in the great race from China. Crushed out of the tea freights to England, in consequence of the competition of steamers via the Suez Canal, even the celebrated clippers have been forced to take “cross freights” and at the time of her loss the Taeping was going from Amoy to New York, with a full cargo of tea. She is reported lost on Lord Reef—a dangerous reef in the China Seas. The master and 11 men had been landed at Saigon; remainder of crew (officers and 13 men) missing. Her Majesty’s ship Teaser had left Saigon to look for them, and to see if any cargo could be saved. The Taeping was a composite ship of 767 tons, was built by Steele, of Greenock, in 1863, and owned by Rodger & Co., of Glasgow. She was built to almost faultless lines, and her dimensions, according to official returns, were :—Length, 183 ft. 7in. ; breadth, 31ft. lin. ; and depth, 19ft. 9itt. She was commanded by Captain J. Dowdy, who has commanded her since 1867. We understand that a telegram was received in Cellardyke on Wednesday from Alex. Rodger, Esq., Glasgow stating that of the three boats in which the crew of the Taeping had taken refuge, one had arrived at Saigon and the other at Batavia. A young lad named John Watson, son of Mr James Watson (Salter), formed one of the crew, and as it is not known whether he is in any of the boats which have turned up or in the one still missing, some anxiety is naturally felt for his safety.


Cellardyke Fishing Boat ashore at Yarmouth

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


The intelligence from Yarmouth and Lowestoft is to the effect that only a few of the Cellardyke crews have fished well, and that the majority have not been so successful as they were last year. The fleet is expected home before the end of next month.


The Chairman said he had to report a very strong exercise of authority as an individual member of the Board, and it would be for them to approve or disapprove of what had been done. It was pretty well known that scarlatina was prevalent to a considerable extent in Cellardyke, and it had occurred to him that it might be a question to be seriously considered whether under the circumstances it would not be a proper thing temporarily to close the schools. He had taken counsel with Dr Macarther, and, as that gentleman had approved of the suggestion, he (the Chairman), taking the whole responsibility upon himself, and deeming the matter urgent, had gone round and shut up the schools on last Tuesday afternoon. He had not felt any hesitation in his own mind as to the propriety of the step. He had called upon a great many of the families where the fever prevailed, and in nearly every case the parents attributed the infection to have been caught at the schools. They all knew the great danger that might occur in that way, and that one child, carrying the infection in his or her clothes, might spread disease in 50 families ; and it was only as a sanitary precaution that he had taken the liberty of ordering the schools to be closed. He knew there was to be a meeting of the Board in the end of the week, and at the worst, if they disapproved of what he had done, it was only the loss of two or three days.

Rev. Mr Smith did not think the fever would be stamped out any quicker by the closing of the schools. In a place like Cellardyke, they could not keep the children out of each other’s houses, and he knew many cases where be supposed fever turned out to be only a cold from which the children recovered in a day or two. He thought it was too much, even for a Chairman, to shut the schools on his own responsibility, because there were several things to be taken into consideration. Miss England, for instance, would lose the week’s school fees. There was only a third of the scholars at the Infant School away, and it Dr Macarthur thought it was right to close the schools, he should have given the same advice in Anstruther. There were as many pupils in proportion absent front the East School in Anstruther, and he knew that the teacher there had told the Dr that he had given instructions that in those families where the fever had broken out the other children should remain away, and that plan Dr Macarthur had approved of.

The Chairman said he had consulted none of the other members of the Board on the subject, and be took the whole responsibility upon himself. If it was a proper thing to do, he considered the sooner it was done the better. Mr Oliphant said he took a very different view from that of Mr Smith. He had had occasion more than once to consult Dr Bonthrone about these matters, and his advice was that when any skin disease, whether small-pox or scarlet fever, broke out, the proper plan to adopt was to shut the schools at once, not only on account of those who had taken it, but also as a measure of precaution against those who had recovered and were able to go back to school, because for a fortnight or three weeks afterwards they were more apt to spread the disease than when confined to bed. He certainly thought the schools should be closed, and was very glad when he heard what the Chairman had done. It might be an excess of power on his part–he did not doubt that—but still it had been done as a precautionary measure, and he believed the fever would be more readily stamped out than by keeping the schools open.

There was another consideration, which, though not immediately before the Board, ought to be kept in view. If they allowed the schools to remain open, attended probably by only one half the usual number, it would reduce the average attendance, and consequently the emoluments of the Board, besides lowering the character of the teachers. For his own part, he thought the schools should always be shut when skin disease was prevalent, and probably the churches also. (A laugh.)

Rev. G. Smith said there must be a certain number of attendances, and they would lose the capitation grant if the schools were to remain shut, which would amount to as much as the loss on account of the reduced average attendance. He would like to know if the schools were to remain shut in the event of the epidemic continuing six months. In Buckhaven the fever had been prevalent for the last twelve months, and the schools there had continued open.

Mr Oliphant said Mr Smith was arguing very admirably in favour of the Chairman’s action, because if the schools there had been closed, the disease would in all probability have been stamped’ out long ago.

Rev. Mr Smith—That has to be tried.

Mr Oliphant—Better to try it than allow the fever to spread.

Rev. Mr Smith said although the fever was raging in Glasgow the schools there were not shut, and he never heard of schools being closed for an epidemic except in one case, where measles had reduced the attendance to about 20

The Chairman said he was extensively acquainted with schools elsewhere, and it has been the universal practice to close the schools. In the case of measles, if one child took them, nearly the whole of the scholars were sure to be ill in a few days.

Rev. Mr Smith said he never heard of that practice being adopted.

The Chairman said he saw Dr Macarthur on the previous evening, who had informed him that there was no use in having the schools closed for less than a fortnight. That was not the only means for checking the epidemic, but it was one very obvious means, and within their power. The sanitary condition of Cellardyke was far from being what was desirable, and he had taken the step under a very strong sense of duty, to the safety of the community. Although it seemed not to have been the practice in the district, to his mind he keeping open of the schools appeared to be an indirect way of spreading disease and death in the community.

Rev. Mr Grant said he had no doubt the Chairman acted from the best motives in shutting the schools. The question came to be, was it the best plan to cause the epidemic to abate!

Mr Oliphant said the only complaint be had heard with reference to the closing of the schools was that the parents could not send their children to school immediately after they had recovered, which was the worst time they could do so.

The Chairman instanced the case of a child which was at school on the Thursday and died on the following Tuesday, and said that they did not know when the disease was hanging over the children. Pupils sitting crushed up in a close school for several hours were far more apt to catch the infection than by merely being beside one who had the disease for a few minutes in the open air. One thing he might point out, and that was where schools were shut up for an epidemic, it was reckoned as if there had been a regular attendance, so that there was no danger of losing the capitation grant. But really for the sake of putting a few shillings into Miss England’s, or Any other teacher’s pocket, it was not worthwhile risking the health of the community. None of them had any desire to abut the schools unless it were absolutely necessary.

Rev. Mr Grant said he thought the Board should suffer the loss, and not the teachers.

The Chairman then said they could approve or disapprove of his conduct.

Rev. Mr Grant said they had nothing to do with what the Chairman had done, and the question to be settled was whether or not the schools should continue closed.

Mr Oliphant said it was a common thing in Presbyteries and other courts, when a moderator had called a special meeting or done some unusual thing, for him to submit his conduct for approval or disapproval.

The Chairman had done something beyond; the ordinary power, and he now said, ‘ I wish you either to approve or disapprove of what I have done, and act accordingly.’ (A laugh.) There was not the least doubt that was the ordinary mode of procedure, although some reverend gentlemen might laugh because they did not know better.

Rev. Mr Smith said he thought the teachers had no right to close the schools on the authority of one member of the Board. It was a dereliction of duty on their part, and if a teacher knew his place, he would not do it. Even in the days of parish schools, a teacher would not have done so, even for the parish minister.

The Chairman said the practice was entirely different whatever the law might have been.

Rev. Mr Smith-Then the teachers did not know their place.

Mr Oliphant-According to that, the teachers must be all very ignorant and Mr Smith very learned.

Rev. Mr Smith—We don’t want any of that, Mr Oliphant.

Mr Oliphant said he would move that they approve of what had been done, and that it be remitted to the Chairman to consult Dr Macarthur as to when the schools should be re-opened.

Mr Gray seconded the motion.

The Clerk asked if there was any countermotion.

Rev. Mr Grant said it was no use to move an amendment they all approved of the Chairman’s motives. He did not say they liked his stretch of power. The motion was then agreed to, and after passing some accounts, the Board adjourned.

The Cellardyke Echo – 21/20/21 – Issue 310


The K.Y. Boot. Factory.—A meeting of the directors of this new Limited Company was held in Anstruther last week. Mr James Leslie presided, and the others present were Messrs Butters, Dunsire, W. Bonthron, Black, Largoward; Robertson, St Monance; James Mackintosh, senr., Dundee ; and Mr W. T Ketchen, Buckhaven. It was decided to purchase the property in West Forth Street, Cellardyke, belonging to Mr John Ritchie, recently used as an aerated water manufacture, at a cost of £200. The premises are to be altered by Mr John Clark, Cellardyke, and operations are to commence in a few weeks to the leather trade by Mr Smith, Colinsburgh, one of the joint managers. The place is expected to be ready for the boot manufacturing in January next, the alterations being completed then, and ready for the machinery. The new factory is expected to give employment to upwards of 50 people.

Last night the employees of Messrs  Martin & Co, Cellardyke„ were entertained to supper the occasion of the marriage of Mr James Leslie with Miss Agnes Bruce. A very enjoyable evening was spent by the company.

QUARREL AMONG RELATIVES. —At a Burgh Court on Monday morning, before Provost Mar tin, Alexander Keith, carter, was charged with having on Wednesday, 7th ult., in James Street, used abusive and insulting language towards you Mrs Mary Elder or Blyth, wife of William Blyth, cooper, and then conduct himself in a noisy and outrageous manner. He pled not guilty. The evidence of Blyth and his wife was to the effect that they were going up the Vennel when accused, who they said was the worse of drink, made use of bad language to them. He spoke twice before they paid any attention to him. The language used was very disgraceful, and not fit to repeat. In answer to accused, Mrs Blyth refused to repeat the words as they were very indecent. Blyth denied that his wife spoke before accused. For the defence, Alexander Myles and Mrs Brown said they heard no noise the occasion in question, and knew nothing about the disturbance. Mrs Matters said she heard a great noise in the Vennel, she went and saw it was Mrs Blyth who was cursing and swearing. It was very indecent language. He heard accused say that Mrs Blyth was a very mean woman to try and egg up any woman against her husband, but she never heard what took place to begin with. The noise lasted a considerable time, and was a too common occurrence between the parties. In reply to the Fiscal, she said she did not hear the beginning or the end of the quarrel but the language was unfit to be used by a mother of a family. The Fiscal submitted he had proved his case. The Blyths had been much annoyed. He did not excuse the bad language used by Mrs Blyth, but it was only natural that she should retaliate when roused. Keith said he had been more annoyed with that woman than by any other body. He had often to rise his bed on a Sunday morning, because if his children went out to the Sunday School or the Church she was always making a fool of them. He had to put her out of the house, but in five minutes she would be back again. If they paid attention to her they would never be off the bench. He meddled with nobody, but she meddled with everybody. The Provost said it was very difficult for him to make up his mind. It seemed that both sides had been misbehaving but accused had certainly no right to do what he, did. He was very loth to convict, but be had been there so often before.

The Fiscal—There with 12 previous convictions. Accused—lt is a long time ago, and I have been behaving myself since. The Provost —I am very glad to hear that, and I will only make the fine 5s. There have been faults on both sides, but these previous convictions are very serious. The Accused—I want her to keep her eyes off my bairns, and I will bring her up as well. The Provost—You are not to take the law into your own hands, and I hope you both will learn to behave better in the future.

WARNING TO CARTERs. —Before Provost Martin on Monday, Alexander Pattie, carter, Cellardyke, was charged with having on Tuesday, the 20th instant, in School Anstruther, left three carts standing un-yoked on the south side of the road, and caused an obstruction to the public thorough-fare. Accused said he was guilty of his carts standing, but, there were other people who left the carts without wheels, and there was more danger from them than from carts standing on wheels. The Fiscal said the law laid it down as a contravention of the Burgh Police Act. Accused could scarcely plead ignorance as there was a similar case in Court about six months ago or so. The police were quite right in bringing up the case, because if an accident were to happen they might be charged with neglect of duty. He had therefore no option but to bring up the case, but he had no wish to ask for the full penalty. He wished it, however, made known that such a practice was against the law. Accused asked where were they to put the carts. The Provost said the Magistrates had been exceedingly annoyed with carters putting their carts down on the streets. If this was allowed to go on, the fishermen may lay down their gear on the streets. Accused—And so they do. The Provost said the Magistrates were determined to put a stop to this practice. The public thoroughfare was not a place to put down carts, and the carters must provide places for their carts. Anybody might come along in the dark, and might get themselves injured, and it would be the worse for them. He did not want to put a heavy fine on him, but he would have to pay 2s 6d. He hoped it would be a warning to all the carters not to leave their carts on the streets. If other cases came up they would be more severely dealt with. The fine was 2s 6d, David and George Pattie, carters, were charged with a similar offence-in East Forth Street on Tuesday, the 20th instant. David said he was guilty of the carts standing but not on the thorough-, and George pled not guilty. The evidence of the police showed that the carts stood the whole night, and that they received many complaints about them. George Pattie said he was only a servant and the carts did not belong to him, he drove them. The Provost repeated his former remarks, and imposed a fine of 2s 6d or three days. David Pattie asked if they were to take up their carts to the Commontry or where were they to put them. The Provost – You must find a place for yourselves, but you must take them off the street.


At the Burgh Court on Monday, before Bailie Dairsie and Morton, Alexander Murray, fireman, Cellardyke, was charged with having in East Green on Saturday, 9th inst, committed a breach of the peace. He pled not guilty. Several witnesses spoke to the offence, and he was fined 7s 6d or 7 days.

SERIOUS CHARGE AGAINST A FISHERMAN. The charge against Joseph Ritchie, fisherman. Cellardyke, was called but he failed to appear. Sergeant Anderson testified that he left a citation at accused’s house on Friday evening. The Fiscal—l understand this man is at sea. He is charged with a very serious assault, and I ask for a warrant to apprehend him as soon as he comes ashore. The Sergeant will be judicious in enforcing it, for if he promises to be here next Monday he will not enforce it, but I want the power to arrest if necessary. The warrant was granted, and the trial fixed for Monday, at eleven o’clock.

ASSAULT WITH A BOTTLE. Alex Muir, fisherman, Cellardyke, was next charged with having on Saturday, 9th October, in High Street, assaulted John Doig, fisherman, by striking him with a bottle on the forehead. whereby it was cut to the effusion of blood, and also with challenging him to fight, and behaving in a drunken and disorderly manner. He pled not guilty.

John Doig said he met accused on the night in question at the Bridge. He had a half bottle of whisky with him, and asked witness to come and get a ‘souk” of it. He did not want it, but as accused roared to him several times he put the bottle to his lips to please him. He handed the bottle back again. Wallace, another fisherman, came up and gave him a push, and accused at once loosened his waistcoat and wanted him to fight. With the bottle in his hand he aimed at him several times. He dodged him, but the third time he was struck on the left eyebrow. It began to bleed, but it was not much, and nothing worth speaking about. He ran east, and met Robert Drummond, who advised him not to speak to Muir. But he went back and accused began to call him names. The only taunt he made in reply was to speak about his nose. The police came up and advised him to go home which he did. They gave the advice to accused. There was no noise, and the crowd was gathered before that. In cross-examination, witness said that it was Wallace who broke the bottle after he had been struck.

Robert Drummond, slater, said the disturbance took place near the National Bank. He met Doig who said that accused had struck him with a bottle. He went up to Muir, but he was called bad names by him. There was a considerable crowd and a great deal of bad language. Sergeant Anderson said Constable Clydesdale and he met Doig along with Drummond. Doig complained that Muir had struck him with a bottle or a tumbler, and his left eye was slightly cut..

 He charged Muir with the assault. He was much the worse of drink, and cursed and swore. This was corroborated by Constable Clydesdale. For the defence, John Wallace. Fisherman, Anstruther, deponed that accused did not challenge Doig to fight. It was the very opposite way about, and Doig took off his waistcoat and wanted to fight with accused. In cross-examination witness said that the bottle of whisky belonged to his brother. Doig handed the bottle to his brother who said had he known it was Doig he would not have got a drop of it. There was no swearing at that time, but afterwards. Six or seven were present.

The Fiscal said as regards the assault be had only one direct witness, but there was strong circumstantial evidence about it, because Doig told Drummond and police about it shortly after. But the breach of the peace had keen proven. Accused—lt was Doig who wanted to fight me, as he had punished some boys in a field that day and then said he would have a fight with somebody that night. The Provost—We have no evidence, and we cannot accept it. The proof is not very strong that you struck Doig, and we think it is not proven, but you are clearly guilty of breach of the peace, and you are fined 15s or 10 days. Fine paid.


At the end of last week and on Sunday large numbers of people visited the shore and harbour of Cellardyke, and inspected the ravages made by the storm. The damage was greater than the most of the people believed possible, and on every hand expressions of sympathy were heard on account of the heavy loss.

Public FUNERAL.—The remains the stranger young man found on the beach last Thursday were interred in Kilrenny Churchyard on Saturday morning. Every respect had been paid to the body, Mrs Martin Gardiner kindly supplying skirts and winding sheet. The funeral was a public one, and was attended by the Provost, Magistrates, and Town Council, and by a large number of fishermen, who walked four abreast. At the grave, the Rev. Mr Ray conducted a short impressive service, while the pall-bearers were the Provost and Magistrates, and the captain and crew of the Speculator. Nothing as yet has been discovered to lead to the identification of the body.


On Tuesday forenoon, while Dr Flaxman’s machine was being driven along George Street, something startled the horse, and it fell, bringing the machine down. The Doctor’s assistant and the driver were thrown out, but escaped without any injury. The trams of the machine were broken, but the horse sustained no hurt.

A SPLENDID HAUL – A telegram was received yesterday, that the Cellardyke boat, Vanguard, landed at the south 100 crans of herrings, which sold at 24s per cran, making a total sum of £120.

The Cellardyke Echo – 15/20/2021 – Issue 309


Anstruther Harbour Commissioners – The Clerk reported that he had written to the several parties about their boats lying on the harbour as wrecks, and warning them if they were not removed within seven days they would be sold by the commissioners. A letter had been received from Thomas Elder, Pittenweem, saying he was very sorry to have a boat lying in Anstruther as a wreck, and that they must make the best of her. As for the £5 of rate due he was unable to pay them. The Clerk further reported that a letter had also been sent to William Gardner Cellardyke, who was at the south, but no reply had been received from him. It was agreed to dispose of the two boats by auction.

During the week two Cellardyke boats have arrived from Scarborough, where they have had very fair fishing. A steam liner has been fitted sip for a Cellardyke skipper to fish in the North Sea with ink bait for big fish. A quantity of ling and cod were landed yesterday, and sold at good prices. The crews who have been at Scarborough are to prosecute the haddock fishing.


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

H.R.H. Princess Louise while on her way to Kellie Castle on Friday, stopped at Anstruther for some time, and visited some of the principal places of Interest. The party attracted little attention, and although many inquiring glances were cast at them, they were not recognised. They visited a local watchmaker’s, and purchased a watch on account of the interesting story attached to it. A native of Cellardyke acted as steward on Lord Nelson’s flagship. Something went wrong with the galley-clock, and Nelson gave him this watch to keep things right. It has remained in the family for some time, but came Into Mr Lumsden’s possession latterly, and in answer to the inquiries of the party, he produced it, and they eagerly bought it.


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

Although this is Pittenweem It relates to Cellardyke Families

On Tuesday morning, Mr Robert Williamson, late senior partner of the arm of R. Williamson Son, plasterers died at his residence at Croft Cottage’.  Deceased, who mime from Kennoway over 30 years ago, started business here, and soon gained a wide connection even beyond this district, retiring a few years ago in favour of his second son, Treasurer Williamson, while his third son, Bailie Williamson, Cellardyke, carries on a similar business there. On the 2nd of this month he passed his 88th year, while had he lived another day he would along with his wife, who survives him, have attained the 60th year of married life. Along with his widow be has left five sons and three daughters.

At the Anstruther Burgh Court on Monday—all the magistrates on the bench—David Ross, fish cadger, Cellardyke, was charged with committing a breach of the peace and assaulting both Police Sergeant Gold and P.-C. Wright at the harbour head. He pled guilty, and after a few remarks on the frequency with which the police were assaulted while in the discharge of their duty, he was fined 12s 6d or 14 days.


PRIMINTAITION AT ADELAIDE -The employees of Messrs D. & J. Fowler last month pre-presented Mr Peter Sharp, a native of Cellardyke, whose connection with the firm extending over a period of 27 years has just been severed by his entering into business on his own account, with a handsome tea and coffee service as a parting gift.


THE FISHING AT ISLAY – The weather being fine all last week the boats were permitted to be at sea every night. On Tuesday the fishing was light, but on Wednesday and Thursday the takes were moderate. Some of the Moray Firth boats had as high as from 60 to 70 baskets a shot. A few of the Cellardyke boats had also good takes, the highest being the Silver Cup, Skipper William Watson, who had 90 baskets., and the Beautiful Star next with 60 baskets for the week. The fishing on Saturday was entirely blank. The prices during the week ranged from 1s 6d to 4s 6d per basket.

The Anstruther Harbour Commission Committee reported that they had examined the surface of the east and middle piers, and recommended that estimates be taken from Mr Williamson Cellardyke, for the work. The Treasurer mentioned that Mr Williamson had called on him and said there was so little to do to the east pier that it was not worth an estimate. The work had been done. He had received an estimate from him as to the work on the middle pier in front of the harbourmaster’s office. He offered to dig out from the surface nine feet, put a bottom of broken stones five feet, and fill the rest with cement with granite top at the rate of 3s 4d per yard, and to uphold the work for six months. The estimate accepted. The Clerk reported that the work taking down the old house at the top of the east pier and rebuilding the wall was approaching completion.

West Anstruther

The work of laying the concrete in the Town Hall footpath is in course of being completed by Bailie Williamson, Cellardyke, and will be finished this week. In order to make the improvement more complete, the heritors have this week consented to extend the enclosed railing at the church on to the church yard gate, and have given a donation of £3 towards the expense. The result will now be a nice foot pavement from the south side of the Bridge on to the Town Hail corner, and people will be able to walk on both sides of the street in comfort.

The Cellardyke Echo – 7/10/2021 – Issue 308

First thing I would like to do this week is share the photograph of a fantastic jug, still in the Watson’s family possession. Sent to me by Stan Rae Son of Ena Rae ( nee Watson)

Success to the Duke and her jolly crew and long may she be able the ocean to plough
William Watson and Mary Galloway 1836

William Watson was the famous “Water Willie”

On  24th Feb 1800,  The boat  he was a crew member of was washed into the Skellie Point near Cellardyke harbour mouth. 

According to Harry Watson’s research  “ the crowd on the pier could only watch helplessly as the boat was crushed on the rocks, and the crew one by one disappeared into the sea. ‘I see’t noo’, cried an eyewitness sixty years later. ‘ The cry’s in my lug yet’ wept another even later Only one man escaped the maelstrom”

Philip Anderson, Leslie Brown, William Muir, Thomas Fowler, Thomas Smith, Andrew Robertson and Thomas Chrighton were all lost.

Willie was the only one able to swim ashore, the rest died within sight of the crowd on shore.

He was later to have said “I felt as if I had walked on the water”  into the bosom of his wife (hence the name Water Willie). It was said that she had rushed into the water to help pull him in.

This jug was obviously intended to be given to the skipper of a Fisherrow boat the Duke of Buccleugh.  Whether it was one of several or whether it never made it to its intended recipient it matters not as it has survived since 1836 and is a fantastic artefact for the family.

The Cellardyke Echo


CELLARDYKE PRESENTATION.—On Friday evening last, at the close of the prayer meeting, the Rev. John D. Fisher, who has been labouring here with much acceptance during the time of religious awakening, was presented by the Rev. Mr Gregory, in name of the community, with a purse of thirty sovereigns, and also from his Bible class with a beautiful pocket Bible and a gold chain. Mr Gregory, in presenting these gifts, had very much pleasure in doing so. It was peculiarly gratifying to him. During the time of spiritual anxiety, he was quite unable to overtake the duties of his congregation, so many seeking spiritual advice and direction. He had happily obtained the able services of Mr Fisher, and they all knew how faithfully and diligently Mr Fisher had discharged these duties, not only to his own congregation, but to all with whom he had come in contact.


Coast Guard Volunteers. The fishermen of Cellardyke, Pittenweem, and St Monance, enrolled in this naval force to the number of 80 90, left this port on Tuesday by the Leith and Anstruther steamer Forth for Leith, to undergo a month’s drill on board H.M.S. Edinburgh, lying in Queensferry Roads.

The white fishing – A partial commencement of the haddock fishing was made by two Cellardyke boats on Tuesday, when they returned with about forty five dozen each—one-fourth of which were full -sized marketable fish.

Cupar small debt court

David Reid, Cellardyke, v. Alex. Christie, Inspector of Poor for the Parish of Ferry-Port-on- Craig. The case, as stated by Mr Nicholson for Reid, was as follows:—The father of the pursuer died about years ago, when he was only about years of age. The father was possessed of a house, which on his death fell to be the property the pursuer, as eldest son. The pursuer had supported his mother and the rest of the family, and acted as head of the house in every respect. He also purchased at different times various articles of household furniture with his own money, which were placed in the house occupied by his mother, with whom he resided. About 10 years ago his mother was married to James Simpson, who brought no furniture of any kind the house. Simpson had subsequently to his marriage got considerably into debt, and in course of this year a poinding was executed at the instance of Mr Christie, the defender, and the furniture the house, consisting of the articles purchased by pursuer, were sold by public roup, on the footing that they belonged to Simpson as reputed owner. These were re-purchased by a sister of the pursuer’s, who furnished her with money for the purpose. Mr Farmer, for the defender, disputed the pursuer’s right to the house, and evidence was adduced to show that the articles in the house, as well the house itself, belonged to David Reid. At the close the Sheriff held it clearly proven that neither house nor furniture was the property of Simpson, but of the pursuer, and he decerned in favour of pursuer to the extent of £1 9s 6d. being the amount paid David Reid in re-purchasing the furniture, with expenses.


Naval Coast Volunteers.—On Saturday last, the Coast Volunteers belonging to the fishing towns of the East of Fife, embarked here for Leith on their way to join the training ship Menai, now lying off Queensferry. By the terms of enrolment, a month’s attendance is required at drill the course of the year; and as the present is the least productive period of the fishing, it has been preferred for this purpose. They numbered about seventy altogether— forty being from Cellardyke, and the remainder from Pittenweem and St Monance. Their appearance was highly creditable to their respective communities, they were all active, spirited young men.


CELLARDYKE. Concert.—On Friday evening, a concert of vocal and instrumental music, under the patronage of the officers of the 3d Fifeshire Rifles, was given in the Female schoolroom here, by and for the benefit of the brass band of that corps. Besides the band, who acquitted themselves in admirable style, in a number of popular tunes, Mr Alexander Hay, and other amateurs also took part in the proceedings. Mr Hay sung with his usual taste and spirit several patriotic and sentimental songs, while the humorous element of the entertainment was contributed by Mr Gr. Thomson, who ably sustained, on this occasion, his wide repute as a comic singer and ventriloquist. Mr G. Butters also gave in a creditable style a number of select recitations. The various pieces were, all cases, much enjoyed and applauded by the audience, which, however, was less numerous than the merits of tie entertainment deserved.

CELLARDYKE. Matrimonial. —Not the least of the many gratifying consequences of the late prosperous herring fishing are the numerous marriages which are going off amongst us. Besides those which have been already celebrated or proclaimed, the gossips, who have thus a busy time of it, enumerate a number of others, which are likely to come off at no distant date. Amongst our fishermen the opinions of Malthus are as little respected as they are known, for in most cases they enter into the circle of matrimony before they have well passed the threshold of manhood. These marriages, however, can be neither called improvident nor imprudent, every fisherman must needs have someone to bait his lines, or take oversight of his gear, and who, of course, can do this well, because who has so much interest in doing it as the partner of his fortunes ? This circumstance also explains why fishermen so seldom go without their own community to select a wife, although, it must be confessed, there are but few inducements to a contrary course, as far as Cellardyke is concerned, for, besides their invaluable expertness and experience, more blooming, strapping damsels, or warmer, truer hearts to cheer partner through the toils and storms of the voyage of life, are not to be found than those who usually fall to the lot of our dautless sons of Neptune.

On Saturday last the following properties were exposed for public auction in the Town Hall here. The first offered was a tenement and garden, situated at the Braehead , recently possessed by Thomas Riebairn, which was exposed at the upset price of £100, and sold without competition for that sum to Mr John Montadore. The  second subject was a property belong to Mr James Corstorphine which was purchased bv Mr William Grubb tailor, for £50, being an advance of £10 on reduced upset price. The next succession was the house which was recently burned, situated near the Town Hall, and to which the garden is also attached. It was first exposed at the upset price of £130, but no offers were made until it had been reduced to £105 after which a spirited competition ensued up to £122, at which sum it was knocked down to Mr James Fervit ( Probable Tarvet)  fisherman.

The Cellardyke Echo – 30/09/2021 – Issue 307


During the hurry and confusion at the departure- the boats in the intense darkness and rising wind of the early tide of Tuesday the deep sea going boat. “Olive Branch” Cellardyke, Skipper Thomas Smith, while leaving the pier under canvas, was struck in the bow by another south bound boat which was also steering to sea. The collision excited little attention and less alarm, for thinking all secure the crew the Olive Branch” went with their duty as their gallant craft flew like an arrow before the whistling breeze till some two miles the offing, when, if guided by Providence, two three the hands had an errand to the cabin or bank in the forepart of the boat. Here their attention was at once arrested the by the sound of water rushing through the splintered planks,  when, acting with the promptitude which belongs to a situation of life and death, the crew hastened to stop the rent they best could and the same time tack the boat for the harbour. Happily, their endeavours were not in vain, and the boat reached the shore in safety, when, from the appearance of the leak, was seen that in all human probability but for the timely discovery the boat and her precious freight must have gone to the bottom. The Olive Branch had been driven back to Anst’er harbour after weathering the Farnes the previous Friday, but  with undaunted courage the crew made the third attempt as soon “Chips” could mend the broken planks.

WANTED, a Stout Active GIRL as a Servant. Apply to Mrs HENDERSON, Tolbooth Road, Cellardyke.


Sale of Fishing Craft – Two of the Cellardyke herring boats have just been sold for the English coast, which, for the last year or two, has been the destination of many of the large boats of the East of Fife. The boats are the Ebenezer of Anstruther, and the Garland of Cellardyke, one which has been bought by Mr Henry Freeman for Whitby, and the other by our “old big fish friend.” Mr Davis, for Hartlepool, where, on the Norfolk coast, the smart light-timbered Scotch boats have been found even by the prejudiced English fishermen much more serviceable than the heavy luggers or primitive cobles for the successful prosecution the herring fishery. Our local fleet, however, has been increased by the arrival of a fine boat from Boddam. This the craft which opportunely came into the hands of Skipper William Watson after his disaster at Peterhead, but at the close of the fishery she was purchased by Skipper Thomas Anderson for fully £100. She is named the Prince, and as in the case of the two boats sold for Cellardyke, the will measure about thirteen tons register.

FOR SALE BY PUBLIC ROUP, DWELLING HOUSE AND YARD IN CELLARDYKE. There will be SOLD by Public Roup, within the Town Hall of Cellardyke, on SATURDAY the 23d day of September 1876, at 12 o’clock  Noon, ALL and WHOLE that DWELLING HOUSE and YARD, lying on the South Side of the High Street of Cellardyke, presently possessed by David McRuvie, and belonging to Mr John Murray, Williamstown, Australia. For further information apply to Philip Oliphant, Solicitor, Anstruther, in whose hands are the Title Deeds and Articles of Rocco. Anstruther, 1st September 1876.


The whole of the fishermen have this week been occupied in the hauling up of boats and in fitting out their gear and craft preparatory to leaving for Yarmouth and Lowestoft to prosecute the autumn herring fishing. The number of boats to be engaged from this port will be between 65 and 70, being the largest number that have yet gone south, and as each carries at least seven men, adding the representatives of the curers, there will be a total of 500 men from Cellardyke and Anstruther employed in that enterprise. The favourable weather has allowed the preparations to be rapidly advanced, and it is expected that a considerable number of crews will be ready to leave in the beginning of next week.


An accident of an alarming nature occurred on Cellardyke beach on Monday afternoon. The big herring boats were being drawn to the green, and, as usual, the traction engines were busy with the wire ropes. Preliminary to these, however, the boats are lashed to the carriage wheels which had been done in the case of the “Star of Peace” by an active young fisherman named Alex Murray. The task over he had resumed his place on the busy beach, and the signal “haul away” had been given when one of the lashings snapped, and the boat at the same instant heeling over, the mast was jerked as it were from the “mitch.” or support to the ground. ” The men’s killed,” shouted a dozen voices but, providentially, the large spar fell clear of the bystanders, though the recoil struck the young fisher just named with such a dreadful blow on the right leg as to fracture the limb in two places. After an unavoidable delay in the absence of Dr Macarthur on the round of duty the fractures were adjusted, but the poor sufferer has been seriously affected by the crushing nature of the blow. On the same afternoon, while Mrs David Keith was superintending some operations in the fish-curing premises occupied by her husband the East Green, her foot slipped and she fell to the ground. No one being present a considerable interval elapsed before Mrs Keith could obtain assistance, when her leg was found to be broken above the ankle, the occurrence being rendered more distressing by the splintered bone having torn its way through the skin.


Mr Bennet and the Fishermen.— ln this locality, as in the other districts of the Forth, the great question of the hour is the use of the trawl, which in one form or another threatens to interfere, if not to annihilate, the old industries of the shore. In this way a feeling seems to have originated that in the prospect a Parliamentary election one and all of the candidates should be specially waited upon with regard to this grievance. With this view arrangement was made for some of the leading fishermen to meet with Mr Bennet in the Free Masons’Hall, which has been secured for him as a committee room. The idea originated in seafaring circles, but, unfortunately, it was not acted upon, perhaps owing to every man being busier than his neighbour on the very eve of sailing for the English seas. So far, however, the views of the community were submitted to Mr Bennet in the course of an interesting and exhaustive conversation with Skipper James Beat, who explained the nature of the trawl and how it affected the fisheries —first, pursued on the great herring haunt in the offing of Pittenweem; second, in the so-called sprat or garvie fishing near Queensferry; third, steam trawling in the Forth; and last, but not least, its effects on the herring fishery on the coast of Northumberland. Mr Beat also urged the erection of a lighthouse or some improved signal on the dreaded reef of the Carr, and gave some striking instances of the perils of the rock on which more disasters have occurred than any other point on the Scottish coast. Mr Bennet’s sentiments on the occasion were stated by himself at the public meetings subsequently held at Cellardyke and Anstruther, but on the following day he had an opportunity of exhausting, we may say, the general feeling of the district by meeting some of the leading fishermen in Cellardyke and elsewhere, whose sentiments were exactly in unison with those referred to in his public meetings.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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

 Years                   Crans caught                    Average per boat            Number of Boats

1855                      36,685                                               119                                        115

1856                     7,726                                                  55                                         140                       

1857                      9,000                                                 75                                         120        

1858                     33,204                                              242                                       136                       

1859                     10,545                                                70                                        150

1860                     38,257                                                229                                       170

1861                      15,265                                                93                                        170

1862                      14,150                                                 79                                        180

1863                     6,220                                                  34                                        184

1864                     14,150                                                 84                                        187

1865                     4,580                                                 27                                         173

1866                     4,050                                                 24 ½                                    165

1867                     7,260                                                  52                                         150

1868                     6,955                                                 47 ½                                    140

1869                     3,260                                                  22                                         145

1870                     6,265                                                  40 ½                                    155

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

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

Remarkable Rescue.

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

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


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

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

The Power and Profit of Steam,

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

The New Lifeboat.

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