The Cellardyke Echo – 17/03/2022 – Issue 331


FIFE TEACHERS TO PESTER M.P. Campaign Against Economy- Circular.

The colossal building programme with which they are faced is being submitted by the Fife Education Authority to the Scottish Education Department at the latter’s own request. It understood that the figure in connection with the building scheme is somewhere in the region of £500 00o embraces the erection of eight new schools and substantial additions to about twelve others.

The decision of the Educational Institute of Scotland to organise a campaign against the economy circular of the Education Department was intimated at a meeting of Fifeshire branch of the Institute in Cupar on Saturday, when Mr J. Calder, Kelty, presided.

Mr R. Munro, Cellardyke, the Treasurer of the branch, reported on a special meeting of Edinburgh, Leith, Lothians and Fifeshire officials held in Edinburgh the previous evening, and stated that the campaign against the circular would last four or five weeks They were to arrange a system of pestering the local M.P., whereby 100 postcards should reach him every week for the next five weeks. (Laughter.)

The whole question won raised by the General Committee, whose report stated that they could not get a move on the salary question until they cleared the air with their demonstrations. That propaganda was promoted in aid of the salaries campaign.

Mr J. Robb, Kirkcaldy, dial not think teachers were acting wisely in pushing such propaganda at present. It would lead to large dilution of their ranks.

Mr Munro stated they had no choice, as it was the work of the headquarters.

Asked how many teachers had left Fife, Mr Munro said the number was considerable but not greater than they expected. All the teachers that were coming to Fife were coming from Orkney and Shetland.

 The meeting refused to love anything to do with the E.I.S. Promotion.. Committee’s minute condemning it as a waste of paper.



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.


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

 A few days later

HERRING FISHING HARVEST IN THE EAST NEUK. Last year the herring fishing season in the East of Fife continued until April 26, and there is every likelihood that, this season it will also be extended well into next month. Compared with the present season, prices last year were much higher. Up to yesterday the crans landed at Anstruther, Pittenweem, St Monans, and Crail totalled 8280, representing value of £9634, while for the same period last year 9500 crans were discharged and fetched a sum of £14,300. 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 24 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.


HERRING FISHING. ANSTRUTHER, Wednesday.-The largest herring for the season was landed Anstruther by the Cellardyke steam drifter Abdiel (skipper Lock Horsburgh), which put out total 85 crans approximately 92,000 herrings. The bulk of the catch realised 20s per cran, the remainder realising 19s per cran. The fleet was well fished, about 400 in all being discharged. Other shots note were from the steam drifters Venus (22 crans). Scot (16) Daisy (16). Cromorna (12): Pittenweem motor boats Margaret (15) and Courageous (12): and BK. motor boat Tweedale (10) Prices ranged from 12s – 22s per cran.



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.


Man Missing.-John Bett, a Cellardyke fisherman, has been missing since last Tuesday evening. Bett was last seen the 13th inst. between nine and ten in the evening, as if on his road home. His description is:—Height, 5 feet 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 a lantern lecture on Mission Work in Algeria.” Mr Collinson is honorary secretary of the Algerian Mission.

The Cellardyke Echo – 10/03/2022 – Issue 330


A grand concert under the auspices of the Guiding Star Lodge, was given in Cellardyke Town Hall on Saturday. Rev. Mr Ray presided over a fair attendance. The programme was an excellent one, and where each of the artistes did well individual criticism is unnecessary, but mention might be made of the delightful entertainment given by Mr Lawson, whose step dancing was a feature of the evening and well merited the encores which were called for. The solos, duets, quartets and recitations were well rendered by the Misses Clark, Jack, and Fraser and Messrs Wood, Hepburn, and Williamson, and not the least pleasing items were the selections by an orchestra under the leadership of Mr Watson. A most enjoyable programme, which deserved a much larger audience, was brought to a close with a special vote of thanks to Miss Mitchell, Pittenweem. who performed her arduous duties as accompanist very satisfactorily.

Property sales.—On Wednesday afternoon, there was exposed for sale in the Town Hall, the Butts Park, situated at the west of Rodger Street, for which Mr Williamson, plasterer, offered the sum of £195. The reserve, however, being £200, left it open to the sellers to refuse or accept within a certain period. A dwelling house and garden in John Street, was also exposed, and Mr R. Melville, fishcurer, offered £50, but the reserve was £70. and it was also continued. A byre and stable in John Street was bought by Mr Andrew Clark, mason, for £50.

A serious accident occurred in West Anstruther on Monday night, when George Ferguson, butcher. Cellardyke, sustained severe bruises. He had been at the goods station removing a cattle beast in a float to Cellardyke, and in attempting to jump to the vehicle missed his hold, and slipped between the horse’s heels and the float. The axle of the float crushed him when he fell to the ground, but fortunately the horse was stopped in time. Before Ferguson could be extricated the horse had to be unyoked. He was carried into Mr Lindsay’s house, and attended by Dr Ferguson, who found that although no bones had been broken, he had been severely bruised. He was laid on a stretcher, and conveyed to his home in West Forth Street, Cellardyke, where he is progressing favourably.


FIFE FATALITIES. LIVES LOST ON LAND AND SEA. Heavy Inquiry List Cupar. Sheriff Armour and a jury at Cupar to-day heard evidence under the Fatal Accidents Inquiry Act, 1895, relative to six recent fatalities the county of Fife. …… THE PERILS OF THE DEEP. .Two of the inquiries had reference to accidents to 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.


The fourth steam drifter built by Mr Miller since September was launched at Anstruther on Monday afternoon, to the order of Messrs R. Melville & Sons, fishcurers, Cellardyke. The vessel was named the Primrose, and is considered to be one of the beet models and strongest of boats sent out of the Anstruther building yard.

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.


Among the recent deaths in Cellardyke was that of Mr James Smith (Robertson), who was a prominent figure in the town, and one of the old type of sturdy Scotch characters fast dying out. He was an elder first in Kilrenny Church, and latterly in Cellardyke Church for the long period of 4 years. In Cellardyke Church on the 1st inst., Rev. Mr Ray preached an eloquent sermon on his and other deaths in the community.


In the House of Commons last Thursday, Major Anstruther Gray (St Andrews Burghs) asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in view of the numbers of fishing boats plying their trade at the herring fishing in the Firth of Forth, particularly in the vicinity of the May Island and four miles to the westward thereof, he will arrange that his Majesty’s Fleet would pass through these waters so far as possible by daylight to prevent loss of life and nets amongst the herring fleet at this season of the year. The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr McKenna)—it is not practicable to restrict the use of His Majesty’s ships of regular fairways of traffic, such as the Firth of Forth, in the manner suggested by hon. member. Such a restriction in any case would be incomplete; the bulk of the traffic in this locality was composed of merchant vessels. Charts are being prepared for the information of His Majesty ships, showing the most probable positions of the fishing fleet at different periods of the year, and it is hoped that the fishing boats will co-operate with all efforts to avoid risk of damage by showing proper lights. Replying to a further question. The First Lord of the Admiralty said he could not name a date for the issue of charts. Major Anstruther Gray asked if a special warning could be issued in view of the great danger to the fishermen round May Island, but no answer was given.

Major Anstruther-Gray, M. P. has given notice that in the House of Commons to-day he will ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has received any claim” from David Parker , of Cellardyke , skipper of the fishing boat John and Agnes , ML ; 95 , who has lost the whole of his nets to the value of £25. having been cut away by the ships of His Majesty’s Fleet between 3 A.M. and 4 A.M. on the 3rd instant; whether he will favourably consider this claim, and will further compensate him for the loss of his time while deprived of his means of livelihood, and whether he can now see his way to taking any steps towards safeguarding the lives and property of the fishermen in the Firth of Forth.

SCOTTISH FISHERMEN’S GALLANTRY At its monthly meeting London yesterday, the Royal Humane Society made the following,’ amongst other, awards in Scottish cases:— medal to William Wilson, fisherman, Cellardyke, Fife, for his heroic action 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 the heavy sea running. The only hope of rescue was for someone to swim ashore with a line, and this Wilson volunteered try and do. ‘ Clad in thick clothing, and wearing heavy sea boots, took a line, and, plunging into the boiling surf, succeeded after hard struggle in reaching land, his four comrades being then got shore safety.

The Cellardyke Echo – 04/03/2022 – Issue 329


Methil – COAST MISSIONARY WORK —As there is a large fleet of fishing boats at Anstruther just now, Mr M. M. Boyd, the seaman’s missionary, went along and conducted a service in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, last Sabbath evening. About 270 were present, fully 100 being fishermen from the boats in the harbour. Mr Boyd addressed the Gospel Temperance meeting on the Saturday night when there were 150 present. We understand that a request has been made to the Mission to allow Mr Boyd to go to Anstruther and work amongst the fishermen for the month of March. He will come up to Methil two days every week, but as there are fully 1000 fishermen from other places fishing off Anstruther, there is evidently a full month’s earnest work before him. His many friends in the district will heartily wish him God-speed in this special mission East-by. The services in the iron church will be discontinued meanwhile.

Disaster To Fishing Fleet.—Terrible devastation has been wrought among the North Sea fishing fleet by the gales of the 15th and 19th ult. To the homes of the steam liner crews at Aberdeen, Shields, and Cellardyke the losses come with a heavy hand. Five Aberdeen crews are missing, and now also all hope has been abandoned of the Shields liner Bernicia and her crew of ten, the eight fishermen belonging to Cellardyke. This is the heaviest blow that has fallen on the East Coast for at least twenty years. Cellardyke has known nothing to equal it since the disaster to the Yarmouth fleet. In the losses of the Garland, ten years ago, and the Lady of the Lake five years ago, seven men each were concerned. The eight fishermen who manned the Bernicia have left six wives and 24 children, while the engineer was also married and leaves a family of three in Shields. At the request of the Fishery Officer. Mr Rosie, the cruiser Jackal left on Wednesday to search the coast for the missing liners. The Aberdeen authorities also joined in this request. On Monday afternoon a telegram was received from the Fishery Board by Mr Rosie, intimating that the cruiser Jackal, which had been sent out on an errand of search through the North Sea, had reached Invergordon, from whence the Captain wired he had found no trace whatever of the liner or any of the crew’s belongings. In several of the East of Fife churches on Sunday affecting references were made to the (inmates. The names of the crew of the Bernicia were:—Thomas Watson, skipper, married and three of a family ; Daniel Henderson, married and grown-up family ; Alexander Boyter, married and six of a family ; Alexander Gardiner, married and five of a family ; Thomas Gardiner, married, but no family ; Alexander Murray, married and eight of a family ; James Stevenson (20), unmarried; Thomas Ritchie (18), unmarried, all of Cellardyke. Fred Lloyd, engineer, a native of Shields, married and three of a family. Fireman’s name unknown.


PERFORMANCE OF KINDERSPIEL AT CELLARDYKE. Last Friday night a number of children drawn from the Baptist Sunday School gave a performance, of the Kinderspiel ‘The day of rest and gladness’, in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, in aid of the cleaning fund of the Church.


There was launched from the boatbuilding yard of Mr Millar, on Monday, a first class fishing boat built to the order of Messrs David and Leslie Brown, Cellardyke. As she left the weighs she was named “Otway,” the christening ceremony being performed by Miss Chrissy Birrell, Anstruther. The boat is one of the large size, and her dimensions are 68ft over stems, 21ft beam and 9ft depth. Mr Millar is to proceed immediately to lay down keel for a similar craft, to the order of a Shetland fisherman.

Coast Mission

Mr Boyd gave an address last Sunday morning to the Boys Brigade in Cellardyke Town Hall, basing his remarks on the words of the Saviour “Show me a penny,” Luke 20 and 24. We understand that he intends putting book bags with periodicals, etc., on board these boats intending to go to the Shetland fishing, and any friends interested who may have any periodicals, sacred or secular, that they might wish to give for this purpose, might kindly send them to Mr T. Cunningham, Harbour Head, who has kindly consented to undertake their collection.



On Monday night, a public meeting of fishermen and others was held in the Town Hall, Cellardyke, to consider the advisability of taking steps to procure a new lifeboat for the district. There was a very large attendance, the Hall being filled, and the stranger fishermen from the different parts of the coast were well represented. Provost Black presided, and he was accompanied to the platform by Rev. Mr Ray, Mess’s Watson, Dr Wilson, W. Keir, Anstruther ; James Pratt, James Jack, Martin Gardiner, James Meldrum, Peter Muir, and John Carstairs, Cellardyke.

The Provost said he was sorry they had been deprived of the presence of Provost Morton, Anstruther, at their meeting. He was Chairman of the Lifeboat Committee, and while on his way to the meeting he sprained his ankle and had to go home. This meeting had been called for the special purpose of considering the position and the condition of the lifeboat at Anstruther, after the occurrence of last Friday. He was not in a position to say anything about the lifeboat, but he understood there were some fishermen from the north coast present who had had experience of lifeboats, and he hoped that they would be induced to express their opinions. (Applause). He asked that they should have a fair and frank expression of opinion as regards the lifeboat, so that they might not be the slightest doubt as to their attitude, and they might come to a conclusion as to what was to be done. (Applause).

Mr Martin Gardiner said the lifeboat was in the water before he got along on Friday morning, and he could not say very much about her behaviour. The disabled boat was in a very bad position, and while everybody was anxious to render the crew every assistance they had not a proper lifeboat to do so. He had been connected with the lifeboat ever since there was one in the place. He was coxswain of the first lifeboat. She was a very fine boat, and he never lost faith in her. He had not had so much experience of the present lifeboat, but he must say he never liked her at all. He had thought that they should have a service boat at Anstruther as they had in other places, and perhaps some of the Ferryden men present would say whether such a boat was needed for Anstruther. He was told that the service boat at Montrose was as handy as the lifeboat. The present lifeboat was not suited for Anstruther. She was too heavy and clumsy, and so far as his experience in her went he could never do anything with her under oars in heavy weather. It was for the crews that were in the lifeboat on Friday morning to give their views, but if the lifeboat was not serviceable they should not keep her any longer. (Applause.) If the men had lost faith in her they could not keep her. The fishermen of Cellardyke were as brave and daring as any men on the coast of Scotland—(applause) —and as willing and ready to render assistance to save the lives of their fellow men as any. He never saw a man hang back yet. (Applause.)

Skipper James Pratt, the coxswain, said they were not there so much to make speeches as to speak their minds freely. For some years back there had been a drawback in forming crews for the lifeboat. Some time ago it was proposed to have the present lifeboat thoroughly tested on a rough night, but that had never been done, as they had never had the opportunity. He had had some experience of the lifeboat, and his candid opinion was that she was not suited for this coast. The way she behaved on Friday reminded him of a blown-up present lifeboat was of no use whatever to their coast. (Applause.) If a boat cannot be used he did not see how it could be of any use to them. (Applause.)

Mr Martin Gardiner said they would never get men to risk their lives in that lifeboat, and they desired a boat that would do her work in all kinds of weather. (Applause)

Coxswain John Sheriff explained the circumstances as they occurred on Friday morning. There were 12 of a crew, and only three be-longed to this district. He shouted for a volunteer, but no one came, the reason being that the Cellardyke men had lost confidence in the lifeboat and would not go out in her. There were plenty of men standing about the piers, but they had no sooner got the lifeboat away from the piers than she blew about like a bow into the inner harbour. After they got the lifeboat to the east side to the harbour mouth she was blown into the inner harbour again, and neither with the sails nor the oars could they get her out. The boat was not suited to them, and they must have another or none at all.

Skipper Robert Meldrum said he had been connected with the lifeboat from the first. The first boat was a good one, but the present boat was not. He had tried her in all kinds of weather. The last time was with the Inspector but; they could not get her to go the way he wanted. If they had lighter boat with a centre board they could manage her capitally. The present boat was far too heavy.

A Buckhaven fisherman said a boat with a centre board would not do for Anstruther as there was not enough water sometimes. The present lifeboat was right enough, but not suited or Anstruther. In fact it was useless here. Applause).

Rev. Mr Ray said he did not suppose it was unknown what was said about them. It was no secret that it was said that the Cellardyke fishermen were too cowardly to go out in bad weather when there watt a boat in danger. He was glad of that meeting, and to hear what had been said, because it would help to dispel that false opinion about the fishermen of Cellardyke. What affected them affected him. Their good name was his good name, and he was glad that it had been made clear that the reason why the fishermen of Cellardyke did not go out in the lifeboat was not because of any unwillingness to face danger, but solely on account of the unsuitableness of the lifeboat. (Applause.) It was high time not merely that the people of the place should know that, but that the members of the Institution should know it. He heard it stated the other day by a well-known man in Anstruther, an intelligent and well-to-do man in every respect, that the reason why he had refused to give a contribution to the lifeboat in Anstruther was, not on account of any fault he had with the fishermen, but because of his belief that the lifeboat was utterly useless for this coast. (Applause.) He had no doubt if they had a new lifeboat there in which they had confidence, the men of Cellardyke would be as ready to face danger as they had ever proved themselves in the past. (Applause.) If they had a new lifeboat they soon have the local funds largely increased. The fact that the coxswains had lost faith in the boat must induce them to go to the parent institution without any shilly-shallying, but to tell them straight that this lifeboat could not be used by them, and that they must have another and one they could work. (Applauae.)

Mr Henry Watson, solicitor, Anstruther, said while he was glad to be present, he must frankly tell them that the expressions of opinion on the lifeboat had come upon him quite as a surprise. He had been associated with the lifeboat cause for many years, and attended nearly all the Committee meetings for many years, and he must candidly say that this was the first expression of opinion he had heard that the boat was unsuitable. The members of the Committee would bear him out in that. It might have been that last Friday was the only opportunity of testing the boat in face of danger, but they required a boat that would be of service in extremely bad weather. It had been very clearly brought out that the lifeboat was unsuitable both in sailing and under oars on their coast. It had been frequently discussed with the Inspector on his visits as to whether it was worthwhile to have a lifeboat here. This boat had never saved a life, but whether that was because she had not got the chance or was unable to do so he did not know. The very watchword of the Lifeboat Institution was efficiency, and unless the lifeboat was efficient in every respect there was no use having her. He would like the meeting to decide whether they wanted another lifeboat here. If they had only turned out in such large numbers at the annual meetings, and had made similar remarks as had been made to-night they would have had an up-to-date boat long ago. He was certain the parent institution would favourably consider any application from them, as they were anxious to have everything up to date, and to have efficient lifeboats. As to the site of the house it had been brought under the notice of the directors in London, and was still before them. Dr Wilson said he agreed with Mr Ray’s remarks in regard to the slights put on the Cellardyke fishermen. He had heard these over and over again. He had disputed with people and had maintained that there was on the east coast of Scotland no men to compare with the fishermen of Cellardyke. (Applause,) As regards the lifeboat it had seemed to him that the feeling for years had got very lukewarm. Every time the lifeboat has been needed she had been utterly unable to get out of Anstruther harbour. The reason of the lukewarmness of the fishermen towards the lifeboat was, not that they were unwilling to face danger, but because they knew it was an utter impossibility to get her out or the harbour in any gale. A lifeboat was needed there that could go out of the harbour in a south easterly gale. (Applause)

Mr Drysdale, coastguard, concurred in the necessity of getting a new lifeboat. Last September when the boat %muted to go to the rescue of the wrecked steamer Tinto they could not get her out of the harbour. The required a boat that would go out in all gales to save life. He did not think they would get a lifesaving rocket apparatus in Anstruther, as there were one in Crail and Elie on either side of them. He reminded the meeting that he and the other coastguards were to make a house to houses visit for subscriptions for the lifeboat from Elie on to Cellardyke, and he hoped everyone would liberally subscribe.

A show of hands was taken as to whether a new lifeboat was required for Anstruther, and the Chairman declared the vote unanimous. He then asked that a Committee of seven should be appointed to draw up a memorandum to be submitted to the local Lifeboat Committee for transmission to London. Mr William Smith, caretaker of the lifeboat, said he would like to know if they had new lifeboat if the fishermen would come forward and go in her. He had had considerable trouble to get crews over and over again both for exercise and when the boat was needed. The Provost—l have every confidence in our Cellardyke men that if a new lifeboat was got they would come forward when necessary. The following were appointed the Committee: —Rev. Mr Ray, Messrs John Sheriff, James Jack, James Pratt, Wm. Sutherland, Alexander Ritchie, and Martin Gardiner, junr. A vote of thanks to the Provost terminated the proceedings. The Committee afterwards met, and agreed to meet on Saturday night to draw up a memorandum to the local lifeboat Committee for a new boat.


The three towns East and West Anstruther, and Kilrenny, or Cellardyke, form practically one community, but are distinct Royal burghs, with Royal charters. The wonder has often been expressed that they should have continued so long as three distinct municipalities, with separate Town Councils, and the various offices connected with municipal Corporations. At last the question amalgamating the burghs has been brought up, for at a meeting of West Anstruther Town Council last night. Provost Penney said he had been approached by a number ratepayers, and urged to take some steps to have the matter discussed. His suggestion was that a Committee should appointed to meet Committees from East Anstruther and Kilrenny, in order to consider the matter, and see if a basis or understanding could not arrived at, on which to unite the burghs in one. Amalgamation would a great benefit all concerned from a financial and economical point view. The conference would only be preliminary to begin with. One or two members expressed themselves against the proposal on the ground that the taxation was lower in West Anstruther than the other two burghs, and did not see that their burgh would be benefited. Ultimately the Provost’s suggestion was agreed to, and the Provost Magistrates, and Councillor Dickson were appointed the Committee arrange a conference with the other burghs.

The Cellardyke Echo – 24/02/2022 Issue 328


A number of the crews intended to have gone to sea early on Monday morning, the tide then being suitable, but they were prevented by a strong gale of wind, which continued with almost unabated force the whole day, and only the large boats belonging to Cellardyke left the harbour in the afternoon. These were as a rule poorly fished on Tuesday morning, but the same afternoon the whole fleet proceeded to sea, and on Wednesday the fishing was the best that has yet been experienced this season. Although very general, a large number of the crews had only small quantities, but takes of from 20 up to 49 crans were not uncommon, and over the fleet there was the excellent average of six crans……. As the fishermen report that they have seldom if ever seen the herrings so closely packed together, this trifling shortcoming may be made up in a single day. . Chiefly in consequence of the strong tides this week, a good many of the fishermen on Wednesday night suffered considerable loss by the destruction of their nets. In one case, (that of Skipper Martin Gardner, who landed the highest take yesterday), the nets were so torn and destroyed that it will probably be a day or two before he can proceed to sea, while Skipper Thomas Birrell was heard to declare, that he would rather not have seen the 40 crans which made up his cargo……….. The most of the Cellardyke crews, however, ventured out. In the course of Wednesday and yesterday, no less than 200 waggons loaded entirely with fish were despatched from the railway station here. Each waggon holds from 35 to 40 barrels, so that the consignments were upwards of 7000 barrels of herrings and big fish. Of this immense quantity, about 150 waggons were sent to English towns, the remainder going to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Perth, Dundee, Forfar, Aberdeen, &c.

A letter was read front Miss Mary Ann Forrester, intimating that on account of ill health she was compelled to resign her situation as pupil teacher in the Infant School, Cellardyke. The resignation was accepted, and Miss Lawrie authorised to prepare a candidate for presentation at the next examination of pupil teachers.


Breach of Certificate. –  Another case breach of grocers’ certificate came before the magistrates Kilrenny on Thursday—Provost Watson and Bailie Brown the bench. The panel, this instance, was Isabella Smith, the widow of the late Thomas Anderson, John Street, Cellardyke, who is charged with supplying drink to be consumed on the premises to Donald Morrison, flesher, Crail, and Angus Mackay, fisherman, Cellardyke, Saturday, the 1st of February, in contravention of her certificate a grocer. The detection had been made by the constables on the beat; but Mrs Anderson pleaded guilty, and being the first offence, she was fined in the mitigated of 23s, with 5s 6d of expenses, which was paid in Court.

Sale or Fish Curing Premises. — We understand that the well-known fish-curing premises on the skirts of Cellardyke, occupied by Mr James Watson, have just been purchased by him for the sum of £500. These premises, like so many others, were erected in the golden days of the Fifeshire curing trade some five-and-twenty year- ago, when the old gardens, however sunny and picturesque, were brushed away to make room for kiln and cooperage. But fortune like the tide is not always in one direction as appears from the price now paid for the property, which in situation as in repair, is one of the most eligible on the coast. The property has been for many years in the hands of Mr Robert Cormack Coldingham shore. Mr Watson, the new proprietor, has long been the father of the Anstruther trade, and his many friends, we are sure, will now cordially unite their good wishes over the interesting transaction.

Herring Engagements on the Fife Coast.— With notably few exceptions the three hundred and twenty boats or so, belonging to the East of Fife, are now under missive for the ensuing Lammas fishery. The fleet will be distributed from Stonehaven to Wick, but the Fraserburgh district will gather about one half of the whole, and the reason lies at the finger point, seeing the more seaward the search is the more possible or probable if look to experience, are the chances of the season. The conditions, rule, are 22s in full or 21s a cran, with £10 of bounty for the usual compliment of 200 crans. With regard to late herrings, that is when the fish are landed the day after capture or when the expedient has been resorted to of preserving them in salt is now so frequently dune with light haul, the price will range from 12s to 15s a cran. It is a hopeful sign that the terms are not receding; on the contrary, we hear of several Cellardyke skippers closing with local firm at 22s barrel.

The Magistrates of Pittenweem held a Burgh Court on Tuesday, when a young Cellardyke carter, Walter Myles, was placed at the bar under the following circumstances:—It appears that on the previous day Myles and a cronie had been drinking in ” Willie Heugh’s public,” when, instead of calling in the other gill, he had gone to the spirit cellar and run off a bottle with which to continue the spree. The trick was complete, but at the moment, and when the coast was all but cleared, the landlord himself stood like a barricade in the doorway, from which the poor carter only emerged in the custody of the constable. On being asked to plead to the indictment, “I was sae drunk,” said he, “that I ken naething about it.” Eventually, however, he admitted the charge of theft, when, after the Bench consulted together, Provost Henderson said that it was the recognised rule to punish theft with imprisonment, but the Magistrates had been induced to make an exception in the present case for the sake of the culprit’s father, to whom he made a feeling allusion, which was evidently not lost on the better part of the unhappy panel, who was then sentenced to pay a fine of 15s, or twenty days in jail, His friend and brother whip from Anstruther, David Parker, was next at the bar charged with a breach of the peace by cursing and swearing and causing a tumult at the lock-up door, which, however, had been summarily ended by the constable thrusting him into a vacant cell as soon as he had disposed of the other culprit. Parker also pleaded guilty, and after a pointed reprimand was fined in the sum of 7s 6d, with the alternative of eight days in jail. The fines were paid.

We understand that Mr John Ritchie, Fishcurer, Cellardyke, has secured the site at St Ayles Crescent adjoining the Baptist Manse, and intends proceeding as soon as possible with the erection of a twin villa. Only two sites of the Trades Box Society’s ground at St Ayles now remain to be taken up.

Our Households.—Notwithstanding one of the most severe and frost-bound winters on record, the health of the district has been exceptionally well maintained, and more than one hoary sexton has remarked to that he has seldom seen the rust on the church-yard spade so little disturbed as during the quarter now registered with the past. Of late, however, and almost from the day ushering in the change of weather, affections of the throat and distress of a more or less febrile type has been prevalent amongst the little ones, but as a rule the attacks have not been severe, though in more than one case we regret to observe the change has been of a fatal character. Amongst these is a sweet child of six summers- smitten like the opening blossom by the cruel frost wind—of the household of Mr Robert Davidson, of Cellardyke, whose claim on the sympathy of friends and neighbours may be inferred from the fact that this is the fourth time the grim destroyer has robbed him of the lambs of his flock. Much regret has also been expressed in seafaring circles for the death of a young English mother, who left the shores of Yarmouth to settle with her husband in Cellardyke, though, as the sad event which took place on Saturday, has proved, only to find a grave where the brook sings to the sunshine in the ancient burial-yard of Kilrenny, at the premature age of 24.

The Cellardyke Echo – 17/02/2022 – ISSUE 327


On Monday 14th February the family of David Tod announced his passing peacefully in St Andrews Hospital.

Davie never hit the headlines as one of the high profile, high grossing whitefish skippers of the 70’s and 80’s, but through his work he significantly changed the fishing industry.

Davie was born and brought up in Pittenweem. When he left school he decided not go into his family bakery but spent a year at the prawns out of Pittenweem aboard the Ocean Queen. From there he took up an apprenticeship at Smith Brothers Engineering Co. of Anstruther.

He found himself in a very forward, practical thinking company. Smith Bros had developed a potato harvester in the 50’s that is still the basis of modern harvesting machines,  and for the fishing industry, they specialised in the  “down drive” gearing mechanism that connected winches and coilers to the engine. Smith’s also built winches and wheelhouses for James N Millers of St Monans and other yards. Working out the best way of doing things and using technology to make it easier was the perfect environment for Davies practical mind.

When his time was served Davie decided to go back to the fishing, and whilst on holiday in Essex he came across a small transom sterned vessel in a creek that was up for sale. Having located the owner he was ferried out to the boat across the mud on the owner’s back! The deal was done and David purchased the Your Lynn and brought it back to Pittenweem (navigating part of the way with a road map!). The boat was different from the traditional East Neuk fishing boat of the time and had been somewhat neglected. Some of the old worthies believed that nothing would be made of it. Davie set about completely re-rigging it, changing the layout to make it into an efficient stern trawler and very soon proved the naesayers wrong and this smart blue and white boat became the first of several remarkable vessels in the “Toddy” fleet.

When he came to replace the Your Lynn grant aid was available from the White Fish Authority and as an ambitious young skipper he decided to take a risk on a new build. Due to his engineering background there was no question, this boat had to be made of steel. There were several yards that could have built the boat he wanted. Davie eventually placed the very first order with the new Campbeltown shipyard, for a 49ft vessel. The design was Campbeltown’s but there were many heated arguments and discussions about the significant changes to the standard design Davie insisted on to get the boat he wanted. 

The St Adrian was launched in May 1970, christened by Margaret Tod, Davie’s wife. It was the second vessel launched by the shipyard, David always insisted his should have been the first but the Crimson Arrow which had been launched a few weeks before was part funded by the Highlands and Islands Development Board.  It was a political decision to focus on the investment in the rural areas of Scotland by the HIDB.

David had designed the St Adrian so that it could be worked single handed (although he never did). His innovations included the wires being brought overhead from the winch leading back to the gantry of which the aft gallows were a part. He was also the first to use hydraulic guiding on gear with an early hydraulic winch. These innovations were developed in conjunction with Dr. Norman Kerr of the Sea Fish Authority. However the most significant piece of equipment introduced on this boat would revolutionise fishing practice in the UK.

David initially thought of having two winches, the second one to bring the sweeps in, but then with more consideration he realised by adding in bigger flanges that would enable him to bring the net in as well.  He commisioned Smith Bros to build the altered winch to his plans. The St Adrian was the first UK vessel to have a net drum. Now every modern trawler and seiner in the UK carries a net drum, this saved labour and created more deck space.  Innovations like this and the overhead wires no doubt have saved many lives and prevented some horrible accidents that happened all too frequently in the UK’s most dangerous Industry.

The St Adrian was very successful vessel fishing prawns mainly on the East coast, and over the next few years Davie also invested in other vessels and skippers, often boats that were seen ahead of their time, sometimes these partnerships worked out, other times they didn’t.

When he came to build another new vessel he comissioned GL Watson to develop his design. He enquired with Campbeltown and other shipyards about building it for him, but as it was a one off and these yards were now focussing on the classic 80 and 90 footer standard designs he found no takers. He eventually came across a small yard in Old Kilpatrick on the Clyde and construction began. Things he learned and adapted from the first St Adrian were built into the second vessel of that name. The wheelhouse was positioned in the middle of the boat but offset. With two net drums he pioneered the twin rig, working with the Sea Fish Authority at their tanks in Hull, and then some trials in the Firth of Forth.

This vessel was a small ¾ shelterdecked vessel totally unique in design and could not be described as traditionally a good looking vessel. However as a working boat it was rigged up as the perfect tool and a good sea boat.  After trials with the Sea Fish were over Davie lost a net on a wreck and gave up twin rigging, as it was “impossible to afford to keep pioneering new ideas and make a living” however there were lots of other small ideas he developed to make working life safer or easier.

With this vessel he was well known at the prawns on the East and West Coast of Scotland.

David decided to come ashore when Millars of Crail, the Marine engineering and fabrication company came up for sale and he sold the St Adrian 11.  He successfully converted and improved many fishing vessels, adding in shelterdecks, new layouts and even desigining and building a small steel transom stern conversion for the wooden Forth Ranger. This facility also helped him maintain and improve his own fleet and enabled the classic Tod thought behind the fit out of a ferro concrete yacht hull he had purchased from the middle of a field in England.

When David’s eldest son, Andrew,  a joiner, wanted to go full time fishing not just at the creels in the summer it coincided with St Adrian II  appearing back on the market, and they brought the boat back to Pittenweem. His younger son David was an engineer and when he wished to go to the fishing, they purchased a steel hull, towed it to Anstruther, and lifted her out, Davie then set about reducing its length and created another superbly efficient small trawler, the Crusader.

The second St Adrian was sold on when Andrew decided to build his first fast creel boat the Genesis.

The last of Davie’s fleet to be named St Adrian had been a Fleetwood registered steel trawler called the Lady Mabs, it had gone ashore in thick fog at St Monans right at the time he purchased Millers of Crail. Davie acquired the wreck and went about his usual upgrades and conversion. For many years this vessel fished out of Pittenweem until the Geordie and Henry decided to retire. It was sold on to Fraserburgh renamed the Alta and has just recently been cut up in Macduff.  The first St Adrian is currently called the Radiant Star, FR Reg and is nowundergoing refit in St Monans, and the St Adrian II still works on the west coast.

Andrew continues to work a fast creel boat, the Genises and David Jnr still Skippers the Crusader fishing for prawns from Pittenweem,  both vessels well maintained as David Snr had done before them and still recognisable in the smart Tod Blue and white colours.

Davie’s influence and work has spread much wider that the working fleet.

Billy Hughes BEM retired manager of the FMA Pittenweem, said that when David was President of the organisation “ They had a very close working relationship, they each would have ideas and strong opinions but it was rare that they would disagree, they would talk though things and what resulted was always for the benefit of the fishing industry and the East Neuk of Fife.” 

Members of the local Community Council have also paid tribute to his chairmanship and stewardship of that organisation. He chaired many other groups including the Fife Harbours committee.

He has been involved with the Scottish Fisheries Musuem since it opened in 1969. As volunteer, Trustee, Chairman and Vice President. He has driven forward expansion and development, solved multiple practical issues in the rambling complex of old buildings. He has overseen all the technical challenges round restoring and sailing the Reaper, the musuem’s 1903 flagship sailing lugger and other boats in the fleet, ensuring that that small independant musuem has a collection of national significance. One of the most remakable feats was installing the 78ft zulu Research LK 62 into a museum gallery. He had rescued the hull from being destroyed after a storm,  protected it by building a steel frame round it and almost single handedly manouevering it across the main road and into the musuem.

Always thinking about how the museum could thrive and survive Davie knew that the community had to be rooted in all aspects of the Museum. The formation of specialist interest clubs affiliated to the museum was another of his plans and a way to achieve this.

In 1985 the Reaper had just completed it’s first phase of restoration and sails had been designed and delivered, but there was no crew. His newly formed SFM Boats Club started a programme of outreach that has seen the boat visit venues from Portsmouth to Lerwick, encouraging many volunteer crew on adventures,  Davie frequently skippered the vessel when not working at sea while retired fishermen skippered the vessel on the longer trips. This club has introduced Scottish fishing heritage to over 180 000 visitors from 120 countries including many organised school parties.

Another passion was model boat building, he was a very skilled modeler both from scratch and working with cast hulls. The second club he formed was the SFM Model Boats Club in 2008 and as chair of that it became a thriving group. Many of the models were remote control and they sailed them at various venues. When Davie became ill in the last couple of years unable to go long distances with his models, a few of the club (under his supervision) built a large pond in his back yard and they met on Sunday mornings to sail their boats. This happened each week until the time he went into hospital towards the end of 2021.

He built a wide range of models, one each of his own and son’s fishing boats and his yacht, steam drifter and modern fishing vessels. One of the last models he completed was a planked scale model of the 1937 Manx Beauty, a local restoration project that he was technical advisor to. He donated it to be used for talks and school visits to show the ambition and end product of the project.

Undeniably one of his visions and achievements that has had the greatest impact was his project developed through the Scottish Fisheries Museum to re-establish small scale boat building in towns and villages round the coast. His plan was to create a wooden vessel in kit form that could be constructed by communities and help re introduce them to the skills and put them back in contact with the sea.

The idea was developed with the Museum and Alec Jordan (Jordan Boats) who had the CNC equipment to be able to do this. The first prototype was a small vessel that they saw did not meet the requirements or be aspirational enough to inspire communities to take part.

Alec Jordan also had a vision for community racing of vessels, his business was based in East Wemyss where miners of Fife used to run very popular regattas. With rowing enthusiast Robbie Wightman of North Berwick the idea of a vessel suitable for competitive coastal rowing was developed. A grant from Museums and Galleries Scotland was secured and the Museum commissioned Ian Oughtred to design a rowing skiff based on the Fair Isle yoal of Shetland, a 22ft open boat with excellent sea going capabilities.

The design was christened the St Ayles Skiff named after the area the Museum buildings are housed in. Clubs were formed in Anstruther, North Berwick and Port Seton  and the first regatta was held at Anstruther in 2010, The Scottish Coastal rowing movement was born. Driven at the start by David, Robbie and Alec the passion and efforts of many individuals, communities and clubs has made this sport grow at an incredible rate. At that first regatta a national committee was formed to oversee the sport, Scottish Coastal Rowing Association. David served on this, and in his usual way supported the whole movement as well as local clubs on all levels, from practical help and advice.

There are currently 213 vessels registered in UK, 21 in the USA/Canada, 18 in Australia/ New Zealand, and many others in the UK and Europe currently under construction. Some being built as a part of school courses and others by regenerative groups as well as town enthusiasts.

Covid put a halt to the regular regattas, however rowing to pre covid levels is returning, when, weather permitting, hundreds if not thousands of people are now involved rowing Skiffs for pleasure and competitively.

This year the fourth World Championships, Skiffieworlds 2022 will be held in Holland. The first was in Ullapool, the second in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. The third was in Stranraer in 2019 and attended by more than 30,000 spectators.  Featuring over 1500 rowers, the economic impact on the area of the event has been independently assessed at over £3.5million. Davie was particularly proud of the Anstruther womens teams, but also showed his support for the whole sport by making a three week trip, sailing his yacht Braveheart to Strangford Lough for the 2016 Skiffieworlds.

The UK is an island nation, the number of people working on the seas has plumeted, maritime skills, traditions and seafaring skills are disappearing. The impact of the coastal rowing movement is remarkable and cannot be overstated. Alongside from the obvious health and community bonding benefits, this movement has put people back in touch with the seas, learing about tides, wind over water, swell and the skills to safely cox and row an open boat in all kinds of weather.

There is now an International committee to take the movement into it’s next phase.  This phenomena  continues to grow and thrive. Davie was very proud of what communities have achieved from the seed he planted and help steer.

For the past 40 years David Tod lived in Cellardyke, with a panoramic view of the Firth of Forth, some of his model boats are proudly displayed in the windows. Margaret and Davie were a solid devoted couple, not only did she keep the books for all the boats, but she kept Davie in tow from going over the top with some of his more off the wall ideas. They had a good group of friends who they met regularly with especially in retirement.  Davie and Isa Smith,  Jim and Sheena Tarvit and the Tods would meet at the chippy each Thursday evening, and then Davie and Margaret would head up to Peter and Ruth Murrays to round off the evening.

They both loved the view from Pickford Cresc but for Margaret it was a huge part of her life, she would anxiously look out for the boats coming  home. When the boys were young, after seeing the St Adrian pass the window she would pile the boys into the car and take them to sit and watch the boat come in the harbour mouth in Pittenweem. Not waiting for Davie to land the catch or red up, she would head home knowing her man was safe. When the boys got their own boats, she’d watch out for them too. They were a very close couple and her loss just over three years ago had a huge impact on Davie. He had been diagnosed with kidney failure prior to that and has been on dialysis three times a week since then. He was admitted to hospital on 22nd Dec and passed away on Monday 14th February.

Davie was a practical thinker, a solver of problems. If you met him face to face, he was blunt, he knew how he wanted things to be done and you needed to stand up to him, but if you had a sensible point he would listen.

On the face of it most people would not describe David Tod as a passionate man, but in his actions he had a deep down passion for Scottish Fishing industry and it’s heritage and encouraging individuals, groups and communities to achieve the best they could. He was not just a man of vision this was backed up by a practical side and unlike many who just come up with ideas he had the tools to achieve his goals. Davie has created an impressive legacy in almost everything he touched.

He was at ease in any company, a straighforward straight talking fisherman when he needed to be, and a fun cheeky guy when dealing with overwhelmingly female committee of the Anster rowing club.

As a friend, technical advisor, and the man who supported and mentored me as  a 19 year old Curator of the Scottish Fisheries Muesum in the 1980s Davie will be sorely missed.

David was awared the British Empire Medal in June 2017 for services to Preserving the Heritage of the Scottish Fishing Industry.

He is survived by two sons, Andrew and David their wives, Lorainne and Janice and four grandchildren.

The Cellardyke Echo – 10/02/2022 – Issue 326


WINTER HERRING FISHING. We are sorry to note the continued unsuccess of the fishing up to this date. The extreme stormy weather which has prevailed since Saturday up till yesterday has prevented all fishing operations, and the only additions we have to make this week are the takes of Friday and Saturday last, which amount to 340 crans. This only brings the season’s catch up to 693 crans, which is a serious falling off as compared with former years, there being at this time last year about 5000 crans. The weather having cleared up on Wednesday, the fishermen again prepared to go to sea, but none of the boats went out until Thursday morning. This continued dullness in the trade is much to be regretted, as there are a great number of buyers on the ground, and the prices are good.

The two boats which came in yesterday morning with about seven crans each, sold their fish at the extraordinary high price of 60s. per cran – a figure scarcely ever realised before, even in a winter herring fishing.

The undernoted a statement of the catch at Anstruther and Cellardyke for the week ending yesterday (Thursday) :

Boats out.          Highest.              Total crans         Prices.

Friday,                 90                         10                          180                        46s. to 52s.

Saturday,            65                         10                          160                        52s. to 55s.

Tuesday,             Stormy. No boats out.

Wednesday,       Stormy. No boats out.

Thursday,.          2                            7                            13                          60s. to —?s.

Total for the week           353

Previous Week,                  340

Total for the season,      693

At same date last year   5535

Do. year 1868.                  2330

Do. year 1867,                  1655

D0. year 1866,                  1410


Man Drowned at Sea.

A dark gloom was thrown over this neighbourhood on Wednesday forenoon by the distressing rumour that Robert Drummond, one of the crew of the herring boat Elizabeth of Cellardyke (skipper Alex. Tarvit), had been drowned at sea. It appears that the boat was tacking towards the shore, when, as she was lying nearly becalmed after one of those passing gusts peculiar to light westerly winds, a flap of the sail had knocked the unfortunate man overboard. Instant efforts were made by Skipper Tarvit and the rest of the crew to save him ; but though the poor sufferer was so near the boat that the former touched him three times with his hand, and though three other boats were within hail of the fatal spot, yet notwithstanding all that could be done the luckless man sank into watery grave. Drummond, who was about forty years age, was a particularly strong and robust man, and, with the exception of the herring fishery, was usually employed a field labourer. He leaves a widow and seven young children helpless and unprovided for, and altogether seldom has there been as claimant an appeal to public sympathy and benevolence as in the present case. The calm weather had kept the boats long at sea, and the poor widow and her family were wearying, though by no means in alarm, for the well-known footstep, when the Rev. Cameron, the minister the parish, called to break the melancholy intelligence.


A Saturday Night Spree.”—At Burgh Court held here on Saturday—Provost Todd and Bailie Bonthrone on the bench—Robert Anderson and David Wood, two young fishermen residing in Cellardyke, pleaded guilty to having committed breach of the peace by being drunk and disorderly opposite to the Salutation Inn towards midnight on Saturday week. It appears that the former panel had been taken into custody by the policeman and lodged in the lock up, but the circumstances of the case were of such a mitigated nature as to induce the Magistrates to impose the nominal penalty of fine of 5s.

Encouragement to Sabbath School Teachers. —On Thursday last, the Australian mail was the medium of bringing a most interesting and valuable gift to three well-known and much respected Sabbath School teachers in Cellardyke—namely, the venerable postmaster, Mr Thomas Brown, and his old associates in the same sacred task, Mr Thomas Cunningham and Mr William Watson, who each received a letter with a cheque for £10, as a token grateful remembrance and affectionate esteem for their labours in the Sabbath School which he attended in the years of his ” boyhood”, from Mr Alex. Watson, native of Cellardyke, and sometime ironmonger in Anstruther, but who emigrated about twenty years ago to Australia, where he has latterly been very successful at the gold mines.


Brotherhood of the Sea.—One dark and stormy night some weeks ago, the boat of skipper Charles Carstairs of Cellardyke, was at the drift fishing, large sea going steamer ran foul of the gear and the rope, parting some eight or nine of the nets, which were carried away by the current and could not be found. This was a heavy loss, but such the everyday experience of the hardy fisher, though fortunately, in this case, the nets came the way of honest neighbours. These were the crew of the Cockenzie boat owned by Messrs Thomas Donaldson and Robert Johnstone, who took the nets on shore, and spread them as carefully the green as if they had been their own; but what is still more to their praise, they declined to take fee or reward for their trouble, on the missing gear being claimed the Cellardyke owners. A case like this may well lead to the reflection of how much ill-will and mischief at sea would be avoided, if sea-faring men would everywhere do, as in this instance, as they would like to be done by.

The Cellardyke Echo – 04/02/2022 – Issue 325


Serious Accident.—On Monday, young woman belonging to Cellardyke, while crossing the street, was knocked over by a cart, laden with nets, which was passing at the time. The shaft of the cart struck the young woman in the breast, and before the cart could be stopped, one of the wheels had passed over her shoulder and legs. After medical aid had been procured, it was found that the injuries she had received, were not of so serious a nature as was at first suspected—one of her legs being broke, but not otherwise seriously injured. She is now in a fair way to recovery.

Early on Friday morning last, as the crew of one of the Cellardyke fishing-boats were in the act of drawing their nets at the fishing-ground, one of them observed the mast to be failing down. He at once gave the alarm, and his companions that could averted from the stroke, one, named Watson, seated in the stern, being unable to remove in time. It consequently fell upon him, crushing him severely. He was immediately brought into harbour, and conveyed to his home at Cellardyke. Dr Macarthur was forthwith in attendance, who pronounced him to have received some severe internal injuries. He at present lies in a very precarious state. The accident was caused by the pin or wedge of the hasp which keeps the mast in its position having come out by the rolling of the boat.


A few days since, one pound bank note was circulation here, which had the following quaint couplet written its back :- You came me time of need, But off you went with railway speed.”

Cupar – The fortnightly Debt Court was held here Thursday—Sheriff Taylor presiding. There were only about a dozen cases on the roll, none of which possessed any points of interest or importance. The only case worth noticing was that of Hatch v. Skinner, which the pursuer sued the defender, who is a grocer in Cellardyke, for £8 15s, being the price a quantity of soap which, it was alleged, had been bought by the defender. The defence was that the soap was not according sample, and such that the defender could not sell—some of his customers returning it to him, after having purchased it.  A correspondence had taken place between the pursuer and the defender, from which it appeared, that the defender had threatened to send it back to the pursuer, and in reply the pursuer stated that, in order to settle the dispute, he would take back the soap if was put free on board the steamer for Leith. The soap had accordingly been returned to the defender, who at same time sent a post-office order the pursuer for 12s 5d, being the value of what he had used. The pursuer’s agent contended that ‘free on board the steamer” meant that the goods were to be sent on  to pursuer carriage paid, but the Sheriff considered the plain meaning of the words was simply that the goods were to be put on board free of all expense and that then pursuer was responsible. He did not think they could mean that the carriage through to the pursuer was to be paid by the defender. The Sheriff seemed prepared to give judgment in favour of the defender, but on the motion of the pursuer’s agent, who undertook to pay the defender expenses to Cupar, the case was remitted to the Small Debt Court at Colinsburgh. Mr C. Welch, writer, Cupar, as agent in this case for the pursuer, and Mr T Davidson for the defender.

The Herring Fishing.—Although have now entered on what, former years, has generally proved the most productive part of the season, little or no improvement has yet taken place, either to the results or prospects of the fishing on the Fife coast. On Tuesday and Friday last week several crews had cheering measure of success, but this was very far from being general. Since then, although the weather has continued favourable, little or nothing has been done—the highest takes only amounting to one or two crans. At the present date (Tuesday) the total quantity landed here and Cellardyke may be stated at about 2000 crans, which, although somewhat of increase as compared with last year, is still considerably under an average fishing. Owing to the limited supply the demand has again become more active —prices, in consequence, having again advanced to 35s and 37s per cran.


Meeting of Fishermen.

On Friday evening last, a meeting of the fishermen of Cellardyke was convened by the town crier, and held in the Female School there. Nearly all the fishermen attended, and Mr Alexander Tarvit was elected to the chair, on taking which he stated that the meeting had been called to consider the advisability of having a suitable boat or coble stationed at Anstruther harbour to be ready for use in the event of any emergency. All present appeared to concur in the desirableness of the project, and it was all but unanimously agreed that the sum of 2s should be weekly contributed by each boat now prosecuting the herring fishing, the sum being continued for three weeks, when a total sum of about £18 would be collected — the estimate expense of the boat.

A committee was appointed to meet with the Commissioners of the Union and Harbour as to the obtaining of a proper place to deposit the boat when not required, and also to solicit them to use their best exertions to have a Manby Apparatus Station at Anstruther – a suggestion which, by the way, we earnestly urged a few weeks ago. In the course of the proceedings, the present by no means unreasonable dissatisfaction of the fishermen, was manifested at the ruinous state of the Anstruther Harbour works. The business then terminated with a vote of thanks to the Chairman. We cannot conclude this notice without expressing our sincere admiration of the praiseworthy spirit of self-help which on this, as indeed on all other occasions, so eminently distinguishes our fishermen; and we earnestly hope that their exemplary conduct will be appreciated as it ought to be by the Union and Harbour Commissioners, and that every encouragement and support will be afforded for the successful carrying out of these most desirable schemes.


Anstruther Presentation. —On Monday evening, a number of the friends of Mr Allan Johnston met and presented him, on the occasion of his leaving the service the East of Fife Railway Co. as goods porter here, with elegant silver guard and a purse of money, which had been subscribed for the fishcurers and merchants of Anstruther and Cellardyke mark of their appreciation and regard for his uniform attention and civility. Mr Brown, coal merchant, presented the gifts in a few sensible remarks, which Mr Johnston suitably acknowledged.

Assault and Breach of the Peace. —A Burgh Court was held here on Saturday-Provost Todd and Bailie Brown on the bench—when the following cases were disposed:- of James Walker, fisherman, Cellardyke, was charged with having committed a breach of the peace, by quarrelling and fighting with Robert Gardener, another Cellardyke fisherman, in Shore Street, on the 25th December last; and also with having committed an assault on the said Robert Gardener, in the Eastgreen, on the same evening. The panel pleaded guilty the breach of the peace, but not the assault, when five witnesses were called and examined for the prosecution, and two for the defence. After hearing the evidence, the bench found the charge clearly proven, and sentenced Walker to a fine of 21s or twenty one days’ imprisonment in Cupar Jail. The before-mentioned Robert Gardener was then charged with having committed a breach of the peace at the same time and place, and having pleaded guilty as indicted, he was sentenced to a fine of 10s 6d, or ten days’ imprisonment in Cupar Jail. Both fines were paid.

Sad News. —The distressing intelligence has this week been received of the death, at Shanghai, of dysentery, on the 9th August, of fine young man, belonging to this place, of the name of Alex. Smith, son of Captain Wm. Smith, of Cellardyke. The unfortunate young man was a seaman on board the ship Neville, of Liverpool, which was then lying in port. The deceased was of quiet, kindly disposition and bore an excellent character; and the intelligence of his death has been received here with sincere sorrow and regret.


The Great Ocean Race of 1868.

The homeward race of the magnificent China clippers will this year be as intensely and widely interesting as on any previous occasion. Indeed, we would almost warranted in anticipating that it will far exceed anything that has gone before it, as several splendid additions have been made to this already world-renowned fleet, which has given a prestige to the British mercantile navy, that leaves foreign competition out of the question. Already the national mind may be said to have been startled by the news from the Far East with regard to the performances of two of the ships which are doubtless to hold leading place in the coming contest. The clippers to which we allude, are the Lahloo, owned by Alexander Roger, Esq., of Glasgow, and commanded by Capt. John Smith, of Anstruther, and the Spindrift, the property of James Findlay, Esq.. Kilbirnie, the owner the celebrated Taeping, Serica, and Taitsing. Both ships may be fitly described as perfect specimens their class, having been specially built, as rivals for the China tea trade, in the Clyde last summer. They went round in August to load for Shaughae, but the Spindrift was enabled to leave port three days before her rival. “A stern chase is a long chase,” according to the-old saying, but notwithstanding this immense disadvantage in beginning the race, Captain Smith skilfully trimmed the sails of his gallant craft the wayward breeze,  and so ably piloted his course over the trackless deep, that the Lahloo reached her destination as soon as the Spindrift – the goal, we have said, being Shanghae, where they will both load the first teas of the season, and then start on the homeward passage for London. It will thus be seen that the Lahloo beat the Spindrift by three days, which is a feat certainly to be boasted of, the latter ship was built on entirely new principles, which led her owner confidently to anticipate that she would beat I everything afloat; but in the first instance, as we have shown, she has more than found her match in the Lahloo. From the fact that both the owner and the commander of the last mentioned ship are connected with the East of Fife—Alexander Rodger, Esq., being native of Cellardyke, and Captain Smith native of Anstruther—gives not only general but almost an individual interest to the homeward passage of the clippers.


Accident.—On Wednesday, as Mr James Rodger, blacksmith, Cellardyke, and a party of men were lifting a large crab-winch from a” boggie” which had just brought it to his smithy door, the machine, from there not being strength enough at hand, fell over upon Mr Rodger, crushing him to the wall in most alarming manner. An instant effort was made for his release, when it was found that his left leg had been broken and the right one severely bruised, but are glad to learn that through the surgical skill of Dr Macarthur Mr Rodger is in a fair way recovery.

Tombstone.- A curious old gravestone has just turned in the churchyard of Kilrenny, where it has lain for many years, hidden beneath an accumulated mass of earth and herbage. Notwithstanding the neglect and rough usage with which the stone has been treated, both the sculpture and the inscription upon it are still in good preservation. On the upper part of the monument, a stately frigate, with courses and topsails set, and colours flying at mizzen-mast head, is seen running before the wind, while the waves are circling all around her. The prow and poop of the ancient ship rise high out of the sea, like some Dutch galliot of the present day, but the figure which has been doubtless designed as a symbol of a useful and prosperous life has been cut with considerable care and fidelity. Beneath this is the inscription, which runs as follows:— “Here lyes the corps of ane honest and vertuous man, James Brown, spouse to Agnis Foord, sometime a Bailie in Kilrenny; departed this life on December 22, 1673, and of his age 62.” On the lower part of the table those stern emblems of mortality, the skull and cross-bones, have been chiselled with great precision ; but have stated, neither the character of the worthy magistrate it commemorates, nor the quaintness of its device, has preserved the tombstone from contumely and insult. Originally the gravestone stood on four pillars, near Cardinal Beaton’s tomb, where it now lies on the grass, but many years ago it was put over the grave of an old inhabitant of Cellardyke, where it had continued to be until the grave was reopened the other day for one of her family. A tradition exists amongst some of the old inhabitants of Cellardyke that this stone records the wreck of a large three masted vessel amongst the rocks the east end of Cellardyke, when several of the sailors were drowned; but there is nothing about the monument itself to confirm or countenance such a legend. In Kilrenny churchyard there are many interesting monuments of antiquity, such as the curious relic we have just adverted to and the remarkable epitaph on Mr Beats’ tomb, given over to neglect, or fast mouldering to decay; but we trust that when the burying ground comes to be enlarged and improved—as there is now early prospect—some steps will be taken for their better preservation.

The Cellardyke Echo – 27/01/2022 – Issue 324



Bailie W. W. Carstairs, Cellardyke, recently constructed two special motor “bauldies” as an experiment, and the results of fishing tests have proved very satisfactory. His object was to construct a vessel which would be within the reach of owner fishermen so far as capital outlay was concerned, and would at the same time bring in a reasonable remuneration for the other fishermen. Each boat is fitted with wireless, is provided with small boat, and is lit throughout by electricity. Another novel feature is a high-power electric searchlight. The running costs of these new boats is about £1 per 100 miles. As the construction of these boats cost much less than the old style steam drifter and a great saving in running expenses is effected, they  may adopted as a new type of fishing, boat. Mr Adamson, The Secretary of State for Scotland, is taking interest in the experiments. The two new boats have been named the “Winaway” and the “Onaway.” The latter was at Yarmouth when so much gear was lost, and proved herself a most sea-worthy boat, She came into harbour drier than any drifter, and had it not been for her special electric searchlight she might have lost her whole fleet of nets.


For Sale, by Public Roup, by Warrant of the Sheriff, in an Application for Division and Sale, within THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, ANSTRUTHER EASTER, on WEDNESDAY, the 29th Day January 1930, at two o’clock in the afternoon.

That tenement of dwelling houses, with Pertinents, situated at No. 6 DOVE STREET, Cellardyke, and occupied Mary Gourlay, Alexander. McRuvie, and George Gardner. Rental, £16 15s. Feu Duty Nominal.

REDUCED UPSET PRICE, £125. Further particulars may be obtained from D. &, A. COOK, Solicitors, Anstruther, who hold the Title Deeds and Articles of Roup.

W. S. BONTHRON, Auctioneer. Anstruther. 9th  January 1930.



A well-known Cellardyke golfer, John C Watson, now professional with Erskine Club, Southbend, U.S.A., was placed fourth in the recent Fort Lauderdale open tournament.

Watson’s 216 was only three strokes more than the winner. Johnny Farrell and Willie Klein tied for second place with cards of 214 each.


STAFF DANCE AT ANSTRUTHER. The staff of Gardner’s Motor Service, Anstruther, held their annual dinner and dance in Cellardyke Town Hall. A company of  70 sat down to an excellent dinner purveyed Mr G. M. Birrell. Anstruther.

Songs were rendered Mrs Gowans.  St Monance; Miss Keay; Messrs Henry Gibbon and J. Smith. A comic recital was given by Messrs George Gardner, T. Allan, A. Clark, and J. Smith. Mr John Mackay delighted the company with the Highland Fling. The accompanists were Mrs Gowans, St Monance, and Mr Jackson, Crail, and the M.C.s were Mr W. Brown. Pittenweem, and Mr J. Stewart, St Monance.



Cellardyke Improvements Committee held a bazaar in Anstruther Town Hall with view to raising funds to defray the cost of the new bathing and model-yachting pond at Cellardyke. Over £450 was realised.

Provost Carstairs declared the bazaar open. He suggested that the pond should be given a distinctive name, such the “Cardinal Steps Bathing Pond.” The stallholders were:—Mrs Anderson, Mrs Boyter, Mrs Butters, Miss Smith, Airs Maxwell, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Fortune, Mrs Gardner, Mrs Bett, Mrs Mitchell, Mrs Watson, Miss Isa Henderson, and Mrs Birrell. Mrs Hosie and Mrs Swinton supervised the tea arrangements, and Messrs John Harrow and James Laing were in charge of the amusements.


Burns Celebration at Cellardyke

Anstruther and Cellardyke Burns Club held their annual supper in the reading room, Cellardyke. Mr H C Maxwell presided.

“The Immortal Memory” was proposed by Mr W Wishart Thomson rector of the Waid Academy. Other toasts included:- “Town and Trade£ Provost Lawson, Pittenweem, reply ex Provost Readdie and Mr Sutherland; “The Lassies” Mr J W Diack, reply Mr J Russell; “Kindred Clubs” Mr J Hunter, reply by Mr J Bruce, Pittenweem.

Community singing was led by Mr W R Small at the piano, Solos were rendered by Messrs Nicholson, Hodge, Jack, Riddel, Morrison, David reid and Andrew Black, and a trio was given by Messrs Riddel, Hodge and Jack. The following contributed recitations;- Messrs Tawse, J Y Hunter, Leslie Brown, Tait. Philip Anderson, R Bruce and Hodge, ex-Provost Readdie and Baillie Simpson.

Town Hall Heating. Bailie Mitchell at Anstruther Town Council moved that a proper heating system be installed in Cellardyke Town Hall. Provost Carstairs favoured the proposal, and suggested that a radiator should put into the reading-room. The matter was deferred. A letter was received from Cellardyke Ratepayers’ Association advising the Council consider the cleaning of the beaches Cellardyke and Anstruther. This was deferred to committee for consideration. On the suggestion of Councillor McAuslin it was agreed to consider the question of procuring covered carts for the collection of street refuse.



I, JOHN THOMAS GRAHAM, Jun., of Thordisa. Anstruther, HEREBY GIVE NOTICE, That, in consequence Change Ownership, have applied to the Board Trade, under section 47 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, in respect my Ship, “CAMPANULA,’ of Kirkcaldy (official number 131873, of gross tonnage 95.97 tons, of register tonnage 37.31 tons), heretofore owned by John Thomas Graham and James Bruce Graham, North-Eastern Railway Buildings, Hartlepool; John Thomas Graham, jun., Thordisa, Anstruther; and George  Doig of 7 George Street, Cellardyke, for Permission to CHANGE HER NAME  to “MEMORIA,” to be Registered in the said new name the port of Kirkcaldy owned myself and others. Any OBJECTIONS to the proposed Change Name must be sent the Registrar General Shipping and Seamen, Tower Hill, E.C.3, within Seven Days from the appearance of this advertisement. Dated at Anstruther this 26th day of January 1935.

M.P. AT CELLARDYKE SOCIAL. A social organised by the Cardinal’s Steps Swimming Club was held in Cellardyke Town Hall, when an addresses were given Provost W. W. Carstairs and Mr J. Henderson Stewart, M.P.

Mr MacIntyre presided, and a programme was sustained by Mrs Henderson Stewart, Provost Carstairs, Mrs Myles, Mrs Scott, Messrs M. Sutherland, Weir, Jack, Higgins. Dances were given by the Misses Muir, Nessie and Elsie Wallace. The accompanists were Miss Smith, Miss Lawson and W. R. Small.


Miss N. S. Oliphant, Mayview, Anstruther, has been presented by the Guild of the Church of Scotland with their long service medal and certificate, granted only to those who have served long in an official capacity in the woman’s guild. Miss Oliphant became secretary of the newly-formed branch of the woman’s guild in Cellardyke Church in 1883, and served in that capacity without a break until last year, when, owing to failing health, she resigned. In addition, she was secretary to the Presbyterial Auxiliary of the Women’s Association for Foreign Missions for 19 years. She has also given service as trustee and manager of Cellardyke Church, the first woman to occupy this position. The presentation was of a private nature owing to Miss Oliphant’s illness.

East Fife Model Sailing Club held whist drive and dance in Cellardyke Town Hall. At whist 29 tables were occupied. Councillor Laing was cardmaster, and prizes were presented to the following by Mrs D. C. Wilson:—Ladies —1 Mrs James Watson, 2 Mrs Tom Melville, Mrs James Scott; consolation, Mrs Jeannie Stewart; longest fitter, Miss B. Watson. Gentlemen William Smith, Robert Watson. Peter Muir; consolation, James Aitken; longest sitter, John Murray.

CYCLIST PITCHED OVER HARBOUR BULWARK CELLARDYKE GROCER’S INJURIES. Peter Penman, grocer. Cellardyke Shore Street. Anstruther, was admitted to Dundee Royal Infirmary with a fractured thigh sustained in accident at Cellardyke.

He was cycling down the steep gradient from Dove Street to Shore Street when swerved to avoid a collision with car. He struck the dike of the bulwark of Cellardyke harbour, and was pitched over -the dike, falling to the stone surface below. The driver of the car conveyed Penman home, and after attention by Dr M. D. S. Armour was removed by ambulance to the infirmary.


CELLARDYKE S BABY SEAL A baby seal has been captured by Mr G. Corstorphine. John Street, Cellardyke.  Mr Corstorphine was walking the rocks at. Cellardyke when found the grey-white baby seal. When approached the animal showed fight, but he managed to capture it and carry it home in basket. He communicated with the Zoological Society authorities in Edinburgh. Mr Corstorphine has been feeding it herring.

A baby seal found on the shore at Cellardyke was taken to the Zoo at Murrayfield. The seal was found disporting itself in a hollow on the shore.

SEAL DIES IN MOTOR CAR The seal which was captured last week by Mr G. Corstorphine, John Street, Cellardyke, has died 0n its way to the Zoological Gardens at Edinburgh. A motorist took the seal in the back of his car to the Zoo. He crossed the ferry, and arrived at the Lothian side with the seal very much alive. When he arrived at the gates of the Zoo he looked into the back of the car found that his charge had died. The Zoo officials told him that the foundling had died of starvation. It had been fed on herring, but it was incapable of digesting anything beyond milk. They pointed out to him that it was well-nigh impossible to keep a seal in captivity, although at Edinburgh they tried many times.




 A fatal accident on a Steam Drifter in Anstruther Harbour last month was subject of an inquiry before Hon Sheriff A. E. Grosset and jury.

William McBain (32), fisherman 32 Shore Street, Cellardyke, died 0n December? from a broken neck. He was struck on the head by a fair-lead, which broke while he was working on the drifter Twinkling Star

The jury returned a formal verdict

Evidence of crew and harbourmaster was to the effect that the drifter, lying with stern to the mouth of the harbour, was manoeuvred so that it might leave first. A four-inch rope was passed round the fair-lead and attached breadwinner.  The strain, however, was so great that a 12lb. piece of the fairlead broke off.  At first it was thought that the rope had broken, but later the broken lead was found on the deck about 16 feet away.

McBain dropped at the feet of his mate who did not know what had happened to him. He was taken ashore and examined it was found he had been killed instantaneously.


At a speech by the Convenor of Fife County Council on the industries of the county…

….Another industry was the making of waterproofs in Cellardyke by Martin Co., whose products were worn and borne Commander Amundsen when, some ten years ago, flew from Alaska to Spitsbergen.

Broughty Lifeboat

Broughty Ferry motor lifeboat had to make a trip to the Abertay Lightship to take off Mr Thomas Wilson, Cellardyke, a member of the crew, whose wife was seriously ill. She had been ill for some time and her condition became worse at the weekend.

A relative in Cellardyke got in touch with Dundee Harbour authorities, and asked them to endeavour to convey the news to Wilson and bring him ashore if possible.

In view of the urgency of the request, the harbour management asked the R.N.L.I. for the services of the lifeboat. Without firing the gun, which is the usual signal for launching, a crew of six men was quickly collected, with Coxswain James Coull in command and John Grieve as motorman.

Some of the men had hastily donned oilskins over their Sunday clothes.

The lifeboat carried Mr George Watson, Fisher Street, Broughty Ferry, a harbour employee, who was called out to take Wilson’s place on the Abertay. Leaving shortly before 2 p.m.. the lifeboat was alongside the Abertay within half an hour.

Coxswain Coull said :—”We shouted our news to the Abertay, and lay off for a few minutes while Wilson got ready to leave. We had no difficulty in taking him off.” Leaving the lightship shortly before three, the lifeboat reached Newport soon after 4 p.m. and put Wilson ashore.

The trip—the first of the year—will serve as the monthly practice which has to be carried out by the lifeboat. Mr Wilson resides at 25 East Forth Street. Cellardyke, and has been employed on the Abertay for about nine months. Previously he was fireman and engineer on the Anstruther drifter Evening Star. He went to the lightship last week for a month’s spell of duty.

The Cellardyke Echo – 20/01/2022 – Issue 323


 The Storm – At Cellardyke Harbour the heavy stones forming the top of the east pier were lifted out of their places and flung into the basin, leaving the pier a very precarious condition. The yards lying next the sea were flooded, and in several cases damage inflicted to cellars and walls.

ln the Town Hall on Saturday evening, the Young Men’s Christian Association gave their annual entertainment to the old women of Cellardyke There was a large attendance, and after tea suitable addresses were delivered by various gentlemen. A very pleasant evening was spent.


On Monday evening a meeting of fishermen was held in the Town Hall. Mr R. Montador presided over a fair attendance. The delegate to the conference at Aberdeen, Mr John Carstairs, gave a report of the proceedings and findings of the meeting. He had expressed the views of the Cellardyke fishermen, but the majority had voted in favour of the close time for the East Coast being fixed from 10th June to 10th July. He also reported the resolution in favour of a General Association of Scotch fishermen, which he considered would be of great service to the industry. His statement was approved, and he was awarded a cordial vote of thanks. Discussion ensued as to the adoption of some means for the better securing of the boats during gales in Anstruther harbour, and it was resolved to send a deputation to the Harbour Commissioners on the subject Messrs Montador, Carstairs, and T. Watson were appointed for this purpose.

The nets, fifteen in all, that were brought into Berwick by some fishing boats on Saturday afternoon have been identified the property’ of John Wood, Cellardyke, Fife.


THE PRICE OF A JUMP INTO THE HARBOUR. At the Burgh Court on Monday, before Provost Anderson and Bailie Morton, Dal id Davidson, fisherman, Cellardyke, pled guilty to a breach of the peace in Rodger and Shore Streets, and leaping into the harbour to the danger of his life on New Year’s day. One previous conviction was recorded against him. The Provost in imposing a fine of is 6d or seven days, advised him to keep clear of liquor, as his foolishness on this occasion might have led to his death had not some of his friends assisted him. Fine paid.

THE PITTENWEEM AND CELLARDYKE FISHING COMPAN Y. —The directors have issued a report to the shareholders in which they regret to state that the vessel purchased by the Company called the Emerald turned out badly, and the working of it proved most unprofitable. As the shareholders may be aware, this vessel sometime after she was purchased, instead of earning any profits, continually required repairs, thus causing considerable loss to the shareholders, and the debt was always accumulating so long as she was held by the Company. After several unsuccessful attempts to sell the vessel at something like the original price, the directors agreed to dispose of her at a heavy loss, as shown by the accounts, after receiving the approval of the shareholders. Notwithstanding this loss, the directors are convinced that, in disposing of the vessel, the best course has been followed in the interests of the shareholders under the circumstances. Seeing therefore that the only vessel belonging to the Company has been sold, and looking to the state of accounts submitted, the directors recommend that the Company should now be wound up voluntarily. The directors beg to intimate therefore that an extraordinary general meeting of the Company will be held on 3rd February, immediately after the general meeting, when the following special resolution will be submitted to the meeting, viz.:—That the Pittenweem and Cellardyke Fishing Company, Limited, be wound up voluntarily, and that John Guthrie, solicitor, Anstruther, be appointed liquidator for winding up said Company. Should this resolution be carried, another meeting of the shareholders will fall to be held on a date to be fixed by the above meeting for the purposes of confirming the resolution.

CELLARDYKE. AN ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL GAME IN TACOMA. —One feature of the Christmas celebration was a game of association football between teams from the crews of the British ships Eaton Hall and Norfolk Island. As several of the men were noted players of England and Wales, strong rivalry was infused into the game, each ship claiming to have the best players. Eaton Hall won by a score of 2 to 1. Norfolk Island scored its punt in the first half, and Eaton Hall one punt in each half. Mr John Montador and Mr Alex. McRuvie, both belonging to Cellardyke, were in the Eaton Hall team.

CELEBRATION OF A DIAMOND WEDDING.–At their residence, 39 Primrose Street, Leith, on Saturday, Mr and Mrs James Doig celebrated their diamond wedding Mr Doig was a native of Cellardyke, while Mrs Doig’s father was in the Milton Mill, West Anstruther. The wedding took place at Anstruther on the 18th January 1830, the officiating minister being the Rev. James Findlay, U.P. Church, Pittenweem, the parties being described as James Doig, weaver, and Margaret, youngest daughter of John Balfour, Milton Mill. Mr and Mrs Doig received many congratulations from relatives and friends on the interesting occasion.

AN UNPROVOKED ASSAULT. —A young man, named Thomas Murray Jnr, Fisherman, was charged before Provost Martin and Bailie Thomas on Monday, with having on New Year’s day, assaulted two fishermen by striking them with his clenched fists several blows on the right eyes to the effusion of blood, and then creating a disturbance in George Street. Three previous convictions were recorded against him. The Fiscal said the assault was very cowardly and unprovoked. He first struck an old man, and when the young man went to his assistance, struck him also. He was sorry that he had so many previous convictions to bring forward against him. He was under the influence of drink, but people should not take liquor when it leads them to this. The Provost said it was most painful for the Magistrates to have a young man before them on such a charge, and with three previous convictions against him. He would be fined on this occasion. They were dealing very leniently with him to give him another chance, but he would be fined very heavily if he came before them again. He advised him to give up the drink, and turn over a new leaf.


St Andrews Police Court. On Friday, before Bailie Murray, Robert Keith, fish-hawker, Cellardyke, was fined 21s, or fourteen days, for being drunk while charge of a cart in public thoroughfare.

ELIE. FISHING BOATS IN THE GALE.–The storm on Thursday caught the East of Fife boats which were engaged at the herring fishing. A number of them bore up for their own ports, but two, the James of Cellardyke and a St Monans boat made for Elie harbour under difficulties. The James had a broken yard and the other bolt a broken mast, each making the harbour under jury rig.


Brothers Quarrelling.— At Cellardyke Burgh Court  on Saturday two brothers, named James and Robert Keith were charged with their brother Alexander at his own house on the 3rd inst. by striking and kicking him. After evidence had been led, the charge was found proven against Robert, and he was sentenced to pay 30s, or one mouth’s in Dundee Prison. He was taken to prison, but the fine was afterwards paid.

“Coaties” V. Bluejackets. The formation of the K.Y. team at Kilrenny has given young Cellardyke a chance s to try his foot at the game, in which at one time he had few masters. The team was originally composed of shoemakers, but the fishermen are getting places in it, and on Saturday there was quite an Anster v. Cellardyke flavour in the match—Rangers v. K.Y. It was fought out on the latter’s pitch. The Rangers had a lot of budding young players on trial They gave a fine exhibition. A pleasant game was played, ending in a draw of two goals each.


Mr and Mrs Robert Brown, West Forth Street, Cellardyke, celebrated their diamond wedding on Wednesday evening A notice of the wedding in 1838, appears in another column. Mr Brown is a native of Fisherrow, where he was born, on 16th June 1816. When a young boy at school his father came to reside in Cellardyke, and he received the most of his education at the Parish School. He began life as a fisherman, and he helped his father, who at that time acted at what were known as “coupers” that is taking the haddocks from the Cellardyke boats, and sailing to ports up the Firth with them and disposing of them to the best advantage. The herring fishing was prosecuted with success in the Firth at that time, and the boats in use were the old open boats. Mr Brown was a very successful fisherman, and retired from the sea in 1881, 17 years ago. He ‘was first appointed to the Council in 1881, and served several terms, being twice elected one of the Magistrates. He was also one of the first Harbour Commissioners to be elected for Cellardyke by the electors. Mr Brown connected himself with the Free Church at the Disruption, and in 1845 was made an elder, an office he still continues to hold. Mrs. Brown is a native of Kingsbarns. The couple are still able to go about, and as a mark of the interesting occasion had their photographs taken by Mr Ireland on Monday afternoon. In the evening the couple entertained a number of people to tea. After partaking of this, The Rev. A. G. Macalpine, addressing Mr and Mrs Brown, said that on his own behalf, as well as that of his fellow guests, he tendered their thanks—cordial and sincere for the double honour enjoyed—the one in being invited to sit as guests at their most hospitable table, and the other in being privileged to share with them the honour of celebrating this most unique and auspicious event—their Diamond Wedding. Of course their relationship did not carry them very far among those six decades of years—but they did carry them sufficiently far back as to enable him to have a glimpse of the splendid achievement, the beautiful record, and the irreproachable character which they have been enabled to lead during these years. Speaking for himself, he was proud in being able to acknowledge that during these 13 years of their church relationship, years of Christian work, of congregational activity, and of manifold engagement, not one single look, word, or act, had ever marred their friendship, chilled their affection, or lessened their esteem. On the contrary these bonds were’ stronger, warmer, and deeper than they were years ago. In fact as his minister, he was compelled to say that never on entering his home, whether shadowed by sickness or bright with sunshine, had he met him in two moods, invariably the same, kind, sympathetic, genial, helpful, courteous. That was his experience; and he inferred that that was only a symbol of what their home had been during these 60 years. One writer of the highest order says that friendship is one heart in two bodies; and surely both of them could testify to the accuracy of this pleasing thought, Sixty years, what a history! What a memory: what a contrast! The countless blessings received, the paths—solitary and yet interlaced and combined–along which they had walked, the sore and severe trials and sure triumphs ; imminent pearls at sea, and the varied dangers ashore; the consciousness of their failures and the attainments of a closer walk with God, all voice themselves from the irrevocable past, and call for profound thanksgiving, admiring wonder, and deep humiliation. Proceeding, he continued—Sixty years ago, in the bloom of youth when you stood at the marriage altar, you, Mr Brown, with all the buoyancy and elasticity of manhood, and you, Mrs Brown, with all the beauty and simplicity and winsomeness of a young bride, when you stood at the altar you looked into the future with all its possibilities and contingencies, and joined heart and hand with your motto “Mizpah” ; but now when you look back tonight you can say “Ebenezer.” But your own thoughts, secret end sacred, we cannot intermeddle: but as your guests we combine in acknowledging the wonderful Hand of God that has been upon you, we rejoice in the beauty and integrity, of your character, and we are assured that the peacefulness of your bearing and the purity of your home, as well as the effort, so manifold, and varied, so assiduous and ungrudging, rendered in your early years have gone very far to the up-building and solidifying of tit: character in our community. I am convinced that yours is the experience of an old couple whom I knelt in the south. Both were frail and walked by the help of a staff. One day I asked the grandmother “whether she was not tired of her husband yet.” “Tired” said she with a smile smoothing her wrinkled countenance, ” We have been married for 55 years, and the honeymoon is not past yet.” And lam glad to think that Mr Brown holds the same opinion. But whether this is to be the last of our annual meetings in your hospitable home, or whether we may be honoured with an invitation to the celebration of your ruby marriage we all feel that our rejoicings are tinged with sadness and sorrow. Some are now at your Diamond wedding who were not at your golden wedding, and some were then present who are now no more. To those widows who are at their own hearths sitting under their bereavement, and were joyfully only a few months ago, walking on the edge of the sunshine of their golden wedding, we proffer our deepest condolence; to those who by growing infirmities and the burden of years are compelled to remain at home we extend our warm sympathy, and to you, clearly beloved friends, Mr and Mrs Brown, we again offer you heartiest congratulations.

Thereupon Mr Macalpine presented the aged couple with an address signed by all the office bearers of the Chalmers Memorial Church, Anstruther, and at the same time begged their acceptance of a purse and sovereigns, as a small token of the esteem and affection in which they are held by all the members of the Congregation.

Mr and Mrs Brown

Honoured Friends—We, the undersigned office bearers of the Chalmers Memorial Church, Anstruther, gladly avail ourselves of this most auspicious occasion, your diamond wedding , in presenting to you our united congratulations and best wishes.

Rarely has the happy and holy bonds of matrimony continued so long as 80 years, and therefore most exceptional must be the honour which a benign Providence has vouchsafed upon you. Consequently in your rejoicing we also joy and join you in laying our tribute of gratitude and praise at the feet of our gracious Lord and Master. Further we are impelled to say that the integrity of your character, the assiduity with which you have devoted yourself to Christian service, and the blamelessness of your lives, have endeared you, not only to ourselves and to the members of our congregation, but also to very many of your fellow-townsmen.

To you, honoured sir, we tender our deep indebtedness, for during the many years you have held office in our Church, you have ever been a safe and cautious counsellor, and a warm-hearted and generous friend.

In token of our admiration for your own and your life partners character, we have much pleasure in asking your acceptance of this address along with a purse and sovereigns, at the same time expressing a hope that the divine hand which has guided you hitherto will guide you and your wife to the close of life, and thereafter lead you to the homeland of the King.

Signed by A. Gillon Macalpine, Minister.  Elders and Deacons ( all listed)

……. Mr Macalpine said he had a further duty to discharge, viz., to present an address from the Young Men’s Guild, and one from the Band of Hope….. ( a similarly long statement).

Mr Brown rose under considerable emotion, and, in suitably acknowledging the presentations’, warmly thanked the friends for their kindness in responding to their invitation, acknowledged the goodness of God in giving him such a good wife, rehearsed some trials incidental to such a long stretch of years, and humorously referred to some experiences that led up to the happy consummation of the event which they were now commemorating.

Mr Barbour, teacher, said that he counted it a great pleasure to be present on such an occasion as the celebration of a Diamond Wedding. For Mr and Mrs Brown he had the very highest regard, and was inclined to endorse what the boy said “Robert Brown is the best man in all the town.” Ever since he came to the town he had observed Mr Brown’s character, and always it was the same, uniform and consistent. In a few choice words he warmly congratulated their friends on their Diamond Wedding, and wished them health, happiness, and years…………..



Some folks in our town are going stark mad,

Because they are getting light

Into their streets, and they do vow

To oppose it with all their might,

For they count it here entire abomination

For the Ballies to bring in such an expensive innovation.

For if they get such light, d’ye see,

It will set the town in such a flame,

That when they get upon the spree,

 A’ body will ken their name.

Na, na, the Cellardyke folk are no sic asses,

To brook such nasty stinking gases.

As true as I’m here, it really beats a’,

To hear their dreadful sighing;

Here, some women are roaring with rage,

And there, some old women are crying,

That they all should stick out for the good old way,

So that they might know the night from the day.

A little while now, and you’ll hear of fun,

About these terrible lamps,

For I hear of one who is strong against them,

And when he thinks of the lamps he stamps,

And vows, the first man who a light doth raise,

He’ll be his sworn enemy a’ his days.

I’m painfully affected such news for to hear

of some of the folks of Cellardyke ;

Instigators, I’ve no doubt they have,

Else they never would do the like.

But I hope soon to get better news,

And say that the Dykers have chang’d their views.

The cellardyke Echo – 13/01/2022 – Issue 322


ELIE. Return Football Match.

On Saturday, the Elie United met on their ground the Bluejacket team from Cellardyke. Elie won the toss but the Bluejackets pressed them hard during the first half, scoring 3 goals to Elie nil. In the second half the game was easier played, but the Blues again carried off the goals, securing a second 3 to 0, and claimed a fourth goal. Play, on the part of the strangers particularly, was rough, and some of the Elie team had to betake themselves to bed to recruit.


The Late Mr John Anderson —Mr John Anderson, of the Forth Tavern, who has been unwell for several months, died at his house on Monday morning, within four days of his 69th  year. Deceased was a native of Cellardyke, and began life as a grocer. He commenced business for himself at the Bridge 46 years ago, and used the Stenters as his bottling establishment, where he carried on a large trade. He changed from there to the harbour head 26 years ago, sometime after the erection of the new harbour had commenced. He remained theres ever since, but the expectations entertained by himself and so many others as to the prosperity of Anstruther being vastly increased by the harbour were never realised, nor from present appearances are ever likely to be. Mr Anderson kept up a life-lung correspondence with the Rev. Mr Ferrie in America, who was at one time minister of Kilconquhar, but came out at the Disruption in 1843, It was only last year that he raised a jubilee testimonial to Mr Ferris, who still lives and carries on his ministerial labours. The funeral took place on Wednesday to Kilrenny Churchyard, and was largely attended.

At Dunfermline Poultry show last week, Alex. Drysdale, Anstruther, obtained third and fourth tickets in the owl class, and at Forfar was also successful in gaining a third card. R. A. Fowler, Cellardyke, was first at Leslie in the Hamburgh class, and John Butters third at the same show with a turbit in turbit and owl class.

Anstruther harbour board – It was agreed to accept the offer of £15 by a Port Essie skipper for the deep sea boat, “John Bunyan,” KY 1197 of Cellardyke, which has been lying in the harbour since the death of the owner, and to restrict the claim to £6, paying the balance to the widow.  (Duncan McRuvie was the skipper/owner in 1889)


At a special meeting of Cellardyke Parochial Board on Saturday, Dr Wilson, Elm Lodge, was appointed medical officer of the parish by 26 votes against 25 for Dr Ferguson.

THE APPOINTMENT OF A MEDICAL OFFICER – -The election of a medical officer at Cellardyke last Saturday, for the parish of Kilrenny, shows how much keen and partisan feeling can be exhibited in an appointment of this kind. People seem to have as strong feelings for their doctors as they have for their ministers, for the meeting brought out some who never take the trouble to bother themselves about the administration the Poor Law except when they have a special end to serve in the spoils of office being given to some personal friend or relative. Apart altogether, however, from the appointment which has been made, it does seem strange that when the Cellardyke members got the chance of getting a medical officer for themselves only, and not one holding the same offices in other parishes, they should not have been anxious to have stipulated for this. It is patent to all that the poor would have been better looked after by one medical gentleman confined to the parish, than by one who is the officer for three or four parishes. But apparently partisan feeling is too strong in some people to look at what is best for the interests of the poor of the parish. It is a miserable excuse, but is the only one that can be traceable from the action of the majority.



The annual reunion of this school took place on Monday night—Provost Martin presiding. His remarks, full of exhortation and advice, contained also a hopeful report on the state of the school and the work. The number on the roll was 230, and the average attendance 200. The repetition of the fifty-two texts learned in the course of the year had resulted in thirty-five managing without one mistake, and thirteen failing in two. The teaching staff numbered thirty. The Young Men and Women’s Bible Class was flourishing, and an average of 70 now attended. There had been over £92 collected for mission purposes, and, taking the year altogether, it had been prosperous. The Rev. Messrs Macalpine, Anderson, and Gregory also delivered appropriate addresses, while the choir rendered sacred pieces during the evening. The usual compliments to the Chairman, kn., terminated the meeting.

A very curious incident is reported to us from the East Neuk. A young woman was proceeding along one of the streets Cellardyke on some message when a gallant, with the intention having some fun, let fly a snowball. It struck the young woman on the cheek, and she turned, no doubt, highly indignant at the insult. This was, however, speedily changed into triumphant laugh, for she found embedded amongst the snow stuck on her face silver sixpence. It is not said the thrower intended the gift.

Intimation has been received that the three inspectors, who are to take evidence of Scottish fishermen on the subject of Irish South Coast Fisheries, are to hold an inquiry in Cellardyke Town Hall, on Tuesday, 31st  instant, at 12.30 These inquiries are being held by the Irish Fisheries Inspectors in pursuance of a request of his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to whom the Inspectors will report on the completion of their inquiries in Scotland on the subject of the evidence tendered by the fishermen in connection with the early herring fishing in the Irish South Coast waters, and the effect of such fishing on the Irish mackerel fishing industry. From the fishermen’s point of view these inquiries are of a very important nature.


Crail New Years Day – At night a ball was carried through with great glee in the Town Hall dancing being indulged in till well on in the morning. The only other thing in the nature of an entertainment was the conduct of several fishermen, said to be from Cellardyke, who were very much the worse of drink, and made sad exhibitions of themselves on the streets, not a few being bespattered with mud, from the face downwards. One worse than his chums had evidently been interviewing the metal on the roads, and had got a poor reception, judging from the blood and dirt about him. But for this invasion the town would have been quite dull.

The steamers had gone out on Thursday, and now returned. Captain Lyall, seeing the heavy sea sweeping over the east pier, and knowing how quickly the waves would master any vessel caught broadside on, hoisted a signal for them to stand off. The Maggie Lauder was twice put to the entrance, but Skipper Sheriff eventually steered for Leith. A little later the Tennant hove in sight, and made straight for Anstruther. Although the flag might not have stopped her, the sight of the waves, which every instant rose high over the piers and rolled away to the west, showed the great danger, and Skipper Gourlay followed the example the Maggie. The shots were small, and, as they managed one trip, the earnings were not high. Only one boat came into Anstruther—the Resolute—landing fifteen crans at 13s each.

A new impetus was given to the fishing on Monday. All the boats were out, and nearly two hundred lights might have been descried between Fidra and Methil, the favoured spot at present. On the following morning fifty boats were back with the first tide. The demand for bait took away a few crans at 20s each. A fair quantity was sold at 15s to 19s. In the afternoon ten boats landed average of seven crans, and these drew 12s each. Nor did the returns of Wednesday prove less encouraging. The average was not so high, but the fishing was general. In the afternoon the wind was light and baffling, so that the task of getting out was very tedious. Only about a score managed it, they had a long tack ere they could reach the shoals. They returned well fished, but now the price had fallen to 8s. The wind was so high on Thursday that no boats left the harbour.

The liners have now a plentiful supply of bait close at hand. They have not been able to get far to sea yet, and the takes are small. The Anster Fair made a couple of trips, grossing £49, the Edith £26, the Maggie £5 for one shot, the Rob £11, the Tennant £12, and the Effort £5.

On Tuesday the Jeannie Wood, of Cellardyke, came sweeping through the inner entrance with much speed that she ran into the Lady James and damaged her stern. The schooner was not ready for sea, and so Mr Jarvis has been able to repair her ere the cargo of potatoes was completed. The damage will be within £5.