Much interest was felt in some circles here by the visit, a few days ago, of Captain Peter Hart, the master of a Dutch Schooner, who is well known in many of the East Coast ports for his gifts and piety..It appears while on a homeward journey his vessel was damaged and put in for repairs, giving the good skipper an opportunity of being in Cellardyke. There is enough of interest about a preacher being a sea faring man and a foreigner to secure general attention, but in any position or under any circumstances Peter Hart will be found no common man. He is a burly dark complexioned individual, with a broad Dutch face, which lights up with a singular earnest and benignant expression when he speaks of his favourite theme of religion. He has a good command of English, acquired in the course of his voyages, but this is never so apparent as when he quotes our version of the scriptures, which he does with remarkable ease and appropriateness. His massive well defined forehead wold give a phrenologist a high opinion of his capacity; and no one can listen to his discoursing, so rich with graphic illustration, and piquant with quaint sayings, without being struck with his intellectual strength and fruitfulness, and however rude that discoursing may at times sound to ‘ears polite’ there will be few sleepers when the Dutchman addresses the congregation. ‘Oh friends let me warn you all, de debil don’t go clattering about with clogs, him slip on stocking soles, not like him ugly black self, but with a bible in him’s oxter’ Captain hart seems to have formed some cherished friendships in Cellardyke, where he has always a cordial welcome, and readily secures a numerous hearing on the occasion of a meeting. We are told that on ship board he is always ready to engage in devotional exercises with those around him, and that meetings are often largely attended both by British and foreign sailors, many of whom gratefully acknowledge the good and salutary influence of the pious Dutchman.
At a meeting of the Parochial board of Kilrenny on Wednesday last, it was agreed to distribute half a ton of coals to each of the registered poor of the Parish, about the end of the year.
The Fishing our boats all except four have returned from the Yarmouth Fishing, twenty five in number, and although the successes on the whole have been varied, our fishermen have made a very good thing of it. A good many have grossed £350 or upwards, and perhaps £250 may be taken as an average. It is likely that the result will induce a good many to try their luck in that quarter next season.
Death of Captain David Watson in Australia – Intelligence was received last week of the death under peculiar circumstances of Captain Watson, a native of Cellardyke. From the particulars it appears that Captain Watson had bought a ship and taken it out to Freemantle or Perth Australia, where he sold the vessel. He intended to return home by the regular mail steamer, but before reaching the port of departure it was necessary to cross a tract of unpopulated land about 250 miles in extent. Previous to starting on the journey, Captain Watson remitted the money received for his ship to his friends in London, keeping about £100 for his expenses returning home. The only means of conveyance across the tract of land above referred to was a small mail gig. In which, along with two other persons the Captain took his place. When they had gone about 70 miles on their journey the gig broke down in a bog or swamp, and while his companions were getting the vehicle repaired Captain Watson said he would walk on, and they could overtake him. On again resuming their way they could not discover their fellow passenger, but as police stations are situated every ten miles or so along the road, it was thought that he had succeeded in reaching the next one. This was found, however to be erroneous, as on their arrival at the station nothing had been seen of him. The mail gig having to continue the journey in order to catch the steamer, the alarm was given to search the road in the hope that the missing gentleman had wandered from the track and lost his way. This was done but it was 14 days afterwards before the body of Captain Watson was found lying not far from where th gig had broken down. When th last intelligence left Australia, the investigation into the circumstances of the case was still going on. Another Correspondent writes :- Captain Watson was over 50 years of age. He was one of those energetic self reliant spirits from this place, who from the humble vocation of the fisherman have acquired position and fortune by their own good conduct and force of character. He was for many years one of the best known Captains in the East India and China Trade. The unfortunate gentleman, who was twice married, leaves a widow and daughter to mourn his untimely fate – their affliction being all the more that his homecoming was daily expected.
On Wednesday the largest take of Haddocks landed by any of our Cellardyke boats this season was brought by Skipper Charles Carstairs. It amounted to over 31 hundred weight. But this may be said to have been the one prize of the lottery, as the success of the other hardy crews who buffeted the billow and breeze only ranged from 2 ½ – 11 ½ cwt. Singular, however as Skipper Carstairs fortune was, it was exceeded by Skipper Archibald Peebles of pittenweem, who landed 34cwt at Anstruther on Saturday. Haddocks have been selling very cheap on the Fife Coast this week, considering how the late storms must have affected the fish supplies of the large cities, as they only realised from 10s to 10s 6d on Tuesday ; but the fine take the next day brought 13s 6d per cwt. The fleet of boats fishing haddocks belonging to Cellardyke are at present 40.
Yesterday while the crew of a Cellardyke fishing boat were preparing to cast their nets about 30 miles from land, one of them, named John Wood, was engaged in passing the end of the sail with a hook, when the boat gave a lurch and he was precipitated into the sea. Every exertion was made to save him, but, being unable to swim, Wood Sank in minutes. Wood was married only a fortnight ago. (The Boat was his Father’s the Anne of Cellardyke)
Three fatal cases of Scarlatina have been reported in Cellardyke during the last nine days. One of these was a fine girl of three summers, the child of Mr James Dick, fisherman, Cellardyke, who died on Friday; another was a son of Robert Thomson’s, whose sufferings closed on the following day in his sixth year; and the third victim was a promising boy about thirteen years of age, who was reft from the household of Mr John Dickson.
On Thursday Morning Mr Robert Cunningham, the oldest fisherman in Cellardyke, breathed his last at the ripe old age of eighty nine.
1875 – The start of December the papers were full of the disaster which struck the East Neuk Fleet heading home from Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The three St Monans boats lost, Beautiful Star, Thane and Quest are still remembered in a memorial stone carved like a Fifie in Kings Lynn Cemetery.. But also lost were two Cellardyke boats.
‘Janet Anderson’ KY 1176, and ‘Vigilant’ KY 1214 (which had only been launched that summer)
Crew of the Janet Anderson
James Murray, Skipper aged 26 who was to have been married on his return home,
Andrew Stewart 34, 4 children one being born a week before the disaster.
William Bridges, 22 married 1 child
James Walker of Kingsbarns married 4 children
Alex Lothian 54, Married 4 children
And two unmarried cousins from Portaskerrie in the North of Scotland
Crew of the Vigilant
Robert Stewart Skipper, 42, 4 children
William Stewart, 45, 1 child and pregnant wife
James McRuvie 45 4 children including his son James aged 16 who was also lost with this boat
Alex Doig, 32, 6 children
Leslie Brown 19 un married
Also lost in the storm
Alexander McRuvie, 17, Lost over board from the Excelsior
Also John Watson was washed overboard
And others hrt badly ion other boats.
Cellardyke lost 15 men, St Monans lost 21 and 71 children in the two towns made fatherless