It was said that Dykers need never leave the confines of the town and stroll into Anstruther as you could get everything you ever needed there in the past. That can be seen by the number of businesses highlighted below. and the scale of some of the manufacturing was huge.
We have a changed town now with one baker’s, the Corner shop, a fish merchant and one hairdresser, a Chinese takeaway and two pubs.
Prior to the naming of the streets and the numbering of houses it is very difficult to pinpoint specific buildings. To give an idea of how many businesseswere here in 1862 click on this link below.
These pages are by no means a complete list, If you have any further info or photos or even corrections please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
Many thanks in particular to Malcolm Macdonald, Rob Glendinning and Susan Cathcart – Thanks also to all the other contributors.
(NOTE THERE ARE 4 PAGES OF SHOPS AND BUSINESSES PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO ACCESS PAGES 2-4)
- Scott and Stevenson’s – Carters – Fish hauliers and Coopers curing yard 1920’s,
- Tammy Murray’s – Builders yard 1950’s – 1980’s
- Baby Fayre
Tammy bought the yard in the late 1950’s, prior to this it seems to have still been a curer’s yard and cooperage, there were stables in the courtyard for the ponies.
The office entrance to the builders yard was on West Forth Street. Tammy and the family always refferred to the yard as “Scott’s Place”
One of Tammy’s plasterers, Munroe Brand, had a skiffle band and they would practice in one of the lofts, David Barnett remembers listening from underneath to Lonnie Donnegan tunes.
In the late 1960’s early 1970’s the Royal Mail garaged their vans in what had been the stables, after that they moved to Willie Band’s garage in Crail Rd, Anstruther
Hannah Murray, Tammy’s wife, ran Baby Fayre which opened in 1967 as a baby linen wool shop, one of the reasons for opening may have been that Anderson’s shop in Shore Street in Anstruther had recently closed and there was seen to be a gap in the market
Prior to Baby Fayre it had been the display shop for the builders yard displaying fire places The buildings were converted into houses starting in 1978. ( info from Georgia and John Murray)
Betty Wilson (nee Drummond) worked here.
The ‘Foot o’ Caddie’s Burn’
- (1920/30s) Geordie Kirkcaldy’s butcher’s shop. ( image to Follow)
(He also had a carter’s business up the Toll Road. He was reputed to have counted all of his horses one day and found one missing. He forgot about the one he was sitting on!!!)
- (post war) Gardner’s Ladies Hairdressers – May, Fay, and Agnes Gardner ran this for many years before it was taken over by Christine Lewis. It was turned into a private house. For many years it lay empty and was in a poor state of repair. However, in 2012 renovations were undertaken and it now looks good.
Behind this was Drummond and Watson’s Joiners.
6 James Street
- James Donaldson bakers appear in 1903 Slater’s directory see no’s 8- 10
7 James Street –
- Robertson and Wallace – In Anstruther, Misses Robertson and Wallace owned Toy and provison Merchants, first in Cunzie Street and then in East Green, This potentially could be the same women.
No. 7 and No 9 James Street
- Myle’s Motor Transport Services
“Jock and Johnina Myles were my grandparents. Number 7 and 9 were the cottages to a small farmyard going back a couple of hundred years or so. We have documents showing that an Alexander Myles was living there at the start of the 1800s. There was a stable and cart shed a pig sty and henhouse. When I was young my uncle kept pigs and hens in the yard behind No 9.
Number 7 was originally a cottage adjoining number 9.It was demolished to build a garage for the lorries when the family went into the motorised haulage business. On the west side of No7 was a yard stacked with fish boxes where lorries were parked and farm machinery was stored. The tall building No5? may have been used for fish curing prior to that. ” (Info from Christine Gray)
Jock and Johnina Myles sold tatties and milk. They farmed small pockets of land rented from the Sea box Society.
The family ran a haulage company latterly.
Big Eck Myles ran lorries that took fish from port to port, It is thought contracted to Joe Croan. Drivers were John and Willie Hughes, Bill Blythe, Bert Wright, Rab Christie and Bill Bell – also Jimmy Myles,
“Eck Myles used to keep pigs down his backdoor. As bairns, when we saw the big red gate shut we knew a pig was being slaughtered. He aye chased us away as he said it wisny something bairns should see or hear” Info Pamela Hughes
Eck retired early 1970’s. Eck also had the field on the seaside between Anster and pittenweem- I remember the Massey ferguson tractor. Jimmy and family, Betsy and Willie stayed opposite Eck and the garage (info Margaret Christie).
Now a private home
8- 10 James Street
- Alexander/ Andrew Donaldson’s Bakers
The Shop was number 8 and the bakehouse number 10. In the early 1990’s the brick oven was still in situ.
Alexander Donaldson was running a bakers’s business at 25 Shore Street Cellardyke until Nov 1885 when he sold it to Thomas Swinton, Alex had had a serious accident crashing his delivery cart at the The Buckie House corner in September, breaking Ribs and a colar bone.
In 1896 it is reported that his widow died at 6 James Street, and so he must have died prior to this, Is this when the business is re-established in James Street?
Attending a Master Bakers dinner in Cupar in 1899 – Donaldson, Birrell, Guiland and Black.
Also it is advertised several times selling tickets for Soirees in the early 1900s.
Andrew Donaldson, Baker, Cellardyke appears before a War exemption hearing and is awarded his exemption. and that is the last we hear of him..
Betsy Myles worked in the shop in the 1920’s
Further info welcome
Before WW2 it is thought Guthries Taxis operated from here, and their slogan was “We Never Sleep”
Fleming’s Plumbers workshop.
- John Fleming
14 James Street
- 1886 – William Bayne – Confectioners 14 & 16 ( Info from Slaters Directory)
- Early 1900s – Mrs Gibbon
Mrs Gibbon was lost her husband in 1901, he was a Joiner in Pittenweem, she may have only run the business after she was widowed and seems to have cleared the stock in 1906
Margaret Bett had a baby linen shop Pre 1920s.
It may have been pub many years before that.
25 James Street –
- William Duncan – Grocer and Spirit dealer – Info from Slaters 1886 Directory
- William Walker – Spirit merchant
- Alex Smith – Grocer and Wine Merchant – appears in valuation rolls 1897 as a tennant
- Alexander Cathro – Grocer and Wine merchant. Takes ownership in 1903, having come from Broughty Ferry a few years earlier, then ran a van in Anstruther, but goes bankrupt within 18 months. and deserts his wife and family leaving them to get help from poor relief of the parish
- Brattesani’s Chip shop
Manegildo Brattesani ( Jimmy) was born in the house above his fathers chipshop at 25 James Street, which in 1905 advertised fried fish and potato suppers. It has been suggested that this was the first chipshop in Cellardyke. He worked for a few years at his fathers shop in Earlsferry then on Rodger Street, Anstruther before working in the confectioners in in 43 Shore street which his father bought in 1919, he ran that for about 60 years retiring in 1979.
28 James Street
- Mrs Scott in the 1950s –
31 James Street
- Alex Wilson – Boot and Shoe manufacturer
This advert is from November 1885
32 James Street and 34 James Street-
It seems at some point early 20th C numbers 32 and 34 were combined as one shop under the name Davidson and Co. She advertises the business sometimes at number 32 and at other times at 34
- Davidson and Co – Drapers and Milners on the Valuation Rolls, Charlotte Davidson is the proprietor
- T Blackley’s Electrical shop
- Adamson’s Baker’s shop
- Books and gifts shop
- now a private residence
In 1902 Davidson & Co are advertising at No 34 and in 1911 they are advertising at no 32. In May 1912 they are offering goods at a reduced rate as part of a Fire Sale- goods have been water damaged.
34 James Street, –
- T Thomson with shops in Cellardyke and Anstruther first appears in Adverts in March 1885
- Davidson & Co, Drapers and Milners opened on the 18th March 1899 and the last advert for the company appears December 1916
- Tam Boyter’s chip shop (1936-ish) 5p for a fish supper!
- Alex Gardner (‘Gales’) & Lizzie Muir – chip shop (post war)
East of Fife Record 18 March 1898 – CORNER SHOP, 34 James Street, Cellardyke to Let, suitable for any business, with counter and fittings. Apply Alex Keay.
A year later Davidson & Co opens up
The next information we have is Robert Cormack- Boot and Shoe merchant seems to have operated from there or a few years , ending in 1929
35 James Street-
- Robert Donaldson Fish Curer owned the yard according to valuation roles in 1896 and sold it in 1907
- Alex Black and Co, The Cellardyke Oilskin Factory ( part of the buildings round the yard must have been used for the oilskin factory and part for fish curing, as both operated simultaenously) was operating 1890 sold in 1925
- Myles’ Oilskin Factory, 1925-1948
- Ritchies May Island Crisps – 1950s
- M&J precast Concrete – 1950s
The Company may have developed from Duncan and Blacks,
“It gives a pleasing idea of the unslackened energy in the herring trade that Messrs Duncan & Black’s net factory in Cellardyke is busy, in the meantime, by night as well as by day. There are at present 16 machines in motion, hitherto, as elsewhere, by the fair sisters of the coast; but in the course of the week a party of young men arrived by rail to work the night shift, so as to enable the spirited firm to overtake the orders thus early in hand.”
In the late 19th C Alex Black Patented the Canvas Bough, (Drift net float) seen in the window of the shop, replacing the bladders and dogskin boughs of the past. He is advertising these boughs along with patent Keep-me-dry peticioat trousers in July 1890.
The factory was sold in 1925 to William Myles, fishcurer who was still advertising it as an Oilskin Factory in 1948. However Wm Myles whose address was Holmsgarth, Cellardyke died in 1948, an Executary Notice was placed in the Courier on 16th July for any claims against him and the business.
After it stopped working as an Oilskin Factory presumably after Wm Myles’ death in the late 1940s an attempt was made to set up a Crisp factory by Ritchie, however a devastaing fire put an end to that enterprise and the building was purchased by local builder Tammy Murray and his cousin Peter Jack. They formed a precast concrete company called M& J Precast, prior to Tammy moving his builders busines to Caddie’s Burn.
No. 36 James Street
- John Bett – General Grocer listed in Slaters Directory 19O3
Owned by Thomas Bett and Agnes Ogilvie Bett.
It was their family home from between 1861 and 1871. When Agnes was widowed in 1877 the lower part of the house became a grocer’s shop run by son John Bett and his wife Charlotte well into the 1920s/30s. They sold groceries, sweets and also drapery.
Charlotte or ‘Chae’ was from ‘the north’, possibly Peterhead. Her favourite phrase was “Look at everything and handle nothing!”
No 48 James Street
- Robert Cormack – Boot maker appears in 1903 Slater’s directory
- Miss Watson – Dressmaker and Milner announces opening on 14th March 1912 but by 1913 she is operating from 60 James Street
- Jess Lowries’ sweet shop This appears in valuation rolls 1926-29
No. 49 James Street
- David Tawse – general store and ice cream sold from a barrow round the streets.
Some place opposite Tawse’s was the Dorran’s shop which sold their own home made sweeties and sold delicious sherbet – Any info on dates or the address would be welcome.
No 52 James Street-
- James Skinner – Grocers – 1885 he also has a Shop at 69 George Street selling teas spirits, ales and Ironmongery
- Lows Boot Makers – 1911
- Laing’s Cobbler’s – James Ure Laing, Originally from Glasgow, had a shop in School Rd, Cellardyke until 1929 then moved to James Street . He was a Town Councillor from at least 1932 until his death in 1940
- Dorran’s general store
- Fife Jewellers
- Reid the Shoe maker occupied this premises prior to moving to 54,
- Paint Shop Hodge St Monans,
- Gus and Sandra Mackie’s freezer store in 1970s
53 James Street –
- D Black, Bakers – In 1898 was running from Both 53 and 55
54 James Street,
- David Cunningham – Draper sets up in 1883 and retires in 1886
- James Skinner – opened in 1887
- Co -Operative Butchers -1930’s
- British Legion Club House –
- Drysdale and Bett, 1950s -1960s ( John Smith remembers watching the Coronation through the window in 1953.)
- Reid the Cobblers
- Ian Joy’s photographers
- Mrs Stoddart’s Hairdressers – 1960s-to 1981 ( Mrs Stioddart had a hair dressing shop in East Green, Anstruther, in 1946 prior to moving to James Street, ) Kay Cumming and Catherine Gillon worked with Mrs Stoddart until she gave up. Kay continued working in Tangles, With Catherine doing an ocassional weekend to cover for family weddings etc.
- Tangles Hairdressers (Gladys and Michelle Barnett) 1981-
56 James Street
- Miss Christina Skinner – Grocer, general dealer and spirit delar – listed in Slater’s Directory 1903
58 James Street – Mr Daniel’s sweet shop ( 1930s) –
Bobby Bell – Barber 1950’s -until approx 1983. Colin Murray beleieves he was Bobby’s first customer in 1950
Quote from Alex Watson -” As a wee ane sitting on a board placed across the seat to give Bobby the right height to cut, gave a great view of what was going on. On the wall was his price board “Mon to Friday Gent’s hair cut 1/6d” and under this was “do. do. On Saturday 2/0d” I always thought that this was a special plea by Bobby for customers to just give a little extra …do on Sat. please…It was only later I realised do. stood for ditto. Nice man. Staunch supporter of the Baptist Kirk”
James Murray “I hated going because he used hand clippers and always pulled hair out”
John Deas “plenty plooks after a hair cut from Bobby!”
60 James Street
- Post Office – in 1892 Michael Doig Operated a post office from here but moved to no 68 and operated from there until 1930
- Advert – 12th March 1897 – East of Fife Record- To Let- That Shop 60 James Street lately occupied by A Gardyne, rent £5, or said shop with back room upstairs at £7. Entry Whitsunday Apply H.B Mackintosh Solicitors, Anstruther
- Mrs Jessie McRuvie – Shopkeeper – appears 1903 Slater’s Directory
- Mrs / Miss Watson – Milner – advertises in september 1912 and again in 1913 she seems to have opened shop in number 48 James Street In March 1912 but is operating from No 60 by September of that year.
61-62 James Street,
- Thomson Brothers –
- John Cleghorn – Sold bedding in 1980’s
- Malcolm Souter – Bike Shop originally from dundee he also repaired washing machines
This particular company seems to have set opened up their shop as Thomson Bros here in January 1905. We are not sure what relation they are to Peter Thomson that was certainly operating as a draper in January 1868. In 1877 he appears in Warrels Directory operating from 63 James Street. Peter Thomson was also a member of the Police Commission, School board and Provost of the Town Council. Peter lived at 10 West Forth Street.
(Henry Millar and Ella Leask) General Drapers who sold everything from women’s ‘stays’ to linoleum floor covering. The fishermen all got their ‘Kersey Breeks there! It was a favourite destination for the children in the weeks before Guy Fawkes Nicht. We’d go to ask Henry Millar or Ella Leask, his sister-in-law, if they’d keep the cardboard rolls from the linoleum or carpets. They made a great framework for the building of the bonfire. ( info Susan Cathcart)
65 James Street, –
- Aggie Swinton – 1950s and 60s wool and haberdashery, Aggie’s mother Pheme, made all the aprons and pinnys that were sold in the shop.
Miss Aggie Swinton’s, baby linen, wool and drapery. Floor to ceiling with boxes (thick cardboard boxes…which were reused but had contained pats of butter!) You could buy all you would need to make knitted garments or repair what you had already! Zips, buttons, wool, threads, needles and pins. The shop was to the left as you entered and her living room/kitchen was on the right. There was always a wonderful smell of baking and ALWAYS one or two ladies taking tea in there and catching up on the gossip of the day. Aggie’s sister Harriot (Hettie) was married to Carl Russell who ran the Observer Newspaper in High Street, Anstruther…where the pet shop is now.Info Susan Cathcart
66 James Street –
- David Guillam – baker was operating in 1887
- J H Birrell- baker – The business may have opened in the late 1890s, it is listed in 1903 Slater’s Directory as being owned by Wm Birrell by the 1940s it was his son Jack (John) Birrell that ran the business until the early 1960s
- Mrs Wilcox(?) Gift Shop
- Maisie Abbott’s Post Office, Don Abbott also ran a Heraldic Plaque making business in the out houses.
67 James Street
Post Office – 1880 – 1892 run by Mary Bruce according to to directories, however an advert in 1891 states a David Bruce was running the post office in 79 George Street
68 James St,
- Post Office – Michael Doig operated the post office from here from about 1897 until 1930 – Mary Moncrieff – operated a post office from here afterwards
- Cargill’s chip shop –
- Mima Mairs chipshop 1940s and 1950’s