Have you found one of our bottles?

They have come from the Phone Box at Cellardyke Harbour

Harbour Telephone Box

Dispensed from this fabulous machine built by David Behrens

Watch The amazing video of David making the bottle dispenser here.

The bottles have been thrown into the sea either at Cellardyke or taken on holiday and sent off on their journey from there.

Please email us when and where you found the bottle and tell usnabout yourselves. and we will add it to the map

History of the project

Message in A Bottle – Who has already been involved?

The plan right from Sydney Clare’s first approach three years ago was to develop a “Message in a Bottle” idea. This pilot project would help to put Cellardyke Harbour on the map again. The idea was to send bottle shaped wooden messages out to the world and tracing where they reappear.

(See below the community involvement in this project 2019/2020)

Leading up to the 2019 Sea Queen Festival we felt it important to remember those still living and working on the sea. We are particularly proud of our schools and East Neuk communities who actively contributed to make this project happen.

All eight primary schools that send their pupils to The Waid took part. They each decorated a sail for a model boat to carry a message in a bottle from the pupils. The pupils composed the messages to be sent out. Catriona Macpherson made the sails and Jake Brown wrote the name of each school on them. The boats, sails and messages were on exhibition at Pittenweem harbour during opening night of Pitenweem Festival.

The themes for their sails were:-

  • The Royal Navy – Crail Primary School – as HMS Jackdaw had been a Navy base at Crail.
  • The Lifeboat service – Anstruther Primary School – Anstruther home of our lifeboat Service
  • The Fishing fleet – Pittenweem Primary School – PIttenweem home of the largest part of the East Neuk Fleet.
  • The Boatbuilders – St Monans Primary School – St Monans home of the last of the large commercial boat builders in the East Neuk
  • Yachting – Elie Primary School – Elie home to many yachts
  • Other Water Sports – Kirkton of Largo – Watersports enjoyed by all even if you do not live on tha coast
  • Merchant Navy – Colinsburgh – Merchant Sailors have belonged to all our communities
  • Oil / gas Workers – Lundin Mill – Our off shore workers live throughout the East Neuk.

Community Organisations built our boats.

Each Community constructed simple boats designed by Pittenweem artist David Behrens to represent their town. The design of the 3ft boats stipulated reclaimed pallet wood and slate.

Time-served boatbuilder, Mike Griffin constructed Crail’s boat. Anstruther – Sean Graham, Scottish Fisheries Museum Trainee. Pittenweem – David Thomson of the West Braes Project. St Monans – Billy Morris and the the St Monans Sea Queen Committee, Elie – members of the Elie Fayre Day Committee. The the final three builds were by members of the East Neuk Men’s Shed.

Launching the boats on 4th August 2019

Seven modern fishing boats and the RNLI rib each took a model boat to sea. This fleet left Anstruther harbour after the Sea Queen’s crowning. Half a mile off Cellardyke Harbour they met the 5 historic boats and 5 skiffs for the wreath laying ceremony. In line they sailed round a buoy off the Cellardyke Pool. About 1000 people watched as the fishing boats placed the model boats and messages in the water.

Messages in the Bottles

Each of the Primary schools wrote a message from the pupils to place in the reclaimed bottles which were then seal with a corks and wax. The model boats had a small hold area carved out of the deck to lay the bottles in. The hold was deep enough to protect the bottle in the boat but should the boat sink the bottle would float away and continue its journey.

All in all over 100 people of all ages contributed by, making, painting, writing and launching our messages in bottles. Watched by over 1000 people. By August 2020 no messages have been found. Several of the boats have been recovered and recyled.

2020 Sea Queen – Message in a Bottle

The postponement of the 2020 Sea Queen Festival due to the Covid 19 pandemic was a disappointment for our community.

In response to this our Sea Queens, Katie Morris (2018) Ellie Deas (2019) and Jessie Barnett( 2020 elect) decided to send a message from our community to the world.

David Simpson of the East Neuk Men’s Shed turned a wooden bottle from recycled pallets for this purpose.

On the day of our cancelled festivial, after socially a distanced walk through the town, the wreath, a bunch of flowers and the bottle were handed to the Fruitful’s skipper. Once out of the harbour, along with our wreath and flowers, the bottle containing their message was placed in the sea.

Lto R Jennie Brown, Jessie Barnett, Ellie Deas, Katie Morris, On board the Fruitful. Richard Wemyss and Dave Crowther