Category Archives: Community News

Raffle Prizes Sought for PSP Coffee Morning

A coffee morning on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Pittenweem Church Hall will raise money to help in the fight against PSP — Progressive Supranuclear Palsy — a progressive neurological condition with debilitating and deadly effects. The fun and food-friendly event begins at 10am, and entry is £2.50.

Elizabeth Birrell has been involved in raising money for the PSP Association since her husband Ian was diagnosed with the condition, and passed away from it on October 7, 2014. Her efforts have been impressive and the support from the East Neuk community heart-warming, as more than £73,000 has been raised in just a few years. Ian, a man known for his humour, his open heart and generous spirit, arranged to donate his spinal column and brain at his death for research purposes — a magnificent bequest enabling researchers to learn even more about the disease.

Prizes for the raffle drawing at the coffee morning are being sought. Hampers, wine, spirits, restaurant / food vouchers, “freebies”, decorative/house/garden items and more are all being sought for the raffle. Please contact Elizabeth at 310451 or email her at if you’d like to make a donation for the raffle.

WHAT IS PSP? and what does it have to do with Dudley Moore?

The PSP Association estimates there are around 4,000 people with PSP living in the UK, but it could be as many as 10,000 due to mis-diagnosis.  Dudley Moore, the well-known UK comedienne and movie star, developed PSP at a time when it was virtually unknown. His symptoms made people think he was drunk all the time as he had trouble with speech, movement, and balance. The truth of this devastating illness eventually came out after his death.

PSP occurs when brain cells in certain parts of the brain are damaged by a build-up of a protein called tau. In people with PSP, it isn’t broken down properly and forms harmful clumps in brain cells. Movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood and behavior, and thinking are all affected in no particular order as they decline due to the brain’s nerve damage.

There’s no single test for PSP, and currently there is no cure for PSP. Instead, the diagnosis is based on the pattern of symptoms, as the doctor tries to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as Parkinson’s disease. The disease gets progressively worse, with people becoming severely disabled within three to five years of onset. Affected individuals are predisposed to serious complications such as pneumonia, choking, head injury, and fractures. The most common cause of death is pneumonia. With good attention to medical and nutritional needs, individuals with PSP may possibly live a decade or more after the first symptoms of the disease.




Skeith Parking Lot Partying & Noise Disturbance

A problem about noise, loud music and disruption in the Skeith Health Centre parking lot late at night has been brought to my attention. Also, there are cars speeding on Skeith Road and there is a danger that somebody can get hurt. IF you live in the area and are experiencing these same problems with cars partying, playing loud music, possibly drinking, etc. in this area, please PM me or send email to Ansteractivities@ so that your experiences can also be brought to the attention of the Fife Councillors and the Anstruther Community Council. Many thanks…


The Spindrift Guest House Changes Ownership

The Spindrift Guest House in Anstruther is changing ownership, as proprietors Ken and Christine Lawson announced the sale of the guest house to new owners Mark and Jeni Carmichael-Green.  The handover takes effect on October 1, eighteen years to the day since they took over the ownership of the popular and highly regarded accommodation.

After eighteen years hosting home and international travellers, the Lawsons are planning on “catching our breath and beginning our retirement…”  Ken playfully warns that,  “Anstruther is not getting rid of us that easily – we’re only moving to Lundin Links!”

Both Ken and Christine are vocal in acknowledging the help and friendships they’ve built up over the years with a variety of people, and both have been active in Anstruther activities and town life.  Ken has served on the Anstruther Harbour Festival committees, was a Fife Tourism Board member, and Chair of the East Neuk Tourism Association.  He readily gives credit to Christine, as he would not have been able to serve the Community without the help of Christine who had to look after the guests while he attended  the various meetings.

In buying The Spindrift, they came from Edinburgh to the guest-house business with no prior experience whatsoever. Ken had owned a taxi business, while Christine was an Operations Manager in the Registrars Department at RBS.  Their choice was either taking over a post office business or becoming guest house owners. Having looked at scores of guest houses in a variety of locations, they settled in Anstruther as they were familiar with, and always felt comfortable in, the East Neuk area.

Taking over The Spindrift proved a sharp learning – and spending – curve for them as they redecorated and upgraded all of the eight guest rooms and ensuites.  Repainting, double-glazed windows, and updated bathrooms were just the tip of the improvement iceberg.

In re-branding the guest house, higher guest-service standards became the norm as the couple were passionate about offering a guest experience that was superior in every way.  All staff received World Host training in guest relations, proper food service, even foreign language basics to welcome guests in their own tongue.   Fresh foods and produce, locally sourced, were now incorporated into the breakfasts, and dinner service was being offered to guests as well as “locals”.

The Lawsons formula of hard work and attention to customer detail has built an inter-nationally recognised business with some 3500 guests a year – many of them repeat customers who are now reversing the tables by inviting the Lawsons to be their guests and stay with them!

The Spindrift Guest House has won multiple, repeat, awards from tourism organisations over the years, including four-star Gold awards from Visit Scotland and the AA;  a Green Tourism Silver Award for being environmentally friendly;  and a Gold Guest House Award from Le Routiers.  VisitScotland, the AA, and the NHS (Healthy Living) have awarded the guest house their highest food awards for breakfast, dinner, and healthy cooking using fresh locally produced food products, and food service.

Working closely with the Waid Academy over the years, past and present staff members have been third-year and above students. Many have then progressed into Hospitality & Tourism courses at university.  The Lawsons have sponsored The Spindrift Shield, awarded each year to the grade 4 & 5 pupil who has surpassed in their hospitality exam.

In addition to The Spindrift Shield, the Lawsons have sponsored community events and activities such as the Anstruther Harbour Festival, the Anstruther Operatic Society, the Pittenweem Arts Festival, the Crail Festival,  RNLI Open Days, Anstruther in Bloom (particularly the floral displays on the Pittenweem Road entry into Anstruther), and for several years, the scorecard at the Anstruther Golf Club.  Each year, a coffee afternoon to benefit Children in Need is held, and to date close to £2000 has been raised.

As they prepare to hand over the guest house to the new owners, Mark and Jeni, they are thankful to all the wonderful staff, past and present, who have worked at The Spindrift over the years.  They are grateful to the local suppliers of fresh meats, seafood,  garden produce and fruits, and artisan breads. They recognise that such locally sourced food products are a component in all the awards they’ve won over the years.

Ken also offers the couple’s thanks to local plumbers, joiners, electricians, painters, and other businesses who “helped keep the house in tip-top order…” and were always available for the rare emergency.

Ken and Christine find it ironic that the new owners, Mark and Jeni, are new to guest-house ownership just as they themselves were eighteen years ago.  Ken is confident “that Mark and Jeni will be offered the same support, help, and kindness that were shown to us when we first moved in…” and mentions Sandy Bowman from The Craw’s Nest Hotel, and Pam from The Grange, both welcoming he and Christine and offering any help they may need.

With three weeks temporarily at a friends’ house before moving into their new Lundin Links house, Ken and Christine will be deciding what to do with their newly-found free time.  As the parents of a daughter and two grown up grandchildren living in Tenerife,  they are looking forward to visiting them more often and also having a summer holiday which was out of the question before.

And as Ken says, “We’ll still be around!”


Councillors Named for Anstruther, Cellardyke, Kilrenny

Anstruther’s local Community Council will have a host of new councillors from the area helping to make plans and decisions affecting the ACK area and its’ residents.  Now joining the CC will be:  Catherine Carter, Susan Gay, Kevin Lancaster, Gillian MacLaren, Alastair MacLeod, Lindsay McKinstray, Karen Owen, and Daryl Wilson. They will join current CC members Alex Hay, Lorna Jones, Donald McKenzie, Andy Peddie, and Gail Sorley.

Meetings, always open to the public, are held at 7:30pm on the second Monday of every month in the Burgh Chambers of the Anstruther Town Hall.  Minutes of all meetings are posted on the Anstruther.Info website.


East Neuk Foodbank CONTINUES at Cellardyke Church Hall

Due to a bit of Storm damage, we need to move the East Neuk Foodank to Cellardyke Church Hall, on Thursday 20th September, 4pm -6pm, this will be for food parcel pick up and food drop offs only .  Update Sept. 20:  Food Bank will continue, temporarily, to be at Cellardyke Church Hall until further notice. Hours are Tuesdays 12-4, and Thursday 4-6.  

Update Sept. 24:  the Food Bank will continue at Cellardyke Church Hall this week. Please note that there is NO internet service at the  Church Hall, so anybody needing to use a computer or access the internet should use the Job Centre computers in Anstruther Town Hall, lower level. 

Please could you pass this info on to anyone who you think may need to use our services.
We will keep you informed as to where we will hold the foodbank next week once we have more information
Thank You,     Richard Wemyss, Project Coordinator