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FOR RESTAURANTS, PUBS, ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS, AND BUSINESSES IN EAST NEUK AREA: if you have a website or a mailing list to stay in touch with customers, please post information about the ANSTRUTHER HARBOUR FESTIVAL on July 28-29 and encourage people to make a visit.  The event is very family-friendly, and will be fun for all ages.  

NEW THIS YEAR:   free mini-bus from Waid parking to harbour front; Pirate Show; Viking re-enactment; kid’s junior ceilidh; disco for kids; Gaelic music/dance/story-telling; and lots more!   



Cellardyke Sea Queen Weekend a HUGE Success…

This post will be short and sweet as there have been other posts about this event previously, and there are zillions of posts, photos and videos on Facebook under the Cellardyke, Anstruther.Info,  Anstruther Harbour Festival, and other pages,  too many to make reference here.

Just jump into Facebook and start looking around — you’ll see Jim Braid’s video of the procession of hundreds of people through Cellardyke,  photos of the Sea Queen and her court, Kathryn Shearer and other ladies dressed as fisher women, and much, much more.  The weather was glorious, Katie’s seabourn entrance into Cellardyke Harbour breathtaking, and in short, a wonderful event re-invigorated after a too-long absence from Cellardyke.

Congratulations to everybody who had a hand in pulling this whole event together — it was worth all your time,  energy, and efforts as this event-in-planning became a successful reality!


Cllrs. Docherty, Holt & Porteous: Responsibility to Community

At the recent (Monday, July 9) Community Council meeting at which the proposal for the change to Bankie Park to accommodate a new care home was discussed, Councillors John Docherty, Linda Holt, and Bill Porteous were avid listeners and even more avid note-takers.

Moderated by Chairman Andy Peddie, an informative presentation with charts and diagrams was given by David Heaney from the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership regarding the replacement of Ladywalk House care home, and the re-placement/re-positioning of Ladywalk House in a different area in Bankie Park.  This proposed change has met with strong opposition for various reasons, and more meetings with additional information will take place to fully inform people and look at the circumstances.

After Mr. Heaney’s presentation, Cllr. Bill Porteous was the first councillor to make a brief statement. He spoke about the current Ladywalk House not being fit for refurbishment, just total replacement, and as the elderly deserve the very best,  the new facility would provide that. He currently supports the Bankie Park proposal–which was met by loud boo’s and nays from attendees–and said this and other changes that might follow to Bankie Park,  should be looked at in their entirety as there could be additional benefits to the park itself and its’ users.  He also said he would be looking at timelines, guarantees, special benefits, etc. offered by Fife Council, and he recognises his responsibility to ALL the residents of the area, not just the kids, the elderly and the users of Bankie Park.

Cllr. Linda Holt was next to speak, and made the heart-felt admission that she had not had any idea of how passionately, deeply, people felt about Bankie Park, and protecting it.  She feels a duty to look at the whole situation of Bankie Park as part of her civic duty as a councillor to the area. Cllr. Holt asked the Fife Council visitors to return to another meeting with answers to questions such as:  what will the quality of the reclaimed parkland be like?   changing the regulation preventing care homes from being too close to each other? buying land from a private owner?  any other potential site that could be looked at anew, or revisited/-reconsidered. Her final decision on this proposal would be made after all options have been looked at and all questions answered.

Cllr. John Docherty was the last councillor to speak, and touched on less long-term care being needed, despite an increasing aging population, because home care is preferred and more in use. He also said that as a councillor his responsibility is to the whole community, and he looks forward to the questions raised being answered.

Martin Dibley, secretary of the Anstruther Community Council,  gave a “heads up” by saying that elections for the Community Council will take place in October, and this is an opportunity for people to join the CC and make sure their voice is heard, especially on this Bankie Park issue.


Bankie Park Voices Spoken Loudly & Clearly

Bankie Park possibly changing its’ layout to accommodate a new care home for the elderly is a “hot button” topic for many people in the area, and opinions are being spoken loudly, clearly, and unfavorably.

Proposals by Fife Council and Fife Health and Social Care to replace the current Ladywalk House with a new-build facility in the park are being met with strong opposition if now downright anger. The current facility would be demolished and the new Ladywalk House built in an area of the park which is currently a wildflower area, and an area popular with dog-walkers to let their animals have a bit of run.  The demolished area would be cleaned up and returned to usable parkland, so to Fife Council, this is a like-for-like exchange of land space.

MP Stephen Gethins met with over 40 residents in Bankie Park on Friday, July 6, to learn their reactions to the proposals, and is now questioning the plans after learning more about people’s dissatisfaction.  In a statement in The Courier, July 12, he said, “….I agree that it would be a very serious error if Anstruther was to lose any of its remaining green space….I think it would be sensible to reconsider the siting of this proposed home.”

Three days later on Monday, July 9, a Community Council meeting was held which was standing-room only. Some 70 people attended the meeting, also attended by Councillors John Docherty, Linda Holt, and Bill Porteous.  David Heaney of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, Vivienne McBride, Change Manager/East Division,  and Councillor David Graham, were also in attendance.

Mr. Heaney gave a presentation which explained the criteria used in deciding Bankie Park might be a suitable site; what other locations were looked at and discarded as possibilities; why the current Ladywalk House needs to be replaced, not refurbished;  and what the next steps/process would be in moving the whole project forward. He also answered questions raised by attendees, and later said that the points and criticisms raised were noted and would be considered.

Meeting attendees were vocal in their discouragement of Bankie Park being used, among the reasons:  it’s an area vital to the local community; it’s a highly-used area by people of all ages; it’s undergone various upgrades recently which would all be discarded; it provides a safe passage for kids who walk to school; the configuration of the park would change, which would affect the way the park and its’ space is used; and much more.  These, and other comments and criticisms flew hard and fast as the evening went on, and as Cllr. Linda Holt said in her short presentation, she was surprised at just how passionate people are about Bankie Park, something she hadn’t previously realised ran so deep.

There will be another meeting, most likely late August/September, at which more information will be provided in response to the questions raised.



GoodSAM = Good Chance to Save a Life

East Neuk First Responders (, or  are holding a drop-in session and demonstration about the GoodSAM app, an app that can be downloaded to learn cardiac life-saving techniques.  The app can be found at

Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 7-8pm, and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 2-3pm, at Anstruther Town Hall is the location to learn how easy it is to do CPR or use a defibrillator on somebody suffering a heart problem.  Both life-saving  procedures are easy to learn and make a BIG difference in helping a person survive until professional medical assistance arrives after calling 999.

CPR involves compression on the chest in the approximate area of the heart, and newly released information is that the Proclaimers popular hit  “500 miles” has the tempo that compressions should be done to — just mentally play the song!

Defibrillators are used in cases of cardiac arrest, when the heart stops pumping blood unexpectedly. Step-by-step instructions are given for attaching pads to the person’s chest after which the machine transmits an electrical charge to shock the heart back into action.

Common symptoms of a heart attack include pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to the neck, jaw or back; nausea, indigestion, severe heartburn, or abdominal pain; shortness of breath;  cold sweat or feeling “clammy”; fatigue;  lightheadedness or sudden dizziness.  Any of these symptoms — alone or in combination with others — can signify a heart attack is about to take place or already taking place, and every minute counts to save the person’s life. Call 999 immediately!




Cellardyke Sea Queen Festival 70th Anniversary Sat., July 14

Cellardyke’s Sea Queen Festival celebrates its’ 70th anniversary this Saturday, July 14, with a weekend remembering Cellardyke’s history as a seafaring and fishing village.  A new Sea Queen will be crowned as a fleet of historic boats and a procession from Anstruther to Cellardyke  begin the festivities.

Katie Morris is the Sea Queen elect, and is a born and bred “dyker,”  currently studying to be a Primary Teacher at Dundee University.  She has said, “All my family live in this area and have connections with the sea, either as fishermen or sailors.”   Former Sea Queens will meet with Katie and accompany her to a Kirking Service at Cellardyke Church on Sunday, July 15, at 11am.

Sea Queen festivities on Saturday begin at 3pm with a ceremony at the Anstruther Harbour car park (opposite the Scottish Fisheries Museum), and at 3:15, the Sea Queen departs with a fleet of historic vessels toward Cellardyke.  The procession walks along gaily decorated streets  (James-John-George Streets) towards Cellardyke,  arriving at approximately 3:30pm.  At 3:45, the Sea Queen is officially crowned, followed by the Sea Queen laying a wreath at sea off the Cellardyke Bathing Pool. Please note: times are approximate, depending on weather/sea conditions).

Richard Wemyss has spearheaded the reinvigoration of the Cellardyke Sea Queen event with able help from numerous volunteers who remember the event from years past.  For more information about events, walking routes and street closures/diversions, fully-detailed flyers have been distributed to public locations, check www. or email to


Cellardyke’s “Sea Queen” Party Clothes Are On!

Cellardyke is ready to welcome visitors this weekend, Saturday, July 14, to the Sea Queen Festival as the village pulled out all the stops to get dressed up, and what a terrific result it is!

Bunting has gone up along James Street, John Street, and soon George Street (bunting ran low and more is expected) as Andy Peddie provided a cherry picker and driver to get the job done. Bunting is also suspended in front of private houses and around windows, sometimes criss-crossing from one house over to another on the other side of the street.

Colourful window boxes filled to the brim with vibrant summer flowers are on show, with more floral backup provided by pots of flowers on doorsteps and near entryways.  Tubs of lushly planted flowers are placed within the village, with taller flowers swaying in the sea breezes.

Kathryn Shearer lead the floral charge, with volunteers including Colin & Gemma Wicherley, Pam Moncur, Nettie Carder, David Boyter (a newcomer to the town all the way from Texas!) and Marianne getting things sorted and in place,  and it’s hoped that the floral arrangements can be maintained for the Beautiful Fife judging on July 19 as Cellardyke, Anstruther and Pittenweem are viewed and assessed for this annual competition.

Windows along the Sea Queen procession route are being decorated in various ship-shape ways and seafaring styles, with historical photos of old Cellardyke and old b&w photos of Cellardyke family forebears of especial interest.  Procession-route windows are eligible for the window-dressing competition sponsored by the Anstruther Fish Bar, with winners enjoying a meal and Brattesani ice cream for four people.  Judging will be based on the window best reflecting the house’s history or what now happens in the house, and judges’ decision is final.

Chris Oliver has also posted that during the Cellardyke Sea Queen weekend,  there will be two free exhibitions at 23 George Street. “Where the Cellardyke Fisherman Lived” (curated by Ian Murray) about the families, boats and houses of Cellardyke,  and “Cellardyke Pond Yachts & Model Boat Club”  are on display Fri 13th open 10-6, Sat 14th 10-2:30, Sun 10-4.   There will also be live music by Dougie Andrews 12-2 on Saturday.  They are also attempting to recreate their shop window from 100 years ago.



The potential changes to Bankie Park  by Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and Fife Council is sure to be the main topic of discussion at tonight’s Community Council meeting at Anstruther  Lower Town Hall (Cunzie Street Entrance), promptly starting at 7:30pm.

David Heaney, the partnership’s divisional general manager, will be in attendance to explain more about the plan and answer questions.  The proposal is currently in its initial consultation stage which continues until July 27.

MAKE YOUR THOUGHTS KNOWN!!  With an online petition of over 1500 signatures, and a Courier cover photograph of the word “NO” formed by attendees at a very well attended meeting with MP Stephen Gethins this past Friday, area residents are voicing their objections to, and questions about, this plan.  EVERYBODY IS WELCOME TO THIS MEETING!


Bankie Park Reinvents Itself, Now Fife Council Gloms onto Land

Bankie Park, Anstruther’s open green space used by all ages for all reasons of outdoor enjoyment, is under threat from Fife Council, and area residents are putting up a fight and letting loose with their displeasure and disagreement at what Fife Council would like to do.

A petition has already gotten 1344 signatures — to add your name, go to Change.Org and sign up at: Save Our Parkland – Keep Bankie Park Green” .   Steve Grimmond is Fife Council’s chief executive.  Another contact to send along comments and feedback is:   This initial consultation stage lasts until Friday, July 27, for Fife Council to receive feedback — so it’s imperative that you make your thoughts known.

MSP Steven Gethins will be at Bankie Park on Friday, July 6, at 1pm to hear comments and criticisms of this plan,  and the Anstruther Community Council has added Bankie Park to it’s agenda for the Monday, July 9 meeting (7:30, Anstruther Lower Town Hall).

What’s at stake:   Fife Council wants to replace the nearby care home of Ladywalk House, which is aging into obsolescence,  with a newer facility which will take over land in Bankie Park and encroach on space now used by kids, sports groups, dog walkers, and others.  Supposedly, the space now inhabited by the Ladywalk House will be returned to parkland after the old facility is demolished and the new care home is built.

Bankie Park, in just the last few years, has been an on-going and successful project of renovation, refurbishment, and upgrading.  Play equipment was replaced and new play pieces added, a country garden planted for kids to enjoy, and just within the last year a cycle road was incorporated to wend through the park’s space.  Picnic tables enable families to enjoy a summer meal in fading sunlight as wee ones have one last climb, jump, twirl, or slide on the activity and coordination-enhancing play pieces.

Such efforts represent hundreds of thousands of pounds from Fife Council for structural ground changes, while additional money was raised by the Friends of Bankie Park to refurbish the play areas — a ten year effort of coffee mornings and special fund-raising activities. It is a family-friendly, all-ages-useable area that meets the needs of area residents, but now Fife Council wants to use part of the park for a new care home.

Susanne McElhinney, Keep Bankie Park Green’s spokesperson, said,   “We put blood, sweat and tears into this park because we know it was the lifeblood of the community…now all our hard work is not just being ignored but completely undone….to build over this land would leave nowhere for our children to play within walking distance and will take away the only green space we have, which isn’t even that large.”

This initial consultation process continues until Friday, July 27, and the public are encouraged to make their feelings known before this deadline date.  Proposals for the new care home can be viewed at Anstruther Town Hall and Library, the East Neuk Centre, the Waid Community Campus, the Dreel Halls and the Anstruther Post Office.