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KILRENNY CHURCH CHRONICLE
ISSUE 8 Sunday 10th May 2020.
Kilrenny Church website
East Neuk Covid19 Emergency help numbers:
0800 999 6543 - 07818 414178.
CHRISTIAN AID WEEK
The Message from Christian Aid.
Love never fails.
Coronavirus impacts all of us.
But love unites us all.
As this virus spreads across the world, love rises up in response. You’ve already shown incredible kindness to your neighbours. Now is the time to reach out to your neighbours both near and far.
Your love protects. From storms, from drought, and now from coronavirus. Your love protects our global neighbours battling the spread of this illness. Your love protects. With soap, clean water and medical supplies.
By supporting us this Christian Aid Week, you can reach out and protect more of your neighbours today.
For more information on the work of Christian Aid and what is happening during Christian Aid week 2020 visit:
Worship and personal reflection:
''our homes are in a Real and Important way the places of worship''
Scripture Reading: Psalm 31
Praise: My times are in Thy hand
My times are in Thy hand,
O God, I wish them there
My live, my soul, my all I leave,
Entirely to Thy care.
My times are in Thy hand,
whatever they may be
pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to thee.
My times are in Thy hand
why should I doubt or fear
a Father's hand will never cause
his child a needless tear
My times are in Thy hand
Jesus, the Crucified,
whose hand my many sins have pierced,
Is now my guard and guide.
My times are in Thy hand,
I'll always trust to Thee,
Till I possess the promised crown,
And all Thy glory see.
Psalm 31 expresses many of the honest emotions that we may be currently experiencing, and whilst we may be finding it difficult to summon strength and courage at the moment , we can take the prayer offered by the psalmist in Psalm 31, especially in verses 2 - 4 which is a prayer for God to -
Be a rock of refuge,
a strong fortress to protect,
and save us from that which is hidden and invisible to us
Of course the context in which the psalm was written is not the same as our current circumstances, however, it expresses many of the honest emotions of grief and lament that many are currently experiencing. The description of the psalmist’s symptoms is very resonant with our contemporary experience, giving a greater meaning to the psalm for us than it might have done just a few weeks ago, verses 9 - 13, touching on these current exceptional days of the coronavirus global pandemic.
In these days of isolation, when we have had to retreat to the fortress of our own homes, we may gain a new understanding of God as our fortress, the place of security and safety we turn to in this time of trial.
God is not a fortress that barricades but strengthens and reinforces, enabling us to look out for our most vulnerable neighbours, near and far – albeit virtually or from a safe distance.
And how some might view us in this threatening time is brought into sharp focus in v 11 'I am a dread to my friends, those who see me on the street flee from me'............... The fear of course is not of us as individuals, but as potential carriers of the virus. When our own hands and the hands of others have become something of a threat, and when many are no longer experiencing the reassuring touch of a hand on a shoulder, or no longer being comforted by the embrace of a hug, the references to hands in verses 5 and 15 are particularly poignant. ( Into your hands.... and My times are in your hands....)
It feels particularly apt to pray with the psalmist, that our times are in God’s hands, and offer prayers of thanks for those in our community, for their support and assistance, in particular the East Neuk Covid 19 emergency team and all its volunteers in helping those in most risk of the virus.
Jesus also turned to psalm 31 for strength and courage when enduring suffering. It is verse 5 of this psalm that Jesus quotes on the cross: ‘into your hand I commit my spirit’.
This verse takes on particular poignancy as we face the reality that coronavirus has and will lead to the end of life for many, known and unknown to us, those near and far, and it is into the hands of God that we entrust them to his eternal keeping.
In John Chapter 14 Jesus comforts His disciples and tells them, 'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you'
Whilst psalm 31 is written as an individual’s prayer, the psalmist also inspires prayer for the global community particularly now as coronavirus is spreading across the world’s poorest countries, putting people living in poverty at great risk.
Christian Aid Week has always been about promoting how we can be good global neighbours, and the message from Christian Aid is that the world’s poorest people are the most vulnerable to this crisis. They are less resilient, have less access to healthcare and will be less able to weather the economic impact.
Christian Aid is working with these communities to help them stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
We are being asked to support Christian Aid so we too can reach out and protect more of our global neighbours. Kilrenny Congregation has over many years given support to Christian Aid, but we cannot currently do so in the usual ways, through our envelope donations, sponsoring the Tay bridge walkers, and a breakfast worship service. Nevertheless we can still reach out to our neighbours around the world.
We can reach out by clasping our hands together in prayer for our neighbours, near and far, and we will, I am sure as a congregation, reach out once we are again worshiping together in Church. (Corinne)
A prayer for times of isolation
‘For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come… will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39)
God of heaven and earth,
in these times of isolation,
apart from loved ones
distant from friends
away from neighbours
thank you that there is nothing
in all of creation,
not even coronavirus,
that is able to separate us from your love.
And may your love that never fails
continue to be shared
through the kindness of strangers
looking out for each other,
for neighbours near and far
all recognising our shared vulnerability,
each of us grateful for every breath,
and willing everyone to know the gift
of a full and healthy life.
Keep us all in your care.
Praise: CH4 237 Look forward in faith.
Hello from your local Christian Aid representative!
In February of this year I attended the Dundee Christian Aid Gathering in the Steeple Church Hall in the Nethergate. The speakers were Nick Guttman, head of the humanitarian division of Christian Aid, and Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid in Scotland. It wasn’t a huge crowd, but everyone was very friendly and people came from as far away as Aberdeen.
Nick talked to us about what was to be the main focus of Christian Aid Week this year, namely the people of Kenya and their sufferings due to climate change. Ever-increasing severe weather events: two or three successive periods of drought when crops just can’t grow, possibly followed by flood events which wash away seeds and seedlings and endanger lives. In the UK we commonly talk about the weather as an interesting topic, but for people in places such as rural Kenya what is happening weather-wise literally is a matter of life and death. Livestock deaths and human malnutrition and starvation are happening much more often.
With funds raised, Christian Aid can help install boreholes, and create sand dams to those in our community, for their support and assistance, in particular the East Neuk Covid 19 emergency team and all its volunteers in helping those in most risk of the virus.
With funds raised, Christian Aid can help install boreholes, and create sand dams to retain what rain does fall. Fundraising also helps to leverage support from governments and other organisations.
Sally then fired up a laptop and made a link with some of the Christian Aid team in Marsabit in northern Kenya. We proceeded to do a joint bible study with the group in Marsabit and those of us in Dundee!
Admittedly the internet connection wasn’t perfect. Apparently unusually it was raining in Kenya, and that affected the signal. It was also possible that the electricity supply would not hold up. It was still quite an amazing achievement to take turns with the bible reading and the discussion.
Obviously the coronavirus pandemic has now overtaken the agenda, and there is so much more to try to do to help people in poorer, less well organised, countries.
Our usual fundraising options are not possible in this time of lockdown, and perhaps we will be able to organise an event later in the year, but there is also an urgent need now. In the UK we struggled to mobilise measures to protect and save our population, but poorer countries do not have the infrastructure or resources to do this. Christian Aid have teams on site in various locations, so are positioned to give help.
If you would like to give to Christian Aid now I am happy to receive donations either through my door, or by post, or even a promise by phone or email of future payment once we are free to meet again. I will arrive at a total and mail any cheques and/or make payment by bank transfer. Cheques should simply be made out to ‘Christian Aid’. My contact details are:
Address: 10 Rennyhill Gardens, Kilrenny
Thank you, Lesley
V E DAY
"To those who gave so much, we thank you"
Victory in Europe (VE) Day on 8 May 1945 saw Britain and its Allies formally accept Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender after almost six years of war.
At 15:00, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced on the radio that the war in Europe had come to an end, following Germany's surrender the day before.
Spontaneous celebrations broke out across the country and the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, and her sister Princess Margaret, ventured out with a group of friends to experience the excitement in London.
This year the government moved the traditional Early May Bank Holiday from 4 May to 8 May to allow for a range of celebrations across the UK, including a veterans' procession and street parties. But social distancing measures mean such events have been called off. However, some events did take place on Friday, including:
A national moment of remembrance and a two-minute silence led by the Prince of Wales at Balmoral
A message from the Prime Minister
A Red Arrows fly past
Solo buglers, trumpeters and cornet players played the Last Post from their homes
A broadcast of Churchill's VE day address to the nation.
The Queen addressed the nation at the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address 75 years ago. Spotlights lit up the sky in Portsmouth to recall the experience of blackouts during the war. The local council said the lights are also to remind people "that lighter times will come again"
Worship VE Day 1945
Tuesday 8th May
The following are the orders of two services of worship led by Jessie's father, The Rev Lyon on VE day1945.
1) Short Service in Addiewell Oil Works
Works Office at 11.30 a.m.
Paraphrase 2: O God of Bethel
Old Testament: Psalm 125
Present: Mr Caldwell, Mr Nichol, Mr Spital, Mr Watson and Accountant
End of War with Germany
2) Addiewell Parish Church 7.30 pm
Psalm 100: All people that on earth do dwell
Reading: Isaiah 26: v 1 - 13
Paraphrase 18: Behold! the mountain of the Lord
Short impromptu Sermon
a) we have been spared
b) we must be humble and grateful
c) we will rebuild our souls and the world.
Let us Pray: (Allan)
A Prayer of thanks for VE Day.
On Friday we celebrated the 75th anniversary of our victory in Europe and the cessation of hostilities with Germany.
We give thanks for the lives lost in selfless sacrifice during that conflict so that we could live our lives free from the tyranny of oppression and evil. The courage and stoicism of all those who fought for peace in Europe and at home should be a template for us today.
We give special thanks for those war veterans who are still with us today, tirelessly raising multi millions of pounds for charity, walking miles in their gardens or climbing Everest on their stairs to combat an unseen foe but fighting just the same, with the spirit that is undiminished despite the passing of so many years.
Father, we pray for those countries still at war today, and for the people caught up in such terrible conflicts whose leaders seem to have no respect for humanity. Lives are played with by politicians who seem immune to the suffering and torment of their own people.
So let us pray and give heartfelt thanks to all those working for peace and the lifting of oppression. We give a prayer to our Armed Forces, fighting today with the same conviction and heroism as their forefathers in the second world war. Some have returned from these new conflicts but have been unable to fit back into society, ending up homeless and reduced to begging on our streets.
Embrace them Lord and protect them from the dangers of living rough today. We ask that you bring these lost sheep back in to the fold, under the tender gaze of you, our Holy Shepherd.
We pray for those millions who have become refugees as a result of the many conflicts still raging around the world.
Open the eyes of those so called superpowers in the world who are turning smaller countries into war zones for their own agenda, plundering their resources with no care for their people. Irrespective of race or religion we pray for your compassion and give these poor souls shelter in your loving embrace.
Lastly, we pray for lasting peace between all adversaries and former enemies still fighting today. Let them see the benefits and freedoms that comes with peace. A peace we can all enjoy, hard fought for, paid for with the blood of our forefathers, God Bless Them All. Amen.
And our Lord's prayer
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever,
Praise: CH 4 704 'I vow to thee, my country'
Let us take time for a personal prayer, particularly for those we know in our congregation and community, who are bereaved, ill and suffering from isolation.
Make a phone call to someone today.
Rev. Ian Hamilton
“A ROADSIDE REUNION IN THE VILLAGE OF KILMANY!”
I was once invited to conduct the Sunday service at Kilmany, in the historic village kirk where the famous minister Rev. Dr. Thomas Chalmers had once been ordained, had served and had preached.
Chalmers was a household name during much of nineteenth century Scotland. At the time of the renowned 1843 Disruption Chalmers led the new Free Church of Scotland and became its first Moderator.
His preaching was so inspiring that people would cross the Tay in small boats from Dundee to hear him, and if they couldn’t get into the kirk at Kilmany they would encircle it and listen to Chalmers through the open windows!
There weren’t just quite so many present recently to hear yours truly, but I deemed it a singular honour to preach from Chalmer’s pulpit!
However it was on leaving Kilmany that I made a very interesting roadside discovery, when I encountered a bronze memorial sculpture which had been erected in a small verge garden. Stopping to look, I discovered that it was a memorial to the late British Formula One racing driver Jim Clark O.B.E. The famous man who later in his life won two world championships and countless additional accolades in his sport had been born in Kilmany in March 1936. Born into a farming family, Jim had gone to school in Kilmany before the family moved south to Duns in the borders.
Sadly he was tragically killed in a Formula Two race for Lotus at Hockenheim in Gemany in April 1968.
Jim Clark commanded tremendous respect from his sporting peers. He is described as having been humble, quiet spoken and as one who shunned the limelight. Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill said of him, “In the race he was calm and controlled but he was aggressive with a competitive spirit.”
I was in no way surprised by the kindly remarks, because that was exactly MY memory and impression of Jim Clark when I was privileged to meet him years ago at Scottish Television in Glasgow when I was taking part in a weekly children’s television programme. The week I was on, Jim Clark was the special guest, so in a way our roadside encounter there at Kilmany was a roadside re-union!
I remember chatting to him, he was so humble, borne out by the fact that at his own request, he is described on his tombstone firstly as a farmer from Chirnside, and then as a World Champion Racing Driver.
Although Formula One racing cars weren’t around in Bible times, there’s a marvellous metaphor of similar ilk from the pen of St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul talks about having a clear goal, about training with unfailing intensity and of running the race to win the prize!
At the end of his classic metaphor Paul reminds his readers that the winner of the race gains only the crown of a laurel wreath, which within days withers and dies, whereas the winners of the race into which Christ has entered us will gain a laurel wreath that will never fade, a crown which is everlasting and eternal.
I’m positively sure that the humble farm lad born in Kilmany in Fife has gained both!
A Postcard from Kingskettle
Rev Michael Allardice
Greetings once more from Kingskettle!
Liz and I are well and continuing to enjoy our walks around the village and focusing on the simpler things of life. As I write, Liz is challenging herself with a jigsaw that’s been in the cupboard for many years!
I’ve been pondering on how our world has become much smaller in lockdown compared with the way we looked at it before. This has been brought home to me by a series I have watched recently: The Beauty of Maps on BBC 4.
The documentary on the Beauty of Maps focused its first episode on the Hereford Cathedral Mappa Mundi. Created in around 1300 AD, it places Jerusalem at the centre of the world and East is at the top of the map, rather than our modern view of maps where we orientate from North. The map is as much a cosmological view of humanity’s history and destiny as it is a physical depiction of the world as it was known at that time. In one sense, the Medieval mind saw the world as being much smaller than we would recognise. On the other hand, the creators of this map saw the world as one part of God’s creation with future and past represented in a way 21st century Map Makers would struggle to depict. Cities were much smaller then than they are now, rivers much larger as they represented both barrier and transport system, Britain is crammed in the bottom left corner on the edge of the known world. Most people were born lived and died in the same localities and rarely travelled far.
We use the word “Parochial” as something of an insult these days to indicate someone who cannot see beyond their own concerns or immediate environment. However, when parishes were first created, they were an important part of the system of Church and local government. Indeed, the original Greek meaning was not about a static place but indicated someone who journeyed. In modern times, Parishes had become rather neglected as we often travel long distances to work, socialise or holiday, but in lockdown they are once more becoming important as we find that our locality has more to offer than we had realised. We are still looking beyond the local, but now we can see how important our village, town or city is in marking who we are and where we belong. Community is becoming real once again and many still see the Church as a central part of that community, a focal point for action and continuity.
I’ve loved reading the History of Kilrenny & Cellardyke over the past few weeks in the newsletters. They have reminded me of the importance of place and people within a community and how memories live long after the people and events have passed on to their heavenly reward. I’ve also learned a great deal in the process! The connections of a small Parish in the East Neuk of Fife to the outside world reach far and wide. Yes, people lived most of their lives in a small part of Scotland far from the main centres of power and importance, but that didn’t stop individuals having a real impact on the wider world.
The times we are living through now will become the stuff of memories and legend in the decades and centuries to come. Future generations will write about these times: what might they say? How will they write our history? What will our impact be when the final reckoning comes? In the meantime, we should embrace our Parishes, remind ourselves of the value of belonging to a particular place, defined by the Church at its centre, but like Christian sojourners of old, not be frightened to travel forth when the lockdown is over carrying the traditions we have been given of Faith, Hope and Love, secure in the knowledge that our Lord is with us always.
A Favourite Hymn
The hymn below was not in the old hymn book, CH3, and it is not in CH4 either but nevertheless worth looking at so here it is:-
1. How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend,
Whose love is as great as His power
And neither knows measure or end.
2. 'Tis Jesus the first and the last,
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;
We'll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that's to come.
It was usually sung to a tune called Celeste which originated in a Lancashire Sunday School Song Book. It was very popular with a Young Men's Fellowship (14-18yrs) probably because it only had the two verses but I am sure members would come to appreciate the deep meaning of the words. I certainly did.
The hymn was written by Joseph Hart, a London based Calvinist minister, who wrote many and had a book of his hymns published.
The 18th century must have been a great time for hymn-writing as besides this man there were John and Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, John Newton, Philip Doddridge, William Cowper, SamuelMedley, Augustus Toplady, John Wade, and Michael Bruce* amongst others!
It was during that century that the Scottish Paraphrases took off as well – many of which are found in CH4.
There may be more favourite hymns in the pipe line!
*There is a museum to Michael Bruce in Kinnesswood – his birthplace – and a pretty circular walk called the Michael
Bruce Trail in that area. (John)
for Music and words see https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/167
Worship During Christian Aid week worship is available as follows:
Christian Aid Sunday 10th May Online service with Dr Rowan Williams at 1 pm
Daily reflections Monday - Saturday 11th - 16th May.
see joining details at
Saturday 16th May 11am Rev Dr Martin Fair will be installed as Moderator of the General Assembly. The ceremony will take place in the Assembly Hall.
Sunday 31st May 10-10.30am Pentecost The Moderator will lead a service to mark the birthday of the Christian Church with contributions from many different places.
Sunday 17th May 2 - 4 pm Heart and Soul 2020 A special ‘Heart and Soul 2020' event
A Musical Intermission
(Rev. Ian Hamilton)
I do hope that this finds you all safe and well at this irksome time. During "lockdown", with the encouragement of my children and grandchildren, I have been taking the opportunity to record piano videos here at home in "Mossneuk". With the expertise of my son-in-law Graeme several of these have been uploaded to Youtube, and there are some more to follow!
So if you you would like a "musical intermission" - or diversion - log on to GOOGLE and enter "youtube Music from Mossneuk" and you should find me there....on a grand scale!
Enjoy the music, and keep safe. Good wishes, blessings and peace, Ian.
Answers to Allan's Quiz No. 7
Cake quiz answers.
1) Battenburg 2) Chocolate 3) Madeira 4) Victoria Sponge 5) Christmas 6) Simnel 7) Sultana 8) Lemon Drizzle 9) Carrot 10) Birthday 11) Bakewell Tart 12) Meringue 13) Fairy Cake 14) Black Forest Gateau 15) Dundee Cake.
Lesley McKane has provided the usual annual Christian Aid Quiz for Christian Aid week.
This year it is available online, with the answers being given at the end of May!
(So sorry, not next week as usual - but it gives you a bit longer to work on the 30 questions!).
Christian Aid ask for £1 donation, so if you would like to put aside your £1, Lesley can send it once we are all out of lock-down.
Identify these TV programmes from the cryptic clues?
1 In and out (4,3,4)
2 Stir cereal (8)
3 A wee bit chilly (1,5,2,5)
4 What you can’t teach Old Shep (3,6)
5 Explosive idea (3,3,4,6)
6 Codename (5)
7 Attic and basement (8,10)
8 Orphan’s view (8)
9 Fabulous fair ride (3,5,10)
10 Yellow family (3,8)
11 Off to bed, pet (9,10)
12 Let’s eat at my place (4,4,4,2)
13 Unknown documents (3,1,5)
14 Just cons and nags (4,5,3,6)
15 Can’t see what’s on the calendar (5,4)
16 Short survey before the light goes (7)
17 Negotiate search (7,4)
18 Stern invitation to boogie (8,4,7)
19 Saturday’s big wedding (5,2,3,3)
20 Designer clothes (3,4)
21 Tamper with the World Health
22 Overhear a few words (11)
23 Our place in the universe (5,4,4,3,3)
24 Endure seasonal drink (4,2,3,6,4)
25 Questioning identity (3,2,3,5,3,3)
26 Where the Queen might be treated (1,1)
27 Built to impress (5,7)
28 What people play on their loos (4,2,7)
29 Gawp at cube (9)
30 Those close to us (7)
The Naughty Choirboy
I was not personally involved in this little tale, but I heard about a lady who was sending quite a large, precious, family Bible to her brother who lived at the other end of the country.
In her efforts to protect it from damage during transit, she packed it very thoroughly into a cardboard box, stuffing rolled up paper and polystyrene around it, then finally wrapping it up in brown paper and miles of sticky tape.
She took it to the Post Office, and the counter assistant said 'Goodness me, that's a heavy package. Does it contain any breakables?"
"Yes" she replied,
"The Ten Commandments!"
(Editors Note. Congratulations to
those who correctly identified the Naughty Choirboy. I take no responsibility....... his antics before we married are nothing to do with me! I can confirm however, that he is still naughty!! The stories he told our girls as they were growing up, about him and his cousin in the choir resulted in a lot of laughter in our house. Corinne.)
News of those wearing a Dog collar!
Doddie diary and the trials of Ann
Doddie is considered to be a designer dog being a Cockerpoo! I think in days gone by we would have just called them mongrels! The idea being that they have bred qualities that humans find more acceptable for instance a coat that does not shed and also a happy temperament. Well Doddie is certainly a happy chappy, but his coat looks as though he is having a permanently bad hair day. I groom him every day to make sure that his coat does not matt but one shake later and he looks like a scruffy schoolboy. We named him after the rugby player Doddie Weir but I rather think he looks more like the actor Ken Dodd. I am just in receipt of some hair clippers but I plan to practice on Dave before I tackle the dog! x
which one is Doddie?
Malcolm and Coco This is my first update on Coco and the virus. Over the past 6 weeks Coco has enjoyed the lockdown by having me at home 24hrs a day 7 days a week. Before lockdown he would be left about 4 hrs on a Tue & Fri while I played golf and on a Sat when I was also out. When lockdown eventually ends I might have a disgruntled dog on these days. I have noticed that in the house when I am working about I have the radio on playing music and when a certain record comes on he sometimes bursts into song, usually Tamla Motown songs. Malcolm.
Sheena and Hamish
Reading over the last couple of Newsletters, I believe that I've given poor wee Hamish a bit of a bad press The majority of the time he's an angel and is still my little shadow, He walks around the house from room to room following me in my tracks. He loves to sleep in his beds - he has one in the lounge, another in the kitchen and the third is on my lap. Apart from sleeping, following me, and chasing (munching) dandelions in the garden he enjoys eating in fact if given half a chance he would eat enough for the whole of East Neuk! I groom him every morning - he has developed a very trendy middle parting - grooming includes giving the hair around his eyes a trim which he seems to enjoy.
Once or twice a day he has a strikes up a conversation with me, needless to say, I haven't a clue what he's saying but he seems very sincere.
Wishing you all well
In 1964 the Bank felt it was time I proved myself useful to them by directing me to spend a year on Head Office relief staff. This was also in order to expand my knowledge and adaptability as I would be required to spend spells in various branches the length and breadth of Scotland. My first posting was 5 weeks in Stornoway. What did I learn and to what extent did I prove my adaptability? This is where my story departs from the onwards and upwards career gem quoted by Malcolm last week. Regarding the former I learned a great deal but very little regarding banking skills. This leads me into the remainder of my story.
Firstly to set the scene - here was I having sailed through my banking exams setting forth on my career path. In a B and B in Stornoway and learning as much as I could about the island and the activities of the local industries of farming, fishing and tweed spinning. One never saw or met anybody involved in tweed spinning a hard and lonely existence until they came into town to exchange their lengths of spun cloth for paper receipts which were exchanged each week-end for cash at the bank branch. Following receipt of cash the town's pubs were both busy and noisy. Come midnight on a Saturday however these God-fearing inhabitants were not to be seen and you could hear a pin drop in the town.
I attended the English speaking church service and under advice managed to get a seat in the balcony as each 2 hour service was packed to the door. A precentor, not appointed for his rich singing voice, led the psalms. Musically each sounded the same as the previous to my ear more accustomed to the organ sound. The minister (MacLeod by name) was withering in his condemnation of the world in general and his fire and brimstone sermon scared the life out of me despite the fact looking down on the pulpit seemed to offer me some protection. HELL seemed to be the only outcome.
As to what I learned about the community was encapsulated at the dances at Braes just outside the town on a Friday night. My specially engaging personality had allowed me to meet up with locals who invited me to join them at the Braes for the Friday night dance. Firstly I was led to the local shebeen as they had apparently exhausted their line of credit and I was in receipt of expenses. What followed was swigging drink in the toilets and appearing ready for the dancing soon after midnight somewhat refreshed. This was the expected routine. Getting back into the town meant a walk in pitch darkness with ditches at either side. Somehow all seemed to survive as they were in evidence at church on Sunday dressed in their finest.
The branch had seven account ledgers of which 5 had surnames commencing with Mac and of these 3 had the surname MacLeod. To differentiate many had their nickname applied at the end of the name i.e. “Tatties”. No account numbers just this surfeit of Mac's. I had a nightmare trying to identify customers before making entries into these beautifully presented ledgers. My usefulness proved short-lived and I was transferred to cash duties. Therein my misfortunes continued to dog me. I was never the most efficient teller and balancing each evening was a long drawn out process, whilst around me other tellers were all balanced and ready to go home. Now in trying to balance and tracing any difference arising apart from adding up all your cash you were also trying to reconcile the transactions and on occasion trying to visualise each transaction. Well from an early stage I suffered from short term memory loss. By the end of my spell on the cash all around, particularly the manager, were disgruntled by the assistance given by this particular member of the relief staff.
It all came to a head on the Saturday I was due to leave. The office closed at 12 noon and I was booked on a flight to Abbotsinch, Glasgow leaving at 3pm. Well on balancing – eventually I had a shortfall of £5. Other members of staff were called over to assist me trace this difference to no avail. As time wore on the manager, surprisingly named MacLeod, called me in and told me that I was not leaving the island until I found out where my discrepancy lay. Never mind missing the plane, and with Sunday to follow no more flights until Monday. Back to the telling box and a further scrutiny of every transaction - without success. Eventually I was allowed to leave the island with this black mark of being £5 short.
Now should I be unfortunate to visit HELL as I leave this world I can expect the gates of HELL to be opened by a man called MacLeod asking for a £5 admission fee.
A Bakers delivery boy in Cellardyke in the early 1960’s
When I was 12 years old in 1960 I managed to get a job at one of our local bakers, Wullie McLeod at 1 George Street Cellardyke. I had to turn up at 0630 every morning Monday to Saturday to deliver the morning rolls and butteries. The cycle I used had a small wheel at the front with a metal frame over it and a normal size wheel at the back and it was a heavy beast to cycle up hills on. When I left the bakehouse the basket was always full.
Before I left the bakehouse I had to make up the bags of rolls for each house, some would get all rolls and some houses would get a mixture of rolls and butteries. With the smell of newly baked rolls (going round my ' hert like a hairy worm') I would be allowed to eat one with butter and jam in it before I left the shop. I would cycle up and down most of the streets in Cellardyke and some in East Anstruther and always had to cycle the 2 miles to the village of Kilrenny as one customer got 4 rolls every day. Some days I would be lucky when cycling to Kilrenny I would meet the other baker’s van driven by George Budd (who worked for the other baker in Cellardyke (Barnetts) he also had a shop in Crail) and he would take the Kilrenny rolls and deliver them for me.
Most of the people I delivered to left the front door unlocked but some had cloth bags hanging on the door knob to put the rolls in. In the winter with snow and icy roads sometimes the bike would slide and the rolls would end up all over the road and a scramble to collect them all up and hope none were soaked or squashed.
I was finished by 0830, just time to change clothes and grab a bite to eat before going to the Waid Academy.
After school I would go back to the bakers shop and deliver any orders that came in that day. If there were no orders I would make up the pie shells for the next day (meat and fruit pies) using a big machine that squashed the dough into round shells.
On a Saturday after my roll delivery the baker and I would wait for the large steak, scotch and fruit pies coming out of the oven and deliver orders to customers from his van. What a braw smell, warm reeking bubbling scotch pies, we would sneak a couple of pies out of the shop and eat them on our round. After we were finished deliveries at about 1pm I was finished. I would collect my wages of 15 shillings plus a bag of goodies (cakes usually) to take home.
It was great in the summer months with nice sunrises and warm weather but come the winter cold and dark mornings I got many a soaking with rain and snow. Some days in the winter I could not cycle the bike for the wind, snow and icy roads had to push the dammed thing.
One good thing at Christmas I got quite a lot of tips from the customers, ranging from a half a crown to 5 shillings but I was too young to get a nip of whisky at New Year.
The shop and bakehouse are no longer there as it has been converted into a holiday house like most of the other shops in my village of Cellardyke.
Malcolm MacDonald (72 years young)
The Kirk Session wish you a very safe, healthy and happy week ahead.
Doxology CH4 806
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory, as it was, and is,
and shall be evermore.
Last week the Scripture reading reference was incorrect. It should have referenced: Acts 2 : 42 - 47.
Apologies for the mistake, but it was great to hear so many spotted it!