What's New in 2015 for the Anstruther Harbour Festival weekend

The first thing that's new is that this year's Festival will be earlier in the year - from Friday 29 to Sunday 31 May.  The next is that the Festival's Saturday events will take place together with the Scottish Fisheries Museum's Open Day with the museum's Reaper sailing drifter open to the public and the town's Fisher Lad & Lass ceremony, and with Anstruther Lifeboat's Open Day. And the Festival weekend will coincide with East Neuk Studios Open Weekend, with over 30 artists' studios in the East Neuk open to visitors, 14 of those in Cellardyke alone

The Harbour Festival itself will have an important new event - East Neuk Food & Drink - the best of local food producers and food outlets showing their wares in the Festival's pavilion marquee, featuring local seafood, cheese, artisan bread and beer and spirits producers, and including seafood displays and cookery demonstrations of the shellfish which is the specialty of the local fishing industry.  The main themes of the Harbour Festival itself will again be music and dance, maritime, history and childrens' entertainments

Music and dance will include a pipe band march opening the Festival, a Friday night ceilidh by local ceilidh band Nackytoosh and a Saturday night music event in the Festival's big marquee, plus jazz band and childrens dance group displays in the afternoon. Entry at all these events will be free

Maritime activities include the Anstruther Muster organised by Anstruther Sailing Club, with its gathering of up to 100 visiting boats in the harbour,  the Festival's Classic Boat Rally of historic working boats, motor boats and yachts, St Ayles Rowing Club's Coastal Rowing Regatta providing an exciting spectacle with with teams from all over Fife competing in races within the harbour, and tours of a working lifeboat in Anstruther Lifeboat's Open Day

History related events include the MacBus mobile exhibition on Fife in the Great War with its animated children's film, the Fisheries Museum offering free entry on its Open Day, the Reaper's below decks exhibition on the history of the herring fishery, the Scottish Submariner's memorial service for the 1918 Battle of May Island, and the Fisheries Museum Model Boat Club Exhibition of historic model vessels

Children's entertainments - starting with the Dreel Burn Race of small rubber boats cascaded off the wooden Dreel Bridge down to the sea, then an afternoon of  puppeteers, balloon twisting, juggling and kids crafts on the harbourfront and in the Festival's big marquee

And as usual the Festival will close with an interdenominational "Service of the Sea" in the big marquee on Sunday
. See Next Festival for details and timiing of Festival events


Festival Grand Raffle - as 2014 the Festival is running a Grand Raffle with lots of fabulous prizes donated by local businesses - firms taking part to date include Spindrift Hotel, Cellar Restaurant, Anstruther May Princess Pleasure Cruises, Osprey of Anstruther Rib trips, Craig Miller Restaurant St Monans,  East Pier Cafe/Smokehouse St Monans,  Boathouse Bar & Bistro Anstruther, Haven Restaurant Cellardyke, Pittenweem Cocoa Tree Chocolates, Le Petit Epicerie Deli Anstruther, Crail Smoked-fired Wholefoods Shop, Crail Honeypot Tea Room, Crail Pottery, Balgrove Larder St Andrews, Cambolicious Beer Festival, with more to come

Meeting dates 2015 - the next AHF meeting is arranged for 22 April, Anstruther Burgh Chambers, Cunzie Syreet, Anstruther, 7-9pm. Anyone interested in assisting with the Festival is welcome to attend. Further meeting date is 20 May

Opportunities for traders at 2015 Anstruther Harbour Festival  The Festival is looking for sellers of foods, clothes, crafts etc to take table space  and for entertainers, kids activity leaders, musicians, dancers, jugglers, magicians, puppeteers, fire-eaters - anyone who likes entertaining crowds  The 2015 Festival is planning to have TWO big marquees (insurance against any bad weather!) providing weather-proof space to sellers, entertainers, and activity-makers. 
If you would like to participate, contact Gail Sorley on ansteractivities@aol.com or leave a message at 01333-310063

Annual General Meeting - Anstruther Harbour Festival's AGM was held on Wednesday 22 October, at 7.30pm at Burgh Chambers, Cunzie Street, Anstruther. AHF's new chairman is Martin Dibley, and the new Honorary Secretary is Gail Sorley. Bill Kennaway was re-elected as Honorary Treasurer. Kevin Lancaster was elected as Vice Chairman

2014 Harbour Festival - the latest Anstruther Harbour Festival was held from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 August - see Previous Festival for a full report and photographs. The photos below show the Festival's craft and food stalls and street entertainers at the harbourfront. on Saturday 16th. Although strong winds in the afternoon meant things closed early, the Jazz Band, Sea Shanty singers and kids' activities took place in the Festival's marquee rather than on the harbourfront

The strong winds also limited the number of boats attending the Festival's Muster of visiting boats - only 24 visitors compared to the 50 to 100 boats of previous years, and also cut short the Festival's East of Scotland Boat Jumble. However the Festival's Classic Boat Rally was a great success, attracting more entries than last year and all of a very high standard. Photo above right shows a raft of historic Fifie fishing luggers at the Festival

About the Anstruther Harbour Festival

The Anstruther Harbour Festival organisation (AHF)  was set up in 2013 to celebrate, support and promote the maritime, harbour and land based heritage, culture, activities and interests of the local community through an annual event.

The Festival is a community festival, aimed at celebrating the maritime traditions of the historic royal burghs of Anstruther Wester, Anstruther  Easter and Kilrenny & Cellardyke.

The Festival aims to revive the community spirit of the old Anstruther Lifeboat Gala and to bring life to the harbour and the town.  It builds on the success of the Anstruther Muster with its annual gathering of visiting boats, originally an initiative by Anstruther Community Council to regenerate the harbour, and which is now in its 18th year. The main focus of the Festival is to supplement the Muster's maritime events with a wide range of community activities for the benefit of local residents, visitors and holidaymakers.

So as key parts of the Festival we have

  • Anstruther Muster, together with the East of Scotland Boat Jumble and Classic Boat Rally, organised by Anstruther Sailing Club
  • Coastal Rowing Regatta, organised by St Ayles Rowing Club
  • Anstruther Lifeboat and inshore rescue boat on display, with rescue demonstrations 
  • Scottish Fisheries Museum events and Model Boat Club Exhibition
  • other entertainments for local residents, holidaymakers and visiting boat crew alike, such as ceilidhs and music events,  dancing displays, pipe bands, childrens shows and events, food and craft stalls

AHF's committee is made up of representatives from Anstruther Sailing Club, Anstruther Lifeboat, Scottish Fisheries Museum and its Reaper Boat Club and Model Boat Club, St Ayles Rowing Club, Food from Fife, Anstruther Improvements Association, Anstruther Community Kist, East Neuk Centre Trust, local businesses and interested individuals.

Anyone interested in helping with the next Festival is welcome to attend our monthly meetings held at Burgh Chambers at dates advertised in the Next Festival section of our website. Organisations interested in taking part in the Festival or in sponsoring the Festival should get in touch with AHF's Hon Secretary, as contact details below.

Anstruther Harbour Festival's Annual General Meeting was held on 22 October 2014 at Burgh Chambers, Anstruther


AHF Chairman : Martin Dibley - martin.dibley@gmail.com

AHF Vice-chairman : Kevin Lancaster - kilancaster@btinternet.com

AHF Hon Secretary : Gail Sorley -  ansteractivities@aol.com

AHF Hon Treasurer and website administrator : Bill Kennaway - william.kennaway@btopenworld.com



Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Anstruther : http://www.scotfishmuseum.org/

Anstruther Improvements Association : http://www.anstrutherimprovements.org/

Anstruther Sailing Club : http://www.anstruthersailingclub.org.uk/

Anstruther Lifeboat : http://www.anstrutherlifeboat.org.uk/

East Neuk Centre : http://www.eastneukcentre.org.uk/

Food from Fife : http://www.foodfromfife.com/1/1/0/Welcome.aspx

May Isle ferries : http://www.isleofmayferry.com/

Kelly Castle & Garden : http://www.nts.org.uk/property/kellie-castle-and-garden/


All photographs are copyright protected - do not use without seeking permission