2013 Anstruther Harbour Festival 

The first Anstruther Harbour Festival was held from 8 to 11 August 2013


Events on the maritime theme at the 2013 Festival included :

  • Anstruther Muster organised by Anstruther Sailing Club, with 50+ visiting boats from all over the East of Scotland and further afield
  • Classic Boat Rally of historic yachts, motorboats and working boats, organised by Anstruther Sailing Club
  • East of Scotland Boat Jumble, organised by Anstruther Sailing Club
  • “Reaper”  70' sailing drifter open to the public, courtesy Fisheries Museum Boats Club
  • Coastal Rowing Regatta with racing between local Coastal Rowing teams from Crail, Anstruther and Pittenweem
  • RNLI Lifeboat and Inshore lifeboat on display on shore, and visit by Dunbar Lifeboat
  • Fisheries Museum Model Boat Club exhibition in Museum workshop

Shore-based events included :

  • Scottish country dancing display and Pipe Band march to open the Festival
  • Food and craft produce stalls on the Folly at the harbourfront
  • Ceilidhs and live music in the evenings
  • Funfair, childrens amusements, falconry and dance displays
  • Kingdom FM music and compere at the Festival marquee
  • Shops and waterfront decorated with bespoke bunting, organised by Anstruther Improvements Association
  • “Chefs at School” seafood cookery demonstration by Food from Fife in Fisheries Museum
  • Competition for Best-Dressed Shop Window, organised by Anstruther Improvements Association

See photo gallery of 2013 Festival shore-based events and photo gallery of Muster activities




The Festival was opened on Thursday evening by a display of Scottish Country Dancing by Dunedin Dancers in the Festival's marquee on the East Harbour quayside.

This was followed by an informal open-air ceilidh outside the marquee, resurrecting an old Anstruther tradition of open-air dancing at the harbourfront


Following the dance display and open-air ceilidh, there was a march by the City of St Andrews Pipe Band, accompanied by the Anstruther Inshore Lifeboat on its trailer. 

The band marched from Waid Academy down to the Festival's harbourfront marquee, meeting up with the ceilidh, then marched back to Waid



The Festival included a Classic Boat Rally of working boats, yachts and motor boats of classic design, and with information boards giving the history of each boat

The  photo right shows some of the 10 classic boats that took part, with the funfair's Walzer and Bouncy Castle in the background.

See photo gallery of the Festival's classic boats


In the Festival's Rowing Regatta, organised by Anstruther's St Ayles Rowing Club, skiffs from Anstruther, Pittenweem and Crail Coastal Rowing Clubs had an exciting afternoon's racing in front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters and onlookers

Crail won the  Mixed Open A + B race, Pittenweem won the  Mixed Up race, and Anstruther won the Blindfold race and Best Crew award. Final scores were Anstruther - 12 points, Crail - 11 points, Pittenweem - 7 points.

See photo gallery of the regatta


There were music events on the Friday and Saturday evenings of the Festival weekend in Anstruther Town Hall .

Friday's event was a ceilidh with top ceilidh band, the Gallivanters.  Saturday's event was a free Festival music event with swing band Obsession

Prizes were awarded at the Saturday event for various Muster competitions, including :

  • Oldest Boat
  • Furthest Travelled Boat
  • Best Classic Boat
  • Smallest Boat
  • Best Dressed Boat

The Festival included a Best Dressed Shop competition

The competition was judged by 3 local councillors, and prizes were awarded at the Saturday evening music event, results being:

  • Most humorous and overall winner:- Pathhead Nurseries
  • Most picturesque: Mrs P's Deli
  • Most original: Esquire Barber Shop
  • Most Artistic: Anstruther Fish Bar

This photo shows  the Most Artistic prize being presented to Robert Smith of Anstruther Fish Bar by Elizabeth Gordon of Anstruther Improvements Association, sponsors of the competition


Anstruther Lifeboat was open to the public at the lifeboat station, and Anstruther Inshore Lifeboat was on display

Anstruther also had a visit from Dunbar Lifeboat

This photo shows the Dunbar boat at the quayside and the Anstruther Boat on the ramp at the Lifeboat Station


The Scottish Fisheries Musuem's "Reaper" 70' sailing drifter was on show at the quayside throughout the Festival, and was open to the public on Friday and Saturday free of charge, thanks to volunteers from the Museum's Boats Club.

The Reaper has an exhibition below decks of the history of herring fishery and of how the boat worked when fishing for herring over 100 years ago

The Museum's Model Boat Club held an exhibition of its model boats, ranging from historic and modern fishing vessels to Missisippi steamboats in the Museum workshop

Food from Fife held an afternoon of “Chefs at School” seafood cooking demonstrations in the Museum's Education Room

The programme of events for children on Friday and Saturday included a sandcastle building competition, water-zorbing, radio-control model boats provided by Langtoun Model Boat Club, falconry displays by Kingdom Falconry, mini-bike rides by Gold Wing Bikes, and  puppet shows by Puppets & Co.

Stalls on the Folly harbourfront on Friday and Saturday included an artisan baker, craft jeweller, wood-turning, hand-made chocolates, chowder fish soup, charity and emergency organisations, and a RNLI Cookout stall with burgers/kippers/bacon rolls.

Events in the Festival marquee on Friday and Saturday included modern and traditional dance displays by East Neuk School of Dance and Fusion Performance Dancers, and sea-shanties and songs from the East Neuk by SeaTangles duo of Kayren & Tom Hall

Community events during the Festival included:

  • Scottish Submariners Assocation memorial service for 1918 Battle of May Island
  • RNLI Gallantry Award ceremony for 3 members of Anstruther Lifeboat
  • Opening Ceremony for Thomas Chalmers Memorial Garden

The 2013 Anstruther Harbour Festival was sponsored by :

  • Fife Council Area Budget
  • Anstruther Community Regeneration Project
  • Anstruther Improvements Association
  • Anstruther Fish Bar
  • Mainstream Renewable Power
  • Repsol Power
  • Boat House Bar & Restaurant, Anstruther



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