2015 Anstruther Harbour Festival

Despite showers on Friday evening, the 2015 Festival attracted big crowds for its Pipe Band Parade from Waid Academy and in the big marquee there was lots of audience participation for Dunedin Dancers Scottish Country Dance display and for the later ceilidh with local ceilidh band Nackytoosh.  Ceilidh enthusiasts travelled from as far as Aberdeen to attend the events. And boats started arriving in the harbour for the Anstruther Muster and its Classic Boat Rally

The events on Saturday started with the traditional Dreel Boat Race with its fleet of multi-coloured small plastic boats cascaded from the the Dreel Bridge down the Dreel Burn. Noon saw the annual Scottish Submariners Association 1918 Battle of May Island memorial service. In the marquee there were childrens activities, exotic animals and amusements, and street entertainers performed on the harbourfront

In the afternoon we had large crowds on the  harbourfront for  the Merlesque Mermaids entertaining us with songs and stories of the sea, and with Fusion Performance Dance.  In the marquee, jazz and folk/country bands played and we had excerpts from Pirates of Penzance performed by St Andrews Uniiversity Gilbert & Sullivan Society . And on Saturday late afternoon and evening, the music events in the big marquee featured Family Shed (pictured) and local Fence Collective musician Gummi Bako and blues/rock band Safehouse

Saturday and saw the Museum's 70' Reaper sailing drifter sail into harbour, bringing in the Fisher Lass & Lad for their inauguration  ceremony. The Reaper was then open to the public for the day, with its below decks museum of how the boat worked in the herring fishery. Saturday was also the  Scottish Fisheries Museum's Open Day which gave visitors free entry to the Museum's exhibitions. And the MacBus mobile history museum was on the harbourfront with an exhibition "Moving Stories" exploring the experience of the Great War from a Fife perspective, and an animated film "Sea Front’"


The Festival's Anstruther Muster attracted about 30 visiting boats from all along the Forth and further afield, with the trophy for Furthest Travelled Boat won by a boat from Hartlepool, and for Best Dressed Boat (boats at the Muster are festooned with flags and pennants) going to "Kellya" owned by Gary Watson of Pittenweem

Over 30 visiting boats arrived for the Festival's Anstruther Muster, which is now in its 20th year. And twelve boats took part in the Festival's Classic Boat Rally, including two beautifully restored 1940's fishing vessels from the North East Maritime Trust in Newcastle and a quartet of Fifie fishing luggers from Anstruther, Eyemouth and Dunbar. The winner of the Festival's Classic Boat of the Year Trophy went to fishing lugger "Rose Leaf" of Anstruther, skippered by Sean Dooley. The winner of the Festival's Oldest Boat Trophy for boats that had travelled to Anstruther went to fishing lugger "Marean" of Dunbar, skippered by Bob Clunas. See photo gallery of the Classic Boat Rally http://www.anstrutherharbourfestival.co.uk/gallery/index.php/Classic-Boat-Rally-2015/Harbour-Festival-2015

All afternoon in the harbour the Fun Rowing Regatta organised by St Ayles Rowing Club had eight skiffs from all around Fife competing in various fun races. The Interclub races were won by Newburgh and Fife respectively. The first ever Backwards Row Race was won by the home crew from Anstruther, and the Fancy Dress Relay Race, where the teams had to change Hawaian themed costumes (as photo above right) between races, was won by Newburgh


The Festival's East Neuk Food & Drink 2015 event in the marquee showcased local producers' wares. There were Sea to Plate workshops by Elmwood College with Seafood Scotland doing ‘come dine with me’ tasting sessions featuring local seafood, and JIm Knox of Fishermans Larder demonstrating everything you need to know about shellish


Special Festival cruises were run by Osprey rib and excursion boat May Princess on the Saturday afternoon, in addition to their usual May Isle trips. And Anstruther Lifeboat Open Day gave visitors the opportunity to tour the lifeboat station  and go on board the big lifeboat and meet the crew, while the inshore lifeboat gave rescue demonstrations in the harbour

Sunday saw the Festival's Craft Fair doing good business in the pavilion marquee and there was a full house in the big marquee for the interdenominational Service of the Sea

For Alaistair Ramsay's brilliant photographs of the 2015 Festival's Classic Boat Rally, see  - https://www.flickr.com/photos/136961567@N07/albums/72157661143173243    Click on the projector icon in the top RH corner of the screen to get the full screen images

For photos of the 2015 Festival's Saturday  events, click on   https://www.flickr.com/photos/136961567@N07/albums/72157663484243595

For photos and information on each of the 2015 Festival's events, see our main photo section - http://www.anstrutherharbourfestival.co.uk/gallery/index.php/

For a brilliant videoclip of the 2015 Festival weekend, courtesy Gemma Miller, a visitor from Stirling, see  https://www.facebook.com/miss.gemma.miller/videos/vb.632480804/10153070720445805/?type=3&theater

For the Courier's report on the 2015 Festival, see http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/fife/celebration-of-the-sea-at-anstruther-harbour-festival-1.880359