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2019 | Anstruther Harbour Festival Trust is a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation under Scottish Charity Number SC046562

History of the Muster

The Anstruther Muster was started in 1997, as a result of the Community Council striving to regenerate our harbour. It was recognised that leisure activity had to feature in any plans to bring life back to the waterfront, especially with a continuing pressure on the Scottish fishing industry. The Council decided to create an event which showed the community what 'yachties' could bring to 'Anster' and, at the same time, could show the sailing fraternity that Anstruther could be a very attractive base and destination for their cruising activities.

 

The first Muster attracted only nine boats, mainly from Elie. A reception was provided on Saturday evening and a pub provided Sunday breakfast. A good time was had by all and 'The Anstruther Muster' was born!

 

Since that first year, development of the Muster has been steady. Races have been encouraged to finish at Anstruther on the Saturday, and races have started homeward on Sunday. Forth Yacht Clubs Association has actively encouraged clubs to put the event in the diary and also provided early physical support with posters and publicity. 

 

Sponsorship and a growing recognition of a successful format allowed the event to go from strength to strength. A marquee on the pier was needed as the reception outgrew the Erskine Hall. Entertainment and parties developed as the focus moved to the harbour. Soon Anstruther was host to 100 visiting boats. By now we also had our own fleet, as it became increasingly obvious that leisure sailing did have a part to play in the harbour's future. The pontoons appeared and on Muster weekend the waterfront became awash with colour. Over two hundred boats in Anstruther! When was that last seen?

 

What next, we ask? Anstruther Sailing Club successfully hosts the Muster, and even when hindered with bad weather. Each year, the Muster regularly attracts seventy visitors, includes the East Of Scotland Boat Jumble and, since 2012, a Classic Boat Rally of historic yachts, motorboats and working boats. 

 

The club continues with the tested format but varies the attractions for visiting yachts. The spectacle on Muster weekend is special and the benefit to the community has become substantial. The hope is that 'The Muster' will continue to go from strength to strength.

 

The club also provides a significant calendar of events for it's membership. Once every month a talk is on offer or a social gathering is organised. Membership is easy and it doesn't need a boat.

 

Want to know more? Contact Bill Kennaway (william.kennaway@btopenworld.com).