A salty tale..
15 November 2021
At the meeting of 15th November and following a meal, plans for the Christmas meeting were discussed, as well as more detail of the club’s Christmas Post. Following these business topics, we enjoyed a talk from Darren Peattie, who is founder and managing director of the East Neuk Salt Company.
Darren provided a hugely enthusiastic insight to his crowd-funded enterprise, which was founded in 2019 and produces around four tons per month of the highest quality sea salt. Total capital of £238,000 is invested.
He explained that the core of the company is all about promoting and collaborating with other local businesses to celebrate the vibrant food scene of the East Neuk. Darren made reference to the 250 year old history of salt production here and to the remains of the old salt pans at St Monans.
It was interesting to see photographs of the salt production equipment - a vacuum evaporation process is used, meaning that water evaporates at 40 degrees, rather than at the normal 100 degree boiling point of water. The cleanliness of used filters attested to the quality of the local sea water used. Salt concentration is typically about 3.5% by weight, meaning that 1000 litres of water will yield 35 Kg of salt.
We heard of Darren’s ambitious plans to market this high quality salt via a range of specially developed products and through a number of local enterprises. Altogether a most impressive story.
Following questions Steve Blaney proposed a vote of thanks.
01 November 2021
Following a meal and business the club enjoyed a talk from club member Steve Blaney about his recent project to repair, refurbish and bring back to life the sailing yacht ‘Stardust’.
A labour of love unfolded with photographs showing the sadly neglected state of the ‘Newbridge Navigator’ boat, then named as ‘Skinny Malinky’. From what was definitely not a seaworthy craft - along with an even worse trailer, Steve worked his magic. Thoroughly cleaned and with underwater fouling removed, new engine and gearbox fitted, interior rebuilt and with modern electronic navigation aids added, the yacht was transformed and absolutely deserved and needed its new persona.
Steve had assembled fine photographs of the boat, of Comrie, Loch Earn, Ben Vorlich, St Fillans and 20 Shilling Wood - and really captured the beauty of that most picturesque part of Scotland.
It was great to see a fine craft rescued and, following questions, Roderick Skinner proposed an appreciative vote of thanks.
A step forward..
04 October 2021
Our meeting on the 4th October was memorable in being another hopeful step along the road to ‘normality’. After a careful review and risk assessment and following all Rotary and governmental directives and guidelines, we met once again at the Rockies Restaurant in Anstruther Golf Club.
It was good to be back and, following a meal and business, we were treated to a well-researched illustrated talk by Malcom MacDonald on the history of lifeboats in Scotland; especially Anstruther.
From the 1865 ‘Admiral Fitzroy’ - a 32 foot long 2 ton boat driven by 10 oars at a newly established lifeboat station in Anstruther, Malcolm told the stories of the eight craft that bring us to today - including the ‘Rotary Centenary Queen’ a small inshore boat. What was common to all the stories was the heroism and courage of crew going out in the worst of weather with the aim of rescue and the saving of lives. It is difficult to imagine just how hazardous it was in the early open boats, propelled by oars and with little in the way of flotation aids - for boat or crew. We heard of many remarkable rescues but also, sadly, of some that ended in tragedy.
It was particularly good to hear of the constant developments and improvements made to rescue craft over the years. Improvements that made the chance of a successful rescue greater and also made the task a little less dangerous. And then we get to today’s rugged, sophisticated self-righting designs that are equipped with the very latest of technologies. Malcolm mentioned the 'Shannon' class, due for Anstruther once the planned new shed is built. Without doubt what has not changed though is the courage and dedication of the RNLI crews.
Following questions an appreciative vote of thanks was proposed by Derek Mathie.
Covid and all..
23 September 2021
As for everyone Covid restrictions have proven to be both long and tiring. Our traditional fund raising events such as Christmas post delivery and the popular coastal path charity walk have just not been possible.
However, we have continued to ‘meet’ every second week via ‘Zoom’ and have been able to provide support to the local food bank, to Waid Academy, to ENCEPT - the East Neuk Community Emergency Planning Team and to several charities, especially those supporting children.
Most recently the club has purchased another two ShelterBoxes - those marvellous emergency ‘boxes’ that include a tent, cooking stove, bedding, water purification equipment and in fact everything a family needs to survive a disaster.
And on a brighter note!! dare we say, the club choir managed to meet in a garden. The weather was kind, the singing rusty but the coffee and cake delightful.
The success of vaccination and the lessening of restrictions also meant the club was able to organise a very enjoyable car treasure hunt. Social distancing, mask wearing and risk assessments of course - but great fun and finishing at the ‘Eatooterie’ at Ovenstone for outdoor burgers and chips.
And now in this last month we have been able, once again, to meet in person. Fellowship at a social distance perhaps, but nonetheless most enjoyable. We have also been able to welcome a new member and our wish is that we might return to as normal a programme as we can.