Anster Nicht: Trotters Independent Condiments

Byam Trotter founded Trotters Independent Condiments in 2009 after his mother gave him the recipe for mostarda, a delicious condiment she had discovered in Italy. Production began in the family kitchen, with Byam selling his product at farmers’ markets and in farm shops and delicatessens. By 2010 the business had grown in product range, quantity and employees, so Byam was forced to find his own kitchen. The business now supplies over 300 retailers, restaurants and caterers – including the Coop, the Balmoral Hotel and Harvey Nichols – and has contracts with leading brands; Byam also has aspirations to crack the international market. Byam will take us through his journey from concept to successful business, talking about the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur in Fife. Byam has promised us the opportunity to sample some of the delicious products from the Trotters Independent Condiments label.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend:

If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £2.50 per event. Membership is £7.50 and will allow you to attend all the 2016 Anster Nichts and the Christmas Social.

Anster Cinema: Following the Fleet: Drifters (PG)

In association with the Scottish Fisheries Museum, we present a special evening of silent film with live backing vocals and a post-screening Q&A.

Beatboxer and composer Jason Singh performs his live vocal score to John Grierson’s monumental silent film Drifters. Premiering alongside Battleship Potemkin in 1929, Drifters follows North Sea herring fisherman through their dramatic daily routines as well as the industry’s struggles between tradition, modernity, technology, the environment and nature. Jason’s score is a totally unique performance combining live vocal sound effects, voice manipulation, beatboxing and live sampling to create an exhilarating cinematic experience.

This special live event is part of Following the Fleet, a tour of Scotland’s major herring fishing ports produced by Shona Thomson and supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network.

Director: John Grierson / UK / 1929 / 1h 10m (40m film + 30min performer Q&A) / Certificate PG

Anster Nicht: Memories of Scottish Fishing Music

Meg Hyland, a student at the University of St Andrews, spent the summer as a Laidlaw Undergraduate Intern in Research and Leadership, working on a research project called ‘Memories of Scottish Fishing Music’. She investigated what songs fisherfolk sang during their work and how this varied across Scotland. She will be speaking about how factors such as religion, oral tradition, and geographical origin could affect what and why fisherfolk sang while fishing, gutting herring, mending nets, and other work involved in the fishing industry.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend:

If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £2.50 per event. Membership is £7.50 and will allow you to attend all the 2016 Anster Nichts and the Christmas Social.

Doors Open Day

Tours up the tower and, weather permitting, out on to the parapet to take in the spectacular views. Exhibition of photographs of Fife Coastal Path by Alex Fisher. Home baking/refreshments available.

Sunday, 4 September

Anstruther Writing Awards 2016

The Anstruther Writing Awards is a creative competition organised each year by the AIA and is open to one and all.

In years gone by an ‘Anster Fair’ was held in the town to celebrate the poem of the same name written by William Tennant (1784-1848). The poem features the characters of Maggie Lauder and Rob the Ranter and has a sub plot of witches, wizards and fairies. Numerous events used to be held in Anstruther during the ‘Anster Fair’ and one of them was a writing competition. So in 2013 the AIA decided to revive the competition to build on our community’s great tradition of creative writing and to celebrate talent of all ages.




First Prize: £20 book token
Second Prize: £10 book token

Entries can be poetry, or prose or illustrated fiction up to 500 words.

Judge: Chae Strathie



First Prize: £25 book token

SHORT STORY (1000-1500 words)
First Prize: £25 book token

REFLECTIVE WRITING (1000-1500 words)
First Prize: £25 book token

Judge: Christina Banach



First Prize: £100
Judge: Andrew Greig

SHORT STORY (between 1500-2500 words)
First Prize: £100

Judge: Jennie Erdal


The competition closing date is the 30th of September 2016.

March Madness

It’s a busy month at Dreel Halls with both an Anster Nicht on Thursday and Community Cinema on Sunday. The Anster Nicht takes us to the Southern tip of the world to the Sub Antartic Island of South Georgia. Our speaker, Katie Murray, spent the summer of 2011-2012 there as curator of the Grytviken Museum. Grytviken was once a famous whaling station and it is the place where Ernest Shackleton famously arrived after crossing the mountains of South Georgia after an 800 mile journey from Elephant Island. It is a fascinating place and we look forward to the talk.

On Sunday, we have Robert Carlyle directing and starring in a macabre comedy as a Glaswegian Barber who takes up serial killing. We have teas and coffee and home baking and a 6.45 start.

Also Yellow ducks going up over the town for the AIA Duck Race. As usual this takes place at 10.30 on Easter Saturday. Please support us in our biggest and craziest fund raiser of the year to keep this tradition going.

Elizabeth Gordon, Hon Pat.

Boat Race

As part of the Anstruther Harbour Festival festivities the A.I.A will be holding their Boat Race on the Dreel burn on Saturday 30th May at 10:30am. Boats are available locally where you see the Boat Race sign or at the burnside from 10am on the morning of the race.

Easter News

Easter Saturday morning, Dreel Burn, has meant only one thing to the AIA these last 26 or 27 years – The Duck Race. Thanks to massive support from traders in the town, and indeed massive support from all the buyers of Ducks, the Duck Race has become an institution. The Duck pushers said this was one of the easiest Duck Races, no ducks escaped and 25 prizes were won. The crowd piled into Dreel Halls for refreshments and an Easter Bonnet Parade judged by the Fisher Lass and Lad.

The Duck Race has now been surrounded by King Creosote’s ‘Yellae Deuks’ Festival, a three Day event that culminated in an ecstatic crowd dancing to all his ‘big international hits’, the loyal fans favourites. Some of the best in Anstuther, Scottish and British music played over the Easter Weekend. The crowd consisted of friends old and new, young and older who also enjoyed an Easter Picnic and the stunning weather Anster had to offer on Easter Sunday.

Next Sunday, the AIA are helping to support the Table Top Games Club’s fund raiser for the RNLI Anstruther Lifeboat Station.

Elizabeth Gordon, Hon. Patron

Duck Race 2015

The AIA’s big fun fundraiser, the Duck Race, takes place this Saturday morning at 10.30am when up to a 1000 yellow plastic ducks get chucked off a bridge and are cajoled towards the finish line at the Dreel Bridge. It’s a great sight and lots of fun.

Prizewinners are announced in Dreel Halls immediately afterwards and the public are invited to join us in refreshments and see the Easter Parade. There are prizes for the best hats so come and have some fun.

Ducks are available where you see the yellow duck sign. We have already had amazing support from local traders selling the ducks so a great big thank you to them.

Elizabeth Gordon, Honorary Patron

March News

At the AIA AGM, retiring President Elizabeth Gordon spoke of the success of Dreel Halls and the fun that had happened there over the last fourteen months. Dreel Halls has become an important venue for various clubs, groups, ceilidhs and parties. There remains the challenge of turning Dreel Halls into a venue with access and facilities for all, and although our recent planning application was turned down the AIA will strive to achieve this.

Thanks were given to our supporters and members, especially the two Petes from Colinsburgh Community Cinema in screening films and Fife Free Press for their support in publishing our news and launching their calendar in Dreel Halls.

The new Committee is ready for action. They are Kate Anstruther, John Barker, Jen Gordon, Chloe Milne, Cllr Elizabeth Riches and Alan Stewart. Elizabeth Gordon and Christine Keay were made Honorary Patrons for a five year period. The Committee’s first task will be to get the Duck Race organised for Easter Saturday.

We finished our Anster Nicht season with local success story Murray Barnett giving a demonstration of cooking with artisan bread. There were tastings of a pineapple jam and hot cross bun pudding and a savoury pizza dish. Murray also explained the advantages of artisan bread using less preservatives and causes less bloating. The tasting was enjoyed by many and it was an enjoyable end to the Anster Nicht season.

Elizabeth Gordon, Honorary Patron

Building a thriving and resilient community, improving Anstruther for all