Chapel---at low tide.
At the upper top, right, notice the rusty remains of the two
large iron bolts that secured the heavy backing-up wooden beam
to the notch, cut in the rocks. Time and the weather have
disintegrated the wooden beam.
very important part
of living our everyday lives is getting rid of
in my early years had a very unique way to make
our garbage vanish.
In those days
there were no wheelie bins, no black plastic
bags, no giant diesel
engined hydraulic automated trash
compacting lorries, no land fill site.
The trash we
generated disappeared in quite a marvelous way.
The sea gobbled it up. The Rumblin Goat caused every last
tiny bit of our rubbish to simply vanish.
Each house had a
container for refuse that was put out on the street on
Monday mornings. If you had items such as old
iron bed rails or whatever you just placed them
along side. In these days
with different lifestyles and eating
habits people generated only a fraction of the
trash that's created today.
At the appointed
hour our waste disposal man with Nellie his Clydesdale horse
and cart, started their round of the village.
When the cart got
full Nellie knew where to go. Nellie headed west
to Chapel Green where the roadway, instead of
being a turn-around as it is now, went past the
Chapel and continued straight on down over the
rocks to the sea to the place that's called the
Rumblin Goat. The Rumblin Goat is a natural
sea scoured channel about fifteen feet wide and
almost as deep. The channel is curved and dead
ends into a small cave or cavern.
As the tide rushes in waves
flow along the channel with great hydraulic force and
ram into the cavern to pound whatever is in
there to fragments. As the wave covers
the mouth of the cavern the air inside is
compressed and with a great
woosh the sea explodes outward.
Just above the end
of the channel was fastened a heavy wooden beam.
When Nellie got there with her load she knew how
to turn around and back up the cart until the
wheels were against the beam. At this point Bob
pulled a pin then heaved on a big lever bar and
the cart up-ended sending all of the rubbish
down to the floor of the channel. The incoming
tide caused the waves in the channel to pound
the deposited material against the end of the
cavern with repeated hammer-like blows until
everything disintegrated into oblivion. It's
strange but not one visible bit of material
exited the channel. Things made of metals
immediately started to rust and corrode and it
wasn't long before the salt
water made them vanish. The big
exception was lead but it didn't linger for long as
Earlsferry boys collected it
to mold, sinkers for sea fishing lines, fishing
lures (Spruels) and lead keels for our self made
model yachts. I had aluminium moulds to mould
toy soldiers, and toy animals and this was
another use that I made of the lead that I
salvaged. In time I had maybe a hundred toy
soldiers each one of which I very carefully
painted. The animals I cast were elephants,
lions, tigers, kangaroos, monkeys, bears and
several others. Lead was also a material of
choice for the weighting of golf clubs that had
About 1936 our
waste disposal man retired and Nellie went out to pasture. This
event, which coincided with the dawn of the age
of disposable plastics, became the end of the
era of our rubbish ending up in the Rumblin
Goat. A new system of
collecting the local refuse was instituted by a
landfill (The Coup) being created a
away up the
Ferry Road, alongside
of where the east coast railway line used to be and just beyond the
second fairway of the 9 hole Elie golf course.
got replaced by a motorized vehicle.
As a remembrance of
how life was in Earlsferry in bygone days the
the wooden beam and the heavy iron bolts should
fun to go to the Rumblin Goat, especially
on stormy days, to see the powerful waves surge into the
foam filled channel and to see the noisy sea blasting back
out of the hole.
a word of caution. (Guess I'm getting old.) The
Rumblin Goat is completely unguarded. For every
thing there is a first time and while it has
never happened to my knowledge, if, on a stormy
day, you slipped
and fell in to the Rumblin Goat it's quite
possible that you might not get back out --- alive.