On Wednesday, November 17, 1943, two Fife miners appeared at Alloa Sheriff Court charged with illegal fishing.

Alexander Crichton from Oakley and John Crichton from Saline appeared before Sheriff H Burn-Murdoch charged by the District Board of the Salmon Fisheries of the River Forth of having, on Sunday, October 24, been fishing near the Rackmill Bridge by Dollar, and trespassing to fish for salmon or ‘other fish of the salmon kind’.

They were also indicted of having in their possession, or use of, an instrument used for dragging fish.

They had also fished for, or at least attempted to fish for, salmon using the rod and line during ‘the weekly close time’.

Initially, the pair had pleaded not guilty but at the hearing – their Alloa solicitor A M J Graham withdrew these pleas and entered the pleas of guilty on his clients’ behalf.

Mr D J Ross, a Stirling solicitor acting on behalf of the prosecution brought by the Fisheries Board, told the court that the superintendent of the board was on duty in Dollar that day and saw the two men at the River Devon.

One of them, Alexander Crichton, was using a rod and casting in something that he could not make out, while his brother John was scouting the banks and holding onto the trees.

The superintendent said he heard this man shout to his companion: "There is one here."

It was not suggested in court that John was doing anything wrong. He was simply accompanying his older brother.

Mr Graham admitted to the court that his client Alexander was indeed fishing with the rod and line.

Sheriff Burn-Murdoch had heard of a similar case a few weeks earlier and it was common practice for miners to fish on Sundays as that was their only day off.

Graham stated that if his client had seen the superintendent, he would have sought permission to fish.

Mr Ross presented the fishing rod, showing it included an ordinary minnow and three hooks more that had been admitted, when in fact it had another two hooks, and the minnow was in fact lead.

The sheriff imposed a fine on Alexander of 5 shillings or 5 days imprisonment for the first charge and ten days for the second charge.

He also found him liable to pay his share of expenses, amounting to 17 shillings.1d.

He imposed a lesser fine on John, although he was admonished on the third charge.

The instrument used for dragging was forfeited.