There can be no doubt that the Loch Ness Monster exploded into the public awareness in the 1933, thanks to a few sightings that made national news in Britain. What I'm wondering is if there is any evidence at all that there were sightings before 1933.
The first movie about the monster, 1934's The Secret of the Loch, has the locals claim that they've always known the monster is there. (It also has one of the very same locals theorizing the monster hatched recently from a prehistoric egg disturbed by road construction -- consistency is not the movie's strength.) That suggests that very early in the Loch Ness phenomenon this meme of the monster being an ancient legend was established, but I'm curious if there's any truth at all to it.
I know about the Saint Columba story, but that account doesn't occur in Loch Ness at all and is from a book full of tall tales. I'm looking for sightings of a creature in the Loch and ones that can be verified as having been recorded before 1933. In other words, people coming forward after 1933 saying "I saw the monster 20 years ago!" don't count, unless they can show that somebody wrote down the details of that account at the time.