Latest News

Moray Firth Radio News Investiigation Into Ambulance Services In The North Continues Every DayThis Week

Moray Firth Live to listen to news updates.

CHAT on Facebook

Bridge Street, Wick Yesterday - Spot The Changes in Shops
Bride Street, Wick 19 March 2017
Change is happening all the time and here is another setof photos of Bridge Street, Wick taken on Sunday 19th March 2017.  The recently moved Keystore was a shoe shop J Gunn and co.  See earlier photos 2015  From The Air 2014    Looking Over Bridge Street Up Wick River

1904  1906  1912 (Wick Lifeboat Day)  1919  1930  1931

Early Caithness Photos     Wick Streets Photos A to Z    Many Wick Photos

MFR NEWS Invetigating Health Sevices - Today WhistleBloweron Ambulance Services
Listen every day this week as MFR puts out more on our area.

New 12 Sided Pounds - Is Your Business Ready?  Round Pounds No Longer Useable From 16 October
New 12 sided pound from 28th March 2017
Everyone has a few months to dig out all those round pounds from behind the sofa or saved in jars and tims before you can no longer spend them in the shops. Banks and Post Offices will accept them for a period after that.  The new pound is being introduced partly to combat counterfeits that in recent years have seen one in thirty coins being fakes.  Gradually you will see the new coins in your change and issued by the banks.  The Royal Mint has been churning out 3 million a day to prepare for the launch.



Check Out The Community Pages for More Items

Caithness hospital units shut down  - Dunbar Hospital - Press and Journal
The latest announcment by NHS Highland just adds to the run down of health services in Caithness.  CHAT asks "Is this yet another closure for good coming up?"

High Street, Wick Today
High Street, Wick - 19 March 2107
See the latest photos of the High Street in Wick and then take a look back at  --
2012  2009  2002  1920s  1919  1914  1908   From The Air 2014  Another Air 

Note the Post Office has moved from High Street to Bridge Street and the sign has been removed to show the old Jewellers sign stil intact underneath.


ERI Seminar -  Flow Country Photo and Poster Exhibition - Meet The Scientists
ERi Seminar
On Wednesday the 22nd of March, the ERI will be hosting >50 researchers from around the UK and Ireland for the 4th edition of the Flow Country Research Conference. As part of the conference, there will be a scientific poster session open to the public. Everyone will have the change to meet the scientists who study the peatlands of the Flow Country and ask questions about the latest research in a relaxed and informal setting.
Caithness Science Festival 2017 - The Fun Day Photos
Caithness Sceince Festival 2017 - Fun DayCaithness Science Festival 2017 Fun DayCaithness Science Festival 2017 Fun Day
The Caithness Science Festival had its annual showcase for many areas of science both in Caithness and from elsewhere with lots of experts to answer questions from people of all ages.


Gills Harbour AGM - Tuesday 21st March 2017
Gills Harbour Ltd Is holding its Annual General Meeting in the PFL Terminal Building at Gills Harbour on Tuesday March 21st 2017, at 7:30pm You are cordially invited to the event, as above.   Business Index

GMR Henderson To Join Thomas Telford Renovation
Wick harbour buildings - how they will look by 2018
Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (BOWL) has begun renovating its new home in Wick with the help of a neighbour. Two buildings in Lower Pulteneytown are being redeveloped into the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base for the 2.6bn Beatrice offshore wind farm project. The two buildings were originally designed by renowned Scottish engineer Thomas Telford in 1807 to support marine work in Wick and will soon be brought back to maritime use once complete in 2018.

Photos From The Caithness Science Festival Launch
Caithness Science Festival 2017Caithness Science Festival 2017
The Caithness Science Festival  had its official launch on Tuesday with demonstratiosn and tasters of things on during the week in all the schools heading to the big Fun day this coming Saturday at Assembly Rooms, Wick
The kids had hands on a python and found out about the brain and much more.  Satruday will have 27 presenters on stalls and side talks and demonstations so well worth a look.

Rev. Alfred Coutts and Elders Photo
Rev. Alfred Coutts and Elders
A very good photo has been sent to us by Graeme Lyall of the Reverend Alfred Coutts and the elders of the United Free Church, Bridge Street, Wick. The photo was taken by Johnson Photographers. Rev. Couts was an army chaplain in the First World War.







John O'Groats - Shape The Future - Can You Help?
JohnO'Groats - Can you help shape the future? - Drop in Event at Seaview Hotel John O'Groats
A drop in event.
Seaview Hotel, John O'Groats.
Monday 20th March
2.00 - 7.00pm.






Friends of Annie Charity Event - James Bond Themed Dinner Dance
Friends of Annie Bond Dinner
1st April - Park Hotel, Thurso
"Friends of Annie", are a local charity that helps young people who are in care or has previously had care experience, we help when they are finding things tough, say their washing machine broke or they need to travel for a family occasion, such as a funeral south and help can be given with the fare, if a young person had an interview help can be given clothing or other expenses.


Caithness Science Festival Launch Tonight
Caithness Science Festival Launch
The launch of the 15th Caithness International Science Festival takes plce tonight at Noss Primary School in Wick.  See posters for events or go to the ScinceFestival web site www.science03.org







April deadline for major communities fund
Communities Fund Deadline
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is encouraging community bodies and third sector organisations across the region to consider applying to the Aspiring Communities Fund. The 18.9 million fund is being run as part of the European Social Fund, with the Scottish Government as lead partner. The deadline for the first round of applications is 7 April. The fund will support community-led projects to develop and deliver services that address local needs.


Successful St Johns Pool Work Day
St Johns Pool Work Day
A record number of volunteers turned out on Sunday (12th March 2017) to assist with habitat enhancement work and access improvements at St Johns Pool near Dunnet in Caithness. Members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers were joined by representatives from the Caithness Broch Project to create a dynamic team of enthusiastic volunteers. A range of jobs were completed including weeding, landscaping the islands, ditch clearing, path building, clearing vegetation and not forgetting, a successful team building exercise to fix camouflage screening to the viewing hides.

Highland Council 2017 Election Called
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March 2017) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May 2017. A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members. Previously Highland has had 80 councillors. Caithness will now have two wards instead of three and will lose 2 councillors. Landward Caithness will disappear and the two new wards are Thurso and Northwest Caithness  and Wick and East Caithness. each with 4 councillors.
Obituary - HAROLD WILKINSON, born Dundee, 15.09.1931 - Died Inverness 27.02.2017
Harold Wilkinson, who died of a rare type of leukaemia on 27th February, 2017, in Raigmore Hospital, in his adopted home-town of Inverness, established the first Geography department in Wick High during the early 1960s. The geography graduate of Edinburgh University in 1960 went on to have a full career mainly in senior education management . He then held Director-level posts, firstly with Inverness-shire and then with the Highland Region, also based in Inverness, in wider fields, until his retirement in 1995.
Science Festival 2017 - Energy In Caithness
Energy in Caithness
Wednesday15th March 2017 - 7.00pm at Mackays Hotel.








Science Festival 2017 -  The Story Of A Grey Seal Pup
Story of a Grey Seal Pup
On your doorstep in Caithness are lots of seals.  How much do you know about them?  Go along and listen to Ken Crossan an see his wonderful photos to understand what you can see.

Friday 17th March 2017 - 7.00pm





Science Festival 2017 - Animal Husbandry at Puffin Croft
Animal Husbandry at Puffin Croft

Saturday 11th March  and Sunday 12th March 10.00am - 4.00pm







2017 Caithness International Science Festival  - Link now corrected
2017 Caithness Science Festival
Keep a check on the events in the Caithness Science Festival starting on Saturday.  This is the 15th Science Festival and it is once again full of interesting events for kids and adults.





Introducing the Lybster and Tannach non formal learning bursary scheme
Learning Bursary Scheme Tannach and Lybster
The Lybster & Tannach non-formal learning bursary scheme launched in January 2017 to benefit residents within the Lybster, Latheron & Clyth and Tannach & District Community Council areas. The scheme is available to individuals and groups who are looking to take part in non-formal learning projects. The scheme is managed by Lybster & Tannach, a charitable company established to administer the Burn of Whilk Wind Farm community benefit fund. Burn of Whilk windfarm is located South East of Wick and is owned and operated by Eneco UK. A drop in event for more information on this scheme is being held on Thursday 9th March 2017 between 6.00pm and 8.30pm at Clyth Community Hall.
Calls for independent review of north maternity services amid claims patient safety is at risk
and if that was not enough for concern about Northern health services.........................
Unite members back official dispute with ambulance service

Caithness team on Robot Wars is being featured In the Ad For The Show

Citizen Science Event: Dunbeath Strath - calling all lichen lovers!
Citizen Science Event: Dunbeath Strath - calling all lichen lovers!









Looking To The Future, Promoting Caithness As A Cruise Destination
Cruise to Scrabster
Scrabster Harbour has launched its marketing campaign to promote Caithness as a cruise destination to the global cruise industry. The campaign, which will feature a staged marketing approach, will ensure relevant information is delivered at the critical points during the decision making process, and before and after cruise industry events.



New Council Tax Rates From 1st April
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H. The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017. Households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases. In addition to the increase in Council Tax set by the Scottish Government on properties falling within Bands E to H, The Highland Council has been given the flexibility to increase Council Tax on all properties, Bands A to H, by up to 3% from 1 April 2017. Council Tax legislation, set by the Scottish Government, determines any increase must be applied to all Bands in A to H.

MeyGen Update - AR1500 Turbine Deployed in Record Time
Meygen AR1500
Atlantis, a global leader in the tidal power sector, is delighted to announce that the first AR1500 tidal stream turbine has been deployed and energised at the MeyGen project site in the Pentland Firth, Scotland. The Atlantis AR1500 tidal stream turbine was successfully deployed in less than 60 minutes following earlier connection of its proprietary wet mate connection management system, which allows for rapid deployment and retrieval of the tidal stream turbine. This follows the announcement in November 2016 that first power had been delivered to the grid from the first of the three Andritz Hydro Hammerfest tidal stream turbines.
Pedestrian killed in John o' Groats road collision  -
STV

Additional 1.174m Funding To Nhs Highland For Adult Care To Be Proposed
The Highland Council's Administration will be proposing an additional 1.174m to NHS Highland for adult care, as part of the 2017/18 budget which will be considered on Thursday 16 February 2017.
Wick Councillor Bill Fernie who is chairman of the Resources committee and Budget Leader for the Independents Administration said,"This has been our most difficult year since I joined the council but I feel that we are able to make thie significant commitment to ensure in partnership wiht NHS Highland wecan deliver Adult Care service to our poele who need it."

Schools Budgets To Be Protected In Highland Budget Proposals
In another challenging financial year, the Highland Council Administration has pledged to protect education services in the 2017/18 budget. The Highland Council will consider next year's budget at its meeting on Thursday 16 February. School budgets, which fund teachers and school support services, have been protected by the Council Administration, and there are no proposals to make savings in these areas.

Improved Safety Measures For Miller Academy
Member of the Caithness Area Committee have given the go-ahead to a project to improve the safety of pupils walking and cycling to and from Miller Academy in Thurso.

Beatrice local Community Fund  - Information Evenings
SSE would like to invite members of the public form the five community council areas listed inside to attend an information event in their local community where they will learn more about the Beatrice local Community Fund. They are also looking for volunteers form each community to join the decision making panel and a ballot will be held at each evet to appoint the community panel members.
A Turriff-ic result for United - Wick Academy 0 Turriff United 1
Wick Academy 0 Turriff United 1 - 11 February 2017
On another day, Richard Macadie's first-half rocket would have dipped in under the crossbar and stretched the netting instead of rebounding off the woodwork. On another day, Steven Anderson's well-aimed strike would have found its mark instead of being diverted by the keeper's finger tips. On another day, one of the Academy players involved in a free-for-all, second-half stramash on United's doorstep would have got a telling touch to the ball before it got a panic clearance.    PHOTO GALLERY

WASPI Continues The State Pension Fight For Women - Check This Out

The Caithness WASPI group are keen to reach out to more 1950s women who are unsure of when they will get their State Pension and how much they will receive. They also want to update people on what's happening with the WASPI campaign which is very exciting! WASPI have raised over 100K to appoint top London law firm Bindmans to help challenge the Government on this important issue. There will be a mass demonstration in London on Wednesday 8th March which is also International Women's Day and there will be representation from Caithness and Sutherland WASPIs. Local WASPI Co-ordinators Aileen and Lorna have organised meetings on Monday 13th February 2017 at 6.30 pm in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso and Thursday 16th February 2017 at 6.30 pm in the Norseman Hotel, Wick.
Honours even as weather fails to rain supreme - Wick Academy 2 Forres Mechanics 2
Wick Academy 2 Forres Mechanics 2 - 4th February 2017
THIS was a day more suited to those with webbed feet rather than footballers but both sides defied the elements and gave their fans their money's-worth. The Scorries, building on their return to form, but without key personnel, Alan Farquhar and Davie Allan, drew first blood early in the uncompromising wind and rain... with a little help from an opponent. Steven Anderson homed in on the visitor's goal in a fine solo run down the left in the opening minutes. His strike looked as if it caught a deflection on the way but it ended up in the net and the scorer deserved the credit.    PHOTO GALLERY
English For Speakers Of Other Languages
- Informal  - All Levels
Open Day Thurso                     Classes In Wick
Thurso ESOL - Open DayEnglish for Speakers of Other Lnaguges - Classes every TuesdayFree English classes. Check it out and find out more.








Many a Mac maks a muckle - Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5
Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5 - 21st January 2017Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5 - 21st January 2017
 WICK Academy's rich vein of success ran out on Saturday but few fans would have anticipated the result being a rout. County were worthy winners netting five times to Academy one, the club's worse defeat since 2014. Nairn's lowly position in the league table - thirteenth- make such the defeat even harder to bear. Wick seemed to have no answer to the incisive attacks of their opponents whose Mac. clan members were on song and it was only Stephen Anderson's second-half goal which avoided a whitewash. The Scorries, who looked far from the consistently dangerous side that took six league scalps on the trot, were rocked by Nairn's opener in 10 minutes, Jack MacLean delivering the first of his match double.       Photo Gallery
New Car Tax Rates From 1st April - You can save by buying before then
New Car Tax (VED) from 1 April 2017
From 1 April 2017, the UK's car tax system - also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) - is due to change. Will you end up paying more for your next car?  If you are seriously thinking about buying a new car in 2017 then perhaps you should check this out as you might save hundreds of pounds if you buy before the new rates for emissions apply. Check out the links in this item inside.


See The Challenges Of Balancing The Council Budget With The Budget Simulator
Now you can have a go at settting a cut down version of the Highland Council budget and see the consequences of your decidions at the end if you balance it.  There are no easy decisions in reducing budgets but all councillors have a duty to make it balance.  Have a go.................................................

Council Tax changes in 2017/2018
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H. The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017. Households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases.
Clydedale Bank In Thurso To Close
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire banking group (CYBG) is closing 79 branches with the loss of 400 jobs.  The Thurso Branch will close on 23rd May 2017.

More Snow In Caithness Photos
Snow in Caithness 14 January 2017Snow in Wick
Thanks to Derek Bremner and Noel Donaldson for more snowy Caithness photos added to the gallery today.  You can share your snow pics by emailing them to bill@caithness.org




Winter Surfing At Thurso
The waves are still good in winter a can be seen in this short film from Ian Battrick over on the website Carve.  You can see the waves from inside captured on his board cam.

Snow In Caithness
Snow in Caithness
Plenty of snow in Caithness from last night.  A few photos from around March Road, Wick.  If you would like to share any more wintry photos email them to bill@caithness.org for inclusionin the section.



Potential Funding For Projects
Are you looking for support to fund a community project in Caithness? Highland LEADER Programme has funding of 497,080 to allocate to projects in the area, and will be hosting information sessions in Wick and Thurso on 24th & 25th January respectively.

Midwife-led baby unit at Wick by end of month - BBC
Preparations are being made to change the operation of maternity services at Caithness General in Wick earlier than previously planned. NHS Highland said a midwife-led community maternity unit (CMU) is to be in place at the hospital at the end of this month.    Announcement by NHS Highland
Making journeys easier for those in most need
Thistle Assistance Card
HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, has introduced a quick and easy way for those with a disability to get help when using public transport, particularly buses. They have widely circulated a new Thistle Assistance Card which the holder can use to advise the bus driver/public transport operator of any special help that is required.


Halkirk Ceilidh Dancers 11 January - Cancelled Due To Severe Weather Forecast

Met Office Forecast For Highland
Wednesday: Very windy, cold day with frequent showers. Showers turning increasing to snow on high ground, then to lower levels later. Gales, severe in places, with blizzard conditions on high ground.
Disrespect Or Prank
War Memorial Wick With Traffic Cone on top
THE war memorial in the royal burgh of Wick has been disrespected by vandals It would probably have taken two of them, one standing on the other's shoulders to reach the top of the statue's base and place the traffic cone on the top of the head. It will certainly require a ladder or a long pole to remove it. Does it echo the humour of Glasgow where the Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington is frequently photographed with a traffic cone no matter how often it is removed.

A beginner’s guide to surfing in winter in Scotland
- Scotsman
While Thurso may be busier than other parts of Scotland, Christopherson suggests it's worth braving the crowds - which will be smaller in winter....................
Watten Hogmanay Party
Watten Hogmanay to welcome 2017Watten Hogmanay Party to welcome 2017Watten Hogmany Party to welcome 2017






River Wick Walk - 3 January 2017
Wick River Walk -3 Ja uary 2017WickRiver Walk - 3 January 2017







Beginners Running Groups  - Thurso and Wick
Beginners Running Groups

Starting Monday 9th January 2017. 6.00pm at Thurso Squash club or Wick Swimming Pool Cafe.









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