News Archive - July 2001

Around the Baby Show In Wick Gala Week
Assembly Rooms, Wick was extremely busy for the Baby Show this year.  Wonder if the threat to maternity services has brought out the crowds?  No votes here for any government reducing services.

A Group Of Classic Car Enthusiasts At John O'Groats
A group of friends with an interest in classic cars at John O'Groats.  The group are touring the Highlands and when we caught up with them were planning to go over to Orkney for the day before heading back south.  They even have their own web site so you can find out all about their cars.

John O'Groat Harbour Day - Always Something Happening

Model Fishing Boat Sails From Stroma to John O'Groats

An Irish Jig At John O'Groats

Next Gala Pics 91 - 100

Yet More Wick Gala Pics 81 - 90

Next Gala Pics 91 - 100
And we are still working on them so more to come.

Yet More Wick Gala Pics 81 - 90
And still more later.

Library Kids Lead This Section of Gala Pics 71 - 80
This group of children had been getting ready and learning to put together the costumes and other gear for the gala at the library over a few days.

Hi Florida - More From That Jacksonville Crew
Singing, Dancing and havin fun - that was Gala Night.  

Lifeboats At John O'Groats Harbour Day
First of a series of pictures on John O'Groats Harbour Day.  More tomorrow. More Gala pictures later tonight.

Gala Queen & Attendants Pictures
What does a Gala Queen do?  Chosen by the pupils at the school they attend a whole range of activities, present prizes, dances, golf prize giving and almost everyday are in action from the Baby Show to bonfire night when they usually start the fireworks display on Saturday night at the end of this week to end the Gala Week.

Jacksonville Group Gala Party In Blackstairs
Lots of people in town for Gala Week.  This group in from Jacksonville to see relatives and friends seemed to be enjoying the night.

Gala Pics 61 - 70
Another batch and we are hardly half way through yet.  Plenty more still to come.

More Views OF Wick Gala 51 - 60
This float had the council as part of its target but it was only the tail end of Scorrie Busters.

Halkirk Highland Games First Pictures
Halkirk Games this year had a very large crowd and the weather stayed fine.  Commencing with the March to the field we will bring you pictures over the next couple of days.

Thurso Pipe Band Playing In Halkirk Before March To Field

And More Gala 41- 50

More Gala 31 - 40

Next Gala Pictures 21 - 30

First 20 Wick Gala Pictures
First batch of pictures from Wick Gala last night.  At least a hundred more pictures to come over the next day or two but we are off to John O'Groats Harbour Day right now.  Back tonight with many more of the gala. 1- 10, 11- 20

Class 73 Reunion Group Picture
This group picture sent in by John Baikie, Photographer.  A much higher quality picture is available from John who can be contact at JGB Photography.  

New Web Sites Still Coming On In Caithness
A personal web site this time from Brandy Miller with a variety of pictures of her family and Wick.  This has been added to our listing of Personal Web Sites.  If you would like a link to your personal web site whether your based in Caithness or elsewhere let us know.  Just tell us the address and what the Caithness connection is.  Another one today is a reminder of the web site for Caithness Diving Club who have changed their name from Thurso Sub-Aqua Club.  We will be adding it to the new sports pages coming soon on Caithness.Org

Class 73 Wick High Reunion
Class of 73 Wick High School Reunion was very well attended with people coming from many parts of the UK and from abroad.  Furthest travelled we could find was Jacksonville, Florida. A few more pictures next week its Gala and Highland Games today in Wick and Halkirk and we are off to both.  See some of you there.

OK Who Will Be Next With A Web Site?
Wick Harbour Trust Launches Web Site - Sorry guys couldn't resist it!

Wick Gala - Preparations Already In Full Swing
Here we go with the first Wick Gala pictures even before it begins showing you just a little of the preparations under way for the decorated floats on Saturday night.  Teams of people all over the town are preparing floats, costumes and other necessities for the night that Wick has very enthusiastically gone into for many years.  Topical events often feature in the floats and political gaffs or mistakes by any public body are likely to be a target for satirical and straight forward humour on the night.  Slander and libel lawyers stay home or you might just end up on next years float.  Politicians are a favourite but anything that happened in the last 12 months is likely to get another airing in glorious Technicolor and a pot of paint.

The Facts On Beach Particles From UKAEA
In order to bring the facts back into focus after much media speculation, letters to the press and debate UKAEA has issued a statement on what has been found to date.

Requests for Advice by Email - Do Not Open Them
A plague of viruses is spreading on the pretext of asking your advice.  They vary but usually ask you to open a file  - Do not do this or you are in trouble.  Only if you know the source of the email should you check the file attached but even then it may have come unwittingly from a friends computer.  Check by phone first if they really want advice about their divorce, pregnancy or on almost any other topic currently doing the rounds. Get your virus protection software updating regularly from today if you have not already done so.  We really mean it.  Delay will cost you - act now before you get caught with the next one.

A Question for Mowatts In Family History

Wick Thursday
All quiet in Bridge Street this morning where hundreds of people will line up to see the parade of floats on Saturday evening for the start of Wick Gala Week.

Sword Dance At Dunbeath Last Week
If you missed Dunbeath Sword Dancing you still have other chances at the Highland Games still to come at Mey and John O'Groats.  But the first one is on Saturday with the biggest games of all at Halkirk.  Highland Dancing competitions, heavy field events, tossing the caber, tug-o-war, athletics, cycle races, pipe bands, piping competitions, clan gatherings.  Soak in the atmosphere as the participants march to the field with the pipes ringing in your ears at 12.15pm. Aye!  We'll be there.  Why not spend the day at the games and head back to Wick for the big Gala Night parade.  Always fun and spot that wicked Weeker humour on the slogans and poems on the floats.  Head for riverside about 7.00pm

Badryrie - Abandoned Crofting Community In Latheron
One of the most isolated parts of Caithness once a thriving community was the topic examined in April 1985 by David B Miller.  His detailed article still as accurate as the day it was written.

Pulteneytown Academy 1961 - Yet Another Class
And still you are rummaging and finding more pictures in the 49 - 51 reunion age group in Wick.  We will soon have the whole set.

East End Boys Football New Pictures
Under 12 Teams From 1976 and 1977
Thanks to coach Ronnie McKain for sending these pictures in to add to the growing section on East End Boys Football Club.

Reunions Keep Those Old Pictures Coming In
Another Class from 1962 now set for the 49-51 age group reunion next week (3 August) in Mackays Hotel.  No tickets - well its a sellout but you can mingle in the bars.  With 180 tickets sold and a heap more people heading to Mackays for "e crack" its gonna be busy.

Gala Week In Wick Starts Saturday
Caithness is going to be very busy from Friday with Wick Gala week, Halkirk Highland Games on Saturday and a range of concerts not to mention a range of reunions taking place from Friday this week.

Looking Down On Market Square Pipers

Mairi Nicolson In Antarctica
One of the most spectacular responses to our Where They Went sections.  Mairi is working as a Terrestrial Field Assistant and will be there for 2.5 years.

Where They Went Hears From Joe Fitzpatrick
Joe went to North School, Wick - check out his home web site in USA.  He found himself in the 1962 North School picture sent in for the 49- 51 reunion that happens on 3 August in Wick.

Lord Of The Rings & J R R Tolkien Links Page
The Links pages continue to grow even though we may not announce every addition on the front page.  this latest listing is in preparation for the new film to be released in December the first of three in a series on the famous fantasy.  All links were checked today.

The Caber Tossing At Dunbeath
Try this after a lot of practice and you still won't make it do a summersault like these guys.  Still a unique feature of Highland Games  and it does take a lot of skill as well as pure brute strength to turn these telegraph poles over full length.

Holiday Letting In Caithness
If you are letting holiday accommodation in Caithness and want to get more coverage then send us your details for the new section in the Caithness Business Pages.  Its cheaper to have a web site from Scorrie Internet than advertising in a magazine or newspapers over the year.

Wick Gala Week Programme
Here is the whole Gala Week Programme from Wick Town Improvements Group.  In addition many of the local pubs, hotels and clubs will be having their own entertainment to add to a busy week.

North School 1962
Another class from this year in our
School Days section.  The picture has been sent in as another in the build up to the

49 - 51 Wick High Reunion.
Countdown for several reunions is now on.  so could everyone contact to pick up and pay for their tickets to ease the burden on the various committees as soon as possible. 

Pulteneytown Academy 1961

Pictures still rolling in for the 49- 51 Wick High Reunion in Mackays on 3 August.

Halkirk Highland Games - Biggest In The North
Saturday 28 July, £12500 of Prize Money, A Great Day Out To Meet All your Friends Remember last years games

Stirling Castle
This is the latest castle from Andrew Spratt's range of reconstructions.  for the full castle section Click Here.  For the full list of Non Caithness reconstructions Click Here.   For all the Caithness reconstructions Click Here.

Dunbeath Highland Games Pictures
Yesterday was overcast but this did not stop everyone enjoying the day.

Dunbeath Games Baby Show & Cycle Races

Patients Council - Caithness
Most of you may not have heard of this group now meeting in Caithness but now you can see what they talk about on the web site.  We will be publishing the minutes and any other information they produce for everyone to see.  Now if you have some thing to say about the hospital services in Caithness you have another group actually in the county to contact with your views.  Remember however that they do not replace the Health Council who are based in Alness.

Reflections On E Kirk
More from the pen of Jenny Stewart in Caithness dialect transcribed by Isabelle Thurley.

Dancing In The Gym
Recollections from Janis Paterson in the Reunion pages but which will strike a chord with many others.   And on the reunion theme - can anyone who is attending any reunion please pick up their tickets as early as possible to save the organisers having to contact you all by phone.  Some of the reunions are big now and that's a big job so get round and pick up your tickets PLEASE.

August East Coast Walks Calendar
Here are the East Coast Ranger Walks planned for August.  A great way to see Caithness with someone who knows the area well.  Here are a couple of pictures from recent walks with the rangers -

Tuesday 24 July 2.00 - 5.00pm
Caithness General Hospital, Conference Room
A chance to get your views over about how the health service in the Highlands should change.

North Stroma From The Air
Another view of Stroma.

Duncansby Stroll
A few more pictures from a stroll round Seabird City at Duncansby Head this week.  This picture shows the Skerries Lighthouse in the Pentland Firth between the cliffs.

Berriedale Castle
Not much happening on the castle section as we are busy on other things in the summer months at present.  However here is a drawing of Berriedale from Cordiner's Castles to keep you castle fans going.

Management of Nuclear Fuel At Dounreay
Mr Brian Wilson, Minister of State for Industry, Energy and Environment, made the announcement today following a public consultation exercise last year about the options for management of spent nuclear fuel at Dounreay.

Crowds In Stevens at Scrabster On Saturday

Lifeboat At Harbour Day

Thurso Gala Programme
4 - 9 August 2001
Another Gala - this time in Thurso as they gear up for the annual event the programme is now here.  This years pictures will be indexed from the Thurso Gala Page

Scorrie Internet Services
We have our own business web site up and running now.  Scorrie Internet Services is able to offer a range of services and these are already being extended.  Keep an eye on Scorrie for future announcements.  Building not only web sites but solutions to problems.   Businesses can take advantage of being linked to the fast growing banner system and cross promotion now on offer.

Birch Beithe, Betula
An exhibition on the theme of Highland Birch by artists from the Highlands In Wick till end of July and then in Thurso till 1 September.

Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise June Report
Reports on current falling unemployment, grant payments and so on.

Young Enterprise - New Funding
A programme which has already allowed thousands of high school pupils in the Highlands and Islands to gain valuable business experience is set to be expanded.

Pipe Band Week Fancy Dress Parade Pictures

A Few Crowd Scenes From Saturday

Highland Dancers On Saturday

Kids Collecting

Holidays Can Be Fishing Days For Boys In Wick

A Wick Fire Engine On display In Market Square

Skye is to be the base for a new Migration Studies Centre looking at where the people of Scotland have gone over the centuries.

Wick High Scottish Country Dance Team 1967
Wick High School Reunion 49 - 51 Group has only three weeks to go and here is a picture of some of them in the country dancing team 1967.

Ham Harbour
A recent Field Club outing to Ham provided an opportunity to get plenty of pictures.  A few in now and more to come later.

Stroma School 1910
This picture sent from Canada by one of the descendants from the island.  We are looking for a clearer version if anyone has one to lend us.  It would appear to be taken from an old book.

Ham Farmhouse
Another house in our Country Houses section.  This 18th century farmhouse sits in an excellent spot near Ham harbour and an old 18th century warehouse that became a mill in the 19th century.

Bruan School 1950

St Fergus Guides - Camp Orkney 1947

Thurso From The Air

Impromptu Piping In Wick Today
All week the Wick RBLS Pipe Band have been performing at functions and putting on displays and yet some of them are still finding time to do some extra playing in the Market Square in the mornings

George By Request
George's fan mail continues to grow and we think she will be signing autographs soon at this rate.

Deja Vu In The Blackstairs Lounge Recently
Deja vu one of the most popular bands in Caithness played recently in the Blackstairs as part of the Musical Madness weekend in Wick.

Sir John Usher
"Who Is he?"  I hear many of you say.  Well if it had not been for him donating the ground there might not have been a library in Wick standing where it is with money supplied by Andrew Carnegie who funded many of Scotland's libraries.

Dunnet Caravan & Camping Park
Pushing on with the Dunnet pictures this one introduces a new section for pictures of Caravan & Camping sites in Caithness.  We will gradually add to the pages but if you would like your caravan site featured in the section just send in a picture with full details.

Miller Academy 1981 Primary 7 - 2
Hot on the heels of Primary 7 - 1 G s Johnson has sent in this picture of the other class in the year in 1981.  If you would like to have your school picture included just forward a copy to to add to the growing School Days section.

Back In The Air Over Castlehill
Another aerial view of Castlehill

Pictures Of Stroma
Pictures of the first house from our Stroma trip are for a house whose people went to Canada.  We are in touch with a lady whose father lived in the house.  If any of you have information on each house as we add it over coming months we will add it to the pages if you email it to us.

The Ranger Station & Visitor Centre at Dunnet Bay
This centre has a small but varied collection of items on Flora and Fauna of the area and is the place where the ranges don that side of the county operate from.  they will tell you where to find many plants, animals and birds.  They also lead many FREE walks around the county every week in summer.

Everyone Is On The Other Beaches
Face it.  This is the north of Scotland and hardly sunbathing territory - or is it.  On the days that are warm the beaches around the coast are glorious.  But of course that clear blue water is still ....well freezing.  Consolation is you get one great view after another with hardly any people.  Turn around and you get this other crowded view of Dunnet Head.
Of course you can shelter in fantastic sand dunes and watch the bird life.

A Visit To Stroma With Caithness.Org
Caithness Field Club organised the boats to take people over to Stroma and Bill joined them for Caithness.Org.  Over coming weeks you will see many of the pictures taken on a very misty and damp day.  See the lighthouse, school and many of the houses and check the map to see exactly where each building is located as it is added with a number to let you find it over the next few weeks.

Tina Irvine On Dunnet Head
Tina lets you know what you can find at Dunnet.
Amongst the huge numbers of birds around the Caithness coast the Puffin is one of the most distinctive and found in great numbers at Dunnet. Check out the pictures of Frank Garnet a regular visitor to the area.
Puffins feed on sand eels and can be seen in the nesting season bringing home their catch to feed young in burrows on the cliffs.

Reunions Ticket Sales Booming
Wick High Class 73 have sold 164 tickets and others are seeing unprecedented sales.  Make sure you get yours if you have been thinking about attending an event.  And send your money in soon for those happening in July and August.  Check out the different arrangements for getting tickets depending on venues.

Miller Academy 1981 - Primary 7 - 1
Photo forwarded by Allan Lannon and supplied by Karen Anderson (nee Murdoch).  Bet you never thought you would see these signatures from the cover of the photo again folks.

E Two-Forty Five At Hempriggs
Another Caithness dialect poem from Jenny Stewart prepared by Isabelle Thurley.

Scarfskerry Harbour
Another beautiful little harbour on the northern coast of Caithness.  An unusual feature here is the rock at either side of the harbour points up in opposite directions as if the whole lot was folded here when it was first formed.

Pipe Band Week Sets Off In the Rain
The rain was persistent but so was the Wick Pipe band as they and a fairly large crowd turned out to get the next few days going.  Then is was off tot the Celeidh in Mackays hotel.

Knackabrick Looking For A Singer
Now is your chance to get involved with a new band.  Got it all together and booted their web site on to the web.  They are looking for a singer to come and practice with them.  So if you are in Caithness looking to get a start in a band then this could be you chance.  Give the guys a call for try out.

Scrabster Harbour Development Progress
The biggest harbour development in Caithness and the far north of Scotland for many years is now well underway at Scrabster.  With several hundred lorry trips per week having filled in the new road bottom and the extent of it now becoming very visible.

New Pier Road Goes All The Way To Holborn Head Lighthouse
Suddenly the Holborn Light is coming much nearer and sits almost above where the new Ferry will be coming in next year.

New Thurso Lifeboat Premises Under Construction At Scrabster
The old lifeboat shed and office has been demolished to make way for the new road and pier development.  The new premises offered as part of the deal is now well underway.

Thurso Lifeboat Leaving Harbour
A Sunday training session for the volunteer crew of the Thurso lifeboat.

Old Custom House, Scrabster
Traditional style harbour customs office now used as offices by a fishing company.

Pipe Band Week Starts Saturday 7 July

Moving Further Up Brown Place
More houses, a shop, a church, old buildings and new still to come as we progress up one side and down the other over coming days.

New July/August Photo Section

Thurso From Above - To The Beach
Another part of Thurso from the air showing the town next to the beach on the Pentland Firth.  to make things easier we have now created a Thurso Aerial Index Page where we will add future aerial views.  For other parts of Caithness - See the Aerial Views Index in the A - Z.

Northlands Festival Preview
This years festival that each year brings together Scottish and Nordic arts and culture will take place between 21 and 26 September in Caithness.  With events happening at both sides of the county and covering Music, Visual Arts, Writing in an eclectic mix of community groups and performers with International reputations.  Spend a few pleasant days in Caithness during the festival and see the north in Autumn.

You Can Walk Latheronwheel This Sunday
Free Ranger led walks take place throughout the summer in Caithness.  The Latheronwheel walk is a regular one and you can join it this Sunday 8 July.  Meet at Latheronwheel Harbour at 2.00pm  For details of all the walks Click Here

Police - Drugs Raid in Stornoway
43 police officers from the Western Isles and the Northern Constabulary Drugs Squad Raided houses in Stornoway and arrested four people for possession of Class A and B drugs.

Caithness.Org Goes To Philadelphia For 4 July
American Independence Day seems a good opportunity for us to to go to America and bring you some links for those of you who need to know more about how it all came about.  A few links and some fun for the kids.

100 Places To Stay In Caithness
We now have 100 places to stay listed in the Caithness Business Pages.  A FREE entry in the Caithness Business Pages takes only a minute to complete the Submission Form.  In fact any Caithness Business can get in FREE.  We are now adding a small picture to all the entries.  Want it in sooner - then send one in to us and see your FREE page get even better.

Buy a Banner
Get your business web site noticed from all over our web sites.  A years advertising for your web site for only £100.

Sarclet - A Bigger Set Of New Pictures
A hidden cove where an old herring curing station still watches for the boats that will never come again.

George In July

Gaelic Virtual Village Project Gets £900,000 Award
The Highland Council is to lead an Internet project aimed at preserving Gaelic culture by making it accessible both to the small and scattered communities of the Highlands and Islands and to virtual visitors across the globe.

Highland Council Launch Green Office Guide
A new small publication encourages businesses and other organisations to save money and also lessen their environmental footprint.

Summer Holiday Activities In Caithness
Football, Touch Rugby and Basketball all on offer so check it out for a few days of fun at Wick and Thurso High Schools.

Another Aerial View of Castletown
Another view showing the road in from the wick direction at the bottom

Right To buy Land Flawed Says Highland Council
The successful recent community land purchases at Assynt in Sutherland and Eigg and Knoydart in the West Highlands would not have met the Governments criteria for approval if the communities involved had been faced with the provisions contained in the Scottish Executives Draft Land Reform Bill.

More Brown Place Pictures

June Figures Break The Records Again
Hits 1,651,620 in June
Since 12 August 2000 the total hits are 8,190,390
Thanks for all your support

Brown Place, Wick
A new section for Brown Place, Wick as we set out to show every house in the street over the next few days.  One side has the older houses and the other the more recent mainly council houses with a few detached houses that may surprise you if you left Wick a while ago.  All the pictures were taken today to be a snapshot of the whole street on 2 July 2001.

Thurso College Area From The Air
Another part of Thurso from above.  Aerial Views of Caithness Index.

Singers at Thrumster Gala
Taking turns at thumping out well known tunes at the Thrumster Gala.

Walk With The Rangers In Caithness
Here are some of the places you can see on walks organised by the Rangers in Caithness.  All walks are FREE and there are lots in July.  Check out the Main List or check out some Walks On The East Coast. Check out other groups in the Walking Pages.

A New Whaligoe Page Begins
Summertime and a brighter picture of Whaligoe.  Sometimes you can see swans swimming on the pond which is stacked by the householder with fish.  This is a private house and not open to the public but it sits on the main road and you cannot miss it on the way to Wick.

Thrumster Page Ten - Even More Piping Pictures

Thrumster Page Nine More Piping

Thrumster Page Eight
Caithness Junior Pipe Band in fantastic form on Saturday at Thrumster Gala.

Thrumster Gala - More Majorettes

Thrumster Gala Page Six

Thrumster Gala Page Five

Thrumster Gala Page Four
More from the gala.  More later.


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