News Archive - September 2001

Mairi Nicolson Sees Fire At Rothera Base, Antarctic 30 September
Mairi and everyone else at the base are OK following a fire which destroyed a lab. Scientists and support staff used a snow blowing machine and a small fire engine in an attempt to dowse the flames at Bonner Laboratory at Rothera Research Station.
Mairi from Wick is working in Antarctic for two and a half years.

Old St Peters Church, Thurso - More Pictures 30 September
    Section Two

   Section Three
     Section One Newsletter Difficulties 30 September
We sent out the October newsletter today but we have encountered some technical difficulties and it appears some people have received multiple copies and others none.  We are working on the problem and hope to resolve it later today.  So apologies to those with several copies and we hope to get it to everyone else later.

Serendipidists Castletown Night Out 30 September
The singles club reports the nights out are going well and they are preparing for Christmas already.  If you want to get in touch with them check their main page.


Caithness Churches To Help Children In Mombassa 29 September
Two Caithness churches are cooperating to knit squares and make blankets for children in Mombassa who have had their lives disrupted by terrorism.  Can you help with odd wool ........more

Junior Triathalon In Wick Cancelled Due To Weather 29 September
Due to the adverse weather conditions tomorrow's Junior Triathalon in Wick has been postponed.  The rain has waterlogged the field and a new date will be set shortly for the Junior Triathalon in Wick.  Next week in Thurso not affected.

Caithness Sport Section Major Upgrade 29 September
Out with the old and in with the new. A complete change in the sports section with a brand new set up ready to run any of your sports stories.  Get news about your sport in the news section.  Get more information in, pictures of sports you are involved in.  The main sections are all now re-indexed with a much faster response time for loading pages.  Some of the older material will be put back in place shortly but essentially its about new information.  Check it out.  And yes there is more coming..............

Old St Peters, Thurso 29 September
Old St Peters is the oldest church site in Caithness with a Christian church on the site from at least the 13th century.  The current ruins are from the 16th and 17th century and the church was last used in 1832 when the new St Peters was opened.
Recent Field Club Visit To Old St Peters
More pictures still to come in this series.

New Cycle Record - Lands End To John O'Groats 29 September
Lynne Taylor set a new end to end record on Friday, arriving JOG at 1350, having left Lands End at 0800 Wednesday. This is her entering Wick at around 1300.


The Old Marine Inn, Thurso 28 September
Who remembers a night out in the Marine Inn?  If anyone knows any history or interesting stories about the place we would be interested to hear them.


 49 - 51 Reunion Signing OFF  - Nearly 28 September
Wick High 49 - 51 Reunion so spectacularly successfully held in August have one last letter from Janis.  We might have one more picture when they present a cheque for the balance of funds they made to a local charity.  This was probably the biggest Wick Reunion in for many years with Mackay's hotel packed to overflowing.

John Thurso, MP -  Clinic For Constituents 28 September
Saturday 29 September  - 10.00 - 11.00am Assembly Rooms, Wick
No appointments required to see your MP and let him know if he can help with your problems.

Queen Mother Arrives In Caithness 28 September
The Queen Mother arrived in Caithness for her annual Autumn holiday.  she is said to be very well despite her ill health a few weeks ago.

Fashion Show 28 September
Thursday 4 October - 7.30 Royal British Legion Club - £3
Held to raise money for Imperial Cancer Research with all funds going to the Breast Cancer Awareness Month project.

Water Information Evening 28 September
Tuesday 2 October 6.30pm - Assembly Rooms, Wick
North of Scotland Water Authority invites you to find out how you can make a difference to pollution and more at the start of their "Think Before You Flush" campaign.

Caithness Quilter's First Exhibition 28 September
Tuesday 2nd - 27 October  - St Fergus Gallery, Wick
The ladies have been busy over their first year and have produced enough work to put on this exhibition.  Sure to be bright and colourful.
Quilters Pages

Scotia Review Celebrates National Poetry Day 28 September
Thursday 4 October 7.30pm - Mackay's Hotel  
The local literary group that publish Scotia Review have organised a poetry and music evening.  Montrose editor of Epoch magazine, Neil Mather local poet, George Gunn poet and playright and Donald Mackay Caithness writer are among the guests.  Poetry readings mixed with traditional songs should make for a pleasant and interesting evening.

Motorbikes Team MCC Second Bike Show 28 September
Over 50 bikes will be in the Market Square, Wick on Saturday afternoon with music and stalls.  Apart from some fun the bikers will raise money for BLISS - Baby Life Infant Support System.  Some of last years bikes.

Piles of Bones & Old Stones 28 September
Thursday 4 October - North Highland College Hall - £3/£2
"The Lure Of the Past" is the topic for Donald Paterson's illustrated lecture organised by Aberdeen University.

Bagpipe Recital 28 September
Saturday 6 October,  8.15pm - Pipe Band Hall, Wick - £5
Niall Stewart of C & NS Scotland Piping Society will give the recital.

Laser Mapping 28 September
Wednesday 3 October - 7.30pm Pentland hotel, Thurso
John Clarke of Babcock Engineering will give a talk to which visitors are invited.


East End Boys Football Club Around 1977 27 September
Latest addition to the growing East End Club Gallery from Kevin Doull.  One or two names missing in this picture in Gallery 4.  If you have time trawl through the other East End Galleries and see if you can supply any missing names for us to add.  Any more East end pics out there?  We bet there are.
Start at Gallery One Here

Gaelic Mother and Toddler Group Meet In Thurso 27 September
The Gaelic mother and toddler group meet in Mount Pleasant school, Thurso on Mondays and Thursdays 1.15-2.45pm.  Interested? then just come along and find out more.

Food Poisoning Update Another 10 Cases Reported 27 September
"All of those affected, ate a meal before Thursday 20 September and we are therefore confident that at this stage the outbreak is not ongoing"......more

Gardens Beside Wick River 27 September
We walk past them everyday but looking at this picture reminds us just how green Caithness is even if the price is lots of .......oh all right then rainy days.  Today has been dry and sunny and wet and dry and breezy (not windy - at least to any Caithnessian) and showery and bright and overcast and clear.  Pick your side of the county and time of day and you can have almost all that weather in one day. 


Short Glossary of Caithness Words Added 27 September
To assist with understanding of Margaret Atkins speech published earlier today Janis Paterson has produced a short glossary.  Later this will be merged with the Caithness dialect section.

Telephone Scam Warning USA/Canada Readers 27 September 
But then maybe everyone should read this as telephone scams are happening all over the world now and this is just the latest twist.  
But see this warning about hoax warnings sent in by another visitor 

Should Highland Council Retain Rented Housing? 27 September
Well the Highland Council Web site is asking the question in a discussion forum.  So go and tell them if you are satisfied or not and why they should be allowed or not to retain the rented housing in the Highlands in view of the possibilities that it might all go to Housing Associations or other bodies.  If you are happy with the current set up let them know and if you are not then now is your chance to tell them why you would prefer another option. Read the item or go straight to the Highland Council web site and into the discussion forum.

Thrumster Or Old Garden Broch 27 September
Another of the hundreds of brochs that are scattered over the Caithness landscape.  This one near Yarrows again reminding us that the land has been in use in Caithness for thousands of years.

Wick Firemen Raise Record Amount For New York 27 September
A car wash to raise funds for families of the New York firemen smashed all previous records in charity car washes in Wick.  Raising four times the normal charity car wash figure amazed the firemen .........more

The Winter View From Cletton Hill 27 September
Another poem from the London Caithness Association.

E Calf's Cowgie 27 September
A Caithness dialect poem from London Caithness History

A Caithness Dialect Speech 27 September
A speech made by Mrs Margaret Walsh Atkins to the London Caithness Association.  This brings us to the end of the information from the Association.  But it has sparked off the Edinburgh Caithness Association to write their history.  Coming to web site not far from here as soon as its ready.  We have also found out where the old Glasgow Caithness group's information is held.  Calling Aberdeen?????????


Wick Scout Pipe Band 26 September
Frieda Murray (nee Henderson) has sent us this picture of the scout pipe band from the late 40's in which her father appears as a member of the band.  The photographs were collected on the site as part of the lead up to the Scout Reunion in August.  It is such a good collection we intend to keep adding to it and if you have old scout pictures you want to add then let us know.   Index To Scout Pictures

Caithness Car Club  Scottish Tarmac Championships 26 September
Three Caithness Car Club members went down to compete, Alan Mackay in his Highland Waste Services Ford Anglia, Bill Hamilton MSIS Opel Kadett and Michael Campbell in his Chrysler Sunbeam. The event is held on a disused airfield 13 mile stages of tarmac concrete..more

New Head Integrated Community Care In Highlands 26 September
The Highland Council and the NHS Highland Board have appointed an experienced manager, Fiona White, to drive forward their plans to provide seamless and integrated health and social care services.  Councillor David Flear, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Community Care, said: "We are delighted to have attracted such an experienced and able manager for this important new post..................more

Update On Lochaber Food Poisoning 26 September
Highland Health Board today confirmed more cases of food poisoning bringing the total so far to 27 of which four are Salmonella....more Newsletter - Monthly In Your Email 26 September
The October newsletter will be sent to everyone on Sunday 30 September as Bill, Niall and Colin will be away to the awards bash in London.  You still have a few days to enter your email address in the box and get the free newsletter every month.

Wick Business Park  - Site Almost Ready 26 September
Just to let you see that the Wick Business Park has raced ahead over the summer and all roads and services are now in place.  So anyone looking for new premises in the north should get in touch with Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise before the competition gets there.


Property Advertising £15  26 September 
One Payment only.  Get the Property Sold - Compare This Price.  Your full particulars and a colour photo get your property seen everywhere.  Get it on the Caithness Business Pages.

Andrew Spratt's Castle Reconstructions 26 September
A few more castle reconstructions that have gone from other web sites now available once again on -
Carlisle Castle - Two Views

Dunstanburgh                Warkworth
A new link page for the non Caithness Castles has been set up.  To see introductions and information when it is added just go into the main Castle Index Page.  More Caithness pictures will be added in the near future.


6th Wick Brownies 25 September
These girls meet in the Old Parish Church Hall every week on a Tuesday for games, fun and learning a few things along the way.



Food Poisoning Statement - Highland Health Board
25 September
24 cases of suspected food poisoning have been reported in Lochaber which has resulted in people becoming ill with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and aching limbs.  Most of the people involved had eaten food from a Chinese restaurant in Fort William.....more

Pulteneytown Academy School Pictures 25 September
Three views of the school on a bright sunny day last week.



Counterfeit Bank Of England £5 Notes 25 September
On Monday 24th. September, 2001 a number of counterfeit Bank of England £5 notes were passed in the Wick area in Caithness....more

The Road From Spittal To Thurso 25 September
Yes this is a fairly busy road and yes it looks like this most of the time.  Must be a car every now and then.



Big Entries In Caithness Junior Triathalons 25 September
The Junior Triathalons in Wick and Thurso have attracted large entries this year.  150 competitors are likely in both events.  Are Caithness kids getting fitter.  Why not go along and see..........more 

Piping Festival - Wick Old Parish Church 25 September
Tuesday 10am-4pm (workshops) 7pm (performances)
Organised in conjunction with the Scandinavian Piping Association, this celebration of nordic piping brings together pipers from Scotland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark,  workshops and performances throughout the day. Daytime Events FREE Evening performances £5/£2.50

Ceilidh - Northlands Festival Finale 25 September
Wednesday 26 September  8pm  The Weigh Inn, Thurso
£6/3  Buffet Supper £5


Loch Watten On Saturday 24 September
The day was bright and the water flat calm.  Maybe not ideal conditions but you might at least enjoy a relaxing day on the water although these gentlemen had left it until late afternoon before giving it a try.  

Dounreay Decommissioning Latest 24 September
The Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee, RWMAC, has issued its advice to Ministers on the Dounreay Site Restoration Plan published by the UK Atomic Energy Authority..............more


The Old Bridge Over The Outflow of Loch Watten 24 September
The bridge only takes traffic into the picnic area these days and its a lovely spot at the end of Loch Watten.  If you are in these parts on a sunny day you can eat you snacks and have a view of the loch in front of you.  The outflow from the loch goes under the bridge.


Highlands/Islands Chairman Land Reform Statement 24 September
Sporting and angling interests have described the Scottish Executive's land reform proposals as 'a Mugabe-style land grab', Dr Hunter reminded his audience of community representatives. "This is so much claptrap,".....................more

Bishops Palace Site 24 September
Another in the growing sections on Caithness Castles.  These pictures of the site show it as it is today. Little can be seen except the overgrown bits of wall on top of the headland and some of the walling that supported the lower foundation.  The site has a Second World War gun emplacement sitting on the original foundation at the beach side.


The Peat Stack 24 September
Another poem from the London Caithness History.  This one is not in Caithness dialect.

Von Kriegenbaum’s Family Circus 24 September
Millbank Recreation Area, Thurso
7.00pm Tuesday
An hour filled with everything from crazy acrobatic clowns, dancing girls, balletic barons and much more.  A funny and different circus for both children and adults.
More Northlands Festival

Wick Guides About 1949 24 September
Back to the uniformed groups with this guide picture from Fireda Murray (nee Henderson)


London Caithness Association History 23 September
Taking the history of the association with to a conclusion in 1976  - Second World War, 1945 - 1955, The Centenary, 1957 - 1976


South School, Wick -  About 1947 23 September
Another early school picture looking for some names.  If you have some ideas send them in.  The School Pictures section still has plenty room so you can all get digging in those boxes.  Thanks to Frieda Murray (nee Henderson) for this one.

  All The Whaligoe Steps 23 September
If you have never seen the steps it is difficult to understand exactly how big they are and the effort iinvolved in building them. Here are nearly 40 pictures showing all the steps down every flight and round every corner with views from various places on the way down.

Startin e School by Jenny Stewart 23 September
Another poem in Caithness dialect. Caithness Poets Index

The Vent - A New Sculpture For Caithness 23 September
The Northlands Festival commissioned George Wyllie a well known UK sculptor to create this lasting feature on the Caithness coast.  Sitting near to the Bishops Palace site it represents a connection to the Scottish Parliament and the ancient Icelandic Parliament.  Sited near to the Bishops Palace and earlier seat of power in the north of Scotland adds to the significance.  More Art In Northlands


Thurso Swimming Pool 23 September
More than a swimming pool nowadays.  With fitness rooms packed with all the latest gear you can follow a programme of your own choosing or join one of the classes in the pool for swimming, lifesaving and aerobics.

The Ould Box Cairt  - A Poem From London Caithness 23 September
This is the first of a few poems and songs from the records of the London Caithness Association.  They would have been read or sang at functions.

New Scrabster Harbour Road Completed 23 September
The new road to connect the new pier at Scrabster is completed and awaits surfacing.  The next stage will be pile driving for the pier and this is due to start very soon.  This development when completed next year will enable Scrabster to take very large ships and adds a huge new area of sheltered water to the harbour complex


The Ice House , Scrabster 22 September
The Ice House at Scrabster was open today for anyone to take a look at the unique structure that once held ice for the fish at Scrabster before modern ice production.  Possibly the last chance to see it before it becomes a Seafood Restaurant.  The building will be restored and the Bothy next to it will become part of the new set up.



Ian Scott Exhibition - St Fergus Gallery, Wick 22 September
The exhibition of Ian Scott's pictures runs until 29 September.  Ian who works in New York and lectures in Baltimore.  The exhibition is proving to be one of the most successful put on in the gallery.  Many of the pictures use a local scene as background for Ian's ideas as such as the Pavilion cinema that was burnt down a few years ago.

London Caithness Association History 22 September
We continue with another section of the history of the association with Legacies and Funding.

Trio Medieval 22 September
Wick Old Parish Church 
Saturday 22 - 7.30pm
The three sopranos of Trio Mediæval, Anna Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth and Torunn Østrem Ossum bring the beauty and power of medieval vocal music directly into the 21st century. FREE

  RLSS Rookie Lifesaver Classes 22 September
If you are aged 8 - 13 you can join the Rookie Lifesaver Club.  Learn new skills at the pool and have lots of fun.  Ask at the Pool and get even more out of your swimming.

Friendship Lunch - Wick Baptist Church 22 September
Wednesday 26 September 12.30 - 2.00pm
Soup, Roll, Tea, Home Baking - £1

One Parent Support Group 22 September
Meets every Friday Morning 10.00 - 12.00 Noon in Community Education, Ackergill Street, Wick. - Fun - Tea - coffee.

Playbox Play Group - Free Funded Places 22 September
MacLeod Road, Wick Tel 01955 606466 or 01955 604994

Dunbeath Fire Fund Entertainment Evening 22 September
Friday 5 October 9.30pm
Sean Wilson In Dunbeath Hall Tickets £6 Tel 01593 721389

Wick Bridge Street Church Harvest Festival 22 September
Saturday 29 September 10.30am - 4.00pm
Flower Stall, Baking, Teas, Music and the Wick Schools Art Competition on the theme of Wick Gala Week (Judging 11.00am)

Whist Drives In Auckengill Hall 22 September
Wednesday 26 September and third Wednesday  - October, November and then February and March 2002. Starts 8.00pm  Entry £1

Coffee Afternoon In Aid Of Cancer Relief 22 September
Saturday 29 September - 2.00pm - Freswick Hall

Thrift Shop - Norseman Hotel, Wick 22 September
The League Of Friends of Caithness General Hospital are running a thrift shop Thursday 4 and Friday 5 October 10 - 11.30am 1.00 - 3.30pm each day


Latheron SWRI Ladies Win Recruitment Prize 21 September
Lord Thurso had the happy duty of presenting the Scottish recruitment drive prize to a local SWRI group from Latheron who recruited more new young members then any branch in Scotland.  
More pictures of prizewinners.

Wick Firemen Raise Money For New York Families 21 September
Wick firemen will be doing a car wash from 8.30am on Saturday as part of their fundraising for New York fire brigade families.

Royal Bank of Scotland World Trade Center Fund 21 September
Donations can be made locally at any branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland.  Highlighting how the tragedy has reached Caithness is the news that Ian Gray (55) formerly Wick who lived in Washington and worked for a health care company was killed on the American Airlines flight 77 when it was crashed into the Pentagon.  Mr Gray was married with two grown up children and his mother still lives in Wick. 

Free Jazz Night In Mackays Hotel, Wick 21 September
Tonight 21 September
Bobby Wishart and the National Jazz Institute Faculty Band

BBC Symphony Orchestra In Thurso 21 September
In association with BBC Radio 3.  The opening concert of the festival is conducted by Ilan Volkov and features Simon Crawford-Phillips, Malin Broman and Jesper Svedberg, founder members of LYS
Its tonight Friday 7.00pm, Thurso High.

Scottish Civic Trust Open Day 21 September
Buildings open:  three ice-houses: Scrabster at Scrabster Harbour Thurso, Dunbeath Harbour,  Telford Bridge Helmsdale.  Also open: Marine Hotel, Golf Road, Brora, Sutherland; Thrumster House, Thrumster, Wick. All open from 12 noon until 4pm.  FREE 

Massed Pipe Bands In Wick & John O'Groats 21 September
Saturday 22 September 7.00pm Market Square, Wick
Sunday 23 September 3.00pm John O'Groats
Bands from Comrie, Perthshire and Gothenberg, Sweden will join with Wick Pipe Band to entertain everyone.

More Jazz At Mackays On Saturday 21 September
Workshops for musicians at 2.00pm
Concert in the evening 8.00pm - FREE

Saturday  Northlands Festival 21 September

Northlands Festival In Caithness 21 September
There are plenty of things to see and do in this years programme.

Alexander Bain Lecture - Magnus Ranstrop 21 September
12.00 Noon Thurso Town Hall - A Quirk of Fate At this time that this expert is to give the annual lecture in Caithness. Magnus Ranstrop is Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews,  where he specialises in various dimensions of international terrorism and specifically the behaviour of militant Islamic movements. £5/£2.50

Inter War Years Of London Caithness Association 21 September
1919 - 1938  See the same problems in 1938 for Caithness losing its young people in the search for work.

Highland Salmon Fisheries Concerns 21 September
Serious concerns expressed in the North Highlands about the future of salmon fishings have been recognised by Highland Councillors...more


Swanson Gallery, Thurso For Norwegian Artists 20 September
The art exhibitions in Thurso and Wick as part of the Northlands festival are now underway.  So if you are near the libraries take a look in.  Ian Scott has his exhibition in Wick whilst the Norwegians are in Thurso.



Ceilidh Supper Dance - Auckengill Hall 20 September
Saturday 22 September 9.00pm Music From Lindsay Weir and her Broadcasting Dance Band supported by Magnus McLeod Highland Dancers and other local artists.  Tickets £5
Tel 01955 631 220(Day)  01955 631433 (Even)

Check Out A Scorrie Internet Hosting Package 20 September
The Scorrie Internet hosting package is well worth considering at £50 per year.

Prizewinners From The SWRI Conference In Wick 20 September
The last day of the Scottish Women's Rural Institute in Wick was rounded off with the prize-giving for the many competitions run over the last few days.  The entries formed part of one of the biggest exhibitions seen in the Assembly Rooms for many years - filling every room in the building apart from the main hall where the conference was going on.  Prizes were presented by Lord Thurso.  A few more pictures later


Visit John O'Groats Web Site Has Been Updated 20 September
Increasing its coverage of the John O' Groats area the web site is a one stop place for perhaps one of the best known place in Scotland.

Council Policy On G M Crops - Public Statement 20 September
The Highland Councils Land and Environment Select Committee has agreed a five-pronged policy position concerning Genetically Modified Crops and their trials....................more

Scottish Women's Rural Institute Thursday Morning 20 September
Still a full house today for the talks with the prize giving and a speech by John Thurso the local member of parliament later today.  500 ladies from all over rural Scotland have been in Wick since Tuesday.  A cracking night of country dancing to Bobby Coghill and his band was a great success last night.


Bat Night At Castletown 20 September
Tonight - Thursday - Meet 8.00pm at Car park at end of the beach and go out with the rangers with bat detectors to search for bats.  All welcome  - children must be with an adult.  Tel 01847 821531 for more information.

Caithness Handbell Ringers 20 September
Now meet every Thursday 7.00 - 9.00pm in Viewfirth Dounreay Club

Caithness Circus Club 20 September
This club meets on Saturday afternoons in Thurso Youth Club and is for anyone over 8 years old wanting to learn a few circus skills and have some fun.

Clarty Arties 20 September
If you have ever thought about turning out a painting then this group is for you.  the group meets every week in Dunnet church Hall.  A children's group also meets.  For more information telephone 851778

Another Ballet Class In Thurso 20  September
Another Ballet Class from Thurso.  Contact details for the class are on the page.  If you have a group that would like their picture on the web just send a jpeg file or the picture on loan. 




Fotheringhay Castle Reconstruction 19 September
Yes we know, Fotheringhay Castle is in Northamptonshire.  Andrew Spratt's castles are on several web sites but some of his early work has disappeared as web sites have closed down. has agreed to provide space for the castles that have gone and in time we hope to build an index to all of the castles on whatever web site they may be.  They will be listed via the Castle Links page in the Castle Section.

London Caithness Association History - World War I 19 September
We continue the history with the way the association dealt with the war and especially the help and to soldiers from Caithness passing through London to the front.  Start At The Beginning

Golf In The Highlands Pushing Up Its Profile 19 September

Caithness & North Sutherland Children's Choir 19 September
Still plenty of time to join the line up in the choir and learn some music and have fun.  If they travel as far as the older Arion Choir they will do well.  

  SWRI  - Childrens Sweaters Competition 19 September
Knitting for children from competitions and for displays will all be going to Rumanian Children in November.  The range of patterns and colours was spectacular and you can see them until Thursday morning at Assembly Rooms, Wick.



Caithness Autocross Club  - Framside 19 September
Sunday 30 September By Glengolly
Scrutineering 10.00am Practice Starts 11.00am

Under 5's Storytime At Thurso Library 19 September
First and Third Wednesday every month in term time 2.00 - 2.30pm

West Church Guild Coffee Morning 19 September
Friday 21 - 10.00am - 12 Noon -Thurso Town Hall Band Room

Caithness Orchestra Coffee Morning 19 September
Saturday 22  - 10.00am - 12 Noon - Thurso Town Hall

Caithness Orchestra 19 September
Wednesdays 7.30 - 9.30pm Thurso High School - 
New Members Welcome

Future Of Waste Management In The Highlands 19 September
20 September 2.00 - 4.30pm Environmental Research, Castle Street
A public consultation - all welcoome.


Assembly Rooms Filled To Capacity Tuesday Night 18 September
The SWRI ladies were entertained by Colin Campbell with his Local Radio humour that has produced many tapes over the last few years.  Colin kept the ladies entertained with  young people from Caithness supplying other acts.  The conference gets going on Wednesday and the exhibitions carry on until Thursday morning.  With different rooms having exhibitions and competitions of the ladies work the standard is very high.
              Fudge & Cakes              Flower Arrangement

SWRI Conference Exhibitions Started Today 18 September
The conference proper starts on Wednesday but the exhibitions of handicraft, flower arranging, baking, pictures and more started today.  Here are the first pictures proving that Scotland's Rural ladies still have a huge range of skills.  You still have time to see the exhibitions over the next two days.  They fill every room in the Assembly Rooms.  Well Done Ladies of the SWRI.  More to come later.

Scottish Women's Rural Institute Comes To Wick 18 September
Wednesday morning will see over 500 ladies from all over Scotland arrive in Wick for their annual conference. There will be exhibitions of their work.  This is the first time it has been held in the far north.......more

London Caithness Association History 18 September
Next Part 1898 - 1914

Massed Pipe Bands In Wick & John O'Groats 18 September
Saturday 22 September 7.00pm Market Square, Wick
Sunday 23 September 3.00pm John O'Groats
Bands from Comrie, Perthshire and Gothenberg, Sweden will join with Wick Pipe Band to entertain everyone.

Wick Fiddle & Accordian Club Open Night 18 September
Mackays Hotel, Wick Tuesday 18 Sept. 7.30pm
Non-members welcome to an evening of Scottish entertainment

Mill Theatre, Thurso Presents - Opium Eater 18 September
Thursday 20 September 8.00pm


Archie Sinclair Fossil Centre 17 September
More on fossils as we bring you a picture of the Archie Sinclair Fossil Centre at Spittal.  Caithness has a huge amount of history and none more fascinating than its fossil records that continue to be discovered.  With many sites of interest it is surprising how little the general public know of them.

Georgemas Junction 17 September
With a name adopted in 1874 from the nearby Fair on Sordale Hill Georgemas today is an unmanned station on the railway route north.  The lines from Wick and Thurso meet here. 



Business Start-up Courses From CASE 17 September
Business Start-up courses in Wick, Thurso, Golspie and Dornoch organised by CASE commencing in October 2001 to 2002 are now available for you to sign up.

Achanarras More Pictures & Information 17 September

Views From The Top At Achanarras Hill 17 September
The sweeping views of Caithness all the way across to Sutherland are well worth the walk to the top of the hill.


Whaligoe School 1934 and School Picnic 1936 17 September
 More of John Taylor's pictures and the 1934 one is clear enough but identification is only likely if you have another copy with the names on. If you have any information on the people in the pictures get in touch and we will add the details.

Light A Candle Web Site Collapsed Under Weight of Numbers
Anyone who went to the site in the last day or so saw the rate at which people were logging on to pay their respects.  It looks like the site crashed under sheer weight of numbers.  But it was obvious that people were logging in from every part of the globe at the rate of between 50 - 100 a minute yesterday.

Aircraft Incident At Wick 17 September
About 1615 hours on Friday 14th September 2001 an Eastern Airways Jetstream 31 aircraft was on the apron at Wick Airport preparing to depart for Aberdeen.  The aircraft contained two (2) crew and five (5) passengers. At this time a small fire.................more

Travelling Salesmen Using Aggressive Techniques 17 September
Travelling salesmen are currently operating in the greater Inverness area. They have been using aggressive sales tactics, targeting the elderly.  In case they move around the Highlands check your friends and relatives.......................more



Achanarras Quarry Site Sees Fossil Hunters Today 16 September
The presence of experts to help identify fossils found at the site attracted a large number of people who had never looked for fossils before.  A great many had success after looking around and splitting a variety of flagstone rocks which litter the site.

Dipterus & Coccosteus Found By Kids - Achanarras 16 September
Lots of items were found and these kids found there fossils and had them identified by the experts today.  An amazing number of fossils were found by lots of different people.  The quarry is indeed a treasure trove.  Permission is needed from Scottish Natural Heritage to remove any fossils from the quarry and this had been granted to all of the participants on the day.  But all that is needed is to phone the Golspie office to ask.

Edinburgh Caithness Association 16 September
The next ceilidh will be held on the 6th October 2001 in St Columbas by the Castle, Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh. We will have guests to entertain us and off course dancing........more

Ian Sutherland & Wick Heritage Praised On Radio 16 September
There was a fitting tribute to Ian Sutherland and The Wick Heritage Centre on Robbie Shepherd's "The Reel Blend" today.  It started with a poem "Herring Days of the North" by Ronald Thomson and concluded with a song by Joe McBride "The Trawler Men". 

Helping USA Disaster Fund
The UK based Charities Aid Foundation has setup a web site for a new fund for anyone to donate online, by cheque or by credit card.  The Gift Aid scheme can also be used by completing the form online, printing it out and sending it with a cheque.  For any taxpayer in the UK this increases the amount of the donation by the tax that can be claimed back by the organisation increasing the amount of the gift.

Whaligoe School 1948
Another in the growing School Days pictures.  If you know the names of any of the people John Taylor who sent in the picture would like to know who they are.  We will add any information to the page if it comes in.

London Caithness Association History
The next sections in this unfolding story of the association are now prepared under the following headings - Soirees And Annual Festivals, Summer Outings, Annual Dinners.

Cats Protection - Caithness Branch
A recently formed branch of the organisation in Caithness has already helped numerous cats and provided information to local people on welfare.  Now with their own web site and a new link on Caithness.Org the organisation raises its profile a bit further.  They are on the look out for volunteers or ideas.

From Florida Expressing The Sorrow Of the Country

How Do Moarnanes Affect Ye? By Jenny Stewart
Fit are ye lek at e start o eych day fan e clockie goes off wi a ring?
If you have ever pulled back the covers in the morning Jenny has you in mind when she let this one go.  All dialect questions direct to e new message boardies.

Caithness Silence Starts With Dounreay Sirens
Businesses and individuals observed a three minute silence today as a mark of respect to those who died in New York.  The Dounreay complex the largest  place of employment in the north announced the start of the silence by using their sirens normally only used for emergencies or exercises.  A chilling reminder of what happened.

Go Find Fossils Sunday 16 September 10.00 - 12.00
Have you ever wanted to try fossil hunting but never knew how to start.  Well here is your chance to do it with the experts and you never know you might just beat Jack Saxon who found a 380 million year old fossil in the Achanarras Quarry.

The Park In Thurso
Whether its to feed the ducks, walk the dog, take in the beautiful views up and down the river or just to relax the park by the river Thurso is well worth walking round

Recent Field Club Outing At The Old Mill, Thurso
One of many walks and outings that Caithness Field Club holds in the summer months.  Walks are usually led by someone with knowledge of the area and information and details about the area and buildings is often imparted by the members, guests or invited speakers.

The Old Mill - Now The Mill Theatre
The old mill is now used as a theatre and performances are advertised locally.  The building also houses a youth centre.

London Caithness Association - History
Today we commence to publish for the first time anywhere a fascinating history of the London Caithness Association.  We are grateful to the author Mrs Margaret Atkins who completed it in 1976 and to Mrs Isobel Stanmore who conveyed it to us last year.  We will publish all 52 pages in installments over coming weeks as the typing is completed by Janis Paterson (nee McGee) who has kindly offered to take on this job.  We think you will find it an interesting side of Caithnessians at the other end of Britain.

Three Minutes Silence In Europe
As Part Of Day Of Mourning
Friday 14 September 2001 11.00am UK Time  - 12.00 Noon Europe

Highland Council Support Message To President Bush
Convenor of Highland Council, David Green whose own son is in New York has sent a message of sympathy and support to President George Bush on behalf of the people of the Highlands.

German Consul General To Scotland Visits Caithness
The new German Consul General to Scotland Hans Mondorf visited the county today as part of a trip to see the country he will now be working in.  He is based in Edinburgh.   He was welcomed by John Rosie Convenor of the council in Caithness and Brian Whitelaw the Chief Executive.

Renewed Police Appeal For Missing Person
A further appeal for any information on the missing person whose tent was found last week has been made by Police especially to people in Caithness and Sutherland.

Loch Watenan On The Edge Of Historical Sites
This view over Loch Watenan that lies on the edge of possibly one of the richest areas of historical interest in Scotland and yet is barely known outside Caithness.  Stretching over Warehouse Hill to Yarrows there are  hundreds of sites from many periods.  The list of sites is huge and most of it unexcavated.  We will shortly publish a walk as part of Archaeology Week in October where you can go with Gordon Wilson and have many of the places pointed out and in part explained.  The walk does not include the latest finds from the Mesolithic period but will amaze anyone who has never seen the huge range of places in such a comparatively small area.  The list for the walk will published shortly.

Flints From Thrumster Mesolithic Period Discoveries
Here we see just a tiny number of flints from the hundreds already found at the Thrumster site.  This is part of the evidence required to date the site in the Mesolithic period and is one of the most important discoveries in archaeology in Caithness.  This takes Caithness history into a completely different period about which until now nothing was known.

United States Information On The Tragedy
There are huge numbers of sites with news and other information but in case anyone is having difficulty we are adding to the links and information in the News section.  There are links to send any information on terrorists, making contact and sending messages of sympathy or relating your story, share a prayer and chat rooms provided by who have switched off their advertising on these pages.

Crossroads School Picture
Only one name left to find.

Items For Sale On Caithness.Org Message Board
If you have something cluttering up your attic or garage why not try turning it into cash in our Items For Sale section.  The ads for individuals are FREE and you can have it on the site in minutes.  More items are beginning to appear in the section but we know many people have not yet had a look.  Check it out.

Mesolithic Period Discovery On Thrumster Estate
One of the most significant archaeological discoveries in recent years has been made on the Thrumster Estate by Isla McLeod.  A Mesolithic site now yielding hundreds of flints and stones for working them.  A team has been working on the site and is continuing to add hourly to the items from the site.   Many more are likely to be sifted out in the next few days.

Thurso Gardeners And Their Work
After a difficult growing season for plants and flowers here are the guys who keep it all in order and some of their work with little time left to see it until they start al over again preparing for next year.

Thrumster House
Thrumster House has a long history and lies within an interesting estate that is packed with features from its old fashioned charm as a country house and sporting pursuits of shooting and fishing to an almost unbelievable number of archaeological sites of great importance most of which lie uninvestigated

Cairn Of Get On Sunday
One of several archaeological sites visited with archaeologists round the Watenan side of Yarrows following on from last years walk around the sites on the other side of the hill.  Yarrows lies on the Thrumster Estates.

Latest From Serendipidists
As the group increases in number they have now set up a committee and a programme of events into December.  

A Ballet Class In Thurso
If you would like a group picture shown on Caithness.Org send it to  It can be for Kids Photos or School Days or any other section you think fits. 

Crossroads School - Possibly 1973
This latest picture sent in by Tracey Geddes with a probable date of 1973.  If you can confirm the year and fill in one or two missing names get in touch.  Everyone is numbered so it is easy to pick them out.  More names added  - sent by Shirley Mackenzie 3.30pm  Sandy Mackenzie sends in his additions 8.30pm and only a few left to find or argue over.

EU Calls UK To Reduce Fuel Duties
The latest call from Europe to reduce fuel duties in the UK are likely to go unheeded but might find plenty of support in the Highlands and Islands

Latest News Feeds On Caithness.Org
Latest additions to our updating newsfeeds combined with links to other web sites are Archaeology, Theatre and Film Previews.  The Film news and links are grouped under Films.

Genealogy Help With Gordon Johnson
Gordon is a professional researcher with long experience who recently
moved to Papigoe, Wick and who has offered to produce articles from time to time of researching family history.  He operates as KinHelp, specialises in records prior to 1700 and has an extensive research library geared to sources from that era, covering all of Scotland.   The section starts today with some brief advice for anyone starting out.

1979 Reunion Group Present 3 Cheques In Wick
The reunion group presented three cheques from money raised from the reunion night.  The presentations were held in the Harbour Lights, Wick today.  They are still debating how long it should be until the next one but everyone enjoyed it so much it will definitely happen.

Stroma Lighthouse
a few pictures of Stroma lighthouse taken recently and if you did not know it was now automated you might expect the keeper to walk out any minute.  These days the seabirds have taken over and the terns rule the area.

George - Training For Resting Before Lunch
They say you can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink.  Well have you tried taking a cat any where and making it do anything.  George has it down to a tee  - take her out and she will run back in.  Sit her on a chair and she will go to another one.  Pick her up and she wants down.  Start doing something then she wants to sit on your knee...

Marie Curie Munch Lunch
Marie Curie Cancer Care is launching its third annual MUNCH LUNCH campaign across the Highlands to raise funds to support its nursing service.

Latest News For Bay Area USA
The latest addition to our 24 hour a day updating news pages that can be found via the Links section or the List of continually updating news headlines on  You can start with our own Caithness & Highland News Headline section unfortunately not quite updating ..... but you never know one day.  If you have some Caithness or Sutherland News you would like on the web site just email it to  You can also try our Newspapers Links or the Scottish News Links.

Environmental Research Institute, Thurso
Sited in the old West Public School the Environmental Research Institute carries out research into a range of work that will have long term benefits. Opened in May 2000 after a substantial refurbishment it now offers high quality surrounding in which to work and study.

Senior Management Reductions - Highland Council
The long rumoured mergers of management responsibilities to match the changes at committee level in Highland council is underway and will be in place by next year.

Kelvin Probes
Iain Baikie of the Environmental Research Institute wrote this short paper to explain the use of Kelvin probes in surface analysis and the extension of techniques using the probes in microscopic measuring that have a wide range of uses and potential in many new areas.

Dounreay Particles - The Legacy and the Challenge
A Free Public Seminar At Environmental Research Institute, Thurso.  Dr Owen, Dounreay’s head of Safety & Environment, will describe how UKAEA is responding to this challenging environmental issue.

Wick High School May Get £10 Million Investment
The Highland Council is to be asked to commit itself to a major programme of investment in schools.  £100 million  may be committed across the Highlands with Wick High and Bower Primary school in Caithness having major improvement work. Bower School work could cost £1 million.  Highland Council must present its business case to the Scottish Executive by 31 March.

Langwell House Gardens Near Berriedale, Caithness
Showing what can be done with a garden even in the far north Langwell House Gardens has an abundance of flowers and plants.  The walls and surrounding trees help to shelter from the sharp winds to make it one of the best in the north.  Here are a few pictures with more to follow.

Mairi Nicolson Skiing Round The Coast In Antarctic
Mairi Nicolson from Newton Hill, Wick is still keeping fit - here she is skiing round the coast in Antarctic.  But if you think that is adventurous see her about to dive under the ice.  Mairi is in Antarctic for over two years and is sending us updates on her progress.  If you have missed them start here.  Brrrrrr.

Introduction To Knockinnon Castle
An introduction and ground plan for the Caithness castle that was never completed and now portrayed by Andrew Spratt's reconstruction painting.  Would it have become the greatest Caithness castle?  We will never know but next time you go to look at the foundations you can think of it with this information in mind.

Missing Person At Faraid Head, Durness
Police would like to hear from anyone who might have seen the occupant of an empty tent to the north but out of site of the RAF control tower.  The person may have purchased food in Thurso.

Highland Maths Teaching Video Adopted Nationwide
The video which runs for 140 minutes is supplemented by a Teacher's Guide. All schools have been given this video and all Highland primary teachers and secondary mathematics teachers have their own personal copy.

New Chair For Drug & Alcohol Strategy Group
The new Chairman of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Strategy Group is Councillor Ian Ross, Golspie.

Education Courses In Caithness
Do you spend those winter months in front of the television or do you take up a part time educational course in Halkirk or Thurso.  Many courses from the university of Aberdeen are available via the centre in Halkirk.  Alternatively you might like to try out a course an the Internet and they start from Free to fees based on the level and length of the course.  Check Free Courses Online and  if nothing of interest there then hit the search engines.

Knockinnon Castle
The castle that almost was, but never finished is here reconstructed by Andrew Spratt as the Castles of Caithness continues to grow.  Sitting in one of the best places in the county near Latheron it could have been one of the greatest had it not been for the  death of William, 2nd Earl of Caithness at the battle of Flodden in the war with England.

Pulteneytown Academy 1959/60
Another Pulteneytown Academy School picture.  A couple of names missing and maybe you know who they are to fill in the gaps.  Keep them coming in as there are still plenty of years to find for Caithness schools.  Other pictures of trips or outings would also be interesting.

Heathfield, Thurso  - September 2001
New houses are still going up in Heathfield on the outskirts of Thurso reflecting part of the influx of new staff as a variety of new ventures and employers relocate to the area to dealing with everything from new contracting work at Dounreay, the Battery Factory and others like the Environmental Research Institute now working from the old West Public School. 

1973 Wick Reunion Group Presented £500 To MADD
The recent reunion held by class of 1973 for Wick High School has resulted in them presenting a cheque for £500 to the MADD society of Wick High School.  the money will help to purchase more equipment to help with their productions that have been such a hit with audiences in recent years. Next Show 13 and 14 September 7.30pm  - £4/£2

United Reform Church, Thurso

New Upgrades Underway On The Message Boards
A number of enhancements are underway to make the message boards clearer and easier to use.  More smileys that are so popular allowing you to put expression into your thoughts.  New colour scheme and new graphics to highlight various aspects.  Take a look -  get in touch, sell your goods, find lost friends and more.

Looking To Wick Harbour From Blackstairs

A Big Night Out Before Getting Married
Still very traditional in Caithness to have a night out with your friends before getting hitched.  These nights out can be be quite big and given the packed hostelry for this one it was no exception.  

Caithness Castles Reconstructions & History
The castle section has added today introductions for Berriedale and Keiss Castles, A foundation plan for Berriedale and and article on the Sinclairs of Keiss by D B Miller.  At the same time work is already underway on a reconstruction of Knockinnan Castle which was never completed due to the deaths at the battle of Flodden.  A great castle that might have been in Caithness will be unveiled on the web site shortly.  Another reconstruction coming soon will be the chapel of St Tears with a few surprises.  Further information on the Caithness Castles is being brought together by Robert Richmond.

Thurso Live Music Association Programme
The new seasons programme in full.

St Peters Church, Thurso
A few new pictures taken this summer for the church page.

North Highland Archive Newsletter Jul - Sep

Shipping Registers At North Highland Archive
The volunteers do lots of work in archive and recently added has been a listing of the boats that were registered at Wick.  Peter Bruce has over the months been compiling the list and it is now on the computer in the archive.  Several useful bits of information have also been extracted along with the name, boat number and owners.  Although we have a copy it is not possible at present to put the several hundred pages on to the web site at present.

Meadow Well - Mansons Lane, Thurso
The old well in Thurso dates from 1818 although not completed until 1823 when the bill was paid for the building of it.

Heather Flowering At Langwell
It is at this time of year that the hillsides can really be a blaze of colour with the heather coming into bloom.

Pleasanton Highland Games Pictures by Cindy Sobrero
Cindy and her sister Helen Wood visited Caithness a couple of months ago and has sent us these pictures from the Highland Games in Pleasanton, California  - the biggest in the world.  Looks like everyone had fun.  Our roving reporter was injured judging by the crutches in the pictures inside but managed to hobble up for a picture with a world champ we notice.

Sunday School Picnics - A Poem From Jenny Stewart
Building on the series of Caithness dialect poems from Jenny Stewart this one is sure to bring back a few memories of Caithness.  And yes they still have Sunday School Picnics.

More History In Caithness Castles Section
The whole of chapter Five of J T Calder's History of Caithness is now completed and includes the story of Reginald Cheyne and his two daughters, the Keiths of Ackergill, Ackergill Tower, Ancestor of the Gunns settling in Caithness, Helen Gunn - Beauty of Braemore, Battle of Harpsdale, Keiths and Gunn's feud, Treachery of Keiths at St Tears. Revenge of the Gunns.  Sounds like a movie script.

Pyramid Scam Moves Into The Highlands
Women are being advised to be on their guard against a dubious pyramid investment scheme which has spread to the Highlands.  Trading Standards are warning women to be wary of the "Women Empowering Scheme."

Site Of St Tears Chapel
The site of St Tears Chapel marked by Clan Gunn society.  This was the place where the Gunns were massacred by the Keiths in1464.

New Order At Battery Plant In Thurso
The current workforce of 105 will be increased to deal with the new work.

49 - 51 Reunion Pictures
Pictures are still coming in for the reunion night.  We had technical problems with our own but if you have any you would like to put on then just send them in.

Thurso Live Music Association Programme
The year Scottish Opera-Go-Round will get the Thurso Live Music Association season off to a flying start with a performance of that well loved opera "La Boheme" by Puccini.  Great savings of £22 if you join and buy  a season ticket for all the concerts.  £35 gets you into 8 concerts all the way up to March 2002 - a bargain.

The Brig O' Trams
The arch formed by the action of the sea when two caves merge.  Once the roof collapses another Stack will have been formed.  The Brig O' Trams lies to the south of Wick.

More Pictures From The Lybster Knotty Day

Open Doors Day 22 September
Various places in the Highlands are opening their doors on Saturday 22 September.  The Caithness ones are listed here.

No End In Sight For Upward Trend
Hits 2,089,123 :: Pages 375,966 :: Visitors 61,928 - yes these are for one month only - August!!!!  Thanks to you all for coming back and for the many messages of congratulation flooding our email boxes in the last few days since our short listing by awards.  Keep sending in your suggestions and pictures.  Still many more to come as we have been busy all over the county as you will see in coming months.  410 pages are accessed on the web site every hour 24 hours a day on average.  Busiest time on the web site is between 9.00 and 10.00pm when on average 847 pages are accessed each night.  With just under 2000 individual visits every day  - we say thanks to you for looking in.

History Of Caithness by J T Calder
We begin today to enhance the Castle Section with chapter five from the History of Caithness by J T Calder published in 1887.  We will publish the whole chapter as it was written and illustrate it with the reconstructions by Andrew Spratt.  Links will also be made where appropriate to other information already in the section or in other parts of the site.  Links will also be made to other web sites for other reconstructions by Andrew where they are available and mentioned in the text. The first part is in and more will follow as the pages are completed.


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