News Archive - December 2002

Last Hour Of Daylight In Caithness For 2002
The last day of 2002 has been a beautiful day in Caithness so we took a fast trip down the east coast to catch the last views of 2002.  More coming in a wee while.

Pulteneytown Academy

North School Class 3A 1947/48

Pulteneytown Academy 1945 - 46
Another old school picture looking for some names.

Pulteneytown Academy, Wick
Another picture with some missing names and looking for a year.

Wick North School - Class 5/6 B
This class picture from 1946 needs a few names to make it complete.

A Class From Pulteneytown Academy
Another picture from the reunion.  A few names are missing and we are still looking for the year

Another Wick High School Picture
Another picture from the recent reunion.  We are looking for some missing names and a year

A Wick High School Class
Here is a wick High School picture from a few years back,  the picture was on display at a recent reunion.  Some names are still needed to fill in the blanks.  If you know the missing names or the year let us know.  More old pictures coming shortly.

Another East End Club Picture

East Boys Club Pictures
We have several pictures that have been waiting to go on the web site for some time.  These will be put in the temporary section and moved later to the appropriate places on the web site.

New Computer Games Place In Thurso
Computer game enthusiasts in the far north are all rushing to Thurso, with the opening of a dedicated computer gaming centre in the town.

Plans are being made for a Highland debut in the prestigious Cape Breton Celtic Colours Musical Festival. The proposed visit in October has emerged from the co-operative agreement recently signed by The Highland Council and the Nova Scotia Provincial Government, which aims to encourage exchanges of young people as well establish joint working on Gaelic language and culture; tourism; economic and social development and education.

Dounreay Early Photographs
Reflecting the continued importance of Dounreay to Caithness and Scotland we commence a new section of historical photographs of the site in its early days.  A new information section has also begun and will be added to over time.  These new sections can all be accessed from our main Dounreay News Section

More Games
OK Kids  - dinners is over  so you can challenge each other to some games in the Fun Section.  Try out Santa Balls 2, Sketchy Extreme Sledding.

Nice Day For Christmas But Christmas Eve Was Stormy.....Again
Folk who parked their cars at Wick river yesterday were in danger of getting a salty car wash as the sea once again hammered the Wick Bay.

Free Santa Games Link
Play Santa Balls and you might find yourself playing that little game into 2003.

1975 Wick High Reunion Group Set up New Web Site
The group have now set up a new web site complete with pictures and a message board for everyone to get back in touch.  The link will always be on the page on Caithness.Org for everyone to find their way to it.

A suspected radioactive particle resulting from historical operations at Dounreay was found during routine monitoring of Sandside Beach On Monday

Christmas Lights At Brora
 Here are some lights from Brora.  Mike Brunton a local photographer sent the picture in and said the picture does not do the lights justice.  Anyone who has tried taking pictures of flashing lights will know the problems.

1966 Wick High Reunion Updated List
It may not be until July 2004 but the 1966 Reunion already has 112 people coming and that's not counting partners.

Thurso Busy for Christmas
Shops in Caithness have been seeing the usual Christmas rush over the last few days.  But today is expected to see and last minute items being sought out and the shoppers were already out in the supermarkets in Wick at 8.00am today.  We know cos we were there.

Pentland Housing Association Ltd Is Moving To A New Home
From 8 January 2003 Pentland Housing will be found at their new offices at 37/39 Traill Street, Thurso.  The telephone and fax numbers remain the same.

Scrabster Pier Development All Quiet For Christmas Holidays

New Play Area Opens
Colin Punler officially opened the Play Area that was the original idea behind the formation of the Ormlie Community Association. Councillor Deirdre Steven stood in for her father John Rosie who is recovering after a heart attack.   There was a good turn out of young people to give the new equipment a try.

South School Carol singing At Caithness General Hospital
Youngsters from South School, Wick headed over to Caithness General Hospital to sing carols to the patients and staff.  Here they are in the entrance to the hospital just before they set off round the wards.  After that is was back to school to pick up their belongings and then on to the serious stuff.  SCHOOL HOLIDAYS.

Santa Out In Thurso On Saturday
Thurso Round Table were out again with Santa giving them a hand.  The last Saturday before Christmas was certainly bringing folk out even after "Mad Friday".  Friday turned into one of the busiest nights of the year in Thurso but it spread across the county as taxi drivers were still running at 8.00am Saturday morning taking folk home.  Caithnessians love to party.

Wick's Weather September - November
Martin Duffy with his latest facts and figures for the months of September, October and November confirming some unusual wind and weather patterns.

Santa's Grotto, Thurso  - Last Days
The 21st and 22nd of December will be the last days that you can go and visit Santa in his Grotto in the Olrig St/ Beach Rd gardens. It will also be the last opportunity to enter into the auction for a tumble dryer kindly donated by Norfrost Ltd. The tumble dryer will go to the highest acceptable bid, remember the last chance to enter will be on the 22nd of December. To stand a chance in securing this lovely gift for delivery on Christmas Eve, then phone Caithness FM on 01847 890000 with your bid.  Santa's Grotto has once again proved to be a huge success over the weeks, with great thanks to all it's loyal sponsors and helpers. Santa's Grotto will be opening hours are from Mon - Fri 6pm -8pm, and Saturday and Sunday 2pm-4.30pm.

Employment Levels In Caithness Remaining Steady
Considering that seasonally unemployment tends to rise in winter there has been very little change and Thurso continues to have increasing numbers in employment. The number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland rose from 752 last month to 790. The revised unemployment rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso ‘Travel to Work Areas’ respectively are as follows (corresponding figures for last month are shown in brackets) 5.7% (5.2%), 4.7% (4.8%) and 3.0% (2.8%).

Business Developments Gain Finance From CASE
Ackergill Limited, Wick, received approval of assistance of up to £44,000 towards an innovative conference facility development. The new building, which will be built in the style of a tree house, will be situated within the walled garden of Ackergill Tower, and will incorporate the latest in video conferencing equipment. Thurso Laundrette was awarded assistance of £9,100 towards the purchase of dry-cleaning equipment, while J & C Grant, Lybster, were awarded £2,800 towards the purchase of specialist livestock scanning equipment.  Mackenzie's Furniture Village, Wick, were awarded assistance of up to £16,000 to enable them to develop an e-commerce operation.

More Caithness & Sutherland Businesses Get Ready To Promote And Sell Online
Hi-Profile Graphics, Thurso; Cape Adventure International, Rhiconich; Michael Shaw, Golspie Mill; Intech-Power Ltd, Scrabster; and Mackenzie's Furniture Village, Wick have all been awarded assistance from CASE for various website developments.  All businesses in the area can have their web site linked via a free page in Caithness Business Index or Sutherland Business Index

Ormlie Community Association Opens New Play Area On Saturday
The whole organisation started about three years ago to try to get a new play area for local children.  It has been a long road and finally tomorrow the new play area opens.  The Play area opens tomorrow by Colin Punler at Provost Cormack Road at 12 noon.  Refreshments will be served at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso after the event.  Everyone is welcome to come along.  The organisation has expanded way beyond the original plan with several staff and projects working from their own office at Ormlie in Thurso.  This acorn is still growing.

Highly Successful Carol Evening From Caithness Orchestra And Choral
Caithness Orchestra and Caithness Choral are two separate organisations who come together wonderfully at this time of the year.  A large audience enjoyed the performances which ranged through traditional carols but also included Jazz numbers and Bach.  The varied programme split only for mince pies and coffee was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Monique Sliedrecht Says "Happy Christmas Ontario"
A young Canadian artist Monique Sliedrecht will be spending Christmas in Caithness and says "Happy Christmas" to her family and friends back home.  Monique has been working in Caithness for some time and lives at Freswick.  Drawing much inspiration from the area she has produced a significant amount of work and run exhibitions locally.

Council Holiday Arrangements Caithness And Sutherland
Information about office holidays,  rubbish collection, skips, swimming pools, libraries

Disability Sports Officer Appointed
A top athletics coach has taken up a new three-year post to promote sports development for people with a disability in the Highlands.  As Highland Disability Sports Development Officer, Charlie Forbes will play the key role in developing a network of co-ordinators to promote local sports

Police Station Progress - Todays Pictures

Norlin Christmas Party
Norlin Play Group  had their Christmas with a visit from Santa.  Norlin is one of many playgroups in Caithness most of whom are finishing up for the holidays.  See below if you have younger children as Norlin are taking even younger children from January 2003.

New Sessions for Younger Children At Norlin Play Group
As of January 6th 2003 we will be starting a 2 1/2 group.  It's for children aged two and a half (must be out of nappies), it's perfect for children that are that bit too old for Toddlers but not quite old enough for Playgroup.  It's great for getting the kids used to Playgroup activities. It also gives parents a chance to leave their children in the capable hands of two qualified Playleaders, Marjory and Louise.

More Sunset Pictures From Caithness Last Night
Lucky us last night and it was the same again tonight as the frosty weather clears the skies.

MADD Singers Entertain Wick Rotary At Christmas
Wick Rotary Club Christmas night out at Mackays hotel, Wick was an enjoyable evening helped along by entertainment from the MADD singers.  The group Music Acting Dance and Drama (MADD) have run some highly successful shows in the last few years and this talented group last night showed why they are a huge success under Mrs Hutcheson local teacher and musical director.  Roll on the next show folks.

Bear Shave Raises Staggering £1910 For Renal Unit
Back in October Donald Campbell had his beard shaved to raise money for the new renal unit.  The money has all been collected and it kept rolling in to reach an amazing £1910.  Donald who works for Stevens Transport received a donation from the firm of £250.  He would like to thank all the contributors who made every hair count.  New Renal Unit opens 6 January 2002.

Corner Shop Santas In Wick
Everyone is asking what the event is at the Corner shop as the staff have turned out this week in Santa outfits.  But there is no special event and the staff decided they would dress up for the next few days just to be colourful.  Is this strange in wick which seems to be the capital of dressing up in the north.  Just take a look ate the many gala pictures and other events to see that Wickers dress up at the drop of  a proverbial hat.  One Santa was on lunch but we may catch her later.

DRINK DRIVING WARNING - Drivers In The North Caught
Police are concerned that drivers are not heeding their warnings and are putting themselves and others at risk by drinking and driving. Northern Constabulary are appealing to drivers not to get behind the wheel after drinking following the apprehension of three people for drink driving in the Caithness & Sutherland area in the past week.  Warnings are all over the TV, Newspapers Radio, Web Sites and still they risk it - now there are rewards of up to £500 to anyone getting a drink driver caught........

Halkirk Play Group At Christmas
Halkirk play group have had plenty of fun in the run up to Christmas including their nativity play organised by Beverley Sarstedt who runs junior drama groups around the county.

Prince Charles Sends Christmas Cake To Crossroads School
Crossroads school near the Castle of Mey received a Christmas Cake from Prince Charles this year.  His grandmother used to send one each year to the local school and this year he sent one.

Stromness Lifeboat
By chance we caught the Stromness Lifeboat arriving for some repair work at about 9.00am and again by chance caught it leaving Wick harbour at 3.20pm today.

Dances In The Wilds - A New CD From Karen Steven
Karen Steven a Caithness violinist has brought out her next CD with more local connections.  Karen says "Two years ago I was asked to represent Caithness and was commissioned by the Highland Festival to compose some music to be performed at their millennium concert in Eden Court Theatre, Inverness.

Sunset At Wick Today

New Renal Unit At Caithness General On Track For 2003 Opening
Kidney Dialysis Support Group    Medical Services Index    Health & Welfare Index

Lidl Progress At Wick Latest Pictures
Wick's latest supermarket seems to be moving fast now that the main steelwork is in place.

Flying Into Wick
Here are a couple of views well known to frequent fliers coming into Wick.
Caithness Aerial Index

Data Protection Scam Warning
A warning has been issued to local businesses in the wake of the latest round of official-looking mailings from firms offering to register them with the Information Commissioner as required by the Data Protection Act.

South View, Wick

Stevens Transport - New Lorry Garage and Workshops Nearing Completion
The new workshops will soon be ready at Scrabster harbour and that will also mark the end of the company at the harbour in Wick where servicing work has been done.  Wick harbour will look very quiet indeed once the familiar Stevens Transport lorries no longer arrive at Wick harbour.

Fish Market, Wick
The fish market in Wick has been virtually unused for many years mainly due to Wick not being  a designated landing port under EU rules.  The latest downturn in fishing approaching with a cod and haddock ban is unlikely to affect the port of Wick as the damage was done a long time ago.

Fraser Drive, Wick - Another New Part Of Town

Property Selling Fast On Caithness.Org Property Pages
A total of 10 houses being sold by The Mortgage Shop and advertised in the Property pages are UNDER OFFER.  The housing boom in Caithness does not look like slowing down no matter what they are saying in other parts of the UK.  With hundreds of new jobs coming to Dounreay over the next couple of years it looks like Thurso is set to continue growing.  The Property section on offers one of the best value deals around when comes to selling a house.  With up to 3000 visitors a day the chances are very good it will find a buyer. 

Latest Updating News Pages
The latest new pages added to our ever growing updating news pages are Personal Finance and
Gaelic.  More links on these topics will be added later.

A Few Thoughts On Drink Driving - Nothing New Just Think About It
Let's keep Caithness General very quiet this Christmas holiday season.   A huge percentage of car accidents involve alcohol and the costs are extremely high in blighted lives at one end and financially even if no death or injury occurs.  Can you afford to die?  Funerals are not cheap.  Can you afford to go to prison - food is free but most employers do not wait for your return before sending out the P45.  Losing your no claims insurance bonus can bump the premiums sky high once you are allowed to drive again.  That and a few more unhappy thoughts to boost the taxi businesses everywhere.

Police at Wick are trying to trace a man who has not been seen at the caravan site where he lives since the afternoon of Wednesday, 11 December, 2002.  The man is RICHARD KING, 45 years, who lives at Thistledhu Caravan Site, Reiss.

Atom City Stompers Reunited For Another Gig At Ebenezer's
It was a busy night in Mackays Hotel, Wick on Saturday night with Atom City Stompers and Sinclair Brothers Band in Ebenezer's Bar and the North Coast Jazz Band playing in the function room for a Christmas night out.

Murray Avenue, Wick

Gardeners Question Time
Loyal as he is to Caithness.Org, we sent Mike - at his own expense - to seek out and interview minor celebrities the world o’er,

Saturday 28th December 8.00pm - Pipe Band Hall, High Street, Wick
Mini Pipe Band, Scottish Dance Band, Highland Dancers, Vocalists
Admission £3 including tea/coffee and biscuits

Festive Fun At Argyle Square, Wick

Sugar Craft Guild Christmas Cakes
The ladies from the Sugar Craft Guild handed over small Christmas Cakes to the District Nurses as they now do each year - to be gifts to some of their elderly patients as they travel round the county.  Sugar Craft Page

Wick Players Win Northern Round Of SCDA
On Friday night Wick Players proved yet again what a great and wide range they have by winning their round of the SCDA Festival.  Their farce "Out Of Order" playing to packed houses provided great entertainment.  Last night is Saturday 14 if there are any tickets left.

Another Canadian Caithness Mystery
A request from Canada for help in identifying the people in this picture.  The Seaforth Highlander on the far Left is Peter DUCHART of Wick.  On the back is written "Peter Duchart, my Granny 60 Louisburgh St."  We cannot identify anyone other than Peter.  Don't know who the Granny is.  Do any of you have the answers on this picture?

Free Buses In Caithness on Dounreay Friday
Yes it's almost party time again in Caithness and as huge numbers of people have their Christmas parties, works meals and just a night out at the start of the Christmas Holiday period free buses are laid onto help folk get home and avoid using their cars.  Time are on the Christmas page so why not take a note and put it in your purse or wallet for that big night out.  Dounreay Friday is so called because it is the last working Friday before Christmas and as the largest place of employment in the county there are literally hundreds of people on nights out from all over Caithness and not just from the Dounreay site.  Most places of entertainment, restaurants, pubs and so are packed on that night. Many places close for two weeks or run on a skeleton staff.

Scottish Executive To Help With Damage Costs At Wick Harbour
A delegation from Wick Harbour Trust met with Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie and relieved to be given a lifeline of support in getting an agreement to assistance with repairs caused by the recent bad weather that has repeatedly hit Wick Harbour in recent weeks.

French Research Students At ERI Visit Dounreay
Staff and Students from the UHI Environmental Research Institute (ERI) in Castle Street,Thurso visited Dounreay on Thursday 5th December and were given a tour of the site and visited various facilities within the Fuel Cycle Area.  Dounreay has a strong relationship with the ERI and continues to host regular visits for their French student programme.

First Gear Caithness Drivers Certificates
Another group of young people in Caithness aged 16 17 received their certificates for completing the course aimed at improving their knowledge of driving and the serious consequences of accidents.  The highly popular courses are organised by a combination of instructors, community education, police, fire service and others.

Drivers aged between 17 and 25 are being offered the chance to improve their driving skills in a pilot project aimed at reducing the numbers killed in road accidents. Drivers between 17 and 25 are six times more likely to be killed than drivers over 40.  In 2000/2001 22 drivers in the age group were killed in Highland and many more seriously injured.  Young drivers or their parents should check this offer out.

From The Recent "Ard Rock" Concert In Wick

A Few Boats At Scrabster

Ghost Towns
Here is a different way of grouping some of the old places in in Caithness with a few links that will take you round the world in Ghost Town web sites.  We expect you can think of many more examples.

Ormlie Invites Everyone To New Play Area Opening
The Official Opening of Ormlie's New Play Area on Saturday 21 December at noon.
Everyone is welcome, so help in celebrating the achievement. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Ormlie Centre in Henderson Street while the kids get down to the important business of enjoying themselves on the new play equipment!   After four years the reason why the group was set up is finally here and what a lot of other things have sprung from the original idea....

Wick Police Station Getting To Final Phase
Police Station Index

Are We Nearly There Yet? - Scrabster Pier Latest

Junior Drama Christmas Play
Future talent at Beverley Sarstedt's Junior Drama Groups as the under fives put on their nativity play in Thurso. Christmas Index

How Causeymire Wind Farm Might Look
There are several new wind farm proposals for Caithness and Sutherland.  Here is how one of them might look.

Santa Visits Playbox Play Group, Wick

Christmas Show and Sale Quoybrae Report
Caithness Livestock Centre - Aberdeen and Northern Marts sold 93 cattle and 1729 sheep at their Christmas show and sale at Quoybrae.  The cattle show sponsored by Johnston Carmichael, chartered accountants was judged by Mr Bill Cameron, Kepak, Buchan.  He placed as champion in the young farmers section a Charolais bullock scaling 625 kg from Gary Oag, Achiebeg, Forss it realised £1000 to Scotch Premier Meats on behalf of Robert Rawlings, Devon House, High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey.  Champion in the open section was a home-bred Limousin bullock scaling 630kg from R MacKay, Clyth Mains, Lybster and sold for £1700 to Mr Murray Lamont, MacKay’s Hotel, Wick.........................

Miller Academy 1957 Class 2c
Another Miller Academy photograph sent in by Margaret Ferguson.  There are one or two missing names and if you know who they are send them in to   To view all of pictures for this school check the Miller Academy Index.  For other schools check the main Schooldays Index.  We are gradually creating new sections for each school as more photos arrive.

Police in Caithness are warning members of the public to be aware of bogus workmen working in the Thurso area.  About 13:10h on Monday 9 December 2002, the two after described males entered the Careers Scotland office on Olrig Street, Thurso and stated they were from Scottish Hydro Electric and asked to inspect the office vacuum cleaner.  They were asked for identification by staff but decided to leave the premises without producing any.

Mile Swim Challenge, Thurso
Pauline McFadyen a member of the synchronised swimming team at the Commonwealth Games presented certificates to some of the 505 children who completed the mile swim challenge and raised £894.23 for the Childline charity.  Councillor Roger Saxon introduced Pauline and congratulated everyone for completing the swim and raising the money.  Tina Robinson the area Sports Officer who had organised the challenge in Caithness was also in attendance.

A new community energy unit has been established for the Highlands and Islands to help community groups who are interested in developing projects powered by renewable energy or gaining an income from renewable energy generation.  Could your hall or project benefit-it's well worth following this one up.

Holly Comes Out at Christmas!
Mike Clark on a seasonal shrub for the garden but if you want berries for Christmas here is the low down - "The problem we have determining the sexes of our hollies goes way beyond the genus Ilex.

Carol Service - Bilbster Hall
Sun. 15th Dec. at 3pm. The Junior Salvation Army Band will entertain and the service will be followed by tea and mince pies. All Welcome.

Inosculation - An Unusual Feature From Mike Clark
Don't worry its not catching.

Holes Getting Bigger At Wick Harbour

"DON'T BLOW IT THIS CHRISTMAS"  Northern Constabulary are launching their Festive Safety Campaign on Tuesday 9th December with a radio commercial asking people not to blow their Christmas by drink driving.  The campaign will again be a three pronged road safety initiative targeting drink drivers, speeding motorists and those who travel without wearing a seat belt. 

Get Your Skates On for Last Christmas Posting Dates In UK
UK - 18 December, Western Europe Airmail -  14 December,  Eastern Europe - 10 December.  Rest of The World - Maybe too late - try your luck

The Highland Council is gearing up to cope with growing interest from energy companies for development of wind farms. One wind farm is currently operational; four applications have been approved; four applications are being processed; six are known to be in the pipeline; and many other enquiries have been made about potential sites.

Never Under Estimate Number Two's
Forget chemical gardening and you can save money, save the planet and save yourself.  Mike Clark gets to grip with what makes plants and maybe you really happy.

An ambitious project to provide free Internet access at all Highland Council libraries was officially launched at Inverness library on Friday 6th Dec by Peter Peacock MSP, Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services.  The project will also enable access to NewsBank Scotland, an online database of Scottish and UK newspapers from 1998 to the present. Wick and Thurso Libraries are already connected.

Latest Caithness And Highland Music Releases
December sees a host of music available from Ross Records with Caithness and other Highland areas featuring heavily.  A host of Caithness artists are featured on several CD's  but if its Scottish music with a Highland connection you want you have a huge choice with this latest list of CD's From Ross Records

Thurso Junior Swifts Awards
The Thurso Swifts Junior teams were out at the British Legion for their annual awards ceremony.  Check John Baikie Photgrapher for more pictures

Pennyland School 40th Anniversary
Pennyland School, Thurso opened in December 1962 and last night hosted an evening for folk to come back and see their old school and look at many pictures collected for the evening.  Thanks from for the calendar kids.

Take A Look Inside Pennyland School, Thurso Today
More to come later from Inside Pennyland School

Santa's Grotto In Thurso Gets Going

Scottish History And Heritage News
Our latest addition to our increasing pages with continually updating news.  The same updating news appears on both Scottish History and Heritage Links pages

Fun Goes On In Caithness With Free Roundabout Rides
Roundabout set up by Wick Town Events Group.

Santa In Wick On Saturday
Santa's Grotto set up by Wick Round Table

Broadband Access - Keep Going And Sign Up to Register Interest
Current state of play today is Wick 72 Thurso 111.  Well done to those who have now signed up to get ten times faster access.  But we need to keep going to meet BT's need to justify the exchange upgrades.  If you are in the areas of Wick or Thurso and want your Internet access to be fast then get your name down for more information.   Registration does not commit you to anything but BT is monitoring the level of interest and will only upgrade the local exchange based on sign-ups.  Once the numbers are reached they will contact everyone to confirm their interest. Ask The Audience....Phone a Friend.....Anything ... But sign up soon.

No Let Up To Damage To Wick Sea Walls

Winter Walks with Highland Council Ranger Service
Ben Dorrery and Beinn Freiceadain Sunday 15th December;
returning by the shore of loch Shurrery. This walk is set in an area of great archaeological interest. Expect some rough walking and a gradient up to 230 metres.  Meet in Halkirk (near grocers) 10am to pool cars.  Reasonable fitness required.  Boots essential. Bring lunch.

Todays Christmas Shop Window
These windows are from Four Seasons flower shop in Wick.
If you are sending flowers this Christmas you can find all the contact details in the Caithness Business Index Florists Section.

Caithness Musicians
We are offering the chance for all musicians, bands or anyone connected with the music business or amateurs looking to get known for concerts etc to have a FREE page with a picture or two.   Check it out.

Health Priorities Confirmed by Caithness Voices
295 responses were received to Question 1 (42 from the newspaper advertisements and 253 from the full questionnaire, the latter comprising 16 questions).  The people of Caithness have confirmed their five top health priorities by responding to Highland Health Council’s Caithness Voices questionnaire. A first analysis shows they agree with the top five issues highlighted at an event in Wick and drop-in sessions both there and Thurso during September. The five issues identified were: closure of A&E Department at Dunbar Hospital; lack of staff (eg. unfilled vacancies, loss of GPs from the area); poor communications (eg. about A&E Dunbar & NHS24, patient/doctor); NHS dental services; and chiropody.

Old Post Office Site In Wick Explodes With Activity
The new pub restaurant from J D Wetherspoon to be called the Alexander Bain is rising from the rubble of the Old Post Office.  A whirlwind of activity saw the Market Square jammed with contractors vehicles today.  Local firms are heavily involved in the reconstruction work to transform the old building into a new venue.  Next week another set of contractors moves in to begin work on the plumbing and electrics.

Christmas Fayre - Lybster
Home Made Sweets, Baking, Crafts, Pottery, Toys, Flowers, Cheese, Cosmetics, Bric-a-brac, Tombola, Bottle Stall, Santa's Grotto - All in aid of Lybster Primary School.

Mile Swim Challenge Certificates
Pauline McFadyen a member of the synchronised swimming team at the Commonwealth Games presented certificates to some of the 505 children who completed the mile swim challenge and raised £894.23 for the Childline charity.  Councillor Roger Saxon introduced Pauline and congratulated everyone for completing the swim and raising the money.  Tina Robinson the area Sports Officer who had organised the challenge in Caithness was also in attendance.

More Stroma Gathering Pictures
Shelagh Moir has sent us another set of Stroma Gathering pictures to add to the gallery.  Shelagh tells us that 30 years ago when the gatherings first started a bonfire would be lit on Stroma at 11.00pm and everyone would go out side to see the fire burning on the island they used to live on.

The Borg to Dyke – Strath Halladale
These pictures just in from Caithness Waybaggers from their last walk in October in Strath Halladale, Sutherland show they caught the end of a very good summer in the north. the group started at The Borg ten kilometres north of the Forsinard Hotel.
Waybaggers Walks Index

Carousel For Christmas At Market Square, Wick
Wick Town Events Group have arranged for a Carousel to be set up in Wick for the next three Saturdays.  The rides will be free for all children so its likely to prove a hit.  The carousel will be in the Market Square on Saturdays 7 and 21 December.  On Saturday 14th it will be set up at Argyle Square.

Another Hole In The Wall - Camps Car Park Undermined
The latest breach in Wick harbour walls is a large hole that has burst part of the wall holding up the car park at the Camps area of Wick.  Other walls and holes are continuing to worsen as the heavy seas now have access to the loose stones behind the original front walls at the old dry dock the corner of which may collapse any day.  This latest batch of pictures taken early this morning show the worsening situation between the North pier and camps area.

Police Station Completion In Sight
The site of the new police station in Wick is surrounded each day with vans of all the different contractors carrying out work on the building.  Everything seems to be happening at once.  there is hardly room to park at the station opposite.

The Skraelings - A New Arts Group In Caithness And Sutherland
The Skraelings will be a Caithness and Sutherland based collective open to all ages over the age of fifteen. This will be a group of multi-generational community members who are interested in building and sharing multi-disciplinary art making and presenting techniques. These skills will be used to present performance work and theatre, but may incorporate visual art, dance/movement, music/voice and media.

Don't Blink - LIDL Going Up Fast
This is one structure that is not hanging around and the guys on this job must have had their porridge.  The site seems to be a flurry of activity with the steel structure growing every time we pass.  Wick's latest supermarket looks like it will open on schedule.

More Christmas Shop Windows
A few more shop windows in Caithness. If you know a good one then email who will take a picture on his way round the county and add it to the section.  Or take one yourself and email it to him. 

Storms Hit Wick Harbour Walls
More new damage and cracks appeared after last nights high tide and heavy storm that yet again lashed Wick harbour.  More big cracks appeared and more stones and concrete was taken away.  As many folk are following this closely we have gathered recent items on Wick harbour damage into one section.  updates will be added to this section for ease of locating it all.  Wick Harbour News Index

LIDL Supermarket Steel Going In
Nothing seems to be keeping the new supermarket in Wick back as steel work began going in.  Weather does not seem to be slowing the job down too much.
Lidl Index   Wick Index

Maxx Blade On Rising Tide Of Traffic With Free Clock Script Generator
Maxx Blade a JavaScript site  run by Niall is getting record traffic.    The site traffic is growing fast with visitors from all over looking for free JavaScripts.  The site is currently getting over 150 visitors a day.  The pages carry Caithness.Org advertising .  The site gives away programmes free that could be useful to web masters.  Latest addition is a big upgrade to a Clock Script Generator saving folk lots of time writing their own programmes for many variations on clocks all over the planet.  Hmmm.... "Caithness famous for herring, coos, Dounreay an JavaScripts"  Ach Weel.

Triple C Country Club - Christmas Show
Saturday 14 December Dounreay Club, Wick Remix and John C King
Tickets Ring Janis 602265 Day 604538 evenings and weekends

200 New Jobs At Dounreay With Biggest Block Of Contracts
ALLIANCE OF COMPANIES SOUGHT TO DELIVER CORNERSTONE OF DOUNREAY SITE RESTORATION PLAN  The UK Atomic Energy Authority at Dounreay today announced it has invited interest from companies capable of delivering a key project in the site restoration plan.  UKAEA Dounreay wants to form an alliance of companies that can provide it with a secure and modern facility to store conditioned intermediate-level radioactive waste (ILW) arising from the site restoration work over the next 50-60 years.   The formation of the alliance next year is expected to result in the largest block of contracts to be let at Dounreay since the site restoration plan was published two years ago.   Construction of the store is expected to begin in 2005, with the facility  ready for active commissioning by the end of 2008.  In the region of 200 jobs will be created during its construction, which is expected to cost several tens of millions of pounds.

Highland Councillors will be asked at a meeting on Wednesday 4 December 2002 to back plans for a £2.7 million redevelopment of the historic Thurso Town Hall and the adjacent Carnegie Library, now used as a local museum.

Public Health Action Learning Team
This is a new way for groups and communities to get involved in improving public health.  It is being run under the guidance of Miles Greenford a Public Health Practitioner employed by the Local Health Care Cooperative for Caithness and Sutherland.  Take a look at the short list of questions and answers to see if this is an opportunity for you or your group to move forward some ideas that have been kicking around but have not had a chance to get heard.

Mackays Hotel, Wick Sample Menus For Christmas
Here are some suggestions from Mackays Hotel in Wick for your dinner or party.  Contact the hotel if you want to discuss alternatives and or bookings.

New Pictures In New Castletown Aerial Gallery
Caithness Aerial Pictures Index

Keiss At Soccer Sevens
Keiss Primary were the furthest travelled team of 35 entrants at the Soccer Sevens in Dingwall this weekend.  The team did not win the competition but they all had a great time.

Plans To Accelerate Reach Of Broadband By Scottish Executive
Plans to accelerate the roll out of Broadband, stimulate competition and improve access to customers for all service providers, were outlined On Monday 2 December 2002.  Up to £24m has been allocated to support business take-up and ensure that by the end of 2003, at least 70% of the population have access to ADSL Broadband. Have You Registered Yet In Caithness?

IT4 Communities - A New Organisation
IT4 Communities is a new UK based initiative encouraging companies, employees and individuals with professional IT skills to volunteer to benefit local charities and community groups.  Voluntary groups and charities can register and the group will highlight your needs in their newsletter.  You may be able to access assistance with all sorts of IT if the right volunteer comes onto their lists.

Stroma Gathering 2002
Pictures from the annual Stroma gathering have been sent in by Catherine Byrne the last baby to be born on Stroma.

New Stroma Aerial Gallery
We will shortly amalgamate the other Stroma aerial pictures in this new gallery and add later pictures sent in or obtained by us.

Stroma Kirk
Another picture sent by Catherine Byrne showing the inside of the old church as it used to be

Keiss Carols
Children At Keiss seen here practicing for the Carol Service held on Sunday 1st December, to welcome Rev Geoff Giddings and his wife Sandra who are on an exchange visit to Canisbay and Keiss Churches

North School 1981 Primary 7
Another north school class in the school galleries.  We have also taken the opportunity to set up a new Index for North School pictures.  As other pictures come in the other schools will have similar indexes set up.

Pipers In Wick On Saturday
RBLS Wick Pipe Band Started the proceedings on Saturday in the Market Square, Wick.

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