News Archive - October 2002

Halloween At Hilldead Primary School, Wick

Fire At Riverside Home & Bridge Street Church
At 20:43 hours on Wednesday, 30 October, 2002 a report was received of a roof on fire at the Riverside Nursing Home, Bridge Street, Wick, a large residential nursing establishment.  Highlands and Islands Fire Brigade (HIFB) units attended immediately as did Ambulance staff and Northern Constabulary Officers from Wick and Thurso.  The cause was quickly established as being a fault in the flue system of a boiler in the Church which was venting smoke into the home. The residents of the home (43 in total) were firstly quickly evacuated from the affected part of the building to a safe downstairs lounge pending a full assessment by HIFB.

A Few More Abseil Pictures
We did not manage to get everyone who did the abseiling on the Hospital chimney recently but here are a few more just sent in and added to the gallery.

More Halloween Fun

More From Halloween

Here Comes Halloween In Caithness - Wick Youth Club

Return To Lochinver
Continuing to expand the Sutherland pictures we have now added another 24 pictures of Lochinver.

Wick Girls Visit Balmore
The Wick Girls' Group visited the Animal Welfare Centre at Balmore.    They were given the opportunity to look at all of the dogs and cats brought in and even got to cuddle some of the little kittens...    Wick Girls Group Index

Rogart, Sutherland on the road to Lairg has its own distinctive history and is a small scattered village. Well worth a look around.

Lairg, Sutherland

Companies in the Highland and Islands have embraced the e-business revolution and now lead Scotland in their use of website technology, according to a recent survey.  Over 12,000 Scottish companies took part in the joint Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise E-Business Survey 2002. The survey reveals that 45 per cent of Highlands and Islands businesses now have their own website compared to 39 per cent for Scotland as a whole.

The people of Assynt are a step closer to realising their ambitious plans to build a £1.1m leisure and community centre in Lochnver.  Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) has awarded Assynt Leisure - the community business set up to take the project forward - a grant worth £100,000 towards the cost of the facility at Lochinver.

Lyth - New Photo Gallery

Freswick School
A few pictures of Freswick  School that has for many years been the local Freswick Village Hall where the local community is very active using their hall for a wide range of activities including art exhibitions.
Old Schools Index

Neurological Group - Coffee Afternoon
Saturday 2 November 12 Noon - 4.00pm - Back Bridge Street, Club, Wick. Neurological Web Site

Captains Galley Seafood Restaurant Opens Today At Scrabster
The new seafood restaurant opens today in Scrabster.  One of the little touches on how is a small sculpture by renowned sculptor Sean Williamson who advised on the stonework inside to ensure it could be kept as it was.  Based in the former ice-house the roof has a very unusual barrel shape and is a main feature of the new eating place.

LIDL - New Supermarket In Wick Gets Started - Follow The Progress Here
Within days of getting planning permission the men were on site on the outskirts of Wick opposite the cemetery.  Surveyors have already marked out the site and soil was being moved today.  Here are the first two sets of pictures from today and the first day 23 October.  We will follow the new shop to completion.

UKAEA Response To Clean Up White Paper
UKAEA has responded to the Government White Paper, "Managing the Nuclear Legacy: A Strategy for Action" which sets out proposals for a national approach to civil nuclear clean-up through a Liabilities Management Authority.

The search is on to find teams of young people from across the Highlands and Islands, willing to take part in the Highlands and Islands Youth Challenge, a major technology innovations competition.  PICT Innovation Ltd, a partnership company established to foster good ideas and turn them into business ventures by supporting research and commercialisation, is delivering the programme on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Caithness Riders Access Group - Latest
The group are building up information on rights of way for riders and walkers.  If you have any information on the subject that might be useful then get in touch with them.  They have set out a number of aims for the group and they are on the page.

Communities To Benefit From Jobs Dispersal
First Minister Jack McConnell in Oban today pledged action to ensure that rural communities throughout Scotland benefit from the dispersal of public service jobs.  He said the Executive’s relocation policy review would require bodies and departments covered by the policy to identify two areas of work that could be carried out in remote locations without compromising efficiency.

Strath Watten

Strath House
A house in Strath Watten

Rock Hill Near Wick

Keeping The Weeds Down On The A99 To Wick
If you see this little truck on the highways and byways you will see how our weeds are kept at bay.

Keiss Baptist Chapel
The now disused Baptist Church was a replacement for the first Baptist Church in Scotland established in 1750.  A memorial plaque is sill in good condition ion the front wall.

Nybster School
Another in our series of old schools in Caithness.  Nybster school is now used as a small museum known as the Viking Centre.

Robert St.
Robert Street, Wick is a short street with local authority housing on one side and much older buildings on the other.

Dunbeath Fire Station
The newest fire station in Caithness is in Dunbeath. 

Neil Gunn Walk
A group enjoyed a sunny Saturday afternoon in Dunbeath Strath looking at places Neil Gunn got his inspiration from.

Dunbeath Bridge

More Sutherland From The Air
Badcoll Bay - Culkein Drumbeg - Handa - Kerracher Bay - Kylescu Bridge - Loch Laxford
Loch Ardhbair - Loch Drhombaig - Loch Nedd - Scourie

Sutherland From The Air
Boursa - Cape Wrath - Duslic Rock - Kinlochbervie - Kirtomy - Loch a Chadh-fi - Mol Na Coinnle
Port Odhar - Portskerra - Rabbit Islands - Rispond - Sandwood Bay - Skerray - Strathy Pont
Talmine - Torrisdale Bay

Free Fruit at Halloween for Highland Nurseries
Nursery school children in Highland received more money to buy fruit and vegetables this week. The money comes from the Health Improvement Fund to promote better diets in young children. The Enormous Turnip is the theme for the Winter Pack and staff can arrange story telling, soup making, and vegetable printing sessions for their children.

Chamber Group Of Scotland - Thurso Live Music Association
Wednesday 6 November 8.00pm - Thurso High School - Music by Rachmaninov, Brahms and Poulenc
Adults £7 Children/Students £1

Mull Theatre in "There Was A Man"
Wednesday 30 October 8.00pm Ross Institute, Halkirk - Organised by Lyth Arts
Mull Theatre returns with Tom Wright's memorable one man show about the great Scottish Poet. In this production John Langford plays the role first made famous by John Cairnie..  As well as being a great evening for Burns fans, the play is an exciting drama-documentary about his life and times.

Caithness Biodiversity Plan - Comments By 30 November
The Caithness Biodiversity Plan is part of a wider Highland set up and the local Caithness Action Group are keen to ensure that local views are taken into account for the longer term.  The action plan gives a breakdown of much of what is around in the natural world in the area and indicates what is rare.  Your thoughts on what to protect or how to go about ensuring its long-term survival can help formulate the plans.

Caithness Health Services Survey From Highland Health Council
Highland Health Council are following up their recent Caithness Voices sessions in the county by allowing everyone else to have a say via a survey form being issued to the public on request, in newspapers and here on the web site.  You can either print it out or request copies for yourself and others from Highland Health Council.  The main issues are Closure of the A&E Department at Dunbar Hospital, Thurso, Lack of staff (e.g. vacancies can’t be filled, loss of GPs from the area), Poor communications (e.g. about the A&E Dunbar, between patient and doctor, about NHS24), NHS Dental Services, Chiropody.  You can agree or not with the suggestions or make your own.

Thorkel Road, Thurso

Bayview Terrace, Thurso

Upper Burnside Court, Thurso

Hakon Road, Thurso
Another small street in Thurso

Hay Stacks, Bales - Gallery
It's all over the countryside but do you have much idea about it.  Over the years the shape of bales have changed but some of the old balers are still on the go.  Has anyone written an article about Hay to add to the new picture gallery.  Its in Farming

Service Bridge, Wick
Some views of the Service Bridge in Wick yesterday.  the bridge joins the Camps area to Martha Terrace and the harbour area.  High tides are currently taking the water levels high on the bridge and heavy rainfall in the last few days is sweeping the opposite way.

Police Major Incident suite Comes Into Use During Firemen's Strike
During the period of the firemen's strike action the Major Incident Suite at the Force Operations Room at Burnett Road Police Office, Inverness will be open 24 hours a day.  Head of Operations for Northern Constabulary, Chief Superintendent Jim Heddle, will chair a briefing assisted by members of the Fire Service, Military and Highland Council on Friday 25 October.

Going Going Gone - Properties Are Moving Fast In The Property Section
Selling your property with Caithness.Org is easy and good value.  We worked out what it costs to do the work and you get great value.  Wherever else you advertise why not show your property to the world.  You never know where the customer might be.  It costs £20 once and for all payment.

Fireworks Warning From Highland Council
Communities in the Highlands and Islands are being strongly urged NOT to organise bonfires or fireworks displays in the lead up to Guy Fawkes Night on Tuesday 5 November when the Fire Brigade Union will be on strike. Brian Murray, Firemaster for the Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, is particularly anxious that this advice is observed on Saturday 2 November or Sunday 3 November, when the FBU has called its second 48-hour strike.

E Access Bulletin - October Issue
A monthly newsletter for people with blindness or visual impairment on technology issues.  Has all the latest news on what is becoming available.  Reproduced on Caithness.Org to let folk find it.  If its of interest to you then you can sign up to get it in your email every month.

Fire Brigade Strikes Information And Links
Are You Prepared For No Fire Engines At The Fire, Car Crash Etc?
Strikes may begin next Tuesday.  If you are looking for news or information about the strikes or what extra precautions to take check out our links page now drawing it all together for home, workplace, schools etc.  Automatic alarms may not get responses so what action are you taking to cover this type of eventuality?   Think About Driving A Lot Slower.

Confidential Crime Line 01955 606800
Report Crimes To the Police in Caithness in Strict Confidence

Captains Galley Restaurant Ready
The newest restaurant in Caithness dedicated to quality seafood is ready and last night hosted an open evening for friends and suppliers to see how the old ice house at Scrabster has been transformed.  Brand new all stainless steel kitchens have been added.

Captains Galley Cheque Presentations
Jim Cowie owner of the new restaurant presented cheques to Thurso Lifeboat and Fishermen's mission in recognition of their dedication in helping the fishermen who bring the fish back to Scrabster.

Keiss Castle - The Newer One
This is the later Keiss Castle that was originally Keiss House built in 1755 and remodelled in 1860 to give it the castle features.  The Old Keiss Castle sits in front of this one right on the shore.

Thurso In Bloom Season Comes To an End
John Ross the head gardener at Thurso was preparing to dismantle one of the last of this years hanging basket displays that have been a great feature of the town over the summer months.   The gardeners recently removed all their baskets, window boxes and flower tubs from the streets of Thurso, ending a another great display of colour for the year. 

The Restoration Of A Scottish Castle
Tuesday 5 November 7.30pm Thurso College  - Admission £3  - Field Club Members £2
A talk by Peter Gillies organised by Caithness Field club in conjunction with Aberdeen University
All welcome.  Check Aberdeen University Page for other talks in Caithness and Sutherland in coming months.  Looking for it later check under Education Index

Beverley Sarstedt Dance & Drama Classes New Season
Beverley has been moving house so her popular classes are getting started slightly later than usual this year.  She also has a new phone number to be found on her pages.  The new times of the dance and drama classes are also up and she can be contacted to book children into any of the classes for the new session.   Also in are times for the ladies tap classes in both Wick and Thurso.  Other keep fit and dance teachers can get their information in by emailing it to

Norlin Playgroup, Wick Latest Times
The latest times for Norlin playgroup are now on the page and a note regarding possible expansion in 2003 to cover children from 2.5 - 3 years old.   If any other playgroups would like to add more information to the pages please get in touch.  there is no charge for updating the pages with your latest information and you can add pictures if you would like this.

House Fire In Castletown -Tuesday
A house opposite the St Clair Arms, Main Street, Castletown was dealt with by the local fire brigade today.  Fortunately no one was at home or injured by the fire.  However this along with other fires and various road traffic accidents involving the fire brigade brings home the serious nature of the strikes by the fire brigade.  It is not clear yet whether retained firemen in the north will be involved in the action but warnings are already being issued  in Highland as below.....

Communities in the Highlands and Islands are being strongly urged NOT to organise bonfires or fireworks displays in the lead up to Guy Fawkes Night on Tuesday 5 November when the Fire Brigade Union will be on strike. Brian Murray, Firemaster for the Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, is particularly anxious that this advice is observed on Saturday 2 November or Sunday 3 November, when the FBU has called its second 48-hour strike.

Wick High 1950 - 1955 - Another Reunion Gets Going
Another reunion for wick High is well underway and the venue is booked for Bonfire night (2 August 2003) of Wick Gala Week in 2003.  More details coming soon but meantime get in touch with the organisers if you were at school then.  Send in any pictures from your schooldays for the section.  See you all n Gala Week next year.

Women's Aid Outreach - Updates
There is a new support worker in place for Women's Aid and in addition to offering a refuge service she will be available once a month at Caithness General Hospital to meet any woman who has domestic problems caused by abusive relationships.

Ormlie's New Play Area Moving Fast Now
Things are looking good for the opening of Ormlie's new play area, multi-sport and skatepark in the very near future (no date set yet!), and a great deal of excitement and interest is coming from the children and young people of the area (and further afield!). A group of young skateboarders from Thurso are in the process of forming themselves into a club which will be based in Ormlie

Give Blood Today In Thurso
Tuesday 22 October 2002
Dounreay Sports & Social Club, Thurso 2.00 - 4.00pm and 5.00 - 8.00pm

Castletown Junior Football Club
John Baikie has set up a new web site for Castletown Junior Football Club.  He is looking for some help in getting a few pictures of football in Castletown in the past for a history section.  If anyone can help get in touch with him at

Keiss Castle - 25 New Pictures

Next 30 Pictures
Many more angles on Sinclair and Girnigoe Castles.

More Old Wick Castle

The Dungeon At Girnigoe Castle
The first 18 new pictures from Sinclair and Girnigoe Castles taken on Sunday.  These new pictures show lots of views and aspects of the castles.  A further 30 pictures are coming later tonight.  More pictures are also coming for Keiss and Old Wick Castles.

Unemployment Down Again In The North
The number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland fell from 810 last month to 797. 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) 5.4% (5.8%), 5.3% (5.2%) and 3.0% (2.9%).

Graham Begg Prepares For New E-commerce Set Up
Graham Begg Ltd has been awarded an E-business Support Grant by Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise of £5050 towards the cost of preparing his business to move towards accepting orders online.  Other businesses in this section in receipt of smaller awards are The Ben Loyal Hotel, Tongue and the Caledonian Curry Company based at Bonar Bridge.

Grey Coast Theatre Gets Grant of £27,600
Grey coast received the grant under the community investment programme of CASE to assist with its tour of the play 51 Pegasus that recently was in Caithness and is touring other parts of Scotland. Helmsdale Community Association and Assynt Leisure Association have both received approvals for assistance, of £50,000 and £100,000 respectively, towards the cost of community facility developments. 

Finance for Business
Pulsen Design Ltd has received approval of up to £3,200 towards the cost of equipment for their newly established knitwear design and production business based in Brora, while assistance of up to £2,000 will enable Alexander Harper, Wick to purchase a magnetic can sorter, which will increase the efficiency of his recycling initiative.

Four Castles Day
Caithness Field Club had an excellent day checking out the Castles of Old Wick, Sinclair & Girngoe, Keiss Old & New, Ackergill Tower and one of the Keiss Brochs thrown in as an added extra.

Canadian Artists Exhibition At Freswick
Three Canadians, one who has been a while and two newly brought in by the tide held a small exhibition of their latest work "Travellers Sea" at Freswick hall.  Monique Sliedrecht has been working in Caithness for some time and was recently joined by Rob Hengeveld and Marcia Hengeveld who took a working break for a month in Caithness.

No Shortage of Abseilers In Caithness
On Saturday 19 October 2002 about 45 people joined in the challenge to abseil down the Caithness General Hospital Chimney to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust.    The weather was very mixed moving between showers and sunshine over the day.   Some people had travelled some distance for the chance to take on the abseil of the chimney.   A group of young folk came up from Golspie.

Far North Sub-Aqua"Try Dive" Nights A Big Success
North Sub-Aqua Club held the second of their "Try Dive" evenings in Thurso last night at the Thurso Swimming Pool.   Thurso Round Table members had the opportunity to try out the new equipment acquired by the club following a lottery grant of £5000 from "Awards for All".  The club used the money to purchase 6 full sets of diving equipment and spare tanks. 

Thurso Round Table Donation To Far North Sub-Aqua Club
Thurso Round Table presented the Far North Sub-Aqua Club with a cheque for £150 towards helping their development.  The Far North Sub-Aqua Club formed about a year ago is getting ready to prepare a business plan with a view to getting their own premises at Wick harbour.  Caithness now has two sub-aqua clubs - one based in Wick and the other Caithness Sub -Aqua based in Thurso

First UK Charity Bank
Gordon Brown has launched the first UK Charity Bank making the announcement yesterday in London.   the Charity Bank is more than just another bank. It represents a new way of thinking about charity. At the same time as helping others, individuals and businesses that open Charity Bank accounts will be earning a modest financial return for themselves. And with all profits ploughed back into the Bank, charities and social enterprises will also be helping one another - a unique situation where all can benefit.

Creels At Lybster
Just a quick look round at some of the small boats and the various creels used by them.

Highland Hospice Grand Auction Now Open Online
The auction is one of the most ambitious fund raisers Highland Hospice have ever undertaken.  The online auction will end on 2 November and culminates in bidding from various venues from Inverness to Thurso.  The items for auction cover a huge array of quality gifts right up to a £50,000 plot of land.   Take a look and see what you would like to bid for.  you can keep an eye on the bidding over the next couple of weeks with the link at the top of this page.  Earlier details

At a meeting of the full Highland Council members reaffirmed that health improvement was a corporate priority for the Council when they unanimously agreed the proposals put to them for a Joint Health Improvement Plan and endorsed the future plans of the Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team.  Members were told that key public sector agencies in the Highlands are to work together to improve the region's health.

Killimster & Dunbeath Old Schools
Another two old Caithness schools.  Killimster is a private houe and Dunbeath is now home to the Dunbeath Preservation Society that runs it as a visitor centre

Index To Calder's History Of Caithness Available for Sale
If you have a copy of Calder's History of Caithness or are following it on Caithness.Org then you might want to be able to look things up a it easier.  Now you can as local genealogy researcher Sara Jayne Donaldson in Thurso has created a proper index to the text.   It costs £10 plus postage direct from Sara.

Caithness Views Wanted
Local people are being asked for their views on what is special about the wildlife and plantlife of Caithness in response to the consultation on the draft Caithness Biodiversity Action Plan, which was launched today.  People will have until the end of November 2002 to tell the Caithness Biodiversity Group what they like about the flora and fauna on their doorstep and what projects they would like to see undertaken to help protect or enhance it.

MADD - An Opportunity For Voluntary Groups
Make a Difference Day (Saturday 26 October) is the flagship campaign of Community Service Volunteers (CSV), a registered charity that creates opportunities for people to take an active part in the life of their community.  On Make a Difference Day people all over the UK take action to change their communities for the better. Now in its 7th year, MADD proves that ‘everyone can make a difference’, with participants aged from 5 to 105 and from all walks of life, taking action all over the UK.  Get more information and packs.

2002 Scottish Youth Award - Do You Know Anyone?
The search is on for individuals or groups of young volunteers who have devoted their time and effort to provide an excellent service or help to improve the opportunities and quality of life of people in their community.  The Scottish Foresters Youth Award is an annual event established over 30 years ago that publicly celebrates the achievements of young people.  It recognises and rewards these contributions.  The Award is open to individuals or groups of young people, aged 5 to 25, who have made a significant contribution to the community.

Keep An Eye On The Hospital Chimney On Saturday
More volunteers are lined up to help raise money for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust again this year.  Another 50 interpid Caithness folk will make the trip down the chimney again this year.  So keep your eyes open and look up at the chimney on Saturday.  If you want to make a donation head for the back of the hospital to the base of the chimney where everyone will be lining up throughout the day for their turn.  Last year most folk had never tried abseiling.  Wonder who is back for a second go.   Last years pictures

New Police Station Progress
The new police station is making progress and is still looking to open early in the new year.

Looking Over Wick Yesterday
It was a beautiful day in Caithness yesterday as can be seen from these views looking over Wick from the Assembly Rooms.  The early showers cleared to blue skies.

Visiting PE Teacher Sought For Caithness
Following concerns expressed to him by Caithness members regarding the lack of PE cover in the Caithness area, Bruce Robertson, The Highland Council’s Director of Education Culture and Sport Services confirmed he has asked officials in the area to seek out a long term temporary teacher of PE for Caithness primary schools. The teacher would remain in post until the end of the school session in June 2003.

Sarclet In Archaeology Week
A large group braved the wet weather to see Sarclet with Iain Sutherland of the Wick Society.  Iain had lots of information and plans of what would have been Brodiestown if everything had gone to plan.

Thrumster Old School
Another of the many old schools in Caithness.  The school lies out of the village on the road to Sarclet.  The schoolhouse has been lived in continuously and has only recently been vacated.   The school itself is deteriorating through lack of maintenance.

Captains Galley Opening Soon
A new seafood restaurant is nearly ready to open at Scrabster harbour.  The new restaurant will be in the old Ice House once used to store ice for the fish being landed at the harbour.  The building has been completely renovated but retaining the significant features of the barrel roof and stone walls.  New kitchens have been built on the side of the ice house.  Opening soon.

Anne McKevitt Launches Style Solutions
Ann McKevitt who hails from Thurso is back in Scotland to launch her new book "Style Solutions".  The new book will be out in hardback and paperback.  In addition Anne is getting ready to launch a new range of merchandise as her fame grows.  She recently hit the headlines in Paris as one of the top 40 leading women entrepreneurs.  With Several TV series already behind her it looks like she is on a roll with this latest book.

Banniskirk School
Another old school in Caithness long since closed.  The former school is a private house currently being extended.  The owner is looking for clay ridge tiles to match the ones on the old school.  These are very difficult to come by nowadays so if anyone has a few lying around get in touch.

Drawing From The Past - Archaeology Week In Caithness
Thursday 17 October 6.30pm-8.00pm.  A look at a collection from the Scottish Architects’ Papers Preservation Project held in the North Highland Archive. Wick Assembly Rooms, Wick. Siobhan McConnachie, RCAHMS

Banniskirk Mains Farm
Banniskirk Farm has an elevated position with commanding views of the surrounding countryside.  It sits at the end of a single track road almost at the top of the hill.  There is no through road and traffic is mostly only to the few houses along the roadside.

Murkle From The Air
Another of our views of Caithness from the air.  this one is in our coastal gallery.  Other views from the air can be found in the main Aerial Index page.  Martin Lawrence who supplied many of the views from the air writes books for yachtsmen 

Wick High 1975 Reunion - Invitation Letter
The date is set for 1 August 2003.  Class of 75 folk are asked to get in touch with the organisers as soon as possible to ensure another great night.

Orcadian Stone Company
On the main road in Golspie is one of the most fascinating and indeed largest collections of rocks and minerals in Scotland.  A lifetime's collection and a shop sit side by side.  Well worth a visit next time you are in Golspie.

Swartigill Burn Walk
Part of Archaeology Week saw a group walk up the Swartigill Burn to see a previously unrecorded "WAG" now another listed National monument from this year.   The area is almost wholly unexplored and more is probably waiting to be found.

Miller Street, Wick - New Gallery
More pictures of Miller Street in a new gallery as we begin to capture more of the Pulteneytown area of Wick before any work on the possible multi-million project to restore Telford's original plan for the area.

If You Can't Get Your Paper Remember Your Sunday News On Caithness.Org
Starting with Scotland On Sunday news feeds we will be adding more links to Sunday papers as we find them.  Remember there are now over 300 news feeds coming into Caithness.Org updating 24hhours a day and covering ever more topics.

Burn Street, Wick
Burn Street is in the Pulteneytown area of Wick and runs right down to the harbour.  The harbour end has derelict buildings whilst the other end has completely new housing and some small businesses.  In the middle is the Wick swimming's improving.

New Music Links Section
Since the scrapping of the old music section several folk have asked what happened to the music links section they used.  Well now we are putting it back with even more links.  We are still looking for more local band pictures so if you have a picture of a local band send it in to go into a new gallery section.

916 Caithness Businesses Now In Caithness Business Index
24 hours a day 7 days a week all year round you can find a business in our Business directory.  But there is more to it than just the contact details.  Postcodes are clickable to open a map to make it easy to find where they are, fax numbers are clickable to allow you to send a fax to a business via your email and nearly 200 businesses so far have links to their own web sites.  Job ads are FREE to advertisers and the property section offers low cost ads for property in the county (one payment keeps the ad in until the house is sold - no repeat fees).  For businesses the banner ads are extremely cost effective.

Walk Up Swartigill Burn - Yarrows Heritage Trust
Sunday 13 October 10.00 - 12 Noon.   Meet At Thrumster church car park
A chance to see and hear about the new archaeological discoveries of this unusual area.

Portskerra From The Air
Adding to our recent Portskerra pictures in the growing Sutherland section

National Poetry Day - Caithness Style
The venue was the ever popular Blackstairs Lounge in wick.  The event was a night to celebrate National Poetry Day.  An evening of entertainment included lots of poetry by local poets and singing by local musicians including Addie Harper.  Readers included Tom Bryan who also played the harmonica  - Jenny Stewart and Gail Macdonald who has her own book of poetry coming out soon.

Duncansby From The Air
See the lighthouse, stacks and cliffs from a plane in this picture.
Duncansby Main Section

Wick Girls Group - Latest Programme
October - December
All girls' who attend Wick High School are welcome.  Meets at the Community Education Centre, Ackergill Street, Wick.  Thursdays 7-9pm   Admission 50p

Spittal Quarry - A & D Sutherland Get A New Entrance
If you are new to the area then you might be forgiven for drivng past the entrance to A & D Sutherland - Spittal Quarry but no longer.  A fine set of new walls and stone signs now mark the entrance to the quarry where fine Caithness flagstone is still extracted.

Spittal School

Are You Listening To Radio On Your PC Yet?
Just a few more suggestions in our ever growing links section

Bilbster And Stirkoke War Memorial
Another war memorial of which there are many in Caithness. 

Gaelic Declaration
A call for the Scottish Executive to safeguard the future of the Gaelic language and culture was made today (Wednesday) by a delegation from The Highland Council. The delegation met Mike Watson, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport with responsibility for Gaelic in Edinburgh to hand over a declaration supported by business leaders and major agencies operating in Scotland, as well as hundreds of individuals including Sir Sean Connery and Sir Magnus Magnusson.

Barrock Mains Farm
Barrock Mains Farm is a modern farm in methods and organisation but has all the mid nineteenth century farm buildings all round.  The buildings are different from most found in Caithness and unusually also have three dovecotes in the walls of the buildings and barns.

The Highland Council is inviting comments from the public on its proposal to increase taxi fares throughout the Highlands by an average of 10%, with effect from Monday 9 December.  The Council has a statutory duty to review the taxi tariff every 18 months. In recommending an increase, it recognises that Highland fares are among the lowest in the United Kingdom.

Thurso Venue for Telephone Bidding In Highland Hospice Biggest Ever Event
Thurso Boys Brigade Hall is one of the venues for telephone bidding in Highland Hospice's biggest ever fund raising event which takes place on Saturday 2nd November 2002, from 7pm-midnight at the Newton Hotel, Nairn.  Taking the form of a ceilidh and auction with some very valuable items up for the highest bidder.

Sunday Papers News - Head For Caithness.Org
Possibly more newspapers are sold on Sunday than any other day of the week in Scotland.  But what if you are away or could not get the paper.  Well now just click onto Caithness.Org for your Sunday Paper with headlines linking to Scotland on Sunday Newspaper.  Just click the Sunday News  link at the top of the page.

Scotsman Farming & Food News Now Running In Caithness.Org Farming Section
Our new farming section has just had the Scotsman News Headlines on Farming and Food added to the new faming section.  These headlines update daily for you to get the latest Scottish and UK farming news direct from the Scotsman newspaper on Caithness.Org.

Murkle School
The old school -now a private house - is attached to the village hall and is on the road between Castletown and Thurso.

Signs Ups For Interest In Broadband Still Too Low
The number of people signing up for more information and to say they are interested in Broadband is presently way below what BT wants to begin looking at upgrading exchanges in Thurso.  Only 44 people in the Wick exchange and 71 in the Thurso exchange have so far signed up as interested.  If you are interested in getting more information you can help get things moving by signing up at the BT Broadband site.

The Wide Open Spaces Of Murkle
Another small farming community lives around the Murkle area with a scattering of new andolder houses for retired people and folk working in other parts of the county.  Superb views to the coast and across the fields inland. It is a short walk or drive to the coast for views of the Pentland Firth.  It's on the road between Castletown and Thurso.

Even More News On Caithness.Org With The Scotsman Daily
Now even more Scottish News feeding into Caithness.Org and this time they are direct from Scotsman Newspaper.  The Scotsman's headlines will appear in our news sections for you to scan or open in a new window to get the latest Scottish News Stories alongside our Caithness items.  And there's more ...  check out Music Headlines in the Caithness.Org Music Section and more Movie News

Wick High 1975 Reunion Gets Ready For 2003
Just getting the planning going and if you want more information then contact details are on the new section set up to run until the reunion.  Why not send in your old school pictures for this section to remind everyone of those school days.

Miller Academy 1960 Picture L
Stewart Jamieson Sends Some Names

From The History of Caithness by J T Calder.  A fairly mundane listing of titles and who left what to whom.  It has some old language and abbreviations that take a bit of understanding but if you persevere you will manage some of them. Perhaps someone will one day supply an up to date version for faster reading.

Windy In Caithness Today
Late this afternoon the wind was increasing and letting us know that summer was definitely over.  Strong winds were beginning to whip the waves up in Wick Bay pushing in against the harbour walls.

Lyth - Another Old School
Lyth School is now the Lyth Arts Centre

Farming - Mart Reports
Bringing the latest Caithness Farming Market Reports commencing today with the Special Sale from Aberdeen and Northern Marts at Quoybrae where 23 cattle and 686 sheep were sold.  Top gross price was £712.95 for a 735kg Charolais cross from M & E Munro, Upper Milton Farm, Wick.

Scorrie Internet Launches New Lewis Music Press Web Site
A completely new music web site for Andrew Duncan former Tuba player with Halle orchestra who now lives in Lewis.  The new web site offers samples of the scores for sale and samples of music to listen to before deciding to buy.  The site is designed to grow as Andy decides to add more of his arrangements.  In addition to arranging Andy undertakes commissions and has recently been heavily involved in brass arrangements for Warner Brothers.  The new site has many features and new work will be added regularly including early in 2003 classic cartoon music from Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera.

More Support For Sensory Needs In Highland
The Highland Council has agreed a range of proposals to further develop community services offered to people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or deafblind.  Caithness Councellor David Flear - Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee for Action in Community Care was with  Sandy Riddell, Head of Operations, Social Work Services, Cllr Olwyn MacDonald, Vice Chair of Housing & Social Work Committee and Chair of the Co-ordinating Sub-Committee on Services for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and John Gill, Team Manager for Deaf Services.  Highland services are based in Dingwall.

Lyth Burn
The Lyth Burn flows into the Loch of Wester the water from which flows out to Sinclairs Bay

New Picture Gallery For Wester

Highland Pupils Go To The Polls
Pupils from the 28 secondary schools in the Highlands go to the polls this week to elect 75 representatives to the new Highland Youth Voice, the youth parliament for the Highlands.  Voting takes place until Thursday and results will be announced on Friday. Pupils can choose to either vote on-line  or cast their vote in the more traditional method, by putting an X on to a ballot slip.  15,000 passwords have been given out for the voting web site.

Lure Of the Highlands And Islands As IT Firm Trades London for Lewis
An increasing number of IT firms are heading for the north of Scotland for quality of life offering jobs to educated and motivated staff.  A high-tech computer consultancy business is trading the big city for island life.  Enterprise Management Consulting (EMC) Ltd already has a London office but is setting up a base on Lewis with a view to creating at least five new jobs in the first instance.

Bogus Telephone Calls Trying To Get Bank Details
Police are warning that a number of people in the Lochaber area have received calls from someone trying to obtain their bank details offering free credit reference checks or a mobile phone.  Wherever you are don't fall for anyone offering something to get your banking or credit card details.   Ask for a number to call them back and then tell the police.

Castletown Drill Hall
The name of this village hall denotes its military start in life and is perhaps reflected in its style with two turrets and conical rooftops

Farm Market Buildings In Caithness
Another addition in our new farming section will be an increasing range of photo galleries so show many aspects of this important industry well known for its high quality animals and crops down the centuries right up tot he present day.

Farm Machinery In Caithness
Another farming gallery where pictures of the wide variety of equipment and tractors used in Caithness will go.  there is a wide variety of machinery at use and later we will set up a gallery for older agricultural machinery that many people have kept or restored.  Send your pictures for the gallery.

Murkle Village Hall
First into the new Village Hall Picture Gallery is Murkle Village Hall.  Other pictures will now begin to appear in the latest gallery.  If your village hall has any events that need advertised then email them in or enter them in the What's On section - Its FREE

Brabster Castle Pictures
another set of pictures from one of the castles in Caithness that is not situated on the coast.  The castle has superb views across Caithness.  From here people living in it could see all the way to the coast and across the county into Sutherland.  Little is left of the building and part of what is there is later than the castle period.   The pictures let you see what is there from all sides.

Nearly At John O'Groats And He Will Walk All The Way To Lands End
They arrive at John O'Groats almost every week - people raising money for charity having walked, cycled and other obscure methods from Lands End.  But Bernard Tomkin is going to walk all the way back again by the end of November. He has already raised over £6000 for the Queen's Jubilee charity and hopes to make a lot more on the way back.  He will take a short hop on Monday over to Orkney and then back over to begin the return walk.  So far his feet are in good shape with no blisters.  He is retired and has thoroughly enjoyed his walking especially in Scotland where he says he has had great treatment along the route.

Brabster School
Another old school from Brabster inland from Canisbay and near the old Brabster Castle.

Highlands Showing The Way As Scotland Cracks Down On Credit Card Fraud
One year after it was introduced in the Highlands the introduction of requesting Thumbprints with credit cards has dramatically reduced credit card fraud in areas where it has been trialled.  Many other parts of Scotland are now introducing the scheme.  As a result of the success handbag theft has also had a huge reduction.

Kevin McLeod - Latest Enquiry Enquiry Ends With No Further Action
Statement Issued by Ian Latimer Chief Constable Northern Constabulary

North School - Cup Winners
This picture of the North School Football Cup Winning Team has been sent in for the 1966 Wick High Reunion being organised for 2004.  Still plenty of time for more pictures that we will add to the Schooldays section and link to the reunion pages at the same time.

Donald Campbell Shaves Beard For Renal Unit
Donald Campbell a driver with D Steven & Sons parted company with his beard that has been with him since 1980.  It was all in a good cause and he has raised sponsorship of nearly £1400 by today and looks likely to top £1500.  The funds are in aid of equipment for the new renal unit now being built at Caithness General Hospital.  Amanda Steven of "Streaks Ahead" hairdressers in Wick helped do the deed.   Well Done Donald and probably the most expensive beard in Caithness has gone.

Crossroads Care Attendant Scheme - Wick And East Caithness
Crossroads began opening an office two mornings a week in June at the Caithness Deaf Care offices for advice and assistance to carers but although a few phone calls have been received no on has as yet called at the office.  If you know a carer who might need some assistance with a friend or relative then let them know Crossroads Care may be able to help them.  See Crossroads page for more information.  Crossroads is a voluntary organisation that uses trained volunteers to offer respite care.

Yarrows Heritage Gets In On Highland Archaeology Week
Yarrows Trust are doing two walks during HAW - Both on Sun. 13th October -
10 a.m. Swartigill Burn (New discoveries) and afternoon  2:00 p.m. - Sarclet Harbour and village
At the end of November the trust will run a St Andrews Night fundraiser

Scrabster Pier Latest Pictures

Pulteneytown People's Project Inaugural Meeting
The steering group has done its work and prepared a constitution for the first meeting.  this may be the inaugural meeting but the group have already done a lot over the summer organising a holiday club, area clean ups and landscaping with help from contractors Millers.   Now residents can have their chance to say Yes or No to the various ideas the new constitution that will form the basis of the new organisation.

Dounreay Staff Volunteer for Path Improvements At Thurso River
Staff from Dounreay have been assisting again in a British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) Project at the Thurso River.  There were 18 staff from all areas of the Dounreay site in total, split between the Thursday and Friday.  It took two full days to achieve their target using the materials provided, although they finished slightly sooner on the Friday due to all their hard work over the two days.

More From Above The  Caithness Coast - Harrow  and Thurso
More pictures from Martin Lawrence who uses the photographs for his books on the coast for yachtsmen.  Martin Lawrence writes books for yachtsmen and a couple are now in the sea section of the bookshop.

Police Warning On High Pressure Sale Persons
This warning comes from Easter Ross and regards targeting of elderly people by sales people using pressure tactics.

Caithness Nerve Centre Highlights Stroke Awareness Week
Are you high in risk factors.  Check out what you can do at the Neurological Group's web site

Pennyland School, Thurso

Gills From The Air
Gills is becoming increasingly well known since the new ferry company Pentland Ferries started using the pier.  Here are a few more pictures from above

New Handy Person Scheme For Caithness
Dennis To Fix It For Caithness Elderly & Disabled
Elderly and disabled people in Caithness will soon be able to call in a specialist - Dennis Simpson -  to tackle small repair jobs in their homes, thanks to a joint initiative by Pentland Housing Association and Caithness Community Care Forum.  From November 2002 a mobile handyperson will available to fix the sort of non-emergency household jobs that are normally left to residents, but have become too difficult for the elderly or disabled.

There Is More To Wick Youth Club Than You Might Think
Wick Youth Club has a tremendous range of activities going on in its club house.  They have play groups and badminton and groups meeting there during the day whilst at weekends and evenings young folk take part in a range of activities and groups.  They even offer access to the Internet on five computers to young folk and the public through a Scottish Executive scheme to extend access.  You might be surprised at all the activities now on offer.

National Census Results - Highland Population Bucks Scottish Downward Trend
The tables below shows that Highland's population in June 2001 was 208,920, 51% of which were female and 49% male. The population of Scotland was 5,064,200, of which 52% were female and 48% male. Overall, population has increased in Highland by 2.4% since 1991. This is in contrast to the national picture which saw a fall in population between 1991 and 2001 of 0.8%.

Business Workshops In Caithness
Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise has organised a series of Business workshops covering several aspects of business for anyone considering setting up or already in business.  The workshops are FREE and commence on 16 October with "Pricing For Profit."

Haster - All Round

Milton - Just Outside Wick
Taking a look at what was beneath the sunset from the other night.  Milton is about a mile from Wick on the road to Thurso.  It lies at the foot of Stemster Hill that has several springs one of which ends at a well known well  - Weirs Well that has apparently never run dry to this day.

Council Tax Benefit Claims Checks
A new system is being introduced in all Highland Council Housing and Council Tax Benefit and second adult rebate application procedures to help ensure that benefit claims are accurate and reduce overpayments.

Two Communities Differ On Highland Woodland Take-Overs
Two communities in Highland have taken different decisions regarding community ownership of woodlands in their areas.    Highlands and Islands Enterprise has agreed to support the proposed community purchase of the Sanquhar Woodlands in Forres whilst A proposal for a community purchase of the 60 hectare Distillery Wood at Tomatin near Inverness, will now not go ahead following a ballot of the local community.

Caithness Waybaggers Group - Walking In Strath Brora
The Waybaggers took another walk through another beautiful part of Sutherland when they walked Strath Brora through woods and open moorland.  They visited the Carrol Broch and were delighted with the stunning views of Loch Brora and the Gordonbush Estate.  Remember if heading into these places that they are amongst the most deserted places in Europe.  Tell someone where you are going and go prepared at any time of the year.

Farewell To The St Ola Ferry On Her Last Trip
At just after 6.00pm the MV ‘St Ola’ slipped from her moorings for the last time, before heading for Leith and then on to her new home in Estonia. As the vessel left the skipper thanked those who turned up to bid the vessel farewell, and said that even though the ‘St Ola’ won’t be back, much of the crew would be, though in a different guise.  Well-wishers waved the vessel away as her fog horns signalled the end of an era at Scrabster, the Pentland Firth and Stromness.  The ’St Ola’ was dressed for the occasion and was escorted out into Thurso Bay for the last time by the Thurso Lifeboat, whilst a lone piper played a farewell from the end of the ‘Ola Quay’.    The St Clair and St Sunniva ferries for Orkney and Shetland have also ceased as the new company Northlink takes over the routes

Trio Join The Board Of Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise (CASE)
Three new directors have been appointed to the board of Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE).  They are Colin Gregory, John Campbell and Ian Richards.

Visitor Numbers Surge in September
Hits 4,516,336   Pages 1,293,948   Visitors 85,568
Daily Average - Hits 150,5445   Pages 43,131  Visitors  2852 
Visitor numbers were up again with a rise of 8.5% over August.  The average daily hit rate was up whilst the page views were down by 200 per day to 43,131.   Visitor numbers are up 38% from August 2001.  If the trend continues will clock up over a million visits in the next 12 months looking at over 15 million pages with an annual hit rate of over 50 million.  Thanks to everyone who has looked in and to all our contributors.


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