News Archive - August 2003

More Landings At Wick

Beaker Pottery Discovered At Battlemoss
The excavation has now drawn to a close and the last few days were taken up with the final recording and back filling of the trenches over the stone rows, and the continued investigation of the cairn. The large slab identified in the central area of the cairn (the putative cist) was lifted on Tuesday afternoon, and revealed no immediate evidence for a stone-lined cist or further burials. Whilst digging through the upper layers of material filling the centre of the cairn a large quantity of pottery was revealed, which ensured another late night on site! This looks to be Beaker pottery, belonging to the earliest phases of the Bronze Age, and may be older than the pottery found elsewhere in the monument.

The first tenants of the newly refurbished accommodation at Forss Business and Technology Park have completed the three-mile journey from Dounreay.  Staff from the Major Projects Engineering Division, UKAEA have begun to populate the former derelict Naval Base at Forss bringing it back to life.

Caithness Car Club Time Trials At Dounreay Today
Caithness Car Club held the first Time Trials they have organised at Dounreay on Sunday.  Despite a very low key advertising a large crowd turned out and many more entrants than expected.   the runway at Dounreay was used as drivers and bikers set out to show how fast they could drive over a quarter mile run.  Electronic timers relayed the times back to the crowd.  Unfortunately the day was marred by an accident when a motor cyclist came off.  We have not heard the outcome of the accident.  Ambulance men were on duty at the scene and dealing with the casualty in seconds.

Ex Thurso Boy Starts School In Edinburgh
Connor Chalmers son of Christopher and Lorraine Chalmers (nee Stewart) started school at Longstone Primary in Edinburgh.  Connor used to lived in Thurso.  Good Luck at the new school Connor.  Longstone Primary School Web Site

Marymas Fair At Dunnet

Marymas Fair At Dunnet

Marymas Fair At Dunnet

Marymas Fair At Dunnet

Sheepdog Demonstration By Scottish Champion At Marymas Fair
Caithness Farmer Michael Shearer shows Why he is Scottish Sheepdog Handling Champion

Berriedale Views - A Couple Of Days Ago

Make A Difference Day Scotland - Saturday 25 October
Individuals, groups, organisations, schools, colleges and universities can plan events, no matter how big or small, to have a positive impact on their community. Free Action Packs are sent after register with easy to follow instructions to help support your Make a Difference Day activity.  For more information call 0800 284 533 or register online at CSV. Find This info later in Volunteering in Caithness

Putting People In the Picture
This is a new pack from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).  The pack has been placed on a new web site and is useful for voluntary groups and others thinking about training and development of volunteers within their organisation.  With distances being a problem in the Highlands this is a very useful pack for groups or leaders looking to attract and motivate volunteers.

New Environmental Web Site To Assist Voluntary Sector
Equip Scotland is a new community resource for the voluntary sector within Scotland. Through this portal we aim to promote the reuse of materials and resources throughout Scotland in a bid to increase recycling, reuse and community sustainability.

North School, Wick New Primary One
Thanks to Duncan Robertson for taking this photo and Anna Rogalski for sending it in for the web site.  If anyone from the other primary schools has a class photo for inclusion just email it to   If you would like us to come out to take a class photo just get in touch and we will arrange a time to visit the school.

Assipattle - A Cast Of 400 On The Streets Of Wick
400 participants from all over the county and much much more will line the streets of Wick on the 19th September.  Activities at the Edinburgh Festival may be coming to an end but they are just beginning in Caithness. Excitement grows as the myth of 'Assipattle' uncovers a piece of Caithness history.

Farming News Headlines Increased
If you want local farming information and Scottish farming news from the Scotsman then head for our Farming Section where we have just increased the number of incoming stories updating daily

More Pictures From Caithness Cyclist David Smith's Great Win In Wales

Job Links At Caithness.Org Just Keep Getting Bigger
Whether you are looking for a job in Caithness or other areas check our ever expanding Job Links section.
Employers remember you can still get your job ads on Caithness.Org for FREE by sending in details

Heading For Dundee Or Angus? - Check Out These Walks

Scottish Women's Guilds Conference This Weekend In Glasgow
Amongst other items the guild members will be looking at items to watch over the next three years including  - look deeper into the issues affecting organisations working with folk with learning disabilities; those in prison; families of drug users; and poverty at home and abroad.

Tickets for the food and drink extravaganza of the year - 'Ainsley at Dunrobin' - are on sale and organisers are encouraging galloping gourmets to get their tickets fast to avoid disappointment.  Celebrity chef, Ainsley Harriot - star of television programmes such as 'Ready, Steady Cook' and 'Ainsley's Meals in Minutes' - is going to be cooking up a storm at Dunrobin Castle, Golspie on Thursday 2nd October.

30th & 31st August 2003 Want to take part?  Then grab your binoculars and head for the coast!
Times etc inside.

Latest Mart Prices From Quoybrae
Caithness Livestock Centre - Aberdeen & Northern Marts sold 1480 store lambs from the Bettyhill and Dunbeath areas at Quoybrae

Over 6,000 pupils in 7 primary and 10 secondary schools throughout Highland went back to school this term with the option of having a healthy start to their day at 8 newly established and 9 existing breakfast clubs that have secured funding from the Scottish Executive.  As part of the government’s commitment to improving diet for the country’s population, the Scottish Executive in partnership with the Scottish Community Food Foundation has provided funding in the form of a one off grant to local authorities throughout Scotland.  New Breakfast Clubs in Caithness are in Wick High, Thurso High South School and North Schools.

Knotty Injury Man Released From Hospital With Strained Ligaments
The man injured at the Knotty championships was released with severely strained ligaments in his back.   Anyone entering next year should take a few minutes to warm up. 

Timespan - Latest Exhibition At Helmsdale
31 August to 12 September - East Sutherland Art Society paintings, pottery and woodwork Stuart Boyd : Liz Eales : Jane Harlington : Cyril Reed Vic Rose : Gerald Short : Bonnie Vittery : Ann Worthy opening reception Sunday 31 August from 2pm all welcome

Caithness Cyclist David Smith Wins Biggest Junior Road Race In Britain
Helping Scotland To Win the Team Race.  The Junior Tour of Wales was won in dramatic style by David Smith from Dunnet, Caithness. The three day race over 5 stages in south Wales is the most prestigious road race for 16 -18 year old riders in Britain, and is the one every aspiring rider wants to win.  Helped by superb support from his three team mates, Sean Newington, Bruce Edgar and Bruce Wallace, David took the overall lead, within the final 20 miles of the race.  The result was far from secure however because the ultimate test was still to come ­ the 3 mile climb up The Tumble Hill, arguably one of the hardest tests on the racing calendar.

Pentland United Annual Youth Football Tournament
Pentland United held their annual youth football tournament on Sunday, with 24 teams taking place in the three age groups, from Canisbay, Castletown, Halkirk, Lybster, Thurso Pentland, Thurso Swifts, Thurso Youth Club and Wick East End. The winning teams were: Under 8. Thurso Youth Club, Under 10. Thurso Swifts, Under 12. Thurso Pentland

Surf Championships - Caithness 27th- 28th September 2003
The British professional surfing association are holding the Headworx Scottish BPSA Open at Thurso East scheduled from the 27th- 28th September 2003. The event will include some of the finest surfers in Britain competing against each other. If the event is not able to take place at Thurso East(due to swell conditions) then the event will be moved to the location of Brims Ness.  All spectators locally are welcome.

Ormlie Meeting To Show Summer Workshops
On Thursday 28 August 2003 at 7.30 pm OCA will be holding an open meeting for residents and interested parties to come along and see a powerpoint presentation of the Ormlie Summer Workshops and PlayZone Day.

Mike Clark Gets Caithness Noticed in "Living History" Magazine
Mike Clark who writes our "Gardening With Attitude" section regularly has articles in publications and the August issue of Living History has an item on Caithness.  Mike tells readers about his favourite places including the Castle of Mey and the harbour at Castlehill among others.

The Green Machine Means Calmer Kids
There are healthy options for school vending machines that have none of the doubtful additives and e numbers that may be causing problems for some children.  Has your school got a policy about what is in the school or college vending machine.  The Green Machine, created by the Organic and Natural Food Company, is the first healthy food and drink vending machine for schools. Introduced in January, it’s been a massive hit - with children and parents wanting more. The Green Machine offers a wide range of healthier snacks and drinks, with no artificial additives, colourings or flavours.

Bat Nights
Learn about how the midge munchers catch prey & navigate through the dark.  2 - 5 September at various locations.

UKAEA Annual Review 2002/03 Just Out
The Review contains a month-by-month summary of UKAEA’s key achievements across all areas of its environmental restoration and fusion research activities.  The review is in Pdf format.

Toddlers in Caithness will soon be getting an extra 1st birthday present from NHS Highland and The Highland Council.  As children born in the area from last August reach one year old, each family will receive a free copy of the play @ home toddler booklet.  The easy-to-use guide has hundreds of ideas for active games that are fun to play and help children's development.   The booklet also includes advice on infant massage techniques, recipes for play materials, songs and rhymes.  To mark the occasion, toddlers and their families, together with representatives from NHS Highland and The Highland Council held a birthday celebration at Wick Medical Centre earlier today.

Latest Report From the Battlemoss Archeological Dig At Yarrows
Still time to take a look at this site before the team begin to cover it all up again on Thursday - perhaps for another 2000 years.

Return To Scalesburn
The last set of pictures of this street were taken in autumn of 2002 so here are some from a a summer's evening. The lower end of the street has a great view of the harbour area.

Caithness Heritage Fair
The Caithness Heritage Fair has a limited number of stands available for the event that takes place on 4th and 5th October.  Check the page for more details or contact the organisers if you or your group have something that would be of interest.

Proposals for the most comprehensive overhaul of Scotland's licensing laws in over 25 years have been published by the Scottish Executive.  The report of the Nicholson Committee recommends an entirely new Licensing Act for Scotland, including new 'licensing principles'.

Decommissioning of the former experimental reactor establishment at Dounreay has taken another important step forward with the green light to empty a series of tanks containing a legacy of radioactive liquid waste from the site's reprocessing era.  The liquid will be transferred from underground storage tanks to a modern treatment plant where it will be mixed with cement and set inside 500-litre drums.  It is expected to take 10-15 years to empty and solidify the contents of all the tanks. The contents - an acidic liquor containing fission products - were created by the chemical separation of irradiated reactor fuel undertaken at Dounreay until 1996.

A Poem by John Coghill (Skinnet, Halkirk)
Made up for the Barrock Public (Lyth) School reunion held on Saturday 23 August

A Drifter's Legacy By Eddie Bruce
Eddie Bruce Once A Driver Of The Mobile Library At Bettyhill Turned short Story Writer.   A Link A Lifeline A Launch.  The collection of short stories just published includes two tales set in the Bettyhill area.  Click through to the Drifter's Legacy web site and you can read a couple of the stories before you decide to buy - a gift from Eddie for days remembered even if you do not wish the whole book.  A review of the work has been provided by Dione M. Coumbe.

Wick Girls Group Latest Activity Programme
The latest activity programme is now out.  Unfortunately due to the increasing popularity of the group they cannot take any new members at present.  The group are keeping a waiting list so potential members can put their name down.

Wick Fifty Plus
This recently formed group has set up its programme of events for the coming months.

Barrock Public School At Lyth  - Last Night's Reunion Pictures

Directory Enquiries - The End Of 192 Saturday - The Start of 118 Sunday
Bookmark this web site now if you want to check which of the new services is cheapest or best suited to your needs.  there are many new numbers offering directory services about to explode into our lives.  They are not all the same and their charges vary considerably so it will pay to check out one you want to use.  Save money by keeping a note of all numbers you are likely to use regularly and remember in Caithness an increasing number of local businesses can be found in our Caithness Business Index
And watch calls to Directory enquiries on your mobile as some companies are charging up to £2.50 per call.  OUCH.   Read More And Be Wary Who You Call For Phone Numbers

Thurso Horticultural Show 2003

Staxigoe Sea Angling Competition Is A Huge Success
The Staxigoe Harbour committee organised the sea angling competition that turned out to be highly successful.  With competitions for biggest fish and highest weight of catch from both rocks and boats.  the boats that put out to sea from the harbour were rewarded with the highest catches anyone could remember fishing in just two hours.  Two boats in particular were catching fish as fast as they could rebait the hooks with the winner pulling in over 130 fish - mainly mackerel in the time allowed.

Exciting Finds At The Battlemoss Archaeological Dig At Yarrows  - Open Day
A cairn near the stone rows the main reason for the archaeological dig has revealed pottery pieces believed to have been burial urns containing human remains surrounding at least one kist.   A kist will be opened on Monday to see what it contains.  The team leave on Thursday but are happy to see more visitors on Monday to Wednesday.  This may be the last chance to see a Caithness stone row revealed to its foundations for many years to come.  the site will be returned to its original state on Thursday.

Knotty Player Hurts Back - Taken To Caithness General 24 August
One of the players hurt his back during one of the games .  the lifeboat crew attended having just arrived in the harbour before the ambulance arrived to take the player to Caithness General.  We have not heard how he got on as yet.

World Knotty Day Pics

World Knotty Day Pics

World Knotty At Lybster Harbour Lifeboat Day
Four ladies teams entered this year for the World Knotty championships at Lybster.  knotty is the ancient games designed to keep the fishermen at Lybster occupied and out of the pub when bad weather kept them in port.  A fast moving cross between hockey and shinty played originally with barrel staves and a cork float.  The cork float still in play but the barrel staves have to be replaced with close replicas made locally.  A fun day out at the at Lybster harbour with visits from the Lifeboat, Isabella Fortuna the last Fifie from Wick the North highland Junior Pipe Band, Visiting Yachts from all over the place. Another fun day out was had by all.

Knotty Day Pictures 13 - 24

Thurso Bay Raft Race
In a repeat of last years result ‘Final Fling’ finished just ahead of ‘Wick Fire Brigade’ to clinch the Glass Creations trophy in a time of 22 min. 18sec.  Third were ‘Trashy Women’ who received a 6 minute penalty for having fixed oars with ‘Hot Property’ running in fourth place.  ‘Out of Control’ could not manage to equal last years third place coming in fifth, ahead of the ‘Pirates of Pentland’ who took the wooden spoon in a time of 1hr. 7min. 42sec.

New Telephone Boxes Links Section
Along with another addition to our growing Caithness Telephone Boxes pictures we have now added a links list where amongst other things you can find out all about the history of the telephone boxes and what types they all are and if you keep digging exactly where you can still buy one.  Once you start into the links the detail on this subject is mind boggling.  Is your Caithness village the latest one added?

Latheron - Another Old School
Old Caithness Schools Index

Newtonhill Woodland, Wick Is Awarded £45,000 For Paths Upgrade
Grant Aid For Communities Affected By Quarrying.  More than £550,000 in grants is to be paid out to 24 community projects addressing the environmental impact of quarrying in local areas.   Newtonhill Woodland, Wick is one of the beneficiaries to the tune of £45,000.  The old quarry was until a few years ago one of the county dumps for household waste. 

Kessock Bridge, Inverness - The Way North

Latheron Post Office
Latheron Post Office pictures first in our new picture gallery for Latheron.

Keep Fit Classes Getting Started For Winter

Beverley Sarstedt Dance Classes Restarting After The Summer Break
These very popular dance classes are back on 25 August.  Due to increased demand Beverley has set up additional classes for Ballet  - Preliminary 1 5.00 - 5.30pm.  This will be followed by a Ladies Tap Dance Class 5.45 - 6.45pm increasingly popular for keeping fit.  Contact Beverley 01847 892983 to book a place or for more details

Exercise  - Major Incident - "Red Tide" At Wick Airport and Staxigoe
Setting The Scene.  On Thursday evening one of the biggest exercises involving all of the emergency services, volunteers from Red Cross and the Caithness General Hospital took place.   The exercise involved an imaginary plane crash following its engines being on fire trying to land at Wick airport and crashing at Staxigoe.  Apart from the plane which had survivors and dead strewn across the area the plane was also supposed to have hit a car causing injuries and trapping the driver.  Casualties were dealt with at the scene and moved into the emergency centre at the village hall and then to Caithness General with a wide variety of injuries that might have happened.  The exercise was deemed to be a great success with only minor points requiring to amend the standing instructions of the services involved suggested at the debriefing afterwards.  About 130 people were involved in the exercise.

Pictures From The Exercise "Red Tide" 

Always Expect The Unexpected - A Real Emergency Happens During The Exercise
One of the volunteers suffered an angina attack for real as the exercise got underway.  Medical personnel and ambulance men at the scene were immediately alerted and dealt efficiently with the person who was taken to hospital.  the ambulance then returned to rejoin the exercise that continued all over the harbour area.

In On And Around The Knockinnon Castle Site

Boultach - Along The Road From Smerral
To reach Boultach drive from Latheronwheel via Smerral or come in on the Causewaymire road and head for Boultach before driving on to Smerral.  A scattered crofting/farming community where sheep are much in evidence.  The area is covered in abandoned houses from earlier days.  It is quite possible for people to find their ancestors houses now derelict or being used as out buildings by the local farmer.

Daily Crossword Links
Now you can print out a crossword every day via our links section.  Answers appear on the Scotsman web site next day.  Want to cheat then pick the day before and look up the answers on today's page.

Gold Panning At Strath Of Kildonan
Try your luck, & perhaps make your fortune, by finding gold & semi precious stones up the Strath of Kildonan! There will also be a chance to find some fossils during a beach visit in the afternoon.  Transport, equipment will be provided Cost £3/person.  Take welly boots, outdoor clothing & packed lunch.  BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL   Phone 01955607758 to book or for more details

Landing At Wick
An Eastern Airways Jetstream 41 operating a charter flight to Aberdeen for Ackergill Tower guests.  The Jetstream 41 is a 29 seat commuter aircraft. Eastern Airways scheduled services to Aberdeen are operated by the smaller Jetstream 32 with 19 seats.  Wick Airport has a huge capacity as it was expanded greatly during World War Two.  Despite having two large runways the airport is still under utilised but efforts are being made to increase scheduled flights.  A growing number of planes en route to North America use the airport for the refuelling services which are available.  Helicopters are also a common site for anyone looking skywards around Wick.

‘Bologna Bound!’ - Film Premier By Local Group
The world premiere of the short documentary film ‘Bologna Bound’ is being held at the All Star Factory, Ormlie Road, Thurso, on Wednesday 20th August from 4.45 – 5.45pm.   This film documents the recent visit to the ‘Kids for Kids’ international film festival held in Bologna, Italy, by a group of young people from Thurso whose film ‘Homeward Bound’ was short listed for an award.  An open invitation is extended to all those parties interested in attending.

Surgeries to discuss potential projects, for which the Foundation may be able to provide financial support.
There are surgeries in many parts of Scotland one in Thurso on Wednesday 1 October.   Surgeries are for local recognised charities and are by appointment only.   For a one-to-one session with an assessor, and to discuss how to go about putting in an application to the Foundation call 0870 902 1201 to arrange an appointment.   If your group has a project looking for funding then this may be a source for some of the cash to get it off the ground.  BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW

Two Views Of Thrumster Church In The Pink
The Rosebay Willow Herb that seems to grow on many  pieces of waste ground and is currently along many roadsides in the county gave a splash of colour to Thrumster church.  Great stretches of the plant are currently to be found road between Berriedale and Helmsdale and elsewhere.  Bees seem to love it.

Close Up of Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) in Ken Butler's Plant List

Halkirk FC Junior Football Tournament Winners
Halkirk FC's annual  football tournament was held on Sunday 17 August, with around 50 teams taking part at under seven to under fourteens age groups.  Pictures of the five winning teams inside.  Well done to all who took part.

Pictures From Wick High 1950 - 55 Reunion In Mackays Hotel

Vocational Education Funding Boost For The Highlands
The Scottish Executive, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department has awarded The Highland Council £751,000 in financial year 2003/04 and £505,000 in each of the two successive financial years to deliver a range of Vocational and Enterprise Education initiatives across the north. One interesting development is in Dounreay where, because of the skill shortages, the Council, North Highland College and the three local secondary schools are developing a vocational course for youngsters which will be delivered in school, college and in the work place.".

Next Meeting Of Caithness Quilters
Our next meeting of the Caithness Quilters is a Club Night on Tuesday 26 August 2003 in the British Legion Clubrooms, Thurso at 7.30pm.  Caithness Quilters are running a raffle with the prize of a quilt made by the members based on Caithness Hooses.  Watch out for the tickets or from members at £1

Freswick Castle
Michael Gunn provides some valuable insights into Freswick Castle down the centuries.  From the eleventh century right up to the present day.  The Castle has seen everything from its original viking owners though the period of unrest in Scotland and England and has appeared in many documents.  Most of its secrets are lost but the indications that remain point to its having been an important place thoughout much of Caithness history.  The present building is still in use by the writer and film maker Murray Watts ensuring that the castle continues to take its place in the Caithness landscape.

Scottish Facts And Information
Just over a quarter of adults (26 per cent) say that they gave up time in the previous 12 months to help as a volunteer for a charity, club, campaign or organisation.   Rates of volunteering are highest in remote rural areas (37 per cent) and lowest in large urban areas (23 per cent).   These facts are just two of many from the latest Scottish Household Survey added to our facts page.  From mountains and rivers to links to information on history and the economy.

Battle Moss Update, 16th August 2003
The end of the first week of the dig has allowed us to have a day off and take stock. Progress during the last 7 days has been remarkable, with roughly 150 square metres of trench opened by hand and substantial areas at Battle Moss and elsewhere covered by GPR and magnetometry survey. We have plenty to do over the coming fortnight, but already know a lot about the construction of the stone rows and have added some valuable details to the story of the prehistory of the Yarrows Loch area.

30th & 31st August 2003  Want to take part?  Then grab your binoculars and head for the coast!
Your nearest manned site/s:  Strathy Point (lighthouse) 10.30 am Saturday 30th August.  Gills Bay (Lay-by overlooking bay) 10.30 am Sunday 31st August

Smerral - Near Latheron
A tree lined road leads you into this area teaming with wildlife  - loved by Roe Deer, birds of prey and much more.  The brambles are coming out now in abundance.  This is certainly one of the gems of wooded areas in the county and well worth a walk through.  From the A99 you can drive to the Causeymire road in just a few minutes but much better to get out and walk.

Unemployment Levels Steady In The Far North In July
Overall, the number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland fell from 817 last month to 793. 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): 5.2% (5.6%), 5.4% (5.5%) and 2.9% (2.9%).

Caithness Glass Grant Towards New Glass Making Equipment
Caithness Glass has been awarded a grant of £92,600 towards glass making equipment. 
Caithness Multi Media Ltd has been awarded £20,000 to assist with the development of the business.

Community ASSISTANCE Grants From CASE
The Wick Society are to receive up to £8,350 to assist with the costs of a future planning exercise, while Canisbay & Dunnet Day Care Association are to receive up to £2,144 to assist with the costs of preparing the case for a Day Care Centre.  The Highland Festival received approval of £1,222 to assist with the staging of a drama production/ workshop in Brora, while Caithness Community Projects are to receive £7,000 to assist with the staging of a community drama project in Wick.  Kinlochbervie & Durness Angling Club, are to receive £1,868 to assist with the provision of all-access boats on Loch Croispol, while Loch Clash Boat Club in Kinlochbervie are to be assisted to the tune of £1,841 to enable them to investigate leisure development opportunities at the harbour.

Big Brother Winner Cameron Stout Made It Back To Orkney Via Caithness
Big Brother TV star Cameron Stout finally made it back to Stromness at the weekend.  He took the Hamnavoe ferry back to Orkney.  Cameron looked happy to be heading back home and has already been dubbed the biggest tourist event to hit the Orkney Islands for a while.  Orkney certainly had the biggest number of mentions over the last few months that anyone can recall on national TV.

Constructive Dialogue on Proposed Wick to Glasgow Air Link
Commercial discussions on the introduction of a new air service linking Wick and Glasgow are progressing. Talks between Highlands and Islands Airports Limited and Highland Airways have moved forward in recent weeks and the airline is now finalising its operational and commercial plans for the proposed route. Bob Macleod, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports said: “We continue to work with Highland Airways on this proposed service and have now clarified many of the outstanding issues regarding its operation and priorities.

Air Passenger Growth Continues in Highlands and Islands
The month of July saw strong passenger growth continue at airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports limited.  Passengers across the company’s 10 airports were up 9.9% to 90,285, amounting to almost 8,000 extra air travellers compared to the same month last year.  The running total for the current year starting on 1 April 2003 now stands at 329,915, up by more than 28,000 on 2002-2003.

Thurso Surf School Targets New Shop In Thurso
Thurso Surf School has been doing well since opening on 1st March 2003.  The school is run by Andy Bain and  Natalie Palmer who have combined a passion for surfing with a business idea.  They also sell surf equipment including surf boards, wetsuits and accessories.  The reason they are not a proper surf shop yet is because they are still awaiting premises in Thurso.   But anyone interested in surfing can go along and get advice on what gear to get before they book lessons from the school.  With the fantastic summer on Caithness beaches interest has increased.

Education Minister Peter Peacock Launched The Drive To Increase Gaelic Medium Teachers.  A pioneering new programme for primary English-medium and Gaelic-medium teachers received official recognition on Friday August 15 with the formal launch of a new teacher training programme developed by the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with Highland Council.  This innovative postgraduate programme is the first of its kind in Scotland. The unique programme will allow students from the Highland Council area the opportunity to study the same primary teacher training programme provided by the University of Aberdeen's Faculty of Education whilst working from home using a combination of distance learning techniques.

Thrumster Gala

Keiss Gala Gets Off To A Good Start After Thirteen Years

Bower Gala Pictures

Take Our Picture? - No Problem
They wanted to be on the Internet when they asked to have their picture taken at Bignold Park, Wick today.  Here they are but the problem is they do not have the Internet at home.  If anyone knows who they are let them know they made it.

Wick Academy 2 Fraserburgh 4 At Todays Opening Match Of the Season
Match Report

Caithness Critters Treasure Hunt At Dunnet Forest
Caithness Critters the young nature group run by the Rangers recently has treasure hunt at Dunnet Forest.  The highly popular group often has a waiting list for membership but it may well be worth putting a name on the list as youngsters grow up and move on.  Contact the Ranger Service for further details.
Critters Index

More Pictures Form Wick High 1978 Reunion

Wick Gala - A Few More Pictures

St Callans Church, Rogart, Sutherland

Am Baile - The Gaelic Village
This web site is building into a huge resource in Gaelic and English with sections on culture, people, environment, religion, places, society and economy. Definitely a web site to watch with many resources being prepared for future inclusion.  As the site develops visitors to the site will be able to choose to navigate the site in Gaelic or English, and will have the option of switching language at any time. The full version of the site, which will be launched later in the year, will draw together a variety of unique and previously difficult to access materials, which will allow users to learn about the people, way of life and history of the Highlands and Islands.  The web site has generous funding of £900,000 from the Lottery.  Better be good - for that money we could run never mind which is run on about 900 pence.  But it has a long way to run and has just started  - so good luck to this new resource...... If you thought that was expensive here is another good one for three million quid also lottery funded Arkive - fronted by David Attenborough and all about endangered species.  Great topic and pictures  and er so it should be.........Yipes forget make that for £3 squillion

Bower Cemetery

Portgower, Sutherland - Latest Pictures
Tucked in off the A9 Portgower is a small village created in its present form at the time of the clearance.  The fishing has long ceased but farming is still carried on.  The French factor of the Duke of Sutherland laid out the village in a fashion reminiscent of his homeland making it more of a community than most crofting areas but more of a trek for the crofter to reach his land to work.

Thurso Live Music Association 2003 - 2004
TLMA have lined up a new season of musical experiences for 2003 - 2004.  Tickets can be purchased for each performance but by far the cheapest way is to buy a season ticket allowing entrance to all of the events.  Even if you miss one or two you will still be ahead.  In addition in September ahead of the main season are three extra concerts. 

Latest Pictures From Battlemoss Yarrows Archaeological Investigation
Pictures from the dig yesterday.  work is going well and making excellent progress with trenches opened up and material on the surface removed quite easily due to the dry weather in recent weeks and an excellent turnout of volunteers.  Battlemoss Index

Caithness Galas - Three On One Day
Saturday 16 August sees gala fever breaking out in Caithness with three on one day -
Bower Mini Gala 2003 Saturday 16 August 2003 - Livestock Returns To Bower Show
Thrumster Gala Day Saturday 16 August 2003
Keiss Gala 15 - 17 August 2003 Keiss Gala returns after a gap of thirteen years.

Helmsdale Highland Games
For fans of the Highland Games there is plenty on offer at Helmsdale on Saturday 16 August

HomeAid Clearance Sale
18 August - 13 September and open on Saturdays 12 noon - 5.00pm.  The local charity HomeAid needs to make some space and Furniture of various sorts will be sold at rock bottom prices to clear some space in the premises.  Pick up a bargain in the big sale and help others at the same time.

Orkney Science Festival
The Orkney Science Festival has grown into a highly popular event and the events and topics on offer are as varied as ever and interesting and even entertaining.

Caithness & North Sutherland Children's Choir
Auditions for children in P4 to S2 will be held on the day of the AGM on Monday 25 August 6.00pm at Pennyland Primary School.  The choir can be booked to sing at events ....Tel 01847 896783

Aircraft At Wick Airport
Another new section to let you see the variety of aircraft coming and going at Wick Airport.  Here are a few that have already landed this week. 

Get Ready For Mars Close Encounter
The closest the red planet has ever been to Earth in over 50,000 years happens at the end of August 2003.  Once Again Caithness could be a good place to be for a great view.  You can already start looking for Mars in the night sky with best views likely at the end of the month.   With relatively unpolluted skies from electric lighting the chances of a clear view of the planet the biggest it will ever have been seen will make the north of Scotland one of the best viewpoints in the UK.

Battlemoss, Yarrows Excavation Latest Report
Battlemoss Stone Rows Longer Than Hill O Many Stanes.  Within days of commencing work the archaeologists, students and local volunteers are making discoveries about the nature of the stones at Battlemosss.   Stone shave already been dug round and found to be much larger than previously thought.   Whether they solve the riddle of the stone rows or not much valuable information is being charted about this site at Yarrows.  As we more or less have our very own Time Team at Yarrows why not go out and take a look as the work progresses.  Visitors are welcome and a formal open day will be announced later.

Employment law specialist Alan Lewis of George Davies Solicitors in Manchester is warning businesses to prepare for some significant changes in employment regulations around this time next year.  Statutory dispute resolution proposals in the Employment Act 2002 have reached the consultation stage and are due to come into force in October 2004.

Bumblebees Talk and Search - Interesting Day Out
Caithness Field Club and the Rangers teamed up to search for Bumblebees.  These useful creatures have been in decline for several decades in most parts of the UK but Caithness, Sutherland and the islands still have some of what have become rarer bumblebees.  Many places in the north have not been surveyed to see what species exist there and they are keen to find out.   Some information is presented to show how you can help to save the bumblebee or assist in checking what species are around in different places........

American Cabin Cruiser Passing By Caithness
Not a common site in our waters - an American registered Cabin Cruiser was spotted off Wick harbour overnight

Philippines Chorus - Another Great Night
The Tuesday evening sacred concert drew a large crowd with many returning after Monday experience to enjoy another wonderful concert. 

Sand Sculpture Competition At Dunnet Beach - Great Day

Are You Interested In Fun fitness and Flying - Then Check Out Thurso ATC
The Air Cadets is a National Youth Organisation sponsored by the Royal Air Force. It is open to young people between the ages of 13 and 18.  This is a very active organisation with everything from sports, camps, activity weekends and flying.  Lots more so why not check it out.

Latheron Castle By Michael J Gunn
Michael Gunn fills in another blank in the Caithness Castles section - The name is said to derive from the Gaelic lathair-ròn, meaning 'company of seals' because so many seals congregate on this part of the Caithness coastline. Watson, however, gives the derivation from Norse hlaða, 'a barn'. Its various spellings are Lagheryn, Lairn, Ladroun, Laderoun, Laterne, Lathairn, Latharn, Latherin, Latheroune, Lathrune, Laythryn, Letherin, Lethrin, etc. This small fortress was also once known as 'Harald's Tower' suggesting that it may have been raised by Harald ungi Eiriksson when he was created earl of South Caithness by William the Lion in 1184.

Dounreay Employees Charity Fund Donates £500 To Wick Pipe Band
Dounreay Employees Charity Fund recently donated £500 to the Wick RBLS Pipe Band, towards the cost of upgrading the Pipe Band Hall.  Donald McWilliam of the Dounreay Employees Charity Fund and his daughter, Lauren are seen here presenting the cheque to Pipe Major Alistair Lamont.

EXAM RESULTS HELPLINE - Need Help To Decide What Next?
For thousands of young people across the Highlands and Islands, the long wait to find out the results of their Standard and Higher Grade exams is over.  Many students will want expert advice before choosing their next step. The good news is that help is again at hand through the One Life: Results Exam Helpline.  Callers to the freephone number 0808 100 8000 will be put in touch with Careers Scotland advisers who have access to the latest course vacancies at colleges and universities across the UK.

As the first grouse head for London this morning on the Glorious 12th, staff at Harrods are preparing for the launch of their ten-day Scottish food promotion 'Clearly Caledonian'.  Sylvie Main, a food development manager at Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), took delivery of the freshly shot Balnagowan grouse at Inverness Airport this morning.  HIE and Scottish Enterprise are supporting the event through Scottish Food & Drink.

Battle Moss Excavation Underway 9 - 28 August 2003
The excavation of the stone rows at Battlemoss, Loch of Yarrows, Caithness got underway and we will be following progress with updates from archaeologist Amelia Pannet.  This is the first time a set of stone rows in Caithness has been excavated and may produce a range of information about these intriguing features scattered across the landscape in Caithness and the north.  Archaeologists, Students and volunteers are all busy at Battle Moss but the public are encouraged to visit the site to have a look at what is happening.  Read the diary updates as they are added in coming weeks.

University Of The Philippines Concert Chorus - A Huge Hit In Caithness Once Again
The Rotary Club of Thurso sponsored concert by the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus played to full house at Thurso High School on Monday evening and a further big audience is expected for their second concert to night, Tuesday 12th August.  The Chorus make a welcome return to Thurso after a six year gap.  The choir are one of the World’s best and their Monday performance was ample evidence of their quality.

The Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellow for The Highland Council, Fiona Mackenzie of Dingwall will shortly be teaching Gaelic Songs to teenagers a little further field than usual. She will be participating in this year’s Feis an Eilein, on Christmas Island, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  Fiona has been invited by the Highland Village on Iona, Nova Scotia to teach at their Annual August Gaelic programme, ‘Eilean nan Og’ and also to present a song lecture on Mairi Mhor nan Oran herself.

Getting Behind Main Street, Castletown
How often do we drive through Castletown between Wick and Thurso without really getting out to have a look around.  Take a close look and wander round the back of Main Street and other worlds open up.  From its flagstone heritage to the place where chip carved furniture was sent worldwide from the workshops of McIvor And Allan.  These pictures were taken right at the back of the once famous shop.  With views over to Dunnet Head and turn round to see Olrig Hill after which the nearby street is called.  Take a walk round Castletown and you will find much more and we will be back for more pictures another day.

Olrig Place, Castletown
Castletown was basking in another day of warm sunshine on Monday when this picture was taken.  The mix of modern and older houses along the main street show a variety of periods of building.  At the back of the buildings  here are the old quarry workings  once part of the famous flagstone industry of which much can be seen at the nearby Flagstone Trail just out of Castletown.  Take a short step behind these buildings at Olrig Place and another world comes into view as can be seen from the pictures above.

Mcivor And Allen Inside and Out - Famous Furniture Makers From Caithness
Pictures of the cornice and fireplace in the shop and house plus pictures of the building front and rear where the furniture was made.  The shop is now a store of the current owner who showed us round.   The shop remains almost as it was when used by McIvor and Allen with the original wooden ceiling and walls.

Harvest Time In Caithness Earliest for Many Years  - Seen Here Near Reiss
The weeks of good weather have taken Caithness to one of the earliest harvest times for a number of years.  Does anyone have any facts on how early?

CRAGS had their AGM in Watten and their was an excellent turn out, David More was voted as the new chairperson. the group also stated that they wished people to know that they are not associated with Tina Irvine or the Dunnet Riders Group, but will work to open tracks in the Dunnet area and are working with the Dunnet Forest project for a possible track in 2/3 years.

John O'Groats From The Air Around the Late 1960's
Here is a picture from Hugh Ross to let you see how John O'Groats has changed near the harbour.   You can do a comparison with the more up to date aerial pictures in the section at John O'Groats Aerial

Prince Charles And Camilla At Canisbay Church

Ex Caithness Couple Celebrate 60th Wedding Anniversary In Australia
Jessie Sutherland Page (nee Campbell) and Alec Archie Page known to friends and family as Isa and Ropy have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with family and friends in their adopted country. In the group photograph are James (grandson) son of john Page, James' girlfriend Niem, Rosalyn (daughter in law)  wife of John Page (a Steven from Wick) Carrol (grandaughter) daughter. Mark Carrol's husband, Wade (greatgrandson) Carrol's son. and of course Isa & Roy.  Congratulations folks.

Caber Tossing And Pipe Band End The Mey Highland Games

Thurso Scottish Country Dance Club
Keep Fit and have fun.  If you have ever thought about getting involved in Scottish Country Dancing but never had the opportunity then why not take a look at your local dance club.  Thurso Scottish Country Dance Club has already got its calendar set up to start in September.  Anyone can do it and just think about all those dances you will quickly learn to do.

Prince Charles Referees Tug-O-War As Castle Of Mey Team Wins The Cup

Heavy Ball And Weight Throwing At Mey Games

Highland Dancers At Mey Games

Mey Games  - A Fun Afternoon Where Anyone Could Take Part In The Races

Crowds At Mey Games Relaxed In The Sunshine

Bumble Bees - A chance To Find Out More About them In Caithness!
Meet at the Dunnet Wildlife Ranger Station, Dunnet Sands

Mey Games Get Going - Presentation To Prince Charles
Among several presentations to Prince Charles at the Mey Games was a chair from the London Caithness Association for the Castle Of Mey in memory of the late Queen Mother's long association with the organisation.  The London Caithness Association the last of the county Scottish associations in London will cease to function at a last meeting in September.  The late Queen Mother was a patron of the association from 1956 to 2002.  London Caithness Association started in 1856 and is the longest established Scottish county association.  A long era of helping Caithness folk comes to an end with donations five local Caithness charities in keeping with the sprit of the organisations founders.  A lady from Stornoway presented the Prince with an Arran Shawl.  Both ladies are seen with Lord Thurso who chatted with them after the presentation

Prince Charles At Mey Highland Games

Greens New Web Site Urges The Highlands To Say Yes To Wind
Wind Wars Breaking Out On Web Sites  - Greens Line Up Against Misinformation By Anti's.  Highlands Asked To Log On As Campaigners Fight For Clean Energy.  Green groups have launched a website that calls on people to join the campaign to increase the amount of energy supplied by wind power in the UK.  The groups are so concerned by misinformation about wind power which is circulating on the internet that they have joined forces to launch  Environmentalists say the technology can boost jobs and tourism while fighting climate change - the world's biggest environmental problem.  Greenpeace, Friends of The Earth and WWF-UK are partners in the new web site.  With rapidly increasing wind farm applications in Caithness the area may become a battleground for campaigners on both sides.

Caithness Waybaggers Fabulous Views From Their Walk Up Ben Hope, Assynt
A small group of Caithness Waybaggers climbed Ben Hope (3040 feet), the most northerly Munro, on Sunday 27th July 2003. It was an excellent climbing day with a nice breeze to keep midgies confined to their heathery barracks and enough of a haze to keep the worst of the Suns rays from frying us.  We climbed the southern ridge from Dun Dornadilidh broch in beautiful conditions but just as we approached the summit the low cloud swept in. However after a wee while it cleared enough to see the fantastic views in all directions.....Join Quick They are doing another one on Sunday 10 August.  There are 284 Munros to climb or walk up in Scotland - Keep Going Folks.

Thurso Reaches The Magic 500 Trigger For Broadband
Thurso has reached 500 sign ups at the BT Broadband site and we await some announcements.  Wick meantime has only 249 sign ups.  A lower  population and less folk using the Internet in the east of the county may mean Broadband will be slower to come in unless the powers that be make some arrangements or a low trigger.  Without a lower trigger or a definite move to get Broadband into Wick it may not happen.  Will Caithness.Org have to move house?  Come on everyone repeat after us - When Do We Want It? NOW!  But anyone who has not yet signed up to show interest whether in Wick or Thurso should still go and do so as they may well dismiss any bogus sign-ups.

Latest Funding Ideas For Groups And Young Folk
Are you aged between 14 and 23 and would like £3000 to make a dream idea that will make a difference to the lives of other young people come true then follow the link to 4FRONT AWARDS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.   A new link To UVAF a group that makes a variety of funding awards to voluntary groups - could this be a source for your local group - check it out and watch the application deadlines.

Wick High 1978 Reunion Pictures Now Going In

Caithness Gardens Open Days
With all the great sunny weather the gardens open days should prove to be very colourful.
Langwell Gardens are open on Sunday 10 & 17 August  2.00 - 6.00pm  
Earlier Langwell Gardens
Sandside Gardens are open on Sunday 10 August 2.00 - 4.30pm
Earlier Sandside Gardens

Check Out The Latest Properties For Sale In the Property Section
One of the busiest section in the Business Index and no wonder at only £20 for an ad.  A once and for all charge and the ad stays in until the property is sold.   Work it out and save yourself a fortune by putting your ad in our Property Section no matter where else you advertise.   If you check the section regularly you will see how fast the properties are moving out.

Hottest Day for Several Years In Caithness
On Wednesday 6 August 2003  the temperature recorded was 75.4°F (24.1°C),  You have to go back to the 21st of August 1995 to better this. This was the third warmest day in 9 yrs of records, the warmest being 76.7°F (24.8°C) in August 1995.

Recruit Wick - More Help For Local Employers
Recruit Wick is a labour market initiative designed to encourage business expansion through employment growth.  Call the Recruit Wick helpline for expert advice on a range of matters from recruitment, PAYE, and assistance in tracking down financial assistance with recruitment costs.  Find them easily in the Caithness Business Index any time.

Summer Activities For Kids And One Or Two for Adults
No shortage of things to do for the next couple of week.  Here are a few ideas organised by Tina Robison Sports person for Highland Council.  Get booking early to avoid disappointment.

Airbed Danger In Thurso Bay Highlighted By Coastguard
Aberdeen Coastguard received a 999 emergency call on 5 August 2003 reporting that an empty airbed had been spotted offshore with no sign of an occupant in the water.  Coastguards requested the launch of Thurso Lifeboat and tasked members of Scrabster CRT to carry out a sweep of Thurso Bay.  The Coastguard ETV ‘Englishman’ was luckily already present in Thurso Bay and joined in the search as well as dropping a small recovery vessel to search inshore.

More Prince Charles Pictures At Scrabster Pier Opening From  One Of Our Surfers

More Royal Family Items On Caithness.Org

Convenor David Flear Opens Home Zone Play Day At Ormlie
The main aim of the event is to celebrate National Play Day and to raise awareness of the Ormlie Regeneration Project in particular the Home Zone initiative which links with using the street for play, the environment and the reduction in the speed of traffic within the estate. Music, exhibitions, displays, children's games and competitions will feature throughout the afternoon and will include a Kerbie competition and Chalk Drawing Competition, both of which have been sponsored by Ian Murray the new owner of the Mace Shop in Ormlie.

Crowds Swelter In The Heat At Scrabster Pier Opening

Prince Charles Opens Scrabster Pier

Helmsdale Harbour Campaign
Will Helmsdale Harbour have to close?  That is the question posed by the new web site set up to help the campaign to persuade the Scottish Executive to help pay for repairs to the harbour.  The facts are bound to send a shiver through any community that derives an income from using an old harbour built for another age when fisheries were worth a lot to local economies.  Will Helmsdale Harbour survive?  you can find out as we follow their campaign over the next months and possibly years.

Far North Community Health Development Web Site
Miles Greenford a health practitioner based in the Wick Medical Centre has set up a new web site to carry health related information and some fun ways of considering health and the benefits of taking corrective action on the way folk live.   No laying down the law on what you can and cannot do - just some information and news about what is happening to make everyone think about a few issues.

Dental Think Tank Latest Meeting
Representatives of the community and health professionals held the first meeting of the Dental Services ‘Think Tank’ on 25th July in Caithness General.

Windfarms In Highland As At 31 July 2003
25 sites including two wind farms already built one of which is at Forss.  11 sites out of 25 others at various stages are in Caithness.

Lambaborg by Michael J Gunn - Latest Addition To Caithness Castles
In this article Michel Gunn sifts through the references to Lambaborg including the Orkneyinga Saga and helps to clear up the confusion surrounding where it was and mistaken places such as Bucholie and Freswick which were other strongholds in the county at different or perhaps the same time.  "It achieved notoriety in the twelfth century when it became one of the lairs of the famous Viking pirate Svein Asleifarson (d.1171). Svein's main stronghold and long hall were on the island of Gairsay in Orkney but he also had possessions at Duncansby and Freswick in Caithness and in Sutherland".

Willie Wilson - Pianist With Wick Junior Choir Dies
Sadly we have to announce the death of Mr Willie Wilson a stalwart of Wick Players and the Panto Society for many years.  Mr Wilson was also the pianist for the famous Wick Junior Choir which ran for many years and travelled far and wide in the UK.  He gave many solo performances and recitations of poetry.  He played for Wick Junior Choir fifty years ago but the memories of those days still linger on in a generation that went to school in Wick all those years ago.  His contribution to the musical and theatrical life of Caithness is still plain to see in local organisations like Wick Players.   Mr Wilson is on the right in the front row in this picture.

Latest Update from Ormlie Community Association, Thurso
Ormlie Community Association in conjunction with Save the Children in Scotland and the Social Inclusion Partnership are organising a PlayZone Day on Wednesday 6 August 2003 at the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso beginning at 2.00 pm with Convenor David Flear opening the event.

Elections Expert To Brief Highland Councillors On Proposals For Election Reforms
The Highland Council will, this week, begin its debate on the implications of the Scottish Executive’s plans to create larger ‘multi-member’ Local Authority wards, with members elected by a proportional representation system (single transferable vote) rather than the present ‘first past the post’ method.  The Council has already expressed particular concern at the effects of the proposal on the representation of sparsely populated areas of the Highlands.  John Curtice, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, will outline the implications of the new system at a meeting of the Council’s Renewing Democracy & Community Planning Select Committee.

Thurso Horticultural Society - Annual Horticultural Show
Saturday 23 August  2.00pm Entries required on Saturday morning probably after 9.00am to allow judging from 11.00am.   If you have some good specimens in vegetables, flowers, pot plants etc why not get e schedule and enter this year.  Why not check out the children's sections for the kids to have a go.

Wick Gala Week Ends With A Bang
The traditional Riverside Barbecue of Kippers or Hamburgers with Bonfire and Fireworks brought Wick Gala Week to an end on Saturday night just as Thurso was getting going with the fun on the other side of the county.   With a record breaking £7100 collected on the opening night things are looking very good for a final total of fund raising from the week.  A few straggler pictures yet to come from Wick Gala.

More New Caithness Web Sites
Environmental Research Institute  and Pentland Housing Association
If your Caithness organisation has a web site and would like to be added to the listings just email in details.

Another Chance To Win A Print At - FREE Competition

Scottish Rural Partnership Fund Latest Awards
If your local group is looking for funding it may be worth considering this fund.  Check the Information Notes for details.

Millennium Dyke At Dunnet Launched By Local Kids

Thurso Gala Photos
Thurso Gala Week got off to a good start on Saturday night and the weather held out despite threatening clouds and some rain in other parts of the county.  The popular Banger Derby runs today.
Check the programme for full details of the weeks events.

Morag Hart Retires From Wick Gala Committee After 37 Years
Morag Hart has been a volunteer with Wick Town Improvements group for many years and helped keep Wick Gala going along with her fellow committee members a few of whom were on hand to present her with a picture of Wick Harbour as a memento.  Morag is leaving Wick to stay in Aberdeen to be nearer her daughter and family.

Competitions For Wick Gala - Mostly Lego

Wick High Reunion Class Of 75 - Friday Night Dounreay Club
150 classmates turned out for the reunion with some travelling around the world from Australia and South Africa.  Pictures all in but send any more you took yourself to add to the gallery.

A Few Gala Open Golf Winners
The ever popular Wick Gala Open Golf was played in excellent conditions from early morning until late evening.   If you are in Caithness next year at Gala time and have the golf clubs handy then why not enter.   The two new fairways are still bedding in but the course was looking in excellent condition this week.  John Hunter announcing the winners for the day paid tribute to the green keeper and his new apprentice for the great state of the course and the greens.

Caithness Goes Gala Crazy
If you are following the Caithness galas then get ready for more.  And a new one is coming fast on to the scene as the village of Keiss revives its Gala in a bid to raise funds for a new hall.  Bower and Thrumster have their own small galas proving to be ever more popular with more folk heading for a nice day out at the shows or even the beer tent.

New Pier At Scrabster Already Proving A Success
Oil Industry Supply and support vessels are already making the new pier a success story.  In advance of the official opening next week by Prince Charles the pier has already been in use for the last three weeks.  An increase in activity at Scrabster has seen nine vessels using the port recently.   The Subsea Viking working in the Schiehallion Oil Field northwest of Shetland is fast becoming a regular visitor. If you are intending to visit the port for the official opening ceremony make sure you are early as parking  restrictions will be fully enforced and you may have to leave your vehicle much farther away than normal.

After  a successful weekend at John O' Groats harbour day and celebrating the RSGB'S 90th birthday (Radio Society of Great Britain) contacting many stations, the group will be holding their next meeting in the Thurso Club on Wednesday 6th August 7:30pm in the downstairs lounge. The main topic for this evening will be the next activity weekend on 16-17th August at Noss Head lighthouse for International Lighthouse Weekend and a debrief on the John O'Groats event.  Anyone interested in radio are welcome and further details can be had by email from

SEPA Management of Dounreay Regulation
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has announced a number of changes to its internal procedures for regulating Dounreay. The action follows the recommendations of an inquiry, commissioned by SEPA, which highlighted weaknesses in communications and management systems.

Funding for local voluntary and community groups is now available from the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Glasgow Woman Gets Full Rescue Treatment After Fall In Thurso
A woman aged 50 from Glasgow fell on the steps at Victoria Walk, Thurso around 4.40pm on Thursday.  Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulances services attended and the woman, who suffered a badly broken ankle, was taken away to hospital.


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