News Archive - March 2003

Dust Storm At Golspie
Yesterday the dust from fields near Golspie was being blown in great clouds over the surrounding countryside.  Every time the wind was gusting great clouds of dust obliterated the main road.   the north is experiencing one of the longest dry spells for a number of years in springtime.  See Martin Duffy's weather

Wings Over Wick - Hudson P5132 269 Squadron
Photos of Jack Sharvin and other crew members of Husdon p5132,of 269 Squadron RAF, Coastal Command, Wick have been sent in by Tina Watters asking if anyone has information on any of them.

On the final day of the Scottish Parliament's first term, Far North MSP Jamie Stone's campaign for more money for home improvement grants has taken a major step forward.

Weather Information Dec 2002 - Feb 2003 From Martin Duffy
Many folk have commented on the recent dry weather but Martin checks his facts and has listed the dry days in the period for the last few years.

Three More Labour Candidates Ready For Elections On 1 May
With the dissolution of the Scottish Parliament we now take a look at three former Labour MSP's hoping to be re-elected.  They are Maureen Macmillan, Peter Peacock and Rhoda Grant.  With two votes you all have plenty of candidates to think about and second votes could be crucial this time round.

The Strathspey King
Saturday 19 April 2003 8.00pm 2 hours At The Ross Institute , Halkirk.

Thurso FC Through To Second Cup Final
Thurso F.C have won through to their 2nd cup final of the season by defeating Golspie Sutherland 3-2 after extra time in The Football Times Cup Semi-Final this afternoon. The goals came from Brian Gray  (pen), Nigel MacKenzie and Phillip Makhouli scoring the winner in extra time.  This sets Thurso up for a historic treble for this season.  They now meet Halkirk United in The Football Times Cup Final plus the  winners of The Alness United V Bonar Bridge in The Morris Newton Cup Final to be played at Ross County's Victoria Park in Dingwall.

The Highland Council is supporting a national campaign, sprearheaded by television personality, Esther Rantzen, to warn consumers about the dangers of bogus holiday clubs.   The campaign, promoted by the Office of Fair Trading, aims to draw attention to unscrupulous holiday clubs that deliberately deceive consumers and pressurise them into membership.

30th Particle Find At Sandside Beach

AS ANOTHER STEP FORWARD FOR A9 UPGRADE.  Far North MSP Jamie Stone has welcomed the news that work on upgrading the Ord of Caithness section of the A9 is set to move ahead.   Following a recent public consultation, the Scottish Executive today announced that the lower floor valley (red route) option has been selected as the best option for the improvement work between Navidale and Allt Briste North.

Castlehill Flagstone Trail Upgrade Going Well
Castlehill Flagstone Trail is undergoing an upgrade to the paths to make it easier to walk round the site showing where a large part of the flagstone industry took place in Caithness.  The work is being carried out by Moray Paths and Conservation who also have contracts at Dunnet, John O'Groats and wick to follow on from this one.  The work at Castlehill should be completed in about two weeks.

No Mistaking The New Police Station Is Open For Business

Caithness Field Club - New Season Of  Events
Starts with the AGM on Tuesday 8 April 7.30pm in the Brown Trout Hotel.  Check out the list of outings and take a few light walks whilst exploring parts of Caithness and Sutherland.  Car sharing encouraged for outings usually leaving from Wick and Thurso stations. 

Caithness Orchestra Concerts
Tuesday 1 April 7.30pm Wick High School - Wednesday 2 April 7.30pm Thurso High School
Tickets at the door £4 children £1

Thurso Accordion And Fiddle Club
Monday 7 April 8.00pm - Musical Evening - Pentland Hotel, Thurso - Members and Non Members
Alastair Hunter Trio

Wick Junior Badminton Championships
Wick Junior Badminton club held their annual club championships in February and trophies were presented at their open night on 19th March 03 by Sam Campbell, who plays for the County team and is also the club coach.

Thrumster School - Winners Of Enterprise Challenge
On Tuesday the 25th March 2003 Thrumster Primary School’s P7s as well as fifteen other schools took part in the Enterprise Challenge in Thurso’s Weigh Inn Hotel. Thrumster came up with the idea of an underground water- park, and called it Octavias Tropical Waters.

Author Visits Hillhead School
Julia Donaldson the award winning author of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom visited Hillhead Primary School on Friday March 21st and Monday March 24th 2003.   Julia Donaldson was joined by her husband as they entertained the all the pupils and teachers from Nursery to Primary 7 with songs and stories from her books.  The staff and pupils had the opportunity to participate in acting our her stories which they enjoyed very much.

Miller Academy 1962 (Picture U)
Another picture in this growing series for 1962 from Miller Academy.  Still a few names to find if anyone can help. Miller Academy Picture Index, Main School days Picture Index

Launch Of Highland Waste Plan Will Bring In Doorstep Separation
Today sees the launch of the Highland Waste Plan by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).  All households will be asked to separate their waste into three types - recyclables, compostables and residuals - which will be collected directly from the doorstep.

Caithness.Org Message Board Users May Move To Scottish Hydro Broadband Campaign
Folk waiting on broadband in Caithness may begin to move their registrations to Hydro Board if the area is to be left without a trigger for upgrading.  Some folk may play safe and register with both.  Scottish Hydro sounds like it will be having lots of Caithness registrations.  Registering in a few places may get them all moving.

Flying Bull Clocks Up A Million Miles
Local "A I" man Willie (the flying bull) Mackay has been serving Cows & heifers for farmers & crofters in Caithness & north Sutherland For 33 Years.  Working single handed 7 days a week he averages over 35,000 miles a year which now means he must have done a MILLION miles.  The van in the picture was bought new from Mowats garage in Wick and now has over 375,000 miles on the clock and is still going strong.

Child Tax Credits And Working Tax Credits Starts 6 April - Apply Now
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are part of the Government's programme for tackling poverty and making work pay. Find Out what Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are and how you can get them by hopping over to the New Inland Revenue web site Tax Credits Online.  Child Tax Credit will from now on be paid wherever possible to the mother - a major shift from the past and mothers need to apply.  A simple list of questions lets you know if you qualify.

Forss Young Farmers Get New Rugby Shirts
The presentation of rugby shirts to Forss Young Farmers which were sponsored by UKAEA Dounreay.  The shirts were presented by Marie Mackay from Dounreay Communications.  Forss Young Farmers is a local youth organisation which enters into a variety of competitions and events both locally and at national level.  The rugby shirts will provide the organisation with an identity at such events.

NorthLink’s Pentland Firth service will be suspended on Sunday 6 April, to allow essential work to be carried out on the existing pier at Scrabster that will facilitate the use of NorthLink vessel, MV Hamnavoe, on the Scrabster - Stromness route.

Bower School Music Workshop
Local musician Della Hickey visited Bower School for a music workshop. The children enjoyed a variety of styles of music played on Violin, Viola and Cello. They also had the opportunity to try out the instruments first hand. The visit was organised by Katrina Gordon, the recently appointed cultural co-ordinator for Caithness schools.

A  conference  in  Inverness  today  heard  how the growth of new skills in nuclear  decommissioning  at  Dounreay can become an important asset in the sustainable development of the Highland economy.  Many  of  the  skills  being developed in and around Dounreay in support of Britain's  most complex nuclear site restoration project to date will be in growing demand as more former nuclear facilities are decommissioned, giving the Highland economy a leading edge, according to the site's director.

The Highland Council has warmly welcomed two national initiatives which will promote a healthier lifestyle for young people and a £1.244 million grant from the New Opportunities Fund, the biggest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, which will support out-of-hours sports, including dance, outdoor education, adventure and other challenging activities for 5-16 year olds.  Meanwhile, the Council has also greeted with enthusiasm an announcement by Deputy Sports Minister, Dr Elaine Murray, that an additional £50 million will be made available over the next three years to promote sport in Scotland.

Labour Candidate For Scottish Parliament Visits Dounreay
Deirdre Steven, the Labour Prospective Scottish Parliamentary Candidate visited UKAEA Dounreay on Wednesday 19th March 2003.  She is pictured here with Kirsty Gray, a Chemical Engineering graduate during her tour of the plants in the Waste Management Complex.  Election Pages

Wick Police Move To New Headquarters
The new police station got its force in place today as the police left their old station behind in Bridge Street.  The new police station has top range communications equipment and brand new everything.   With more suitable car parking and a modern building ready for any emergency.  The phone number remains the same Wick 603551 but you will need to head round to the Railway station where it is located to make enquiries or complaints.  The new police station cost around £2million and was built by D M Geddes & Son.

Doureay Staff Lose Weight For Dialysis Group
The floors of D1200 at Dounreay are taking less of a pounding these days thanks to the efforts of fifteen members of staff who agreed to shed some excess weight, and at the same time raise money for a good cause. The Caithness Dialysis Support Group is £1055 richer thanks to them getting a 'weight off their minds'.

New Left Handed Range Of Products
We do not often put a business out of Caithness on our front page but we are happy to highlight one that stocks products for left handers.  Anything Left-Handed are delighted to add a host of new products, including the first ever left-handed camera, garden & DIY equipment and children's developmental games to the huge range of household and stationery products.   They even have a left handed camera now.........

Thurso FC Hoping To Put more Gloss On The Season
Thurso F.C will be aiming for a second cup final appearance this weekend when they play The Football Times Cup Semi-Final away at Golspie Sutherland this weekend.  They are already in the Morris Newton Cup Final to be played at Ross County's, Victoria Park in Dingwall, awaiting the winners of The Alness United V Bonar Bridge semi-Final. Plus if they win this weekend, it will set up an interesting match with local rivals Halkirk United in The Final of The Football Times Cup.  The club is aiming for a historic treble having won The MSIS North Caledonian League Championship a few weeks ago.  Since formation in 1998, Thurso F.C won The League championship in 1999/2000, league runners-up the following season in 2000/01 and last season won The PCT Cup.

A Tale Of Two Towns - Housing In Caithness
Whilst house prices in Thurso have shown a substantial increase over the last few years, Wick and the outlying areas have shown increases too, though to a lesser degree. There is, for example, a significant difference between the home prices facing first time buyers in Wick and Thurso. Whereas a two bedroom council house in Thurso might cost around £50,000, an equivalent property in Wick might cost around £35-£40,000.

Karen Hanna From Park Hotel Heads For The Rockies
Representatives from 12 Highland-based tourism businesses departed for the Canadian Rockies at the weekend for a five-day intensive programme, where they will meet with industry peers and explore practical approaches and best practice models for delivering tourism products and services.  The trip is part of an eight-month practical-based International Learning Journey programme aimed at improving the competitiveness of both the Highlands and Islands region and its individual tourism operators.

A cartoon mascot enlisted by the Scottish Crofting Foundation to attract young people into crofting will make his debut on the organisation's revamped website today.  Cartoon character Calum the Crofter will have a starring role on the Foundation's new-look site -   - which has been developed to generate more interest in crofting.

The latest drive to reduce road accidents in Northern Constabulary. The Force wide initiative known as 'Speed Kills' is aimed at all drivers in the Highlands and Islands and is part of the National No Speeding campaign.   The campaign to raise awareness of the dangers associated with drivers who speed will culminate with a crack down on speeding drivers across the Force from Glencoe to Lerwick on 1st April which is National No Speeding Day.  A list of places police will be checking speeds is included and remember unmarked police cars are in operation.

Detailed Results From 2001 Census
Further detailed results from Scotland's Census 2001 are released today in two new publications.  The first of these, Scotland's Census 2001 - Reference Volume, sets out for Scotland-level only details of statistical tables and provides a reference guide to the Area Statistics available in electronic format for smaller geographical areas.   Free downloads available

Tartan Day Web Site Highlights Henry Sinclair
Tartan Day 6 April 2003  One of the stories being highlighted on the Tartan Day web site is the story of Henry Sinclair and his voyage to America.  Predating Columbus takes nothing away from that voyagers trip but may explain many of the findings in both Scotland and the USA.  The evidence  has been argued over for years and no doubt will continue to be but nevertheless it opens up some fascinating possibilities about the connections between the two countries.

Parliamentarians from across the UK and Ireland were today urged to work together to help attract more European funding to our remote and rural areas including the Far North of Scotland.  Jamie Stone highlighted the problems of Wick, Helmsdale and Kinlochbervie.

First Building At Wick Business Park
The new business park on the outskirts of Wick has its first building under construction.  The work is being carried out by M M Miller (Wick) Ltd.

£2million Pound Research Centre In Orkney
Ministers have adopted a 40 per cent target for Scotland's energy requirements to be generated from a mix of renewable sources by 2020, it was confirmed today.   Consultation on the 40 per cent level began last August and today Environment and Rural Development Minister Ross Finnie said that the potential to achieve a diverse mix of renewable technologies had persuaded Ministers to accept the target.  Highlighting the need to promote a range of renewables, Mr Finnie also announced a £2 million investment in a new Marine Energy Research Centre in Orkney and the creation of a group to address possible barriers that might stand in the way of achieving the target.

Wick Play Leaders Gain Qualifications
Our play leaders Louise Burt and Marjory Miller have been awarded their Scottish Vocational Qualification Level III certificates in Childcare and Education.  They are the first Play Leaders to be awarded this in the Wick area.  They have worked hard over the last two years to achieve this qualification.  Well done ladies.

Pentland Ferries  - The Easyjet of the Pentland Firth
From 1 April the hugely successful cheap fares operation between Gills Pier and St Margaret's Hope in Orkney gets back into the summer schedule able to take 250 passengers and 47 cars.  Single fare is £10 passenger £25 Car.  Child 5 - 16 £5.   With Northlink sailing from Scrabster and the short crossing from John O'Groats throughout the summer linking to tours of the islands means there have never been so many opportunities for anyone to see the north of Scotland and spend a single day or several in the islands.  Ferry Pages, Pentland Firth

Another Caithness Band - Ticket To The Island

Pupils from 16 Caithness and Sutherland primary schools will converge at the Weigh Inn Hotel in Thurso on Tuesday 25 March 2003 to take part in a schools enterprise challenge.  The pupils - all from P4 to P7 - will be given just four hours to come up with an original business idea, then design and make their product and devise a marketing plan.

Scottish Executive Throws £300,000 Lifeline To Scrabster To Get New Ferry Started
NorthLink has welcomed the Scottish Executive initiative and cash injection, announced today by the deputy minister for enterprise, transport and lifelong learning, Lewis Macdonald MSP, which will facilitate use of MV Hamnavoe on the Pentland Firth route.

Science Week Has Plenty For Everyone
This Week 24 – 28th March
The Science Week Team are keen to let everyone know that the science lectures are aimed at everyone.  Adults will find some of them especially interesting.  Included in what will prove to be fun and exciting lectures are "Death Drugs and Dynamite" by Prof Alan Jamieson and "How To Get 9000 Tons Of Steel To Fly" by Willie Watt.   Tickets are only £1 for adults and accompanied children will get in FREE so that families can easily afford it.   So get out and See Science In Action this week.

Jack Infected Jill Playing In Wick

Local Band "Estrella" At Redwood

Carson From Fort William At Redwood

"Actual Size" From Bristol Played Thurso On Saturday

"Acid Inc" At Blue Monday Gig In Wick

Deputy Transport Minister At Scrabster Today
Lewis MacDonald Deputy Transport Minister will be in Scrabster on Monday 24 March 2003 to see for himself the progress of lack of it.   The minister will be meeting Northlink management and is likely to announce the latest funding package for Scrabster Harbour Trust.

New Epilepsy Group Meeting Tonight
Monday 24 March at 7pm  A new section of the Neurological Group is to be formally set up tonight.  Anyone wishing to attend the meeting will be welcome.  The meeting will be held in the Nerve Centre premises above the Cancer Research Shop - entrance from the rear.

Mey And District Gardening Club 2003 Bulb Show

Cancer Victim Sets Out From John O'Groats To Raise Huge Sums For Charity
Jane Tomlinson is terminally ill with cancer. She set out on Friday 21 March 2003 from John O' Groats on a tandem with her brother Luke Goward, heading for Lands End.  She hopes to raise £100,000 for charity as well as raising awareness of the disease.  Last year she raised £120,000 by running the London marathon.  She is 39 years old and is married with three children.

Caithness Rugby Football Club Win Takes them To Next Division
Caithness Rugby Football Club who won their game against Garioch in the Division Five (North) championship on Saturday afternoon Garioch.  This also promotes them to Division 4 (North) and several interesting re-matches with Orkney RFC.  Match report coming soon on the Caithness RFC web site.  The team are having a great year and go through to The Quarter Finals of The BT Shield against Ardrossan Accs away to be played 29th March 2003 having defeated some teams in higher positions in the leagues.   Well done and good luck next Saturday.

Hillhead Pottery Project Becomes "Faces Of A School" Exhibition
An exhibition of pottery work carried out by pupils at Hillhead Primary School with the potter Jenny Mackenzie Ross. A self-portrait on a clay tile, completed by each of the pupils is a central feature of the display. St Fergus Gallery, Sinclair Terrace, Wick - March 21st – April 11th.
Hillhead School Main Index

"Danio" Delivering Fertilizer At Wick
The annual round at Wick Harbour can be seen from the arrival of the fertilizer boats showing the huge amounts of fertilizer applied by farms in the north of Scotland.

Dance And Drama Tests - Beverley Sarstedt Classes

Independent consultants are to be appointed soon to objectively examine the single track network in the Highlands, Argyll and Western Isles with a view to making an economic case for upgrading and improving these routes over the next 20 years.

Disability Rights Commission March Newsletter
Each month we publish the newsletter as a means of helping to publicise the the information available from the commission.  The newsletter is available to anyone via email just by signing up at the DRC web site. 

Uemployment Shows Rise In February In The North
Overall, the number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland rose from 916 last month to 1,002. 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) 7.6% (7.3%), 6.1% (5.4%) and 3.5% (3.0%).

Scrabster Seafoods Ltd was awarded approval of assistance of up to £507,400 towards the construction of a new fish grading, processing and packing plant at Scrabster, while Ashley Anne Ltd were awarded assistance of up to £40,688 towards the expansion and upgrading of their Thurso factory.  Ramscraig Kennels at Dunbeath was awarded £11,900.  A ranges of smaller grants have also been made........

New Store Opens With Surge Of Customers From all Over Caithness
Wick's newest supermarket was doing great business on its opening day as folk flocked in for a look from all over the county.  Check-out assistants had to keep moving to deal with the steady flow of customers coming through the store.   Customers seemed generally pleased with the low cost of many items on offer from food lines to hardware items.

The Highland Council Convener David Green and the Provost of Inverness Bill Smith have warmly welcomed the decision by the Scottish Executive to relocate the Scottish Natural Heritage’s national headquarters in “its natural home” – in the Highlands - from 2005.   SNH will relocate from Edinburgh to Inverness bringing 300 jobs to the city.

Do You Want To Run the Loch Ness Marathon?
The Loch Ness Marathon will take place on Sunday 28th September 2003 and is one of the UK’s most picturesque marathons, hoping to attract 2000 runners worldwide. This year Marie Curie is one of 5 nominated charities and we have 50 guaranteed places for our supporters. In addition to the 26.2 mile marathon there is also a 5K Fun Run over a flatter faster course along the banks of the river Ness.

South School World War Two Project Day
On Wednesday Primary Seven, South School, Wick who had been studying many aspects of WW2 had an open day inviting a few WW2 veterans to speak to them and show them what they had been doing over the last few weeks.  The day had a more than unexpected reminder of war coinciding as it did with the outbreak of war in Iraq.  The kids had a chance to ask their guests about their memories of those days.

New Supermarket Ready For Thursday Opening In Wick
The battle for the grocery trade jumps another notch when Lidl's famous for its low prices opens another new store at Wick at 9.00am on Thursday 20 March.  Lots of tidying up was going on today as plants were put in place, car park cleaned and final touches all round.  More choice for the penny in your purse and with two new pubs and a big regeneration project in Pulteneytown getting ready to start Wick's fortunes may be on the way up.

Divers in Caithness have taken the first step towards realising plans to build a Dive Centre in Wick thanks to Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE).  CASE has awarded the Far North Sub Aqua Club a funding package totalling £3,147 - which includes over £1,500 from the European-funded Community Economic Development (CED) programme - towards phase one of the project.

Castletown Children Meet "Katie Morag" Author
Children from Castletown primary School had the privilege of meeting top Scottish children’s author, Mairi Hedderwick, in Thurso library.  Mairi Hedderwick, creator of the much-loved Katie Morag stories, spoke to the pupils from Classes Five and Six about the development of a book, from the first ideas in an author’s head, through to publication.

Strathy Fire Pictures

Latest Mart Report
Caithness Livestock Centre - Aberdeen and Northern Marts sold 316 store cattle at their March show and sale at Quoybrae.

An  independent  report published today concludes that the risk of a person coming into contact with a particle at Sandside "is so minute that it could reasonably be considered negligible".  The 2nd Interim Report of the Dounreay Particles Advisory Group - an expert group  set  up  to advise the Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Fire Death
About on Tuesday 18th March 2003, police at Thurso received a report of  an area of grassland on fire close to the Old Post Office, Westerdale, where the remains of a female had been discovered by members of the public.

Faces Of A School
An exhibition of pottery work carried out by pupils at Hillhead Primary School with the potter Jenny Mackenzie Ross. A self-portrait on a clay tile, completed by each of the pupils is a central feature of the display.  St Fergus Gallery, Sinclair Terrace, Wick.   March 21st – April 11th
Picture Gallery Showing Work In Progress

Miller Academy Raises Truly Amazing Amount From Last Fridays Antics
Miller Academy on Friday collected an amazing total of £834 for the Comic Relief Charity.   Well done to everyone.

Work is due to begin soon on the existing pier at Scrabster which will allow NorthLink to bring MV Hamnavoe into service on the Pentland Firth route.  NorthLink have been unable to use Hamnavoe on the route because of problems experienced by the Scrabster Harbour Trust in constructing a new pier that will accommodate the vessel.

Profile Of Deirdre Steven - Labour Candidate
Deirdre Steven the councillor for Wick West who is to run as the Labour candidate for the Scottish Parliament in Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross and give up her council representation for the ward of Wick West she has carried out since the last elections.  Working as manager for for the Highlands and Islands MSPs, Peter Peacock (deputy finance minister), Maureen Macmillan and Rhoda Grant has given her frontline experience in the day to day working of an MSP.   A member of a variety of locally based organisations and a mother of two have kept her extremely busy over the last few years.

Far North MSP Jamie Stone has welcomed the news that part of the former Grampian Records factory in Wick has been taken over by a new company.  The new firm - Gloucester based James Yorke Ltd - moved into the premises on Monday and has taken over the CD production line.  Currently, seven people are employed in Wick, with this figure expected to rise to ten in  the coming weeks.

A  suspected  28th radioactive  particle resulting from historical operations at Dounreay was found during routine monitoring of Sandside Beach today.

A new Meals at Home service is to be introduced for older, and other vulnerable people throughout the Highlands following a successful pilot carried out in the Inverness and Tain and Seaboard Villages.  The benefits will see a standard service of nutritious and affordable meals provided throughout the Highlands to a wider range of people and for the first time available 7 days per week, 52 weeks a year.

The Pultenenytown People's Project (PPP) has been given a funding boost with a financial package from Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) towards the cost of employing two staff.  CASE has awarded the organisation a grant totalling £66,163, which includes over £33,000 from the European-funded Community Economic Development (CED) programme.  CED is a partnership initiative that seeks to target funds for sustainable development activities undertaken by communities most in need of support.  In addition to backing from CASE, support has also come from The Highland Council.

Caithness Gymnasts Success At Scottish Rhythmic Gymnastics Novice Championships
Last Saturday three Rhythmic Gymnasts from Caithness took part in the Scottish Novice Championships for Rhythmic Gymnastics, held at the Craigwillow Centre, Livingston, West Lothian.   Natalia Hodgson and Anna Cassidy both aged 13 competed in the Under 14 Category. They both performed their routines very well, with Natalia taking the title of Scottish Novice Champion for her age group and Anna taking the Silver Medal. Gemma Wares aged 15 competed in the over 14 age group, she gave a solid performance and also took the silver medal in her age group.

Young  people  are to be offered apprenticeships in nuclear decommissioning for  the  first  time  at  Dounreay  as part of the £4 billion programme to dismantle the experimental reactor establishment.  The  UK  Atomic  Energy  Authority today announced it is setting up a pilot scheme  with the aim of creating the first Modern Apprenticeship in Nuclear Operations and Decommissioning in the UK. An initial four young people will be  recruited  over  the  next  few months to begin their apprenticeship in August.

Crafts, Childrens Competition And Cakes From The SWRI Bulb Show

History Of Caithness - More Appendix Pages Added
Valuation of the County in 1760 and 1798, Earls of Caithness of the Sinclair Family after separate Earldom, Armorial Bearings of the Earls of Caithness, Pedigree of the Mey Family    Nearly 100 pages still to come.

To The Drum Of The Sea'
The eagerly awaited DEBUT album by Donald Lindsay  To The Drum Of The Sea'  was released Monday 17th MARCH 2003.  After a superb gig with the New Scottish Choir & Orchestra on Friday night to a full house in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and after a wee bit of airplay on Radio Scotland (Celtic Connections & Radio nan Gaidheal so far) the album is finally 'out'!  The album is a collection of tunes by the Rev Alex Muir.   Alex was minister of Canisbay in Caithness from 1982-1991, and composed many of the tunes on the album during this time. 

North Highland Archive To Close for Stock Check
The archive in Wick will close for three weeks on 28TH MARCH 2003 AT 5.30pm REOPENING ON 22ND APRIL 2003 AT 10.00am.  For those members of the public wishing to consult microform records of census returns etc., during this period, provision will be made for facilities to be available in the Wick Library

Highland Opportunity Limited (HOL), the Enterprise Trust for the Highland Area, is launching a new investment project aimed at the social sector of the Highland economy.   Examples of possible beneficiaries are remote community lifeline services, business spin-offs from community land purchases, community centres, care groups, cultural and heritage societies, voluntary organisations and local charitable trusts.

Householders in the Inverness area are being warned to be on their guard against traders who are targeting elderly and vulnerable residents in offering to carry out work on home repairs and garden maintenance.   Everyone in all areas should be aware of this type of trader and be wary when approached by dealers of any sort approaching you or elderly relatives at home if they have not been asked to call.

The elections for the Scottish Parliament and The Highland Council elections, being held on Thursday 1 May 2003, will be called by the Returning Officer, Arthur McCourt, Chief Executive of The Highland Council, on Thursday 20 March 2003. This is the day from which nomination papers are available for candidates.

Rob Gibson SNP Candidate Welcomes Jobs At Forss
SNP welcomes new opportunity for HQ of UKAEA 'environmental restoration division' in Caithness The SNP welcomes the announcement that Forss Business and Technology Park will host a new centre for nuclear decommissioning expertise. With 140 staff already in office space at Dounreay moving to the new site, this new UKAEA Division could become the international centre of excellence in a much-in-demand technology.

Frank Ward And Socialists Pledge Civil Disobedience
Frank Ward candidate for the Scottish Socialist Party in Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross is ready for action as The Scottish Socialist Party has said it will organise, support and participate in acts of mass civil disobedience when the UK government participates in war on Iraq.  Iraq War Debate On Message Board

Jamie Stone MSP is leading the campaign for broadband technology to be rolled out in the Far North.  Caithness.Org Broadband Pages, Broadband Debate On the Message Board

Bower School Red Nose Day

Miller Academy Red Nose Day And Competition Pictures

Plaids and Bandanas: from Highland Drover to Wild West Cowboy
A new book by Rob Gibson was launched in Caithness at Scotia Review on Thursday.  Rob Gibson is a busy man as he also the SNP candidate for the Scottish Parliament.  His book takes a close look at the links between the Cattle Drovers in Scotland and the Cowboys of the American West.  Yet again he uncovers the facts and tells some of the stories of the Scots who were heavily involved in the cattle trade in both countries.  The links are many and show yet again why so many Scottish names are part of America.

Still Standing
Mike Clark tidying up in the garden takes a look at what greens are still to be gleaned from his patch.   Mike keeps the greens coming all year round and says there is no reason for it all to disappear in winter.

A new division of the UK Atomic Energy Authority set up to help deliver the environmental  restoration  of  former  nuclear research facilities such as Dounreay  is to be based on a business park being developed in Caithness by the private sector.  Approximately  140  members  of  staff  of  currently based at Dounreay are expected to take up occupancy at Forss in the summer.

History Of Caithness _ Appendix 3
Extracts From Old Inventories Of the Titles Of the Estate Of Malcolm Groat Of Warse
the publication of the History has fallen a bit behind schedule.    Not a very exciting part of the history so far but contains some interesting items and shows the details of record keeping in use hundreds of years ago.  History Of Caithness Main Index, Caithness.Org History Section

Jamie Stone MSP is leading the campaign for broadband technology to be rolled out in the Far North. Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, spoke about the Executive's plans to increase access to broadband across the country during First Minister's Questions this week.  This follows his announcement at the Highlands and Islands convention on Monday that six telephone exchanges in the Highlands - Forres, Nairn, Dingwall, Buckie, Oban and Fort William - will be upgraded for broadband.

"Songs" By Norma Sinclair & Alison Mackenzie
Norma and Alison have been singing and playing together for many years, but this is their first CD.  Initially the CD was produced for themselves and a few friends, but it has now been issued by Harp Recordings.  The selection of songs ranges from Handel to present-day composers, with a variety of styles, including classical songs, Lieder, and sacred songs.

Thurso FC Won the North Caledonian League Cup
Thurso Fc were presented with the North Caledonian League trophy after their 6-0 win over Bunilidh this afternoon.

John Thurso M.P. Opening SWRI Bulb Show On Saturday In Wick

Halkirk Youth Club Red Nose Day
The kids from Halkirk Youth Club got Red Nose Day mood to raise £73.10 for the charity

Wick High School About 1947
This picture is in the new Wick High School section set up to receive later pictures.  As the section is growing new section indexes for each of the schools is being created but they will remain linked to the existing Schooldays index.

Borrowston Windfarm Proposal Hits The Message Board
Opinion on both sides.  Put your comments in or read what others are saying.

Herring Queen 1950
As Pulteneytown stands on the brink of a revival of its fortunes with the Heritage lottery announcement to invest in upgrading the area here is another Herring Queen picture from 1950.  This was one of the later ones as the Herring Queen ceremony was stopped and overtaken by the Gala Queen in Wick.

Without a significant increase in quality affordable social rented housing to provide permanent, temporary and emergency accommodation, The Highland Council and its housing partners will not be able to eliminate homelessness in the area.  It states there is a need to provide at least an additional 285 new affordable homes per year, requiring an additional £13 million per year in the housing association development programme. to meet the need for affordable housing in Highland.  Reported homelessness has almost doubled since 1983. There are almost 8,000 households on the list for Council housing and in 2002-2003, the total number of households presenting themselves to the Council as homeless increased by 14% to 1,100.

Scottish Community Drama Association
Highland Divisional Final of ONE ACT PLAYS Wick Assembly Rooms
Thursday 27 , Friday 28 and Saturday 29 March 2003 Curtain Up 7.00pm

Lidl Racing To Opening Thursday 20 March
Wick and the east of Caithness will suddenly find itself with three supermarkets with the opening of Lidl's newest store.   After many years of grocery domination by the Coop and Safeways (formerly Presto's) there will now be three big stores.  Many folk already know what to expect from their visits to Lidl's in Thurso.    The site is a scene of frenetic activity as the days tick by.  Roads, pavements, electrics, phones and many other jobs are in the final stages in the count-down to next Thursday.

Bulb Show - East Of Caithness SWRI
Saturday 15 March 2.30pm (doors open 1.45pm) Assembly Rooms, Wick. Admission £1 children 50p - Raffle, Sales Table, Tea and Coffee.  To be opened by John Thurso MP.  SWRI Page

Galas, Shows, Games and Other Events For 2003
We are gathering the dates for Caithness events in 2003.  If you are organising any events let us know the dates as we are being asked by email for dates of the events for folk to plan trips.  Send us the dates first and later the programmes of events for inclusion in our Galas, Games and shows section where we will be putting pictures of any we get to as in previous years. Get your dates in to us soon.

Scarfskerry - Latest Pictures

Lyth School Reunion
Lyth school (or its official name, as written in the prize books, Barrock Public School) reunion is to take place on 23 August 2003.  Venue will be dependant on numbers etc.  Help the organisers by getting in touch early and letting other folk know.

County Flower - Final Two
In 2002 Plantlife ran a campaign to get a county flower for each county. In 2003 they have narrowed it down to two for each county. You have until 31 October to make your choice for Caithness or any other county.  The choice is between Scottish primrose and  Bog asphodel. Its too late to pick for the county flower them but you might like to take a look at Ken Butlers plant list to see what to look out for in coming months in Caithness.  The list is just a small selection of the flowering plants to be found in the county.

The Highland Council is to introduce new technology that will take the Highlands to the forefront of electronic service delivery within Scotland. The new Customer Relationship Management System will enable seamless service delivery, across all access channels, between the frontline and back office operations of the Council.

Countryside Volunteers Geared Up For Summer.  Do You Want To Come Along?
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers is growing in strength and this year has set out a number of small projects to improve the local environment.  With help from the Rangers they plan and tackle improvements in various parts of Caithness.  Why not have a few hours out with them and some light exercise improving the area.

BIRD RAFT FENCE ERECTION  - First Countryside Volunteer Project of 2003
Saturday 15 March 9.30am
Last year, rafts for St.John's Pool were built to help the breeding success of waders & terns. To further reduce the risk from predators, an electric fence will be erected. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers. If you are interested in helping, please contact Mary Legg on 01847 821531 for further details.

Caithness Critters 2003 Programme Now Out
The group for children aged 8 - 14 run by the Rangers has its programme for 2003 out now.  A great chance for young people to learn about the countryside on outings and participating in small projects.  Ranger Pages

At a meeting of The Highland Council's Sustainable Development Select Committee, Members were given a progress report on the community waste initiatives currently supported by the Council and agreed to endorse the principle of continued support of such initiatives within the framework of the Highland Area Waste Plan.  4% of waste in Highland going to landfill is nappies.

Pulteneytown Ready For Revival As Lotter Funds Increased to £2.4 Million
Wick High School was the venue for some entertainment for Telford's Pulteneytown Bicentennial and the surprise announcement that the Heritage Lottery Fund was increasing the funds previously thought to be £1.9million to £2.4million.  Other funders will be adding to this total.  The project to revive the area will last for five years.  A representative from The Heritage Lottery said this was now their furthest north project.

Caithness Junr Badminton Highland Restricted Tournament
Caithness Badminton Association - Junior Section were hosts for the Highland Restricted Tournament. There were competitors from Shetland, Orkney, Lochaber, Forres, Tain, Nairn, Dufftown, Dingwall, Beauly.

SEERAD Visit Dounreay
Members of the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) visited Dounreay last Thursday during their two day visit to Caithness.  The group enjoyed a tour of the Dounreay site and a tour of the Dounreay Visitor Centre, before heading back to their various locations across Scotland.  SEERAD are also represented on the Dounreay Local Liaison Committee.

Body Found West Murkle Beach
Police have today made a further appeal for information from the public in relation to the body of the man found at West Murkle on the Caithness Coast on Sunday. Similar clothing to that worn by the man was put on display at Police Headquarters this afternoon. The mans original clothing consisted of items from various outfitters.  DNA profiling may be carried out and extensive enquiries including checking shipping lists and foreign fishing boats at Scrabster.

Caithness Biodiversity Projects
A growing list of projects has been started with help from the biodiversity group.  They cover a diverse range of topics and include a photographic project to assist other groups and businesses on a not-for-profit basis. Biodiversity Index

Bower Primary Beetle Drive
Children and parents from Bower School held a beetle drive last Friday in Bower Community Hall. The event raised funds for the school's PTA. Children were also enjoyed a tombola and sweetie stall. The winners' prize went to Mrs. Dianne Hornidge and Mrs. Sara Young with 137 points, while the booby prize was won by Chris Sandison (p7) and Ryan Mackay (p5) with 90 points. Sonia Brims (p7) won the prize for most artistic beetle.

Caithness Badminton Association Mixed Doubles
Winners of the Mixed Doubles at the CBA (Caithness Badminton Association) Invitation Tournament sponsored by UKAEA Dounreay - which took place on 28 February and 1 March 2003, in Thurso Games Hall.
Winners - Mark Mackay & Carole Mowat (both Caithness)
Runners-Up - James Henderson (Caithness) & Carolyn Young (Edinburgh)

Annular Eclipse Likely To Be Best Viewed In The Far North
If you are planning to be in Caithness on 31 May and need a place to stay then you might want to think about booking now.  An annular eclipse will happen on 31 May and the northern Highlands are one of the best places to see it.  One or two Bed and Breakfasts are already fully booked especially those out in the country where light contamination will be least.   Star gazing has become harder near large towns and cites but the Highlands still has a low population and the skies are relatively clear at night always assuming no clouds.   So get booking and even if the weather is overcast that night there is still plenty to see.

More Rural Transport Funding Announced
A multi-million pound investment package for rural transport networks across the country has been announced.  At the Convention of the Highlands and Islands in Elgin, Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace pledged a further £11.9 million for schemes which support rural services – mainly bus but also ferry and community transport services.   Highland gets £958,000 in 2004/5 and £1,006,000 in 2005/6.  Sounds great but some might think the coming election has something to do with announcing money so far ahead.

Police at Thurso have this afternoon made a further appeal for information following the discovery of a man's body yesterday at West Murkle near Thurso. In particular, the officer in charge of the enquiry is seeking assistance from the public who may have been in the Clarndon Haven area on the coast between Thurso and Castletown over the weekend. The area is popular with walkers and fishermen and Police are asking those members of the public who were in the area on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to contact them.  No cause of death has as yet been established and police are likely to make a further appeal tomorrow following the Post Mortem.  Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Police at Thurso on 01847 893222. This incident is not connected with the loss of William Taylor from the boat Boy Ritchie a couple of days ago off Noss Head.

Ming - Not Sporty But Arty
Ming says, "Did Someone say sport?"  No Way.  Leaving that sort of thing to Chivers Ming prefers the arty life but cannot make up which colours would look best and decides it takes more time to ponder the matter.

SCRAP Heads Over 1000 Compost Bins - Get One Now
Sutherland & Caithness Recycling Action Partnership (SCRAP)
Another consignment of 120 compost bins available, still only £5, limit of 2 per household.  SCRAP have currently distributed nearly 900 bins and this new batch will take us above the 1000. This is all biodegradable waste which is now no longer going to landfill, producing free compost as well - great for the environment and great for your pocket!

Caithness Rugby Team Wins To Go To Quarter Finals Of BT Shield
Caithness of Division 5 pulled off a shock win in the BT Shield at the weekend, defeating 2nd division Hillfoots 19-12. Caithness now play Ardrossan away in the quarter finals.

The Highland Council Trading Standards are warning local businesses to be wary of firms contacting them regarding entries into directories.  Under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971, you cannot be charged for a directory entry unless you have signed an order form.

Wick High School Reunion 1950 - 55 Sends In Pictures
Alex Thain, John Campbell and Don Sinclair are working together to send in a few pictures from their schooldays as the weeks tick by to the reunion in Mackays hotel on 2 August 2003.  This picture is of the class at Pulteneytown Academy they think from 1946/47.  Perhaps someone can pinpoint it exactly from another copy of the picture.

Public Meeting For Walkers, Cyclists and Horse Riders
The group are holding a public meeting on 7th April in the Brown Trout Hotel, Watten at 7.30 every one interested in access, and horse riders, cyclists, walkers in particular would be welcome. 

Highland Young Folk Full Of Technology Ideas
Competing young innovators to develop prototypes in Alness
Young people from across the Highlands and Islands, taking part in a major technology and innovation competition, will gather in Alness, Easter Ross next Tuesday (18th March 2003) to further develop their project ideas at the PICT Forum.  The ICT Youth Challenge Programme is being run on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise by PICT Innovation Ltd, a partnership company established to commercialise the results of ICT research in the Highlands and Islands.

The Ultimate Flat Pack - A Canadian House At Staxigoe
This house has been built at Staxigoe from high quality materials that come over in crates from Canada.  Using lots of wood it also has high insulation standards for a house that can stand the Caithness wintry days.

Chivers And The Sporting Life
Chivers mum always told him that to get on in life fitness was important.  Somehow Chivers always manages to find the kit and even the bag to carry it in but in the end it seems all that searching for trainers, rackets, balls, shuttlecocks and other paraphanal1ia just tires him out.  So at least the sports bag comes in handy - its dry, warm and draft free and it's environmentally friendly recycling of the best kind. How many of you curl up rather than finding those trainers?

Ackergill Tower Guests Visit Scrabster
Skipper of the fishing boat Boy Andrew, Andrew Bremner showed guests from Ackergill Tower round his boat on Saturday when they visited Scrabster.  Accompanying them was TV chef Paul Rankin who has been demonstrating many of the techniques and recipes used by top chefs to the guests before dinner.

New Supermarket Racing To Early Completion At Wick

Caithness Gaelic Choir Win St Aubyn's Challenge Trophy
The ladies section of the Caithness Gaelic Choir travelled south on Saturday 8 March 2003 to participate in the Inverness Music Festival.  Under conductor Norma Sinclair and with accompanist Barbara Nicol, they returned home the proud winners of the St. Aubyn's Challenge Trophy for Adult Female Choirs, having gained a distinction mark in their class.  The choir hopes to compete next in the Caithness Music Festival

Caithness Biodiversity Action Plan

Bothy Night At Thrumster
Thrumster village Hall had a smash hit night right from the outset.  Full to overflowing - standing room only and people turned away.   The group of villagers had not reckoned on so many people wanting to see their old fashioned Caithness Bothy entertainment.  The night's entertainment set out to do it the way crofters had entertained themselves in the days before television.  The audience loved it and the laugh a minute delivery of jokes and local references kept the night rolling along peppered with music and dancing as well as communal singing.  The tiny stage became the front room of any croft with acts arriving as old friends of the crofter with something to say joke, poem or look at life.  In between the constant banter between the crofter and his friend washing his feet in the bath, playing the spoons and telling jokes kept the pace up for the evening.  They could fill a few village halls with this one.

County Rinks Bowls Competition Has Good Turn Out Today

Fund Raiser At Ackergill Tower Today With TV Chef Paul Rankin
Paul Rankiin the well-known TV Chef has been at Ackergill Tower this week for a series of dinners demonstrations.  He and Kevin Dalgleish the resident chef have been showing catering students from North Highland college the ropes.  Funds raised today will be divided between Wick Hanging Baskets and the group raising funds for a new Highland Maggie Centre to be built in Inverness.  Maggie Centres offer help and counselling to people diagnosed with cancer.   Bill had hot footed it from The Marie Curie fund raiser in Wick in time to catch Paul before he gave his demonstration.

Scouts Help Marie Curie Cancer Care Raise Funds In Wick
Wick Scouts were out to help Bill from Caithness.Org do some fund raising for Marie Curie Cancer Care at Safeways supermarket in Wick.   A couple of the boys hare old hands having helped last year.  So thanks to all the boys and their leaders for helping out once again.

George's Circle of Friends Is International - Enter Laddie From Germany
Proving that George could take on the United Nations any day.  Here is Laddie from Germany a regular visitor to Caithness.Org.   Maybe this international and growing grouping can sort a few things out more sensibly than some of our great leaders.  No titles for this group just common sense.  Eat, sleep and make hay while the sun shines.

Live Music Now, a charitable scheme founded by the late Lord Menuhin in 1977, will present ten performances in various Wick and Thurso community venues between 10 and 13 March.  Wick born accordionist and pianist, James Ross, will perform for children with special educational needs, adults with learning disabilities, primary school children and elderly people.

Councillors have given their full backing to the draft Wellbeing Alliance Highland Domestic Abuse Strategy aimed at tackling the problem of abuse against women in the Highlands and at developing local measures for prevention, protection and provision.  The strategy, developed by the Highland Domestic Abuse Strategy Group, is aimed at politicians, policymakers, practitioners, service providers and the community in the Highlands, all of whom have a role in eliminating domestic abuse and in supporting women or children who experience this. 

Science O3 Week In Caithness 24 – 28th March 2003
Science O3 is a festival of workshops, hand-on demonstrations, competitions and lectures organised by a local committee of scientist and engineers, together with the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The organisers aim on getting over 1000 primary and secondary school pupils and members of the public to either try out science based activities or participate in the public lecture series.

Broadband Sign-ups Surge After Our Call  On Tuesday
Wick now 144 Thurso now 239.   Its going up and the last few days saw a great jump.  If you have not signed up and want Broadband for faster Internet access and always on then get your name on the BT site.   Better still tell a friend or relative to join in so we can get the numbers up.

Far North MSP Jamie Stone has pressed the Scottish Executive to devolve more civil service jobs north of Inverness.  Speaking in the Scottish Parliament during the weekly question time session, Mr Stone urged Finance Minister Andy Kerr to give greater consideration to the Far North when decisions are being taken over the dispersal of public service bodies.  He highlighted Wick and Thurso as good locations for pensions and IT based jobs.

Art At Hillhead Gets That Professional Touch
Jenny Mackenzie Ross who runs Northshore Pottery at Forse has been helping the pupils at Hillhead Primary prepare items linked to each of their classroom projects but aiming towards a whole school exhibition to be shown in St Fergus Gallery , Wick from 21st March.  Nearly 200 children have made tiles with faces on and made other items from clay all of which are being glazed and fired.

Chivers Loves To Snooze
Here is another moggie who loves life to the full dozing on his favourite box seat. 

World Book Day At Keiss School
On world Book Day the children at Keiss Primary school dressed up as characters from some of their favourite books.

Orkney Company Plans Community Benefit for Wind Profits At Westfield
An Orkney-based renewable energy company is looking to the other side of the Pentland Firth to build a three-generator wind farm.  Scotrenewables Ltd is planning to erect the turbines near Westfield in Caithness.  The Stromness company says it has a different outlook to big multi-national wind power businesses.

Pulteneytown Parish Church Young Folk Get Around
Pulteneytown Parish Church has a wide range of groups for children and young folk.  Here is the first of a series of pictures to come showing some of what they all get up to in wick and when they go away on one of their trips.  This picture shows some of a group at Altnacriche.

1978 Wick High Reunion
Details of Venue Date, Price now in. 

Chairs, Chairs, Chairs At Pulteneytown Parish Church
The removal of the down-stairs pews will make the church much more flexible for the variety of services and activities of a progressive congregation. They will also add to the comfort of the congregation! The congregation are inviting donations towards the cost of the 270 chairs which will be purchased. A donation of £80 will roughly cover the cost of a chair. A person donating £80 will be entitled to have, if they wish, a small plaque on the chair in memory of a loved one.

Whitbread Young Achievers Awards - Entry Deadline Extended
The awards have had their entry deadline extended for another week to Friday 14 March.  You still have time to get an entry in.

Stop The War Protest Grows In The North
The anti-war coalition is spreading faster than ever and has geared up to a whole series of public meetings and demonstrations in the next couple of weeks.  Meetings And demonstrations are being held throughout the Highlands and in Orkney and Shetland.  In Thurso there is to be a street Stall  on Saturday 8th March and a public meeting on Wednesday 12th March Thurso in the St Clair Hotel 7.30pm.

Meteor Seen Over Caithness
Julie Ross a staff nurse at Caithness General saw a strange bright light travelling at speed across the sky on Sunday night about 9.00pm.  She was standing at the front door of the Caithness General in Wick and saw the light clearly beyond the town but could not say what distance it was....

Broadband Sign Ups In Caithness Begin To Show Significant Rise
Broadband Sign Ups In Caithness At BT Site are Thurso 195 Wick 121.  On 21 January the numbers were Thurso 123 and Wick 89.   This is a significant jump.  If you are interested in getting Broadband for faster Internet connections and more just sign up at the BT site linked on the page.  BT are promising to look at areas where there are enough people interested.

Conservative Candidate Comes Out Fighting for Scottish Fishing
NO MORE EXCUSES  - Scotland’s Fleet Must Be Saved.  Alan McLeod the conservative candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross today said:-  ‘It it is incumbent upon all of us who can, including our local MSP and MP, to stand up for our indigenous fishing industry.

Jamie Stone MSP Gets Ambulance Debate
A powerful case for upgrading the Wick ambulance service from on-call to full-time has been presented in the Scottish Parliament by Far North MSP Jamie Stone.  Mr Stone secured a private members debate on the issue in a bid to move the campaign to change the current working practices forward.  Addressing MSPs in the chamber he made the point that the Scottish Ambulance Service was given £22million by the Scottish Executive yet none of that funding has been used to upgrade Wick to a 24-hour service.

North Highland College Students Visit Dounreay
Students and staff of the North Highland College Community and Health Section visited Dounreay recently.  The students are currently studying a Learning for Work Course and were given a tour of the Dounreay Training Centre by Bryan Dods, a Training Projects Co-ordinator on site, followed by a visit to the Apprentice Training Department by Jim Swan, Apprentice Training Manager.

West Church, Thurso  - New Gates
Willie Reid of  E & M Engineering kindly donated the new gates to the West Church in Thurso in memory of William Cameron 17/9/59 -- 10/5/01

Countryside Party Wants Second Votes
James Crawford of The Countryside Party is asking the electorate to use the second vote in their favour.   Branding the current government as the "Laberals" the Countryside Party are making a plea to voters to examine the record on a range of issues.

Major Hunt For Missing Couple Goes On At Kyle Of Tongue
The emergency services were out in force today in the search for the missing Worcester couple whose car was found semi submerged on the beach at the Kyle of Tongue.  The police are appealing for anyone who was in the area to get in touch.

Maximising Community Benefit From Renewable Energy Projects
Eager to ensure that communities gain the maximum benefit from the development of wind farms and hydro-electric schemes, The Highland Council is to develop a Highland-wide policy on community benefit and at the same time ensure it continues to influence a national policy on the benefits for local communities from renewable energy.

The proposed deregulation of pharmacy services, which will allow businesses, such as supermarkets, to dispense NHS prescriptions, is seen as a threat to the viability of some of the 44 community pharmacies in the Highlands. Highland Councillors are to write to the Scottish Executive highlighting the potential impact on community pharmacies of competition, which is being consulted upon by the Office of Fair Trading.

"Lady" Lives In Wick
This wee dog lives in Wick and gets around and even met the late Queen Mother a few years ago.   Despite being blind she manages to find her way round the house and is often to be seen out an about for walks.

Forss Turbines From Start To Finish
A series of pictures of the building of the wind turbines at Forss showing the process from start to finish.

Hypothetically Murdered
Thursday 6 March 2003  8.00pm Thurso High School
Lyth Arts and Tartan Chameleon presents Shostakovich's virtually unknown and long-buried score Hypothetically Murdered.  Described as hyper-kinetic, visually extreme, musically dynamic, a black comedy.  Have you got your tickets yet.

Landing Herring At Wick  - Mid 1940's
Taken in the mid 1940s by Mr Johnstone.  The boat is from Yarmouth,  landing fish in Wick Harbour.  The three little boys in the centre picture, under the fisherman's arm are Cameron Bain,  Billy Sutherland and Murdo MacLeod.  Plenty other wee lads here to be named  -  can anyone help?

Thrumster Station Getting A Makeover
Volunteers are getting down to work to put Thrumster Station into order before it crumbles away.  It was part of the old Wick Lybster Railway.
Wick Lybster Railway Index

Caithness Arts
A new group aiming to get a new Arts Centre for Caithness.  They are looking for members to support their work and long term aims.  If you would like to support their drive you can join for just £10 individuals or £50 for organisations.

The Road To Yarrows
An area steeped in history spanning thousands of years.  At first glance this quiet landscape today with its sheep farms and crofts may look the idyllic life and indeed it has been at times over the last few thousand years.  Along this quiet back road of Caithness lies the recent past with its old thatched buildings and croft houses, abandoned steadings and modern bungalows leading to the Yarrows Broch.

Kite Experts Lining Up For April Kite Week In Caithness
Yes they are flying kites although these high fliers are amongst the best in the UK.  And some of them are coming to Caithness in April when a week of kite flying and Kite Buggy courses takes place.  If you are in the vicinity of Dunnet Beach 7 - 13 April then take a look and see for yourself.  If you are interested in learning how to handle Kite Buggies then check out the course being run by Grant Golding a qualified Kite Buggy instructor.  What these guys are doing takes a huge amount of practice.  If you are into kites, buggying or other forms power kiting why not head for Caithness that week.  Get in touch and let us know you are coming.

Early Swimming Club Picture But where Was It Taken?
Shelagh Moir has sent in a picture of swimmers many years ago.  It appears to have been a club meeting as some folk have Wick Swimming Club Costumes on.  Do you know where the picture was taken.  There are some clues as it looks like the start of a small pier that might have been near an open air sea swimming pool that our grandparents were not afraid to swim in.

Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders 1912
Another early picture from Shelagh Moir.  The pictures is captioned "Trophies Won By Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Malta Command Meeting"  Judging by the number of trophies these guys were excellent marksmen.  The legacy of those days remains in the shooting clubs that remain in all over Caithness and the Highlands.  Unfortunately many of these men probably died in World War One.  We have no names to go with this picture.  Early Pictures Index


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