Housing Stock Transfer Exhibition At Town Hall Thurso Today
From 10.00am - 6.00pm the Housing Stock transfer wagon will be in Thurso with staff to answer questions or to allow tenants to pick up leaflets with information about the benefits of a YES vote next month.  The Highland Council is stressing that the new Housing Association will be able to unlock the money required to make improvements to homes and to keep rents at a much lower level then the council can do. This is probably the most important question tenants will ever be asked to decide upon. Go and ask questions.

Windfarm Determinations in Sutherland - Two Yes - One No
Highland Councillors on Friday, 29 September 2006 determined three applications for the erection of windfarm developments in Sutherland.  The meeting at Lairg of Highland councillors of the Planning Development Europe and Tourism Committee voted to allow 23 turbines at Invercassley (Beinn Rosail), Strath Oykel and 19 turbines at Rosehall Hill Forest, Rosehall but rejected the application for 23 turbines generating 46 Mega Watts of electricity at Achany Estate Lairg.

Photos Of Butterflies etc Sent in last Few hours - Can Whoever Sent them Send Again
A couple of emails with photographs disappeared in the email process this morning.  Can whoever sent them try again to    Apologies but for some reason they seem to have been deleted in the one of filtering systems we use to check our email.  They were definitely waiting to come in but never made it through.

Do You Want To Play In The Caithness County Snooker League This Winter?
Anyone wishing to play in the County Snooker Singles League please contact Peter Knowles on 01955 621710.  Entry fee will be based on how many entries are received.  You will need to be over 18 due to club restrictions.  Entries to be in by 13th October. League will start 16th October.

Missing Parakeet Found At Noss Head
The highly colourful Parakeet missing from South Head, Wick has been recovered at Noss Head last night.

Plenty Of Fungi Around In Caithness This Year

OK so you came up with a few lovely photos of Butterflies Bees and Bugs in Caithness This summer.  So we thought we would try you out on Caithness fungi.  One photo here is of the Giant Puff Ball - Calvatia gigantea and the ones in the photo are bigger than a football, although well past their best last weekend when the photo was taken.  If anyone else has taken photos of Caithness fungi this last few months and would like to share them send them in for the gallery to  Also more Butterflies or Bugs

2007 Events In Caithness - Do You Know The Dates For Shows, Games Etc -
Get Them on the Web Site For Maximum Impact - is already receiving enquiries about the dates for galas and shows in 2007
If you are involved in a Gala, Show or Highland Games in Caithness let us know the dates and we will add it to the list. So Far we have been notified of
Caithness County Show 20th and 21st July 2007 At Wick
Halkirk Highland Games - 28 July 2007
Thurso Gala - 4th to 12th August 2007

Corrects Wrong Information In Highland Against Stock Transfer Web Site

Scottish Borders Housing Association (SBHA) was the recipient landlord of the first whole-stock Local Authority housing transfer to take place in Scotland under the “New Housing Partnerships” initiative. SBHA received 6,218 properties across the Borders area, on 3rd March 2003.
Despite suffering a major flash flood in its third largest estate just 3 months after the transfer, in which 83 properties were made uninhabitable, SBHA has thrived and is doing well, providing innovative and good quality services to its Tenants and involving them at all levels of decision-making and consultation. Consequently, the Association feels it is essential in the interests of fairness and accuracy that the totally false statements in the HAST 2006 website are clarified.......SBHA would be happy to demonstrate to Tenants in the upcoming housing transfers across Scotland a wide range of evidence to show that stock transfer is most definitely a positive move for Tenants.

Oedipus At The Split Stane - A Play By George Gunn  - A Review on Scotia Review
A new play  - second in a trilogy was read during Caithness Arts Week.  For those of you that missed it you might like to read the review just up on the Scotia Review web site.

Halkirk Heritage And Vintage Motor Society Latest Newsletter
Issue 2 of the newsletter from the Halkirk Heritage and Vintage Motor Society is now out and points to a very successful first summer season. Over 650 people visited the exhibition with visitors from a number of countries as well as locals.  The membership of the new society has grown quickly to 75 and for a very modest fee or £5 anyone can support the new group.  The society was successful in applying for grant from "Awards For All" of £5000.  They are now planning next years exhibition and are on the lookout for ideas so get in touch with them if you have any.

Race Night - A great fun night for you to support - Saturday 21st October 2006
At the Weigh Inn Motel - From 7: 30pm
West Caithness Community Transport has been set up to operate a community minibus in Thurso and vicinity. The local MS branch fundraisers have been supporting this all year and have arranged a race night as part of the fundraising effort. All proceeds go to the WCCT bus fund.
Why not go along as team from an office or work place.  The venue has disabled access.  No skills or experience of racing needed (in fact preferable !!!) The venue is licensed (no requirement to drink either!!!!) All in all a great and fun way to support this local cause so come along and join in. More info from Davie Ma cLeod - email

Caithness Arts Section Still Growing Arts section is still growing and currently has 180 listings and links to 87 local web sites and copy of the daily updating What's On.  If you are connected to the arts in Caithness in any way make sure you have an entry in the Arts Index by completing the online form.  News about events or reports on music, arts courses or new developments can be reported as news items by completing the online news form or by email if you want add photographs or posters to your item.

Invitation To Theatre Making Day In Orkney On Wick Players Web Site
For any budding actors out there a one day course in Orkney might be worth while looking at.

No Pantomime At Eden Court This Year But Thurso Players All Go For Sleeping Beauty
the September newsletter of Thurso Players highlights the fact that Eden Court has announced that there will be no pantomime from Eden Court this year.  Thurso Players will be performing Sleeping Beauty on six occasions  so make sure you get your tickets early when they go on sale this year.  If you are in Inverness why not head north this year for a family panto in Thurso and why not some Christmas shopping in the far north.  North folk have been spending a night or two in Inverness for many years around panto time so why don't a few folk reverse the trend and come to Caithness - plenty of hotels, B & B's, restaurants and dare we say it shops.

Wick High Rock Concert - Tuesday 3rd October
Wick High School 6th Year pupils have organised a "Rock Concert" as a fund raising event.
It is taking place on 3rd October from 7.00pm till 10.oopm in Wick High School, entrance £3.00 pay at the door. ALL WELCOME ..............ADULTS, CHILDREN & PUPILS
A great line-up of bands including - KW1 - Crimson Tide - Blue Lowe - Liquid Blue - White Noise
Live Wire - High Voltage - The Flamin Daphnies - John Mackay & Crew

Council Housing Stock Transfer Exhibition In Caithness Now
Next month council house tenants will get the chance to vote on whether or not to transfer all of the council housing stock to the newly created Highland Housing Association.  Tenants who have questions about the transfer are encouraged to visit the exhibition now travelling round.  The exhibition was in Murchison Street, Wick today. Three more places will be visited in Caithness.
Sample kitchen and bathroom are on show.  The exhibition is also carrying a solar panel and a small wind turbine.  FREE long life low watt bulbs are also being given away top anyone who calls at the mobile exhibition - you do not need to be a tenant to collect a bulb.
See the exhibition at
Friday 29th 10:00 - 14:00 Market Square, Wick
Friday 29th 15:30 ~ 19:30 Ormlie Community Ass. Office Car Park, Thurso
Saturday 30th 10:00 ~ 18:00 High Street, Thurso
More information about the Housing Stock Transfer in the Housing Section with links to all the main web sites involved.

More Butterflies, Bees and Bugs

Thanks to Lorna Mascall, Mike Clark and Agnes Frey for the latest photos now added to this growing set of Butterflies, Bees and Bugs from Caithness this summer.  Agnes Frey would like to know what the name of the Moth marked Mystery moth is if there is anyone knowledgeable out there. Send suggestions to and we will add the name to the caption.

Keiss Beach Tidy Up
A group of 19 volunteers took part in this years' Beachwatch at Keiss beach on Saturday 16th September 2006. The clean-up was organised by the Highland Council Planning and Developments' countryside rangers as part of the national event, the most extensive monitoring programme in Europe for coastal and marine litter. Members of the Caithness Critters, Caithness Countryside Volunteers and members of the public took part in the event to help rid the beach of unsightly and dangerous litter. The group removed marine debris and litter from 110m of rocky shore area by the Keiss beach car park. The types and quantities of litter were recorded for data collection by the Marine Conservation Society. This year at Keiss; plastic, rope, strapping and fishing net accounted for much of the debris.

Retired Dounreay Workers Check Out The Changes
UKAEA recently invited a group of Dounreay's retired workers back to site to see the decommissioning work taking place at Dounreay. During their return to site Gordon Bailey, Frank Sinclair, Sinclair Calder, Ernie Lillyman, Jonathon Kirk and Rolland Shallcross were informed about the shaft isolation project and saw for themselves the changes that have taken place at the shaft including the raised working platform which was recently constructed.

Policeman helps deliver baby boy  - BBC
HOSPITAL staff at Caithness General Hospital have praised the actions of a Northern Constabulary officer who helped delivery a baby at the side of the road in Caithness at 4.30am on Tuesday 26 September. Brora-based officer Sergeant Peter Allan,(42), who has been working in Wick for the past month, was flagged down on the A882 Thurso to Wick road by a car at around 0430 on Tuesday. In the car was pregnant woman Jean Davidson, (31), and her husband Kevin Davidson, (26). The couple were on their way to Caithness General Hospital in Wick after Jean went into labour. Peter then told the couple he would provide an escort to Caithness General Hospital. An ambulance was summoned, but shortly after they began their journey to Wick the couple flashed the Police vehicle again and it was discovered that baby was ready to arrive. The drama then unfolded at the side of the road at Watten. With no ambulance at the scene at the time Peter and Kevin were forced to deliver the baby themselves in the couple’s car. The drama further unfolded when it was discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck. However, through a combination of calmness and teamwork Peter and Kevin ensured the baby was born without complication. Dylan Davidson weighed in at 6lb

ASDA Application For Pennyland In Thurso Passed By Full Planning Committee In Inverness
The outline planning application for a new ASDA store was passed today by 18 votes to 8Caithness councillors previously opposed to the store at the Pennyland site maintained their opposition at today's meeting.  They stressed that they were not against an ASDA store in Thurso but they still against it on that particular site.  The hearing and debate lasted for over two hours. 

Thurso Auction Market  - Stot Sale On Monday -
Thurso Auction Mart will soon be a thing of the past as it runs towards closure at the end of the year.  Here are a few photos showing in and around the mart with the sale of 900 stots in progress.  After the Thurso mart closes only the mart at Quoybrae near Watten will be left for local sales.  Alternatively animals will need to be transported to sales in Dingwall, Inverurie or Perth.  The sale at Thurso was held over two days Monday and Tuesday and is probably the last big sale to be held there. Five other sales are to come before the mart finally closes in December. the land has been sold to a property development company - Miller Developments.  the company caused controversy a few weeks ago by suggesting that ASDA might develop their new Thurso store on this site.  This was subsequently denied by ASDA who confirmed that their preferred site was the one they had applied for outline planning permission at Pennyland.  Farmers at the mart did not think the closure of the mart would have the same devastating affect on Thurso that the closure of the Wick Mart had on Wick a number of years ago as farmers wives mostly now had other jobs and did not do the family shopping on sale days as they might have many years ago whilst farmers themselves mainly get back to the farm to work as quickly as they could as they employed few or no staff these days.  The end of another era is certainly in sight as the last few sale days are held.

Caithness Strongest Man Event
30th September 2006 1200 noon at the Ellan Bridge car park

Sponsored by Highland Industrial Supplies, Bridged Building Supplies, Hunters Coal, J&G Sutherland, John Gunn and Sons, Orion - D.Gow and T.E.A.M MCC (bike club)
Events  - Lorry pull - Car lift - Squat - Tyre Flip - Shoulder Press - Farmers Walk - Raffle - Face Painting
Please note the Ellan car park will be closed so please park in Janet Street or any other car park and walk to Elan Car Park.

More Butterflies For The Gallery
Following Gordon Mackie's great photos of Butterflies, Bees and Bugs this morning others are coming in and being added to the gallery.  Red Admirals are already out in front as having been popular subjects for photos when they were out a week or so ago.  It is already becoming apparent they were out in huge numbers in most of Caithness due to the warm weather.  If you have any other bug, bees or butterfly photos you would like to share send them in to  A few moths or other insects from this summer would be nice.  If the summer keeps going a little longer you never know what you might find on the remaining flowers in your garden.  Remember that in many of our galleries you can click "view full size here" for a larger image.

Org Forum News Report - Fire In Paint Store At Icetech, Castletown
According to a report from various folk in the Forum today Icetech suffered a small fire in the paint store.  Staff were sent home for the remainder of the day but are to resume work tomorrow.

Org Forum - Missing Parakeet
From South Head Wick, a Golden Mantled Rosella - Possibly looks like ones HERE

Latheron Church Closes With Final Service Last Sunday
Friends and worshipers from other churches attended the final service at Latheron church that is closing due to the shrinking numbers attending the church.  Churches at Dunbeath and Lybster will now cater for the congregation from Latheron.  Bruan and Berriedale churches are also to close for similar reasons.  The Rev Kenneth Warner from Halkirk who conducted the final service said that when the Latheron church opened in 1909  the Latheron parish had population of over 300 and now this stood at only 1500. The churches at Berriedale and Bruan will have closing services on 1st October and 29th October also at 6.30pm.  All welcome to each of these closing services.

Indiepreneur - Opportunity For Creative Contract
Those looking to start their own business in the creative industries are being given a unique opportunity to take advantage of contracts available from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  The Indiepreneur programme has two contracts available for new, recent or upcoming businesses involved in the creative industries across the Highlands and Islands. The contracts are seeking people to work on the delivery of a wide range of creative industries events, with some emphasis on the music in the initial period

Bumper Year For Butterflies, Bees & Bugs in Caithness
Thanks to Gordon Mackie for this collection of photos of the Butterflies, Bees and Bugs he has come across this summer.  Certainly the great weather this year has seen a huge number of colourful butterflies in Caithness Gardens and the flowers have been attracting the bees.  If anyone else has been out taking photos of Bugs or Butterflies this year send them in and we will add them to this photo gallery.  Let's see what has been happening in the insect world this summer.  Send photos for this section to

Three Guided Walks To Caithness Heritage Sites
North Coast Harbour Trawl - Saturday 7 October.
Battle site at Altimarlich - Sunday 8 October
Bogs, Burials and Brochs - Thursday 12 October
Three guided walks to Caithness sites of heritage interest have been organised by The Highland Council's Countryside Rangers as part of the 2006 Highland Archaeology Fortnight festival which runs from 30 September to the 15 October, giving children and adults something fun to do during the school holidays.

The Papers
Petrol prices fall to lowest level in over a year - Scotsman
Crystal orders bring sparkle in hard times - Evening Times

Join in The Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning At South School, Wick
The World's Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 29th September at 10.30am - 11.30am at South School, Wick.  Members of the community are most welcome to attend - a chance to have a cuppa with friends, catch up with a blether and support a very worthy cause - MacMillan Cancer Relief

See Biggest Coffee Morning Web Site

Have You Thought About Child Minding? - The Ideal Home Based Business
A free course will be held by the Scottish Child Minding Association at the St Clair Arms Hotel, Castletown.  the course will run for 30 hours over several weeks on 24 Oct, 7,14, 21 and 28 Nov 5, 7 Dec  7.00 - 9.00pm each week.  the course will be delivered by an experienced tutor and will contribute to the SVQ in Children's Care, Learning and Development Certificate.  Pre booking is requires.  Contact Scottish Childminding Association, 3 Gordon Terrace, Inverness Tel 01463 715545

School Pupils At Farr Enterprise Determined To Succeed
One of the smallest secondary schools in Scotland with only 87 pupils is tackling the problems of living in a beautiful but remote part of Scotland head on.  They have set up their own enterprise company with a target of raising money and acquiring the business skills to run a company.  Take a look at their web site and you will see they are on their way. Developing products and how to manufacture them whilst grappling with web skills and marketing.  Take look at their small product range and if you need one of their items why not think about making purchase.  They may be small but they look as if they are off to cracking start.  Well done to the Farr School at Bettyhill.  Find them In Sutherland Business Index

Calendar Launch Marks 100 Days To Highland 2007
Highland 2007 is only 100 days away - the countdown to Scotland's year of Highland culture has begun! (From 23 September) Today also marks the launch of the Highland 2007 calendar highlighting many of the exciting events planned for next year. With the number of events within the Highland 2007 programme currently running into the hundreds, the calendar is designed to give a taster of what to expect in 2007. The Highland 2007 programme features events spread across the six strands of culture: arts, language, science, environment, heritage and sport with something to suit all tastes. Events are being added to the programme on an ongoing basis, check the website for an up to date listing

Five Caithness Boys And Girls Win Prizes In Calendar Competition
Twelve Highland pupils have won top prizes in an art competition to design the 2007 calendar of Lyreco Office Supplies. Each winning pupil received a playstation portable as well as £125 each for their schools at a ceremony at The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee in Inverness. Their designs, based on a local cultural feature to mark Highland 2007, will feature in the calendar. Runners-up received a television and DVD Combo and £75 for their schools. The competition was sponsored by: Fellowes, Brother, Stabilo and Avery Dennison.
The winning pupils from Caithness were - Michael Crowe, Caithness Early Years Autism Centre; Daniel Taylor, South School, Wick; Iain Anderson, Thurso High School;
Runners-up from Caithness were - Sophie-Ann Bain, Evan Imlach, Thurso High School;

AROUND 0750 on Saturday 23 September 2006 a two vehicle road collision took place on the A9 at Loth, by Brora. The vehicles involved were a Citroen Saxo and a Mercedes Sprinter van. As a result of the collision both vehicles were extensively damaged and the driver of the Citroen was trapped within the vehicle. The driver of the Saxo was transferred to Raigmore Hospital by Air Ambulance with serious leg injuries. The driver of the Mercedes van was treated for minor injuries and released from hospital. The road was closed for a short period whilst a road collision investigation was carried out. Police are appealing for witnesses to this collision and are requested to contact their local Police station or the Road Policing Section Dingwall on 01349 869563.

Highland Council Joins Energy Price Campaign
Highland Councillors are backing a campaign to highlight the impact on low income households of recent price increase introduced by power companies. At a special meeting in Gairloch, the Council unanimously agreed to support the Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty in lobbying the UK Government in Westminster. In raising the issue, Councillor Bill Fulton, the Council's representative on the Forum, highlighted that 600,000 households in Scotland face an average 57% increase this year. Since 2003, gas prices had increased by 107.5% and electricity prices by 62.1%. Councillor Fulton said: "There is real concern in the Highlands at the impact large energy increases are having on many households. These increases are disproportionately affecting low income consumers and fuel-poor households driving more and more people into poverty."

Housing Transfer Roadshow in Caithness
The vote for council house tenants is approaching and the roadshow is another chance to find out exactly what is involved and the benefits of transfer to a anew Highland Housing Association
Thursday 28th 14:00 - 19:30 Pultneytown People's Project, Wick
Friday 29th 10:00 - 14:00 Market Square, Wick
15:30 ~ 19:30 Ormlie Community Association Office Car Park, Thurso
Saturday 30th 10:00 ~ 18:00 High Street, Thurso
Meanwhile Highland Against Stock Transfer is building their campaign to ask people to vote against the transfer.  The campaign that has been heavily backed by the Scottish Socialist Party is now building.  Many of their claims have been refuted by council officials and the Highland Housing Association.  Bill Fernie the Caithness are chairman for Housing and Social work said, "The current offer of over £160 million and the freeing up of resources to build vital new homes in Highland is the best offer to tenants in the north for decades.  The change will allow rents to be stabilised with rent increases kept to the minimum as opposed to much larger rent increases with the council. No one likes change but the council and the new association have been working hard to ensure that as much information as possible is available and that there will be smooth transition if tenants vote for the transfer."

Wick High School PTA AGM - 7.00pm Monday 25 September
The Wick High School PTA AGM is tonight in Room B in the High School.  Wick High PTA does not have many parents on the committee.  Wick High is changing and has a new rector.  It has new all weather floodlit football pitch in its grounds.  More work is to be done in the school buildings.  But what is really needed are people with ideas and enthusiasm to help boost many aspects of school life and that is why more people are needed on the PTA.  Many things are beginning to happen in Wick and the High School need to be a part of it.  If you are a parent and interested in developing Wick high get along to the meeting tonight.

Caithness Floral Art Club - Inspired By....September 2006
Caithness Floral Art Club welcomed Isabel Greenaway from Kirkcaldy making a return visit to Thurso. Her title Inspired by…. gave her scope to give each arrangement a distinctive colour palette using a wide mixture of foliage and flowers. Covent Garden, Fana Folklore Bergen, Whisky Distilling, the Carnival in Venice and the Azure window in Gozo were her chosen inspirations.  Caithness Floral Art Club Index


Bridge Street Church, Wick Harvest Festival
Once again Bridge Street church came up with an unusual theme for their harvest festival coffee morning. Tea and cakes in the Bridge Street church on a Saturday makes for something different.  The huge building is one of the few untouched churches in Wick.  Taking tea and cakes under stain glass windows sitting in the pews is certainly unusual.  Each year the members manage to put on unusual displays and this year the theme was "Living Room Art".   Bridge Street Church Index

Caithness Heritage Fair

As highlighted below the Caithness Heritage Fair is this year in Thurso High School.  The fair has a mix of stalls and yesterday Strings and Things played a few tunes.

Watten Autumn Show
The Watten Autumn Show on Saturday was the first to take place in Watten Hall for many years.  In bygone days it was a Root Show.  This year there were several fun aspects to the event.  The Biggest Weed, Tallest Sun Flower, Heaviest Potato Crop Grown In A Pot and others as well as the flowers and vegetables.  The event was well attended by villagers and others who came to enjoy a Saturday afternoon natter and a cup of tea.

The Sunday Papers
US team to clean beach at Dounreay - Sunday Times

Caithness Councillors To Be Asked To Support New Marina Development At Wick Harbour
Caithness councillors will consider on on Monday 25 September at their meeting in North Highland college whether to support an application by Wick Harbour Authority for a grant of £10,000 towards the first phase of a Marina Development in Wick harbour.  The first phase of the project is estimated to have total cost of £92,735 and will take the form of pontoons to allow many more yachts to use the harbour.  The paper being considered on Monday outlines that research carried out shows that a marina could lead to a three fold increase in tourism spend over a five year period.  Wick Harbour Authority under the chairmanship of Willie Watt are determined to have the new pontoon in place for prestigious sailing event taking place as part of Highland 2007 when many yachts will start from Wick to sail to many of the ports on the east coast to Portsoy.  Planning for the event is well under way and the harbour authority wish to be able to have the yachts seen against the backdrop of the new pontoons showing Wick as a very yacht friendly harbour with improving facilities.  It is also hoped that the marina development would just be the first phase in other even larger harbour developments aimed at changing the face of the harbour and improving the economy of Wick and the surrounding area.  Full agenda for the Caithness Committee on 25 September

More People Signing Up To Join Caithness Heat and Power Scheme In Wick
As energy process are rising fast so the numbers of people moving to sign up for the cheaper alternative heating and hot water scheme now rapidly progressing in Wick is rising.  Over 50 homes in the Pulteneytown area are now connected and over 200 people have now notified their wish to be connected to the system.  With fixed charges for unlimited heat and hot water the deal and price set by the new company set up by the Highland Council looks increasingly like a bargain.  All of the councillors in Caithness thought the scheme was a good one and chairman of the company councillor Graeme Smith said that although sign-ups had initially been slow "possible due to fear of the unknown" things were speeding up now as the pipe network was spreading and people could see the distinct advantages in a fixed price rather than have never ending price increases as being seen in other energy sources.  If successful in its first phase the new company aim to try and raise the capital to spread the system across the entire town and eventually move on to Thurso and perhaps Halkirk and Lybster although that might take some years to achieve.  The new heating system will be using wood chip which is classed as a renewable energy source as forests can be replanted. Interestingly Wick seems to be ahead of the game once again as a company is looking to set up a very big scheme using wood chip near Fort William as reported in today's Scotsman - Green power station proposal to fire up Highlands economy

Busy Caithness Today - Get Out And See One Of the Many Events On Today
Caithness Arts Week is still in full flow. in addition there are several other events on today.  Caithness Heritage Fair under the title "Wur Caithness" starts today at Thurso High School fort two days .  Today the event is on from 11.00am  - 4.30pm and on Sunday from 1.00pm - 4.00pm.  Many groups are taking part with memorabilia including Thurso Episcopal Church • Girlguiding Caithness • Swanson/ St. Fergus Galleries • Thurso Townswomen’s Guild • UKAEA • The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints • Pennyland Primary School • Reay Primary School • Mount Pleasant Primary School • Thurso Youth Club • South Primary School
• Highland Council Rangers • Caithness Archaeological Trust • Hillhead Primary School • George Gunn • Highland Council Archives • Crossroads Primary School • Thurso Town Improvements • Ormlie Community Association • St Andrew’s Ambulance Thurso Cadets and Badgers.  There will be refreshments and children's entertainment on both days.

Last Service At Latheron Church  -  6.30pm Sunday 24 September
The Church of Scotland in Latheron is closing its doors for the final time on Sunday 24th September following a closing service commencing at 6.30 pm
The Church was opened in 1909, and until the First World War there were services in both English and Gaelic, the last Gaelic speaking minister leaving the Church in 1922. The Church has always been very well supported by the community, but in recent years there has been a gradual decline in attendance. Regular weekly services stopped in October 2005 and since that time the building has been open for weddings and funerals only. The congregation now attends Church in Dunbeath and Lybster. A spokeswoman for the Church said "There has been a long history of strong, well-attended Sunday Schools in Latheron Church with many of the children going on to get married there. It is hoped that people who once had a connection with the Church will turn out in force for the final service on Sunday."
the churches at Berriedale and Bruan will have closing services on 1st October and 29th October also at 6.30pm.  All welcome to each of these closing services

ASDA Application To Get Full Hearing On Wednesday 27 September In Inverness
The Notice Of Review signed by four Caithness councillors and four other Highland Councillors  Mr A I MacDonald, Mr W N Fernie,  Mr D Flear, Mr R Durham, Mr J H Green, Mr W Fulton, Mr R W Barclay, Mr D Allan means that a fill hearings procedure will take place next Wednesday.  Additional information and an independent review of the Retail Impact Survey will be presented and are available on the council web site.  In the intervening period since the application was turned down many more members of the public have been in touch with the planning officials -
73 individual letters of representation in support of the proposals,
a letter of “overwhelming” support for the application from the Thurso Community Council,
a petition with 13 signatures in support of the proposals and
200 pro-forma representations (179 – in support, 21 against and 1 undecided).
The original 71 Objections from the June meeting still stand.
The planning officials are once again recommending that members of the committee grant planning permission in the terms set out in the report to the Caithness PDET Committee on 26 June 2006
See the full papers Here (Pdf file)  The Asda Debate

Once again both sides will be allowed to state their case for and against the proposal and this time the full planning committee of the highland Council will vote on the matter.  Not all Caithness members are members of the full planning committee and will not have a vote this time round. Councillors who are not members of a committee may still ask to be allowed to speak to the full committee.

Thurso Guides Reach New Heightsd - Abseiling At Strath Halladale
The Thurso girl guides went abseiling as part of their "normal" activities on Sunday 17th September 2006 at Culfern in Strath Halladale, Sutherland. All of the girls that turned up had at least two shots and seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. They managed to overcome their fears of heights and abseil off of the 20' cliff at Culfern. The Sutherland midges were attrocious so made the abseiling even more challenging for them. They made a donation to the Assynt Mountain Rescue Team for the provision of equipment and tuition. Three Assynt MRT members were running the session: Willie Marshall (Team Leader from Thurso), Bob Kerr (from Melvich) and Jim Sudd (from Halkirk). Jim's daughter "Carenza Sudd" who is only 9 also participated in the activities and was asking Willie what does she need to do to join the Assynt MRT.

Missing Kitten, Hillhead Road, Wick
Missing black and white kitten from Hillhead Road on Wednesday evening 20 September 2006 about 6pm wearing a orange collar with a bell.  This kitten is 3 months old and very small.  If anyone finds the kitten email details to 
Pets Corner

Equestrian Presentation
A presentation took place recently in Flagstones Training Restaurant at the North Highland College for the latest group of National Certificate Equestrian open learning students. These students have studied over the last two years with their tutor Mary Elder. This popular course is delivered in centres across the Highlands and Islands and has a total of over 300 open learning students. It is possible to progress from this National Certificate course to the Higher National Certificate course, allowing our students to further extend their skills and knowledge. If anyone would like more details please contact Admissions at the North Highland College (01847 889250) or attend the open evening at Achavrole Stables on Wednesday 27th September at 7pm.

Take Care On Wick Thurso Road on Sunday 24th
Caithness Amateur Athletic Club are holding it's annual charity road relay from Wick to Thurso on Sunday 24th September. The relay starts from Co-op car park, Wick and finishes at Park Hotel, Thurso In aid of Kidney Dialysis Unit, Wick. There will be walkers on the road from 8.30am and then runners will be on the road from 10.00am. There are a total of 16 teams taking part this year.

Gibson speaks out on local food
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP has warned of a serious mismatch between the health message and food production support currently offered by the Scottish Government placing in jeopardy the ability of people to enjoy fresh locally produced food throughout Scotland. During Thursday's debate on Local Food is Miles Better, Mr Gibson said that a lack of joined up government as only a fraction of farmers and crofters are receiving help in the Organic Aid Scheme and the crofters Bull Hire scheme compared to those interested in taking part.

Labour MSP Maureen Macmillan has welcomed legislation that will give parents a stronger voice and encourage them to get more involved in their child’s education and school life. The Highlands and Islands MSP was speaking as the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act came into force. The new legislation compels local authorities and schools to ensure parents are given information on how to help their child's learning at home and provide them with opportunities to contribute to the life of the school. Under the new law, parents are also automatically made a member of the parent forum at their child's school, allowing them to get involved in setting up new parent councils to replace the current system of school boards in August 2007.

From The Papers
Mirage of free personal care - The Herald
Fury as Scots health boards spend £200,000 on alternative medicine - Scotsman

Another Highland Council - Highland Indiana - Sounds Familiar!
Highland to focus on upgrading sewer system after flooding - The News Sentinal

Young Thurso Footballers Combined To Take On Wick
TYC, Pentlands and Swifts got together to make a Thurso team so Thurso played Wick last week and won 3 of the 5 age groups! ( 7s, 9s and 15s)



Liz Cameron, Chief Executive Scottish Chambers Of Commerce Speech In Caithness

Is this Your Chance To Be Local Councillor As Many Councillors Look Set To Retire In May 2007?

Executive plans to provide a severance package for councillors took a step forward when regulations were laid in the Scottish Parliament on 15th September. The package will be available to councillors with at least four years service who stand down at the next local government elections in May 2007. The package was put in place by the Executive following the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 and a review of councillors' allowances by the Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee (SLARC) earlier this year. Councillors can now apply for the severance package through their local authority and the closing date for applications is October 20.

The Papers
We'll clean up with our energy -  A week in the life of: Dipesh Shah - Gareth Huw-Davies - Times

Rumster Outdoor Centre destroyed by fire
The disused Rumster Outdoor Centre, Caithness has been destroyed by a fire. Owner, The Highland Council is commissioning contractors to make safe and fence off the area around the Centre for public safety and also to carry out site demolition and clearing works. The centre was closed in 1999 and the Council's Caithness Committee agreed on September 26th, 2005 to sell the outdoor centre to the Rumster Outdoor Management Group at below market value subject to the appropriate consents being received from the Council's Resources Committee and Scottish Ministers. This decision was confirmed by the Council's Resources Committee on 30th November, 2005 and the Council is awaiting consent for the transaction from Scottish Ministers under Section 74(2) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973.
Miles Greenford, Chairman of Rumster Outdoor Centre Management Group said: "This does not prevent the ongoing work by the Rumster Outdoor Centre Management Group from purchasing the site with the long term aim of building a purpose designed, community involved and owned 21st Century Residential Outdoor Centre for the benefits of a wide range of potential users." Chairman of The Highland Council's Caithness Area Committee, Councillor David Flear, said: "I am content that the Rumster Outdoor Centre Management Group do not think that this will be a hindrance to developing a valuable resource for Caithness."
Rumster Centre Before The Fire

Caithness Barley Harvest - A Short Film From Grandma Productions
The Barley Harvest from the start of the harvest through to baling.  Thanks to the film makers for this nice little short film of one aspect of Caithness farming life.  Also linked today a couple of Rugby shorts of the Caithness Rugby team in action.



Sponsored Dog Walk A Great Success
We were sent a few photos of this Sponsored dog walk but we have not gotten round to adding them to the web site.  So it is probably easier for us to link across to the Labrador Rescue Web Site for you to have look at the photos from the day.


Volunteering Opportunities From Volunteering Highland Based A Telford House, Wick
A few volunteer opportunities are on this page but contact Catherine Patterson at Volunteering highland office in Wick for more ideas.

Wick Joinery Firm's Apprentice Awarded Best In Scotland
Jimmy Manson (18) of Lower Gills, Canisbay, a 2nd year apprentice joiner with D B Smith Joinery, Wick was awarded first prize in this years Scottish Timber Trades Teachers Competition. A module made by Jimmy while attending North Highland College was chosen to be their entrant. The competition is open to all colleges across Scotland and attracted entrants from 12 of those.  Jimmy is pictured with his trophy, certificate, £100 prize money and receiving a £100 Tools Voucher from Gemma Smith along with David Smith.

Caithness Schools Wind Band and String Thing
St Anne's Church, Sweyn Rd., Thurso Tonight 7.30pm - Part of Caithness Arts Week

Booster Seats Required For Young Children From Today - The Law Has Changed
All the talk is of booster seats but the new law affects all children in cars.  Check it out here
To all holders of PSV O Licence - check out your NEW Responsibilities Here

Tall Bikes Tour To Appear On Blue Peter - Tuesday 19th September 5.00pm
The Tall Bikes tour that passed through Caithness in July (Spotted At Skarfskerry) will be on Blue Peter on Tuesday at 5.00pm on BBC1.  The Tall Bikes also appeared at the Halkirk Highland Games
Tall Bikes Web Site

Latest School Newsletters
Hillhead, School, Wick

Dounreay Stakeholders Group - Next Meeting 20 September Agenda Now Available
Pentland Hotel 7.00pm   The meeting is open to the public

Wick Caravan Folk  And Campers Say Massed Pipe Bands Made Their Stay In Wick Perfect
Reports from the Wick Caravan Site say that folk staying there for the weekend say last night's Massed Pipe Bands concert in Market Square Wick made their weekend one to remember.  More campers have been using the camp site than anyone can remember and many folk have been pleasantly surprised to find the site is open again.  The caravan site at Wick is open until the end of October and with school holidays yet to come there might be a final rush for this year.  Those who have stayed this year have found the short walk along the river into Wick for events something to remember and many have commented that Wick is one of their favourite places in the north with such quiet and pleasant campsite so well situated for shops and yet still in the countryside.

Over 2000 People See Massed Pipe Bands At Wick On Saturday Night

Wick Pipe Band Web Site

East End Boys Club, Wick Open Extended and Refurbished Club House
the well known East End Boys Club where many boys learn their football skills opened the newly refurbished and extended club house on Saturday.  Moira Swanson grandmother of Liam Henderson and whose name the Liam Henderson Memorial Trust has donated funds to the club.  Mrs Swanson cut a ribbon to declare the clubhouse open and then presented the club with another cheque for £2000 to assist with the costs.  CASE and the Lottery have also made contributions.  Alan Turner for the club thanks the many members and others who had contributed their time or offered materials at extremely good prices.  He also thanked the contractors M M Miller for their help in pushing things forward.  East End Boys Club has long history being founded in 1920 and many boys have spent happy years playing football and learning their skills from the coaches who all give their time freely to the club.  The new clubhouse now has much more storage, new toilets and disabled toilets as well as disabled access.  It looks set for long future but the club are always looking for more adult help so if you are interested get in touch with them via their web site   More Early Photos Of East End

More Local Musicians Online - Banjo
Stuart Tod and Donald McNeill have a couple of tunes on a website They are listed under the contributor called 'BABRU'
Here is one from QPQ Productions based at Dunnet Head Lighthouse. Listen to Salmon Song on a CD from Isaac Sutherland  Isaac and his Father John "Fats" Sutherland will be performing in Caithness Arts Week at the Mill theatre on Saturday 23 September at 8.00pm in Sutherland And Son  Meanwhile for some sounds from younger talent now learning their craft at the Music Link Media project in Wick head over to their new web site where you can download some zip files with samples of their latest creations.  If anyone knows of any more tracks from Caithness musicians available online get in touch with  Here again are the ones we found two days ago - Astronot - Crimson Tide - Howlin Gaels - Graham Maharg - Karen Steven - Manson Grant and the DynamosOn Honre Whisky
the list of Caithness musicians online with tunes is growing -
If you know of any others email

KP Technology Wins Highland and Islands' Business Award
Wick-based KP Technology has been recognised at the Highland and Islands' leading business awards ceremony for developing and exporting new measurement systems. KP Technology collected the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research and Development at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Highlands and Islands Dinner and Awards ceremony which took place on Friday at the Highland Conference Centre in Nairn.  The business was started by Prof Iain Baikie in the attic of the family home in 2000. It has grown steadily over the years and has now relocated to business premises and employs an additional seven staff, three of whom are local graduates returning to Caithness. On-going research into innovative uses for its Kelvin Probe measurement system has identified various systems to extend the product line, including corrosion in iron and steel, studies of semiconductors and electronic devices, and biomaterials.

The Papers
Clan chiefs give backing to tourism - Scotland On Sunday
Wick airport firefighter dies in motorcycle crash - Injury Watch
Millions of pounds set to be wasted as Euro fines levied over rubbish - Scotsman
Read this and see why your council is sending you brown bins, blue boxes and anything else to stop rubbish going to landfill.  Use them or your council tax will be paying European fines.

Farr High School Engineers Club Collects Top Award
Pupils at Farr High School in Bettyhill near Thurso have been recognised at the Highland and Islands' leading business awards ceremony for their excellence in engineering. Farr High School Young Engineers Club collected the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Highlands and Islands Young Engineers Club of the Year Award at the organisation's Highlands and Islands Dinner and Awards ceremony which took place last night (Friday) at the Highland Conference Centre in Nairn. This thriving Young Engineers Club involves around 30 per cent of third to sixth year pupils. Among their projects are innovative alarm devices for lambing and also one for vehicles. The award was collected by club members Anna Milligan, Adam Mathieson and Neil Mackay, along with club leader, John Milligan.

440 Caithness Businesses Now Linked In Our Business Index
If you are a Caithness business check to see that your web site is listed and if not get in touch with us.  If you are starting a new business make sure you get your FREE web page in our Business Index.  Our Business index has had over 8 million pages looked at in the past 12 months.  Check you advertising budget and see if you can beat FREE.  Then compare a web site built by yourself or a friend to get you started  - pretty cheap.  Then check out one of the local web businesses and compare that to your annual advertising budget.  Then think why have we got over 400 Caithness business web sites listed in the Caithness Business Index.  They are advertising their services 24 hours a day with contact details and information.  Same goes for Sutherland   More folk are realising its much cheaper to advertise online - even the Arts in Caithness where we now have links to 87 Arts folk from musicians to painters and more.

Thurso High School to host Sir Basil Spence Archive workshop for pupils on the architecture and history of their building. A local school designed by the world-renowned architect Sir Basil Spence is to be the focus of a workshop for local schoolchildren to help them explore issues surrounding architecture and built heritage. Thurso High School (built between 1956 and 1962) was one of three Scottish secondary schools designed by Sir Basil Spence and his Scottish practice. The workshop forms part of the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project, organised by The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and its partners The National Galleries of Scotland and The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Architecture Design and the City. The archive, held by RCAHMS, features almost 38,000 drawings, photographs and other documents detailing Spence's long and distinguished career.
Tip - Whilst we are mentioning RCAHMS anyone who has not ventured to that web site before might be interested to note the Canmore Database within it.  It has a vast record of historical and archaeological information on almost every building, ancient standing stone etc in Scotland.  It is  FREE and all you need to do is register to use it. Don't get lost - we have spent hours at a time in there.

What Are You Going To Do Today In Caithness?  You Are Spoilt For Choice
Today there is so much on with the start of Caithness Arts Week it will be difficult to make choice but not impossible.  There is something for everyone on today.  And it need not be expensive as many events are FREE.  Leave the TV behind and head out to a live event.  Then check out the next few days right up to the 24th.  Rarely has there been so much happening in one week in the county.  the people behind Caithness Arts Week have worked hard to build the programme for this second Arts Week so get out there and take look.  Remember everything on TV is repeated - live performances may never be seen again.

The Music Just Keeps Coming In Caithness
Carl Jones and Beverley Smith

Wow what next.  Has someone switched on a new gadget to attract music into Caithness?  Latest on the scene this month is a duo invited by Wildcat Traditional Music Association.  Carl Jones and Beverley Smith are touring Scotland to packed houses and their appearance on Monday night at the Pentland Hotel could be yet another one so book your tickets.  All this and the Caithness Arts Festival.  We need more days in the week in Caithness.

Guided Walk Round RAF Castletown - 12.00 - 2.00pm - Saturday 16th September
A guided walk round sites used by the RAF at Castletown during World War Two.  Meet at the flagstone trail car park, Castletown.  A number of squadrons were based at Castletown.  A couple of hours stroll around the airfield and associated buildings should help let you know part of the history of Caithness in the war.  Wick airport played a significant part but so did Castletown and this should make an interesting couple of hours seeing and hearing about its part in the operations from the north of Scotland

Caithness Arts Week - Starts Tomorrow - Saturday 16th Running Until 24th

Caithness Arts Week Starts tomorrow. Its the second Caithness Arts Week with a host of new productions covering literary works, music and events from circus participation, art exhibitions and much more.   Events take place between 16th and 24th September around Caithness.  You can check up on by checking the Caithness Arts web site, Arts Pages and the What's On    See all September Events

Scotia Review Takes Caithness Publishing To New Heights
At long last Scotia Review is able to welcome you to their new website With funding from the National Lottery through Awards for All, and with the design-flare of Thurso-based Naver Technology Ltd, we are moving into an exciting new phase of existence. Moving from occasional hard-copy publications of New Writing under the editorial aegis of David Morrison, new editor Christine Russell has developed a virtual publishing house. As well as Writing, the site has pages for Music, Visual Art and Reviews. Anyone can put forward material for inclusion in the new site by contacting Christine Russell.  And hey they have more music samples for you to Listen To  Well done and keep them coming guys.....

Full Pass Marks For Scotland's Bathing Waters
All of Scotland's bathing beaches have passed the European standard water quality tests for the first time since monitoring began 20 years ago. On the final day of the 2006 bathing waters season, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) can reveal that all of the 63 designated bathing waters have passed either EC 'mandatory' or stricter 'guideline' standards.  Dunnet Bay in Caithness is one of the areas tested.   A 2005 report by SEPA mentioned works at Castletown.  These works should have been completed by now have been delayed due to problems over Wayleave arrangements.  Once completed the works at Castletown should improve the water quality of Dunnet Bay to an even higher quality

Thousands of staff fear for future as hotel group folds - Scotsman
Swallow Hotels has gone into administration.  Swallow owns 671 sites across Britain and employs about 7,300 staff and has about 70 hotels and 120 pubs across Scotland following recent expansion.  among the hotels in Caithness affected are the Royal Hotel Thurso, Portland Arms Hotel, Lybster, Norsman Hotel, Wick
According to the Scotsman article it is hoped to sell the hotels in blocks as going concerns.

More Tracks From Caithness Musicians Online
We are sure there are more to find after our search a couple of days ago.  Here is one from QPQ Productions based at Dunnet Head Lighthouse. Listen to Salmon Song on a CD from Isaac Sutherland  Isaac and his Father John "Fats" Sutherland will be performing in Caithness Arts Week at the Mill theatre on Saturday 23 September at 8.00pm in Sutherland And Son  Meanwhile for some sounds from younger talent now learning their craft at the Music Link Media project in Wick head over to their new web site where you can download some zip files with samples of their latest creations.  If anyone knows of any more tracks from Caithness musicians available online get in touch with  Here again are the ones we found two days ago - Astronot - Crimson Tide - Howlin Gaels - Graham Maharg - Karen Steven - Manson Grant and the DynamosOn Honre Whisky

Are Christmas Shoe Boxes All That They Seem To Be?
the north of Scotland is once again being asked to help donate Christmas Shoe Boxes and for businesses to get involved in the collection.  But do the schools and businesses parents, teachers and other really know what is behind these collections.  Questions about the Samaritans Purse organisation behind the Operation Christmas Child are still being asked in many quarters.  Muslim web sites in particular are very upset about their operations in the countries they go to See Here  The organisation backing the project each year seems to be an American Christian fundamentalist organisation headed by the Reverend Franklin Graham son of the well known evangelist preacher Billy Graham.  An article in the Guardian in 2002 gave some details.  Is the generosity of many people being used to advocate a particular sect with a hidden agenda for conversion rather than aid?  Should we as community be assisting this or are there better ways to help the poor at any time not only at Christmas.  Views to the Message Board on this can of worms...

Housing Transfer Exhibition takes to the Road
An exhibition featuring new central heating systems, energy efficiency measures, bathrooms and kitchens took to the road on Monday 11 September. The exhibition is designed to showcase some of the improvements tenants can expect if tenants of The Highland Council vote yes to housing transfer next month. The Road show arrives in Caithness on Thursday 28th September for three days and will be in Wick and Thurso.  Councillor Bill Fernie the Housing and Social Work chairman for Caithness said, "This is another opportunity for our tenants to see what can be done under Stock Transfer by modernising more houses, keeping rents stable and building more houses".

Question Of The Day In The Forum  - What's the square root of minus one?

Ormlie Summer Play Scheme 2006
During three weeks in July, Ormlie Community Association ran its annual jam-packed and varied summer play scheme for children and young people aged between 5-14yrs.  The scheme always proves very popular, registration for this year exceeded 70 with the majority of children attending the under nine's morning sessions.

Over 230 Events In Our What's On In Caithness - Is Yours There?
Your event can be seen in several places for FREE just by completing one simple form  Once approved by us you ad will be available in the What's On for anyone to see for as long ahead as you care to place it giving the event weeks, months or years of FREE publicity.  On the day of the vent the item will automatically appear on this page in the left hand column and on our Caithness Business Index, Arts pages and is accessible from the drop down menus from almost every page on our main web sites.  the what's On pages code is available for other web sites to use if they wish to have the Caithness What's On showing on their web site - just add a short bit of code to any page in the html (run it via Notepad first).   So if you are advertising any events you can have it seen in several places by filling in one form.  compare that to putting up posters in shop windows - seconds as opposed to hours and its FREE.

North School 1981 P7-1
Photos sent by Sandra Stringfellow (nee Webster)
North School Photo Index

Main Schooldays Photos Index has over 50,000 photographs across the site in many categories with more being added almost every day so if you are new to the web site try the Schooldays, A - Z or the Front Page Archives. These are just suggestions as photos exist in almost every part of the web site.  Or if you have time take a browse through the thousands of photos contributed by the members of the Forum - one of the fastest growing section on the web site.

Photographic Competition Deadline 30 September
This competition has been on the front page for some time so if you have some great photos taken over the summer why not think about entering them in this competition.  The prize is £150 and there is an entry fee of £1 per image.  The competition is being run by Artsmith

Go Ahead for Housing Transfer Ballot
Highland Councillors unanimously have given the go ahead to apply to Scottish Ministers for the ok to ballot tenants over housing transfer to the Highland Housing Association. Tenants will soon receive details of the transfer proposal - called a Stage 1 Notice - which sets out the likely consequences of transfer and retention by the Council and invites tenants to comment to the Council within 28 days.

Shimura Curves On Breakfast TV Item About Bands Promoting Themselves On The Web
How Many Caithness Bands and Musicians Are Available Online with Songs To Download?
The band Shimura Curves got lots of free publicity this morning on Breakfast TV.  They have a few tracks on their free web site at My Space.  We wondered how many Caithness Bands and musicians have a web site with tracks available to download. Email with the web address of any other Caithness artists with FREE tracks already up and running and we will list them here over today.  Here are the Caithness bands etc online found so far with tracks for you to listen to - Astronot - Crimson Tide - Howlin Gaels - Graham Maharg - Karen Steven - Manson Grant and the DynamosOn Honre Whisky
See The Full Bands and Professional Caithness Musicians Listings  If you know of any more Caithness bands, singers etc with tracks available online send us the link to add to this list.

Ferry in harbour dispute - The Herald
Why is Orkney Islands Council preventing Pentland Ferries using the harbour at Burwick?  The ferry company could shorten the trip by 30 minutes from Caithness to Orkney and vice-versa.  Since its inception Pentland Ferries has slashed the cost of getting a vehicle over the Pentland Firth. Pentland Ferries run by a local Orkney family have received no grants or subsidies unlike the massive subsidies and bailout given to Northlink Ferries.  Pentland Ferries currently runs between Gills In Caithness to St Margaret's Hope in Orkney but by running into Burwick the firm could cut the running time by 30 minutes and probably reduce fares even further.  The question everyone is asking is why is Orkney Islands Council preventing this as better ferry services are likely to assist the populations of both Orkney and Caithness. In 2004 the Scottish Executive gave Northlink £13.4 million after it got into financial trouble.  Ferries

Swallows Overflow The Nest In A Barn At Mill House, Stainland
The fine weather is encouraging birds to hang around the county and as can be seen in this photo the swallows have done well this year in some parts of Caithness.  There is certainly not much room left in this nest.

Bird Watching Index   Bird Watching Forum   Biodiversity Index   Nature


Gibson Calls for Crofting answer from EXEC
Rob Gibson has called for the First Stage debate on the Crofting Bill to be postponed if the Scottish Government does not give a response this week to concerns laid out by the Rural Development Committee. Mr Gibson says that the committee gave recommendations pertaining to local representation and accountability of the Crofters Commission to the Minister and Deputy Minister two months ago. However as yet no response has been forthcoming.

Indiscipline in Highland schools "out of control", says McGrigor
Incidents of violence in local schools are spiralling out of control, according to Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie McGrigor. With statistics obtained by the Scottish Conservatives showing a 45% increase in violence in Highland schools, the Conservative MSP accused the Scottish Executive of failing to get a grip of the problem and of trying to hide the figures.

Still Plenty Of Caithness Events In Scottish Archaeology Month - Pdf file

A Chance To See Round Four Caithness Castles - Friday 15 September 06

The Highland Council Countryside Rangers and Caithness Archaeological Trust are organising a special event this Friday 15th September focusing on some of the fascinating East Caithness Castles including the Castle of Old Wick, Sinclair Girnigoe, Old Keiss and Bucholie. The event involves a mini bus tour leaving from Wick at 11.00am and touring along the East Caithness coast in search of these romantic ruins. A cost of £7 is in place to cover the mini bus costs and a soup/sandwich lunch at a local hotel on route. To book a place or for further information, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955607758 or e-mail    More details here

Any Young Caithness Golfers Ready For A Challenge?
Highland Junior Golf Championship for Spey Valley

"Karen" Rescued By Thurso Lifeboat "The Taylors"
Thurso Lifeboat "The Taylors" towed the Karen back to port after it had engine difficulties after they sucked up a large jellyfish on Sunday.  The incident was fairly uneventful and the anglers aboard were returned to Scrabster. Angling and Fishing In Caithness

Now Over 200 Properties For Sale or Rent On
Wherever else you are advertising your property for sale or for renting make sure its is seen in our property pages.  An amazing number of people find they can save a fortune in advertising costs by trying our pages for a week or two in the first instance.  Why?  Because its FREE.  Anyone can add a property or your selling agent can do it for you.  To submit a property See Here - It includes a photo and as much text as you want to add.

Caithness And North Sutherland Children's Choir
This is a photo from the last rehearsal of the Caithness And North Sutherland Children's Choir at their last rehearsal before the summer holidays.  It is one of number of items in our backlog of items that we are always trying to catch up on.


Sea Eagles soar on Farr open-air cinema
Note - Farr is in Strath Nairn south of Inverness and not the one out near Bettyhill
Highland Council's Rangers are hosting an outdoor cinema show this weekend (Saturday 16th September, 2006) in Farr. The RSPB's stunning film "The Eagle Odyssey" will be shown in the open air. This is the inspiring story of one of the UK's greatest conservation successes. The film focuses on the white tailed sea eagle which is finally back where it belongs, on the spectacular coasts and islands of north-west Scotland. After centuries of persecution, sea eagles became extinct in the UK early last century. Today, dozens of pairs breed successfully in Scotland, each year drawing large numbers of visitors from around the world to see them. This awesome bird of prey is eight feet from wing tip to wing tip and one of the world's largest eagles. Sea Eagles  - RSPB

Council Urges Parents To "Park Smart"
Parents and carers who drive their children to and from school are being urged to park safely and considerately around Highland schools through an initiative called "Park Smart". Balloch Primary School, Inverness is currently participating in the "Park Smart" scheme and over the next two months other schools participating will include Park Primary, Invergordon on 11th September; Duncan Forbes Primary, Culloden on 25th September; and from 2nd October, Cradlehall Primary, Drakies Primary and Muirtown Primary in Inverness will be combining "Park Smart" with Walk to School Week to encourage parents to leave the car at home. Mount Pleasant Primary, Thurso and Grantown Primary, Badenoch and Strathspey will also be running Park Smart during this week.

Jail Warning As Freshwater Pearl Mussel Kills Discovered
The discovery of a large pile of dead freshwater pearl mussels beside a river has today promoted a jail warning from police and Scottish Natural Heritage. The find of this fascinating and little-known river dweller was made by two SNH staff members at an unspecified Highland river over the past few days. It follows a find at another river system recently and has again raised the illegal activity of killing these animals for the pearls they sometimes produce. SNH and Northern Constabulary have again warned that people in the Highlands should not interfere with these animals. Freshwater pearl mussels are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and anyone taking, disturbing or harming them is liable to prosecution and could face a prison sentence. It is also illegal to sell the pearls that the mussels sometimes produce without a licence from the Scottish Executive. Scotland is the European stronghold for this species and contains half of the world's known viable populations.

Two Year Old Cat Missing In Halkirk
Zara went missing from the Halkirk village on Monday 4th September. She is very little ,timid and she is a faded tortoise shell two year old cat. If anyone has any details please phone Caithness Cats Protection.

Scottish Socialist Party In Highland Crisis
Members of the Highlands and Islands Regional Council of the Scottish Socialist Party, as a group, have voted overwhelmingly to leave the SSP and join Solidarity, Scotland's Socialist Movement. Three branches in the region had already voted to join Solidarity en masse with 3 more to vote this week. The move means that the SSP are now left with only a handful of members in the Highlands and will struggle to put together an electoral list for next May. All but two of the nine listed candidates who were selected earlier this year, to stand for the SSP in May, have now joined Solidarity. This follows a similar situation in the South of Scotland region where over 100 members have now left to join Solidarity leaving less than 20 SSP members in that region.

CarpetRIGHT - The Latest New Shop At Wick Retail Park Opens
The latest new store to open at the Wick Retail Park opened with bang offering up to 60% off normal prices. The new store is the sixth one to open at the retail park at Wick's South Road. Manager Allan Budge said they had made an excellent start with many shoppers in to take advantage of the great prices during this opening event that runs until 10.00pm on 12 September. The new shop employs six staff but this will be kept under review and if there is sufficient demand they may employ more to ensure a good quality of service to customers.

"It's all done with mirrors: a new window on the universe with gravitational wave astronomy"
 7.30pm Monday 11th September 2006 at Pentland Hotel, Thurso
Lecture by Dr Martin Hendry from the Astrophysics department at Glasgow University
Dr Martin Hendry - Public Lecture -  - open to everyone

2915 Sign ASDA Online Petition But How Many Have Contacted the Planning Office?
Whilst signatures on a petition on the web may be interesting they carry absolutely no weight at planning meetings.  Indeed the councillors in Inverness maybe completely unaware of such a petition and even if presented with a copy it may carry little or no weight as it is not evidenced as to who signed or where they come from.  What counts are letters and emails to the planning department.  If anyone really wants to make their views known about the ASDA position they need to be in touch with the officials before councillor Alistair MacDonald's Notice of Review is heard in Inverness later this month.  Letters can be sent to John Rennilson Head of Planning, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX or locally to the planning office in Wick.  The Notice of Review was not taken at the meeting scheduled in view of the intervention of the Coop on the Tesco planning application in Wick where similar background information from a Retail Impact Assessment was used and which the Coop are now challenging. Meantime Tesco intends to be open before Christmas.

The Papers
Independents in talks on joint election campaign - Scotsman
The council elections in May 2007 will be held on the same day as the elections for the Scottish Parliament.  Independent councillors fear they could be at disadvantage as the new wards will be three times larger making it difficult to get round to canvass the electorate whilst party label candidates will have the party members moving around supporting the candidates for the Scottish Parliament and will co-ordinate canvassing and leaflet drops for the local council candidates who belong to that party.  A loose association might mean that independent councillors who wish Highland to remain and independent council might co-operate in putting out information on their record even though they vote on all matters as they see fit in the best interests of their constituents and do not toe any party line as is the case in councils further south where a Labour or Lib Dem administration is formed.  Are the days of Highland independent councillors numbered or will the electorate decide to maintain a majority of independent councillors?  At present their are 54 independent councillors out of the 80 in Highland.  At present the independent councillors in Caithness are Bill Fernie (Wick West), Katrina MacNab (Pulteneytown), Donnie Mackay (Thurso Central), Bill Mowat (Caithness South East), Tom Jackson (Thurso East), John Green (Caithness North East)
Councillors who stood under party tickets ate listed here.  There are three Lib Dems - David Flear (Caithness Central), Alastair MacDonald (Caithness North West) and Graeme Smith (Wick) and one Labour Roger Saxon (Thurso West)..................More May 2007 Elections So Far

Retiral of Zena Sinclair After 44 Years With The Council
One of The Highland Council’s longest serving employees bowed out on Friday (8 September 2006) after 44 years’ service to local government. Zena Sinclair, a clerical assistant at the Council’s offices at Market Square, Wick, was presented with gifts from councillors and colleagues at ceremonies held at Wick Town Hall, where her career began in 1962.  Zena began work for Wick Town Council as a shorthand typist on leaving school. When the Town Council was disbanded in 1975, as part of local government reorganisation, Zena transferred to Market Square, Wick to work in the Chief Executive's office of Caithness District Council.  At the most recent reorganisation in 1996, Zena continued to work in Market Square as a clerical assistant in the Law and Administration Section of The Highland Council.  Zena has taken in her stride the many changes she has encountered throughout her career, most notably the introduction of computers.

Apologies To Hen Night - The Photos Did Not Come Out.  Send One In

Wednesday 20th September 2006, 5pm-6.30pm - Environmental Research Institute, Castle Street, Thurso - CAITHNESS BIODIVERSITY GROUP
Are you aware of the exciting biodiversity of Caithness or the current projects taking place around the county? The Caithness Biodiversity Group would like to invite you to find out more about the Biodiversity projects happening in your area and work of the local group.

Trek Up Ben Nevis For Caithness Charities
A few folk from Caithness will be trekking up to the top of Ben Nevis on Saturday to raise money for three charities.  John  Briskham the Chairman of the Laurandy Day Care Centre at Wick and Lorna Simpson for Argyle Square Community Group and Ormlie Community Association wil be joined by up to 20 others to walk to the top of the Ben and back.  They leave today to stay near to the start off on Saturday morning.
If anyone would like to contribute these fund raising efforts John Briskham can be contacted on 01955 651221 and Lorna Simpson can be contacted on 01955 603502 or 01847 891789.

Wur Caithness - 23rd & 24th September - Does Your Group Want To Take Part  in This Event?
The heritage fair is to take place 23-24th September in Thurso High School. Saturday 23rd: 11am - 4.30pm, Sunday 24th 1pm - 4pm. The theme is 'Wur Caithness' and it is a chance to celebrate and promote Caithness heritage and culture. It will be a bringing together of schools, individuals and organisations. There will also be kid's activities throughout both days.  Individuals or groups that wish to take part can apply to set up a stand or exhibit at the Caithness Heritage Fair.  See the link above for more information and application form or contact Shona Macdonald, Arts Development Officer Tel 01955 605423 or 01955 609906.  Photos from the 2003 Heritage Fair  2001 Heritage Fair  Winning Essay at 2001 Heritage Fair

Dunnet Forest Totem Poles
A new and colourful use of timber and recycled containers can be seen in Dunnet Forest. Artist Liz O'Donnell worked with children and adults for the summer holiday Nature Club run by the Highland Council Countryside Rangers at Dunnet. Funding for materials came from a grant that was part of Highland Year of Culture 2007. The work was organised by Dunnet Forest Trust. Liz O'Donnell gave her time cost free.

Latest Girnigoe Castle Photos From A Helicopter
More photos showing the splendour of Girnigoe Castle from the air sent by Brian Finch.
Girnigoe Castle Index  Main Caithness Castles Index  Reconstructions  Caithness Castles Photos Galleries  Caithness Castles From The Air  Sinclair Girnigoe Castle is open as part of Doors Open Day on Saturday 9th September.  Two guided tours at 2.00-pm and 4.00pm ware available free of charge.  To book contact Emma Sanderson on 01593 731269.  This is great chance to see what has been happening over the past two years and have the recent archaeological excavations and restoration work explained.

Step into the past with Highland Archaeology Fortnight 2006
30th September - 15th October 2006
Programmes for the 13th annual Highland Archaeology Fortnight are hot off the press this week and the event’s organisers are urging archaeology followers to get their copies now. The two week event takes place between Saturday 30th September - Sunday 15th October, with a diverse range of 156 events taking place throughout the Highlands. The festival, which celebrates the archaeology, history and culture of the Highlands, has a packed programme of guided walks, talks, children’s and special events for people of all ages to enjoy.  Not to be confused With Scottish Archaeology Month in September during which there are several Caithness and Sutherland events.

Pentland Housing Association AGM
19 September 2006 7.30pm - Pentland Hotel - Speaker From ASDA On Proposals For New Store
Pentland Housing Association is holdings it annual general meeting at the Pentland hotel in Thurso on the 19th of September to report on the past years activities, appoint any new committee members and hear a presentation from Mr Barney Harle, Development Surveyor North ASDA Supermarkets on the benefits ASDA will bring to Thurso. Tenants of Pentland Housing are encouraged to join the association and the cost is only £1 per year.  There is raffle for all members who attend. 
Pentland Housing Association Web Site

Castletown Couple Use Silver Wedding To Raise Funds For Asthma xharity
When Castletown couple Willie and Heather Moodie recently celebrated their silver wedding anniversary, they asked their guests to donate to Asthma UK instead of giving presents. The magnificent sum of £600 was raised. Pictured handing over the collection cans to local co-ordinator Liz Cormack are Willie and Heather's sons Callum (left) and Gregor.


Caithness FM/Moray Firth Link Broken Again
Unfortunately the link has broken again and the local radio station is once again off the air until an engineer can be sent out from Inverness.

Tenants largest group on Highland Housing Association Management Committee
Highland Housing Association has appointed two more tenant members to its Management Committee, bringing the total to six. This means that tenants now form the largest group on the16-strong Committee. Alness tenant Jennifer MacLeod and Dingwall tenant Colin Morrison have this week been appointed to the Management Committee of the new not-for-profit Association. Highland Housing Association will take over the running of council housing in the Highlands if tenants vote for the move in a ballot due to take place in a few weeks' time.  Community Ownership Programme
The Tenants Ballot and Preliminary Consultations

Looking For A Job - check the Jobs Pages - More Going in
Project Managers / Engineers Process / Plant / Maintenance Engineers Commissioning / Decommissioning Engineers Planning Engineers / Cost Engineers / Estimators Discipline Design Engineers / Technical Authors QA Engineers / Quantity Surveyors Graduate Engineers Craft Technicians - Contracts Manager - Building Firm In Wick, Catering Manager - Contracts Manager Dounreay - Planning engineer - Mortgage Advisor and  more......

Caithness FM/Moray Firth Radio Back On The Air
Both stations are back on air, MFR engineers traced the fault yesterday - one of the amplifiers at Ben Dorrerry had blown and this had caused the fuses in power supply to the back up amplifier to blow - the amp will be replaced shortly.  Caithness FM web site

Wedding Of Alasdair Coll & Maxleia Alessandra De Oliveira
The latest wedding photo to be added to the weddings section is that of Alasdair Coll & Maxleia Alessandra De Oliveira of Bonhill Dumbartonshire were married on the 2nd Sep 2006 at St Anne's Church Thurso, groom originally from Dunnet and the bride from Goiania-Brasil.
If you would like to share your wedding photos simply email them to Weddings can be recent or from the past of relatives and ancestors.  Additionally we will add anniversaries of weddings - silver golden diamond etc.  Weddings Index and Hijobs team up to offer better deal for North recruiters
Two of the north's top websites have teamed up to offer local companies and organisations a cost-effective alternative to the so-called traditional media when they need to advertise for new staff.  Here at we are very pleased to be able to announce that more jobs will be flowing into our jobs section for Caithness, Sutherland and Orkney.  Hijobs has a highly experienced team of recruiters and are quickly establishing themselves as one of the foremost recruitment agencies in Highland and elsewhere. The Jobs section will benefit from having more jobs placed whilst local employers can choose to have the free ads directly placed or look to use the expertise of Hijobs.  Local ermployers can now choose very competitive prices FREE on or low cost with Hijobs for an enhanced service.
Hi-Jobs Jobs Section

Caithness Volunteers Trained As Marine Mammal Medics
A group of about a dozen volunteers from Caithness completed their training to become marine mammal medics. The training was done by the BDMLR whose most recent high profile involvement was the Northern Bottlenose whale in the Thames in February. If anyone finds a stranded cetacean or believes one to be stranded, in the first instance contact the main BDMLR number 01825 765546 who will then contact the medics in the area. More information can be found on the main BDMLR website, which is linked to above. the Telephone Number and link to the web site are now listed in our Helplines

Doors open Day and Other Events - 9 September - Make Sure You Are Free that Day
September in Caithness is packed with events but one of the busiest days is 9th September when Doors Open day gives you a chance to visit many local centres and buildings all for FREE.  Combined with the continental Market in Wick and the many Arts events you should head for Caithness if you can spare a few days.  See September What's On and browse the Arts section for many of the Arts events Caithness Arts Week is fast approaching and runs from 16th to 24the September.

Message From Caithness FM/MFR Re Transmitter Failure
Jackie Johnson from Caithness FM has been in touch with us regarding transmitter failure. MFR equipment at Ben Dorrery has failed and both radio stations are off air - they don't know exactly what is wrong yet, but think it may be the main transmitter that has failed. It may take a couple of days to get things sorted out.  If you use Caithness FM as a an alarm call reset to the buzzer until the radio station comes back on the air.

Girnigoe Castle In September
The big scaffolding is now gone but the work goes on.  Some scaffolding is still in place and more will be built shortly as the work to ensure the castle does not deteriorate.  Archaeologists have been revealing more about the castle and a barbican discovered last year continues to be excavated.  More history is being revealed as the work progresses and will no doubt ad to or indeed change the knowledge we have the part it played in the history of Caithness.
Girnigoe Castle Index  Main Caithness Castles Index  Reconstructions
Caithness Castles Photos Galleries  Caithness Castles From The Air
Sinclair Girnigoe Castle is open as part of Doors Open Day on Saturday 9th September.  Two guided tours at 2.00-pm and 4.00pm ware available free of charge.  To book contact Emma Sanderson on 01593 731269.  This is great chance to see what has been happening over the past two years and have the recent archaeological excavations and restoration work explained.

Helmsdale Hostel Under New Management
The well-known hostel at Helmsdale run by the Scottish Youth Hostel Association was put up for sale and many folk thought that was the end of an era. However the hostel was bought by Irene Drummond and after a lot of work reopened earlier this year. The hostel is spic and span once again and offers a high standard of hostel accommodation in one of the most scenic areas in the north of Scotland.  Helmesdale is on the way to the far north and makes an attractive stop-over at a harbour town that has its own visitor centre at Timespan where you can see how once people tried to make their fortune ion the Kildonan Gold rush.

Sunday Papers
Doctors reject ‘people power’ - Sunday Herald
This item is sparked by the bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament suggesting board members should be elected by the public rather than appointed.  The Health Board Elections (Scotland) Bill has quietly been heading through the stages in Edinburgh and has a long way to go. The question is do the public want to be able to vote the board members of health board on and off and will they then do what the public want for fear of being voted out? Doctors apparently think so and are unhappy with this according to the article today.  Is this  a chance to get rid of these quangoes? Would this new proposed system be any better than appointments by ministers to boards?.
Currently new board members are being sought for a number of Health Boards in Scotland in including NHS Highland

Did You Know That Caithness Cheese Was Mentioned In the Monty Python Cheese Sketch?

New All Weather Pitch At Wick High School Starts Run Of Improved Sports Facilities
Sports facilities in Caithness are at last seeing a few strides forward as Highland Council's moves to improve matters finally begins to take shape just a the same time as community groups and a private benefactor have offered a large sum to a group in Halkirk. The new all-weather pitch at Wick High school is completed and Mr Graham Nichols the Area Education, Culture & Sport Manager - Caithness will outline to the Wick High school board next week how the facilities can be used by the school and local community sports groups. East End Boys Club and Wick Academy football club are among groups showing a keen interest in the new facility. The new pitch comes with a state of the art all weather surface that should allow play in most weather conditions. The floodlights are very high and should be vandal proof. They have six towers with three lights on each and will give tremendous lighting on the long dark nights in Caithness.

Highland Council  - Report To Councillors Next Week For Approval - Pdf file
On Thursday 7th September Highland Councillors will be asked to note the progress in the consultation heading towards a ballot of tenants on the transfer of council housing to the Highland Housing Association.  A series of detailed reports have been sent out to councillors and are available at the link above.  The process is now at Gateway 3 of the Community Ownership Programme and councillors are asked to agree to proceed to the Formal Consultation and the ballot. The report provides detailed financial information and the implications of housing transfer and what might happen if housing remains with the Council. This is the most important set of decisions placed before the council in recent years in respect of housing in the Highlands.  Council housing in Highland amounts 18% of the total housing stock. Owner Occupied is 65.7%, Existing Housing Associations are 3.6% and other rented 7% with others types 5/7%. 
Community Ownership Programme 
Housing Index   Highland Housing Association - the non-profit organisation set up to take over the houses. 

New Tesco Unloading All Day at Wick Harbour - While The Site Is Frenzy Of Activity

All day today from 7.00am this morning the materials required to construct the new Tesco store have been landing at Wick thanks to two giant Simpson's cranes.  Harbour Master Malcolm Bremner has for the first time in years had to juggle cargoes as more wood is due to export from Wick more boats lining up take shipments out rather than go south by road.  Apart from the wind turbines last year this could be the busiest period for Wick harbour for some time giving much needed revenue to the harbour whilst saving many lorry trips from the roads north.  Further Tesco shipments will be arriving with more material and the wood cladding from Finland as this the most eco-friendly Tesco store in the UK is built.  Barr project manager David Stott said "The job is about two days behind schedule but that will be picked up now that the materials are arriving on site.  The scheduled opening date is 27 November and he is confident that the target date will be met.  20 joiners are working in the former glass factory next door in workshops set up to use the space.  Everyone is working over-time on this job with the site closing down at 7.00pm each day although some sub-contractors are working longer on certain aspects to ensure completion of their part to allow other work to follow on immediately. Mr Stott said "Barrs have built several stores for Tesco and this is the most challenging one yet as it has many differences using different materials and fiinishes to make it more ecologically sound.  Apart from that the essential building is the same and we will finish on schedule. Due to the huge public interest in the store Barr's are looking at the possibility of erecting a public view point so that interested people can see the progress being made"

Continental Market Returns To Wick 7 - 10 September
The continental market returns to Wick on Thursday 7 September for four days. The mix of stalls along with all of the local stalls for eggs, cakes and other items will all add to the colour of September that is looking to be a very busy month on the cultural scene with lots of shows and walks and talks on archaeology thrown in with a Doors Open Day On Saturday 9th Sept.  All of this with the Caithness Arts Week 16th - 24 the Sept and spilling over into Exhibitions at Wick and Thurso Art Galleries St Fergus and Swanson.  The events  are all being listed in the Arts section, What's On and for the Arts Week on Caithness Arts  Events are across the county in Wick, Thurso, Lyth Arts and the Mill Theatre as well as plenty of outdoors action via Archaeology Month where Caithness has the lion's chare of Highland events. But there is much more on in hotels and venues across the county so its great time to visit Caithness.

A Couthy Bothy Night In Wick - Free For Doors Open Day
SEAFARING tales and traditional tunes are to be served up at a Bothy Night taking place at Wick's "Seven Gates" salt cellars next weekend. The event on Saturday, 9th September, is being organised by Lower Pulteneytown Promotions as one of the Doors Open Day activities linked to Scottish Archaeology Month. The Bothy Night will run from 7.30pm to around 9pm, with traditional music by Pete Nichol and his son Chris and storytelling from Ian Stephen and Janis Mackay. Ian, from Lewis, is no stranger to this type of event in Caithness, having previously appeared at sessions staged by Scotia Review and Dunbeath Heritage Centre. With funding from Live Literature and the Highland Council he will be holding a storytelling workshop for second-year pupils at Wick High School on Friday and going along with some of the young people to tell tales at the Seven Gates.

Kent Duchaine - American Bluesman Returns To Mackays Hotel
Murray Lamond has pulled off a small coup in the music scene in Wick by bringing back the blues singer Kent DuChaine. The well travelled singer with several albums to his name and used hitting the blues scene all over Europe and the US is in Mackays Hotel on Saturday 9th September from 9.00pm. With an incredible repertoire of the blues greats in his head he is able to take on almost anything the audience would expect from a wide range of well known blues and jazz greats. His virtuoso performances have audiences amazed at his guitar playing and the range and breadth of his songs.

The Tea Cosy At East Mey Is Simply Unique
There is definitely something unique about the Tea Cosy at East Mey. Apart from the fact that it serves freshly prepared food using local produce wherever possible is situated near a fascinating part of the Caithness coast. More and more people are discovering that this recently opened eating place has a lot to offer apart from the wonderfully fresh food and a nice room in which to eat it.  The tea room and gift shop are situated near the locally famous Scotland's Haven  with its small beach and great for bird watchers.  Near to Castle of Mey and the Gills Ferry a few minutes away.  A collection of birds of prey will fascinate the kids and the grown ups.

It appears that Jamie et al have got their message through to British children but we are letting them down. 79% of children surveyed nationally know they need five fruit and veg a day to be healthy, but a staggering 80% say they aren't getting any in their pack lunches and three quarters say they still have no vegetables in their school dinners. A shocking half of British kids claim they don't get any of their 'five-a-day' in mealtimes at home.

The Papers
INTERVIEW Amec could team up with US giant to buy British Nuclear Group - Life Style Extra

Blas t Off Tonight - First Concert in Caithness
The fiirst Bas Festival concert in Caithness is Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain, Catriona Mckay & Chris Stout and the Feis Chataibh Ceilidh Trail in Wick High School and starts at 7.30pm. The Blas Festival starts this Friday (1 September) with nine days of great music in Caithness, Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Badenoch and Strathspey, Lochaber, Nairn and Skye & Lochalsh. Following the huge success of the inaugural Blas Festival last year, this years event has developed to be bigger and better. A total of 43 different venues will be taking part at which internationally acclaimed artists will share the stage with home grown young musical talent.

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