Red Hot and Coming To Wick In September
Some clips of the group coming to play at the Massed Pipe Bands in Market Square in September. Message Boards Hit Biggest Day Ever Yesterday
All of Continues Its Upward Trend
The numbers of of checking out the message boards has been rising steadily and in recent weeks has reached record levels and yesterday was the highest yet with 5607 visitors.  So far in February 120,794 visitors have looked at 1,325,007 pages or 6,316,216 hits.  And that's just the message board.  In fact the message board past the one million visitor mark in the past 12 months with a whopping 1,078,138 visitors looking at 14,414,332 pages.  The boards now have many sections and of course you can advertise items for sale completely FREE.  An amazing number of items have passed through the boards since it started and they are still growing.  For the whole web site February is approaching 800,000 visitors and in the next 12 months it looks likely that on current trends may have over 10,000,000 visitors.   Hits in the past 12 months are over 200 million with page views of almost 38 million.  Last July the annual visitor rate was 6.2 million and numbers continued to rise with big surges still in December and July each year - being the Christmas period and the gala period for Caithness.  We are also estimating that the site will soon reach one million page views a week and an much higher hit rate.  We are still gobsmacked with this continuing rise and thanks to all of you for looking in.

The winners of last Saturday's BBC1 programme "When Will I Be Famous", the Red Hot Chilli Pipers have agreed to play at a Massed Pipe Band event in Wick in September. The live TV show is hosted by Graham Norton and each week 8 different acts compete for a £10,000 first prize.  The band was formed just over four years ago after Stuart Cassels the 2005 BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year was asked to do something different at the wedding of fellow band piper Kevin MacDonald. They have performed in Oman, China, Thailand and France. In January this year they played at a Burns Supper organised by Ewan McGregor and attended by celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney. The Wick Massed Pipe Bands will be held on Saturday 8th September 2007 in the Market Square. It will have a similar format to the extremely successful event held there in September 2006 when the Caithness Junior Pipe Band, Sutherland Caledonia Pipe Band, Tain Pipe Band, Thurso Pipe Band and Wick RBLS Pipe Band performed a series of massed band and solo sets. It was estimated that around 2000 people attended that event which was followed by a ceilidh in the Francis Street Club. Larger Photos

May Election Hots Up In Wick As 6 Candidates Up And Running
Wick seems to be making the pace with 6 prospective candidates for Highland Council already in the running with Thurso still only apparently having three and Caithness Landward with only two.  So far only Wick will be having an election but there is still a long way to go.  It seems like the burst of activity over the past two or three years in Wick may be encouraging folk to get involved in all sorts of things including the election.  Thurso at the moment seemingly only has the current councillors in the fray so at present no election required whilst Caithness Landward that can have four councillors only has two in the running so no election yet there. If no election is required it means all who stand are automatically elected. If you know of other potential candidates get in touch and we will add them to our listing.

Former Minister Peter Peacock Sees Demolition Work At Dounreay
Highlands and Islands MSP and former Education Minister Peter Peacock made a fact-finding visit to Dounreay on 26 February 2007. The group saw at first hand the demolition of the fast reactor experiment and visited the site of the latest building to be removed from the skyline - the site's former security office known as D9973. They also met trade union officials and held talks with site director Simon Middlemas. In the photo is Rhoda Grant, a candidate on the Labour regional list for the May election to the Scottish Parliament, Peter Peacock MSP Highlands and Islands and Simon Middlemas the Doureay site director.

Watten Primary School - Newsletter

New Section For Community Enterprises
Following the day at the Wellington Centre in Wick on Saturday 24th February we have set up a new section for HEAART and any other local groups that are trying to set up ca community enterprise, social firm or other type of community business.  A short report of Saturday's meeting at the Wellington Centre is now in the HEAART section.  If any other group is involved in setting up a community enterprise of any sort and would like a section on send details to

Halkirk Young Farmers - New Members Evening
New Member Night open to 14 - 30 year olds with an interest in joining the Young Farmers movement. Informal evening including presentation on YF and the club and a chance to sign up if you wish!!!

Over 250 Properties For Sale Or Let Now On
The property section continues to grow and it is still FREE to place an add with full details and photos of the property.  Private sellers and agents can easily add properties by completing the Submission Form For Properties For Sale or Submission form For Properties To Let

Drama Booming In Caithness
Record Number Of  Entries From Caithness For SCDA Highland Division Youth Festival

This year sees a record entry for the Scottish Community Drama Association (SCDA) Highland Division with a total of six team entries from Halkirk, Wick and Thurso. Because of this interest the Festival will be held over two nights, Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th March. The venue on both evenings will be Thurso High School and the curtain goes up at 7:00pm.

Ryanair's Nottingham East Midlands Service Takes Off At Inverness
The latest new route from Inverness Airport took off today with the start of Ryanair flights between the Highland capital and Nottingham. More than 90 passengers arrived on the inaugural flights which touched down at 2.40pm, many visiting friends and family in the north. The service will operate three days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) from now on with a single return flight on each day. Flights depart Nottingham at 13.20 and arrive at Inverness at 14.40 before departing Inverness at 15.05 and arriving at Nottingham at 16.25. Ryanair launched its first service at Inverness in October last year with daily flights operating to Liverpool.

George Bain Exhibition - Swanson Gallery - Running Now  Until 24th March

Groam House, the award-winning museum in Rosemarkie, is embarking on an ambitious exhibition project as part of Highland 2007, Scotland's year of Highland Culture. The project will focus on the outstanding work of Highland artist George Bain, who devoted much of his life to the study of the techniques of the ancient Celtic and Pictish artists. The exhibition, `George Bain - A Highland Homecoming', will tour extensively in the Highlands during 2007, and will include workshop sessions for schools, an evening workshop for adults and an evening lecture in each location. However, in order to emphasise George Bain's strong association with Caithness, the tour has been planned to open at the Swanson Gallery in Thurso and will run until Saturday, 24 March.  A FREE lecture on George Bain Master of Celtic Art takes place on Wed 14th March at 7.00pm in Swanson Gallery and workshop to learn how to construct these ancient patterns takes place on Wed 7th March 7.00 - 9.00pm and costs £7.50 - Booking essential. Tel 01463 811833
The exhibition moves to the St Fergus Gallery, Wick - 31 March - 21 April

Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso - Latest Newsletter
HMIe - Latest School Report Published Today The head teacher is holding an open meeting On Thursday, 1 March for parents from 6.30 – 7.30 to discuss the report which is very good. The HMIe report on Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso, has praised the good standards of attainment, particularly in mathematics, together with teachers' high expectations of pupils' overall achievements. Also highlighted are the very positive and inclusive ethos and the attractive and welcoming environment fostered by the staff. The inspectors identified the strong sense of teamwork among all teaching and non-teaching staff. The good quality of relationships between the school, home and the wider community is mentioned and the report commends the committed teachers and the effective leadership of the head teacher. 
Mount Pleasant School Index

South Primary School, Wick - Latest Newsletter

Caithness Pilot Mobile Post Office May Go National
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Peter Peacock has visited the pilot mobile Post Office scheme which operates in Caithness. A DTI consultation is presently continuing into the future of postal services and part of the process will involve a consideration of new and innovative ways of delivering postal services to our rural areas.  (Post Office consultation closes on 8 March 2007).  Mr Peacock said," The National Federation of Sub Postmasters and a cross party group of MPs in Westminster have agreed that the present configuration of Post Offices in the UK are not sustainable and new methods of delivering postal services must be found for certain areas. The government has agreed to fund 500 new outreach services for postal deliveries and I am keen to see the Highlands and Islands at the top of the list for consideration when these are rolled out. The pilot mobile post office has been operating in Caithness for more than a year and delivers postal services to Reiss, Keiss, Aukengill, Mey and Thrumster four days a week

Lyth Arts Centre - Two Shows For The New Season
March 2007 sees the start of the new season March - December 2007. Membership fees are now due and at £15 for single or £25 for two people its an easy way to support this great arts place in Caithness.
19th and 20th March 2007 - Starting at 8.00pm
Stellar Quines Theatre Company - The Unconquered by Torben Betts
In a non-descript coastal town somewhere in these islands, a fiercely intelligent young schoolgirl lives with her parents. She has barricaded herself away from a political and cultural system that she despises; cursing the air that she breathes and the bourgeois mentality her parents emulate. The play is both frighteningly dark and brutally funny, both broadly comic and profoundly tragic.
Sunday 1 April 2007 - Starts at 3.00pm - Right Lines Theatre Company - "Illicit" Illicit is a fast-paced comedy show about hard-nosed ambition, illicit whisky and perfume! Scotching the rumour that business start-up is singularly dull, Illicit neatly blurs the boundaries between fantasy and reality with a deluxe blend of interactive comedy, mission statements and technical wizardry - 100% proof that the show will be a barrel of laughs! The afternoon of April Fool's Day is just the moment to enjoy this fast-paced comedy show! Stay behind afterwards for tea and Betsy's baking.

'Radio Remedy' Lyrics Quiz 2007 Winner - The Answers For All Who Took Part
Bruce G Cormack of Castletown was the first all correct answer sheet drawn from the returns after Saturday's Closing Date, 17th February. He wins a £20 Voucher for Tesco's Supermarket which was donated by Radio Remedy's Vice Chairman Billy Duchart. The Quiz sold very well through the usual outlets in Thurso & Wick and was also available from our Presenters and Supporters (You know who you are).
Thanks to all who supported our organisation.


New legislation being introduced on 27 February 2007 stipulates that it is illegal to use hand-held mobile phones when driving, when stopped at traffic lights or when queuing in traffic and the penalties for doing so are now more severe.  Here is summary of some of the penalties -
£60 On The Spot Fine - 3 Penalty Points - Possible Higher Insurance Payments - Employers requiring employees to take calls can be prosecuted - Hands Free drivers may also face prosecution if not in full control of the vehicle - If case goes to court fines up to £2500 for van and lorry and bus drivers - Also illegal whilst in a queue and at traffic lights etc.

Improving Protecting of Children and Young People
In a move to ensure the safety and well-being of pupils The Highland Council has sent a letter to all parents giving details of its new policy to manage unexplained absences. The Council has being looking closely at its practices regarding pupil absence to see how, in partnership with parents and carers, protection for children can be improved. From this review a new three day rule for schools has been developed which lays out a clear set of procedures to follow in all unexplained absences.  Starting with telephone calls, emails  up to contacting the police on the third day.

Brodie McHaggis Goes Under The Hammer Again For The 2007 MFR Charity Auction
Brodie McHaggis is back in Inverness this year for the 2007 Moray Firth Radio Charity Auction. Brodie continues to capture the hearts and minds of those who follow him through his first adventure, and we are now pleased to announce that his second adventure will be available in May. Don't miss out on your chance to be the first to get one of the limited First Edition copies - to be released in May. Tune into MFR on 2, 3 and 4 March 2007 to have a chance of placing a bid. Along with this book and available now for the winning bidder is a framed A4 size picture of the front cover - the first in existence. The book will be sent on as soon as it is available. Both items will be signed by the Author, Helen Campbell, and dedicated to the Moray Firth Charity Auction 2007 - a real collector's item.

Councillors Split As Planning Permission Granted For New House In Dunnet
An application for a new house at Dunnet was granted today by a majority of 5 - 3 at a special hearing of the Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee.  The councillors (Tom Jackson, Roger Saxon and Graeme Smith) voted to accept the planning officers recommendation to refuse permission on the grounds that they could not go against the local plan in this instance as they did not accept there were valid reasons.  However five councillors (Bill Fernie, David Flear, John Green Donnie Mackay, and Katrina MacNab) felt that there were sufficient grounds citing "fragile population" in the Dunnet area as one factor. The applicant Clair Calder whose parents own a local farm said she and her partner intended to settle in the area where she was brought up and wanted to set up a new business and bring up their family in Dunnet.  There were objections from owners of surrounding properties and a letter of support from the local community council.  Councillors Mowat and MacDonald were unavailable for today's meeting.

Caithness Councillors Agree To Bid For Further Cash For Pulteneytown Regeneration Area
Councillors agreed to day to make bid to Housing and Social Work Committee for an additional £300,000 of PSHG funding over the 5 year period of the CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) project, and that up to a further £100,000 of Area allocation be earmarked for projects in the area.  Wick is now the the biggest recipient of funding in Scotland under the scheme.  It was generally agreed that his was more "good news" for Wick and that the Lower Pulteneytown area was beginning to look significantly improved.  It was also agreed there was still a lot to be done and this latest tranche of money would help keep the momentum of improvement going.  By the time the scheme comes to an end almost £9 million will have been spent on Lower Pulteneytown since the schemes in the area started.

Flood Damage Remedial Work Ongoing In Caithness With Costs Likely To Be Over £4million
The Area Roads and Community Works Manager Richard Guest outlined the current position of work being undertaken and awaiting start dates following the flooding across the county in October last year. Listing the actions taken to repair flood damage and mitigate the effects of future flooding Mr Guest said that some works were completed and that negotiations were still going on with the Scottish Executive and the Highland Council regarding funding assistance to deal with the costs.  Councillor Bill Fernie highlighted the ongoing concerns about South Road as not only was their large drainage works required wick people were particularly concerned about the state of the road.  Mr Guest assured councillors that Transerv and the council and others were still negotiating for a final solution that would deal with both issues.  It was hoped that work could begin by the summer but no date had been fixed.  Bill Fernie also highlighted the fact that many smaller flooding problems were not included in the list.  Mr Guest said that he had many others under consideration they were not being forgotten and proposals were already being considered for them.

Ceòl aig Tuath /Music in the North
A project of Còisir Ghàidhlig Mhealabhaich / Melvich Gaelic Choir
A series of 'Gold' Gaelic song concerts & workshops ……in this year of celebration in the Highlands we are presenting Ceòl aig Tuath /Music in the North.  This exciting series of concerts will showcase Gaelic song and music and give anyone and everyone the chance to learn to sing in Gaelic. The workshops will be led by the concert artists so the tuition will be expert and enthusiastic to support all those new to the challenge, those returning to it after time away and those who are Gaelic singers. A Gaelic teacher will be at the workshops to ensure help with the language when needed.

Reopening of North Atlantic Link to Scrabster
Elizabeth Marshall the Area Development Manager advised Caithness councillors of the commencement of a new North European passenger and freight service by the Faroese vessel Norrona calling at Scrabster, linking Caithness to Faroe, Norway, Iceland, Shetland and Denmark in the summer season, which will re-establish old connections between the North Atlantic Communities.  The economic opportunities could be substantial for this regular ferry service.  Councillors agreed to a number of recommendations to ensure the success of this new ferry service including establishing a working group to look at the possibilities and to include the business community, set aside £5000 to be matched for an information package to let people arriving on the ferry know what is in Caithness and provide civic reception for the first visitors on the new service welcoming it to the area.  Finally the Caithness Committee will look into the possibility of sponsored trip for up to 12 young people to go to the Faroe Islands for one week helping to re-establish the twining arrangement between Wick and Klaksvik.  The new ferry service will be linking Scrabster in Caithness, Shetland, Faroes Islands, Iceland, Denmark and Norway opening up many possibilities for visitors both to and from these destinations.

Caithness Community Safety Action Team
Councillors in Caithness were pleased to hear of a number of successes on several sub groups coming under the umbrella of Community Safety - The Vandalism Sub-Group  - The Home Safety Sub-Group - The Road Safety Sub-Group - CCTV Sub-Group - Safe Highlander 2006  - Community Safety Partnership Local Action Fund.

New Way Forward For The Wellington Centre Following Saturday's Conference

An all day meeting on Saturday of people interested in taking forward the possibility of staring a Social firm or firms using the Wellington Centre as the base was discussed by 74 people from a variety of backgrounds.  Wick councillors have already had meetings with Enable Scotland and HEAART (new local group).  Bill Fernie the Caithness area chairman of Housing and Social Work said, "I was more than pleased to see this proposal coming forward and told the meeting that the council was ready to to as much as it could to help a new group get established using the Wellington Centre for a Social Firm creating employment for some of the client group and others.  The council may offer the building to a new venture at a token rent if a viable business plan comes forward."  "We have had one meeting a few weeks ago with Enable and another with HEAART members and both have been very positive."  It is hoped that an outline plan will come forward in March.  The Wellington Centre officially closes at the end of March.  Bill Fernie added" I looked into the possibilities of a Social Firm a few years ago and I hope that now is the time to bring one into being at the Wellington Centre and I will be trying to help the organisers this new approach as much as I can to make it happen."

Mobile Phone Use Whilst Driving From Next Week
3 Penalty Points and Automatic On The Spot Fine £60

People using mobile phones while driving are four times more likely to be involved in accidents.  Even if you are using a hands free system police have powers to charge drivers if they spot erratic or other dangerous driving.  If a case is taken to court the fine will be very much higher.  the use of a mobile phone whilst driving became illegal on 1 December 2003.  The small fine and no point son a license has meant the law has not worked.  Get caught now and you could lose your license if you already have points on it.  Even if you do not you might lose your license if you gain speeding points at a later date.

4th Wick Guides Become Fake Casualties
The girls at 4th Wick Guides found out how to be casualties this week when the Scottish Casualties Network visited them.  This organisation uses volunteers to prepare fake casualties for emergency services and others to practice on during exercises and for training purposes.  The organisation also delivers first aid classes and they will be back to test the guides for their first aid badges. As you can see the wounds displayed by the guides are amazingly realistic.

Wick Harbour Fest 07 - Growing Fast As Yachts Scramble To Join The Event
Harbourfest 07 Organisers Invite Local Participation  22 - 24 June

Organisers have been taken aback as the response to the flotilla of 30 traditional boats to take place this summer has caught their imagination.  Yachts from all over are applying to join the party and make the trip down the east coast from Wick to Portsoy.  At the present rate of applications the number of yachts in addition to the flotilla of traditional boats will exceed 100 making for great site in Wick harbour with over 130 boats and yachts.  Planning is getting underway for weekend of entertainment and big crowds could well be descending on the town for the three days of the event.
Businesses, Interested Parties And Organisations Invited to Meeting Re Harbour fest 07
There will be a briefing meeting for all businesses, interested parties and organisations wishing to learn about, or contribute to, this unique event. Please come along to Mackay’s Hotel, Wick, at 7.00pm on Wednesday 28 February. For further details, call Wick Harbour Office: 01955 602030

Local Artist Joanne B Kaar sent us this item about a message in bottle that was first set going by an Australian boy and has ended up in Norway after being put in the sea at Durness

First in Scotland then in Norway. On the 18th September 2006, my mother (Liz O'Donnell from Brough) found a message in a bottle on a beach near Durness village in the far north of Scotland, while visiting me. (I was working as the artist-in-residence for the Durness Development Group). The message was written by Finnley (age 7) from Australia while he was on holiday with his family in Durness. The message had only been in the see for 1 week. I took it to Durness Primary School. Mr Bruce's class were excited about the message. Every pupil then wrote a short message and drew a picture on my handmade paper. I also wrote a message. Everything, including Finnley's original message was put back in the bottle and thrown into the sea again..............
The School in Norway                                                  Durness School

Riverside Road To Wick Caravan Site Upgrade To Be Completed Before Season Begins
The road along Wick river that had been causing problems for the newly reopened caravan site is to be upgraded in time for the new caravan season.  With accommodation likely to be at a premium during the Wick Harbourfest 07 this is good news all round.  Councillors who have been pressing for action on this were given the news recently by Richard Guest the roads and transport manager.

Caithness Field Club Summer Programme Now Available
If you want to see places in Caithness and Sutherland with people who can tell you about them why not think about joining the Caithness Field Club members on some of their outings this coming summer.  Walks include Badbea to Ousdale, Hill of Forss, Auld Wick Circular Walk, A Botanical Walk of Melvich Bay, Grounds of Barrock House, East end Of Loch Naver.

South School Raised £110 For big Heart Day
South School raised £110 on their Big Heart day celebrations.  Big Heart is campaign in highland schools that began in its first year to help victims of the Tsunami.  This year the funds raised will go to a new skills centre in Gambia.
South School Index

New Director to Drive Forward Dounreay Clean-up
Simon Middlemas has been appointed as the new Director of the nuclear decommissioning site at Dounreay in succession to Norman Harrison. Simon has been Acting Director since August 2006 and prior to that he was Deputy Director. He joined Dounreay in 2004 as New Build Project Sponsor. Welcoming the appointment, Norman Harrison , UKAEA's new Chief Executive, said: "I am personally very pleased that Simon has been chosen as my successor. He has an exceptional grasp of every aspect of decommissioning at Dounreay and is totally committed to the site's success. He has already made a major contribution to Dounreay's new focus on project delivery and the recent site restructuring programme to prepare the site for competition. I am sure his appointment will be widely welcomed by the workforce and the community of Caithness."  Dounreay Index

The ASDA Debate Continues As Public Enquiry Date Set For 26th June 2007
At meeting in Thurso on Monday night the Reporters Office gathered all the necessary information about who would need to be called at the enquiry and assessed that 6 days would be required for the full process.

Highland Candidates Sought for SYP Elections
Young people in Highland are being encouraged to get involved in active citizenship by either seeking election to the Scottish Youth Parliament or voting for the candidate of their choice. Anyone aged between 14-25 is entitled to seek election in the three Highland SYP constituencies, which mirror those of the Scottish Parliament, namely Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Inverness West; and Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber. Voters can be aged between 12 -25. Two candidates per constituency will be elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament to serve for two years. The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday 9 March. Candidates will be asked to write a manifesto on what they would intend to do as an MSYP for Highland, which will then be put onto the Young Scot website (  ) for people to read.

Mey Selections Appoints Harrold Bros. Wick As Catering & Food Service Supplier
Mey Selections beef and lamb will now be available to restaurants and hoteliers in Caithness and Sutherland via Harrold Bros Butchers in Wick. On the 20th February Danny Miller, the Chairman of North Highland Products presented Neil Harrold with a signed Mey Selections Licensee certificate for display in Harrold's premises in Wick. Danny Miller, chairman of North Highlands Products, who presented the certificate, said, "I am delighted to welcome Harrold Bros into the Mey Selections supply chain. We need quality butchers and foodservice suppliers to support and distribute our quality products. I fully expect that Harrold Bros will satisfy the demand for Mey Selections products that we have seen from a large number of restaurants and hotels in the area.

Tony Blair's Response Sent to 1.8 Million People Who Signed Road Pricing Petition
The petitions section of the 10 Downing Street web site is under test and they must have been a bit surprised at this response to the petition on road pricing that was taken up by the UK web community and circulated widely albeit with many inaccuracies in what the petition was about.  However many folk can think for themselves and no doubt did understand exactly what they were signing.  Whether you agree or not that we need road pricing it has certainly shown the possibilities online for collecting people's views on topics the government are interested in brining forward new legislation.

UK nuclear energy: at a crossroads - Energy Business Review Online

Forum Photography Section Now Massive And Getting Bigger Every Day
It has never been easier for folk to put their photos on to the web at places like  Members of the forum have been posting many thousands of photos and linking them back to the Photography section since March 2006.  In that time over 140 threads on many topics have been started and some are hugely popular and have split into many sub sections.  If you have not been into that section of the web site take look at -
Animals                 Sunsets & Sunrises    Stroma                       Huge Miscellaneous

The range of Caithness and other photos has continued to multiply and one of these days the section is going to overtake the numbers of photos on the main pages.  If you have photos you would like to share with every one just put them on one of the many photo sites and then pull them back to the Forum for us all to see.  The first section was closed some time ago as it was getting too large but since then many new topics have begun and continue to appear every week in the Photography section  And thanks to all of you who have provided so many views of Caithness and places where Caithness folk have gone or live now.

Candidates In Caithness For Highland Council Elections as at 20 Feb 2007
There will be three wards instead of ten for Caithness under the new Electoral system in May 2007.  Thurso, Wick and Caithness Landward with Wick and Thurso having extended boundaries.  any other candidates are asked to get in touch with us to have their names added to the list stating which of the three new wards in Caithness they intend to stand in. Still plenty of time to think about it............

Note Corrections To Beginners Class - Day of Week previously Notified as Friday is Wednesday
Gaelic Beginners Class Starts Thursday 23 February 8.15- 10.00pm
Gaelic Intermediate/Advanced Starts Wednesday 22 February 7.30 - 9.15pm
Both Classes are held at PPP, north Murchison Street, Wick and run until the end of March

Dounreay End State Consultation
As the Dounreay end State Consultation nears the end an open public meeting was held a few days ago to hear the options finally arrived and a final chance to ask questions and to hear the deliberations of the Dounreay Stakeholder Group tasked with reaching some conclusions.  The DSG opted for Option Four as outlined in the Cosultation  There were seven options outlined at the meeting with option 0 being to do nothing through to Option 6 where everything was removed.  Zero and six were dismissed.  Whilst Option 4 was preferred there were aspects of two and three that appealed to some members of the DSG and councillor Bill Fernie from the audience made the point that the whole scenario was likely to change and include aspects of the middle options 2, 3 and 4 over coming years.

Pair in court after drugs seizure - BBC
Alistair Kennedy, 24, and Glenn Gunn, 19, both from Caithness, appeared on petition at Inverness sheriff court in connection with charges under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The Caithness Wind Information Forum web site representing people who are against wind farms in the county is now back up and running with information about why they do not want to see more wind farms in the area.   Wind Farms On

Dressage Competition - 18 March, 9.00am - 4.00pm
Dressage competition being held by the North Highland College HND Equestrian students. There will be introductory test 2, prelim test 12 and novice test 24. If you would like to take part you can find application forms at the college or the college yard.  You can also call or download one from the college website. All are welcome to come along.

Wick Scouts Celebrating 100 Years Of Scouting

Scouts of all ages in Wick were joined by ex-scouts from Wick and many other places on Sunday to celebrate 100 years of scouting in the UK.  A short parade marched from the Scout Hall at Kirkhill, Wick to the Old Parish church for service led by Harry Gray who admitted to spending most of his days in the Boys Brigade.  After the service everyone headed for the church hall for tea and coffee followed by a few songs at a mock camp fire. Graeme Dunnet the ex Lord Lieutenant remembered his and his fathers scouting days and being the oldest ex scout he cut centenery cake with the youngest scout.

Caithness Skies - Lunar Guide
Gordon Mackie has written A Lunar Guide from a Caithness perspective with plenty of photographs to illustrate his points.

Over the next couple of weeks the Moon will be involved in a few interesting celestial events: Total Lunar Eclipse (3rd March 2007) On this evening the Moon will pass into the Earth's shadow and "disappear" from view. This will be about as good an opportunity as you'll get for observing this phenomenon. It begins around 2130hrs and lasts until approx 0115hrs with the Moon totally eclipsed for just over an hour in the middle of this period. This event can be clearly seen with the naked eye..........

Have You Ever Looked Into "The Bloggers Web Sites"
One of the fastest areas of growth on the Internet are web sites set up by Bloggers and Caithness is not left out with many mentions on all sorts of Caithness related topics.  Here are a few of our searches -
Bloggers on "Caithness"
Bloggers on "Thurso"
Bloggers On "Wick Caithness" putting in "Wick" on it own turns up too many other things like candles.
Bloggers on "Lybster"
Bloggers On "Keiss Castle"
Bloggers on "Dounreay"
An Angler Looking For Lug Worms At Dunnet at 19.31 last night -
He has already had replies
Global Warming: the Good Side - thetoffeewomble
So if you cannot find what you are looking for on a normal Google search try Blog Search at Google

Small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout Caithness and Sutherland are being urged to grasp a unique opportunity to help boost future company growth, by tapping into a ready-made resource based within UHI Millennium Institute that helps companies crystallise opportunities to move the business forward. This free service - a ground-breaking university-based initiative called HI Links, is a three-year project funded by a SEEKIT grant from the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and UHI. It helps source academic help to aid company research and development, service enhancement and to build a stronger, leaner business through a wide range of innovative practices and techniques..............

Bingo  - Fundraiser For Reay Hall
Reay Hall Prize Bingo Night on Saturday 24th February staring at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome and all funds raised go towards the Hall development. Admission is £1.00 and you get tea/coffee and snacks for that.



Caithness County Pairs Bowls Winners
From Left: Archie Brown (FSC Bowling Committee), Ian Pickthall
& Pearl Sutherland (runner ups) RBL Thurso and Ian Pollick and Callum Elder (winners) RBL Thurso with County Bowling Chairman Raymond Harper.



UKAEA Donates New Training Equipment To Caithness United
UKAEA Dounreay, on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has donated new training equipment to Caithness United. Caithness United is a county based club which integrates the youth from the county. Currently two teams are run, under 13s and under 15s training in Thurso in the winter and Wick in the summer. Alan Turner, Caithness United’s chairman is pictured receiving the equipment from Dounreay’s Gemma Macdonald at a recent training session at Naver Park, Thurso.

Highland Candidates Sought for SYP Elections
Young people in Highland are being encouraged to get involved in active citizenship by either seeking election to the Scottish Youth Parliament or voting for the candidate of their choice. Anyone aged between 14-25 is entitled to seek election in the three Highland SYP constituencies, which mirror those of the Scottish Parliament, namely Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross; Ross Skye and Inverness West; and Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber. Voters can be aged between 12 -25. Two candidates per constituency will be elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament to serve for two years. The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday 9 March.

Bower Boys Retain Caithness Young Farmers District Quiz Trophy
A team from Bower YFC won this year's Caithness Young Farmers District Junior Quiz. Held in the Ross Institute, Halkirk, the format was pub quiz with teams of three. The quizmaster for the evening was Mr Robert Bell, who did an excellent job and also compiled the questions. The winning team was William Barnetson, Ranald Angus and Jamie Mackay. Following the Bower boys were a team from Watten consisting of Kiri Shallcorss, Mark Brims & Gavin Hendry. Halkirk A were third, Mark MacDonald, Alan Macleod and Hamish Coghill.

More Seats On Wick Aberdeen Route
Eastern Airways has increased the number of available seats on two of its routes in Scotland by using larger aircraft. The airline has introduced a 29-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft on its services from Aberdeen to Stornoway and Wick and at the same time adorn many of its jets with the Air Discount Scheme logo to prompt people to take advantage of the initiative. Graeme Ross, Scotland director for Eastern Airways, said: “Increasing capacity on both of these routes was a real priority for the company and it helps to cement them into the transport infrastructure of the regions. 
Remember Far North Residents can get a 40% Discount

If You Could Look At Caithness In A Crystal Ball What Would You See?
Perhaps we would all like to see the future of Caithness in a Crystal Ball but here Martina Cross, photographer literally does look at the Caithness through hers.  Martina Cross is taking her photography to new areas and is offering to do family portraits.  Check her web site for details.
Click through to view full size image for a better look on each photo.

Air Splaoid! - Discover Gaelic!
Air Splaoid! is an exciting new campaign to encourage everyone to learn Gaelic. It will be available during Highland 2007, the year when Scotland celebrates Highland culture. Air Splaoid! gives you the chance to take part in a virtual tour attending different events during Highland 2007. On-line there will be a year-long Gaelic course consisting of twelve lessons packed with fun, games and brilliant animations. When you take part you will choose a character to follow around the Highlands as they travel from event to event during Highland 2007. Your learning will be made easy using fun activities interspersed with snippets of cultural and historical information. Everything you need will be available online making this a different learning experience. This new web site has cartoons for learning hosted at the BBC.  A new episode will go up every month.  Great for kids and adults who want to learn Gaelic.         Gaelic On

Caithness Bands Moving On To The Web
Caithness bands have been using the web  for ages but more and more short clips are going on these days.  Just few found but feel free to send us URL's for more.....
Liquid Blue
Astronaut At Christmas
On Honre at British Legion Thurso

Sunset Seen From Lybster
Thanks to Marshall Bowman for photos of the great sunset couple of nights ago as seen from Lybster and now added to the growing Winter Weather section.  If anyone would like to add weather photos to the section email them to

Sunday Papers
Showdown over Trident could yet bring regime change in Scotland -
Sunday Herald
Iain McWhirter in this weeks edition discusses how the renewal of Trident and the nuclear industry might affect Jack Mcconnell and the Labour Party in Mays elections for the Scottish Parliament even though the decisions are Westminster based.
Scientists map out alarming future of coastlines - Scotsman
We hear it all the time now that changing conditions and rising sea levels will affect mankind.  All the more disturbing to hear that John O'Groats will disappear and part of Caithness will become an island.  Are we getting the message now ob climate change? Ominously the article says -  "This Scottish election will be the last chance to elect a government which can affect climate change. By the time of the next elections, things will already be happening."
Xenophobic: The damning LibDem jibe that’s caused fury in the SNP and derailed chance of a coalition - Sunday Herald
MSP Alex Salmond is demanding an apology on behalf of the Scottish Nationalists from our very own MSP Jamie Stone  a LibDem after accusing them of of Xenophobia.  Ach Weel just as the possibility of a pact between the two parties had begun to bring a possibility of a change at the Scottish Parliament in a few weeks time the children are falling out over the sweeties.
Salmond wants apology over Lib Dem MSP's slur Sunday Mail

Scout movement's 100 years of friendship and citizenship
Wick Old Parish Church on Sunday, February 18, at 2.30pm.

SIR – The Wick Scouts are looking forward to celebrating 100 years of Scouting, which is now a worldwide movement. Our first event is a service in Wick Old Parish Church on Sunday, February 18, at 2.30pm.
This date is picked because it is close to what Scouts call Founder's Day and Guides call Thinking Day, which was the birthday of both Robert Baden-Powell, who founded Scouting, and his wife Olave, the first Chief Guide. It is not (as my grown-up relatives used to imply when I was a Guide) the only day of the year when Guides do any thinking, but is the day when Scouts and Guides worldwide are asked to think about all the other young people of all nationalities and beliefs who accept the same promise as themselves. It is to do with friendship and citizenship.
The group hopes that as many people as possible who have had any connection with the Scout and Guide movements will join them on the 18th for the service and for the social event in the church hall afterwards. It would be really good if the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers of today's group could get together with those who were the Scouts of past days.
Garry Robertson
Fraser Macleod

Thrumster Station Project Now Underway
The former Thrumster railway station was purchased by the Yarrows Heritage Trust in 2005. The station building is the sole remaining station building on the former Wick to Lybster Light Railway which closed in 1944. The Trust have undertaken to renovate the building together with the platform and adjacent grounds. Phase 1 of the Project which is currently underway includes recreating the station platform and a short section of rail track together with tidying and landscaping of the adjacent grounds to form a public amenity area......Congratulations to all concerned in taking this project forward and for all your hard work in fund-raising to get this project of restoration underway....

Say No To 0870 - Highlighted Again On BBC Breakfast Today
Don't we all hate these premium rate phone numbers and they are becoming more common as all sorts of organisations and businesses find they can make more profit out of you by getting calls routed via these numbers.  And hey there is even a Downing Street Petition for everyone to sign The petition reads -  We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to compel all organizations using non-geographic numbers (e.g. 0845, 087* prefixes) to also publicize an equivalent geographic number (e.g. 01* / 02* prefixes) where they can be reached (and which can usually be called more cheaply than an 0845 / 087* number)
Apparently Ofcom  - the regulator is to force a price reduction but if there is an alternative number then why should we be ripped off by being forced to use a premium number to reach a company.

What Does Fish Cost?
To get it delivered can be expensive but you can pick it up at your local fish shop at much lower prices.  We are often amazed at how little fish people in Caithness eat nowadays.  For an area surrounded by sea and for a product that we are told is very good for healthy diet and oily fish especially recommended for pregnant women with a recent study showing very beneficial affects on unborn children.  This may be National Chip Week but in an area surrounded by sea where fish is landed and driven south every day of the week why not try putting some on your plate tonight.  And why not try asking your local chippy what kind of fish they serve in a fish supper.  "Fish Supper" can mean almost anything. Ask what type of fish so that you know what you are getting.  Whether at the chippy or at home more fish in your diet is good for your health.

Dunnet Bay Sunset Last Night
The calm weather has brought in some lovely evening skies for the past few days in Caithness.  Angela Squires a painter living at Dwarwick took a couple of photos overlooking Dunnet Bay from the Dwarwick side.  These photos are in our Winter 2007 Gallery.  If you would like to add to this winter gallery send photos to


The Papers
Gulbenkian judges in Thurso to assess exhibition - The Herald
JUDGES yesterday travelled to Scotland's far north to inspect an exhibition in the running for this year's £100,000 Gulbenkian Prize for museums and galleries. Francine Stock, the author and broadcaster who chairs this year's Gulbenkian judges, was in Thurso along with fellow judges TV historian Dan Snow, and scientist and director of the Materials Library, Dr Mark Miodownik. They were there to see Anatomy Acts at the town's Swanson Gallery.
Anatomy Acts Is On At Swanson Gallery, Thurso - Last Day - Saturday 17 February
Open Today Saturday 10.00am – 1.00pm
This is your last chance as this is the last day in Thurso before it moves on to Inverness
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
(31 March - 21 April 2007)
Collins Gallery, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (26 May – 30 June 2007)
Anatomy Acts Web Site

Gulbenkian Prize Web Site
Dounreay, part of £3.3bn industry, fined just £140,000 for radioactive dumping - Scotsman
Lots of readers comments follow this article
Reactor fuel found on beach near Dounreay - The Herald - 85th Beach Particle
Ferry tendering fiasco - The Herald

Scottish Community Drama Association District - Adult Festival 2007
Saturday 24th February sees the Scottish Community Drama Association's 75th District Adult Festival which takes place in The Assembly Rooms, Wick. With entries from both Wick Players and Thurso Players it's sure to make for an entertaining evening. The curtain rises at 7.30 p.m. and first up are Wick Players with their entry, "The Pushcart Pedlars" directed by Donald Farmer and Andrew Craigie. The play features a cast of three actors - Clare Sturrock, David Hunter and Drew MacLeod. The Thurso Players entry, directed by Alex Rankine, and featuring actors Jacqui Barclay, John Glen and Robert Roy is an Bernard Lawrence's adaptation of Chekhov's "The Bear."

Up To 500 Young Farmers  Coming To Thurso Next Weekend
National Competitions Weekend Comes to Caithness
The Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs is this year holding its February Competitions Weekend in Thurso. It is estimated that between 450 - 500 Young farmers from the length and breadth of Scotland will converge on the town to take part in five National Competitions. The Competitions being held are Member of the Year, Ten Pin Bowling, 5 aside football, National Quiz and Senior Speechmaking. Leading Caithness clubs into competition will be this year’s Caithness District Member of the Year, Bryan Sinclair. He will represent Caithness in the National Final to be held in the Royal Hotel on Saturday 24th February.

Do You Know Someone who Needs To Improve their English?
A brand new e-English course from the Lairg Learning Centre could be the answer and is specifically at the new members of our community in the Highlands, who wish to improve their already effective English language skills and gain an internationally recognised certification. Over the six month course students will enjoy four intensive English language days and two active weekend residentials based in the Scottish Highlands.  If you know someone who has reasonable English but wants to improve then this course might be for them so pass it on.

Latest Funding Opportunities For Registered Charities

Wick Project Updates Are All Good News
Wick Project meeting very upbeat about future of the town. Councillor Bill Fernie, who chaired the meeting, expressed his delight that so many of the project updates were upbeat. Local activists and agency staff members of the Wick Project were very satisfied to hear on Tuesday (13 February 2007) that real progress has been made on a number of important projects in the town demonstrating that regeneration efforts are certainly paying off. Wick Project members heard that new Highland Council offices will be in place by next year, the Lower Pulteneytown Town Heritage Initiative and the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) are progressing well, the CCTV scheme is nearing implementation, the Caithness Heat & Power scheme is expanding and arrangements for a variety of local events, such as a fly-in at Wick Airport and the Highland 2007 traditional boats flotilla, are set to generate a buzz of activity and interest in the town. Bill Fernie said, “I’m extremely pleased there is so much positive development work going on in the town. Individually these are good news stories for Wick but it is clear that development breeds development and that one project leads to another. All the people involved in these initiatives, and numerous others not mentioned here today, are helping to drive change in the town. It’s gratifying to see that community organisations, the Council and the other agencies are working in partnership wherever possible. The total regeneration effort in Wick amounts to more than the sum of its parts. The evidence presented at this meeting shows that working together makes us stronger.”

NHS Highland Appoints Two Hand Washing Co-ordinators - One In Wick

Locals urged to play their part in reducing the spread of infection as new NHS Highland co-ordinators appointed. People in the Highlands were today being encouraged to keep germs and bugs at bay by washing their hands regularly, as new research reveals that over two-fifths of people from the area (41 per cent) admit that they could wash their hands more frequently than they actually do. The research into hand washing habits, commissioned to support the Scottish Executive's nationwide hand hygiene campaign, also highlighted that although people in the Highlands are aware of the importance of washing hands after visiting the toilet, almost three quarters of people (73 per cent) rarely or never wash their hands after coughing or sneezing. Drumnadrochit-based Angela Caruana and Wick-based Isobel Sutherland have been appointed as NHS co-ordinators for the national campaign, which aims to drive home the message that hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to help reduce the spread of infections.  If that's all too boring Try the Guinness Hands Web Site but think about washing your hands while concocting your own hand feature.

Did You Know This Is National Chip Week?
National Chip Week runs from 12th to 18th February and the web site by the British Potato has all sorts of facts and history of the great chip. Apart from facts there are recipes including how to make your own home-made oven chips. Why not make a meal of it and get some local fish from the shops in Wick or Thurso where the selection is usually very reasonable. Fish may seem expensive but there is almost no waste especially from fillets and it is highly nutritious and free from all kinds of additives. So put some fresh fish with your chips for one of the best meals of the week.

UKAEA Fine £140,000 For Particles Offences - Clean-up Plan To Be Published In May
UKAEA was fined £140,000 at Wick Sheriff Court today having plead guilty last week to four breaches of the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 between 1963 and 1984. UKAEA expects to announce in May the preferred option for the retrieval of radioactive particles from the environment around Dounreay. Public consultation on a short-list of 11 clean-up options closes on February 23. The short-list was drawn up following a series of meetings and workshops. A further round of workshops is taking place this week and next week about the relative importance of criteria that will be used to arrive at a preferred option. May's announcement will be followed by a further period of public consultation on the preferred option, leading to a decision on the way forward in 2008 after discussion with Government, regulatory bodies and affected land-owners.

Public Meeting On the Physical End State Of Dounreay Site - TODAY
Public Meeting Thursday 15th February at 6.00pm - Royal Hotel
Public Exhibition Thursday 15th February from 2.00pm

Options to agree the physical condition of the land that will be available after the Dounreay site has been decommissioned - the site end state - will be the subject of a public meeting. This will allow the Dounreay Stakeholder Group (DSG) to draft a recommendation for consideration by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Music Marathon At Wick Youth Club
Music Marathon - Sunday 18 February 2.00 - 7.00pm
On Sunday 18th February 2007 Music-Link-Media are staging a sponsored non-stop music marathon from 2pm to 7pm. All funds raised are going towards improving the sound proofing of the Youth Club building. New windows and fire doors are required in the main hall to minimise the noise that radiates from within the building as well as other structural sound proofing improvements. Some local businesses have agreed to minimise costs in a bid to help support the community......Several bands have been formed within MLM and there will be various line ups playing on Sunday. The public are welcome to come along and enjoy the talents of local youth. Entry fee is only £3.

Thurso FC Win SWL Cup Final At Dudgeon Park, Brora - Photo Now In
Thurso FC have won their first trophy since 2004 beating Golspie Sutherland 4-2 in The SWL cup Final at Dudgeon Park, Brora on Saturday 10 February 2007, thanks to a Jamie MacKenzie double, Mark Nichol and Gavin Bremner.

Thanks to Brian Mackay for forwarding the Photo and well done to the team.

Get Your Tickets Now For the Northern Nashville Country Music Festival
6th 7th and 8th April - Indoor Riding Centre, Halkirk
One of the big successes on the music scene in Caithness has been the Northern Nashville's Country Music Festival.  The 2007 Festival is organised and the tickets are on sale.  Music and Dancing with bands from Scotland, USA, Germany, Ireland and England.  Best deal is weekend ticket to all the shows

Lybster Senior Citizens' Annual Fundraising Auction
The annual fundraising auction is to be held in the Portland Arms on Sat 10th March starting around 7.30 pm. Each year sizeable funds are needed to keep this worthy cause running. The sole fundraising event is an auction once a year. Literally everything and anything can be sold on the night to raise money. It has in the past, with everything from wills to quarry chips, from furniture to food and from hairdos to holidays! If you have anything in decent condition and working order or just anything that you think would sell and you'd like to donate for auction, please bring it along on the afternoon of the 10th March between 2pm and 4pm. Alternatively phone 721300: 721225: 721478 to make contact for uplifting.

New Caithness Arts Forum
The Caithness Partnership was asked to facilitate the setting up of a Caithness Arts Forum following the Caithness Arts seminar on “The Value of the Arts to Caithness” in December 2006 had concluded that a local forum is required where agency, business and voluntary representatives could come together with equal status and discuss issues relating to the arts in the county.  In turn this should enable the Arts sector to participate fully in the community planning agenda in Caithness. The next meeting open to the public will be held at a venue in Thurso (possibly North Highland College) on Wednesday 28 March at 7.00pm.  This meting will form a new committee.

Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) Scrap Metal Helps Local Trials Facility
Scrap metal from the strip-out of the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) secondary sodium circuit cells is being re-used by UKAEA at the T3uk purpose built trials centre at Janetstown, on the outskirts of Thurso. The redundant steel sections, once used to support pipework within the cells, were identified for re-use to assist with other Dounreay decommissioning projects. The trials organised and controlled by UKAEA are to evaluate the technical capabilities of three remotely operated vehicles (ROV's), which will be used for carefully dismantling, size reducing and removing waste from redundant plants and facilities while reducing the hazard and risk to the decommissioning teams.  Recent Dounreay Photos  UKAEA On
UKAEA In Caithness Business section   UKAEA Dounreay Web Site

Dounreay Bulletin - Issue 20
Topics in this latest bulletin are -

Dounreay Director Named as New Chief Executive - Particles Court Case Means Attention Can Now Focus on Clean-Up - Dounreay Adapts Clean-Up Techniques from Aviation Industry - Dounreay Liquid Metal Clean-Up Plant Sets to Work -  DFR First for Safety  - Group Considers Future Condition of Dounreay Site
UKAEA Seeks Permission to Demolish Viewfirth Property - PFR Scrap Metal Helps Local Trials Facility - Employee Opinions Matter - A Boost to Caithness Coaching

An Early Morning At Reiss

Public Meeting On the Physical End State Of Dounreay Site
Public Meeting Thursday 15th February at 6.00pm - Royal Hotel
Public Exhibition Thursday 15th February from 2.00pm
Options to agree the physical condition of the land that will be available after the Dounreay site has been decommissioned - the site end state - will be the subject of a public meeting. This will allow the Dounreay Stakeholder Group (DSG) to draft a recommendation for consideration by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Supermarkets - The Saga Continues In Caithness........
ASDA  - Public Enquiry Looms Closer As First Meeting Monday 19 February In Thurso
The first meeting in the process by official Reporter in the planning process will take place in the Pentland Hotel on Monday 19 February at 6.00pm.  This initial meeting is merely to check who wishes to give evidence and speak at the enquiry and decide a number of procedural issues and what papers can be exchanged and will be required for the proceedings.  Dates will be agreed taking into account what the  Reporter assesses will be required to cover everything to reach a decision.  A host of details regarding who is to speak and what points are covered by whom on either side requires to be agreed before the main enquiry can begin at a later date.  Planning Appeals and the Inquiry Reporters Unit Starts Home Delivery Service On Tuesday 13th February
They have been gearing up and new vans have arrived at Tesco in Wick to begin a county wide delivery service based on orders taken via the web site.  The service may go as far as 25 miles from the base at Wick but it all depend on your postcode.  Online shoppers will just have to try to order to see if they can get deliveries to their area. The vans carry frozen foods in separate freezer containers. Goods will be delivered in chosen two hour time slots from 9.00am - 11.00pm.

Rent A Stall From Caithness Walking Festival
The Caithness Walking Festival has a range of events in May and on 12 and 13th May are holding A Sales type event. Stalls will be available for rental over the weekend of 12/13 May at a cost of £10 each per day.
Stalls will be under cover in Gazebos donated by Homebase. First come first served basis. Contact 0871 873 2774 email

Would You Like Get Into Patchwork In Caithness?
Caithness Quilters run monthly workshops and beginners can easily get started by attending them.  There is always arrange of new projects to work from the simple to the complicated. The workshops are a great way to get out and make new friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea are served during these days held once a month at the Freswick Hall.

Huge Lobster Landed At Lybster
John Cameron could hardly believe his luck when he landed one of the biggest lobsters seen for quite a while in the north.  After pulling his creels at Lybster he found this giant had squeezed into a creel. The lobster weighed in at 9lb 2ozs and the third picture shows it sitting beside a normal size lobster usually landed.

A Thurso Scouts Summer Camp At Golspie 1968
Another set of photos sent in by Alan MacPherson.
Thurso Scouts Early Photos

Early Photos Index
Old Postcards

Sunday Papers
E-mail lies spark road tax protest
  - Sunday Post
Interesting - this story about the Governments looking at new taxes for drivers has followed the online petition at 10 Downing Street we highlighted 3 days ago and that has now reached over one million signatures and still rising.  Seemingly the government is looking to ignore the petition on its site despite the fact it is the biggest they have ever had by any means - the author of the petition has been on BBC news telling people to use their vote at the ballot box as means of making the point but single issues rarely make a difference at election time....the Iraq Afghanistan wars seem more important than this.  The debate is going in our Forum.
British Energy heralds new nuclear age - The Independent
Generator in talks with rivals to build new reactors
Scottish games' value out of kilter? Orlando Sentinal - Seminole County News
Although this item is talking about the value via tourism of the games in Seminole County, Florida we wondered if anyone knew the value to Caithness of the various Highland Games, Shows and Galas that run annually.  There is an influx of people for these events and they must make contribution to tourism on B & B's hotels and other businesses.  But how much?  If it's large should we be putting more into them via public funds or do we let them get on with it if it ain't broke don't fix it attitude.  Views to the Message Board.

Over 300 Dates/Events Are Listed In Our What's On - Is Your Event Listed?
Last month's Whats On section alone had 120,152 visitors and in the past 12 months had over 10 million page views.  The What's On section now gets over One Million visitors a year.  The average daily visitor rate in January was 3875 looking at an average of 28,849 pages per day.  The visitor numbers to the What's On continues to rise each month.  So whether your event is aimed at locals or visitors to Caithness make sure the event is in and as soon as possible.  We continually have requests for dates of events people know are coming up and often they want to know a year or more ahead if possible to plan trips, reunions and so on to coincide especially for big events like galas, shows, festivals, Highland Games and so on. Get your events in as soon as you can for FREE maximum coverage.  Even small events can gain.  It takes only a minute or two to complete the simple online form in the section.  We vet all entries before they go live - usually within 24 hours and often much less.  To make life easy if you have the same event on several dates just complete the form, submit and then hit the Back Button and change the date and submit again - repeat until all dates done - saves retyping every time. If you are runing an Arts related event remember to tell who have an online Arts Guide and issue a printed guide very two months.  Your event might also qualify to in to HiArts EVents Guide or Highland 2007. Use them all where appropriate for maximum coverage of your event - they are all FREE. Why pay more?

Thurso FC Win SWL Cup Final At Dudgeon Park, Brora
Thurso FC have won their first trophy since 2004 beating Golspie Sutherland 4-2 in The SWL cup Final at Dudgeon Park, Brora on Saturday 10 February 2007, thanks to a Jamie MacKenzie double, Mark Nichol and Gavin Bremner.

Viewfirth Redevelopment Steering Group Questionaire - Only Two Days  Left To Give Your Views
The Viewfirth steering group are looking for the views of local people on how the site that might be offered free of charge to a local group can be used.  If no viable ideas are found the site will probably be sold for redevelopment.  The building known as the Viewfirth in Thurso was occupied by the UKAEA Sports and Social Club for many years. Since the demise of the club the building has been the focus of much speculation on its future use. Following a series of community consultation events it is clear that a need continues for a facility on the site that promotes community well-being.
Return your completed questionnaire by the 12th February to any of the following -
1) Thurso Service Point, Rotterdam Street, Thurso
2) Pentland Housing Association, 37-39 Traill Street, Thurso
3) Swanson Gallery, Thurso 4) Wick Service Point, Market Square, Wick 5) St Fergus Gallery, Wick

Webcams Page  - Links Checked And Seeveral Additions
It has been some time since we looked at the Webcams links page so today we have tidied up and deleted all of the broken links and added lots of new ones.  We can find only two for Caithness one on the road to Caithness at Ousdale provided by Traffic Scotland although it is out of action at the moment and Scrabster.  If anyone has webcam in Caithness or Sutherland or knows of one send us details and we will add a link.

Venus and Mercury Over Thurso
Gordon Mackie said,"I took tonight (9th) & it shows the unmistakably brilliant planet Venus shining alongside the fainter planet Mercury. For the next 4-5 days the pairing can be seen side by side, low in the western sky shortly after sunset. By next weekend Mercury will become too close to the Sun to be visible, leaving the prominent Venus on its own in the sky at sunset for the next few months. After spotting these two planets turn and look east to find the bright planet Saturn rising above the eastern horizon."  Caithness Night Sky

Snow Clouds At Dunnet
This atmospheric photo was sent in by Michael Draper.  Click through to the full size image to get better view.



Council Calls for Review of Safety at Rail Level Crossings in Highland
The Highland Council has called for a review of safety at level crossings in Highland following the latest in a number of tragic accidents ~ at Delny in Easter Ross. The Council was already concerned about the safety at level crossings, particularly in Dingwall, before the latest accident on Friday 2 February, which claimed the lives of two young Easter Ross men.

Highland Council To Use Construction Firms Registered With Constructionline In Future
Highland Councillors will be asked at a meeting of the Resources committee on 14th February 2007 in Inverness to approve the use of contractors who are registered with Constructionline, an Approved List register of assessed companies. Several councils and other public bodies in Scotland already require contractors and consultants in the construction industry to be registered with Constructionline as part of the pre-qualification requirements when applying for property-related construction tenders.  Highland Council propose to introduce the new requirements in two phases starting on 1 April 2007 for contracts over £100,000 and from 1 April 2008 for contracts under £100,000.  Tendering will also move to an online system to meet obligations under the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

Latest Newsletter From Hillhead Primary School, Wick

Latest Newsletter From Pulteneytown Academy, Wick

Big hearted Highland pupils to raise funds for Gambian skills centre
The Big Heart charity fundraising event to be held in all Highland schools later this month will raise money to fund a new Skills Centre for young people in The Gambia. On Friday 23rd February 220 primary and secondary schools will raise as much money as they can through creative and inventive fundraising activities of their choice. The first Big Heart Day Highland was the idea of the Director of Education and Cultural Services, Bruce Robertson in response to the Highland Councils concerns for the communities affected by the Asian tsunami over two years ago. Since then Highland schools have been involved in raising over £80,000 of aid for communities affected by the Tsunami - the first year it was for the Disasters Emergency Committee Tsunami Earthquake Appeal and last year a specific community fund in the South of India - Mallampuram.

WHO TAKES WHAT - Daily Record
Parking charges at NHS hospitals in Scotland. Raigmore Hospital in Inverness is the only NHS Highland hospital to charge for parking.  Should we pay to park at hospitals?  Will we pay more as charges are reviewed?  Will more hospitals begin to charge?  Leave your comments in the Forum


Here's Something To Peak Your Interest For Valentine's Day
Neil Macdoanld from Mill theatre writes.....David Hunter has been working on 'Romeo and Juliet' with his Drama Group at Thurso High School since late October and a special preview performance will take place at 7:30pm on Valentine's Day (Wed 14th February) at Thurso High School. The cast of 20 have been working very hard to bring this special one  hour version of the play to the stage. The classic story has been edited and cut to last an hour and the production will be a Promenade Performance. However there will be seats available for those who don't want to stand for the full hour. As this is a preview performance, the evening will be free although any and all donations will be kindly accepted at the door.

Looking For Information On An Old Caithness Motorcycle
Stuart Tod has been contacted by someone looking for any information that someone might have on this motorcycle a "New Imperial" once registered in Caithness SK1606.  The bike was bought 25 - 30 years ago and has been transformed to perfect condition.  A tax disc dating to 1953 is also include in the gallery.  If anyone can shed some light on its history contact Stuart Tod by email  We would also be interested to add the information to the photos - also send to
More Details
What the current owner would like is if there are any old period photo's showing this machine that could be borrowed and copied.
1930 James Sutherland of Shore, Dunbeath
1934 George MacKay of Bridgeend, Dunbeath
pre war Robert Campbell of Balnatink, Dunbeath

Recruitment of New Chief Executive For Highland Council
The Highland Council agreed today (Thursday) to proceed immediately with the recruitment of a new Chief Executive, following the announcement that Arthur McCourt will retire in July of this year. At a special meeting in Inverness, the Council agreed the post will be advertised from 23 February; the closing date for applications will be 16 March and interviews by the full council will take place on 4 April. Mr McCourt has been Chief Executive of the Council since June 1995 and was awarded a CBE for his services to local government in 2004.

Council Confirms 2.5% Council Tax Rise
In setting the Council Tax for 2007/8, The Highland Council has approved a rise of £28 at Band D, a 2.5 % increase. The following charges for 2007-2008 are: -
A £775.33; B £904.56; C £1,033.78; D £1,163 E £1,421.44; F £1,679.89; G £1,938.33; H £2,326.
Normally, the Council would be asked to consider an indicative tax charge for the following two financial years. As a result of the latest Spending Review outcome being delayed, the Council does not know the grant settlement for 2008/9 and 2009/2010 at this time and as a result is not being asked to declare an indicative tax increase for these two years. At the same special meeting, the Council confirmed a rent increase of 4.9% (RPI + 1%) from 1 April, this year. This will see an average rent increase of £2.70, giving an average weekly rent of £57.90.

Norman Harrison Appointed Chief Executive of UK Atomic Energy Authority
Norman Harrison, currently acting Chief Operating Officer for the UK Atomic Energy (UKAEA), has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 February 2007. Announcing the appointment, UKAEA Chairman Barbara Thomas Judge said: "I am delighted that Norman has been chosen as our new Chief Executive. With his strong operational experience and excellent safety record, he is the right person at the right time to lead UKAEA as it restructures its operations to prepare for the competition of its nuclear sites and the development of its business activities. Everyone who knows Norman respects his integrity and dedication. His appointment will be widely welcomed by all our stakeholders, and by UKAEA staff."  Norman Harrison was formerly the chief executive at Dounreay

Dunnet Bay This Evening - Calm After The Storm

Watch This One - Over 10,000 People Signed The Petition In the Last Two Hours - 10.10pm
Er .................. We Think This One Is A Big Vote Loser - Over 800,000 And Rising
E Petition "To Scrap Vehicle Tracking And Road Pricing Policy"

The new petitions section at 10 Downing Street has many petitions online as they try out this latest online addition to our democracy.  We have been watching this one all day and it is fairly obvious that a huge number of people are not happy about the governments suggestion to tax cars by their mileage and fit tracking devices in all vehicles.  At time of adding this item to the web site signatures were over 790,000 and rising fast.  Take look if you do not want to pay this new tax.

On The Edge Of A Snow Storm Today At Castletown

A series of photos taken by Stuart Young today whilst returning from Wick via Castletown.

Winter Still Cold In Caithness Today
Snow Cloud Approaching Dunbeath   Looking To Dwarwick Head


Caithness Marine Mammal Medics Open Day
Caithness Marine Mammal Medics (CMMM) invite you to join them on Saturday 10th February at Scrabster Community Centre at 1pm to 4pm for an open day so you can see what we do. We are part of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue which is a registered charity and have just completed our first season as a team in one of the busiest seal pupping areas on the UK coast. CMMM consists of trained volunteers and have had 29 callouts from September 2006 to date;

UKAEA In Wick Court On Dumping Charges Story Spreads Across The Web
Dounreay nuclear waste was dumped in the sea - Herald
Dounreay Guilty On Nuke RAP - Daily Record
Radioactive waste dumped in UK landfill - Edi
Nuclear plant operators admit illegal dumping -
UKAEA admits to illegal dumping  - BBC
Nuclear plant managers let radioactive particles flow into sea - Scotsman
Dounreay Mistakes Admitted - World Nuclear News
UKAEA Pleads Guilty To Charges Under The Radioactive Substances Act - Caithness Business Index
UKAEA pled guilty and sentencing will take place on Thursday 15th February.

Highland Council To Debate Election 2007 Awareness Raising Campaign
At its meeting on Thursday councillors will debate a paper on Election 2007 Awareness Raising setting out some of the events and actions to be taken to make people aware of the different wards and all the changes regarding this election compared to previous ones.  Highland Council have also just set up a Frequently Asked Questions section for Election 2007.  We are still adding candidates and information to our Election 2007 as it becomes available.

Trail of dust that could take you to New York and back - thisislondon
They reckon women in a lifetime vacuum all the way to New York and back 7300 miles while men only make it 850 miles Landsend to John O'Groats.  They say it is good all round exercise and women especially may make some of life's big decisions whilst doing it.  What do you think?

Gibson comments on level crossing safety measures
Rob Gibson SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands who visited Delny rail crossing after last Fridays' tragic accident, has proposed that extra red flashing lights fifty metres before such ungated crossings could be an added warning to drivers.

The number of adults smoking in the Highlands has dropped according to latest figures, but efforts are being made to bring the figures down further. A study by the Scottish Household Survey for 2005 showed that in NHS Highland, including the new area of Argyll and Bute, the percentage of the population smoking was 22.5%, compared with 25.9% in 2004. NHS Highland’s target is to reduce this percentage further to 21.5% by 2010.

Over 230 Properties For Sale Or Rent - Private and Commercial property section continues to grow as more folk decide to opt for a FREE page with as many details as wanted.

UKAEA Pleads Guilty At Wick Sheriff Court To Charges Under The Radioactive Substances Act
UKAEA pleaded guilty today at Wick Sheriff Court to four charges under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960. The charges related to the disposal of radioactive waste to a landfill site at Dounreay between 1963 and 1975, and the release of particles from the site to the environment on dates between 1963 and 1984. Sentence was deferred until 15th February 2007.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal - Maoineachadh bho HIE - £632,000
Bidh Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean a' maoineachadh Fèisean nan Gàidheal le £632,000 airson trì bliadhna eile. Cuidichidh an airgead cruthachadh buannachdan airson iomairtean cruthachail, cultarail is turasachd agus leasachadh sgilean a measg dhaoine òga. Gheibh Fèisean nan Gàidheal maoineachadh cuideachd bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Comhairle Ealain na h-Alba. Chaidh Fèisean nan Gàidheal a stèidheachadh ann an 1988 mar bhuidheann-sgàile neo-eisimeileach iomairt nam Fèisean. Tha a' bhuidheann a' tabhann taic-airgid, programan-trèanaidh, àrachas, 'banca' ionnstramaidean-ciùil, foillseachadh stuthan-teagaisg, agus mòran sheirbheisean eile do na Fèisean.
HIE Boost For Skills In Traditional Arts - £632,000

Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd/Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) have announced a new investment package into the development of the Fèisean movement in the Highlands & Islands. HIE's investment will focus on creating benefits for the creative industries, cultural tourism initiatives and skills development amongst young people.  HIE has awarded £632,000 over the next three years to Fèisean nan Gàidheal - the independent national association of Gaelic arts tuition festivals (fèisean) - to help them expand, improve and build on the success the movement has enjoyed over the last 25 years.

Wick Manufacturer Of Golf Course Products Set For Growth
A golf enthusiast from Wick has been using his networking skills to help build a range of new contacts for future business. John Hunter owns and runs Hunter's Promotions Ltd, along with his wife Christine. From a factory at the airport industrial estate, the company designs and manufactures a wide variety of golf course accessories such as wooden slatted litter bins, safety products, practice nets and traffic control hoops. John and Christine have just returned from the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association trade fair held in Harrogate, England which is the principal event of the year for golf green keepers. A stall showcasing their products was on view to more than 7,000 visitors, from more than 30 different countries with an interest in turf management and related issues.

Halkirk Highland Games Ready For 2007 Games With Launch Of New Web Site
Congratulations to EbigH the committee and everyone who contributed on the launch of the new web site for Halkirk Highland Games.  The annual games at Halkirk is one of the biggest in the country and has been going from strength to strength in the past few years.  We were very pleased to be able to supply photos from our collection for the new web site.  The new site has all the results, history and details of the ever increasing prize money on offer each year.  the 2007 Games are on 28 July 2007 and start from Halkirk town centre with the traditional march to the field at 12.00 Noon. there is always plenty to do and see, food and drink, stalls in addition to the games - another great day out in the county where many folk come to meet friends.  In addition many folk arrive from all over the world to meet in the clans Gunn and Sinclair tents.  In recent years companies have hired space in the corporate hospitality tents helping to make the games more viable.  If you have never been to a Highland Games then get to Caithness on 28 July 2007. 
2006 Games Photo Gallery

Winter Breathes Lightly Over Caithness Today - The Scene At Wick
Light snow has arrived in Caithness today.  This scene is a familiar one from Bill's Room with a View over Wick.  If you would like to send in your winter photos to add to the gallery send them to


Initiative At The Edge - South East Caithness Development Group
Going From Strength To Strength
This group was set up just over two years ago under the Initiative At The Edge programme where-by in fragile areas local people are encouraged to organise and do things for themselves with the assistance of local co-ordinator.  Slowly but surely they have been chalking up successes gaining experience and aiming ever higher.  A look at the projects completed and the projects currently being looked at shows the increasing scale and likely affect on the area.  Completed projects have a value of £281,814 with new ones currently under review totalling £5,566,000.  The AGM was held in December and the group are to be congratulated on the successes to date.  The next meeting of the group is in Lybster on 13 February.

£20m funding for new northwest nuclear research centre - Innovations Report
A major new nuclear research facility is to be established in Cumbria with £20million of initial funding from The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).........“The establishment of new research and development facilities is an important part of the NDA’s skills initiative and supports our broader socio-economic responsibilities..............

Police call after vandalism spree - BBC
20 vehicles were damaged in the Springpark area of Thurso

New Coach's Goal to Develop Skills of Young Footballers
In an innovative move to encourage the development of football skills amongst young people in the Highlands, Peter Budge from Caithness has been appointed Football Development Officer with The Highland Council, based at The Highland Football Academy. Peter's main responsibility will be to drive forward the National Plan for Youth Football in Highland, Orkney and the Western Isles. Peter is a highly qualified coach who is well known and respected in Highland football. Aged 45 and an engineer with UKAEA at Dounreay, he has lived all his life in Wick.

Three New Virtues For Inverness To Be Carved In Caithness Stone
Faith Hope and Charity were virtues associated with the Victorian age and for many years a sculpture of the virtues was prominently displayed in Inverness. Now Inverness City Partnership want the public to have their say on three contemporary virtues that can carry the city forward into the 21st century. The three virtues chosen will be carved into Caithness stone as part of a new installation to feature in the Old Town Streetscape Project on Church Street. A public unveiling will be scheduled for later this year. Partnership artist Matt Baker had been consulting various groups - such as Highland Youth Forum, the churches and even rounding up some present-day philosophers - to talk about contemporary ideas about society's values.
He is inviting the public to text their thoughts to 07794-990-135 between tomorrow (Wednesday 7 February) and 28 February and these will be featured on the City Partnership's website . Those people whose ideas are featured will be entered into a mystery prize draw.

Melvich Gaelic Choir Heading For Pan Celtic Festival In Ireland
Melvich Gaelic Choir have launched their plans to ensure that the Year of Highland Culture 2007 will be one to remember. They will be representing the North of Scotland at the International Pan Celtic Festival in Letterkenny, Republic of Ireland in April of this year. Plans are afoot with the choir chartering Eastern Airways to fly them from Wick direct to Ireland for the celebration with five other fellow Celtic nations - Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany in France. Choir leader Raymond Bremner, mod gold medallist, led another choir - Atomaig Piseag (Argyll Ladies Gaelic Choir) to success at the same festival last year and hopes that Melvich will ensure that the far North of Scotland will do the same for the Year of Highland Culture 2007.
Would you like to go with the choir to Ireland? - See details here and fly Direct From Wick To the Pan Celtic Festival on charter flight

Wick Gets £750,000 In Business Park Funding
Wick Business Park Will See Two New Units Added To The Three Already In Place
Small businesses in the Highlands and Islands will be the main beneficiaries from a new £7.5 million funding investment announced today by the First Minister Jack McConnell. Ten business parks from Dunoon to Wick will be able to expand and upgrade their facilities in order to support the crucial role that small businesses play in the Highland economy.

Has Anyone Found A Pot Of Gold In Wick Today?
With some spectacular rainbows moving around the east of Caithness today this one was caught seemingly landing right in Wick itself.  With more and more developments coming in a seemingly endless flow for the past 18 months maybe there is fortune at the end of this rainbow in Wick.


Wick's New Alternative Energy Power Plant Moving Ahead Fast
Everything is moving ahead as Wick progresses towards the goal of having more of its energy used from a renewable source.   the gas burning engine arrived a few days ago and the building in which it will be housed is moving towards completion.  Homes are currently being supplied with power from the Old Pulteney Distillery next door to the new plant.  More and more people are signing up to join the scheme to supply unlimited heating and hot water for fixed weekly price that in view of recent increases has become much more attractive to consumers.  Caithness Heat And Power

Over 5000 Scottish Charities Will Be Deleted From The Charities Register
They may be Defunct But a Live charity May Have forgotten To Send In A Return - Check Now

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has published a list of organisations which will lose charitable status on 15th March unless they make contact with the OSCR and/or provide the outstanding information required. There are over 5000 organisations listed. Many of them may be defunct but, there may be some active groups who could lose status. This could affect their ability to apply for funds. The organisations may already have this in hand - but perhaps not.  If your charity has regular contact with the Scottish Charity Regulator that took over from the Inland Revenue then your group is probably OK.  You can check the list published on the web site that shows the charities about to be deleted and thus lose charitable status.  On the web site click "attached list" shown in blue to get a listing.  Unfortunately not in alphabetical order.
If your group has recently made a return you should be OK and not need to check.

Flamin' Daphnees and Liquid Blue -Wick High School 7th February 7.30pm
Next Wednesday February 7th Wick High School PSA are holding a St Valentines Variety Performance in the Main Hall of the School at 7.30 pm. Tickets are 3 pounds to all pupils and 5 pounds for adults. The evening is being held to help raise funds for the Wick High School Mini-bus Appeal. Entertainment will include the school staff band Flamin' Daphnees, Liquid Blue, solos from Celia MacDougall (who retires from teaching the same day) and Anne Macarthur as well as various other artistes. Limited tickets are available from the School office and refreshments will also be on sale on the night as well as a raffle.

Highland Council Asked To Consider 2.5% Council Tax Rise
Highland Councillors will be asked to approve a rise of £28 at Band D, a 2.5 % increase, when they meet on Thursday (8 February 2007) to set the Council Tax for 2007-2008. In setting a budget of £517 million, the Council is asked to agree the following charges in 2007-2008: -
A £775.33; B £904.56; C £1,033.78; D £1,163 E £1,421.44; F £1,679.89; G £1,938.33; H £2,326.
In setting the budget, the Council agreed a 5.3% increase on the £491 million of 2006-07. Members particularly welcomed provision of £1 million in the budget to deal with the effects of climate change, minimising flooding, allowing improvements in gully gleaning, general drainage maintenance and watercourse maintenance.

If You Are New To You May Not Have Found the Biodiversity Photo Collection Yet

Here are some great photos of wildlife, flowers and a few scenes from Caithness and Sutherland.

Chief Executive Of Highland Council Arthur McCourt Announces Retirement
The Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Mr Arthur McCourt, has announced his decision to retire, with effect from July, this year, after 12 years at the helm. He has given five months notice of his retiral to give the Council the opportunity of finding a successor before he leaves. The matter will be discussed by the Council on Thursday (8 February 2007) at a special meeting called to set the Council Tax for 2007-8. Mr McCourt joined the Council as its first Chief Executive in May 1995, moving to the Highlands from his position of Assistant Chief Executive of Tayside Regional Council.

Careers Scotland Event For Gaelic Teachers
Gaelic teachers from across the Highlands and Islands have been invited to a seminar at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye on Monday 12 February. The event has been organised as part of Excellence in Education through Business Links (EEBL) - a Scottish Executive national programme, delivered by Careers Scotland. All aspects of Gaelic will be highlighted during the seminar, from language to culture, careers and skills, economy and the environment. The Gaelic teachers will get the opportunity to foster links with representatives from a range of Gaelic related organisations and businesses. EEBL programmes provide teachers with information on how they can gain experience from participation on work placements. The knowledge and skills that they learn can be put to practice with the pupils in the classroom and foster career related learning.

Dounreay's Dome Could Disappear - BBC
The NDA says it might cost £250,000 to paint it every five years - Historic Scotland has no plans to list it. The end site consultation is ongoing and it seems more likely the dome will disappear with all of the other buildings on the site in the next 30 years.

Sky Over Lybster Tonight

Last Call For Scotland's New Business Stars
Scotland's budding new business brains have just one week left to make it into a new million pound initiative which will help fund the country's next generation of entrepreneurs. The Starter for 6 project will build the enterprise skills of up to 300 new entrepreneurs over three years, working in Scotland across all business sectors. Led by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), in partnership with the Six Cities Design Festival and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Starter for 6 will provide
business support, mentoring and the opportunity to apply for a start-up grant of up to £10,000. Open to any fledgling entrepreneur in Scotland with an innovative business idea, the initiative will provide invaluable support at the start up phase.  Don't forget this opportunity for young entrepreneurs

New Gas Engine Arrives For Wick's Heating Scheme
The Jenbacher "Gas Engine" which will burn cleaned up gas produced in the Plant's Gasifier Unit. It is housed in a temporary enclosure which has been fitted out with an environmental control system to protect the equipment's power generation train.
Caithness Heat and Power Index

MSP Jamie Stone Hits Out At No Northern Representation On NHS Highland
Far North MSP Jamie Stone has hit out at the lack of representation for the counties of Caithness and Sutherland on Highland Health Board. Speaking during a Holyrood debate about elections to health boards Jamie Stone told MSPs he thought it was a 'disgrace' that, for many years, not one single health board member in the Highlands came from the counties north of the Moray Firth. He is now calling on appointments to health boards to give greater consideration to the need for fair representation. Commenting today, Mr Stone said: "It is disgraceful that for many years, the residents of Caithness and Sutherland have had no members on the Highland Health Board to fight their particular corners. "If there had been a member from the Caithness area at the time when maternity services were being reviewed, perhaps residents in the far north would not have faced such a lengthy battle to save these important local health services.  See the current NHS Highland Health Board  No on he list but just appointed is councillor Gillian McCreath from..............................wait for it.............. Inverness

More Funding Opportunities For Local Charities
We hear often that local groups are looking for funding for a variety of projects and it is hard work fidning money. Today we make links to a few more where money is on offer for a wide range of possible projects from community halls, arts and so on.  Take look and see if your group can qualify for some of the tens of thousands of pounds currently being offered in today's links

Crofters unimpressed by new bill - Shetland Times

End State Of Dounreay Site - An Evening Conference Open To The Public In Thurso
Thursday 15 February 6.00pm - 9.30pm Royal Hotel, Thurso
An exhibition will run between 2.00pm and 5.00pm followed by an evening conference that the public can attend.  Public Participation in Restoration Plan

More on Dounreay


Do You Know This Caithness Scout?
Later this year there will be an exhibition of Scouting in Caithness.  Organisers are collecting photos for the exhibition.  Amongst those collected so far is this one with no name.  If you know the name send details to



Budget increase for key services - BBC
The mainly independent Highland councillors combined with Lib Dems and SNP rejected a move by the labour group to make last minute changes to the budget for next year. In what was seen as a political move in the run up to the May elections the motion put forward by Labour was defeated 51 - 8

HM Revenue & Customs - Business Support Team - Free Learning Events
Are you newly Self Employed or thinking of becoming Self Employed?
Do you have a Self Employed tax return to complete?
Are you a New Employer?
Do you have an Employers Annual Return to complete?
Do you want to know about the changes to the Construction Industry Scheme?
If you can answer "YES" to any of the above questions & would like to learn more, you may be interested in attending one of HM Revenue & Customs free learning events.

Redevelopment Of Viewfirth In Thurso - Answer a Questionaire To Help the Committee
Caithness Arts forms part of the Viewfirth Redevelopment Steering Group and are looking for a high response rate to a questionnaire to help us formulate a proposal to the UKAEA for the developing the Viewfirth Site. The questionnaire will also be available from and  The timescale is quite tight and responses have to be in by the 12th February. So get that pen out and let's see a big response to assist the committee reach some decisions>

BB Hall, Wick Available For Hire
The BB Hall in wick is now available for events, parties and other uses.  Check with them for free dates.



Solidarity Finalises Line Up For Highland and Islands
Tommy Sheridan's new party Solidarity that has left behind the SSP has selected its candidates for the May 2007 election for the Scottish Parliament. The Solidarity party in the Highlands and Islands has selected its group of candidates to stand on the party list at May's forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections. Leading the way for the party at No1 on the list is veteran campaigner Anne Macleod of Inverness.  Frank Ward will once again be standing and is joined by Steve Arnott. The list is completed by Saltire Prize-winning author John Aberdein of Orkney, community activist Norma Anderson of Elgin, teacher Liz Walker of Alness, Fair Trade and environmental campaigner Deirdre Henderson of Kintyre and Special Needs Education Trainer Shona Laughland of Bute.

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