Peatlands At Forsinard Feature on TV
This week the BBC 1 'Nature of Britain' programme will contain scenes of the peatlands of the Flows shot last summer at Forsinard. It will include footage of black-throated divers, bog plants, Alan Titchmarsh having a go at trout fishing and stunning aerial shots taken of the bogs from Forsinard to Strathmore in Caithness.
Wednesday 28th Nov at 9pm and repeated on Sunday evening(2 Dec).

Switching on to energy saving…for FREE
As the days are getting darker and we are using more energy to keep our homes light, why not take advantage of this free energy saving light bulb offer to help keep energy costs down. The North Highland branch of the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (HICEC) is running a project to distribute energy saving light bulbs across the North Highlands. HICEC in association with EDF energy has teamed up with Highland Community Care Forum (HCCF), East Sutherland Voluntary Advice Service (ESVAS), Caithness Voluntary Groups (CVG) and Family First to distribute the free energy saving light bulbs to community members across Sutherland, Caithness and Ross-shire.

New Keiss Hall Opens

After several years of work and fund-raising with contributions from several local groups and major contributions from The Big lotterry, High;and Council Culture sport and Education Department, Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise, Highland 2007, the Robertson Trust, the Gannochy Trust, Forward Scotland, Keiss amenities Assoc., Keiss Bowling Club and Keiss Football club.  The hall cost £615,000 and has changing rooms and showers, storage areas above and underfloor heating.

New Google Translation Facility On Pages
Spanish French German Italian Chinese
We have now installed Google translation facilities for a few languages on  See the foot of the page for the languages represented by their flags.  Click on one and you will get translation of this page and then follow through to other pages in that language.  For Chinese you will require to have the alphabet symbols etc loaded on your PC.  When in the other language just hover over a link to see the English or highlight text to get the original English displayed.  The system is set of translation from English so you cannot hop from language to language.  You need to return to this page and select another language by clicking the flag in the English version. It even works on the Forum/Message Boards if you click through.

Thurso Players Pantomime 2007 - Jack & The Beanstalk
Thurso Players invite you to come along and meet the 'Trotts' at their annual Christmas Panto at Thurso High School. This year's production, Jack & the Beanstalk starts its run at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th December and will be on, at the same time, each evening up to and including Saturday 15th December. As in the past, there will be a Matinee performance for younger children at 2.00pm on Saturday and a signed performance for the hard of hearing on Thursday 13th.

Artsmith Christmas 2007 Exhibition - "The Last Picture Show"
The "Artsmith Christmas 2007 Exhibition" entitled "The Last Picture Show" brings together work spanning recent years but features several new pieces completed in the last few weeks. A range of vibrant original seascapes, sketchbook extracts, limited edition prints and miniatures combine to make this a diverse and insightful experience for audiences. In addition there are some special offers for Christmas which make for inexpensive but thoughtful gift ideas. The show then runs from 2.30 - 5.30pm on Saturday 1 December and Sunday 2 December from 2.30 - 5pm.

Free Winter Warmth Packs
The Caithness Energy Advice Team will be giving away Free Winter Warmth packs which contain information about how to keep warm, energy-saving tips and useful contacts. The Free Winter Warmth packs will be up for grabs during Ormlie Community Association’s latest awareness raising events, tacking fuel poverty and increasing energy efficiency for Caithness householders.
The dates, times and venues for OCA’s events are listed below:
Drop-in events for householders:
Tuesday 27 November – 9.30am to 4.30pm–Wick Family Centre Wick
Wednesday 28 November – 9.30am to 12.30pm – British Legion, Thurso

Inverness Virtues To Be Topped By Caithness Flagstone
Invernessians have helped select three new virtues to take the city forward into the 21st century. The new virtues are perseverance, open-heartedness and insight. The new virtues will be incorporated into a sculpture and will form a new entrance feature to the Old Town. Located in the new pedestrianised area at the south end of Church Street, the new virtues will be inscribed individually in English, Gaelic and Old Norse on three sloping platforms, each topped with a layer of Caithness stone. Out of each platform will grow a single birch tree: one native Scottish variety, one North American and one Asian. These reflect that Inverness is now home to many diverse communities. Work begins on installing the new virtues early next month.

Warning From Rangers About Mauve Stinger Jellyfish At Dunnet Beach
A member of the public reported the Mauve Stingers on Dunnet Beach, they are the same species that wiped out the salmon farm in Ireland earlier this week. They may lose their sting on the strandline but this is uncertain. For anyone surfing any exposed skin is vulnerable. The sting is like an extreme nettle rash with the pain lasting for two days. The jellyfish are very small compact and mauve in colour.
Can Ulster salmon farm survive attack of killer jellyfish? Belfast Telegraph  About Mauve Stinger

Landmark Study Concludes - Rural Voice Must Be Heard Again
Scotland's rural communities need to be given a louder voice and Scottish Government policies need to be properly "rural proofed", according to the findings of a new study published by Scotland's foremost consumer organisation. The Rural Advocacy study was commissioned by the Scottish Consumer Council and brought together a cross section of organisations from the voluntary and public sectors. It set out to examine how people in rural communities could become more involved in influencing policy decisions that affect their lives. The study concludes that the urban agenda is dominating Scottish policy and failing to allow for the fact that people in rural areas - both the Highlands and Island and the Scottish Lowlands - have a different set of concerns and priorities that are not being heard.

Ceilidh, Melvich Gaelic Choir - Thurso, Park Hotel, 1st December 2007
A reminder that Melvich Gaelic Choir will be hosting their annual ceilidh in the Park Hotel, Thurso on Saturday night, 1st December 2007 at 7.30pm.

An Comunn Gaidhealach - Meeting To Set Up A Caithness Branch
Just to let everyone know that a meeting will be held to constitute a branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Tuesday Evening 27th November at 7.30pm in the meeting room on the 1st floor. The main aim is to create a branch of An Comunn Gaidhealach in Caithness. One of the main functions of the branch will be to co-ordinate the activity in preparation for the National Mod 2010.

Wick Christmas Fun Day 49 - 56

Wick Christmas Fun Day 37 - 48

Wick Christmas Fun Day 25 - 36

Wick Christmas Fun Day 13 - 24

Wick Christmas Fun Day 1 - 12

Can anyone Identify The Boy In This Photo
In the Old Thirsa Piccys thread there is photo of a young lad with an Ice Cream bike.  The poster of the photo is trying to identify the boy. the photo was taken up at the top of Princess Street in Thurso and the Railway Cottages are in the background which ran up Castlegreen Road. He is on Cardosi's Ice Cream bike.


Majority Reject Wind Farm For Stroupster In Local Ballot
A ballot that was set up by Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council and organised by Electoral Reform Services resulted in 801 people voted  - a participation rate of 63.2 per cent. Of those who voted, 491 (61.3 per cent) opposed the development while 310 (38.7 per cent) backed it. A total of 1267 ballot papers were issued.

Will Wick Get Four More New Shops?
A decision by the next planning committee meeting may increase the number of shops at Wick if the application by Scapa Properties is accepted. A meeting of the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Planning Applications and Review Committee will take place in Lairg Community Centre, Main Street, Lairg on Tuesday 20 November 2007 at 10.30am.  Also an application will be decided for 41 new houses North West of Keiss village by J W Sutherland Property. The interest in building in Caithness shows no sign of slowing.

Caithness Energy Advice Project - Caithness Project Wins Award
Free Winter Warmth Packs

The Caithness Energy Advice Team will be giving away Free Winter Warmth packs which contain information about how to keep warm, energy-saving tips and useful contacts. The Free Winter Warmth packs will be up for grabs during Ormlie Community Association’s latest awareness raising events, tacking fuel poverty and increasing energy efficiency for Caithness householders. The events are part of the Warm Homes Campaign Award Scheme which is one aspect of the Warm Homes Campaign, organized by National Energy Action (NEA) and Energy Action Scotland, which is taking place throughout the UK from the end of November. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the financial help available to people who cannot afford to heat their homes to try and reduce cold-related illnesses and excess winter deaths and is organised in association with eaga.
Drop-in events for householders:
Tuesday 27 November – 9.30am to 4.30pm–Wick Family Centre Wick
Wednesday 28 November – 9.30am to 12.30pm – British Legion, Thurso

First Ever Rod Caught Shark Landed At Wick Harbour
Ross Mackay, son of Wick Lifeboats 2nd Coxswain Ivor Mackay on board the Wick based Charter angling vessel "Freedom" skippered by Colin Richard. It is a porbeagle shark, exactly 8ft long and weight estimated at 180 kilos. It took Ross 3 hours to get it alongside the "Freedom". The day before Ross had a shark on for 1hour 45mins before the trace unfortunately broke
Freedom Charters, Wick

Castlehill Heritage Centre Opens
The long held aspirations of Castletown Heritage Society to create a multi-purpose exhibition and vernacular skills centre were finally realised today when Lord Maclennan of Rogart performed the official Opening Ceremony at the Castlehill Heritage Centre. A large audience of invited guests and visitors turned out to hear Chairwoman Muriel Murray explain how the Centre had been developed through the hard work and dedication of Society members, friends and supporters, including a number of local contractors and suppliers. She also thanked the various organisations who lent financial support, either directly (Highland 2007 Community Fund and Lottery Fund Awards for All) or in kind (UKAEA Dounreay, Invisible Heating Supplies and Caithness Stone Industries) through the generous donation of materials.
Castletown Heritage Web Site
The exhibition and Heritage Centre will be open from 1pm to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday over the winter and other times by arrangement.

Wick High 6th Year Concert For Children In Need

Wick High 6th year put on a concert for children In need which was shown to all year groups throughout the day.

Adam MacDonald Did A Big Walk To Wick High From Canisbay For Children In Need
Adam left Canisbay at 03.00 hrs to walk to Wick High School so that he could arrive in time for the starting bell at 09.00 hrs. He completed his set aim, arriving in good time at 08.50. After this feat of nocturnal endurance he was met by Piper Craig Harvey from S4 to pipe him along West Banks Avenue to the front of the school where a welcoming committee consisting of Lord Lieutenant Anne Dunnett, Rector Alister Traill, and other members of staff, along with a huge turnout of pupils who cheered Adam home. Adam was accompanied all the way with a back up vehicle driven by Mrs Karen Spruce, a member of the Pupil Support staff, who set off with Adam at three in the morning. Adam carried a video camera with him and hopes to get the footage edited soon to show to the whole school and then post it on YouTube before much longer. Adam's efforts have to date raised more than £800 with more to come for Children in Need. After the welcome to school Adam and Mrs Spruce were treated to a slap up breakfast prepared by the school canteen staff before Adam set off by bus, with the good wishes of the school, to Glasgow to take part in the BBC Scotland Children in Need televised show where he appeared briefly on screen being interviewed around 11.20 pm. On the day £19,089,771 was raised for BBC Children in Need but that usually almost double as donations from all over the Uk continue to flood in for weeks after the events.  See Children In Need Web Site

Children In Need Fund Raising In Caithness

Staff and pupils of Mount Pleasant School came to school wearing their pyjamas for Children In Need. The children also sold cakes at tuck time and altogether we made a fantastic £243.76. Well done to all
If any other groups or individuals would like to add their photos to the Children In Need Gallery email them to

Transport Appeal By Caithness Gymnastics Club - Can You Help?
This appeal has been sent in by one of the organisers Sheenagh Christie

We are Caithness Gymnastics Club and we are taking down some gymnasts to Lasswade near Edinburgh to compete in the Beginner/Intermediate Scottish Championships Competition being held next Saturday 24th November. But we are having really great difficulty in finding a self drive 17 seater mini bus to hire. We have tried all the normal avenues locally eg sports council bus, community ed bus. But everything is booked up. We have even looked at hire car companies as far afield as Inverness - but all their minibuses are booked out. Please can you put out an appeal to your readers if anyone can suggest where we can hire a minibus from. We would hate for the girls to miss out on such an important event in the gymnastics calendar. I can be contacted on or by phoning 01847 894751

Speed Cameras In Caithness And Sutherland Again Next Week
Three sites in Caithness and Sutherland are on the list of places being targeted next week by speed cameras.  The A99 at Hempriggs near Wick the A9 south of the Mound and at Calmaillie, Golspie.  Cameras will also be out at other locations in Highland.  Police are stressing that motorists should also note the much longer stopping distances required in wet weather.

Do you wish an exciting career?
Northern Constabulary are now recruiting for Police Constables
Head along to the open evening and find out more
Wednesday 21st November 2007 from 1830 to 2030 hours
at Police Station, Olrig Street, Thurso

Serious Assault At Cemetery Near Thurso River
Police are appealing for witnesses to a particularly serious assault that occurred at 9 o’clock in the evening (2100 hours) on Monday 12th November 2007. The incident occurred in the area of Thurso river near to the cemetery. Investigating officers would be interested to hear from any persons who have knowledge of the altercation involving a male and female, or anyone who was within the area at the time

Latest Pet In Pets Corner
Fluffy and Ruby
Main Pets Corner Index
Pets Gallery - Unusual Pets Gallery - Doggies Gallery
Moggies Gallery - Farm Pets
Baby Animals


Remembrance At Lybster

Remembrance At Skitten Memorial

Operation Freshman 60th Anniversary At Skitten 2002

Remembrance At Wick Cemetery

Remembrance At Wick

Low Flying Exercise May Mean More Night Flying Over Caithness
 ACombined Qualified Weapons Instructor Course is to take place at RAF Kinloss from 12 to 22 November 2007.  The Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor Course is an exercise which aims to improve the tactical leadership qualities of front line aircrew in combined air operations through training in a controlled, but realistic, tactical environment. This will be achieved by using a variety of aircraft including Typhoon, Harriers, Tornado F3 and GR4s, Harriers, Hawks, DA-20 Falcons, C130s, Nimrods, a single E3D. In all, approximately 45 aircraft and 500 personnel are expected to participate in this exercise, with the majority arriving at RAF Kinloss on 9 November and departing 23 November 2007. More about Low Flying In the North

SNH Publishes Innovative Online Farming Guide
A revised version of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH)'s online handbook of advice for farmers - packed with ideas on innovative farming technology - has been published. The Targeted Inputs for a Better Rural Environment (TIBRE) Arable Handbook features 44 technologies and techniques to help Scotland's arable farmers become more eco-efficient and in many cases improve their profits.

So You Want To Live In Or Around Lybster?  - Get Cracking and Fill In A Form
Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Council launched
Lybster Housing Option Study

It was identified approximately 12 - 18 months ago by people living in and around Lybster, that there was a need for housing in the area. Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) have been carrying out initial ground works on our behalf, but now it's the turn of local residents to assist.
We are looking for people in the area to get in touch with HSCHT to help firm up ideas for any potential development. Initial discussions with housing funding bodies have indicated there may well be money available for development plans.
We are asking residents to complete a single A4 page questionnaire to indicate if they have an interest in housing. This may be - affordable housing - shared equity housing - low cost serviced plots -

Stroupster Wind Farm Letters Debate Continues
From Stuart Young - On behalf of Caithness Windfarm Information Forum
I refer to Mr Bill Mowat’s letter in the John o’Groat Journal last week concerning Stroupster Wind Farm, and would wish to make some further observations on behalf of Caithness Windfarm Information Forum (CWIF).

Caithness Heritage Fair 2007 Starts Today At Assembly Rooms Wick
10th and 11th November
The Heritage Fair is taking place on 10th and 11th November in the Assembly rooms. All local primary and secondary schools are taking part as part of their Highland Promise pledge. The Fair will be open from 11-4pm on Saturday and 1 – 4pm on Sunday

BA's decision to turf the surf threatens event - Scotsman
SURFERS travel to Scotland from across the world to ride the big waves at Britain's top-rated surf competition. But the future of the O'Neill Highland Open in Thurso has been threatened by a British Airways decision to ban surfboards and other large sporting equipment from tomorrow..................

St John's Church, Wick Raised £305 Towards Building Repair Fund
The bargain book sale run on Saturday 3rd November by St. John's Scottish Episcopal Church, Wick, was a great success, raising £305 towards the church's building repair fund. Organiser Gordon Johnson said afterwards: "This is the best result of any of our book sales, and takes us another step on the way to raising the initial funding for major repairs costing many thousands of pounds. We will now be collecting more books for another sale in the spring, so anyone with books to donate to this worthy cause should ring me on 01955-603103 to arrange where the books can be accepted. Our thanks go to all who donated books and those who benefited from our bargain sale. There were many comments on the high quality of the sale."
New Bishop To Visit Caithness
Bishop Mark Strange is to visit Caithness next weekend, Saturday/Sunday 10/11 November. This is his first visit to Caithness since his Consecration as Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Diocese of Moray, Ross and Caithness in October and he will celebrate the Eucharist and preach at both St. Peter and the Holy Rood Thurso at 9.00 am and St. John the Evangelist Wick at 11.30 am.

Latest Additions To Pets Corner
An African Grey Parrot - Seven Days Old
A European Eagle Owl
and Snowy the Westie


Halloween Photos From Staxigoe Hall

The Scottish Ornithologists Club and the British Trust for Ornithology have launched the biggest bird survey in many years, the Bird Atlas 2007-11. The aim of the project is to record the species of birds seen, and their distribution and abundance across the entire country, both in summer and in winter. Anyone who has an interest in birds can record their sightings on the BTO website at , or by recording the information on "Roving records" forms. This form, and more information on the project can be found on

Who is the Lucky Wick High Pupil?

Ten S5 pupils from Highlands and Islands schools are over the moon with the news that they have been chosen to attend a once in a lifetime experience at the 2008 Careers Scotland Space School at the NASA Space Camp, Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Space School is designed to increase participation and motivation of school students in science and technology and to help young people to understand how the subjects apply to real career choices. The successful candidates, from Dingwall Academy, Elgin Academy (2), Fortrose Academy(2), Glen Urquhart High, Kingussie High, Lochaber High, Wick High School and Lomond School, are all students of Careers Scotland Space School, a world-leading programme managed by Careers Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government and NASA.

Help Raise Funds To Buy Electric Trike For Little Natasha Gunn
We are fundraising to raise the £800 needed to buy a trike for little Natasha Gunn who has cerebral palsy and is unable to use a regular bike. If we have it ordered soon she should have it by Christmas! The main fundraiser is a coffee morning on Saturday 10th November in Castletown Drill Hall from 10am to 12 noon.

Thurso High School PTA Open Evening - ‘Find Out More about Your High School’
Thurso High School Assembly Hall - Tuesday 13th of November 7.30pm

Please note this event was originally scheduled for Tuesday 6th of November.
High School PTA is a sub-committee of the Thurso High School Parent Council
Thurso High School PTA would like to invite you to an open evening at the school. See displays of pupils’ work, watch pupil performances, visit classrooms and find out how the PTA operates and supports the school. Enjoy a chat and cup of tea or coffee with school staff, pupils and Parent Council members.

Shipwreck from old files Groat 1959 - Posted On Old Man Of Hoy Blog
Morris Pottinger has added a couple of new items to his blog.  "Shipwreck from the old files Groat 1959" was posted yesterday 3 November and "No 3 By lantern light in the feeders’ byre" was posted on Friday 2 November.  Another couple of interesting pieces added to this growing blog by Morris.  To see earlier items click the "Older Posts" link at the bottom right of each page.

THE consequences of the inappropriate use of fireworks are well documented and Northern Constabulary and partner agencies are is urging the public to act responsibly as the firework season begins in earnest. Historically, the busiest time for the Force in relation to firework incidents is during October and November. Legislation aimed at reducing the number of fireworks falling into the hands of children and young people was introduced in October 2004, making it an offence for a person under the age of 18 to possess a firework in a public place.

Arion Choir
After a very successful meeting on the 27th October we can now extend our invitation to former choir members living away from home. Please contact Marjory Richard on 01955 602558 or at  For local former members rehearsals will be on Saturdays at 2.30pm at St Joachims Church ex nursery opposite Assembly Rooms where a very warm welcome awaits.

Oscar Delivers Safety Messages At Mpunt Pleasant School
Oscar the robot, sponsored by Alstec made his annual trip to Dounreay. During Oscar's visit he made time to visit four local primary schools to promote road, home, rail and water safety. Oscar was warmly received by all the children at Mount Pleasant School, Pennyland Primary School, Castletown Primary School and Halkirk Primary School. Each school received £250 from UKAEA for participating with all the schools invited to enter a competition to draw a new character for Alstec's children's safety book. The winning school will receive £500 from Alstec.  UKAE organised this event with others as part of European Safety Week 22nd - 26th October. Other events at the site included Yoga sessions and lunchtime walking has been promoted, presentations on electrical safety and a 2-day health and safety exhibition. The week closed with the annual pub style quiz in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.
PHOTO - Remember to click View Full Size Here for much larger version of the photos

"North West Gusts" - of words and other arts
Ullapool, Friday November 9th 2007
Durness, Durness Village Hall, Friday November 16th 2007


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