Relay For Life Caithness - Biggest Fund-raiser Ever In The County - Heading for £100,000

The Relay For Life Caithness At The Dammies, Thurso on Saturday 30th August was a huge success with the funds raised for Cancer Research UK looking to be one of the biggest fund-raisers ever in Caithness.  the staggering total was heading for £90,000 last night as hundreds of people in many teams set out to walk in Relay for 12 hours from 6.00pm to 6.00am.  the organisers had done a fantastic job with tents and stalls surrounding the track which itself was ringed by candles in bags in memory of a loved one who had passed away from the effects of cancer.  The public turned out in droves enjoying something of a carnival atmosphere.  Plenty of music was provided throughout the evening.
More Relay photos in the Forum  Yet More photos at Angus Mackay's Web Site

Caithness Field Club Winter Programme - 2008 - 2009
The programme starts on Monday afternoons with a visit to Girnigoe Castle.  Talks and walks, bus trip, club weekend.  Plenty to keep you interested until next summer.  Walks and talks are open to non-members.

Email Problems At
We have had email problems here and any email sent since 22 November has not arrived.  We had hoped it might be stored and come down when the problem was fixed but this has not happened.  Therefor if anyone has sent an email since 22 August to can you resend it for action.

Wick Gala 2008  - All Photos Now In -  The Full Wick Gala Gallery Starts HERE
337 - 344

289 - 300                    301 - 312                   313 - 324                       325 - 336

241 - 252                                     253 - 264                   265 - 276          277 - 288

205 - 216                      217 - 228                   229 - 240

157 - 168      169 - 180                   181- 192                           193 - 204

Bower Gala 2008
1 - 12                            13 - 24                25 - 36                                           37 - 48

Bats Bats Bats In North Sutherland
‘Simply Batty’ in Borgie - Slide Presentation on Bats in North Sutherland.

Tuesday 26th August. 7-8pm. - Borgie Forest Log Cabins.
Grid reference NC 663565. - Come along to the log cabins in Borgie Forest and enjoy a digital presentation about the local bats. Learn how to help conserve these fascinating flying mammals, the natural midge machines.
Betty’s Bats - Thursday 28th August - 8.30pm - 10pm.
Join the local countryside ranger and use the bat detectors to locate the local ‘midge munchers’ around Bettyhill. Meet at the war memorial car park in Bettyhill, grid reference NC 706618 at 8.30pm.
Please wear warm clothing and bring a torch. Weather dependent!

Home-Start AGM 7.00pm Tuesday 26 August
Community Education Offices, Ackergill Street, Wick

Home-Start Caithness supports families who have at least one child under 5 years of age offering practical, confidential and friendly support to families throughout Caithness.  Home-Start would like to encourage more people to join the committee, the board of directors and volunteers to be trained to give support.  Find out more by coming along to the AGM.

More about Home-Start Caithness

Caithness Seal Workshop
Caithness Countryside Volunteers enjoyed a workshop on Seals last weekend (Sunday 17th August) held at Waterlines Heritage Centre, Lybster. The event was organised by The Highland Council Planning and Development Service Countryside Rangers as part of the volunteer programme of events. Local volunteers meet once a month to undertake a range of environmental projects around the county. This event, funded through the Moray Firth Partnership Community Grant Scheme, was aimed at raising the volunteer’s awareness of seals in the Moray Firth Area.

Council Workers Strike Action In Highland
Strike Action – Wednesday 20 August 2008
Thurso High School 
will be closed on 20/08/08 to 1,2,3rd year pupils but open to 4,5 & 6th year pupils.
Pulteneytown Academy: closed over lunch (all pupils to go home at lunch)
North primary: open as normal (but 1-2-1 support not available so any students needing one to one to stay at home)
Other Services
Services provided by The Highland Council will be disrupted on Wednesday 20 August as the result of industrial action, which is part of nationwide action by Unite the Union, GMB and Unison members in respect of the National Pay Award. The Council will endeavour to keep disruption to a minimum. The Service Centre will be operational (Tel 01463 702000). However, a number of Council services will be affected. The known disruption is –
Service Points: Closed: Church Street, Inverness; Hilton, Inverness; Tain; Ullapool; Broadford, Kyle, Thurso, Bettyhill, Brora, Dornoch, Lairg, Nairn, Grantown, Kingussie, Fort William.
HQ Cash Office: Closed
Registrars: Closed: Dingwall, Portree, Fort William, Thurso and Wick. A limited service will be provided at Inverness.
Refuse Collection/bulky uplifts: There will be no refuse collection, kerbside recycling or bulky uplifts on Wednesday. Residents should NOT put their bins out that day. Normal refuse collection will be the following Wednesday. The public is urged to use recycling centres to dispose of surplus waste when they reopen on Thursday 21 August.
Recycling Centres: These will be closed.
Burials/Cremations: There will be no burials or cremations on Wednesday.
Ferry: The Corran Ferry linking Nether Lochaber to Ardgour will not operate on Wednesday.
School Closures:
Secondary Schools: (15): Charleston Academy, Inverness; Culloden Academy, Inverness; Grantown Grammar; Kilchuimen Academy, Kinlochbervie High; Fort Augustus; Kingussie High; Lochaber High; Millburn Academy, Inverness; Nairn Academy; Plockton High; Portree High; Tain Royal Academy; Thurso High S 1-3; Ullapool High; Wick High.
There will be no canteen facilities at Fortrose Academy. There will be no Additional Support Needs pupils attending Gairloch High. The new Kinlochleven High is not due to open until Friday.
Primary Schools: (24) Aviemore; Beauly; Brora; Coulhill, Alness; Cradlehall, Inverness; Dingwall; Dornoch; Golspie; Grantown, Halkirk; Park, Invergordon; Kilchuimen, Fort Augustus; Knockbreck, Tain; Millbank, Nairn; Miller Academy, Thurso; Mount Pleasant, Thurso; Obsdale, Alness; Pennyland, Thurso; Rosebank, Nairn; Smithton, Inverness; South Lodge, Invergordon; South, Wick; St Jospeh’s RC, Inverness; Tarradale.
Ardersier Primary – closing at noon; Central, Inverness is open to P 4-7 only
Nursery Schools (40):
Bunsgoil Ghaidhlig Inbhir Nis; Arisaig; Auldearn; Ballachulish; Banavie; Bonar Bridge; Bridgend, Alness; Caol; Carbost; Cauldeen; Central; Conon Bridge; Cradlehall; Deshar, Boat of Garten; Duncan Forbes, Inverness; Elgol, Skye; Fort William RC; Gairloch; Gledfield, Ardgay; Helmsdale; Hilton, Inverness; Hilton, East Ross; Inshes, Inverness; Inverlochy; Kyle; Kyleakin; Macdiarmid, Skye; Mallaig; Marybank; Maryburgh; Newtonmore; North Kessock; North, Wick; Poolewe; St Bride’s, Onich; Strathdearn; Struan, Skye; Tomnacross; Ullapool; Upper Achintore, Fort William.
Other ECS Facilities Closed:
Libraries: Alness; Badenoch; Bettyhill; Glenurquhart; Housebound Library; Invergordon Mobile Library; Inverness; Moray Firth Mobile Library; Nairn; Thurso.
Swimming Pools: Lochaber Leisure, Fort William; Nairn Leisure; Thurso; Wick.
Community Facilities: Charleston Community Complex, Inverness; Culloden Community Complex, Inverness; Golspie Youth Centre; James Cameron Community Complex, Inverness.
Limited service at Inverness Leisure.
Social Work: Residential care will be maintained and home care will be provided to the most vulnerable but it is likely that domestic home care and domestic day care services will be affected on Wednesday. Some offices normally open to the public may also be affected.
Housing: Enquiries regarding emergency repairs to council houses and emergency homelessness should be directed to 0845 700 2005.
Highland Council web site

Caithness Celtic Supporters' Club Bus Availability
The next bus is available:- versus Rangers on 31/08/08 - 12:30pm kick-off. Bus leaving Wick Safeways @ 03:30 and Thurso Tourist information office @ 04:00. Senior = £30 and Junior = £20. Contact Stevie King

Free school meal for every Highland P1 pupil
To encourage the new intake of primary one pupils to eat healthy school lunches, The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Catering Service is repeating its offer of one free lunch voucher to every Primary 1 pupil in the region. In 2007, over 2000 pupils received a “Highland School Meals Welcome Pack” to take home. Results showed that over 25% of pupils used their free meal voucher resulting in over 50% of all Primary 1 pupils taking a regular school lunch. This was a 20% increase in P1 pupils taking schools meals on 2006 figures.

Back to school with an Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
Young people in the Highlands who have decided to stay on at Secondary school are being reminded by The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Service that it’s not too late to apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). This reminder for applications for the academic year 2008/09 is to ensure that young people do not miss out on the EMA award which could be worth up to £1,500 to each pupil if eligible. An EMA is a weekly payment of up to £30, paid directly to eligible young people who stay on in school after they reach statutory leaving age. Young people may also be eligible for two bonuses of £150 if they remain on their course and make the necessary progress with their learning. Highland Council’s EMA Co-ordinator, Katie Moir said: "After getting their exam results some young people may have decided to stay on at school. So far, this year we are not getting as many students applying in the £30 weekly banding which is aimed at families on a household income of less than £21,835. We want to ensure that anyone who is eligible for an EMA takes advantage of the scheme.” Application forms and further information are available throughout the Highland Council area from Secondary Schools, Service Points and the Council’s web site:

John O’Groats to Lands End- And back again!
Global Xchange volunteer Aneirin Wenner (18) is undertaking the John O’Groats to Lands End charity trek with a difference; once he arrives he’ll be coming all the way back again! Aneirin is taking part in the Global Xchange programme which starts in Caithness in September and he is so enthusiastic about the benefits of the VSO and British Council run project that he aims to raise £600 on the epic cycle ride with his father and brother before the exchange. After working for three months on projects in Caithness, Aneirin and the team of 18 young volunteers will travelling to Chittagong, Bangladesh in December to continue donating their time to community projects.  Global Xchange Volunteers In Caithness - Can You Help?

Strathy Point Walk - Highland Ranger - Tuesday 19th August  2 – 5pm
Meet at Strathy Point (Totegan) car park NC 827687 at 2pm. Please do not drive to the lighthouse. Enjoy a bracing high cliff top walk with the ranger around this dramatic exposed rocky headland with caves, Scottish primrose, sea birds and hopefully whales or dolphins. No Dogs!
Donations welcome. -Please wear walking boots and warm waterproof clothing. Sorry but dogs are not welcome on guided walks/events. Further details: Paul Castle. Highland Council North Sutherland Countryside Ranger. 01641 521884.

Friends Of Newtonhill Woodland AGM
Thursday 21st August 2008 - MACKAYS HOTEL AT 7 pm
Despite the current site closure, the Friends will be meeting to discuss the community woodland.

Caithness and North Sutherland Children's Choir Auditions
The Caithness and North Sutherland Children's Choir are holding their annual auditions on Monday 25th August at 6pm in Thurso High School. Boys and Girls from Primary 4 age up to Sixth Year are very welcome to join us. We meet for one hour every week and sing throughout the region at various venues, concerts and charity events. If you wish to book the choir to sing at any event (including weddings) please email or

Wick Family Centre Updates
Plenty of things happening at the Wick Family Centre.  Still a few places left at Little Nippers playgroup.
New projects are offering employment at the centre
Sessional Worker - Caithness Young Carers
Project Co-ordinator - Caithness Young Carers
Family Film Club Organiser

Caithness Big Band Helped Watten Church Celebrate Centenary
Saturday was a blustery wet day and the garden party planned to celebrate the centenary of Watten Church of Scotland was hit by wind that blew the marquee down hitting the minister on the head by one of the tent poles.  He survived the crack on the head and and managed to continue to play second trombone with the band on Saturday.  Teas and cakes were served to the tunes made famous by Glen Miller.  Displays included were on second world war themes, a collection of estate maps and floral.
Watten Church
The Caithness Big Band will be helping to raise funds for another church on Friday 22nd august at the British Legion, Thurso from 8.00pm.  EVeryone is invited to go along and hear the Big Band and the jazz sounds from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Glen Miller.  Tickets are £5 from Cards N' Things, Thurso or pay at the door.  P{roceeds go to the Thurso United Reform Church Project Fund.

Halkirk Highland Games 2008
253 - 264                             265 - 276

217 - 228                         229 - 240                                           241 - 252 

193 - 204                                            205 - 216

145 - 156                   157 - 168                169 - 180                            181 - 192

109 - 120                        121- 132                            133 - 144

Halkirk Highland Games 2008
85 - 96                                              97 - 108

37 - 48               49 - 60                              61 - 72                73 - 84

1 - 12                         13 - 24                                25 - 36

Sandside Gardens - Last Open Day For 2008 On Sunday 10th August
Sandside House Gardens on the north coast with fine views across the Pentland Firth to Orkney, 10 miles west of Thurso, are open tomorrow for the last occasion this year with 100% proceeds going to Scottish Society for the Protection of Animals. The beautiful and well stocked formal walled gardens are only open to the public twice a year. There will also be vintage cars and motorbikes, donkey rides, cheese and plant stalls. Opening times 2.00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Wick Gala Dog Show
Photos sent by Barrie Cormack of her own and her sister's dogs winning prizes at the Wick Gala dog show.


Freedom Honour For Prince Charles - BBC

Territorial Army In Caithness Celebrated 100 Years With Prince Charles

A memorial service celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army on Sunday at the Parish church, Wick.  Prince Charles attended the service at the start of his annual stay in Caithness.  Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay received the Freedom Of Caithness on Monday morning (4th August) at the Assembly Rooms in Wick.  Amongst other engagements today Prince Charles attended a masterclass of opera singers from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama at the Mill Theatre in Thurso as part of the launch of North Highland Connections another newly created arm of the North Highland Initiative.  Further announcements for yet another project will be unveiled at the Castle of Mey on Wednesday.

North Highland Connections Launched - Part Of The North Highland Initiative
The latest arm of of the North Highland Initiative was launched today under the name of the North Highland Connections.  The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, launched the North Highland Initiative (NHI) in August 2005 to promote and develop the economy and to support the rural communities of the North Highlands.  North Highland Connections is another arm of The Prince's Initiative. As with the other parts of NHI, it is concerned to enhance the quality of life for the scattered communities of the North Highlands, doing so through the promotion of a wide range of arts ventures, as well as an integrated programme of educational outreach. A number of events are already underway.  An test masterclass run last year was so successful that another is being run on Tuesday (see below).  Sign up on the new web site to receive regular updates on events being organised by North Highland Connections etc in North Highland.

North Highland Connections - Free Singers Master Class At Millbank Theatre, Thurso
Tuesday 5th August 10.30am - 12.30pm

Following the highly successful singing master class for members of the general public, mounted a year ago as part of an earlier RSAMD residency, there is a further opportunity for local singers to take part in a similar class, directed by Patricia MacMahon, on Tuesday morning, 5th August, 10:30am to 12:30pm. Again, it will take place at the Mill Theatre, Millbank, Thurso.

Thurso Gala 2008
85 - 96                       97 - 108                     109 - 114

49 - 60                           61 - 72                                      73 - 84

1 - 12                             13 - 24                       25 - 36                                37 - 48

Council Takes Over Control Of Caithness Heat and Power
The Highland Council has agreed to assume control of Caithness Heat and Power Ltd - an innovative wood-fired combined heat and power enterprise, at Pulteneytown, Wick. The Council has been a major funder of the company since it was set up in December 2004 and has stepped in with decisive action in an attempt to ensure a sustainable future for the pioneering operation. Six councillors will form the new board of the company, which will be supported by senior officers of the Council. The existing three directors of the company - representatives of the Council, Inver House Distillers Ltd and the Pulteneytown People's Project - have stood down and fully support the new management arrangements.

Wick Gala 2008 - Braehead Children's Fancy Dress
1 - 12                  13 - 24              25 - 36                  37 - 48

Calling All Ex TA Members To Celebrate 100 Years This Sunday
On Sunday 3rd of August, we are holding a church parade from the TA Centre in Dempster Street to the Wick Old Parish Church for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving. Following the service we will return to the drill hall for a buffet lunch and refreshments.

The TA is a hundred years old and will be celebrating with a very special church parade on Sunday 3rd of August. The parade to the Wick Old Parish Church, will be followed by a buffet lunch and refreshments in the TA Centre. Although quite a number of ex members have already 'signed up', we are looking for more to join us. We are looking for men (and women) of all ages, no matter how long or short your service or which unit you served in. You do not have to be a war hero. If you have served in the TA and you wish to take part, you will be made welcome. Bus will leave Royal British Legion, Thurso at 9.30am and parade to assemble at Drill Hall, Wick at 10.00am at Dempster Street, Wick

Front Page Headlines Archive Index From 2000 Onwards