A Search For a 'Monster writer!'
Graham Winkle the author of the Loch Of Mey Monster series of Children's books and organiser of a successful drawing competition last year, is running another competition for Primary age children across the country. But time is running out to enter. So here are the details. Write a story or fairytale of [at least 100 words primary 1- 4] [at least 300 words primary 5-7] not copied from any other source. The story must include a monster good or bad, but it doesn't have to be about the Loch Of Mey Monster that is up to you.

Castletown Heritage Society
Traditional Skills Workshop on Saturday 4th October 2008
Castletown Heritage Society will be holding a 'Croft Crafts' Traditional Skills workshop on Saturday 4th October, featuring spinning, quilting, rag rug making and crochet. An ideal opportunity to come along and learn a new skill or brush up on long forgotten techniques. The workshop will be held in the Castlehill Heritage Centre on from 10am to 4pm. Workshop fee is £15 which includes materials, tuition and a light lunch.

Renewable Energy Solutions For Homeowners In Caithness
Homeowners in Caithness have the opportunity to find out more about how micro-renewables systems, such as heat pumps, solar panels and wind turbine schemes, can help reduce the energy costs for domestic properties. Two events, which have been organised by Caithness Energy Advice, will take place in October from 12 noon until 6pm in the New Weigh Inn, Thurso on the 8th and Mackays Hotel, Wick on the 9th, and entry is free. There will be a free eco-kettle up for grabs - everyone attending the event will be entered into the free prize draw.

First Minister to Attend Caithness Conference
The second annual Caithness Regeneration Conference takes place next week, arranged by key organisations in the area. First Minister Alex Salmond is scheduled to join around 150 stakeholders in the Far North economy in Thurso on Monday 29th September 2008, to discuss progress on the action plan devised to steer the region through the effects of the Dounreay nuclear plant's wind down and closure.

The Peatlands Partnership - Newsletter - Issue 2 (Pdf)
The second edition of the Peatlands Partnership Newsletter has some updates and several interesting articles including -
A Look At Developments At Forsinard by Norrie Russell
Looking Back To Look Forward by Dr. Althea Davies with details of her latest research project.
Wind Farms In Caithness & Sutherland by Andrew Coupar
Wind Farms On Blanket Bog by Andrew Coupar
Forsinain Trail Opening
Keeping the Bogs Healthy
by Norrie Russell
The Peatlands Project will soon have a new web site.  The Peatlands Project has been consulted about information to be on show at Caithness Horizons in the refurbished Thurso Town Hall.
Peatlands Partnership Page   Nature and Environment Index

Another Unique Calendar For 2009 From Martina Cross
The Caithness And Sutherland calendars from Martina Cross produced for 2007 and 2008 were sold out almost immediately. It was hardly surprising to anyone who has seen her work on her own web site and many examples on Through a unique blend of photography and artistic flair Martina manages to capture the essence of places in the far north. The 2009 calendar is no exception with beautiful views that scream out from no less than 72 photographs - 12 main pictures and five smaller ones for each month of the year. But don't leave it too late as a limited print run means there are always going to be disappointed people each year.

North Highland Connections - Last September Events
North Highland Connections is presenting two major events to bring September to an end; you will not want to miss either of them! On Sunday, 28th September, at 7:30pm, another of our 'Young Artistes' series will feature the rising star cellist, Rowena Calvert, accompanied by Alison Rhind. The event will be in the Drawing Room of Dunrobin Castle, by kind permission of Lord Strathnaver.  Two days after the concert NHC will present its first drama production, in the hall of Wick High School, This is a new play on a theme all too familiar in present-day society: knife crime. Here is an extract from the official press release: V.AMP Productions brings Fleeto, Paddy Cunneen's hard-hitting drama about modern day knife crime, to North East of Scotland venues, including HIGH SCHOOL, Wick on Tues 30 Sept 2008

Durran Wind Farm Protest Meeting - Friday 26th September
A protest meeting is being held in the Bower Community Hall by opponents of the Durran Wind Farm proposals.  The meeting starts at 7.30pm.  The proposal by Scottish and Southern Energy is for 13 turbines with app. 19.5 MW capacity.
Durran Mains web site for D P Energy Ireland Ltd


Message On Your answering Machine or A Text Message Is A Scam
Here at the web site our answering machine had a message to call 07953 966066.  Being the suspicious people we are we checked Google and lo and behold it revealed this is scam number.  Do not call it back.  Warn your friends, relatives and old people to beware of calling back mobile numbers sent by text or by message left on the answering machine unless you know who has called and what it is about.

Wick Words - A Ghost Walk Of Words
Author Linda Cracknell looks at some words around Wick some of which have faded or draw links with the past.  Wick Words is section of her blog where she is posting an interesting collection of photos.  How many other words are there around Caithness where the ghosts of the past can be seen or are about to fade out of existence?


Pennyland Class - About 1979
Photo sent by John Brown

Pennyland Schooldays Index

Caithness Old School Photos Index

Bill Mowat Comes Out Strongly Against North Caithness Cliffs Extension
Consultation On Proposed Marine Extension To North Caithness Cliffs

Ex councillor Bill Mowat has sent us this copy of his response the Scottish Natural Heritage consultation on an extension to the North Caithness Cliffs 'Special Protection Area'. At a recent meeting of Caithness councillors meeting in Wick where representatives of SNH set out what they were trying to do the councillors stated similar doubts about the extensions in Caithness at a time when the potential for marine energy was being looked at as a potentially vital component in securing future employment in the county and for the whole of Scotland and the UK in exploiting one of our biggest renewable energy sources. The Caithness councillors left the SNH representatives in no doubt that they were against the proposed extension particularly at this crucial time and in the light of he fact the SNH is a consultee in every planning application for the areas concerned and can make representations to change or alter locations and make suggestions on how to lessen perceived threats to wildlife. Opposition has been expressed by several local groups and bodies to this extension at this crucial time for marine energy developments.  Will this extension if allowed to go ahead damage or delay the development of Marine energy in the Pentland Firth possibly threatening a promising new industry that could bring many jobs in the development phase and for years after?  You have only two days left to contact SNH with your views in this public consultation.
Tocardo Tidal Energy Proposals For Wick Harbour  Tocardo Web Site
Pentland Firth Tidal energy Project
Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project - Louise Smith

Council Supports Inverness Gaelic Choir
Inverness Common Good Fund and The Highland Council are helping Inverness Gaelic Choir to fulfil their plans to be the first Scottish Gaelic choir invited to participate in the prestigious Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton from 9 - 16 October 2008 The choir, which was booked to fly with Zoom Airlines, lost all their money and tickets when the airline recently collapsed, but after intense fundraising and publicity the choir have finally been able to confirm their new flights have been purchased enabling them to fly to Canada. Yesterday, members of The Highland Council's Inverness City Committee agreed to £4,000 funding from the Inverness Common Good Fund to help secure purchase of replacement flight tickets to Cape Breton. Funding from The Highland Council will also be providing a coach to take the choir from Inverness to Glasgow airport and return via Falkirk MOD at a cost of £1,550.

Hillhead Flag Competition
Hillhead Primary 6 in Wick re running a flag competition throughout September, from which all money raised will go to the UNICEF charity. A total of 9 different flags are being displayed on the flag pole at the front of Hillhead School. The challenge is to spot all the flags and write down the continent, country and the capital city from that place. We are hoping to have as many entries as possible as it is a worth while cause and also promises to be good fun.

Caithness Loyal Rangers S. C bus availability
A bus to the Rangers v Dundee Utd on Saturday 18th October 2008 leaving Wick 0430, Castletown 0450, Thurso 0500, Halkirk 0510. £20 Deposit secures bus seat for further information contact Alan 01847 821059 / 07986072540 or Philip 01847 894419 /07843568326

Hobbies Classes In Wick
Mixed Media - Fibre and Art with Contempary Embroidery - Class taken by Bettine Bain
Monday Night 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Floral Art - Class taken by Frances Yellop
Monday Afternoons 2pm to 4pm
Cost £40 per10 week course - Contact Tracey or Julie On 01955 606950 to reserve a place.
Commencing week of 29th September 2008

Wick Scouts 1935 - 36
The Wick Scout Reunion was held in 2001 and yet old Wick Scout photos continue to come in.  This latest is from Heather Bain whose father is in the photo.
Old Wick Scouts Photos Index

Herring Queen Committee, Wick - 1937
Photo sent by Hamish Gunn whose father is in the photo.

More Herring Queen Photos
More Early Caithness Photos
Early Thurso Photos In The Forum
Early Wick Photo In The Forum

Miller Academy 1949 or 1950
Bella Cormack's class sent in by George Frederick

The Schooldays photos continue to come in. 
Can you find someone you know in them?
Miller Academy Old School Photo Index

Caithness Old School Photos Index

Sunday Papers
Scotland: a green, unpleasant land? - Sunday Herald
While the SNP remain steadfastly opposed to nuclear energy, advocates for new power stations insist that the numbers don't add up for renewables to carry the nation's power burden.
By Steven Vass, Deputy Business Editor
Power firms 'can lease sea bed' - BBC - 9 September 2008
Links To Sites For Marine Energy
Crown Estate  Aquaterra  OpenHydro  European Marine Energy Centre

Would You Like To Help Whales and Other Sea Mammals?
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) Are Running A Course For New Members

BDMLR are running a training course for new medics on 27 September 2008 at Lybster.  The day long course gives the new team members the initials skills needed to asses whales, dolphins and seals on the beach. Then running through the practical skills needed to re-float stranded whales and dolphins where it is practical and appropriate.

Council Introduces Speed Limits At Nine More Highland Schools
From Monday 15th September, 2008, eight more schools in the Highlands will have part time 20mph speed limits in operation for childrens' safety and one school will have its 20mph signage extended. In Caithness the new speed limits will apply near Dunbeath and Thrumster schools when the signs are on.

Pentland Firth Grid Connections To Be Investigated
Consultants have been appointed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Government to identify options for renewable energy producers in the Pentland Firth, between Caithness and Orkney, to connect energy supplies to the grid. Xero Energy Ltd has been awarded the contract through the Pentland Firth Tidal Energy Project. Xero Energy will assess the present day grid capacity in the region and provide recommendations on what grid infrastructure and improvements will be required for the project to meet its objectives. The tidal energy project aims to support the development of a marine energy industry in the Pentland Firth to the significant benefit of the local and national economies in a sustainable and environmentally aware way.

Playbox Playgroup, Wick Still Has A Few Places
Playbox Playgroup, Wick, still has places available for 2008/2009 in the two and a half group and also in the group for three year olds which is fully funded. if you require any information or wish to register your child please contact the playleaders on 606446 or call into the playgroup at Macleod Road, Wick with your child's birth certificate.

Are You Entitled To Free Or Cheaper Travel?
16 - 18 Year Olds - Money Off Public Transport In Scotland

Over 60 - Free Bus Travel In Scotland
Islanders - Two FREE Return Ferry Trips Each Year

Thanks To GlenRoads For these Videos - See More Roads Videos HERE
Hold On To Your Seat - Two Videos 10 minutes Each - Wow 20 Minutes To Caithness
Inverness To Thurso Part One


Inverness To Thurso Part Two (Starts At Brora)

Sparrowhawk In Wick Garden
Marion Sutherland spotted this Sparrowhawk on the hedge at the bottom of her garden at Bayview in Wick.

Bird Watching In Caithness   Caithness Bird Watching Forum

Bird Watching Links

Calling All Charities and Voluntary Groups Looking For Funding - Latest Possibilities HERE

Comic Relief will not be accepting applications for its main funding programme until early 2009, however its Small Grants Programmes (for grants up to the value of £5000) is still running......
The Women's Fund for Scotland seeks to address these barriers at a local level. Grants of up to £5,000 are available.....
The Drinkaware Trust offers small grants of up to £2,500 normally to projects throughout the UK, in particular to reduce alcohol misuse amongst under-18s and/or to raise awareness about long-term health harms caused by hazardous or harmful levels of drinking......
The Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) has confirmed that its flagship volunteering investment fund is once more open for business.
What's It For? Support for community projects.  There is no set amount, but average awards are around £20k......
The national learning charity ContinYou, is inviting schools and children's centres, youth groups and community groups, as well as clusters of schools and/or children's centres to enter the Schools ETC Awards. This year schools, etc, can enter the awards and win a first prize of £2,000 and a runner's up prize of £1,000. Each year the award has a different theme. This year the theme is "Enjoy and Achieve"
Not for profit community based organisations that are interested in developing projects that help to in the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste are invited to apply for funding through the Increase III programme. The INCREASE III programme is a £7.5 million grants programme.....grants of between £5,000 and £300,000 for projects that relate to the prevention of waste.......
The Paths for All Partnership has announced that it has funding available to fund new and innovative ways of promoting walking for health. The aim of Paths to Health is to increase the health and well-being of inactive people by promoting regular walking within local communities.......
Funding for local woodland projects is available through the Local Forestry Challenge Funds. These form part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) and are administered by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). Under the scheme, two funds are available......

Marymas Fayre At Dunnet
1 - 12                             13 - 24                   25 - 36                      37 - 38 

Local Police Bring In More Officers To Caithness And Tain
Northern Constabulary intends to increase the number of police constables in Thurso, Wick and Tain. Superintendent Ian Arnott, Divisional Commander for Northern Constabulary's North Division said: "Over the last 18 months we have undergone a structural review that has identified a number of savings which the Chief Constable has reinvested in extra officers for our communities. I am pleased to say that four extra officers will be coming to my Division over the coming months. There will be one additional officer based at Thurso, one at Tain and two in Wick."
Northern Joint Police Baord  Northern Constabulary Web Site

Second Memorial Gary McLean Open Bike Run and Dance
Monies raised will go to McMillan Nurses and NABD (national association for bikers with disabilities) Thank you Ray The Run Will Be Held On The 27th Of September, Gathering At The Norseman Hotel Car Park At 12:30 For 1:30 Start, Soup And Sandwiches will be provided by the hotel following the run. The Dance will commence at 9.oopm at the above venue With Two Local Bands performing: "Evil Intention" and "Prolific". Tickets Are Priced At £6 for the run and £6 for the dance or why not purchase both for just £10. Payment on the day is also acceptable. If enough interest is shown from people from Thurso and outlying area for the Dance a bus will be laid on. Please Contact Either Ray Or Paul at The Locations Or Numbers Below For Tickets.   Ray, Longreen Farm, South Keiss 077333225557 or Paul, AMS Motorcycles  Coach Road Wick Tel  Tel. 07884185015

Caithness Celtic Supporters' Club Bus Availability
The next buses are:-
versus AalBorg (Champions League) on 17/09/08 - 7.45pm kick-off. Bus leaving Wick Safeways @ 09:00 and Thurso Skinandis @ 09:30.
versus Aberdeen (League) on 27/09/08 - 3.00pm kick-off. Bus leaving Wick Safeways @ 05:00 and Thurso Skinandis @ 05:30.
Senior = £30 and Junior = £20. Contact, Stevie King =

Make Nuno-Felt Scarves Just In Time For Winter
Joanne B Kaar is offering this day course in making nuno-felt scarves on Saturday 15th November-  10.00am - 4.00pm.



Blas Festival Kicks Off In Caithness On Friday
Friday 5th September 2008 - Fred Morrison and Friends - MacKay's Hotel, Wick- 7.30pm
Leading the line up is phenomenal piper and whistle player, Fred Morrison who has carved himself an international reputation with a powerfully exuberant, highly improvisational style which combines the Gaelic piping tradition of the Uists with contemporary and eclectic influences.
Wednesday 10th September 2008 - Chasing the Sun by James Ross
Assembly Rooms, Wick - 7.30pm -
James Ross | Mr MacFall's Chamber | Fraser Fifield
The Blas Festival is proud to present the world premiere of this new commission by Wick born musician and composer, James Ross. This follows on from a successful "New Voices" commission at Celtic Connections and debut CD in 2006.
Saturday 13th September 2008 - Ùrachadh - Mill Theatre, Thurso - 7.30pm
This stunning show is a journey through the story of North West Sutherland, using music, song, poetry and visuals. Featuring the talents of Mod gold medallist, James Graham, fiddler Rhona Sutherland, pianist James Ross, multi-instrumentalist and singer Catriona MacLeod and piper / accordionist Carol-Anne MacKay from Ḍchas, this promises to be an unforgettable show.
Blas Web Site

North Highland Connections News - September 2008
North Highland Connections the latest arm of the North Highland Initiative is beginning to gather force and has issued it's news bulletin for September setting out music and drama events that they are presenting for the month. On Saturday, September 6th, at 8:00pm, we will be presenting what promises to be a truly lovely concert in Dornoch Cathedral. The Scottish Ensemble's annual Highlands & Islands Tour is always popular with both players and audiences, and this year's programme of music provides a real musical treat. Two gems from the classical repertoire, Bach's Double Violin Concerto and Mendelssohn's String Symphony No 9 in C minor partner David Horne's Double Violin Concerto and Shostakovich's Two Pieces for String Octet. See the whole newsletter for later events.......
North Highland Connections Web Site

Probationer Teachers Welcomed In The Highlands
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Drew Miller Vice-chairman and Hugh Fraser, Director of Education, Culture and Sport welcomed 109 probationer teachers, who will be working in Highland schools in the new session, at their induction day in Inverness on Friday 15 August. The new teachers will be started work in schools across the Highlands on Monday (18 August). Pupils return to school following their summer break on Tuesday. In total, 47 probationers have been allocated to secondary schools and 62 to primary schools.  Full Size Photo HERE

Catching Up With Caithness Floral Art Club - Three Meetings Now Added
Global Extravaganza - August 2008 - Caithness Floral Art Club
Caithness Floral Art Club were delighted to welcome Sharon Stevenson from the Flower Shop in Thurso to demonstrate for them. Using a lovely selection of blooms, some sprayed to fit her theme, along with a wide variety of florists' foliage Sharon made arrangements entitled Antarctica, Mexico, China, South Africa and Egypt to give us her interpretation of a Global Extravaganza.

Nature's Palette - June 2008 - Caithness Floral Art Club
A welcome return visit by Irene Parker from Hexham helped Caithness Floral Art Club celebrate their 39th Birthday. This talented flower arranger with her clever use of both colours and interesting foliages beautifully illustrated Nature's Palette to an appreciative audience.


Melody Time - May 2008 - Caithness Floral Art Club
Moyra Turnbull from Crieff, SAFAS Education Officer enjoyed a return to Caithness in May to demonstrate to the Caithness Floral Art Club. Her title Melody Time was illustrated in mainly monochromatic arrangements. Candle in the Wind, Goldfinger, Teddy Bears' Picnic, Anyone Who Had a Heart, and Congratulations were the well known song titles the audience had to guess.


Extra Swimming Lessons Available At Bettyhill Swimming Pool
The pool currently runs beginners swimming lessons for primary age children on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings but due to overwhelming demand they are expanding to start another lesson on Saturday mornings. There are now spaces for those wishing to enrol their children in these lessons, and there will also be spaces in the mother and toddler classes and adult learners. Anyone interested should call on 01641 521400 or email

The !GUBI Family At The Mill Theatre, Thurso
The !gubi Family are a true family of 6 San musicians, ranging in age from 18 to 80, and are the keepers of a vanishing tradition of San Musical Culture. Their home is Corridor 18, in the Sands of the Kalahari Desert, Namibia. The San are the originators of trance dance and their music is specifically designed to evoke an altered state of consciousness through the rhythms and beats, enabling the musician to enter trance and perform healing on both individuals and the tribe. They traditionally sing and dance throughout the night playing the mouthbow, the mbira and the zuma (four-stringed instrument). The music of this family has captivated the ear of top international artists. Most notably was their collaboration with Pops Mohammed, and Zena Williams, who worked with the elders of the family to produce his internationally acclaimed album, SanScapes. With over 10,000 years of ancestry and knowledge, the San of the Kalahari represent one of the oldest surviving indigenous cultures in the world..............

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