Wick Hogmanay Street Party Web Cam Live
Web Cam once again set up by Paul Broadwith of Blue Ivy

Thurso Hogmanay Street Party Cancelled Due To Worsening Weather Conditions Expected
Wick Street Party Still on as at 6.45 - conditions mushy snow but no cancellation as yet....

Events Officer Appointed To Support Caithness Mod 2010
Carol-Anne Mackay has been appointed as Event Support Officer to support the National Modd which is being held in Caithness in 2010. Carol-Anne will provide support to the local organising committee of Mod Ghallaibh, for a full programme of events, leading up to, and during the Royal National Mod. A native of Strathy, Carol-Anne is an established musician in her own right with various recording credits to her name including 2 CD's with Dochas and a number of radio and TV appearances as a soloist and band member.............The Mod in Caithness runs Friday 8th October - Saturday 16th October 2010

Happy Christmas To Everyone From
Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas from  We hope you all have a great day wherever you are in the world.  If like us you have received new camera send in some Christmas snaps for a Christmas Gallery to



Track Santa......

Council Calls For Patience During Wintry Weather
The Highland Council's Convener Councillor Sandy Park is calling for patience when it comes to clearing Highland roads and pavements. Since the recent wintry conditions have started the Council's entire fleet of 114 road, and 54 pavement gritters and over 200 winter maintenance staff have been working flat out within the Council's gritting policy to keep roads clear. Councillor Park said: "We have the longest road network of any Council within Scotland and as such it is simply not possible to treat every road at the same time. 14% of Scotland's roads are maintained by The Highland Council and we are responsible for 4,200 miles (6,700km) of roads. We therefore grit roads under a priority system which targets roads based on their local importance. "Because of the severity of the weather conditions it has not been possible to get to all third or fourth priority routes and therefore some rural and housing estate roads have not been treated. First and second priority routes which are main roads and bus routes have had to be repeatedly ploughed and re-gritted. Ploughing takes much longer than simply spreading grit and we have had deeper snow than for many years, combined with temperatures so low that the salt takes longer to act.

Pulteneytown People's Project  - New Part-time Jobs In Wick
Pulteneytown People's Project have announced new vacancies in two areas of their work -
Homelink Caithness - 3 Sessional Workers wanted for 16 hours per week
Youth Worker - 16 hours per week
The closing date for all of these positions is 16 January 2010 - applications forms are online.

New Recycling Service For The New Year - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Do you have an electrical item that's lost its spark? By the end of January 2010 facilities will be in place at Recycling Centres across Highland to recycle all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Householders in Highland will be able to recycle any electrical item with a plug attached, or items operated by a battery. This includes everything from small items such as hairdryers, DVD players and battery operated toys to large items such as fridges, freezers, washing machines and televisions. It also includes fluorescent light tubes, standard light bulbs and energy efficient light bulbs. Various containers will be on-site for the segregation of different types of WEEE, and trained site operatives will be on hand to assist, and ensure that items are placed in the correct containers. These facilities will help ensure that hazardous items are diverted from landfill and recyclable components are recovered.
For information about opening times of recycling Centres in Highland Go HERE
Also check holiday arrangements for all council services HERE
Other handy pages for the council at this time of year are School Closures, Refuse Collection, Gritting
You will also find more emergency contact numbers for a range of services HERE
Weather - Real Time Weather, BBC Weather, Met Office
Roads - Traffic Scotland - Web Cams

Group Enjoys Shooting Arrows
Key Support took part in a Have-a-go Archery Fun shoot with Shelligoe Archery in Thurso for 7 weeks.
Nine adults attended and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Shelligoe Archery worked on a one to one basis with each adult to ensure their safety. The part they liked was the fact that Shelligoe Archery did the “donkey” work such as collecting their arrows giving the group more time actually shooting. Shelligoe archery would like to thank Key Support for arranging this fun shoot plus the carers who supported them each time. Thanks to Claire, Elizabeth, Clive, Richard, Stuart, Peter, Dominic, Nicky and Lynn, who attended and we hope you all had a great time.
First Arrow Shot Into Another In Caithness
Shelligoe Archery also got their first ‘ROBIN HOOD’! (an arrow shot into another arrow) The photo is of Patrick McKenna an archer since 2006.
He’s been trying to get this shot for the past few months!
The arrows are framed and will be on proud displayed at Lybster Hall on Monday Nights.
Well done Patrick from Shelligoe Archery.

Christmas Carols with the Caithness Orchestra
20th December 3.00 - 4.00pm - St Peters & St Andrew's Church THURSO

Castle Of Mey 10k - Entries Accepted From 4th January - Completely Full Fast Last Year
Mark Your 2010 Calendar - the date's set for the most northerly 10K on the British mainland!
Sunday 16th May 2010 - Castle of Mey 10k. Entry for the race opens at on Monday 4th January 2010. You will need to be quick to enter, as there are limited places and they will fill up fast! For more information, visit the Castle of Mey 10K website at or email us at For the 2010 race we are looking for new featured runners to keep us updated on their progress of training for the Castle of Mey 10k. You could be a complete beginner, or took up running this year to run at the Castle of Mey 10k, or are an experienced runner. Featured runners will have the full support of the organising committee, to help you with programmes, motivation and any queries you may have. Being a featured runner could also help you with getting publicity for fundraising for your charity, which the organising committee would hope would be Maggie’s Highlands, the official charity of the race. No matter what your level or motivation, if you would like to be one of our featured runners then please e-mail us at

Ormlie Christmas Lights Switch On
Ormlie Community Association is holding its annual Christmas Lights Switch on event on Wednesday 16 December 2009 at 6.30 pm outside the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso. There will be Christmas Carol singing, mulled wine, mincemeat pies, shortbread and raffles. The event is free and is open to everybody - All welcome!
Ormlie Community Association has just produced a book based on the last 12 years of community development and regeneration within the Ormlie area. The book entitled 'Swings and Roundabouts' 'the highs and lows of a community association' has been written by Robert M Sutherland, ex-Community Safety Police Officer and a former Chairperson of Ormlie Community Association. It is a history of the regeneration project and gives a very objective view of the journey which Ormlie Community Association went through over the 12 years and is written from Robert's perspective. There are numerous photos going back from 1997 to the present day and include the visit to Ormlie by Donald Dewar, First Minister for Scotland in 1999 and HRH The Prince Charles' visit in 2002. The book also gives an insight in the lessons which OCA have learned over the years which could be beneficial to other community groups.
The cost of the book is £7.99 (plus postage) and copies are available at the Ormlie Office, 108 Marr Terrace, Thurso, KW14 7SW and at various locations throughout the County.

Refuse Collection and Kerbside Collections Over The Festive Period
In the Highland Council area over the festive period, there will be changes to the collection schedule for kerbside refuse and blue recycling boxes/bins. There will be no refuse collections on Christmas Day and New Year's Day and all waste and recycling centres will be closed on Christmas Day and 1/2 January. There will be no garden waste or bulky uplift collections between Friday 25 December and Monday 4 January, 2010.

Caithness Waybaggers Recent Walks - See Waybaggers Earlier Walks Here
November 2009
Braemore To
Gobernuisgeach bothy
The original idea for Novembers walk was to watch the salmon spawning on Berriedale Water. Because of the heavy rain on the previous few days this was no longer feasible. Instead we decided to walk from Braemore to Gobernuisgeach bothy. It was a beautiful winter’s day with no wind, a clear blue sky and a hard frost. The puddles on the track to the bothy were covered by a thin layer of ice and any sheltered ground out of the suns reach was white with frost The bothy was in a good state of repair and the visitors books inside showed that it was quite well visited. We sat outside for our lunch as it was warmer than inside the bothy. Instead of walking back the same way we crossed the swing bridge near the bothy over Berriedale water and headed back for Corrichoich. Dusk had fallen by the time we reached it and before we arrived back at the cars at Braemore it was quite dark.
October 2009
Armadale To Strathy Point
This walk was originally scheduled for Sunday 5th October 2009 but because of a car breakdown and worsening weather it was cancelled until the following Sunday. We made our way to Armadale, running in and out of heavy squalls of wind and rain. At the start of the walk a few mutinous voices were raised about the bad weather but these were quickly quashed. We set off and at once were hit by a heavy rain shower. Those not wearing their waterproofs quickly changed their minds! The sun came out again and Armadale Bay looked stunning with a wild sea running into it. Further on just before Boursa Island we were treated to a spectacular display of water being forced up through a borehole in the cliff by the strong wind and waves. It was hard to get the timing right while photographing it We stopped for a bite to eat and had to hang on to our pack lunch boxes in the gale force winds. We finished our lunch and after walking for five minutes found a quiet sheltered valley. How ironic!  After enduring another heavy rain squall we reached Strathy Lighthouse. So it wasn’t too bad. Only two heavy showers of rain in a day that had not been very promising.
Want to Join In On A Caithness Waybaggers Walk then See the Calendar of events HERE

Watten Kids Join In National Tree Week Breathing Places
As part of National Tree Week Breathing Places invited thousands of people to plant some trees in the hour between 11am and 12 noon on Saturday 5 December. This was a nationwide event to try to beat a current world record for the number of trees that could be planted in an hour. Watten Primary School decided to support the event. Some of the pupils planted trees in the school grounds with a variety of Rowan, Cherry and Silver Birch. The younger children planted some bulbs. The kids really enjoyed the event and hope they have helped to beat a world record

Industry Day Engineering brings local employers into the classroom
Young people at Thurso, Wick, Golspie and Farr High Schools learned about the engineering sector during a series of industry days organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) North of Scotland initiative, the days were held in partnership with local employers, North Highland College and Skills Development Scotland. Students met representatives from Rolls-Royce, Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, Nuvia, Johnson Controls and T3UK/JGC Engineering. The industry days are an opportunity for young people to learn more about how to prepare written applications, for interviews and to discover their options in pursuing a career in the engineering sector.

Free School Meals For More Highland Pupils
The Highland Council is urging parents and carers in the Highlands not to waste their cash but to take advantage of the fact that more people are now entitled to free school meals. Chairman of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: "The eligibility criteria for free school meals and school clothing has been extended, and this means that some people who were previously not entitled may now be. There is money to be saved out there if only people would accept it." The Scottish Government extended free meal entitlement throughout Scotland in August 2009. Parents or carers who are in receipt of both Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit, and have an income below the threshold for receipt of maximum Working Tax Credit, currently set by the UK Government at £6,420, are now entitled to free school lunches.

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