Wick Keeps The Events Coming - All Next Week Is Pipe Band Week
This years Pipe Band Week has been set to run from Saturday 4th July 2009 to Saturday 11th July 2009. Check the What's On for details of all the events running every day. Apart from wick Pipe Band Week.  July is packed with events in Caithness and also next weekend in Wick is the Telford Weekend Stats Heading For The Stratosphere
As has expanded  in all directions we rarely have time to bother counting the stats up.  But Sunday 28th June saw a phenomenal rise as visitors browsed the Wick Harbourfest, Canisbay Show and Lybster Gala photos.
The stats for one day, yesterday 28th June 2009 exceeded our whole year for 2002.
28 June 2009
Hits 1,422,214  Pages Viewed 546,015 Visitors 32,981
12 Months to 28 June 2009
Hits 301,802,364  Pages Viewed 79,459,964  Visitors 10,959,390
The annual trend on is for July and August to be the really big months for traffic flows so it will be interesting to watch as more gala photos flow on to the site.  Interesting facts on the stats are that the Forum/Message Boards now have over 2 million visitors a year viewing almost 29 million pages.  The Arts section had over 6 million page views and the Business Index had over 12 million page views.  The What's On section had almost 14 million page views.
So whether its advertising events in the What's On or selling items in the Classified section, cars etc or getting your business noticed is the place to be.  We still offer many free services for voluntary groups and free advertising for individuals selling a whole range of items. Businesses get free pages in the Business Index.  Google has over 24,000 listings for  According to has over 12,000 sites linking to us.  They also now rank us as number 127,360 in the world.  May not seem much but we were 558,331 in October last year so the improvement is huge. Since there are by some estimates nearly 200 million web sites in the world we think our numbering is great (although we have no way of verifying their stats)  We are ranked as 127th in the Travel/Destination rankings section  and that we are really pleased about - great news for our tourism industry.  For those of you who have forgotten how we used to look Go Here to view older front pages stored in the Way Back Machine.

Songs From Mamma Mia - Tonights concert At Thurso High
The Caithness and North Sutherland Children's Choir are rehearsing songs from Mamma Mia for this years concert. Thurso High School Choir, The Parents Choir, and various junior vocal soloists will be joining them for an evening of entertainment on Monday 29 June at 7pm, Thurso High School. Tickets can be purchased from The Highland Hospice (Thurso branch) - £3 adult, £2 concessions.

Wick Harbourfest - Saturday's Photos................More Photos On Monday
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Wick Harbourfest
Friday Evening - Herring Queen Ceremonies
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Friday Evening's ceremonies for the Herring Queen a re-enactment of the former Herring Queen ceremonies in Wick that ceased to be replaced many years later by the crowning of the Wick Gala Queen.  Friday evening saw the crowning with a newly made replica of the Herring Queen crown copied from the one now in the Wick Heritage centre.  Ray Richard (formerly Mackay) performed the ceremony crowning Lynsey Bremner 60 years after she herself was crowned.
Herring Queens From Earlier Days

Wick Harbourfest Photos In The Forum
A few Harbourfest photos are in the forum.  Many more coming here shortly..............

Lybster Gala 2009
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First Lybster Gala Photos

HarbourFest Entry Charges
In response to a question from the Groat regarding the entry charges for the HarbourFest this year, Gordon Doull, HarbourFest Chairman said “The previous event was funded by a number of Government agencies, and so the costs of the event were met by grants and we were able to offer free admission. However, since then, the strategic priorities of the agencies have changed and their focus has tightened. Consequently, this source of funding is no longer available to us.

Wick Harbour Fest boat trips - Saturday 27th June 10.00am - 6.00pm
Enjoy a short 20 minute cruise of Wick harbour, Wick bay, local bird colony and caves. All seats £8. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult (1 adult per group is ok). Children should be 4+ (they must fit into our available lifejackets). Lifejackets and waterproofs provided. To book your seat whilst at the festival just visit our booking office next to the Coastguard Station. For today only, minimum numbers do not apply. All trips are weather and sea conditions permitting. Tel 01955 609200
Sunday 28th June 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Wick Harbour Fest boat trips to see the departing fleet - As above Enjoy a short 20 minute cruise of Wick harbour, Wick bay as boats leave the harbour,  All seats £8....................

Galas/Shows Etc Dates To Remember
Lybster Gala - 27TH JUNE UNTIL 4TH JULY
Castletown Gala 2009 -
Sat 4th July - Sat 11 July 2009
Latheron Show - Sat 11th July
2009 Thrumster Mini Gala - Fri 3 Sat 4 & Sun 5th July Mini Gala
Wick Gala Week - 25th July - 1 August 2009
Caithness County Show - 17th and 18th July 2009
Halkirk Highland Games - 25th July 2009
Thurso Gala 2009 - 1st-9th August 2009 - Thurso Town Improvements Association 60th Gala
Check the What's On regularly for new events

TUC Occupational Health and Safety Awards
Award For Hugh Gunn, Social Work, Wick , (UNISON)
Eight members of staff with The Highland Council, who represent their trade union colleagues in the workplace, have gained their TUC Occupational Health and Safety Diploma, through a health and safety training scheme sponsored by the Council and the TUC in association with Stow College, Glasgow. The diploma represents the completion of 55 days of training at the college and in the workplace and will help extend the promotion of health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace.

Council Safety Initiative Reduces Deaths On The Roads
A road safety initiative aimed at young drivers in the Highlands is helping to assist in the reduction of deaths and serious injuries throughout the area. The Highland Council's Pass Plus scheme for young drivers aged 17 - 25 years was introduced in 2002. Figures recently produced by the Council have shown that since 2005, Pass Plus has seen a significant increase in the number of people applying for the scheme with 704 young drivers completing the scheme. This has corresponded with a downward trend in the number of injury accidents involving young drivers. In 1998, 275 young drivers were involved in injury accidents while in 2008, the corresponding figure was 145. In the corresponding period the number of fatal accidents involving young drivers has fallen from 12 in 1998 to 6 in 2008.

500th Request For Business Assistance
The Business information and advice service for the Highland and Moray Councils which is delivered by The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Limited, has just reached its first major milestone today with at total of 500 requests for advice and assistance having been received since the service started on 1st April. Enquiries to Business Gateway have come via the national website and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 and 30% of enquiries have come from people visiting the walk-in shops in Inverness and Elgin where business advisers are on hand to answer queries and provide information. Of the 500 enquires, 63% are new business start up enquiries and 37% are queries from existing businesses.
Where Can You Get Help With your business or start-up - Locally try these places -
Wick Enterprise Centre  Highlands And Islands Enterprise

Banger Derby At Hill O Many Stanes - Sunday 28th June - 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Already 48 BANGERS have entered for the second annual Sanny O'Brien memorial Banger Car Racing Derby to be held this SUNDAY 28TH JUNE at The Hill O' Many Stanes, Hill of Clyth, Lybster. Principal organiser this year is Duncan O'Brien from Staxigoe who has been delighted so far with the response and entries. Last years winner, Alan O'Brien, will be taking part and there will be a separate ladies only race. A collection for charity will be held during the afternoon. Racing starts at 1 p.m. Outwith Caithness, competitors have entered from as far away as Brora, Lairg, Inverness, Glasgow and Ireland. Once again, heading the commentary team is Willie Mackay, Oldhall, Watten assisted by his wife Glynis who has gathered lots of information on the drivers and cars to keep the spectators informed throughout the racing. Light refreshments will be available on site.

Sunset Brings A New Dawn For Wick Harbour                                    Full Size Photo
The transformation is almost complete - from fishing backwater to modern marina.  The Wick Harbour Authority have done a fantastic job to  bring together all the elements and worked hard over the past few weeks to complete the marina that now has only a few finishing touches needed to make it ready for the Wick Harbourfest next weekend.  The boats and yachts arriving will see a huge change since they were last visiting two years ago.  Even as the new pontoons were being installed enquires for berths were arriving.  Working in partnership with other marinas in the north including Orkney the aim is to make for a more pleasant trip for yachtsmen sailing round the north of Scotland.  The transformation is quite amazing and even before most berths have boats in place suddenly Wick Harbour has come alive again.  Congratulations to the committee of Wick Harbour Authority, Harbour Master and his team of men, funders and all who have contributed.  If looks are anything to go by this is a huge success already.  See you all at the Harbourfest for the revival of the landing of the Herring Queen and other festivities next weekend.
Thinking about a berth for your boat - Better be quick. Click HERE for details New marina customers can get a 25% discount on one year if booked before 30th June.  See the web site for other discounts....

More Photos From The Canisbay Show 2009        To View From The Start Click HERE
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Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Saturday Evening
Video 3
- (Highland Dancers) - Video 4 - Video 5 - Video 6 - Video 7 - See All Bill's Videos

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Highland Fling With Massed Bands At Riverside Wick 

Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Saturday Evening
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Around 160 Pipers and drummers made up the massed bands at Wick Riverside on Saturday night.  More videos and lots of photos coming on Sunday.



Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Massed Bands At Wick Riverside Tonight

The Wick Pipe Band was formed in 1919
The bands marched from the railway station to the Riverside park for an evening performance
Participating bands:
Ardgay/Bonar Pipe Band; Caithness Juvenile Pipe Band; Happy Pipers, Lucerne, Switzerland; Highland Pipes and Drums of Waldsee; Inverness RBLS Pipes & Drums; Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band ; Tain Pipe Band; Thurso Pipe Band and Wick RBLS Pipe Band.
Highland Dancers from the Elise Lyall School of Dance.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (Highlanders) Pipe Band

Canisbay Show 2009
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Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Massed Bands Today at 3.00pm and 7.00pm
Ardgay/Bonar Pipe Band; Caithness Juvenile Pipe Band; Happy Pipers, Lucerne, Switzerland; Highland Pipes and Drums of Waldsee; Inverness RBLS Pipes & Drums; Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band ; Tain Pipe Band; Thurso Pipe Band and Wick RBLS Pipe Band.
Highland Dancers from the Elise Lyall School of Dance.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (Highlanders) Pipe Band

Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Friday Evening At Market Square

Wick Pipe Band 90th Anniversary - Friday Evening At Market Square

Latheron School Reunion - Get Your Tickets Soon To Help Catering Arrangements
11 July 2009

The forthcoming Latheron school reunion has been found by readers of the org from all over Europe and as far as Canada contact us to come to the reunion! Please note all ticket sales, and enquiries to the treasurer Pat Hendry, Newlands of Forse, Lybster, Caithness, KW3 6BX - Tel: 01593 741351
cheques should be made payable to - Latheron Primary School Reunion Committee. Cost of ticket £10
Tickets are going quick with interest from far and wide and we need the numbers for catering in by the 6th July. Any other general inquiries to my self at

£14 Million For Major New Centres At Thurso

The North of Scotland strengthened its reputation as the hub of the global marine energy industry this week, with the announcement of £14m investment for energy-related skills development and research projects. The projects will be based at the North Highland College UHI in Thurso. Positioned beside the Pentland Firth, one of Europe's principal marine energy resources, the college will be developing a research project into marine energy and the environment, a new Centre for Engineering Skills and a Centre for Energy and the Environment.
The Marine Renewable Energy and the Environment research programme (MaREE): - In collaboration with the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) near Oban in Argyll, this £4m research project will be led by the Environmental Research Institute-North Highland College and focus on issues surrounding marine energy development in Scotland. Providing 17 FTE jobs including six PhDs.....
Centre for Energy and the Environment - Delivery of the MaREE project will require expansion of the ERI's current premises. Consequently a brand new campus building will be attached to North Highland College UHI. It will also be used as a teaching facility offering post-graduate qualifications such as MSc Environmental Management and Renewable Energy. In addition it will provide space for the ERI's long-term growth options, commercialisation and for spin-outs and small scale inward investment. Cost - £3m.....
Engineering Skills Centre: - Subject to planning approval this new centre will work alongside the CfEE to deliver high class training facilities both for the immediate need for decommissioning skills at the Dounreay nuclear site, as well as those for future sustainable development, focusing on marine renewable energy in particular. It will become a hub of vocational skills for science and engineering developments across the North. Applying an innovative and entrepreneurial model, it will adopt a 50-week per annum 08.00 to 2100 timetable maximising availability for companies and trainees throughout the north of Scotland. Cost - £7m funded by NDA, SFC, ERDF and The Highland Council.........

Thomas Telford In The Highlands - 3rd - 5th July
A Weekend Based At Wick Exploring Thomas Telford's Work
Thomas Telford's hand in shaping Caithness architecture and particularly Wick is taken for granted by locals who pass it every day.  This weekend may hold surprises for many at just how many places in the county can be traced back to Telford. A range of packages from a weekend conference packed with visits and events to walks and talks to daily walks.  If you have less time there is an exhibition on the Sunday and a full exhibition at Berriedale Church Monday 7th July to Saturday 10th August 12.00 - 2.00pm supported by the Royal Commission on the ancient Historical Monuments of Scotland.  Also a one day exhibition on Sunday at Mackays Hotel on Sunday 5th July - check inside for full details of weekend and daily packages and events - something for everyone.

Cruise Ship Azamara At Scrabster Today
To see more about this cruise ship go to Azamara Cruises



Armed Forces Day At Wick

The Highland Youth Pipe Band came to Wick today to join the pipe band of the Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).  The regiment was formed in 1994 by the amalgamation of the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) and The Gordon Highlanders.  The bands played at lunch time in the Market Square, Wick to an appreciative crowd many of whom were unaware of the concert for Armed Forces Day.  MSP Jamie Stone said a few words of thanks to the forces and the bands.
There will be more piping in Wick tonight at Dempster Street as the army band beats the retreat outside the TA Hall.

Pipe Band Concert At Market Square Wick For Armed Forces Day 

Wick Pipe Band  - 90th Anniversary Weekend - Massed Bands - 19th - 21st June
8.00pm Friday 19th - Massed Bands At Market Square, Wick
3.00pm and 7.30pm Saturday 20th Massed Bands At Riverside, Wick
Participating bands: Ardgay/Bonar Pipe Band; Caithness Juvenile Pipe Band; Happy Pipers, Lucerne, Switzerland; Highland Pipes and Drums of Waldsee; Inverness RBLS Pipes & Drums; Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band ; Tain Pipe Band; Thurso Pipe Band and Wick RBLS Pipe Band. The Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (Highlanders) Pipe Band and Highland Dancers from the Elise Lyall School of Dance.
1.00pm Sunday 21st - Massed Bands At Dunrobin Castle, Golspie

Final Line Up Of Events For The Wick HarbourFest - 26th - 28th June
There will be limited car parking on the North Pier, clearly signposted, and when this is full, we ask drivers to use the on-street parking throughout Pulteneytown, and walk to the harbour area. If there is still a demand for parking, we will open a temporary car park in the Bignold Park, which will then be clearly signposted and staffed. There will be signposted disabled parking facilities for Friday evening and Saturday all day in the car parks of the Wick Medical Centre and the adjacent Wick Swimming Pool car park. A disabled shuttle bus will operate a return service to the harbour from the car park for the duration of HarbourFest. All car parking is free. Tickets for the Homecoming Ceilidh (£5 each) on Saturday evening in the Assembly Rooms, are now available from the Ceilidh organiser (tel 01955 603080)  Wick HarbourFest Pages

TRANSFORM CAITHNESS - Get FREE Tickets At Caithness Horizons
Hunter is a major new theatre event created and performed by 150 Thurso High School students and local people. This mysterious thriller takes audiences on a surprising and magical evening journey through the streets of Thurso. Winning duo of John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett (Black Watch), who are working alongside a team of professional theatre artists from the National Theatre of Scotland.
FREE Tickets NOW available from: Caithness Horizons [AT] Thurso Town Hall
By Phone: 01847 896508 also  (£1 booking fee applies)
National Theatre of Scotland Learn in association with Frantic Assembly in partnership with Highland Council and with additional funding from Highland Leader and Highland Culture Fund Sponsored by ScottishPower and supported by Determined to Succeed presents: TRANSFORM CAITHNESS

More From The Caithness & Sutherland Vintage Vehicle 40th Anniversary Rally

Vehicles At Castle Of Mey

Another Winner From The Caithness Music Festival
Halkirk School claimed both blue riband trophies at the traditional finale of Caithness Music Festival.  Euan Munro and Isla Cartwright took the honours in the inter-class verse speaking and the vocal solo respectively.  Ten year old Euan from Scotscalder was the youngest of the eight group class winners in the verse speaking competition.


Wick Harbour Being Transformed As New Marina Takes Shape

As the first boats moved into place on the new marina being constructed within Wick Harbour you could begin to get a feel for the transformation that is taking place.  Even before it is finished - and it is only days away from completion - there is already a buzz about the harbour.  The race is on to have it all completed in plenty of time for the Wick Harbourfest that begins on 26th June and runs over the whole weekend. Fishing may be mainly gone with mainly only small shellfish boats left plying their trade.  A new future is certainly dawning as Wick Harbour at last begins to see its way out of the doldrums. Enquiries for berths on the new marina are coming in all the time and many boats will shortly be tying up in Wick as their new home port.  Competitively priced and in line with other harbours such as Kirkwall in Orkney the new marina will add another port of call for small boats and yachts taking trips around our northern waters. Various discounts are on offer from the Wick Harbour Authority for all boat and yacht owners who sign up before 30th June 2009 so if interested don't delay and contact Wick Marina soon

Gail Ross (nee Macdonald) Running 10K for MacMillan Cancer Support
Baxter's 10k in October and I am raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Head for the link if you would like to support the charity via Gail's running

Biodiversity Partnership To Help Local Groups
The Highland Biodiversity Partnership has just launched an Agreement setting out its aims and working procedures, which has been signed by all 30 members. The Partnership was set up to provide guidance and support to a network of local biodiversity groups, and make progress on the key strategic biodiversity issues in Highland. Funding has been secured to help the Partnership's network of local groups undertake wildlife projects across the Highlands. Over the next three years, £100,000 will be spent on a capacity building project to help local biodiversity groups in Caithness, Sutherland, Wester Ross, Ross & Cromarty (East), Skye & Lochalsh, Lochaber, and Inverness & Nairn.

Coach Trip To See The Musical "Annie" - Book Your Places Now
Pulteneytown People's Project has arranged a coach trip to Inverness to see a matinee performance of the popular musical "Annie" at Eden Court Theatre on Thursday 23rd July. The cost is £35 for an adult and £30 for a child (under 14), and price includes the coach, show and a 2-course meal at the Shandwick Inn on the return journey. For further information or to book a place contact Julie or Tracey at Pulteneytown People's Project on 01955 606950. Spaces are limited - book early to avoid disappointment!

Caithness & Sutherland Vintage Vehicle and Machinery Rally - 40th Anniversary
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The Vintage Vehicle Rally to celebrate 40 years of the Caithness & Sutherland Vintage Vehicle Club was held at John O'Groats today and despite the wet weather was attended by a large crowd.  At one point the organisers had run out of entry tickets at the gate having sold over 1500. - More photos to come.....

Halkirk Gala
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Halkirk Gala
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Halkirk Gala
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More Halkirk Gala - Children's Fancy Dress

Halkirk Gala - Children's Fancy Dress

More Halkirk Gala Photos From Angus Mackay

The Landmark Trust Launches Major Fund-Raising Campaign To Save Berriedale Cottages
The Landmark Trust is a building preservation trust established to rescue historic and architecturally interesting buildings and their surroundings from neglect.  The trust is charity and raises funds through donations.  they then rent out the buildings they restore as holiday homes to help pay for future upkeep.  In 40 years The Landmark Trust has rescued more than 200 buildings in the UK.  The trust have set an ambitious target of £600,000 for the restoration of the Berriedale cottages but have already got £88,000 in the fund.  Anyone can donate to the project by several different means.  The Shore Cottages project at Berriedale is bound to be of interest to anyone interested in Caithness Heritage.  The cottages are part of the fishing history of the county and a short film can be seen on the Landmark Trust web site. The cottages were brought to the attention of the Landmark Trust by retired history teacher David Brennan a native of Caithness and they quote part of his letter to them in one of their brochures now being distributed.  David said, "The Shore Cottages at Berriedale have formed a backdrop to so many happy memories over the years. I was devastated to see how derelict they had become. Can you save them?"
Caithness is very lucky to have been selected by such a prestigious organisation as the Landmark Trust and in years to come  will surely help put Berriedale on the map for visitors to Caithness.  These links will be placed in the Berriedale section of the A - Z to let folk click through in coming months and years to watch the progress of this great project.

Last Day At Caithness Music Festival 2009

Bill could only make the last afternoon at the Caithness Music Festival this year due to his council commitments during the week so if anyone would like to add any photos they took send them to and they will be added to the gallery.

Glass Courses At Lybster - With Northlands Creative Glass
Box Casting Class -  Two day class, suitable for beginners or those wishing to advance their skills
25th & 26th June 2009 - Tutor: Patty Niemann - 10am - 4pm - £120
Introduction to Kiln Forming - Two day class - 27th & 28th June 2009
Tutor: Patty Niemann - 10am - 4pm - £120
Glass Engraving With a Difference - Two day class on glass engraving and sandblasting
27th & 28th June 2009 - Tutor: Denis Mann - 10am - 4.30pm - £75
Kilnforming for Kids - Two day class for children age 9 - 17 - 6th & 7th August 2009
Tutor: Joanna Garrett - 10am - 4pm - £30 per day/ £50 for both days
Northlands Glass

New Boat Tours Commence On Sunday 14th June - Wick to Lybster Return
Thrilling, Exhilirating, Exciting - See Marine Life Close Up - Get Inside The Caves
Caithness Seacoast starts a new exciting service on Sunday.  Wick to Lybster offers the chance to go for a one hour trip to Lybster taking in the cliffs and entering the caves.  Trip on offer will be Wick to Lybster Adult £25/Child £18 or Lybster to Wick for the same price.  There will be a 30 minute tour from Lybster for Adult £15/Child £10.  Or a complete tour Wick to Lybster and then return an hour each way with a one hour stopover at Lybster giving time for snack and drinks at Waterlines visitor centre. This trip is Adult £40/child £30.  Now and the next few weeks is the ideal time to see the Caithness coastal cliffs as they teaming with seabirds raising young.  For example the east coast is currently home to tens of thousands of nesting birds with puffins well in evidence in the past couple of weeks. In the last few days in addition to the usual seals dolphins have been seen by people on their trips.  But there is always the chance of seeing whales and other sea creatures.

Last Two Days Of Halkirk Gala
Tonight Friday 12th is Sports Night with Clay Pigeon shooting, Football and Children's Races.  You can enter teams for the football on the night and all races are open to all comers so get the kids some exercise and head for Halkirk tonight.
Saturday 12th sees the Children's Fancy Dress at 11.00am and the Gala Crowning ceremony starting at 6.30pm with pipe band. See the programme for other events.
Friday, 11th June 2009
Sports Night at the Recreation Park

Highlands And Islands Fire And Rescue Service Launch New Web Site
The website has been developed to provide visitors to the site with information in a clear, concise and consistent format. As well as a new look for the site, there are many upgrades and enhancements including improved and simple navigation throughout the site and improved search facilities which includes the search of content contained inside uploaded PDF documents. The home page will update on a regular basis to display the 3 most recent incidents attended and the 3 most recent news items for information, and a photo gallery has been included to update the images displayed on each page, each time the page is accessed. The incident page has been improved to allow the selection of specific dates or stations who have attended incidents. A new news section has been included to keep visitors up to date with information and activities, which will also appear in the relevant station pages, as well as a new item on the site.

Details Of Pentland Firth Bids Announced
Following the closure on 15 May 2009 of the deadline for pre-qualified companies seeking leases for wave and tidal energy projects in the Pentland Firth strategic area, The Crown Estate is pleased to announce it has received multiple bids for each of the lease types and all capacities made available for the world's first large scale commercial wave and tidal energy leasing round. The number and range of both bidders and applications emphasises the importance of the Pentland Firth strategic area to the emerging wave and tidal sector. Preliminary information on the bids received is now available: The Crown Estate received a total of 42 applications from 20 bidders for wave and tidal energy leases. These applications range from 10 MW demonstration sites all the way up to the highest band of 200-300 MW commercial sites.

Award-winning Caithness Talent Showcased At Gray's Degree Show 2009
Linzi Sutherland (21) from Caithness, who is also a Gray's student, has been nominated for the coveted Scottish Fashion Awards Graduate of the Year accolade and sits alongside five of the best Scotland has to offer in terms of emerging talent for the fashion design industry. Linzi, who is about to graduate with a degree in Textiles and Surface Design, has firmly established herself as a talented creative during her time at Robert Gordon University. The casual clothing collection she has developed for her final year project is inspired by a statement made by Coco Chanel; 'Fashion is architecture', combining exuberant digital prints with origami-like cloth shapes to make her garments striking and very unique.  Linzi explained: "I have been inspired by architecture since I was a small child and my designs focus on the manipulation of materials into three-dimensional forms. I started off by designing colourful digital prints inspired by my photography of buildings, such as the Scottish parliament, before manipulating these fabrics and embellishing entire garments with shapes I also made up out of the cloth. Silks and satins have a sparkle and shine reminiscent to that of the surface of modern buildings and my pieces have been designed to have 'attitude'. I have produced statement catwalk pieces to present alongside design solutions for the ready-to-wear market and I think my collection has the 'wow' factor - it is not afraid to be seen!".................

Help Lay a Mile Of Pennies In Lybster On Saturday For RNLI
Lybster Branch of RNLI Lifeboats are having a fundraising event on Saturday (13th June) in the village square. Can you help raise a mile of pennies? Pennies being laid down from 9am onwards (earlier than stated in 'whats on' section) Also baking stall and raffle. If you can, please come along and help the lifeboats go the extra mile.

Success of Council's Trainee and Apprentice Scheme
The number of trainees and apprentices employed by The Highland Council is already exceeding the target of 200 set by the Administration for March 2011. Members of the Council's Resources Committee were told on Wednesday that 203 trainees and apprentices are now on the Council's books and this number is expected to rise to 231 by the end of next year. At present, the Council's employs 47 full time and 2 summer trainees, 28 apprentices, 18 graduate trainees and 108 probationer teachers and work will continue to develop more opportunities for young people. In total, the Council employs 824 staff under the age of 25.

Rythmic Gymnastics 2009 Display
The Rhythmic Gymnastics section of Caithness Gymnastics Club recently held their 3rd annual display evening, to which parents, family and friends were invited. The members of the section performed a wide variety of group routines to a very appreciative audience. Diane Gibson (Club Rhythmic Coach), Julia Mulvey, Gemma Wares, Sine Hamilton and Jane Sinclair (assistant coaches) coach the rhythmic gymnasts at Thurso High School gym once a week, with the club being the only one in the Highland region offering Rhythmic Gymnastics. Gemma and Sine recently passed their assistant coach exam and this is the first time that they have choreographed routines.

The Age Of Stupid Coming To Caithness Horizons - Saturday 13th June 2.30pm and 6.30pm
The Climate Buster Movie by the McLibel Director
The Age of Stupid
is the new four-year epic from McLibel director Franny Armstrong. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
For Much More Click on to The Age Of Stupid Web Site 
Bookings required by Friday 12th June.

Six New PHD Opportunities - 3 At ERI Thurso and 3 At Oban
SuperGen Marine Energy Research Consortium
The UHI Millennium institute is the ‘emergent university of the Highlands and Islands’. Through funding secured from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund, the UHI is delighted to offer six new PhD positions at two of its academic partners, the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Oban and the Environmental Research Institute at North Highland College in Thurso.
All programmes will benefit from affiliation to the SuperGen Marine Energy Research ConsortiumSix projects (three at each organisation) will be supported from the following:................more

Wick Swimming Pool Will Close For Maintenance - Monday 15th of June for two weeks.

Guided Walks With The Rangers
Puffin along to Melvich - Wednesday 17th June 2 – 5pm
Join the ranger and enjoy a great view of the largest local puffin colony with hundreds of puffins. Following this we shall walk along the coastal hill back to Melvich Bay looking at sea birds, wildflowers and hopefully some whales or dolphins. Meet at the roadside parking area by the Caithness boundary sign between Melvich and Reay, grid reference NC 921645 at 2pm. (A vehicle is needed to return drivers from Melvich – please ring if you can help).
Portskerra sea watch - Friday 19th June. 5 – 7pm.
Bring your binoculars and help the ranger look for whales or dolphins from the headland at Portskerra near Melvich. Learn about and hopefully witness some of the species regularly encountered along this stretch of the north coast. Telescopes provided. Very weather dependent – phone to check if unsure.
Meet at Portskerra Harbour (not the pier) grid ref NC 878664 at 5pm.
Walks/events free but donations are very welcome. No dogs!
Further details – Paul Castle North Sutherland Ranger 01941 521884
Ranger Walks 2009 Pdf

Valuable Staue of Mercury Stolen From Dunroboin Castle At Golspie
POLICE in Golspie are appealing for information after a large garden statue was stolen from Dunrobin Castle gardens, the home of Lord Strathnaver of Sutherland.
The statue, which is approx 6ft and weighs approx 440kg, is a high value item, believed to worth somewhere in the region of between £20,000 to £30,000. The incident took place sometime between 15:30 on Tuesday 9 June and 14:00 on Wednesday 10 June 2009 and was stolen from the walled garden. Police say the statue is a bronze sculpture of the Roman god Mercury and depicts a nude male standing on one leg with his right arm stretched skywards and holding a caduceus in his left hand. It is perched on top of an upward looking head which is blowing, representing Mercury riding the wind. He also has wings on his heels and head.................Dunrobin Castle Photos

The Luis Palau Festival Tour - St Georges Park,Thurso - 13th June 4.00 - 9.00pm - FREE
The Luis Palau Festivals that are held around the world are usually only held in big cities with tens or even hundreds of thousands attending, but with the support from over 100 congregations and organisations from around the Highlands, the Festival is coming here. The main event will be in Inverness from the 17th to 20th of June. This includes FREE concerts with many top bands, displays of extreme sports and lots of FREE activities for families. Luis Palau himself will be sharing a message of 'Hope for today' during the event. Check out  for further details of the Highland Festival. The Festival on tour comes to Thurso on Saturday the 13th of June at Sir George’s Park (The Dammies). There will be lots of activities for families including a 5-a-side football competition for under7s, Archery, Bouncy castle, races, etc – ALL FREE. There will also be a FREE display from a professional extreme sports team using skateboards and BMX bikes. They will be performing a variety of stunts and jumps using various ramps. There will also be a FREE concert with a band called ‘thebandwithnoname’. Their music style consists of a variety of 'nu metal, hip hop, rap, grime and crunk rock'. Also at the event will be Jose Zayas from the USA who is an international speaker. Jose will be bringing a good news message later in the evening. Jose is an excellent communicator and has spoken to over 1 million people on 5 continents from presidents and parliaments to the poorest of the poor in war-torn Sudan. Sports events start at 1.00pm - Click Here For Full Programme of events and what food to donate for this cause.

Renewable Energy Projects in Caithness Open to General Public
as Part Of Scottish Renewables Festival 2009

The Highlands and Islands of Scotland is set to play a major part in the first Scottish Renewables Festival, offering people in the region a unique opportunity to see renewable energy in action this Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June 2009. A range of events are planned across the Highlands and Islands during the weekend, including a special screening of climate change film The Age of Stupid at Caithness Horizons in Thurso and a unique chance to visit Forss Wind Farm turbines in Caithness.

North Highland Archive Outreach Sessions at Caithness Horizons - Next Session 10th June
The North Highland Archive (Caithness) is based in Wick Library. For the summer months, archivist Gail Inglis will be hosting a monthly session at Caithness Horizons in Thurso, enabling those on the west side of the county to dip into the vast resource. Caithness Horizons Education and Community Officer, Christine Russell, urges people to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see valuable local documents outside their usual archive environment.

Paint A Letter For Robert Burns At Caithness Horizons - Monday 15 June 2009

European Elections - Highland Results
The Highland result of the Election to the Scotland Region of the European Parliament is as follows:-
British National Party - 979
Christian Party "Proclaiming Christ's Lordship" - 1,485
Conservative Party - 6,728
Jury Team - 275
Liberal Democrats - 14,550
No2EU: Yes to Democracy - 361
Scottish Green Party - 3,806
Scottish National Party (SNP) - 14,393
Scottish Socialist Party - 336
Socialist Labour Party - 596
The Labour Party - 5,325
UK Independence Party - 3,458
Duncan Robertson - 414
Rejected votes - 218
Total votes cast - 52,924
% Turn out 30.8%
Full European Results At The BBC

Wick Marina Making Fast Progress

It has been all go over the past couple of weeks as pontoons arrive at Wick Harbour.  the race is on to have the marina usable by the time of Wick Harbourfest which runs 26 - 28th June.  There has been strong interest in renting permanent berths in the marina with many places already booked. For more information go to Wick Harbour Marina

'Everybody Online - Caithness'
'Everybody Online - Caithness', the first project of its kind in the Highlands, is being launched to allow locals who have never had the chance to use the internet to discover what it can do. The project being funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), with the support of BT Scotland, is run by a national charity 'Citizens Online' and aims to use technology to help communities counter social disadvantage.

Sunday Papers
Coastal grid ‘needs cash injection’ -

More Films From The Caithness Shears Competition 2009
Caithness Shears 2009 - One Sheep Sheared
Caithness Open Final Part One  Caithness Open Final Part Two

Caithness Shears 2009 - The Closing Stages Of The Open Competition

Caithness Shears Competition 2009 - Afternoon
Winners of the four competitions were -
Intermediate Sandy Douglas, Seniors Andrew Bailey, Open Grant Lundie, Juniors Alex Munro

The Judges                        The Fleece Girls
50 competitors battled it out for a share of the £1800 of prize money and numerous other prizes at the second Caithness Shears competition.  This years the competition was a qualifier for other national events helping to increase the entry.  As a result the competitors sheared over 500 sheep that farmers had worked to keep dry over the past few wet days.  Stamina and speed were required as the day went on and times dropped to under one minute per sheep for top shearers in the final where 13 sheep were sheered per competitor. Local shearers competed against men from other parts of Scotland and Australiia and New Zealand.  After the successful day it looks like the fixture is set to stay as an annual event.

Caithness Shears 2009 Competition Underway At Quoybrae

Caithness Shears the most northerly mainland shearing competition is currently underway and these photos were taken at the early morning heats.  The competition which has attracted shearers from several countries as well as locals from the framing community.  Prize money has been substantially increased this year leading to almost double the number of competitors.  This competition is also a qualifier gaining points for entrants to the big national shearing competitions.  The competition runs all day at the Quoybrae centre near Watten until about 4.00pm when the winners should be known.  Food and drink are available.
The competition is organised by The Caithness Shearing Association.

ICT Youth Challenge Finalists Visit Laurandy Centre & Caithness FM
On Monday the 25th of May, the ICT Youth Challenge finalists from Wick High School, Tomi Baikie, John Coghill, Declan Mackay and Donnchadh Pellow visited the Laurandy centre in Wick. The Laurandy Centre offers day care services to elderly people in the community. The purpose of the visit was to present their product to the clients, and interview the manager, in order to gain an insight into how and if elderly people would use the KiS Tablet – a touchscreen tablet computer with a simple user interface, designed primarily to help elderly people in their daily lives.

Highland restaurant wins top seafood award - STV
A Highland eatery has been voted the UK's best seafood restaurant. The Captain's Galley at Scrabster in Caithness won the title of Seafood Restaurant of the Year at the Seafood Awards in London.

Council Invests £1 million in Community Transport Projects
The importance of good transport services in rural communities has been recognised by Highland Councillors with an allocation of £1,004,000 worth of grants over the next two years to community transport projects. A total of 23 community groups in the Highlands will benefit from the allocation agreed by the Council's Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee........Caithness Voluntary Group is receiving £123,907 towards the costs of running three vehicles, which cover Wick, Thurso and rural Caithness........Other two-year grants awarded are as follows:-...... Wick and East Caithness Community Transport, £10,716; Helmsdale and District Community Bus Association: £8,745.

Jobs Currently Being Advertised In Our Jobs Section - Adverts Free To All Local Employers

Caithness Chamber Of Commerce

Presentation by Andy Kennedy Stirling City Centre Manager & Chair of Scotland’s Association of Town Centre Management ATCM is Europe`s largest membership organisation dedicated to helping town and city centres realise their natural roles both as prosperous locations for business and investment, and as focal points for vibrant, inclusive communities. Come along & hear how other town centres in Scotland have realised their potential. Make the most of your Chamber membership with some valuable business networking. Meet up with other members, share business knowledge and interests, strengthen current business relationships and establish new ones. To book your place simply complete the booking form return it with your payment. Book Form   Caithness Chamber of Commerce Web Site

Fire At Protected Area Gives SNH and Police Cause For Concern
Significant fire damage has been caused to Dunnet Head, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its cliff habitat and nesting seabirds, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) can now confirm. The fire burnt for several days in mid April 2009. SNH staff have visited the site and determined the fire resulted in damage to more than a quarter of the SSSI. Maritime heath and cliff top habitats have been badly damaged in the April blaze. These are slow-growing habitats which are found in a limited area along the cliff tops. The habitats support unusual plants such as spring squill and Scottish primrose. A stretch of around five kilometres of the west coast of Dunnet Head from just south of The Neback in the north to Rowrash in the south was burned. The area of cliff top affected is reckoned to be 750 hectares.

Groats Win At Dunnet - Press & Journal
Pentland United lost their grip of the Highland Amateur Cup when they were beaten 2-1 by second-round opponents Wick Groats at Dunnet.

Could You Be A First Responder And Save Lives?
Paula Dempsey works for the Scottish Ambulance Service (S.A.S.) and is trying to increase the number of First Responder Groups In The North  Paula said, "I am trying to pull together a group of volunteers for First Responder Schemes, 1 in Dunbeath and another in Lybster. I do have several people now wishing to get involved but would like to have considerably more as we hope to be available 24/7."  The scheme is supported by the S.A.S. and would mean that when an emergency call comes into the service, the nearest ambulance is sent on it's way. A Responder in the area would then be contacted and asked to attend, probably arriving before the ambulance. The Responder would be able try to assist a person and maintain their breathing until a paramedic arrives. All equipment is supplied and also training, which is continuously maintained. There are 37 schemes running in the North of Scotland and many more throughout the rest of the country. In Thurso there is a scheme that has been running for quite some time which has been successful, however they would also benefit from additional volunteers. If you have a few hours to spare then get in touch with Paula.
For Dunbeath and Lybster or 07833483778 or for Thurso

North Highland Connections - Shakespeare Season
North Highland Connections is proud to offer a rare opportunity to see two of Shakespeare's greatest plays in performance at Ullapool. The performances are a direct result of the formal partnership which we have with the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and we intend to offer many more manifestations of this partnership in the future months and years. Theatre presentations have featured strongly in our programme this year; this will be the third theatre tour we have promoted since March, and there is much more to come! Plans are also in place for further residencies by musicians from RSAMD, as well as more performances in our 'Young Artistes' series. We are also supporting the 'Connections' programme at Ullapool in August, and planning to sponsor the Iain Dall Young Pipers Competition at Gairloch, in September.  Make a weekend of it and stay over - Where? Try The Ceilidh Place  Ullapool B & B's

Harbour Fest T-Shirts Now Available - Get Yours Now and Wear It To The Fest
2009 T-Shirt Modelled by Lynsey Bremner the 2009 Herring Queen
The Tee shirts are £9.99 each and available from :
Wick and Pulteneytown Post Offices
The Blythswood Shop, Bridge Street, Wick
H B Reid's Pharmacy and perfumery, High Street, Wick
Poltney News, Dempster Street, Wick.
Small – 36” – 38” - Medium – 38” – 40” - Large – 42” – 44” - Extra Large – 46” – 48”
Please Note: Limited Supply When they’re gone, they’re gone
Wick Harbour Fest Index - Get To Wick For 26th, 27th and 28th June for Wick Harbourfest

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