Labrador Retriever Rescue Fun Day

Labrador Retriever Rescue Caithness & Scotland had a tremendous turnout for their fund raising Fun day at Bower on Saturday. Crowds gathered at Bower field to watch the various displays and Rescue were delighted to have two officers from the Northern Constabulary Dog Division with four dogs, Stan Payne Field Trialler with his dogs Caley, Brad and Kelpie and Sue Clark from HM Prison Service Drugs dog, who all gave excellent demos.  Various stalls were in the hall with Rescue Sponsors and Martina Cross captured the events of the day on camera. Donations are still coming in to raise a fabulous amount of money to help Labradors in Caithness, all of Scotland and parts of Northern England. It was amazing to see that people travelled as far as Sussex, Staffordshire, York, Durham. Linlithgow, Isle of Mull to support this event.
Labrador Retriever Rescue - Caithness & Sutherland

Gary McLean Memorial Motorcycle Run - Lots Of Photos
1 - 12                         13 - 24                       25 - 36                       37 - 41

Remember to click on "view full size here" under each photo to see the full size - we have loaded much bigger photos than usual for this event.

Update - Collision between train and car - Halkirk - Northern Constabulary
Following our earlier release Police can confirm there are three fatalities from the collision between a train and a car at a level crossing in Bridge Street, Halkirk, Caithness this afternoon...................

Paper Boat Fundraiser! - Latest Update From Joanne
The fundraiser was launched in style on a cold but crisp January day with all the volunteers who run Mary-Ann's Cottage, turning out to make a paper boat outside the the cottage. Paper boats sailed in constantly for the next 7 months - hundreds of them! from 122 different boat yards in 25 different countries. Quite exciting when the postie arrived each day! A fantastic response to our request for paper boats, I was really quite flabbergasted!
All the boats then went on display in Caithness Horizons, Thurso, and all boats went on sale by secret silent auction. Bids came in from near and far, as everything was also on a dedicated paper boat blog: . At 6pm GMT Thursday 24th September, the auction was closed and no more bids accepted. Now, you can imagine the excitement, wanting to know how many bids came in, did all boats finds a new home, and did we make any money for The Caithness Heritage Trust volunteers who run Mary-Ann's cottage!!?? And did I get the boats I bid on!! Beki Pope, manager of Caithness Horizons, has the unenviable task of sorting all this out ! We helped to re-pack boats for their potential new owners. It was quite like a bizarre kind of bingo - Beki calling out numbers, while we collected envelopes and boats from up a ladder on the wall or on the table - this was a very busy harbour! Caithness Horizons are contacting the successful bidders over the next few days. We are going to wait until all boats have been collected and money in, before making our announcement of how much money was raised in total. The initial signs are good, as you've all been so generous, so again, I'm flabbergasted at what we've managed together - from just a paper boat.
For more info and to see all the boats, visit

Marine Energy Is Coming - Your Chance To Find Out More
Thurso, Wick and Bettyhill
8th Oct, 2nd and 3rd November

Drop in events for you or your company to find out more about what Marine energy might mean for Caithness and Sutherland.  All events have a drop-in from 1 to 6pm followed by a presentation from 6.30pm which gives an opportunity to share views and hear the views of others in the subsequent Q&A session. Please note that children are more than welcome at the drop-in events and older children may be interested in hearing the presentation.

Caithness Wards' Discretionary Budget Awards
A number of local groups have recently benefited from grants awarded from The Highland Council's Thurso, Wick and Landward Caithness Wards' Discretionary budgets.........more
Details on how to apply to the discretionary budgets can be found on the Councils internet site

Wick High To Be Part Of £1.25bn Building Programme

14 Secondary Schools Including Wick High In Announcement Today
Over 12,000 pupils across Scotland will be lifted out of poor condition schools following announcement of the first 14 secondary schools to benefit from the £1.25bn school building programme. Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop made the announcement today as she visited one of the schools to benefit, Lasswade High in Midlothian, before officially opening the new Armadale Academy. Ms Hyslop described the new building as "an inspirational example of everything a new school can be".

Johnston, "Shooting your Past" Caithness Horizons - Admission is free
Caithness Horizons, Thurso - 17 October - 30 November
Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm - Sundays 10am to 4pm

The Johnston photographic collection, amounting to some 50 thousand glass slides and negatives represents the work of three generations and four photographers from the same local family spanning the 113 years from 1863 to 1976 and is owned by and based at the Wick Society's award-winning Wick Heritage Centre in Bank Row. In recent times the Society has produced some large format images up to A1 size (594mmx841mm or 23.5''x 33'') with quite spectacular results. Successful applications for funding to "Highland Culture" and "Awards for All" has enabled the purchase of computers and a high specification A1 printer allowing the production of a range of high quality Johnston images for exhibition and sale.

Book Launch "Blood in the Glens" by Jean McLennan.
Lyth Arts Centre Length: 1 hour From 7.00pm - 29th October

The Centre is proud to launch a new book by a local writer. Wick resident and regular Lyth Arts Centre attendee Jean McLennan has written a real page-turner "Blood in the Glens". It is a fascinating collection of true crime stories from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Murders and unexplained deaths happen wherever there are people and, despite its sparse population, the Highlands have had more than their fair share. We are holding the launch on the evening of Thursday 29th October between 7pm and 8pm immediately before the performance of Mike Maran's show "A Funny Valentine". For an all-in price of £7.50 you can have a copy of the book, personally signed for you by Jean and a courtesy drink from the bar. Thereafter the book will go on sale at £9.99 so this is a great opportunity to get a bargain while helping Jean encourage her book to fly off the shelves.

Right Lines Productions present "Tour-a-Rural-Ceilidh-Band"
23 October - Lyth Arts Centre - 3 Hours from 7.30pm
Enjoy an irresistible mixture of top quality music, song and ceilidh dancing with the band members from the legendary comedy ceilidh theatre show "The Accidental Death of an Accordionist" which we brought to Latheron and Lyth village halls back in 2002. The original show was so popular that it toured for two years. Now there's the chance to see these larger than life characters again as they drop in and out of the ceilidh.The building will be rearranged for the evening with plenty of space to sit down at cabaret tables and enjoy a hot buffet supper between dances and comedy turns.

Wee Stories in "The Sun, The Moon And A Boy Called River"
Lyth Arts Centre - 6 October 2009 - Age suitability : 5+
One of Scotland's favourite theatre companies is back again to give eight day-time school performances for local primary children plus this extra early-evening public performance. Not to be missed, Wee Stories have great stage craft and a delightful sense of humour. Two babies, born at the exact same moment, under the exact same moon. One born a princess in a palace, the other the son of a poor woodcutter.

Katya Kabanova - From Scottish Opera
Thursday 1 October, 7.30pm - Wick High School - Tickets £10, £5 (u26s)

Scottish Opera will perform Leoš Janáek's intimate and intense love story, Kátya Kabanová, in 21 venues across Scotland this season. The production will take in Giffnock, Drumnadrochit, Cromarty, Stornonway, Elgin, Aboyne, Lerwick, Kirkwall, Wick, Strontian, Dundee, Fort William, Linlithgow, Glenrothes, Irvine, Helensburgh, Dumfries, Galashiels, Easterhouse, Aberdeen and Inverness. Kally Lloyd-Jones directs her first opera for the Company. As well as running dance theatre company Company Chordelia, Kally has worked with Scottish Opera as choreographer/movement director on a number of highly regarded productions in recent seasons including Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage, Weir's A Night at the Chinese Opera and Smetana's The Two Widows, which won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival last year.

Gary McLean Memorial Charity Motorcycle Run Raises Over £3000
Organisers of the Memorial Charity Motorcycle have thanked everyone who contributed to the success yesterday of the bike run dance and raffle by donating cash and prizes.  Many local businesses and individuals donated to the events ensuring they were very successful.  Motorcycles were gathering at lunchtime on Saturday in Market Square, Wick prior to the run round the county.

Caithness, Orkney & Shetland Association of Aberdeen
If you live in Aberdeen or surrounding area you might be interested to go along to vents of the Caithness, Orkney and Shetland Association. The programme of events is now available.

Contest’s top trainee urges others to try - Press & Journal

Thurso Glassblower Ian Pearson Steps Down
Thurso Glassblower, Ian Pearson recently stepped down as Chairman of the British Society of Scientific Glassblowers after holding the post for the last seven years. He was the longest serving Chairman of the BSSG since its formation in 1960 and in recognition of this Ian was presented with Honorary membership of the Society. Ian is only the third glassblower to receive such a prestigious award.


HIE Commits Over Half A Million Pounds To Fèisean
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is investing £540,000 to support the development of the popular traditional arts movement, Fèisean, across the Highlands and Islands and further afield.
HIE a' cur còrr is leth millean nòta ri leasachadh nam Fèisean air coimhearsnachdan na Gàidhealtachd 's nan Eilean
Tha Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd 's Eilean (HIE) a' cur £540,000 de dhairgead-tasgaidh a-steach a leasachadh nam Fèisean air feadh na Gàidhealtachd 's nan Eilean agus gu nàiseanta. Bheiridh an airgead-tasgaidh trì bliadhna seo cothrom do Fhèisean nan Gàidheal, a' bhuidhean-taic a chumas taic ri lìonra nam Fèisean, diofar iomairtean ùra a chuir an gnìomh air feadh na sgìre.

The 30 feet long and 12 feet high lifesize replica of the Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur accompanied by Lloyd Scott, famous for running marathons in bizarre costumes in aid of charity, will arrive at the Castle of Mey at approximately 1.00 p.m.on Sunday 27 September as part of the final leg of Lloyd’s latest journey – the T-Rex Trek. The trek, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, began at Land’s End on 19 July and will have covered more than 1,000 miles in 70 days when it finishes at John O’Groats. Also at the Castle will be young Morven Macleod from Thurso, winner of last week’s dinosaur hunt in the Castle grounds. Morven will be presented with her prize of a 2010 Family Membership for the Castle, gardens and grounds and a special chocolate dinosaur jigsaw puzzle.

Crossroads Primary 40th Anniversary Celebrations

Feis Day - Get Your Instruments Out
Saturday 26th September 9.30am - 3.30pm Location: MOUNT PLEASANT SCHOOL THURSO
A day to get playing and improve your technique - loads of fun. Music song and dance taught by experiences tutors. - Only £10 for the day

Views Sought On New Plan To Help Highland Wildlife
Views are being sought on a new plan to help wildlife across Highland. The draft Highland Biodiversity Action Plan was drawn up by the Highland Biodiversity Partnership, and goes out to public consultation today (Monday 21 September 2009). Chairperson Councillor Audrey Sinclair said: “The Partnership is made up of representatives of around 30 local groups and organisations committed to understanding, safeguarding, restoring and celebrating biodiversity within Highland. Our purpose is to provide guidance and support to the existing network of Local Biodiversity Groups, and to make progress on the main issues facing wildlife in the Highlands. It is this last point that we hope to address through this Plan.
Highland Biodiversity News Sept 09     Biodiversity Caithness & Sutherland Photos Collection      Nature

Bid Now In Silent Auction For An Artistic Paper Boat To Raise Funds For Mary Anne's Cottage
Paper Boats have been coming in from all over the world to Mary Anne's Cottage and are still on show at Caithness Horizons.  You can help with the fund-raising by putting in a bid for a boat or collection of boats (all lots are numbers on the web site HERE. The minimum bid is only £2.00. Help find a new home for each boat and at the same time raise money for The Caithness Heritage Trust to help them keep Mary-Ann's cottage open for future generations. You can place your bids by e-mail - visit the blog for information. Last day to place bids - 24th September 09.  All the lots are numbers in Bold at the top of each entry as you scroll down the blog page.  Interview With Joanne

Development Project At Saltoun Street, Wick Well Under Way - "Investing In Caithness"
The development of new homes at Saltoun Street and Miller Street in Wick is well underway. The block now has the roof removed and the building has been stripped back to just the main walls. A courtyard at the back has now been opened up and the possibilities can easily be seen for the area in repopulating Lower Pulteney in the harbour area. A partnership including Highland Council, HIE, with Pentland Housing Association has brought together the required funding to make it possible for the development to happen. M M Miller Ltd won the contract and the transformation will add to the already much improved Telford Street and other streetscape improvements in the area.

Centre for Energy and the Environment - North Highland College, UHI
£14 Million For Major New Centres At Thurso - "Investing In Caithness"
You may have read in the press recently about the exciting new capital developments under way at North Highland College, UHI. As part of this development we would like to invite you along to Flagstones Restaurant of North Highland College on Thursday 24th September at 4pm to learn more about the new Centre for Energy and the Environment which will be build on the main North Highland College campus. During this event we would like to offer you the opportunity to review the building design and functionality and provide feedback on our plans. If you are able to attend could you please advise Ms Debbie Gray on 01847889206 or by email to: debbie.gray[AT]

New Ethel Austen Shop In Wick Almost Ready To Open - "Investing In Caithness"
The Ethel Austen shop in Wick is almost ready and it is expected to open later next week.  The Ethel Austen shop in Thurso opened this week to flocks of customers proving that something new will attract folk back to the main shopping streets. The chain sells clothes for the whole family and a range of household goods.  Both stores are located in the former Woolworth buildings that closed down. 
See the Last Days Of Thurso Woolworth - Very sad but at last something is rising from the ashes.

Open Studio Weekend - 26th/27th September 2009
Caithness Arts - Open Studio Weekend - 26th/27th September 2009
Caithness Arts is holding an "Open Studios" event, during which Artists and Makers based in the Far North will be opening their doors to give the public a rare chance to see inside their working studios. Many artists will be transforming their homes into mini galleries for the duration of the weekend thus providing a great opportunity to view a wide range of work and allow purchasing direct from the artist.

River Street, Wick Shops All Open For Business - But Trade Hit As River Wall Works Proceed
All the shops in River Street, Wick are open but due to the works on the river wall that has closed the street further down they have noticed a downturn in trade.  Council engineers expected that works would continue until Wednesday.  The road is open from the top and parking is easy on the other side of the street and drivers can turn and exit at the roundabout with little problem or alternatively park in Union Street to visit the shops.  The council was to look to see if the road could be opened one way over the weekend until Monday but could not promise as safety had to be their first priority. Hopefully customers will not pass them by all weekend.

Convener Confirms Council Commitment to Caithness - "Investing In Caithness"
Work has begun this week on a feasibility study into the major upgrade of Wick High School. Architects, LDN, from Forres, have been commissioned by The Highland Council to examine three options, which include (a) a new build; (b) refurbishment and partial demolition, new build and (c) refurbishment. The start of work was revealed by Convener of The Highland Council Councillor Sandy Park, who has assured the people of Caithness of the Council's commitment to the area in the wake of recent criticism that Caithness does not get its fair share of council resources. Councillor Park reports that over the past four years the Council has invested or plans to invest £15,774,000 in building projects in Caithness.

New Community Woodland To Take Shape Near Wick - "Investing In Caithness"
A new community woodland is to take shape near Wick thanks to Forestry Commission Scotland. The Commission has stepped in to buy Newton Hill Croft in a bid to ensure that the local community continue to enjoy a woodland resource. Tim Cockerill, for the Commission in Golspie, said: “It was a real shame that the neighbouring community woodland could no longer be kept going as a community resource so when the opportunity arose for us to buy Newton Hill Croft – which was right next door – we jumped at the chance.  Click HERE for View From the Air Of the Newton Area   The Newtonhill Community Forest was closed on safety grounds in 2008 - See Story

Ambulance Man John Laing Retires From Wick After 35 Years
Colleagues gathered to mark the retiral of Mr John Laing, after serving nearly 35 years with the Scottish Ambulance Service. John commenced employment with the Scottish Ambulance Service in Wick, as an Ambulance man, in January 1975 and shortly after this he was promoted to Leading Ambulance man, a position he held until 2003, when John then moved to the Patient Transport Service division of the Ambulance Service, serving as a Team Leader until his retirement on 17th September 2009. To mark his retiral John received gifts from his Ambulance colleagues and his wife Donalda received a bouquet of flowers. John is pictured here with his wife Donalda and Colleagues from Wick and Divisional Headquarters in Inverness, following the presentation.

NOW YOU SEE IT - A Short History of Magic and Conjuring
An exhibition giving a fascinating glimpse into the history of stage magic opens at the Swanson Gallery, Thurso Library this weekend (19th September).  The exhibition pays homage to the close-up conjuror whose illusions can include anything from sleight-of-hand card tricks to the swallowing of razor blades and charts the history of the magician from the early days of the street entertainer - or pickpocket - through the exotic world of the music hall to today. On display is a variety of theatre apparatus, old and new, used in the performance of illusions, complimented by a collection of old and rare magic books.

Seminar at the ERI, Thursday 17th September 2009, 17:00
"Wind power and hydrogen - a Shetland case study"- Speaker: Dr John McClatchey – ERI
Dr John McClatchey is a senior research fellow and climatologist at ERI who has particular interests in renewable energy and the environment. In this seminar, John will review the available wind resource in Shetland and examines how that intermittent supply could be linked to the production of renewable hydrogen to be used as a back-up fuel for generation, in space heating or as vehicle fuel. As well as considering the storage required to maintain fuel supplies, the cost of hydrogen and its financial viability as a fuel is also considered. An overview of the implications of this case study for Scotland will also be given.
Accompanied by wine and nibbles….. All welcome !!

New Kilts For Young Highland Pipers
During their first rehearsal of this season, members of Highland Youth Pipe Band received their new kilts officially presented by Bill Fraser of Highland House of Fraser. The Highland Youth Pipe Band (HYPB) can now proudly wear The Pipers' Trail Tartan which was designed and registered by The Pipers ' Trail in 2008. The wearing of the tartan was permitted by Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade, Brigadier David Allfrey. HYPB is the only band that has the privilege and honour of wearing the tartan. The Band is one of the seven Regional Music Groups which run as an extension to the tuition provided by The Highland Council's Instrumental Tuition Service. HYPB members are drawn from all corners of Highland and have been chosen after audition. Whilst many of the members receive tuition from Highland Council Instrumental Instructors, some have developed their skills in other ways.

Public opinion sought on revised management rules for Highland burial grounds
People in the Highlands are being asked to have their say on proposed new management rules for burial grounds under the control of The Highland Council. The Council approved the current management rules for burial grounds in 1999. Under Section 112 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, the Council is now required to revise and confirm the rules for another 10 years. Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council's Transport Environmental and Community Services Committee said: "Most people don't like to think about dealing with a death in their family. However, for anyone who either already has connections with Highland burial grounds or intends using them in the future it is important that they are aware that there are rules and regulations tied to using them. Being aware of the proposed changes and having a say, may help to avoid any unnecessary stresses in the future." Copies of the proposed management rules are available at Council Service Points, Libraries and TEC Services Offices and can also be viewed on the Council's website at:

Dinosaur Hunt - At Castle Of Mey
Sunday 20th September at 2.00pm at Castle of Mey
There's a T.Rex coming to Caithness.  Hunt in and around the castle to find some of his friends.  Normal Castle entrance fees apply.

Dounreay Donations To Caithness Charities
The decommissioning team responsible for the clean up of the plutonium criticality laboratory have donated their winnings to local charities. They won the team award in the 2008 round of Dounreay Director’s safety awards, and decided to pool the £1,000 prize money with the £1,000 to be donated to charity. Senior project manager Charlie Fowler explained that the team wanted to use the money to benefit others. Decommissioning D8550 was not the achievement of just the clean up team, it was the result of the efforts of the whole site. The team felt it would not be proper to accept the team part of the award without somehow extending it to the whole of DSRL and our contractors. The money was split equally between four local charities – the Caithness branch of MacMillan Cancer Support, Wick Lifeboat, the Caithness branch of Diabetes UK and the SSPCA Balmore animal rescue centre.

Sight Action
A New Web site For Blind and Partially Sighted People In Highland and Western Isles.
The site has a growing listing of news, events and contacts.  The site can be viewed in a choice of text sizes and colours for backgrounds and text can be varied to assist viewing.

W@W Network Event - What Makes People Tick? - FREE Event
29 September 12.00 - 2.00pm - Caithness Horizons, Thurso
What Makes People Tick?, led by Shirley Murchison, of Highland Body Language Training Consultancy, Inverness.  A light hearted, interactive session exploring aspects of social psychology that will help you understand not only yourself and others but the society you live in. The WEA’s Women@Work Project (W@W) provides information, support and training for women in the Highlands. The Project aims to help women to understand issues, develop skills and become more able to speak out about things which matter to them at home, at work and in their communities, and beyond. W@W offers women-only training courses in various subjects from personal development to political and financial awareness. Network participants and guest speakers discuss ideas and engage in interactive workshops to explore new ways of working and to provide stimulation and food for thought. The network is for all women, whether in paid work or not. More information about W@W is available on the web at
For Booking Details see What's On

Public urged to donate old furniture - Press & Journal
Highlands Campaign launched to stop waste of quality household goods
Participants help plan county’s future - Press & Journal
Sutherland’s interests discussed at Lairg meeting
Government in talks over tax on cyclists - Scotsman
This issue is currently being discussed in the Forum

West Public School Annex Class Of John Dallas - P7a - 1953 - 54
Photo sent by Arthur Mather

West Public School Index
Main Schooldays Index


New locum eases pressure on ministers - Press & Journal
First far north UHI degrees are awarded - Press & Journal
New EP And UK Tour For Broken Records - Strange Glue Music
They complete a total of ten dates in all and eventually finish off in Thurso in Scotland on the 13th November at Skinandis

Scotland's Rural Past Team Comes To Scotland
A new group is to be formed to record some of the rural past in Caithness to add to the Scottish record.  There is a huge hole in the archaeological record of Scotland’s past. Throughout recorded history until recent times most of Scotland’s people lived in small dispersed farming communities known as townships; a type of archaeological monument classed as Historic Rural Settlement. The subject has largely been ignored by academic archaeology until fairly recently. A very large number of these sites are currently unrecognised and unrecorded. Most of the croft-houses and steadings still visible in the landscape date to the 19th century. Many of these buildings were recorded to a limited degree by the first Ordinance Survey of the 1870s. However their remit was to record only those building that stood above knee height. Unfortunately most farmsteads built before about 1800 were constructed from turf on stone footings; too low to meet the Ordinance Survey criterion of knee high or above. The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) is doing what it can within its limited resources to rectify this situation but it needs our help.   Scotland's Rural Past Web Site
Read on if you would like to get involved..........

Photography In Our Forum
The photography section has some great photos posted by members and the range and quality is amazing. If you have never been in that section take look. In the past few days photos have been posted under the following topics - Princess Anne opening Wick Marina - Wick Harbour Wall - Heron on Wick River - River Thurso In Spate - Thunder in the Glen Harley Davidson Rally in Aviemore today - Lunar close ups. Many more in other sections.  Add a few of your own on any subject.

Sinclair Odyssey Street Parade At Wick  Organiser Would Like Your Feedback On the Show HERE
1 - 12                         12 - 24                       25 - 36                       37 - 48         49 - 58

Sinclair Odyssey Street Parade At Wick - A Fire Performance

Plans to build a much anticipated new community and regeneration centre in Pulteneytown, Wick have moved a step forward this week following a cash injection of £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund. The Pulteneytown People's Project is one of five projects in Glasgow, Fife, the Highlands and West Lothian today sharing in £2,369,891 from BIG's Growing Community Assets programme. Announcing the funding at the site of the newbuild Pultneytown communty centre, Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Alison Magee, said: "Today's funding from our Growing Community Assets scheme will help five communities to acquire and develop local assets that can be grown to create new services and build local skills. As part of today's investment we are awarding £1 million to help create a new community and training facility in the centre of Pulteneytown.

Masterplan For The Re-development of John O'Groats Launched
Highlands and Islands Enterprise and consultants GVA Grimley this week unveiled a vision of how the five hectares site could be developed. The masterplan, which has been shaped by the views of residents, businesses, tourists and public agencies, offers various design options. They all feature the creation of a destination focal point, possibly a sculpture or piece of artwork, drawing 'end to enders' to a main square near the harbour.

Modern Jive Moves North
Modern Jive was introduced in the early nineteen eighties, drawing from many other well known dance styles as diverse as Rock and Roll and Salsa. The biggest draw back of some dances is that you spend time and money learning the moves but then find there is nowhere to put what you have learnt into practice. This is where Modern Jive comes into it's own, because it can be danced to a huge variety of music from Rock & Roll to Salsa, R & B to Country, Swing to Jazz and even to Reggae!!................ Steve is bringing weekly classes to Wick and Thurso and also out to the villages of Lybster and Strathy, starting from Monday the 21st September- see the 'What's On' Section for more details.......................

Attempted fraud - Thurso
Police in Thurso are issuing a warning to householders following reports of a potential debit card scam targeting the Caithness area. A member of the public was contacted by a company called Care4u who claimed the householder was entitled to receive a four figure refund on council/poll tax payments. The caller then asked the man to provide his bank details, card number, etc and the monies would be paid into his account. However, after becoming suspicious he reported the matter to Police. Police would like to remind people not to issue their card details over the phone.

A Celebration of the Creativity of Caithness
Following on from the success of the Caithness Arts Drama Festival last weekend, Caithness Arts will be celebrating the originality and vision of the Arts and Crafts in Caithness with two weekends of events for the whole family on 19th & 20th and 26th & 27th September.............
For the young theatre people in the County, there will be Play In A Day events in Thurso on Saturday 19th and Wick on Sunday 20th........
In the evening on 19th September, Silver Trumpet and Golden Bell will be an informal evening of music and conversation at the Mill Theatre Thurso at 7.30pm. With music from the Pentland Brass Band and the Caithness Handbell Ringers and entertainment from the Thurso Players......
There will also be an Exhibition Celebrating 25 years of Cinema For Thurso - its Silver Anniversary........
This evening will be a chance to talk to fellow artists, crafts people and supporters of the arts about the future for the arts in Caithness........
Caithness Arts Open Studios will take place the following weekend on 26th & 27th September. Artists and Makers based in the far north will be opening their doors to give the public a rare opportunity to see inside their working studios...................

It's Happening In Wick Tonight - Friday 11 September
Another Wick Spectacular Takes the Town

2009: A Sinclair Odyssey Street Parade Round Wick
Friday 11th September 7.30pm - Starts Market Square

A thrilling processional extravaganza through the streets of Wick. The legendary voyage to America by Henry Sinclair is brought to life by a cast of hundreds. A spectacle full of adventure, shipwrecks, battles, secret maps, and strange lands featuring giant puppets, historic boats, stilt walkers, fireworks, dancing drama and much much more. Theatre Modo is working with over 200 young people from across Caithness to create the performance. Groups are involved creating routines using stilt walking, fire performance, dance and street theatre, while others are making props, costumes, lanterns and banners for the event.
Theatre Modo previously stage Assipattle in Wick

Crossroads Primary 40th Anniversary Celebrations

Gary McLean Memorial Charity Motorcycle Run
Followed By a Grand Raffle and Dance in the Evening
The Run Will Be Held On The 26th Of September, Gathering At the MARKET SQUARE WICK at 12:30 for 1:30 Start.  The Dance to the OUTLANDERS Will Commence At 9pm at the Back Bridge Street Club
Tickets Are Priced At £6 For The Run And £8 For The Dance Or Why Not Purchase Both For Just £10, Payment On The Day Is Also Acceptable, You Can Go To One Or The Other Or Why Not Make A Day Of It And Enjoy Both.  Tickets from Paul at AMS Motorcycles, Coach Road, Wick Tel 07884185015 or I & N Brass, Confectionary & Ice Cream, 3 Swanson Street, Thurso.

Emergency Works Commissioned at Wick Harbour Wall
The Highland Council is to carry out emergency works to stabilise the riverside wall on River Street, Wick, following flood damage, which has forced the temporary closure of River Street between Mackay's Hotel and Burn Street. Contractor, A & W Sinclair Ltd, has been appointed to undertake emergency repairs to the wall. Work is expected to start tonight at low water at 7 pm. The Council's Transport Environmental and Community Works Service and A & W Sinclair Ltd are working in close liaison with SEPA to stabilise the wall. It is hoped to reopen River Street to traffic, governed by traffic lights, once the initial stabilisation work is completed.

Open Studio Days In Caithness
September is Caithness Arts Month and on behalf of Caithness Arts Shelagh Swanson is organising an "Open Studios" event to take place on the 26/27th September. She is looking for interested artists/makers who would be willing to open their studios to the public for all or part of this weekend. As long as you have plenty work to display the definition of "studio" is flexible, why not turn your living room or garage into a gallery for the weekend?!? Participation in the event is free and all advertising will be done through Caithness Arts.

Edinburgh Zoo wild bus tours north coast
Caithness pupils will have the chance to discover the wild when an Edinburgh Zoo bus tours the north coast this week. The Edinburgh Zoo Wild Bus will be visiting Thurso High School on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th September and then North Primary School, Wick on Thursday 10th September. When the bus is at Thurso High School pupils from Crossroads, Castletown, Mount Pleasant, Miller Academy, Reay and Halkirk Primaries and the High school will visit it. Pupils from Hillhead, North Wick, South Wick, Pulteneytown Academy, Watten, Lybster, Dunbeath, Keiss, Thrumster and Canisbay Primaries will be visiting the bus when it is in Wick.

Competition At Inverness College UHI To Find Scotland's Next Entrepreneurs
For the 4th year running, UHI Colleges together with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust, Alchemy Plus, Macrae & Dick and Harper MacLeod Solicitors are working together to offer wannabe entrepreneurs in the region the chance to submit their business ideas to win a share of the £2,900 cash prize pool. The competition is open to anyone over 16 and resident in the Highlands and Islands, Perthshire and Moray. As in previous years, the style is simple and friendly. In a relaxed 'Dragons' Den' style format, successful entrants answer four questions; what is your idea, what inspired you, who are your intended customers and what do you need to make your business a reality?

Fifteen injured in Highland accidents - Press & Journal
The total includes accidents near Reiss and Ackergill Tower
Biker seriously injured in crash - BBC

Opportunity For Highland Businesses To Visit Boston
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is offering five ambitious local businesses the chance to win a place at a sponsors week with a top Boston research and technology facility. In a tie up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), HIE is asking interested businesses to outline how access to the top notch research and development 'Media Lab' could boost their opportunities. The five with the most convincing reasons will secure a place.

Highland Council Ranger Discovers New Site For Rare Bumblebee
The Great Yellow Bumblebee, one of Britain’s rarest bee species, has bucked recent gloomy trends and had a bumper summer in Scotland this year. Paul Castle, The Highland Council’s North Sutherland Ranger, has been involved with the Great Yellow Bumblebee for several years and this year has discovered two previously unrecorded sites for this rare Bumblebee at Melvich and Reay along the north coast Delighted with his discovery, Paul said: "2009 has been an exciting summer for bumblebees.  These new sites mean we have now linked the Caithness and Sutherland populations.  It was particularly pleasing following last season when, despite searching, I never saw a single Great Yellow Bumblebee.  It's great to know this vulnerable mainland population is able to recover from an apparently disastrous season."  More on Bees In Caithness

Saturday 12th September 10.00am to 4.30pm - Dunbeath Community Centre
A one day course given by food marketing specialist David Lamb, Scottish Agricultural College
This course is free, including a light lunch. It will be of interest to anyone engaged in food production and
marketing, including those thinking about finishing beef and lamb for local sale.

Pulteneytown Holiday Club Photos

Labrador Retriever Rescue Funday
Saturday 26 September - Bower Community Hall - 12.00
Gun Dog Demo
Drug Dog Demo
Martina Cross Taking Pet Photos
Pets At Home Adoption Scheme
Stalls, Teas, coffee & Homebaking and much more

WAGYU Cattle To Be Produced In Caithness - See The BBC Programme LANDWARD
An exiting venture by Wick business man John Sutherland to introduce Japanese WAGYU (pronounced Wag oo) cattle into Caithness and produce top-quality BEEF is to be screened this week on the BBC 2 farming programme LANDWARD starting at 7pm on Friday 11th September. Mr Sutherland who is managing director of Caithness Beef and Lamb has imported 1,000 straws on WAGYU semen which is stored in Liquid Nitrogen with the A.I.Cattle Breeding Service in Caithness run by Willie Mackay,Oldhall Watten. The BBC film crew along with presenter Dougie Vipond spent most of Wednesday last week filming at the new abattoir in KEISS and at Messrs, COGHILL'S family farm at STEMSTER MAINS HALKIRK where already 30 pure bred ABERDEEN ANGUS heifers have been inseminated with WAGYU semen. WAGYU beef and steaks are known wordwide because of its distinctive marbling, tender and succulent flavour and is suitable as part of a low-cholesterol diet.  Unfortunately the programme is not available on the BBC IPlayer so you only have one chance and it is not available outside Scotland on terrestrial.

Dunnet Head - The Most Northerly Point In The Mainland UK

Reunion For Alexander Building Contractors and Others
A reunion of people who worked for Alexander Sutherland Building Contractors in Francis Street Wick, also those people who worked for Geddes in Watten, Skinners of Wick and Riddles of Thurso, It is also intending to invite all pupils who attended Wick High School at that time, between 1959 - 1969.
The venue will depend on numbers of interested parties, its planned to happen in Wick, within July 2010, interested parties should contact:
David Carter Tel - 01955604780
Donald Mackay Tel - 01224482295
Donald Shearer Tel - 0191 2365507.
The reunion will happen whether the numbers are low or high, please advise if you wish to attend.

Police seize £135,000 of drugs - Press & Journal
Several people arrested, with three appearing at Inverness court
Drugs worth £135,000 were seized in a series of raids at addresses across the Highlands and islands........Officers also raided 16 addresses in the Caithness, Tain, Easter Ross, Orkney and Shetland areas, resulting in the seizure of class A, B and C drugs........Two more people will appear at the same court on Monday, with others expected to appear at Dornoch and Lerwick sheriff courts.......

Playas de Dunnet
Yes even the Spaniards are posting photos of Dunnet. 
See another recent one from our regular North Light - See his 2009 collection so far or get a cuppy o tea and sit back HERE

Crunch-hit Britons holiday at home - Press Association
Thurso listed as a place where holiday homes values have increased.

The Auction Has Begun At Mary Ann's Cottage Paper Boat Web Site
Bid for a boat!
See all the fantastic boats which sailed to my studio from around the world,
and Bid for a boat by e-mail if you can't visit the exhibition!!

The Exhibition about the Westland and the paper boats is now on at Caithness Horizons until 24 September - Open seven days a week.

Caithness Field Club - Winter Programme Starts Today
The winter programme for Caithness Field Club starts today with a walk.  If you want to find out most about Caithness in all its forms this club probably covers more ground than any.   With walks and talks to many places over the years it is amazing the ground this group have covered.  Membership is amazingly cheap and it includes a paper copy of the annual bulletin that is full of articles on the county.

Fields of Barley/Homecoming 2009 - Entrance FREE
First showing of George Gunn's new play "Fields of Barley", along with Homecoming Scotland, a celebration of Robert Burns "and Friends" songs readings and music by Thurso Players.
Friday 4th September - 7.30pm - Wick Old Parish Church, Wick
Saturday 5th September  - 7.30pm Mill Theatre, Millbank Road, Thurso
'Fields of Barley' revolves around a love story between a female farmer from Lower Pulteneytown and an Italian-American pilot and is set in Wick during the dark days of World War II. The play, which will form part of the nationwide Homecoming Celebrations, will be directed by Edinburgh based drama student Iain MacDonald with young performers, Peter Gordon of Edinburgh and Sheila Smith of Murkle in the leading roles. More.........

Pass Makes Perfect For Drama Students
Pupils from across the Highland Council area, studying SQA courses at Eden Court, have achieved a 100% pass rate in Higher Dance, Higher Drama and Intermediate 2 Drama exams. 33 young people aged 14 - 17 studied for these exams at Eden Court from August 2008 to May 2009. The opportunity to study Drama at SQA Higher and Intermediate 2 level has been made possible through a partnership between The Highland Council and Eden Court.............Last year a special partnership arrangement was set up by Thurso High School in partnership with Eden Court and Higher Drama was run in the school which 9 pupils sat the exam. Results: Grade B - 7 students, Grade C - 2 students. This year one student from Wick is taking the Intermediate 2 course.  Chairman of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: "This partnership between The Highland Council and Eden Court is helping to fulfil the ambitions of our Highland young people. Congratulations to all our pupils who passed the dance and drama exams and best wishes to those going on to pursue further education or careers in their chosen fields."

Wick High School Parent Council - Invitation To Parents
Wick High School parent council urges parents/carers of pupils at Wick High School to come along to the parent forum on Wednesday 9 September in the school at 7pm. You can come along to hear about what is going on, and give your opinion on what the parent council should be doing, whether or not you want join the parent council. The parent council is not just concerned with school buildings and teacher numbers; there are opportunities for parents to take part in all sorts of events in the school, help with fundraising, and give their opinion on the priorities for their child's education. Its a great way to support the school, and most parent council members find that the things they learn as a member of the parent council help them support their own child's education.

The Wedding Show - In Wick Tonight
Wednesday 2nd September - 7.30pm at  the Waterfront, Wick
Everything you need for wedding and a cat walk show.  Entrance £5 with all proceeds to the Laurandy Day Care Centre



A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Following the success of last years photo competition "Keep us in the Picture", The Highland Council is once again inviting young people to get out their cameras and use photography as a means of highlighting what they think about the Highlands. As part of the Council's consultation on the Highland wide Local Development Plan, people aged 25 and under are been asked to send in photographs of what they like and don't like about Highland and also what they would like to see in Highland that we don't already have......Robin Falconer, Chair of Highland Youth Voice agrees. He said: "Young people have many ideas about how to improve their environment and local area. The ideas of young people are often very creative and it is encouraging to learn that the Council's Planning and Development service is listening to the views of young people through the 'Keep us in the Picture' competition. It's an interesting competition and I'm sure young people will be keen to take part in it."

Local Suppliers Invited To Public Tendering Information Event
The Highland Council is encouraging local suppliers to come along to the first three of a series of ten procurement road shows. Entitled 'Submission Impossible?', the events are aimed at helping local suppliers to develop their skills in tendering for public sector contracts, and form part of the Council's response to the economic downturn. More and more Scottish businesses are enjoying success tendering for public contracts and this free series of road shows is touring the Highlands to let suppliers know how they can participate. The first three events will run in Thurso, Wick and Golspie on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September. Each drop in session will run from 3pm until 8pm. Various procurement staff representing The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Northern Constabulary, Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue, and NHS Highland will be available to chat with suppliers.

2009: A Sinclair Odyssey Street Parade Round Wick
Friday 11th September 7.30pm - Starts Market Square

A thrilling processional extravaganza through the streets of Wick. The legendary voyage to America by Henry Sinclair is brought to life by a cast of hundreds. A spectacle full of adventure, shipwrecks, battles, secret maps, and strange lands featuring giant puppets, historic boats, stilt walkers, fireworks, dancing drama and much much more. Theatre Modo is working with over 200 young people from across Caithness to create the performance. Groups are involved creating routines using stilt walking, fire performance, dance and street theatre, while others are making props, costumes, lanterns and banners for the event.
Theatre Modo previously stage Assipattle in Wick

Can You Help Pultenytown People's Project - Feedback On Proposed New Community Centre
PPP is looking for feedback from the community regarding our proposed creation of a Community/Enterprise Centre. We have distributed surveys around Wick, asking the community for their views and giving them the chance to win a £50 voucher from Sinclair Family Butchers. The survey is also
available from our website (click on "Survey" at the bottom of the menu on the left hand side of the home page). The closing date for the competition is 15th September, (although we would be pleased to continue to receive community feedback after this).

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