News Archive
January 2014


Fit's in 'e Groat 'e Day
And 'e Courier on Wednesday

Local volunteers wanted for European-wide medicine project  - Volunteers Will Get £15 Shopping Voucher
As the winter months draw on, medicines are likely to be a part of most people’s lives. Researchers at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), North Highland College UHI, want to find out about how people in the area use, store and dispose of medicines as part of a major European project. The Caithness component of “Investigating Attitudes to Pharmaceuticals” is being led by the ERI’s Dr Neil James who said: “We are aiming to find out about different consumption practices as part of a larger European-wide study. The information gathered locally will contribute to work being undertaken across Europe.

Police appeal for further information regarding the death of Stefan Sutherland
At approximately 12:17 hours on Tuesday 17 September 2013 police received a report from a member of the public that a body of a man had been discovered on the shoreline of Occumster. This sadly turned out to be Stefan Sutherland from the Lybster area.

Looking for Funding? - Check These Links
Funding Opportunity - NESTA - Policy & Research Small Grants Scheme
Funding Opportunity - Healthy Hearts Grants
Funding Opportunity - Scottish Seed Fund
Funding Opportunity - National Voluntary Organisations 16b Grants
Funding Opportunity - Hub Development
Fund Funding Opportunity - Yorkshire & Clydesdale Bank Foundation

 MSPs to Meet With Royal Mail over Caithness and Sutherland Postcode Campaign
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSPs Rhoda Grant and David Stewart have arranged high level discussion with Royal Mail in the Scottish Parliament next week to discuss viability, advantages and any disadvantages of a establishing a new Caithness and Sutherland postcode, ending the use of the Kirkwall based KW code currently in use. Businesses urged to target China in the Year of the Horse
Year of the Horse- Exporting to China
Highlands and Islands businesses interested in exporting to China have an opportunity to access specialist information and advice at a free event in Inverness in March. Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI) and the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), the event comes a matter of weeks after China celebrates its New Year, the beginning of Year of the Horse, on January 31. The ‘Doing Business in China’ event, held at Eden Court, Inverness on 5 March, will highlight the opportunities and considerations for businesses in this fast growing market. It will also provide information on routes to market, an understanding of Chinese culture and advice on how to protect your intellectual property.

Jobs Vacancies Updated - 4.40pm

New Council Offices At Wick - Latest Progress Photos
New Wick Council Offices - 30 January 2014 New Wick Council offices 30 January 2014New Wick Council Offices 30 January 2014 
           From The Start

Caithness Countryside Volunteers Help Out At Forsinain
Caithness countryside Volunteers At Forsinain
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers ventured across to Mackay country this month to work on a ‘boggy’ project on the flows of Sutherland. The peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland are a globally important habitat and the RSPB are currently undertaking work to restore some areas of former conifer plantation back to native bog. The Caithness volunteers were put to work on a part of the reserve called Forsinain which is in the process of being restored. The volunteers removed young conifers saplings which have set seed in the felled areas. Claire Foot, RSPB Assistant Warden said “It was fantastic to have the help of the Caithness volunteers alongside our own residential reserve volunteers. Everyone was so enthusiastic and we managed to get more done than I had hoped possible. The public can visit Forsinain and walk the nature trail, details are available at”
Jobs/Vacancies Just Added - 9.25pm
Information and Education Assistant (RSPB)
Kitchen Porter - part-time

Community Groups Encouraged to Apply To Wind Farm Fund
Community groups and charities serving those within Latheron, Lybster and Clyth; and Tannach and District Community Council areas are being encouraged to apply to the next round of the E.On Camster Community Fund. The Fund will welcome applications for projects which will bring a range of enhancements to those areas, for example projects that improve local amenities, promote the area’s natural and cultural heritage, attract tourists to the area or champion sustainable energy use. There are three level of awards available starting at £250 for small grants up to in excess of £25,000 for large scale projects. kids go MAD in Motherwell go MAD in MotherwellMAD in Motherwel with kids have just completed their first Street dance competition of 2014, when they travelled to Motherwell to take part in MAD Street dance Scottish Championships.


Old St Peters Church Public Meeting - Wednesday Night 29th Jan - 7.00pm - Caithness Horizons Thurso

Wick And District Pool League Latest
Wick and District Pool League
Steve Atkins Bayview1 side moved back to the top of division one on Monday night, after Crown1 held Camps2 to a 6-6 draw in week ten of the Wick & District Pool League. Alan Larnach's Crown1 side played some exceptional pool as they came from 2-0 down to lead 5-2, before Camps2 battled back to earn the draw. Stevie Wyllie's 8-ball clearance for the Crown was the highlight of this very entertaining match.

Scorries' manager on the move -  Wilson's return to Elgin City will shock Wick supporters
Barry Wilson is leaving Wick Academy to join Elgin City as a replacement for manager Ross Jack.
Richard Hughs Assitant Manager and Barry wilson who has resigned from Wick Academy as manager to move to elgin

Wilson pledges to bring the good times back to Elgin currently second bottom in the league.

Calling Flow Country Artists To ERI Conference  - Thurso 4th - 7th March 2014
ERI conference 4 - 7 March 2014
Scientists from Thurso’s Environmental Research Institute are reaching out to the art community in Caithness. Artists and designers of all disciplines are being given the opportunity to display their work and interact with the scientific community at a forthcoming conference in Thurso dedicated to research in the Flow Country. The conference will examine progress in peatland research in the Flow Country and will build on the success of a similar event held in 2012. This year the organisers felt there was an interesting opportunity to connect local and visiting environmental scientists to the local art community who work in and around the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland.

Cattle Manager App Now Available For Farmers
Last year a group of Wick High School pupils won an award for creating great new app for your phone. It will cut down on paper work for farmers. “Apps for Good” awards saw Wick High School gain the award. now farmers can download the App. Wick High School was the first in Scotland to enter the competition, which takes the teams to London for work experience (“hothouses”) with high-tech companies in Tech City in London before making “dragon’s den” pitches for their app ideas.   Get the link to download the APP at the end of the article.

Planning Chairman clarifies Council clamp down on roadside signage
The Chairman of The Highland Council’s Planning Environment and Development Committee has clarified the Council’s clampdown on roadside signage, stressing that the main targets for action are unauthorised adverts which are long-standing, those which have a substantial adverse impact on amenity and those that give rise to road safety concerns.

SPA consider proposal to enhance police control centres  - Meeting To Be Streamed Live
The Scottish Police Authority (SPA) will consider strategic proposals from Police Scotland to enhance the service provided by its Contact, Command and Control Centres at the Authority’s next public board meeting on Thursday 30 January in the Trades Hall, Glassford Street, Glasgow.
Police in Highland and Islands Division to host Facebook chat on officer recruitment
Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division is currently recruiting new Police Constables and Special Police Constables and are hosting a Facebook chat this week to answer any questions people have on the subject.

Jobs/Vacancies - Latest Additions 4.25pm today   PAGE 2 Job Ads For the Earlier Ads
General Handyman Mate / Labourer
Salesperson - Sutherland Brothers, Wick
Receptionist - Part time
Waitress - morning shifts
Employers can place job ads easily anytime 24 hours a day and at no cost..  All that is required is to join the forum and get a user name and password.  Save time and money.  Job ads get a high level of coverage on and flow out into our Facebook and Twitter pages extending the reach a long way. Shares by friends and family take your items even further.
Surfers Were Out In The Great Waves On Saturday

Surfers Paradise At Thurso East On Saturday
Good Waves At Thurso East on Saturday 25th January 2014 Thurso East 25 January 2014
It was too far for our camera but the waves were great for surfing at Thurso East on Saturday and several were out taking advantage of up to 20 foot waves rolling in.

Stormy Weather Still In Caithness On Sunday
Still stormy at Wick 26 January 2014
The wind has blown strongly all day in the north and the rain has ben heavy in various places.  the photos from Noel Donaldson show that although not as spectacular as in recent days Wick Bay continues to bubble with foamy waves.

Latest From New Council Offices Under Construction In Wick
New council Offices Construction 24 January 2014 New council Offices Wick construction 24 January 2014 New council Offices Wick construction 24 January 2014

Scrabster Between The Gales And Rain On A Quiet Saturday Afternoon
Scrabster 25 January 2014 Scrabster 25 January 2014Scrabster 25 January 2014
 Blurb and What Is the Yellow Thing?
Caithness Young People Gain Saltire Awards
Saltire Awards
Scottish GovernmentYoung people aged between 12 and 25 last night were given their certiificates showing they had gained Saltire Awards for various levels of volunteers clocking up a lot of hours over the last year.  Saltire Awards are supported by the Scottish Government and MSP Rob Gibson was on hand to prsent the certificates.  Catherine Patterson who organised the event on behalf of the Volunteering Centre at Caithness Voluntary Group was pleased so many young people had participated.  Several Caithness councillors were present along with parents to see the presentations and hear about the work the young people had caried out.  The young people have certainly made a great contribution to many groups locally and it wil look good on their CV's in years to come. Impromptu Meeting With A Top UK Cabinet Minister At Gills
The three officer-bearers of the community company which owns and operates Gills Harbour, the Scottish mainland’s most Northerly port in Caithness, held a surprise impromptu meeting with a top UK Cabinet Minister on Friday 24th January, 2014.

Hamnavoe First Trip To Orkney In New Colours
MV Hamnavoe 24 January 2014 Hamnavoe 24 January 2014

New Jobs Added Today
Primary care clinical pharmacist band 7
Occupational Therapist
Bricklayer Wanted
Full Time Countryside Ranger - Seadrift Centre, Dunnet, Caithness
Serco Northlink Ferries Welcomes New look Hamnavoe Back To Service
MV Hamnavoe 5 January 2014
Northlink Ferries is set to welcome the MV Hamnavoe back to service on Friday, 24 January 2014, complete with new livery.  Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at Serco NorthLink Ferries, commented: “We are thoroughly looking forward to the Hamnavoe’s return to service, particularly given that externally she has truly been transformed. A key element to the new livery is to excite potential tourists about the history and culture of the Northern Isles. The huge Viking image on the Hamnavoe is designed to make an impact so that people choose the Northern Isles and NorthLink Ferries for their next holiday. The photo here shows Hamnavoe on 5th January before the makeover. We hope to bring you photos of the Hamnavoe in its new colours on Friday 24th January.  See it right now in the Orcadian Newspaper Web Site

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

Roger Helmer MEP For East Midlands - Speech To The Oxford Union
Roger Helmer (UKIP) takes a big swipe at the alternative energy industries.  Whether you agree with the contents or not it makes for uncomfortable reading if even half of it turns out to be true.

Public Meeting Regarding A New Water Sports Facility In Thurso
Next week sees a public meeting in Thurso to discuss the potential for establishing a watersports centre in the town. Caithness Sports Facilities Ltd has been working on the proposal with a consultant, who has been carrying out an online survey to gauge support for the proposal – the public meeting is at the Pentland Hotel on Wednesday 29th January at 7pm.

Jobs Ads Just In At 4.35pm
Temporary Physiotherapist, Caithness General Hospital, Wick
Georgesons Solicitors, Wick - Legal Secretary
Skipper for small research vessell at North Highland College

Coriolanus At Thurso Cinema From The National Theatre Live
Coriolanus at Thurso Cinema
The National Theatre will broadast its live performance of Coriolanus by William Shakespeare around the world and Thurso Cinema will get all the action on Thursday 30th January 2014. National Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, with Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse (film), BBC's The Hollow Crown) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (Season's Greetings at the National Theatre, BBC's Sherlock) as Menenius, directed by the Donmar's Artistic Director Josie Rourke.

Rhoda Grant MSP Backs Big Energy Savings Week 2014
Energy Saving Week 7th January - 31st January 2014
North (Scottish Labour) MSP, Rhoda Grant is backing Big Energy Savings week, which will take place between the 27th-31st January. This will mark the third annual campaign organised by Citizens Advice Scotland, aimed at helping people cut their fuel bills and access the financial support they are entitled to. The campaign aims to encourage consumers to ‘Check – Switch – insulate’ to save themselves money. Energy costs are one of the biggest issues facing Scottish consumers, with an estimated 27% of the Scottish population are affected by fuel poverty and following recent energy price rises this number is expected to rise and many struggle to heat their home. The BESW campaign is targeted at consumers across Scotland to help increase access to cheaper energy, help them get support when they need is and where possible, save money and energy.

Highlands and Islands MSP Backs Voter Registration Drive
Register To Vote
Scotland as we go to the polls in September not just to elect a government for a term, but to decide the future of the country.” “I hope community groups across the area will be motivated to hold an event. We need to motivate and engage not only young people to be more involved but also an older poll tax generation that has never voted.” “I will be urging as many people as possible to get involved from local schools to community group and even local businesses, it is important that we get the message out to as many people as possible – get registered to vote!”

Funding for refurbishment of War Memorials
North Head Memorial, Wick
Members of The Highland Council’s Finance Housing and Resources Committee have agreed to provide up £200,000 over the next four years to support the refurbishment of Highland war memorials in recognition of the centenary of the start of World War 1. The funding of £50,000 per year will allow the Council to make bids for additional funding of £110,000 from external sources, including the Scottish Government’s Centenary Memorial Restoration Fund to repair and refurbishment 175 war memorials for which the Council has responsibility.

Dounreay Jobs Will Last Longer Than Previously Thought
Dounreay Dome
Management at Dounreay are facing the challenge of how to accommodate additional work from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) whilst maintaining the same annual spend, the same Interim End State – and most importantly, the same priority on working safely and securely that the site is renowned for. The additional work has arisen because activities that were not sufficiently developed by the NDA at the time the competition was run in 2012 have now reached a state of maturity that allows them to be added to the existing programme of work.
Early Dounreay Photos     UKAEA First 50 Years

New Job Ads Just In  - 9.10am
Project Engineer - JGC
Volunteer Co-ordinator  - Care and Learning Alliance (CALA)

2 Day Crofting Course In Golspie
Entry Level Induction Course - Friday  21st and Saturday 22nd February. Fit's in 'e Courier
A few snippets from the local paper.

Lay of the land -  Survey to map Scotland’s tenant farming sector.
Tenanted Land In Scotland
Surveys are being sent to every tenant farmer in Scotland as part of a major piece of research that will influence the future of Scottish farming. Responses to the questionnaire will inform the work of the Ministerial-led Agricultural Holdings Legislation review which is considering, among other issues, absolute right to buy for traditional secure 1991 agricultural tenancies. Corresponding surveys will be sent to landlords shortly.

90,000 increase in Scottish employment over year - Unemployment rate at lowest in five years
Scotland is the best performing of the four nations of the UK in terms of unemployment and employment rates, according to new labour market figures which show for the period September to November 2013. - The unemployment rate of 6.4 per cent is the lowest since January-March 2009 Over the year the number of women in employment has increased by 62,000 - the largest annual increase on record

Carers' consultation launched
New plans to help carers and young carers. Carers and young carers are being asked for their views on specific legislation to promote, defend and extend their rights. The widespread consultation marks a significant step forward in recognising and addressing the needs of unpaid adult carers and young carers across Scotland who care for their families, friends and neighbours.

Hi-Scot Credit Union Presentation Persuades More Councillors To Sign Up
Hi Scot Credit Union
Hi Scot Credit Union chairman and manager today gave a presentation to councillors of the Finance Housing and Resouce committee of Highland council at their meeting in Inverness.  councillors hear about the benefits to every person if they became members of the credit union and councillors agreed to sign up themselves and try to encourage more groups to get their members to join.  Highland Council will use their own means by way of pay slips and online to get the information out to staff and the public.

Young Musicians get back into the swing of things
Jean-Claude Picard who is the Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO)
Four of the eight Highland Young Musicians groups began rehearsals last weekend as they work towards their Concerts Festival which takes place on Saturday 8th March 2014 in Eden Court Theatre. Members of the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra begin this part of their season under the baton of their new Conductor Jean-Claude Picard who is the Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The first rehearsal also saw a number of RSNO musicians travel to Inverness to work with the Highland young folk as they start preparations for their public performance in March which will include excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen.

Average council house rent increase pegged at 2%
The increase in the average weekly rent charged by The Highland Council to its 13,500 council house tenants is being contained to 2%. The rent will rise from £68.99 to £70.37, an increase of £1.38.

Parents urged to support Safer Internet Day for children’s online safety
The Highland Council’s Education Service is supporting Safer Internet Day on 11 February by inviting parents and carers of Highland pupils to take part in a national online campaign organised by SIDtv and the UK Safer Internet Centre. This is a unique opportunity for parents to ask the questions that matter to them about keeping their children safe online. If they could ask Facebook, Twitter, Xbox or BT a question, what would it be?

Candidates to represent their community sought
Residents in the Highlands are being encouraged to bolster the ranks of their local Community Council as Interim elections take place to fill vacant positions serving eight areas. There are vacancies in Caithness West, Sinclairs Bay and Wick.
Hi-Scot Credit Union To Make Presentation to Highland Council  - Watch It live or later
Anyone with an interest in savings, borrowing and debt can see a presentation to the Finance Housing and Resources committee of Highland council on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 at 10.30am. The presentation will last about 15 minutes and councillors may ask questions.

A New Class Of Ship Will Match Pentland Firth Conditions
New class of ship - the Hi Flo 4
Mojo Maritime reaches a major milestone in building the Hi Flo 4 offshore construction vessel. Mojo Maritime has signed, on 16 January, a Memorandum of Understanding with Hammonia Reederei GmbH & Co. KG, a major German ship owner and manager, to finance and build the Hi Flo 4, the first ship in a completely new class of offshore construction vessels. As a result, Mojo and Hammonia, along with other Technology Strategy Board project partners, are now working together to appoint a shipyard and secure the first charter for this innovative and exciting new ship. Designed to operate in extreme tidal races, the Hi Flo 4 has extraordinary operational potential across a wide range of offshore construction roles.
Highland tenants benefit from house exchange scheme
Tenants of approximately 19,000 homes managed by the six main Highland-based social landlords can benefit from joining up to the popular home swapping service – House Exchange. The service is free for tenants to join and matches up households who want to move to find other homes that meet their requirements. The mutual exchange scheme gives tenants more choice of homes and helps them to search for a new home that is just right for them.

Funding available for Highland Fishing Communities
The Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has recently been successful in securing further funding to support fishing communities in Highland under Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund. Funding of £198,642 is available to help communities where fishing requires supporting measures to build skills and knowledge and increase the capacity of local fishing communities and business networks through innovation, collaboration and diversification.  Mackay Underwater Technology Ltd, based in Wick and Lybster Heritage Trust were awarded grants. There is still time to apply. Expressions of interest for potential projects should be submitted by close of play Friday 7th February for consideration under the next funding round. A further funding round will be announced should funding remain after this round.

Several New Job/Vacancy Ads Just In 7.55pm

More Spectacular Photos From Noel Donaldson
The waves kept coming at Wick BayMore waves at Wick Bay

Sunny Day At Wick Bay But The Waves Kept Hammering In For Another Day   Another Video Clip HERE

Sunny Day But Waves Continued To Pound Wick Bay
Sunny but waves still batter inSunny Day but waves still pound in

Highland pupils celebrate Scotland’s bard 2014
Schools throughout the Highland Council area will be celebrating the life and works of Robert Burns around Burns Day on 25 January.
A Letter from Robert Burns to Sir John Sinclair (by L.J. Myatt)
This item was published in the 2005 Bulletin of Caithness Field Club In compiling his First Statistical Account of Scotland in the 1790s, Sir John Sinclair wrote to every parish minister in Scotland with a list of 166 queries. His aim was to assess the state of the country at the time and to help provide a means of making improvements in the future. The standard of returns which he received was generally good, although there was considerable variation depending upon the interest of ministers and whether they were able to find the time to comply with Sir John’s request for information. At about this time Robert Burns had, at the instigation of Robert Riddel, set up a small library in the parish of Dunscore which had been found to be particularly useful to the younger people. He acted as librarian, treasurer and chooser of the books. Burns noted that the local minister, in submitting his account to Sir John, had not made any mention of this library. It was generally believed that the reason for this was that the minister could not approve of some of the books held in the library. Burns, who was a prolific letter writer, felt that some mention of the library was warranted and was moved to write the following letter to Sir John.
Sarah Reid - 1910 - A Pupil of Keiss Primary School

North coast tides could power half of Scotland, say scientists - Herald
Renewable energy to power around half of Scotland could be harnessed from the tides in a single stretch of water off the north coast of the country, according to new research. Some 1.9 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy could be generated by turbines placed in the Pentland Firth between mainland Scotland and Orkney, engineers from ­Edinburgh and Oxford Universities estimate.

Update On Food Banks From LGIU
There has been a growing interest in food banks in Parliament and among the media, prompted in large part by evidence of a rapid growth in the numbers of people turning to food banks to feed themselves and their families. The coordinating body of the UK’s largest network of food banks is The Trussell Trust. In an April 2013 press release, the Trust reported a 170 per cent increase in the numbers of people using their food banks between 2011-12 and 2012-13, a rise from 128,697 to 346,992.

Photos Of The Storm At Wick Bay Today
Storm Wick Bay 19 January 2014Storm at Wick Bay 19 January 2014

Wick Bay Churned Into Froth Today

Wick Bay Bubbled Like A Cauldron Today - Watch The Film Clip
Wick Bay Storm 19 January 2014 Wick Bay Storm 14 January 2014

SEA - Art Fundraiser - Entries Accepted From Now Until 20th June
SEA fundraiser - send postcard size entries by 20th June 2013
A unique fundraiser has been organised by Joanne Kaar and Liz O'Donnell to help Castletown Heritage Assocation adnd Brough Baay Association with their work.  If you are an artist or would just like to have a go then take look at the blogspot to check out the sizes and materials you will need to enter.  All works are to be sold by auction with bids coming in online over the months to come.  All works will be displayed on the blogspot and will be posting updates from time to time so you can all see the entires as they are published and make bids if you want to obtain one.  So check out the materials and sizes required and get painting, chipping, collaging or however you want to make your entry. Halkirk Photos 2014
Biggest Yet Halkirk Photo Gallery Now Building - 346 Photos now in
Halkirk 2014
A walk around Halkirk today proved the village is much bigger than you might at first think.  Three hours was not enough to capture it all so we wil be back to get more later as we build the biggest gallery yet for 2014.  Most  of the photos are of buildings and streets so later we hope to have more people and events in this gallery of 2014.  If anyone would like to add to this gallery just email to  If you are looking for place to build a new home then we have a few photos of plots for sale.  Halkirk Index    Houses For Sale In Halkirk A Grey Day At Wick Today
Grey Day At WickGrey Day At WickGrey Day At Wick

Employment in renewables sees 5% growth in one year
A major new report has found record numbers of people are now employed in the renewable energy sector in Scotland. Scottish Renewables commissioned independent researchers to survey more than 540 companies in what is the most comprehensive study to date. The findings suggest 11,695 people are currently in full-time employment, an increase of 5% from the previous year’s study.

Caithness And North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Update

More Jobs Added 9.00pm

SSE forms partnership with UHI research lab at North Highland College - SSE
The partnership between SSE's renewable energy development division and NHC-ERI has led to the employment of a full-time laboratory technician and the purchase more than £50,000 worth of equipment which will benefit the NHC-ERI.

A Grey Day At Wick

Warning to Retailers - Ringing The Changes Fraud On The Go Again
Police renew warning to retailers following reports of 'ringing the changes' frauds. Police Scotland are renewing previous warnings about deception thefts targeting businesses across the Highlands and Grampian after receiving two reports of 'ringing the changes' frauds at retail outlets in the Aberdeen and Inverness area on Saturday 11 of January 2014. The fraud usually involves a group of people attending at various retail outlets and asking for sums of cash to be changed into notes of a smaller denomination. While doing this, they deliberately cause confusion so as to obtain more money from the retailer than was initially handed over.

Caithness District Partnership 31 January 2014
The next meeting of the Caithness District Partnership will take place on Friday 31st January 2014 in the Naver Business Centre, Naver House, Naver Road, Thurso - 10.00 am – 12.00 noon

Funding - Dates set for 2014 round of Community Challenge Fund bids
Community groups are informed that the deadline dates for submitting an expression of interest into the 2014 rounds of The Highland Council’s Community Challenge Fund are: 3 February, 1 May, 1 August, and 3 November 2014. The Council’s network of Ward Managers is the first point of contact of assistance to groups considering bidding into the fund to promote a local project.

Public Meeting Regarding Options for Old St Peter's Church
Old St Petrs Church, Thurso - Public meeting 29th January 2014
A further public meeting has been arranged to discuss the future arrangements and options for Old St Peters Church, Thurso. Meeting to be held in Caithness Horizons at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 29th January 2014.

Old St Peters Photo Gallery

Average council house rent increase 2% in Highland
The Highland Council’s Finance Housing and Resources Committee, which meets on Wednesday, is being recommended to contain the average weekly rent increase to 2%. This will see the average rent rising from £68.99 to £70.37, an increase of £1.38. A 2% increase will also be applied to hostel rents, gypsy/traveller site pitches, garage and garage sites as well as caretaking and CCTV services.

How To Get Concrete To The Top Of New Wick Council Offices
Pouring Concrete at New Wick Council Offices
How do you get liquid concrete from the ground up to the top storey of a building site? Answer- you pump it up and spread it about. That's what the Morgan Tindal squad were doing when our photographer called to snap progress on the new council house offices construction. How do you get him up to the same level? Answer - with a little help from Victor T. Fraser Chartered Accountants to get access to their top storey.
New Wick Council Offices Latest Photos
Wick Council Offices construction 14 January 2014
Cement pouring on the steel floors continues the construction.  
To see photos from the start go HERE

Latest From Wick & District Pool League
Wick and district Pool League
Graham Harper's Francis Street Club side are the only second division team left in Wick & District Pool League's Rockwater Shield as they knocked out first division side Seaforth Club on Monday Night. A great team performance helped them to a 12-5 aggregate win as they progress to the semi finals where they will me Lybster side Commercial. George Zindilis' Comm team had won their first leg tie against Mountain Dew 6-2 and didnt falter in the second leg as they went through 12-7 on aggregate.

Jobs - Vacancies - Full time - Part-time - FREE for Employers - FREE For Job Seekers
Job Seekers check each day - no sing in required.  Employers just join our forum free of charge and place as many ads as you want free of charge.  It works as we can tel from feedback from many local employers.  We remove ads after  a resonable time or on request or if you add a closing date when its past.  Keep costs down and use our FREE ads.

Public Thanked as 150 Reported With Drugs Supply Offences In Highland
Police highlight successful local operation to stem supply of controlled drugs across the Highlands and Islands. 2013 saw a successful local intelligence led operation targeting drug dealers operating in local communities, known as Operation Ram, resulting in the execution of 153 drugs warrants and the seizure of an assortment of Class A, B and C drugs along with cash and other items.

£30million Investment by Diageo at Clynlish Distillery in Brora
Clynelish Distillery at Brora gets £30million investment
Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business, has today announced plans for a £30million expansion of its Clynelish Distillery in Sutherland. In the latest major milestone in Diageo’s £1billion programme to increase Scotch whisky production, plans have been submitted to Highland Council for the major expansion of Diageo’s most northerly Scotch whisky distillery. The Clynelish expansion will take the on-going capital investment by Diageo in the Highland Council region alone to almost £150million, including major expansions at Glen Ord and Teaninich Distilleries and plans to build a new distillery at Alness.  Clynelish Photos

A golden toast for fifty years of parties                
Wick's 50th Annual Senior Citizens Treat50th Annual Party in Wick for senior citizenswicks 50th annual treat for senior citizens50th Annual Senior Citizens party50th annual party

WICK works weil and nowhere is the royal burgh’s motto more appropriate than in the annual treat it stages for its pensioners. Come, hail rain or shine the organising committee and its army of volunteers, backed by the community, always lay on a special night for its ain folk. This year’s bash was, of course even more memorable as the event was celebrating its golden anniversary at its regular venue, the Assembly Rooms. About 130 pensioners sat down to a meal in the hall suitably decorated for the occasion. Among the special guests were the Lord Lieutenant Anne Dunnett whose father Willie Dunnett was the town’s provost when Councillor Gibby Fraser – his wife Jean was present at 50th anniversary - mooted the treat for Wick’s elderly in 1964 as a boost in what is the flat month of January after the buzz of the festive season.   Photo Gallery    More Photos Added 7.45pm

Council presents results of third Highland Lifestyle Survey of young people
The Highland Council has conducted a survey for the third time that provides a snapshot of young people’s lifestyles in the Highlands. The biennial survey carried out in March 2013, included responses from over 7,700 pupils in their last year of primary school and second and fourth years of secondary school. The latest initial report presents findings that follow two earlier surveys carried out in 2011 and 2009. Similar to earlier 2011 results, overall the 2013 data supports the view that the great majority of children in the Highlands are happy, healthy and have good family and peer relationships.

New support for Highland parents
Members of The Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee have given their unanimous endorsement for a Highland Parent Support Framework. The framework report which received members’ approval today aims to support parents and families to enable them to give their children the best start in life. Included in the aims of the framework is an assurance that Highland families are offered information and advice that is appropriate to their needs, at the earliest opportunity.

Caithness women travelling 100 miles to give birth - Scotsman

Fit's in 'e Courier 'is Week
A fast look at the local mid-week Caithness newspaper by reporter Noel Donaldson.  See more items in his column in the forum.

Green Cash Back Available in Caithness
Green Cash Back
RDI in Thurso specialise in heating systems and are sending out the message to check if you qualify for the Scottish Government Cash back scheme before it ends.  The Green Homes Cash Back deal is funded by Scottish Government to offer you cash back on home improvements which increase energy efficiency.  Whether yur hme needs double glazing, under floor insulation or waste water heat recovery, yu can receive cash back of up to £1350, as long as measure are recommend under the Green Deal Assessment.
Planning go ahead for new Wick North Primary School
Plans for new Wick Primary School at North School site
Detailed plans for a new Primary School north of the river in Wick were given the go ahead by The Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee. The new school will be built on part of the existing playing fields serving the existing North Primary School on Girnigoe Street and will replace North Primary School and Hillhead Primary School. Work is expected to start after this Easter school holiday with the 330 pupils and 100 nursery pupils moving into their £14.1 million new school in August 2015.
New Wick High School Latest
Breakdown Of Subsea7 Pipes Bound For Wester Yard At Wick Today
Pipes bound for Subsea7 yard at Wester
TRAFFIC was reduced to single line at Wick's town centre today after the latest pipes load for Subsea7's fabrication yard at Wester, broke down. The trailer developed a fault in its hydraulic steering system as it negotiated the corner of Bridge Street-High Street. The cab driver managed to reverse the trailer into Bridge Street and there it remained parked, until a replacement part was fitted an hour-and-a-half later and the consignment got back on track.

Academy hit four-m as they get back on track
Wick Academy 4 Turriff United 1
Wick Academy  4 Turriff United  1  -  Reporter Noel Donaldson
WICK ACADEMY bounced back from their four defeats on-the-trot to get back on track with a emphatic 4-1 win over Turriff United at Harmsworth Park. A first-half barrage of three goals within 10 minutes put the points out of reach for the visitors - as was the Scorries' first goal. James Pickles outjumped the United defence, to open Academy's account with a well-taken header, Sam Mackay drilled home the second and Gary Weir used his head for the third.   PHOTO GALLERY

Introduction To Spanish - Starts 5 February
A ten week course to open the door to a new language at North Highland College.
Rolls Royce At Dounreay Have Begun Apprentice (Practical) Recruitment
If you are looking to start your career in engineering then get over to this ad in the Jobs section to apply.

Boxercise Class in Thurso
If you want to get fit again for this year you might want to check out Boxercise classes. DJ Wanted - No Experience Required - Passion For The Music - Waterfront Wick - Earn While You Play Facebook Pages Are Always Updating So Check Them Out And "Like" Us
If your orgnaisation has facebook page make sure you let us know to link on your page on for even more free publicity.

Caithness Astronomy Group Tonight
In conjunction with BBC Stargazing Live and the associated nationwide events, Caithness Astronomy Group will be holding an evening of astronomical activities including a stargazing session at this Dark Sky Discovery Site. See full details on attached poster.
Aurora Borealis May Be Visible Thursday and Friday Night - BBC
The chances of seeing the aurora borealis over Scotland during the next few nights are good, according to space weather forecasters. Activity on the Sun is expected to cause a geomagnetic storm, increasing the likelihood of the Northern Lights, the British Geological Survey said.

In Pictures: Caithness's Castle of Mey opens its doors for the first time to host The Herald magazine's shoot
Herald Fashion Shoot at Castle of Mey
Aristocracy and royalty (including the Queen Mother) once called the castle home, but it had never opened its doors to be utilised as a shoot location until very recently ­- when The Herald magazine secured a world exclusive to use its walled gardens and interiors as the backdrop to a round-up of Autumn/Winter 2014 looks.
Fashion: Eva Arrighi - Photography: Mark Mainz - Imaging: Damian Shields
Mey Castle On

New Year's Day Madcap Plunge – Been there Dunnet!
New Year Plunge for Memebrs of the church of Latter Day Saints At Dunnet Beach
Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints celebrated the New Year by taking a plunge into the waves at Dunnet Bay. Most simply ran in with swimsuits, but one fellow wore a full-length Santa suit. One of the younger participants, probably trying to understand why his feet went numb, explained that "the water wasn't too bad -- but the sand on the way back was freezing!"

Youths to be reported to the Reporter to the Children's Panel in connection with incidents in the Wick area
Following intensive inquiries three youths, aged 14, 14 and 15 years are to be reported to the Reporter to the Children's Panel following break-ins at the Highland Council yards at River Street, Wick and Albert Street, Wick and also JMS Express, Wick. The youths are also to be reported in relation to damage at Wick High School over the festive period. Four youths, three aged 14 years and one aged 15 years, are also to be reported to the Reporter to the Children's Panel along with a 28-year-old man who is to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal, following a number of dishonesties in the Wick area including the removal of three vehicles which were subsequently recovered.

Alex MacLeod sentenced for election expenses fraud - BBC
The 21-year-old former SNP Caithness Landward councillor has been ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid community work.

Experienced Hairstylist Required - Wick

Learn Something New At Evening Classes In Caithness
Evening Classes At North Highland College 2014
There are many reasons to attend evening classes from wanting to acquire new skills and potentially qualifications to social activities, meeting new people and satisfaction in improving your CV. Many people who attend evening classes go on to take other classes once they see that they enjoy the once or twice a week courses. The costs are low compared to many other activities that we undertake in our everyday lives. For just a few pounds a week the opportunity to have fun, do something interesting or new makes it worthwhile to invest just a small amount. North Highland College is offering a range of courses in 2014 for those who cannot attend day time courses.

All councils can learn from Highland power project failure
A scheme to provide heat and power to homes in Wick has landed The Highland Council with a final bill of £11.5 million.
Audit Scotland Podcast
Caithness Heat and Power 'an expensive lesson' - BBC ATM Skimming devices discovered in use within the Inverness area
Earlier today police in Inverness discovered Skimming devices fitted to two ATM card machines at two seperate locations in the city. The first device was fitted to an ATM at the Inverness Business & Retail Park, Eastfield Way. The second device was fitted to a ATM at the Telford Street Retail Park. Police are asking the public to be vigilant when using ATMs and if they notice anything suspicious to report this to their bank and their nearest Police Station on 101 immediately.

Education staff move from Rhind House, Wick

Latest Job Ads Today
Reid's Bakers Thurso Recruiting

Counter Assistants   Apprentice Baker  Baker/FullTime  Cleaner  Dispatch Worker  Accounts Administrator

Apple Pharmacy pushes ahead with Castletown chemist bid - BBC

Wick Academy FC Pre School Training Programme at the PPP starts Friday 10th Jan 2013

More Drink Drivers Caught In Last Week Of Campaign - Public thanked for information to catch offenders
Highland and Islands Police report an increase in drink drivers following the final week of national campaign. Police in the Highlands and Islands are reporting an increase in the number of people detected drink driving during the 2013 festive drink drive campaign compared to the 2012 campaign. During week 4 of the campaign, which ran from 07:00 hours on Friday 27 December to 07:00 hours of Friday 03 January 2014, eleven drivers were found to be over the drink drive limit and one driver was found to be driving whilst under the influence of drugs. Week four's det ections take the total number of drivers caught during the 4 week initiative in the Highland and Islands Division to 42 drink drivers and 3 drug drivers.

Wick & District Pool League - Week 8
Wick and District Pool League
The race for promotion from Wick & District Pool League's second division hotted up on Monday night as results now see's three teams in joint second place. Retro1 remain undefeated at the top of division two after a hard fought 8-4 victory over Mountain Dew, but with two promotion places up for grabs the big match saw second placed Crown2 host 3rd placed Camps1. Suzanne Carters Camps side got off to a great start leading 4-2 after the singles and 6-3 after the first set of doubles. The Crown lads battled back to reduce the deficit to 6-5, but Carter and David McGillivray won the final frame to secure a 7-5 win for Camps1. Retro2 continue to impress in their debut season and now join Crown2 and Camps1 on thirteen points after their 7-5 win against the Francis Street Club. The club side were leading 5-3 but a spirited comeback from Retro2 saw them reel off four frames in a row to take all three points.

Police Apprehend Three Youths In Connection With Wick High School Break-in
Police appeal for oninformation following break-in at Wick High School Overnight between Saturday 4 January 2014 and Sunday 5 January 2014, Police received a report of a break in at Wick High School. Following extensive inquiries, three youths will be reported to the Children's Reporter in relation to the incident. An amount of computer equipment remains outstanding and the Police are appealing for anyone with any information to contact them on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Free school meals and expansion of childcare add to package for young people
Families and young people across Scotland will benefit from millions of pounds of additional support after First Minister Alex Salmond announced a significant expansion of free school meals and childcare provision. As part of a £114 million package for young people over two years, every one of Scotland’s P1 to P3 children will have the option of a free meal in school from January next year, improving health and wellbeing, increasing attainment and saving families at least £330 a year for each child.

Greater rights for young people in care
All forms of care extended to the age of 21 with further support up to 26. Hundreds of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people are to be given greater rights to continuing their care placement into early adulthood from next year, the Scottish Government has announced. From April 2015, teenagers in residential, foster or kinship care who turn 16 will be entitled to remain looked after until the age of 21 under new provisions proposed for the Children and Young People Bill.

Caithness Horizons: Year of Ancient Ancestors Festival 2014
Ulbster Stone
Homecoming Scotland 2014 offers a year-long programme of events celebrating the very best of Scotland’s food and drink, our fantastic active and natural resources as well as our creativity, culture and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 will position Scotland on the international stage as a dynamic and creative nation. To celebrate and promote the unique Pictish and Norse heritage of the Far North of Scotland Caithness Horizons Museum in Thurso has received funding from Museums Galleries Scotland, The Robertson Trust and the Highland Council to develop a new Early Medieval Sculpture exhibition. The exhibition will be the centrepiece of the Museum’s Year of Ancient Ancestors Festival as part of the Scotland-wide Homecoming 2014 celebrations.

New Caithness distillery just the tonic for 2014
Roock Rose gin made in Caithness coming soon from Dunnet Bay Distillers
The creation of the most northerly distillery on mainland Britain is moving forward as work is due to begin at Dunnet in Caithness. Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd are building a new micro gin distillery, using botanicals which will showcase and promote the heritage and provenance of Caithness and the Highlands. Construction is due to begin in January. Husband and wife Martin and Claire Murray, who live in Dunnet, set up the company which aims to have the first gin samples ready by summer 2014 and begin distilling soon after.

Appeal for witnesses following an incident of vandalism at Wick High School
Police in Wick are appealing for any witnesses to an incident of vandalism which occurred on the premises of Wick High School, between 17:00 hours on Wednesday 1 January 2014 and 10:00 hours on Thursday 2 January 2014, whereby a number of windows were damaged. Police are linking this to a similar incident which also occurred at Wick High School on Saturday 28 December 2013. Police are keen to speak to anyone who has any information about the incident and would encourage them to contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
What's On At Caithness Horizons In January/February
See the latest on offer at Caithness Horizons.

A Walk Around West Gills, Thurso
Bishops Drive          Ola Drive                  Wolfburn Road        Palace Court
Bishops Drive, West Gills, Thurso, Caithness Ola Drive, West Gills, CaithnessWolfburn Road, West Gills, Thurso , CaithnessPalace Court, West Gills, Thurso, Caithness
For Sale 16 Ola Drive  22 Ola Drive  20A Bishops Drive  38 Bishops Drive
To see other Caithness streets and places go to  Thurso Street List   Wick Street List   A to Z Caithness

Northern Lights light up Caithness sky - Scotsman

Wind farm firm accused of attempt to sway planning bid with cash payments - Herald
A WIND farm developer has denied paying money to supporters as he defended hiring people to assess backing for a controversial project. Ministers refused Spittal Hill Wind Farm Ltd permission to build a 30-turbine wind farm in Caithness last year, but the company has now re-submitted plans for seven turbines near the village of Spittal.
Half Term Goalkeeping Camp - Get Great Coaching and Get Qualified
Goal Keeping Course February 2014 - Thurso
Youth Goalkeeping Camp If any Adults want to get coached, please email Geoff, details on the poster. Quote Thurso United FC for a 10% discount. Thurso United -
Monday 17th February 2014 - Wednesday 19th February
9.30am - 4.30pm

Sunday Walk Around Scrabster Harbour  - Sunny Day Before The Gales Began - 113 Photos
Scrabster Harbour 5 January 2014 Scrabster Harbour 5 January 2014Scrabster Harbour 5th January 2014Scrabster Harbour 5th January 2013Scrabster Harbour 5th January 2014

Fire Ackergill Tower, Wick
Early this morning police were called to an outbreak of fire at Ackergill Tower, Wick. Enquiries are at an early stage however it has been established the fire has been contained to a storage area and part of the main building. Police are treating this fire as suspicious and are appealing for anyone who has information regarding this fire or who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area to contact them on 101. Anonymous information can be provided to the police by contacting Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111
More Storm Photos At Wick Harbour From Noel Donaldson
Stormy Day at Wick Stormn at Wick Storm at Wick Storm at Wick

Fit's in 'e Groat 'e Day

Thurso High School to reopen on Monday 6 January
Thurso High School, which was damaged on Christmas Eve during a storm, is to reopen to all pupils and staff on Monday 6 January On 24 December a large section of the roof of the 802 pupil school was blown off during high winds. The school was closed for the Christmas holidays at the time and no one was injured but some damage was reported to private cars in the neighbouring area. After assessing the damage the Council’s Housing and Property staff appointed a contractor to carry out repairs to the roof over the holidays and today (Friday 3 January) it was announced that the school will be ready to open its doors on Monday morning.

Trinkie Near Wick Was Great Place for Sea Spray and Rainbows Today
Rainbow at Trinkie
Trinkie today

Blustery at Staxigoe

Very Windy At Wick Harbour
Wick Harbour 3 January 2014 Wick Harbour 3 January 2014

Trinkie Also Had a Bit of A Breeze Today

Wick Walk For New Year
Wick Walk for New Year 2014 Wick Walk for New Year

Work to start on gin distillery - Herald
Most northerly mainland distillery will be in Caithness making gin with local flavours.

Wick Set To See Many Changes In 2014
New Wick Children's Home Progress
New Wick Childrens Home New Wick Childrens Home
The new Children's home continues to build to schedule and our latest photo was taken yesterday 1st January 2014.  See from the start HERE

Other major projects in Wick that will give a huge boost to the area are -
New council offices in Wick
New Wick High School and combined Primary schools for Pulteneytown/South and Hillhead/North with works due to start in 2014. New community facilities including Library, Swimming Pool and Sports facilities. Wick is possible the only town in Scotland to have all of its schools renewed at the same time with Highland council looking to give Wick a major boost economically.  Looming on the orizon is the new Nuclear Archive Centre scheduled to open in 2016 near the airport. with ground being provided by Highland council bringing much needed new jobs.  And coming up fast are more developments at Wick Harbour with funding in place for Wick Harbour Trust to construct a new Heavy Lift Pad as one step in a process to make it ready for more energy projects coming to the north.  Wick is going to be very busy over the next two years.
Other Caithness Hogmanay Events
If you have more Hogmanay photos from any place in Caithness you would like to share just email them to to get them included in our photo galleries for posterity.

Hogmanay at Wick
first-footed their new Hogmanay party venue, and judging by the reception, voted it a worthy, albeit temporary, alternative to the Market Square site, unavailable because of construction work on the new council offices. The build-up to the town's biggest public event of the year, began around 11.15pm and the car park at the foot of Kirk Lane was packed to capacity for the bells. Thurso band Papa Duke and the piping hot Harvey brothers created the right atmosphere for the revellers many of whom came prepared with drams with which to toast the new year.

More Photos From Wick Hogmanay Streeet Party Now In
13 - 24                  25 - 36                         37 - 46
Wick Street Party Wick Street Party for HogmanayWick Street Party for Hogmanay

Hogmanay Street Party At Wick To Welcome 2014
Wick Street Party for Hogmanay to Welcome 2014hogmanay party at Wick to welcome 2014Hogmasnay at Wick to welcome 2014

Happy New Year To You All From
Another year gone and into a new year.  2013 certainly seemed to go by fast and now it's a new start.  We hope you all are enjoying the holiday and looking forward to the year ahead.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed items to the web site. We are always happy to hear from you about something new for the web site.  Keep sending in your items, photos and announcments.  Cheers and have great 2014.
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