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English For Speakers Of Other Languages - Informal  - All Levels
Open Day Thurso                     Classes In Wick
Thurso ESOL - Open DayEnglish for Speakers of Other Lnaguges - Classes every TuesdayFree English classes. Check it out and find out more.








Many a Mac maks a muckle - Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5
Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5 - 21st January 2017Wick Academy 1 Nairn County 5 - 21st January 2017
 WICK Academy's rich vein of success ran out on Saturday but few fans would have anticipated the result being a rout. County were worthy winners netting five times to Academy one, the club's worse defeat since 2014. Nairn's lowly position in the league table - thirteenth- make such the defeat even harder to bear. Wick seemed to have no answer to the incisive attacks of their opponents whose Mac. clan members were on song and it was only Stephen Anderson's second-half goal which avoided a whitewash. The Scorries, who looked far from the consistently dangerous side that took six league scalps on the trot, were rocked by Nairn's opener in 10 minutes, Jack MacLean delivering the first of his match double.       Photo Gallery
New Car Tax Rates From 1st April - You can save by buying before then
New Car Tax (VED) from 1 April 2017
From 1 April 2017, the UK's car tax system - also known as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) - is due to change. Will you end up paying more for your next car?  If you are seriously thinking about buying a new car in 2017 then perhaps you should check this out as you might save hundreds of pounds if you buy before the new rates for emissions apply. Check out the links in this item inside.


See The Challenges Of Balancing The Council Budget With The Budget Simulator
Now you can have a go at settting a cut down version of the Highland Council budget and see the consequences of your decidions at the end if you balance it.  There are no easy decisions in reducing budgets but all councillors have a duty to make it balance.  Have a go.................................................

Council Tax changes in 2017/2018
From 1 April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the basis on which properties are assessed for Council Tax and this will increase the charge for Council Tax properties that are banded E to H. The Highland Council has no discretion in this matter and must apply these increases to the Council Tax charges from 1 April 2017. Households living in properties in Bands A-D are not affected by these increases.
Clydedale Bank In Thurso To Close
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire banking group (CYBG) is closing 79 branches with the loss of 400 jobs.  The Thurso Branch will close on 23rd May 2017.

More Snow In Caithness Photos
Snow in Caithness 14 January 2017Snow in Wick
Thanks to Derek Bremner and Noel Donaldson for more snowy Caithness photos added to the gallery today.  You can share your snow pics by emailing them to bill@caithness.org




Winter Surfing At Thurso
The waves are still good in winter a can be seen in this short film from Ian Battrick over on the website Carve.  You can see the waves from inside captured on his board cam.

Snow In Caithness
Snow in Caithness
Plenty of snow in Caithness from last night.  A few photos from around March Road, Wick.  If you would like to share any more wintry photos email them to bill@caithness.org for inclusionin the section.



Potential Funding For Projects
Are you looking for support to fund a community project in Caithness? Highland LEADER Programme has funding of 497,080 to allocate to projects in the area, and will be hosting information sessions in Wick and Thurso on 24th & 25th January respectively.

Midwife-led baby unit at Wick by end of month - BBC
Preparations are being made to change the operation of maternity services at Caithness General in Wick earlier than previously planned. NHS Highland said a midwife-led community maternity unit (CMU) is to be in place at the hospital at the end of this month.    Announcement by NHS Highland
Making journeys easier for those in most need
Thistle Assistance Card
HITRANS, the regional transport partnership for the Highlands and Islands, has introduced a quick and easy way for those with a disability to get help when using public transport, particularly buses. They have widely circulated a new Thistle Assistance Card which the holder can use to advise the bus driver/public transport operator of any special help that is required.


Halkirk Ceilidh Dancers 11 January - Cancelled Due To Severe Weather Forecast

Met Office Forecast For Highland
Wednesday: Very windy, cold day with frequent showers. Showers turning increasing to snow on high ground, then to lower levels later. Gales, severe in places, with blizzard conditions on high ground.
Disrespect Or Prank
War Memorial Wick With Traffic Cone on top
THE war memorial in the royal burgh of Wick has been disrespected by vandals It would probably have taken two of them, one standing on the other's shoulders to reach the top of the statue's base and place the traffic cone on the top of the head. It will certainly require a ladder or a long pole to remove it. Does it echo the humour of Glasgow where the Equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington is frequently photographed with a traffic cone no matter how often it is removed.

A beginner’s guide to surfing in winter in Scotland
- Scotsman
While Thurso may be busier than other parts of Scotland, Christopherson suggests it's worth braving the crowds - which will be smaller in winter....................
Watten Hogmanay Party
Watten Hogmanay to welcome 2017Watten Hogmanay Party to welcome 2017Watten Hogmany Party to welcome 2017






River Wick Walk - 3 January 2017
Wick River Walk -3 Ja uary 2017WickRiver Walk - 3 January 2017







Beginners Running Groups  - Thurso and Wick
Beginners Running Groups

Starting Monday 9th January 2017. 6.00pm at Thurso Squash club or Wick Swimming Pool Cafe.







Hogmanay Party In Reay

Portland Arms Lybster Hogmanay Party

Hogmanay in Thurso Street Party
Celebrate Hogmanay in Thurso from 10pm to 1am with entertainment from local band Big Sky. We'll have a piper and watch the countdown to 2017!

Wick Hogmanay Web Cam Ready To Go
Get on othe web cam to see whats happening a the Hogmanay Street party in Wick

Speed Read Some Stories in 'e Groat
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and if you have time a fast run over 'e Courier

HAPPY - Hogmanay Bash At Wick
Hogmanay Wick 2016










Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas To Everyone From Caithness.org

Wick Academy 3 Clachnacudden 1
Wick Academy 3 Clach 1 - 10 December 2016
Reporter Noel Donaldson
BOTH sides were clearly up for it in the first half but neither team was able to beat their respective defences and keepers who were very much on their game. While it made for an entertaining first half, supporters could have been forgiven for starting to fear things might play out for a goal-less draw.. Not to be, though as was demonstrated in the second period and it was Academy who broke the deadlock. Sam Mackay was tripped on the edge of the box and curled a superb free kick round the wall which the keeper got a touch to but couldn't hold.     PHOTO GALLERY
Thurso Scout Post - Check It Out - Save Money and Help The Scouts Fund Raise
Scout Post Thurso
It's hard to believe it has come round again so quickly but its time to think about your Christmas cards! 2nd Thurso Scouts will be running their Community Scout Post again this year and post boxes are now out in their locations around the town and will remain open until Friday 17th December at Newsbeat on Princes Street, Frasers on Castlegreen Road, McColls in High Ormlie, the Co-op in Mount Pleasant and in Thurso Library and the Council offices in Rotterdam Street. It’s fantastic that local government and local businesses support this worthwhile event.
Darts - -The Flying Dutchman
The Flying Dutchman - DartsThursday - 7.30pm









Wick Fun Day 2016
Wick Fun Day 2016
The decorated umbrella parade turned the Market Square in Wick to a colourful display with many having lights on to brighten the evening.  Santa and helpers were around all afternoon as kids queued to see him in his hut.




Groat Headlines

CHAT Stall At Wick Fun Day Raises Great Amount For Fighting Fund

Paul Monaghan MP Joins In To Downgrade Caithness Maternity On Safety Grounds

CHAT  - Open Public Meeting Tonight Friday 25 November - 7.00pm
The maternity downgrading issue wilbe discussed at a public meeting tonight in Assembly Rooms, Wick. The meeting starts at 7.00pm. Items in the John O'Groat Journal today include front page articles, a report from CHAT secretary Nicola Sinclair and hard hitting editorial from the paper itself.

On Tuesday 29th November NHS Highland Board will discuss the item on the removal of obsyetricians from Caithness General hospital n safety grounds. As this is barely a week after the document proposing changes was made CHAT is calling for the decision to be dalayed by onlyone more boardmeeting to allow times to putin some suggestions to make sure safety issues can be covered and ensure that other apects of the proposal are looked at in depth.

NHS Highland board meeting on Tuesday next starts at 8.30am in Invernes and CHAT has arranged to take a 51 seater bus to Inverness to make representations. Anyone with an interest is invited the demonstartion to be held outside the boards offices. CHAT chairman councillor Bill Fernie said "We do not feel it is unreasonable to ask for a slight delay in the process to allow CHAT and the general public to put in views on the topic for services that have been running for 11 years since the last time it was felt necessary to go for a major change."
CHAT Will Lobby Councillors In Demo At Wick Town Hall - From 9.20am Tuesday 22 November
Protest intensifies following NHS Highland report on maternity services at Caithness General
Caithness Health Area Team - CHAT members and supporters will demonstrate outside Wick Town Hall when the Caithness Committee meets on Tuesday 22nd November 2016. The Caithness committee meeting starts at 10.30  Meeting is open to the public but may be restricted once seats are full. The group are asking anyone who can manage to gather at Wick Town Hall from 9.20am.
Public Vote on Cash For Local Groups In Caithness
Participatory Budgeting - Caithness votes
On Saturday 19th November members of the public voted on which groups who had applied for funds would be successful. The event was held at Puleteney Centre, Wick and once again the hall was full for the third event. This ws the third event heldusing money agreed by Caithness councillors to come from the discretionary fund for the public to decide on grants rather than councillors. This is part of an initiative in Highland to reconnect local people to decision making at a local level. 30,000 was up for allocation this time.

Funding for 3rd sector culture and leisure groups decided
Hats off to hat-trick man Sam -  
Wick Academy 3 Keith 1
Wick Academy 3 Keith 1 - 12 November 2016Reporter Noel Donaldson. 
A SECOND, consecutive match hat-trick from Sam Mackay secured all three points for the Scorries and was a further step forward in recovering their home form. Keith were no pushovers, however, and stuck to their task right to the final whistle. Academy playing towards the Harrowhill end goal, took the lead following a promising start, Sam Mackay slotting home from the spot after Davie Allan was upturned in the right side of the box. Academy came under pressure as Keith pressed for the equaliser and Luke Barbour levelled things before half-time with a simple tap-in from keeper Sean McCarthy's best efforts.  Photo Gallery

Remembrance At Wick
Remembrance Wick 2016






Caithness WASPI Meetings

Tickets For Elise Lyall School Of Dance Big Show Still Available
Elise Lyall School of Dance 'Time to Sparkle' Show still has tickets available depsite runours sayng theyare sold out.  They may be soon so get going to get yours for this great show .  18 and 19 November.

Thurso Rotary Fireworks Display
Fireworks Display Thurso






Caithness Volunteers enhance habitat for the Small Blue butterfly
Caithness Countryside Volunteers Help Smallblue habitat
Members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers turned out in force on Sunday (30 October 2016) to assist with a habitat enhancement project for a rare butterfly species in the Dunnet Bay area. Dunnet Bay is home to the most northerly colony of the Small Blue Butterfly whose caterpillars depend solely on kidney vetch as a food source. The volunteers concentrated on planting out kidney vetch in the dunes and Castlehill area where there are existing colonies. The volunteers also scraped back vegetation to open up areas of bare ground to encourage the natural colonisation of the kidney vetch plant. This event is part of a large project lead by the Caithness Biodiversity Group called "Small is Bluetiful".
Small Blue Butterfly at Dunnet






Rare geese return to Caithness for the winter
- Surfbirds

Caithness broch project is an example of community-led activism at its finest
- The National

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