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CHAT Team Visit To The New Balfour Hospital in Orkney
CHAT visit the new Balfour Hosptial in OrkneyCHAT visit to the new Balfour hospital in OrkneyCHAT visit new hospital in Orkney






Is It Crunch time For Parking Charges?
Parking Meeting At Highland council 24 October 2019
A special meeting of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee of Highland council has been called for Thursday 24th October 2019 at 10.30am in council chambers in Inverness. The only agenda item is 'Off Street' parking but as of today (Sunday 20 October 2019) the paper has still to be published on the web page. It is likely that parking charges would be referred to local councillors for decisions according to previous papers and the one produced for the Redesign Board on 1ST MAY 2018.




Wick Street Design - Get Along Or Do It Online but Do Put Your Ideas Forward
Wick Street Design
W
e have heard it for years "Why is no one doing anything about the centre of Wick"  Well now finally something is happening but first Sustrans who have been commissioned to come up with something want to hear from you.  Separate from that the newly formed Wick Development Trust will take a hard look at what comes out of any report..  And things are happening such as the council have agreed to resurface the riverside car park and make some other changes in that area.  The newly formed trust is in the process of getting its legal documents in order but first lets hear from as many people as possible in this survey as a first step.


Dunnet Bay Distillers Is Scottish Gin Distillery Of The Year At The Scottish Gin Awards 2019
Dunnet Bay Distillers - Gin of the Year 2019
The national awards programme which celebrates excellence in Scottish gin has revealed the names of the best gins made in Scotland this year, as part of its 3rd annual competition. The Scottish Gin Awards revealed the winners last night following a rigorous judging process involving 30 leading experts from across the UK, the assessment of 104 written entries and the blind tasting of 173 gins, all distilled in Scotland. The ultimate award, Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year, was presented to Caithness-based Dunnet Bay Distillers after phenomenal growth in demand for their Rock Rose Gins worldwide.
Blasting At Berriedale Braes - Change Of Date
CHANGE OF DATE) 8th and 15th October 2019 RJ McLeod (Contractors) Ltd has been progressing the construction of the road alignment works on the A9 at Berriedale Braes on behalf of Transport Scotland. Further to the previous notice, our recent blast on the 24th September was more successful than anticipated. This has resulted in the requirement to process significantly more rock than originally envisaged.

Time Running Out For Telephone Box Consultation 2019
Telephone box consultation 2019
The Highland council has been running a consultation about the removal of 110 telephone boxes in Highland. The last list showed there had been no objections for the removal of Caithness telephone boxes in Castletown, Halkirk and Latheron. The consultation closes - no later than 23:59 on 24/10/2019.

               Community Index

Taste North - The Food Festival At John O'Groats
Taste North 2019
Taste North 2019 - Sunday 6th October 2019 11am to 4.30pm
at Together Travel - John O'Groats. Taste North 2019 will feature many foodie and family activities throughout the day including chef's demonstrations, cocktail masterclasses and workshops. Our incredible guest of honour this year is Jean Christophe Novelli who will conduct a number of live cooking demonstrations and be charged with choosing the winner of the annual baking contest, the Taste North Challenge. Our Exhibitor's Market will offer everyone the opportunity to sample food from local eateries and producers, taste our local tipples and see an array of artisan crafts from right here in Caithness & Sutherland. For families there will be plenty of children's entertainment and various opportunities for them to get their hands sticky and learn where their food comes from.   Entry To The Festival is FREE but make sure you have your parking ticket if local for free parking otherwise its £2.
Could You Help Shape The Future Of Wick High Street?
Wick Street Design
Wickers are being given the chance to help transform their High Street into a more vibrant, accessible and a welcoming place for everyone to spend time in, as part of the Town Centre Regeneration. The Wick Street Design project is being delivered by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with The Highland Council, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and Local Councillors. Local residents, business and community groups are invited to drop in to the Highland Council Offices between 2:00 and 6:00pm on Thursday 17th October 2019 to find out more about the project. There will also be refreshments as well as child-friendly activities. There also will be an evening session between 7:00-9:00pm at the Pulteney Centre.
New Advice Service For Parents Carers and Children
Just Ask









innogy Launches Flexible Wind Farm Fund To Increase Employment Potential
Training Grants
· Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Education & Training Fund created to benefit local residents.
· £133,250 fund per annum now open for applications from residents and community groups.
Following extensive local consultation on the use of the renewables community fund associated with Bad á Cheò Wind Farm, innogy Renewables UK is delighted that local community councils have agreed to increase its flexibility by distributing the monies not only to community groups but also to individual residents for the purposes of increasing their employment potential. Now open for applications, the Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Community Fund, valued at £133,250 per annum and index linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI), will enable the funding of local community projects as well as bursaries to access training and education opportunities for individuals living within the community council areas of Latheron, Lybster & Clyth, Halkirk District and Watten.
Community Projects Benefit Over £80k In CNS Fund Latest Funding
Seven community projects are to benefit from over £80k of funding following the Caithness & North Sutherland Fund's latest grant awards. CNSFund Chairperson David Glass said "Our latest funding includes improvements to youth activities, community and recreational facilities as well as progressing an ambitious project to establish a major visitor attraction in Caithness. We are pleased to have received a good level of applications and we continue to encourage community groups to come forward with proposals that will enhance the Caithness & North Sutherland area."
Wick Indoor Market First Day Success
Wick Indoor Market 7 September 2019Wick Indoor Market
The First Saturday of the trial Indoor Market in the foyer of the Caithness Council offices in Wick was a great success.  Three more Saturdays will see a different variety of stalls.  The venture is part of the Wick's community council activities to try to increase footfall in the town centre.


Dounreay Apprentices Celebrate Completion Of Training Scheme
Dounreay Apprentices complete training
Seven Dounreay apprentices have received their indenture certificates at a special event to mark the successful conclusion of their 4-year training programme. The latest group ‘graduating' joined the company in 2015 - the 60th year apprentices had been part of the workforce at Dounreay and the first time in more than a decade that design office apprentices had been recruited.

A Life Time Of Adventures In Glass - Solo Exhibition By Denis Mann
Denis Mann solo exhibition until 4 October 2019Denis Mann Exhibition until 4 October 2019
Currently on at North Lands Creative in Lybster, Caithness " A Life Time of Adventures in Glass" a solo exhibition by renowned Caithness artist and craftsman, Denis Mann. This retrospective collection features highly regarded works spanning Denis' accomplished career. Denis joined Caithness Glass in 1970 where he worked for many years as an artist, designer and engraver. Today Denis works as an independent artist and engraver at his studio in Wick. Among Denis's many accolades, he is perhaps most acclaimed for his work designing and engraving the Master Mind Trophy.
Action and Adventure For Young People With Air Cadets In Caithness
Air Training
If you're a fan of aviation, action and adventure, love sports and getting to know people then you're in the right place. Every year nearly 56,000 air cadets and volunteer staff take part in exciting events all over the country. And with over 1,000 squadrons across the UK, you could be one of them.




A Warm Highland Welcome For Probationer Teachers
New Highland Probationer Teachers 2019
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.



Black Saturday Anniversary Flotilla of Boats At Wick Bay  - Photos
Black Saturday was, as reported at the time, a ‘fearful calamity'. In Wick Bay, alone, some 37 fishermen lost their lives, with countless more perishing around the coasts. Black Saturday, tragedy as it was, only accounts for a small proportion of the total numbers of seafarers lost to the sea along the Caithness coasts, over the decades. To recognise and remember all those seafarers who lost their lives, a Seafarers Memorial Group has been established with the aim of designing and erecting an appropriate memorial that will provide a lasting place of remembrance. 40 boats sailed out with the flotilla into Wick Bay where wreaths were laid.

Public Warned Of Algal Bloom Presence At Loch Watten, Caithness
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19). As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided. Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as have NHS Highland and SEPA.

Archaeology Dig to start at Iron Age site in Caithness
Swartigill
The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute,
in partnership with the Yarrows Heritage Trust, are preparing for a fourth season of excavation at the Burn of Swartigill in Thrumster, Caithness, Scotland. Previous seasons of excavation at the site have uncovered a complex of Iron Age structures, which are providing an important window into Iron Age society away from the monumental architecture of the Brochs.  The 2019 excavations commence on 19th of August and will continue until 8th of September. The site is located near Thrumster House, a few miles south of Wick......Tours are available and the archaeologists will be on site every day of the week between Monday 19th and Thursday 29th of August 2019. The excavation will then continue from Tuesday 3rd of September until Sunday 8th of September 2019. Volunteers are welcome and you don't need any archaeological experience to take part. Contact studyarchaeology@uhi.ac.uk for more information or arrive on the day!
Black Saturday Anniversary Flotilla of Boats At Wick Bay
Black Saturday
Black Saturday
was, as reported at the time, a ‘fearful calamity'. In Wick Bay, alone, some 37 fishermen lost their lives, with countless more perishing around the coasts. Black Saturday, tragedy as it was, only accounts for a small proportion of the total numbers of seafarers lost to the sea along the Caithness coasts, over the decades. To recognise and remember all those seafarers who lost their lives, a Seafarers Memorial Group has been established with the aim of designing and erecting an appropriate memorial that will provide a lasting place of remembrance. Black Saturday, so named, happened on the morning of Saturday 19th August 1848 when the scale of the tragedy became obvious. The boats left as usual on the Friday afternoon but by the evening, the beginnings of a colossal storm became evident. Many of the boats began to head for home but in the early hours of the morning the severity of the storm caused boats to crash against each other as they tried to gain the mouth of the harbour. By way of remembrance of those lost during Black Saturday, and the many more seafarers lost over the years, the Seafarers Memorial Group, along with others, have organised a commemorative wreath laying ceremony on Sunday 18th August 2019. From 2pm on Sunday 18th August 2019 a flotilla of boats, led by the Isabella Fortuna will leave Wick Harbour and assemble in Wick Bay where a wreath will be laid in the waves.
UNIQUE STEAM DRIFTER LOTTIE 'SAILS' HOME TO WICK
Lottie Steam Drifter WK15 model givn to Wick Heritage Museum
An unique ship from the 'golden era' of Wick's herring catching and food-processing industries has 'sailed back' to her home-port, over 70 years since she ceased having a prominent role at Wick Harbour. A fine model of the Wick steam drifter Lottie (WK 15) has been bequeathed to The Wick Society by the family of late Mr Jack Slorach, who served for decades at the school dentist for the county of Sutherland. Lottie is unique in being the only stream drifter built at Wick that went on to spend her entire 40-year career based at the Caithness port. Mr Slorach was a keen collector of model ships and other antiques at his home in Golspie.
Wick Players Invite You To A Script Reading Of Aladdin To Pick The Cast of Aladdin
wick Players invite adults and children to a scipt reading for Aladdin
Christmas is coming and preparations are already getting underway at Wick Players for this years pantomime.  If you would like to take part then go along to the Clubrooms in Moray Street,Wick on 20th August at 7.00pm.





Wind Farms and Other Community Funders in Caithness Listings
Recently we have been building a listing of communcity grant funders available to Caithness organisations.  Just added are the Achlachan Wind Farm Fund and the Achlachan Mini Fund.  The funders all have different criteria and boundary areas but at least you can now quickly find the web sites for all the information and application forms all in one place.  If anyone know of other funders not yet in our listing please send details to bill@caithness.org to add to the listing.
Mey Highland Games Secures Major Sponsorship Deal With Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
The Mey Highland Games has agreed received a major sponsorship package totalling £15k with from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), the executive non-departmental public body responsible for the safe clean-up of the UK's earliest nuclear sites. NDA is a major contributor to the economy of Caithness, which is home to Dounreay, and Mey Highland Games is the latest local organisation to benefit from NDA support.
Mey Games at John O'Groats Saturday 3rd August 2019 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Wick Gala 2019 - Children's Fancy Dress
Wick Gala 2019 - Children's Fancy DressWick Gala 2019 - Children's Fancy DressWick Gala 2019 - Childrens Fancy DressWick Gala 2019 - Children's Fancy DressWick Gala 2019 - Children's Fancy Dress







New Funding Opportunities in the Community Pages

John O'Groat Mill Trust Wins £1,000 Movement For Good award
The John O'Groats Mill Trust has won a £1,000 Movement for Good award thanks to nominations from the public. The John O'Groats Mill Trust was nominated to win a £1,000 boost as part of specialist insurer Ecclesiastical's Movement for Good awards , which is giving £1million to charities this summer. Members of the public were invited to nominate causes close to their hearts, with 500 gifts of £1,000 available for donation. The John O'Groats Mill Trust was one more than 7,000 charities which were nominated by an amazing 98,000 members of the public to be in for a chance to win a financial boost.

Another Batch of Wick Gala 2019 Photos Thanks To Alistair Sinclair
Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019







We are happy to add any other photos if you would like to add to the gallery.  
Just email them to bill@caithness.org
Halkirk Highland Games 2019
Halkirk Highland Games 2019Halkirk Highland Games 2019Halkirk Highalnd Games 2019Halkirk Highland Games 2019Halkirk highland Games 2019 - Baby Show winner







Wick Gala 2019  - 400 Photos
Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019Wick Gala 2019






Rare Bird In Caithness - Pink or Rose Coloured Starling
Rose Colured Starling - Rae Bird visits Caithness 25 July 2019
Spotted by crofters Stephen and Susan Cox on Thursday 25th July 2019 was a rare visitor to Roster in Caithness. "A pink starling aka the Rosy Coloured Starling is staying on our croft."






Living Well Event - Book Now 
Living Well Event 11 September 2019 at Nucleus, Wick
11 September 2019 - The Nucleus, Wick
If you are living with any long term condition in the Highland area this event is for YOU! Specialist talks on Self Management, Living with Fatigue, Pain Management and Hope will be available via video link to all venues. Exhibitors at each venue will offer you the opportunity to find out more about local services.




Looking Back - Caithness.org July 2009   Wick Gala 2003   July 2005   Thurso Gala 2003   County Show 2003
Caithness Folk Oil Photos 2005 -
Can any of you send recent oil related photos to show where you work in the world.

WHOOPS XXIII
Whoops
A great chance to see what the junior Thurso  Players havebeen learning at the workshops in recent months.








The McDonald Collection - Wick photo exhibition
Janet Mcdoanld photo exhibition Wed 31st July 2019
HUNDREDS of photographs of Wick life spanning more than half a century are to go on show during the town's gala week. They will form an exhibition called The McDonald Collection being held at the St Fergus Church Hall for one day only on Wednesday, 31st July 2019. On display will be more than 450 prints from the archives of McDonald Photographers, the family business in Shore Lane run for many years by Janet McDonald and her late husband Ian. There will be a mix of black-and-white and colour photographs taken at community events, special occasions and other assignments covered by the McDonalds in Wick and district from around 1950 until the early 2000s.


Sunday Family Fun Day Events 28th July
Spoilt for choice with two family fun events   Dunnet Bay     Rumster Forest     So get the kids out for the day.

Adaptive athletes aiming to smash world records at Mey Highland Games
Mey Highland Games 3 August 2019
FOLLOWING last year's new World Records, athletes from around the world are preparing to raise the bar even higher. In 2018 Mey Highland Games became Scotland's first ever Para Highland Games. Athletes from Help for Heroes, Uncle Sam's Highlanders and Lothian Disability Sport attending the 2019 Games. Pioneering Games secures support of the Duke of Windsor's Invictus Foundation. Competitors from around the world are in training to attend the Mey Highland Games 2019, including adaptive athletes from across the UK, the United States and Australia.
SATURDAY 3rd AUGUST 2019  10.00AM - 4.00PM

Caithness County Show 2019 - Saturday Photos Start HERE
Caithness County Show 2019
Hundreds of photos now added to the gallery including mosot of the days happenings - horses, clydesdales, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, children's races, people, champions parade, vintage tractors parade, sheaf tossing, dog show, and many many more around the show today.



Caithness County Show 2019 - Friday Photos 
Caithness County Show 2019Caithness County show 2019







Caithness County Show 2019 - Friday Evening and All Day Saturday
Caithness County show Friday 19th and Saturday 20th July 2019
Another great county show in store for the weekend at Riverside, Wick.  The weather forecast is for light showers but not until after 4.00pm.  Possibilty of a light shower before 10.00am so we have a 6 hour window when hoepfully things should be fine.  But hey this is Caithness and we all know all weather is possible at any time.  It never rains on the golf course or the county show - you just go and enjoy it.  See you all there.





Can You Afford To Build Your Own Home?  
Articls Two in series by Peter Body showing how you can build your own housePeter Body of Thermohaus sets out the finance
This is the second article in a series to help anyone thinking of building their own house by seting out the basics, the finance and much more to show how anyone can do it with the right advice. Before you begin planning your new home it is imperative you set a budget. And, as your build progresses, you must monitor the spend to ensure you stay within budget. We've all seen the TV self-build programmes such Grand Designs and the mess some self-builders get themselves into.
The first article published recently was -
Building Your Own Home Is Easier Than You May Think

Community Fund Awards Over £70k To Support Leisure Activities!
Caithness and North Sutherland Fund 2019 awards for Leisure Activities
The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund has committed over £70k to six community projects in its latest round of grant awards. CNSFund Chairperson David Glass said "This latest investment supports improvements to recreational amenities and events in Caithness & North Sutherland, helping to ensure that people living and visiting our area can enjoy a high standard of leisure activities. All of these projects are overseen by volunteers who work hard to improve the quality of life for our communities and we are pleased to support them in achieving their plans."
Thurso Heritage Society Talk - A Top Detective Came From Thurso
Swanson - top detective came from Thurso
Thurso Heritage Society will host an illustrated talk and book signing with the guest speaker, author Adam Wood at the Royal British Legion, 7:30 pm Friday 19th July 2019 with a book signing, 10 am - 1 pm Saturday 20th July at Thurso Library. The book, is the first biography about Thurso born, Donald Swanson who would begin life in humble beginnings. He left the far north of Scotland for London in 1867 and became the top detective in the country in charge of the C. I. D. (Criminal Investigation Department)



Green Road Playpark, Wick Refurbished By Volunteers
Green Road Playpark Reopens after Volunteers put in hard workGreen Road Playpark reopensGreen road Playpark reopensGreen road Playpark reopens
A group of about a dozen volunteers have done a huge amount of work on refurbishing the playpark equipment at Green Road, Wick. Old equipment was repaired and everything got a lick of paint. Some new items that had been languishing in a council store were built up and installed. On big basket swing even had some part made by a 3D printer when they could not source spares from the manufacturers as they no longer had that line. The high school made the parts and you can see them in white in the photo as all the other parts are black. New goalposts have been obtained and installed and the pitch lined. Funds raised from various sources and more is yet to come as the group shortly hope to install a zip slide also sitting in a council store. Local contractors have pitched and the council workmen offered advice on safety and how to do a few things. Well done to all concerned as this really was a community project with a great result. There was plenty to see and do for kids including Face painting and goal scoring skills against Wick Academy goal keeper.    Friends of Green Road Playpark FACEBOOK
Canisbay Show 2019
Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019






Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019Canisbay Show 2019






Earlier Years Canisbay Shows HERE
Great News - Fiends of Green Park Road, Wick Have Successfully Refurbished all the Play Park Equipment
To celebrate they are having a Fun Day on Sunday 7th July 12:00 - 2:00.
External Force Asked To Review Death Of Kevin Mcleod
Police Scotland has asked for an independent review into the death of a man whose body was recovered from Wick Harbour more than 20 years ago. Senior representatives of Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service met with the family of Kevin Mcleod earlier today to inform them that, following consultation with the Lord Advocate, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has requested Merseyside Police carry out a detailed review of the case under the direction of the Crown. The initial investigation into Mr Mcleod's death in 1997 by Northern Constabulary will be reviewed, along with all further inquiries carried out by Police Scotland since its formation in 2013. Mr Mcleod, an electrician, was last seen in the early hours of February 8, 1997, as he enjoyed a night out with friends in the Caithness town. His body was recovered from the sea the following day.

Lyth Summer Exhibition Launch  - Saturday 6th July 4.00 - 8.00pm
Lyth Arts - Summer Exhibition
Join us for the opening of our Summer Exhibition Mountains Underwater: Stroma.

The exhibition also features work by local artists, film and audio recordings of Stroma histories, island artefacts and extracts of recent UHI research conducted on the island. Join us from 4pm for a first look and a celebratory drink at the opening of this exciting new exhibition.

All welcome


Highlands and Islands MSP raises concerns about cancelled operations
Cancelled Operations
Operations had to be cancelled across NHS Highland because hospitals simply could not cope, new figures reveal. Data published by ISD Scotland shows that 45 operations were cancelled in May 2019 due to non-clinical reasons such as not having enough staff or unclean equipment.




Canisbay Show - Saturday 6 July 2019
Lots on this year ,

LeisureLink Partners added in time for Summer - More With Your Highlife Card
Leisure Link with Highlife Highland
Just in time for the school holidays LiveBorders has joined the LeisureLink partnership to provide access for highlife leisure members holidaying in the Borders this summer, and adding another eight leisure centres to the partnership. This means that highlife members can now enjoy gym and swim at leisure facilities when on holiday in the Borders, Western Isles, Argyll and Bute, Orkney and Moray for free as part of their existing membership.
   
Sports Index
Summer Holidays Childrens Events With The Rangers 2nd July 2019
Rangers Summer Events For Children
Ranger events for children in the summer holidays



For a full list of ranger events for adults and kids see HERE





A Short Walk On Thurso River At Halkirk
Walk on Thurso River At HalkirkWalk along Thurso River at HalkirkWalk Along Thurso River at HalkirkThurso River Walk at Halkirk






Building Your Own Home Is Easier Than You May Think!
Building Your Own House is easier than you think. A series of articles begins today from Peter Body
Today we begin a series of articles written by Peter Body of Thermohaus Ltd , a Caithness based timber frame kit home company. Why Self-Build? For decades the British have bought new homes as standard speculatively built products from national and regional house builders. In most cases you must take what the builder offers, meaning there is always compromise. Add to this the high value of land and developers' obligations to their shareholders and the buyer has generally got a poor deal. Self-build is a credible and viable alternative.
         Self-build expert in Caithness launches new eco home concept

Subsea7 Donate £1000 To Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT)
Subsea7 donate £1000 to Caithness Health Action Team - CHAT
Mikie Aitken , Quality Control Inspector for Subsea7 Wester Site, recently won a thousand pounds for a safety award while working on the Equinor Snorre project to be given to a charity of his choice. He chose to donate to Caithness Health Action Team 100mile helper kits which are given to Caithness General Hospital , Community Maternity Unit who give the kits to local women that have to be quickly transferred to Raigmore maternity hospital in an emergency situation. The kit has essentials a mother needs such as sanitary products, toiletries, water, energy bars, head rest, key for the disabled toilet, baby blanket and nappies.


Mount Pleasant Primary School - Public Meeting Regarding Creation Of Gaelic Medium Area
A public meeting will be held at Mount Pleasant Primary School on Tuesday 25 June 2019 starting at 7.30pm, to discuss the creation of a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Mount Pleasant Primary.   Community Index

Wick Harbour Day 2019
Wick Harbour Day 2019Wick Harbour Day 2019 - Boxing ClubWick Harbour Day 2019Wick Harbour Day 2019Wick Harbour Day 2019







Halkirk Gala 2019  - Floats, Crowning, Children's Fancy Dress
Halkirk Gala 2019Halkirk Gala 2019Halkirk Gala 2019Halkirk Gala 2019Halkirk Gala 2019






Obituary on Jimmy Simpson, Laird of Stroma Born 5 April 1928 Died 2nd June 2019
Jimmy Simpson obituaryborn 5 April 1928 Died 2nd June 2019
Jimmy Simpson, the Laird of Stroma, died at the age of 91 on June 2nd, 2019 at the Town & County Hospital, in Wick, Caithness, after a lengthy illness. Mr Simpson, who was born at the fourth of a family of six in Stroma Mains Farm, had owned the now uninhabited island in the middle of the Pentland Firth since 1961. He operated its near-one thousand usually wind-swept acres as a sheep-farm, servicing the two miles long by one mile broad island it with workboats based on little piers & harbours on the North Caithness coast. Jimmy became best-known to visitors as the genial Stroma boatman, ferrying hundreds of visitors each summer to the isle just off John O'Groats.
Budding Engineers Crowdfunding to To Increase Children's Access to 3D Design and Architecture
Budding engineers crowd funding campaign
Budding engineers are currently in the process of trying to raise enough money through crowdfunding for a 3D Community printer here in Caithness. In addition we are also looking to purchase several Architectural Modelling Kits to introduce into Primary Education, some of these are available for children as young as 4 years.


North Highland College No Plans Yet In Place To Deal With Serious Financial Problems
Audit Scotland report into Scotland's Colleges showing financial problems
Colleges' financial challenges increase.
The Audit Scotland report published today (4th June 2019) shows North Highland college is only one of several colleges not to have any financial plan in place to deal with a growing deficit. The auditor highlighted the need for more detailed interaction between the college and UHI as savings plans are developed. The college has once began a curriculum review, with a view to achieving savings for the 2019-20 budget. However, the college anticipates that it may require financial support from UHI, in the form of cash advances, for 2019-20. The college has loans of £1.3 million and in 2017-18 relied on waivers from its bank to avoid breaching loan covenants. The college has previously required cash advances from its regional body, the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). It is forecasting a cumulative underlying deficit of £2.5 million by 2022-23.
Have You Got The Skills To Assist The Caithness Broch Project Reach Its Goals
Volunteers with project and contract management skills and enthusiasm to join management committee of the Caithness Broch Project.
The Project Aims
Proposal To Establish A Gaelic Medium Catchment Area For Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso
Moladh Sgìre-Sgoile airson Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig a Stèidheachadh airson Bun-Sgoil Mount Pleasant

Highland Council is to seek the views of local communities on a proposal to establish a Gaelic Medium catchment area for Mount Pleasant Primary School. The change is being proposed in line with Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Medium Education.
Tha Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd gus beachdan choimhearsnachdan ionadail a shireadh mu mholadh gus sgìre-sgoile airson Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig a stèidheachadh airson Bun-Sgoil Mount Pleasant. Thathar a' moladh an atharrachaidh a rèir Stiùireadh Reachdail air Foghlam tron Ghàidhlig.

Wick Town Centre Getting A Huge Clean Up
big clean up for Wick town centre underway
Wick town centre is set to sparkle following a deep clean of the High Street area. The deep clean started on Monday morning and will be completed on Friday 31st May 2019. There are 5 staff involved daily in the cleansing operation, which is essentially a pressure wash which includes a detergent being fed through the tank of a mechanical street sweeping vehicle. Litter collection takes place daily anyway, so the deep clean will focus on the cleansing of pedestrian areas. The aim is to clean and remove any stains such as residual marks caused by liquid spillage and the clean will also remove any existing bird mess. Community groups and members of the public are warmly invited to attend a town centre regeneration meeting on Monday 10 June at 7.30pm in the Mackays Hotel.

Highland Council Rescue Plan For Caithness Horizons Approved
Caithness Horizons to reopen after council rexcue plan approved
Re- opening on the horizon for Caithness. Highland Council's Care Learning and Housing Committee today agreed a package of revenue and capital funding which is a major milestone towards the re-opening of Caithness Horizons, Thurso. The Council agreed to commit revenue funding of £75k p.a. for 3 years, and capital funding of up to £204k to allow the most immediate building works to be addressed over the coming months.   The plan includes a contract with Highlife Highland the successful arms length organisation that already runs a range of leisure services for the council across Highland.

The Highland Council Apprentice Mechanics Class Of 2016-2019
Apprentice Mechanics with Highland council
Apprentices Mechanics excel with Moray Firth Training. Seven of our apprentices studying with Moray Firth Training have reached the end of their third year in style! The team have taken 11 exams each over the last 2 years with 79 distinctions (over 80%), 9 merits and 3 passes in total between them. Scott Matheson and Alick Elrick achieved 11 distinctions, with Elliot Geddes, Jon Hutchison and Gregor Rose all getting 10 distinctions.


Highland on track to meet ELC expansion requirements by 2020
The national expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) hours will see entitlement for three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds increased from 600 to 1,140 hours per year from August 2020. Every setting in Highland is being considered and assessed in preparation for full roll out in August 2020. The funding from the Scottish Government means that we are able to adopt a phased approach with approximately 70 sites already identified to move to 1140 hours from August 2019, with further sites expected to be identified into January 2020 before the statutory requirement in August 2020.
Local Entrepreneur Peter Body Starts New Caithness Business With A National Outlook
thermohause new companyPeter Body starts new company to build eco homes - thermohaus
Peter Body, one of the most successful business people in Caithness has launched another new company.  Thermohaus aims to make it easier for people to get the home they want using eco principles but with modern design. The Thermohaus design concept comprises just five primary building blocks. Two different height accommodation blocks, two roof forms and a link/porch unit. Together they may be arranged in a multitude of different formations to provide maximum design flexibility. The accommodation blocks do not require internal load-bearing walls meaning the internal layout is also very flexible and ideal for open plan living. Whilst Thermohaus recommend separate blocks for living and sleeping, customers may have the layout which suits them best.  The new business has launched a web site and Facebook page and will also have a stand at Homebuilding and Rennovation show on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June 2019 SEC, Exhibition Way, Glasgow.
A Walk Around Thurso On A Dreich Day
Walk Round Thurso May 2019Walk Thurso May 2019Walk Thurso May 2019
Yesterday was a kind of damp drizzly day but not wet enough to stop going for a wander around Thurso.
An earlier walk September 2017 was a much brighter day.
   Thurso Streets Index          A to Z Index



Pentland Music In Thurso Offering Lessons To Pupils Anywhere Online
Pentland Music Shop - Lessons for everyonePentland Music
Pentland Music Shop in Thurso has branched out to offer online music lessons.  With a growing number of people keen to learn to play but unable to reach a music teacher the numbers are expanding who get lessons from a distance.  The popularity of the Ukulele has been building and the shop has a great stock of instruments.  Lessons are offered on several other insturments and you can buy one or get advice.  So if you are wanting guitar, ukulele, fiddle, accordion, or keyboard lessons then check out Pentland Music.  Distance is now no barrier to learning to play an instrument in Thurso or any place.

Another Miller Academy Photo from 1962
Miller Academy 1962 sent by Jim ChristieJim Christie has sent in this latest photo of his class from 1962 at Miller Academy.  We have many of the photos from that centernary year already on the site and thought wehad gotten them all but you never know.  If anyone has a listof names please send them in to bill@caithness.org
The school photo section has not had new items for some time but if you have an old class photo you would like to share then send it to bill@caithness.org
  Miller Acadmy School Photos Index       Other Caithness Schools Early Class Photos Index

Wick Councillors Announce Follow-up Meetings In Town Centre Regeneration Plan
Plans for a town centre regeneration in Wick have taken another step forward with the announcement of two further stakeholder meetings. On Tuesday 28 May2019, town centre retailers are invited to join Ward 3 councillors and Highland Council officers for a workshop exploring some of the key themes identified during the first round of engagement, which took place on 16 May.
Meanwhile, councillors have also set a date for a meeting with wider stakeholders and the general public. This meeting has been set for Monday 10 June at 7.30pm in the Mackays Hotel. It will provide an opportunity for councillors to share their draft regeneration plans while seeking views, feedback and ideas from the community.
McIvor and Allen Wood Chip Carvers of Castletown Exhibition
McIvor and Allen wood chip carvers exhibitionMcIvor and Allen Wood Chip Carvers of Castletown 1890 - 1955 ExhibitionMcIvor and Allen Wood Chip Carvers of Castletown ExhibitionMcIvor andAllen wood Chip Carvers of Castletown ExhibitionMcIvor and Allen Wood Chip Carvers of Castletown Exhibition







The exhibition is now on at Castletown Heritage Centre, Harbour road, Castlehill, Castletown.
A short history of chip carving in Castletown by James Dunster.
Photos from the 2001 exhibition can be seen HERE

Castletown Heritage Society           Castlehill Heritage Centre opened in Novermber 2007
US and UK complete project to remove highly enriched uranium from Dounreay
End of Uraniaum removal from UK to USA
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have completed the transfer of around 700kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Dounreay, in the north of Scotland, to the US. The HEU transfer, from Dounreay to the United States, was announced by the UK Government as part of its commitment to the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington DC.



Olrig House Castletown - Bluebell walks
Olrig House Bluebell Walks
Enjoy a walking tour with the Head Gardener, Graham around the grounds of Olrig House, see the stunning bluebells and learn about some of the history and stories related to Olrig. Tours will run throughout May on Friday and Saturday at the following times. 10.30am and 12noon.






Help Find Missing Tabby Cat From Keiss
Tabby Cat Missing from Keiss
Recently moved to Keiss and this tabby has gone missing.  If you see it get in touch.  Name and phone number inside.

   Cat Came Home.








The Flow Country - Peatland Partnership's World Heritage Site's Project Open Days
Flow Country World Heritage site Bid Open Days
The Peatlands Partnership is announcing the start of an extensive community consultation over a proposed World Heritage Site for The Flow Country, the vast area of peatlands in Sutherland and Caithness that is now widely recognised as being the best peatland of its type in the world. Joe Perry, the Peatland Partnership's World Heritage Site's Project Coordinator said: "A Flow Country World Heritage Site would not only be an enormous accolade for the area and the many organisations, land managers, crofters and farmers who have maintained this land for generations but it could also bring many positive development opportunities and undoubtedly some challenges too.

Glamping, Distilling And Farm Fitness - A New Guide For Farming Diversification
Farm Divesification ideas from SRUC
Glamping, distilling, adventure tourism and even outdoor farm fitness are among the novel opportunities open to rural businesses looking for "diversification inspiration". A new guide created by Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) as part of its Rural Brexit Hub highlights successful examples from around the UK and includes advice on how to get new projects off the ground.
Guide author Calum Johnston says that, with current Brexit uncertainty and the onset of reductions in farm subsidy payments after 2021, diversification will become increasingly important for farmers and rural businesses to ensure long-term sustainability.

Labour Party Visit To Caithness Hears About Third Sector and Health Issues From CHAT
Labour Lead richard Leonard MSP and Rhoda Grant MSP with Labour Team meet CHAT
A visit of the Labour Party Leader in Scotland Richard Leonard MSP accompanied by Rhoda Grant MSP heard from the third sector and Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) about problems arising to the community from changes to health provision and wide range of topics. Roger Saxon the local Labour party organiser and Alan Tait from Caithness Voluntary Group facilitated the meeting at the Pulteney Centre in Wick. Bill Fernie CHAT chairman and Ron Gunn, CHAR vice-chairman set out some of the problems for people in the county in respect of health issues while Catherine Patterson spoke about Befrienders and the need for assistance.


BT offers communities the chance to ‘adopt' their local phone box for just £1
Adopt A Telephone box in your community
BT is offering communities across Scotland the opportunity to adopt their local phone box for just £1 to turn them into something inspirational for their local area. More than 740 traditional red boxes are available for adoption across Scotland and BT will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in more modern kiosks. BT is encouraging community groups to seize the opportunity to do something wonderful with phone boxes that have little or no usage. Already, more than 370 payphones have been adopted by communities in Scotland since 2008.
   
      Photos of Telephone Boxes in Caithness  - Some  Now Gone
Caithness Health Action Team Raised The Huge Mileages By Caithness Patients Going to Raigmore
Press and Journal Today Saturday 27th April 2019
Press and Journal 27th april 2019 - mileage by Caithness patients to Raigmore Hospital in InvernessPress and Journal breakdown of mileages travelled
Bill Fernie Chairman of Caithness Health Action Team (CHAT) at the Annual NHS Highland review 25 April 2019 open to the public asked the top table of Jeane Freeman MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, recently appointed chief executive Iain Stewart and chairman Boyd Robertson of NHS Highland if they were aware of how changes over the years had increased patient travel to Riagmore to very high levels. A rough calculation showed it was in excess of 3 million miles each year now creating hardship for some families and huge inconvenience compared to to a time when more clinics were held in Caithness.
Story in Press and Journal 27 April on mileage piles up by patients form Caithness to Raigmore

Editorial in Press and Journal 27 April 2019 on the huge travel from Caithness to Raigmore

Caithness Health Action Team Facebook Page for comments on this situation.

Community Index

Thurso's Got Talent  - Entries Now Being Accepted
Thurso's Got Talent
Join us for an evening of entertainment from Thurso's finest talent! We're hosting Thurso's Got Talent as a fundraiser for our Trust. We're a grass roots, not for profit organisation which works on behalf of the residents and businesses in the town in the hope to develop and improve the place we call home. We're a registered charity and all funds raised help us progress with our projects and continue the work we've started since we formed in January 2018. We believe Thurso is home to fantastic people, businesses and talent so, how could we not organise a talent show?

Wick Players Announcments For Kids And Panto Dates
Wick Players Open Evenings
Open evenings for juniors being held by Wick Players on Monday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. These evenings will begin on(Monday 22nd April 2019). Children must be 12 years or over.

Note - These are two separate events.  The open evenings are not related directly to the panto.




Wick Businesses Talk With Councillors About How To Improve The Town Centre
East Caithness councillors meet business owners to discuss the town centre
Wick Town Hall packed as businesses and councillors gather to discuss ambitious town centre regeneration vision. More than 50 retailers and business owners attend presentation and discussion session in Wick Town Hall, hosted by all four ward councillors. Councillors unveil three-part draft strategy to tackle derelict buildings, deliver flagship development, improve built environment.

Green Health Week 22nd-29th April 2019 with NHS Highland - Photo Competition With Moray Firth Radio
Photo competiton for Green Health Weel 22 -29 April 2019
Things are gearing up for Green Health Week. Moray Firth Radio will be running a radio campaign starting on the 22nd April so listen out for it! Either side of that MFR are running a photography competition. It will run for 4 weeks and is hosted on the MFR webpage.  MFR have a few suggestion and ideas for outdoor places to go.  So get cracking with some Caithness places and enter the competiton. Anyone can enter by sending a photo online a favourite outdoor space for 4 weeks.
Francis Street Bowlers, Wick Supports 3 Local Groups
Rosebank Bowling Club donates to three Wick Groups
On Saturday 13th April 2019 Francis Street Bowlers made three generous donation to local groups. A day spent playing bowls at the opening day of the season at Thurso Bowling Club was followed by a buffet tea after which they presented the cheques.
The three groups were -
Wick Youth Club £200
Laurandy Day Centre £250
League of Friends of Caithness General Hospital £200.

Berriedale Braes Road Project Starting Soon  - Spring Newsletter Issued
Berriedale Braes Road Improvment Starting Soon
The apointed contractor for the upgrade of the Berriedale sectionof the road is R J McLeod and they have issued the first in a series of newsletters as the main works are to begin very soon. Berriedale Braes is located north of Helmsdale and south of Dunbeath on the A9 trunk road in Caithness and forms part of the strategic roads network north of Inverness. The existing A9 at Berriedale Braes includes a tight hairpin bend northeast of Berriedale in order to negotiate steeply sloping topography. The existing hairpin bend on the A9 at Berriedale Braes entails that two HGVs travelling in opposite directions cannot pass on the hairpin bend, as one vehicle requires the use of most of the carriageway to successfully negotiate the bend. This existing substandard geometry is a safety concern and accident records indicate a near miss where an athletics bus collided with the barrier. 

Become a Volunteer with Home-Start Caithness and help local families
Volunteer with HomeStart Caithness
Come on the next Volunteer Preparation Course.
Wednesdays - 10am - 2.30pm May 22nd, 29th and June 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th.
Wednesdays - 6pm - 8.30pm May 22nd, 29th and June 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th and 3rd July



Jobs Jobs Jobs - Vacancies - Full-time - Part-time - Bank work
The most vacancies ever in our jobs section with many positions currently available in Caithness and Sutherland.
The holiday season has begun and hotels and catering places are looking for staff.  The health service and care sectors along with many others are advertising.  Many indivuals positions with a wide range of employers so check them out if you are looking for work.  For employers it is free to advertise in our forum - just join the forum and post your vacancies.  Free for all to see.

Caithness Community Planning Partnership - Next Meeting
Wednesday 17th of April 2019 The Pentland Hotel, Thurso 11:00am - 1:00pm  - Open To The Public

The Rev. Deacon Jacques Cooke - Obituary
Jacques Cooke Died 25 March 2019
The Reverend Deacon Jacques Cooke born 16 December 1924, Roubaix, Northern France: died 25th March 2019, Inverness. James Cooke was the second of five children born to British father (John) and a Belgian mother (Marie-Louise nee Hollebecq), who met on the evening of the 11th November 1918 and married in June 1921. Jacques was born on the 16th December 1924 in Roubaix in northern France, a short distance away from the Hollebecq family home in Mouscron. Jacques Cooke was a nuclear engineer at Dounreay who in 1986 became the first Roman Catholic to be inducted as a permanent deacon in Scotland for over a Millennium.
Success For John O'Groats Mill Trust Awarded £348,064
John O'Groats MillJohn O'Groats Mill
The largest of the latest round of grants announced today was made to John O'Groats Mill Trust, which has received £348,064 to acquire the B-listed, disused John O'Groats Mill along with 9.5 acres of land and two self-catering holiday cottages. The Trust intends to restore the Mill to its former working condition and develop it as a visitor attraction and a social and heritage centre, creating a number of employment, volunteering, training, and skills development opportunities.
Charity Pieces

Trustee Recruitment and Succession Planning

Is Your charity Ready For Brexit?

Up to £1,000 available to charities to help defend against cyber attacks

Goodbye Paper Applications - Hello Digital - Apply online to become a charity

5 Excuses for Not Having Young Trustees
Caithness Model Club Show 2019
Caithness Model Club Show 2019Caithness Model Club Show 2019Caithness Model Club Show 2019Caithness Model Club Show 2019





Caithness Will Be Very Busy This Coming Weekend
Several events this coming weekend wil make Caithness very busy.  The John O'Groats Book Festival starts on Friday evening and runs all weekend.  The Caithness model club annual show is in Wick for two days on Saturday and Sunday.  A craft fair, a beach clean, a coffee morning, coastal boat tour and more so check the Whatson Calendar for times and places

Thurso High Second In Rock Challenge 2019
Thurso High in Rock Challenge 2019 at Eden Court Inverness
Thurso High took second place at the 2019 Rock Challenge event at Eden Court theatre, inverness last night.  Well done to Thurso high.  Dinwall Academy took First Place.  The themes for the music this year were on wartime tragedies.  Thurso chose - Iolaire - 1919. The HMY Iolaire was returning war heroes to Lewis on New Year's Day. During the voyage, the ship struck the infamous rocks 'The Beasts of Holm.' The boat was torn apart and sank. Those that survived clung to masts and ropes to endure the night. More than 200 people drowned, just yards from their home. We will remember them. Inside see the list of all the awards with Thurso high listed on several others.
Fun At Lyth For Easter School Holidays
Easter 2019 at Lyth










Towheads/Large Structures Travelling Through Wick
Towheads through Wick
Subsea 7 will be moving three towheads for the Equinor Snorre Project from Wick Harbour to Wester Site in the next 2-3 days. It is planned that the towheads will travel along the route through town as in the photograph. Exact timings will depend on weather conditions and how the Police direct proceedings.



Beach Clean At Dunnet
Beach clean at Dunnet










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