News Archive - December 2001

Last Harbour Picture of 2001
The sun was out for a while today before a short burst of rain later in the afternoon.  Still very cold so the bonfire at Bignold Park will be very welcome for those venturing out to see in the New Year at one of Wick's traditional venues.  No organised celebrations this year at Market Square but no doubt a few will make their own entertainment to see 2002 off to a good start.

Snowman And Bonfire At Bignold Park

Mairi Nicolson's December Letter From Antarctic
Mairi managing to keep the cold at bay and managing to get out and about at one of the most beautiful places on the planet.  I told Mairi we are in the middle of our own winter storms. But we do not quite reach the temperatures she is experiencing even  if it's summer there right now.

Views From The Bayview Hotel, Lybster
Several views on Sunday from the Bayview Hotel with the snow lying in all directions

Bayview Hotel, Lybster
Lybster had fairly heavy snow and most streets were impassable until yesterday when the snowplough began to go round the village.  Unfortunately many vehicles are still trapped with snow piled up at the roadside unless a lot of digging is undertaken.  Nice Scenes though.

Forse Castle Area Plan
Forse Castle Area Plan showing exactly the type of defensive places and positions chosen to build castles in the county and elsewhere.  There are now 12 Area Plans in various sections and they are grouped on one Area Plans Index Page

Thrumster Got Its Share Of Snow
Everywhere in Caithness has had snow and tonight a little more has fallen

Whaligoe Steps In Snow
Just down a few steps today for a couple of pictures as we did not fancy the headlong plunge after slipping from the top.  If you missed the entire gallery a few months ago you can see pictures of all the steps if you Click Here

Hempriggs House In Snow

Thurso Winter Scenes From Paul Cannop
A set of views of Thurso in the snow from Paul shows how widespread the snow is at the moment. 

Snow In Wick

Snow At Wick Harbour

Keiss Castle Area Plan
An Area Plan For Keiss Castle showing exactly its precarious location right on the edge of a small cliff and in danger one day of collapsing into the sea an lost forever.

Mairi Nicolson - More Pictures From Antarctic
More pictures from Mairi who comes from Wick as she works through Christmas at Rothera Base, Antarctic.  Mairi's Antarctic Pages

More Names For Wick High Commercial Class 1950
Grace Munday (nee Reid) who left Caithness 14 years ago has had her Dad, Tommy Reid look over the picture of this class and he has come up with more names.

Area Plan For Ackergill Tower
Another area plan is now in the Castle section.  Our approach to building all of the sections is now paying off and Robert Richmond and Andrew Spratt continue to supply us with ever more reconstructions, plans and pictures to go alongside material being gleaned from Caithness Field Club Bulletins.  Don't let that stop anyone else getting in touch if you would like to contribute to the castle section.  Start Here For Castle Section

Union Street Complete Pictures
The final Union Street Pictures are now in and you can take a peek through this opening to see behind Union Street and what many old buildings in the town once looked like with their small courtyards and squares.

Chief Executive Highland Council Pay Rise
Mr Arthur McCourt, will receive £111,240 from 1 April, next year and £119,768 from 1 April, 2003. His current salary is £99,831

Union Street, Wick
Another of Wick's streets with lots of pictures in and more to come tomorrow.

Bank Row, Wick
One of the better known places in Bank Row is the Wick Heritage Centre.  The street is near to the harbour and was once a hive of activity during the high points when Wick was a big fishing town.  The heritage Centre extends through several buildings and incorporates original smoke house and curing yards at the rear.  Many of the buildings in the centre are deceiving as they hide courtyards many of which are no longer accessible from the front. 

St Peter's & St Andrew's Church, Thurso Web Site
Another web site just notified to us and now listed in our Caithness Web Sites listing.  Also linked on the church page in the churches section.  If your organisation is in Caithness and has a web site you can have it linked by sending us the web site address.  Individuals with web sites can also be linked.  If your organisation is in Caithness and does not have a web site why not use the pages of Caithness.Org to publish your newsletter.  Just email it to us and we will do the rest for FREE.  Send in your notices or other information you want seen.  Free to all voluntary groups and charities in the county.

Just A Few More Fun Sites

Brabster Street, Thurso

10 More Sites For a Giggle Or Smile

Princes Street, Thurso
Here we see Princes Street, Thurso at the corner of Davidson's Lane.

Homework Help Links
A general tidy up of this section and some new links  for Geography, chemistry and Biology.

Fun Sites
Well its holiday time so here a re few of the zany sites we are strolling round today.  Plenty more on that to come once we have had a few laughs ourselves.  Check back later for even more......

Joseph And Mary by James Begg
James (Jim) Begg from Keiss affectionately known locally as "The Bandit" died in 1992 and amused many folk with his witty poems.  Here is another seasonal one that still raises a laugh.

Style House, Grove Lane, Thurso
Starting a run of Thurso shops with the Style House.  Several shops are tucked away like this one up stairs or in unexpected places in the town. 

Happy Christmas From Caithness.Org
Have a great day wherever you are and we hope Santa was good to you all.  Remember you can leave greetings on the Message Board.

George Learns To Read
As George practically talks she thought it might be handy to let us know exactly what she wants even though she does a pretty good job already.  Maybe she is planning to leave us little cat notes telling us when to feed her or a "Do Not Disturb" sign.

More Indexes From North Highland Archives, Wick
Just scratching the surface of the items held in the Archive at Wick
Caithness Law Cases 2, An Commun Gaidhealach, Architects Material, Boy Scouts, British Fisheries Society, Papers Of Charles & William Bruce, Wick, Caithness Field Club 1921 - 1933.

Getting On With South Road Pictures - Next Batch
Getting back to the start of South Road, Wick and on to the main pictures all the way on into town over the next few days.  bill's screwed up face shows how bright it was a few days ago and fairly warm - notice no coat, no waterproofs.  More pics later.

Second Homes - Increases In Council Tax Sought
There are 6,160 properties in Highland (6.2%) receiving 50% discount, which results in a lost revenue of £150 million.  Highland Council is urging the Scottish Executive to reduce or abolish the discount and so increase dramatically the amount they receive from second home owners.

Scottish Natural Heritage May Come To Highlands
The Highland Council will be asked on Thursday to set up a task force to promote the Highlands as a location for the future headquarters of Scottish Natural Heritage.  Currently based in Edinburgh and Perth but the Highland Council has a strong case as so much of the heritage they deal with is in the Highlands.

More Views Of Bucholie Castle
More views of this Caithness Castle that lies on the cliffs near Auckengill.  Click Here if you want to go straight into the main castle section.

More Names in For Wick High Commercial Class 1952
Names from John Rosie via Iris Whiting (nee Cormack in Australia. Thanks to Iris and John who is in Caithness for your world-wide putting of heads together.

Happy Christmas From George
Maybe George has it about right.  Make every day Christmas and there is no hassle.  Give presents all the time especially if its minced turkey.  Cat treats are OK one and a while but getting the big folk to understand the difference between "miaow" - I want fed and "miaow" - open the door or I will claw the carpet before I get to the bathroom is quite enough to drive a cat crazy.

North Highland Archive - More Details
Pavilion Cinema, Sir John Pender (1816 - 18[96]), Police Station Records, Estate & Road Tax Papers, Temperance Newsletters, Viking Society For Northern Research, Wick Post Office, Wick Society.

Norton Place - Part of South Road , Wick
Another house in Norton Place, Wick.  This forms part of South Road leading into Wick

Parochial Board and Parish Council Records
The Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1579 laid down the general arrangements for poor relief, which was followed for several centuries. The Act itself was repealed only in 1906. One of the provisions of this Act called on each Parish to make a list of its own poor: those who had either been born in it, or who had acquired "residence" by a stay of at least seven years - this was later reduced to three years.  This index shows the information on Caithness held by North Highland Archive in Wick.

More Caithness Castle Ground Plans In Colour
Robert Richmond has been busy preparing more colour area plans of Caithness Castles to add to this fast growing section.  The latest ones in are Dunbeath Castle, Swiney Castle, Bucholie Castle, Brough Castle.

Caithness Law Cases Book Number 1
North Highland Archive has huge amounts of information on the northern counties.  As part of the section the archivist are preparing indexes of what they have.  We are gradually adding to this.  Her in the law cases indexes you can get a flavour of the types of cases going through the courts in Caithness in the 1700's.  More of these law case lists will be added to the section soon.  The full cases are available in the archive in Wick.

Chip-carving In Caithness  - A Craft Survives
A Caithness Craft thought lost by James Dunster when he set out to find the history of an unusual table has resulted in his not only finding out about his table but his subsequent moving to Caithness.  Along the way in the past year he has written up his findings that we now publish.  He has found out that the firm of McIvor & Allan Chip-carvers ceased in 1955 but that the art is not lost and is carried on by a grandson of one of the apprentices of the once famous firm in the county.

Dounreay Castle Pictures
The first pictures of Dounreay Castle are now added to the section.  This castle is not open to the public as it is completely surrounded by the nuclear plant at Dounreay.

Caithness Gets Snow showers Today

Scottish News Updating & Scottish Newspapers Links
This page has had its news feed redone to get better coverage of the Scottish News.  If you are looking for a Scottish Newspaper then this is the place to help find it.  The page has continually updating links to Scottish news and the papers.  If you know another Scottish news site we have missed send it in.

Wick Rotary Selects Bill Fernie As Citizen Of The Year
Stewart Busby chairman of Wick Rotary Club presented Bill with an engraved glass bowl to mark their award as Citizen of The Year.  Wick Rotary make the award each year to an individual they think has done a lot for the county in the course of the year.  The presentation was made at a dinner in Mackay's Hotel.

New Front Page For 2002
In case you thought we were going to slow down and you get a shock on 1 January 2002 we are letting you in on it now.  You will all have seen the new navigation bar appearing at the top of this and many other sections.  This is in advance of the new page which will no longer have the indexing down the sides as it is now.  This is to allow us to put even more on the page.  The navigation bar can be extended almost indefinitely and will eventually be found throughout the web sites.  If you have not started using the new navigation bar try it out before the old indexing disappears.

Dounreay Castle
This picture and an article from Caithness Field Club Bulletin has now been added to the castle section.  More up to date pictures showing the current state of the castle will be added shortly.

A Short History Of The Caithness Field Club
This short article by Leslie Myatt in April 1988 sets out how the Caithness Field Club began in its present form.  The sentiments ring as true today with the organisation being able to accept a wide range of people who want to appreciate the countryside, its rich history and much more.  The sheer breadth of subject matter contained in the articles we are now reproducing is in itself a testament to the foresight of the founders who set it up.  The organisation and it Bulletin are still going and we are trying to catch up with them.  Caithness.org is once again grateful to Janet Mackenzie for all her work in preparing the Bulletins for publication on the web site.  You do not need to be any kind of expert to join but you will be surprised how much you know about the county in two or three years after joining.

Orcadian Middle Old Red Sandstone
The rock on which Caithness sits is Old Red Sandstone.  In this article from April 1988 Jack Saxon outlines what may have caused it to be the way it is and stretching over to Orkney as part of a great lake........

Recently Qualified Massage Therapists
Margaret Bremner, Gillian MacManus and Elizabeth Mackay were recently presented with their awards following gaining qualifications in Swedish Massage. All three already hold certificates in Aromatherapy and are pursuing other Alternative Therapies.

Free Talking Browser
We Media who run web sites for people with disabilities are offering a FREE download of a talking browser for people with visual impairment.  Pick up the link on our Technology for People with Sight Problems Page

Latest Royal Bank Picture
Here is another picture of the Royal Bank Building in Wick.  Using it as the start of a new section for this well known street to draw together many of the pictures of the street under other headings in sections throughout the site.

WK722 Reliant
This picture taken yesterday of one of the small fishing boats still using Wick harbour.  Wick harbour is a shadow of its former days mainly due to the fact that it is not on the list of designated ports set by the EEC for landing certain species. ~The Wick Harbour Trust is trying to change this.

Ai Redundant Poker
W T Lyall writing about an implement gradually disappearing from many houses in Caithness as modern heating replaces the solid fuel variety of coal and peat.

Clachan, South Road, Wick
Beginning a stroll down South Road, Wick.  Gradually we will fill in views of the whole length of South Road from the outskirts of Wick to the Caithness General Hospital

Fertiliser Cargo In From Russia
A large cargo of mixed fertiliser arrived from Russia today to be unloaded at Wick harbour.  Farms use the mainly nitrogen based fertiliser to promote grass production for the animals in Caithness.

Coal Boat At Wick
Coal still accounts for a good number of trips to Wick delivering coal for many homes in the county.  Even though most houses have central heating fired by electricity, gas or oil many still have the open coal fire that is used to give that added warmth at Christmas time.  Some fires burn peat as well as coal.

Careers For Young People At Dounreay
Restoring the environment of Dounreay is set to become a gateway for young people in the Highlands and Islands to a career in one of Britain's newest and biggest businesses - the decommissioning of nuclear sites.

E-Access Bulletin December
If you are blind or know someone who has a visual impairment the newsletter from E-Access might be useful to sign up for to get the latest news on how technology is advancing and what is available.   We reproduce it here on Caithness.Org from time to time to help people find their web site and sign up for their newsletter.

Camps Area, Wick by Alan Smith
Another drawing by Wick man Alan Smith of the Camps area of Wick.  The area was thought to have been called Camps because a number of religious 'independents' (probably soldiers) camped here.

The Story Keepers New Musical
"The Gigantic Star" Sunday 23 December 6.30pm
Pulteneytown Parish Church, Wick

Swiney Castle - 15th Castle Reconstruction
This is the 16th picture of Caithness castles  - we have two for Sinclair and Girnigoe.  Other castles are yet to come with information still being prepared for some of those already on the site.  In fact Caithness had so many castles we will be kept going in this section well into 2002

Looking For More Christmas Fun Sites?
We have added a few more links to sites with Christmas jokes, games and other things to pass a few minutes or more.

Piping Tune Competition
Can you write a6/8 Highland bagpipe march?.  Then check out this competition and you might win £500.

Kidney Dialysis Get Boost To Funds
A three Day Event For Fans of Manson Grant and The Dynamos raised £1220 for one of the counties energetic new charities aiming to help dialysis patients in the north.  the money was raised by a prize draw and the cheque handed over this week.

Weydale Post Office - No Takes So Far
It seems the days of people wanting to run a rural post office are running out.  Despite advertising Post Office Counters have so far not managed to get any applications to run the Small Post Office after the retiral of the last postmaster.

Local Caithness Artists Work
A number of people in Caithness produce pictures using different styles and some sell their work whilst others do it for fun and exhibit now and then.  In this new section we will feature some work.  We start with a local guy Alan Smith who has recently been having some success selling his drawings of mainly local scenes.

Castletown Heritage Winter Newsletter
News on Exhibitions, Oldest ex Castletown person 103, beach cleans, flagstone trail latest years old.

Education In The Parish Of Reay Prior To 1870
At the time of the Brubster Clearances there were only two permanent schools in the parish of Reay; the parochial school at the west end of the village of Reay (NC 958645), built c. 1774, and an Assembly school at Melvich which had been established in 1831 by the Education Committee of the General Assembly, hence its name. Both schools had a roll of about 90 pupils in the winter months but fell to below 30 in the summer when older pupils were withdrawn to herd or help on the land.

Education Of A Minister
In this short piece Roy Gunn shows how long it used to take for a minister to gain his qualifications.

The Psalm Tune "Caithness"
One day in St. Giles in this century (twentieth) a service was held. There, for the first time for many years were the honours of Scotland and two of the psalm tunes sung were 'Caithness' and 'Dunfermline'. Was this expediency because of the opposite ends of the kingdom, or was history looking over their shoulder?

Dunnet Bay SSSI Part Three
In this the third part of her series in 1988 Kira Ward brought forward more information and some intriguing thoughts:- "In conflict with the idea of a straight forward advance of the sea into the bay is the suggestion that the area is a raised beach (Mercer 1980-81).  The siting of archaeological remains around the 10 m contour at Dunnet and Sandside Bay has been suggested as an indicator of a higher sea-level at some previous time".

Sandside Kiln Barn
An unusual kiln for Caithness still stands at Sandside.  Built by the Innes family who originated from Banffshire & Moray the shape is different to the traditional bottle shaped kiln prevalent in Caithness.  This article for the Caithness Field Club Bulletin by Elizabeth Beaton describes the buildings and their origins.  Drawings are by Geoff Leet who is chairman of the Caithness Field Club.

Caithness Family History Society
This very active group have now established their own new web site.  The first sections are in place and no doubt we will see it go from strength to strength in coming months.  Book mark the site for later visits and we will be making a variety of links on Caithness.Org shortly to make it easy to find for later visitors

Blizzard  - Caithness Dialect Poem By Jenny Stewart
Till e fowk traivaillin up on wur northern-most tracks,...

Nurses & Doctors Get Pay Rise
The recommendations from the independent pay review bodies for a 3.6 per cent increase for hospital doctors and nurses in 2002-3. GPs will receive a 4.6 per cent rise.

Caithness.Org "Site Of The Week" The Mirror
Matt Kelly the Internet editor of The Mirror newspaper selected Caithness.Org as his site of the week.  Simon Mayo then announced this in his Radio Five Live show and has put the item on his BBC web page.

Robert William Sinclair (Robin) Greetings From Down Under
Robin was born and brought up in Thurso - worked on Henderson's farm Scrabster and left to join the RAF when he was 18 and later headed out with his wife to Australia to work and bring up their family.  Have a great Christmas all of you in Australia.

Environmental Research Institute - Top Award
Research undertaken at by the Environmental Research Institute of North Highland College, Thurso, has been awarded one of the top grades for excellence in a report covering universities and other higher education institutions throughout the UK.

Wick Scouts Salvation Army
Some of you may recall the Scout Reunion earlier this year and this was one of the pictures we had gathered in.  Today we received all the information from George McKain, Thurso.  The picture dates from 1933/34 and all the names are now on the page.  Thanks George.

Get Your Sports Pictures On
Its easy to get your sports group pictures on the web site.  Send in details of events in Caithness for free coverage and complete the Submissions Page for Free entry in the What's On.  If you put out posters, send us a copy for even greater FREE publicity.  With over 50,000 visitors a month you will not get a better offer.  Get it in early for longer coverage. And not just Sports - any event can get FREE entries - just send your details in.

First Interviews On Caithness.Org
Santa Interview On Caithness.Org, Reindeer Keeper Interview On Caithness.Org
First sounds arrive on the web site so now you can hear us as well as see us.  Uses Windows Media. Donald Ross Interviews Santa And Reindeer Helper.

Santa's Helpers

Hundreds of Kids Saw Santa & His Reindeer

Santa & His Reindeer Rode Into Wick Today

TV Links Page Upgraded With Additions

CASE December Report
The number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland rose from 954 last month to 1,014. The revised unemployment rates in the Sutherland, Wick and Thurso ‘Travel to Work Areas’ respectively are as follows (corresponding figures for last month are shown in brackets) 7.1 % (6.5%), 7.0% (6.6%) and 3.4% (3.3%).

Over 1,000,000 hits in 13 Days This Month
Looks like the web site is heading for another record as 186,217 pages viewed already this month.  Average daily visitors are 1805 so far this month. We will publish the full years figures in early January and they are gonna be huge.  Thanks for keeping in touch with the web site.

Waybaggers Walk Dunnet Head
The Waybaggers Walking Group proved that Caithness has some great weather in December.  This set of pictures shows what a beautiful day they had for their outing round this part of Caithness.  Dunnet has a number of small lochs some which have fish.

Links Section Passes 30,000

Importance Of Gatwick Link To Inverness - Study
The latest report published today on the importance of the Gatwick link to Inverness highlights the jobs that could be affected if the link was lost.  Given the use of Inverness for international travellers the inference must be that there would be knock on affect on the rest of the Highlands if the link was broken. Read Executive Summary Of Report

Mestag Castle, Stroma
One of the lesser known castle sites in Caithness is on the island of Stroma.  Mestag castle is thought to have been built around the same time as Buchollie Castle on the mainland.  As few people ever visit the island and the castle sits on a stack on the coast it is not surprising that it is little known.  We will now be searching out the information to add to the section in coming days and weeks.   Robert Richmond has prepared this plan for the web site.

Wick Girl's Pipe Band
Iris Whiting in Australia is keeping us busy with her pictures flowing in.  Here is another one showing the famous Wick Girl's Pipe Band.  Do any members of the band have any recollections of the band they would like to send in?

Boating On Wick River 1950's or Early 60's We Think
Another picture from Iris Whiting (nee Cormack) in Australia.  The boats stopped being on the river in the late 70's when the wier was opened up to try to get rid of the weed that was choking the river.  It was thought that the weed was due to run off fertilisers being applied on farms and the slow moving water at the boating area caused a build up.  Over the years the question of having the boats back in the river has always arisen from time to time.  But to date the money has never been found to build the necessary construction to allow salmon to get up river and ensure the weed problems do not return to choke that part of the river.

Christine Gunn Herring Queen & Marie Simpson
The forerunner to the Gala Queen was the Herring Queen and we are beginning to get pictures sent in.  If you have more of the old Herring Queen send them in.  Thanks to Iris Whiting (nee Cormack) formerly Wick for sending these pictures from Australia.

Family History In Your Surname
Robert the Bruce's family was Norman, and can be traced back to Brieux in Orne, France. In this short article Gordon Johnson makes you think about your own surname and what it might show about history.

Web Sites Are 10 Years Old Today
The fastest communications tool ever and web sites have only been going for 10 years today.  Paul Kunz, who happened to be visiting CERN from the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).  After returning home, he installed Berners-Lee's web server software at SLAC, and created a web page that would allow physicists all over the world to query a database of high-energy physics papers via the Internet.
Click here for loads of Internet History. Find it later in our History Links

The Duck Decoy
The Victorian Duck Decoy at Ackergill Tower near the shore shows how seriously they took shooting in the nineteenth century.  An extremely large circle of ground with drystane wall, surrounding an island in the middle of two moats with shrubs and reeds to hide the shooters from the birds.

Proposed DCD/Dyspraxia Support Group
It is proposed to set up a new support group for Dyspraxia a condition that can often be left undiagnosed and consequently lacking the correct support..  Jenny Mackay is asking if there is any one else who would like to help set up a group for mutual support and information sharing.

Keeping Parents Informed of Winter Weather
A school information helpline was launched in the Highlands this week to provide parents with a more effective update on weather and travel arrangements over the winter months...............more

Caithness Kidney Dialysis Support Group
Information on this new group has now been added to their new pages.  Your group cab get their pages upgraded and improved as soon as new information comes in. So use the FREE pages and improve your groups coverage.  You send it we build it.

Lithuanian Visit To Dounreay
A delegation from Lithuania spent three days at Dounreay studying the way the plant handles solid low-level waste (LLW) from its decommissioning programme as the country gears up for the shutdown of its only nuclear power plant.

History Links
A general upgrading of the Links section now moves into the History Links.  American Civil War was first out and we have now set up a new section for Scottish History Links reflecting the huge range of information available.  More will be added to this section.

Geminids In the Skies 7 - 16 December
Want to see a few meteors then we have had a few in the last couple of clear nights in Caithness.  Not as many as the Leonids last month but Geminids are still worth a look

Wick Dance Band Early 1930's
Iris Whiting (nee Cormack sends us this picture of the Wick Dance Band in the early 1930's.  Her father Bill Cormack was a member of the band.

North Golf Sector Drives Ahead
A new programme specifically designed for employees of golf courses, accommodation providers and hospitality businesses who are in regular contact with golfers to enable them to understand and appreciate both the sport and needs of the players.  As well as being a training programme on staff awareness, it also acts as a guide for tourism businesses to customise their facilities towards golf tourists.

Rural Digital Community Prize £1,750,000
The Seaboard Villages and Cromarty have been chosen to represent the Highlands in a Scotland-wide competition, which has a prize valued at £1,750,000.  They are bidding to become Scotland's rural digital community and an award of 2,000 personal computers, with associated printers, and one year's free internet access, as well as a gateway web site for the community.

Convener Of Highland Council On Winter Roads
The Highland Council Convener David Green has urged the new Scottish Executive Minister for Transport, Wendy Alexander, to restore the confidence of the Highland travelling public in the trunk road winter maintenance service, which he says is at an "all time low".

Medical Staffing at Caithness General Hospital
Another consultant resigns for family reasons but Trust has taken several steps to cover the gaps.  Midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists have undertaken a neonatal life support course that has been specially adapted to local needs.  Locum cover is being used until the new appointments are made.

Back Of Caithness General Hospital
In many ways the more interesting side of the local hospital as it has a garden, sun lounge and overlooks the park and tennis courts.

Latest Funding News & Links
Links to all the latest fund raising news for voluntary groups and charities.

New Navigation Bar In Business
The new Caithness.Org navigation bar is now on the Business Pages so don't worry if you think things have gone. Just try the new bar that is beginning to appear in various places.  The new navigation bar is to assist in finding your way around without continually having to find the index pages of various sections.  As it is extended throughout the sites you should find it easier to get to what you are looking for. This is the forerunner to other new changes and additions coming in the next few weeks and months.

Thurso Street, Wick
Thurso Street runs into Thurso Road and is one route to the town of Thurso on the other side of the county.  The Rosebank Hotel used to be in the street but was turned into houses after a fire a few years ago

Know Your Rights Booklet For Young People
Northern Constabulary will launch a booklet aimed at letting young people know where they stand on a variety of issues.

Police Posters To Target Young Drivers At Christmas
17-29 age group contained approximately 10% of all driving licence holders but frighteningly account for over 30% of drink driving detections - a disproportionately high percentage.  The Crimestopper Phone number is already hot with calls telling them about people driving and drinking.  So get a taxi this Christmas or start walking.

More Power To Most Fragile Communities
Each of the eight communities that are part of the Initiative At The Edge programme including North Sutherland are to receive £10,000 to address one of the problems experienced in obtaining even small sums of money.

Cool Sites Links Updated
Most of our old ones have disappeared so here is a mainly new batch.

Nuclear Fuel Returned To Germany By UKAEA
Unirradiated fuel elements, containing approximately 4.2 tonnes of nuclear material, that have been stored at Dounreay since 1992 were returned to Germany in a series of movements that finished today.

A Christmas Celebration
Sunday 16 December, 8.00pm
Salvation Army Hall, The Esplanade, Thurso -
The Band & Songsters, The Young People, The Timbrells
Collection in aid of Mount Pleasant Special Education Unit.

Santa's Grotto Castletown Drill Hall
14 & 15 December
Friday 14  - 6.00 - 8.00pm
Saturday 15 -  2.00 - 7.00pm
Tea, Coffee, Mince Pies, Shortbread, Photo With Santa
Castletown Playgroup & Toddlers - All Welcome

Christmas Carol Concert, Thrumster
Tuesday 18 December 7.00pm Thrumster Hall
Community Singing, Items by bairns, Various Artistes, Refreshments and guest star Santa

Ormlie Estate's First Christmas Tree
Saturday 15 November 2001 at 5.30 pm
Ormlie is to have its first community Christmas tree this year.  The tree lights will be switched on on  at the new Ormlie Centre, beside Marr Terrace.  Music and pipes.

Wick River Basks In Winter Sunshine

Angle Park, Wick
This small street of houses in Wick is set back off the main Thurso Road.  Very near to the Coop Supermarket and yet out of site of it.  It still keeps the air of the countryside when it was built even though it is in Wick

William (Bill) Cormack 1934
This picture of Bill Cormack was sent in by his daughter Iris Whiting who lives in Australia.  She used to help her father in his shoe shop in Victoria Place, Wick.  This picture shows him in his scout uniform near the old scout hall.

Commercial Class About 1950
Another picture sent in by Iris Whiting (nee Cormack) of her Commercial class in second year about 1950.  Plenty of names to be filled in if any of you have the information to add to the picture.

Santa's Grotto - Thurso
Go north and see Santa in his Grotto.  May not be quite the north pole but here in the UK Thurso is pretty near it.  So any evening or the next couple of weekends get out the huskies and travel north to Caithness to see Santa, have a day out.  A welcome awaits in the far north.  See ya.

Commercial Class 1952
Many thanks to Iris Whiting (nee Cormack) for sending this picture of her Commercial class of Wick High in 1952.  Her father Bill Cormack had the shoe shop by the river and the family went to Australia in 1953.

Santa's Grotto In Thurso
Saturday 8 December
The grotto from the Beyond 2000 group gets going and will be on until 23 December. Saturdays and Sundays 2.00pm - 8.00pm Mon - Fri  6.00 - 8.00pm - Barbecue and other stalls on Today.

Christmas Parties
A Caithness dialect Poem by Jenny Stewart

Additions To Links
Previous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize meet today but one previous winner will not be there - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi held under arrest in Burma.

Gunn's Of Lybster Win Kinbrace Contract
The Caithness firm John Gunn & Sons Limited, Lybster has won the contract to construct a loading bay to allow trees to be shipped by rail from Kinbrace.  The Highland Council has entered into an agreement with Forest Enterprise to permit the timber from the 7,500 acres of maturing forests at Naver and Rimsdale to be taken by road along the B871 from Syre to Kinbrace and to be transhipped to rail at the new loading bank.

News Links - Alternative News Sites Additions
There are many thousands of news sites offering news will all sorts of bias.  We have begun to add new links offering alternative views on many topics from around the world. And as they say "don't believe all you read".

Dounreay Backs Environmental Talks At ERI
The series of free environmental talks at the environmental Research Institute based in the former West Public Scholl got a boost with a cheque for £1000 from Dounreay.  The take take place on Friday evenings and will continue as a regular feature for some time to come.

Wick High Misses Cut For PPP Education Money
Wick High has missed out on being included in the Highland Council bid for Private Public Partnership cash to upgrade schools.

Yarrows Archaeological Treasures Come Closer
The steering group meets tonight in what looks like becoming one of the fastest moves into being of any new group in Caithness.  Yarrows Archaeological Trust has its next meeting tonight in Thrumster School at 7.30pm.  All interested people welcome to attend. 

New Dounreay Exhibition Centre Possible
A new exhibition centre could be opened off site.

Castletown Community Council Minutes Etc
Minutes of Meeting 15 November, 2001 AGM and Agenda for 13 December.

Making Council Tax Payments Easier
More ways to pay on different dates are to be introduced to make it easier to pay Council Tax.  On the other side of matters reminders and final notices are to be combined to make enforcement action faster.

Tain CCTV
Tain is getting ready to switch on its new CCTV cameras.  The eight cameras are aimed at the town centre where new high standard lighting will help in the use of the system linked to the local police station.   Coming to Thurso soon if funding problems can be sorted out.

New Highland Harbours Management Team
The new team set up to take over management of 102 Highland Harbours and piers will be moving into renovated accommodation in Lochinver that will be ready by the end of the year.  This team will not control harbours that have their own trusts like Wick and Scrabster.

Harbours Debt Reduction
The amount of debt at harbours managed by The Highland Council has been significantly reduced over the past two years thanks to the introduction of new tighter controls on debt.

New Drop Down Menu System
A new drop down menu is in place at the top of the page.  This is in advance of a new layout coming shortly.  Once everything is checked out the new set up will be rolled out across the web site.  Currently the new menu bar does not operate in Netscape 6 but we are working on this.  

View From Dunnet Kirk To House of the Northern Gate
Dunnet Kirk has some great views and it is worth taking a look from the back gate of the cemetery that surrounds the old Kirk.

Highlands & Islands Open Exhibition Part Two
St Fergus Gallery, Wick is featuring established contemporary artists in the north.  The work of over 30 artists is on view and a few are from Caithness or have their roots here.- Runs Until 22 December 2001

Under 15 County Badminton Championships
Results and pictures from the under 15 Caithness County Badminton championships are now in the Sports Section.  Any group can get their details on the web site by emailing them to us.  Let us know about special events and we might come along to take pictures.

Broadhaven Near Wick
A quiet place nowadays but once where a few pilots lived awaiting another job taking sailing ships through the treacherous Pentland Firth

Reference Section Links Keep Growing
No matter what you are looking for a reference section is a good place to try.  The links section has it listed under Reference, Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.  Our latest addition is one called Atomica and it can look up all sorts of things from the word meaning , antonyms, synonyms and all sorts of related information and other languages - and its fast.

Thurso High 1984 Reunion Full list of Names In
Lynn will shortly be sending out information about the reunion in 2002.  If your name is not on the list or you do not receive anything in a few weeks get in touch with Lynn.  Send in any pictures of your year for the Reunion pages.

More Castle Area Plans Now In

Sinclair & Girnigoe

Dirlot

Halberry

Keiss Christmas Fayre  - Santas Grotto
Sunday 16 December  12.00 - 4.00pm
Stalls etc.  Book a stall for £5

Bird Walk Round Dunnet - Highland Ranger
Saturday 15 December 10.30am -  Meet Ranger Station

Colour Plan Of Castle Gunn & Surrounding Area
Robert Richmond has prepared some of the ground plans for the castles in colour in order to make them clearer.  The black and white plans will remain in place.  The first one in is Castle Gunn at Clyth

Euro Currency Information Links
Most EEC countries are getting ready to change their currency to the Euro. Although the UK is not entering the new set up immediately with the rest the change will have significant effects for businesses dealing with these countries and for anyone going on trips.  We have gathered a few web sites with information for anyone looking to find out more.

Wordies by W T Lyall
Here is a poem in Caithness dialect about Caithness dialect.

50% Reduction In Travel Card Scheme Cost
The Highland Council has reduced the price of its concessionary travel cards from £3 to £1.50.

Christmas Trees  - Increasingly From Caithness
Well - yes we do have plenty of trees shipping out of Caithness these days.  The treeless landscape of the north was never wholly accurate.  As these fine specimens of Christmas trees waiting at Wick harbour show the planting of a few years ago is being harvested in ever greater numbers.  All comments to "E Message Board" hint hint.

Thrumster Estate Archive Exhibition
North Highland Archive, Wick has an exhibition on Thrumster estate, which is looking at the communities as well as the land management itself. It is on until next Saturday, the normal library opening hours of 10-6 Monday and Thursday, 10-8 Tuesday and Friday, 10-1 Wednesday and Saturday.

Best Dressed Windows Winners

Even More Thurso Fayre

Ai Christmas Stocking
Another in Caithness dialect from W T Lyall who was in action again on drums at the Wick Pipe Band Coffee morning on Saturday.

Thurso Town Centre
More Thurso Fayre Pictures still to come and there is still plenty happening next Saturday with various groups holding  things like Santa's Grottos to take the children to. And Pantomime season in both Thurso and Wick is nearly here.  Got your tickets yet.  They are always popular - book early.

Yarrows Trust Moving Swiftly Into Existence
Next Meeting Thursday 6 December 7.30 Thrumster School.  In just a few weeks the steering group have already got to the constitution stage and hope to have it adopted at the next meeting.  Meeting next Thursday 6 December at 7:30 p.m. at Thrumster School, when we shall decide formally to adopt what is agreed at that meeting. All welcome to attend.

Children In Ormlie Get Special Treat
Due to a very generous donation the children in Ormlie, Thurso will have a special Christmas treat to Wick to see Santa and his 6 reindeer on 15 December 2001.  On their return to Ormlie there is to be another special treat - ie the first Community Christmas tree on the estate. 

Ormlie Gets First Christmas Tree
A big thank you must go to Leslie MacLean, LMR who will be donating the 10' tree, whilst the Highland Council Street Lighting team, (Robbie Gunn and the boys) have been a tremendous help by supplying an outside socket to the new Community building on the estate.  A big thank you to everybody for supporting the Ormlie project.

Harry Potter At Buttresses Thurso Fayre
Here were the downstairs folks in Harry Potter for the day.  More staff upstairs also carried on the move to wizards in a move to film themes that might catch on with others in future years.

More Thurso Fayre Pictures

Under 13 Badminton County Championships
Pictures from the championships held on the 24th Nov now in the Sports Section.

Pipe Band Coffee Morning Christmas Touch
An unusual feature of the ever popular Pipe Band Coffee Mornings is the non-stop entertainment.  They get through a lot in 90 minutes.  Dancers, singers, pipe band, traditional Scottish dance band with accordions, fiddle music and more and all with a cup of coffee before lunch.

Thurso Christmas Tree Lights Up
Thurso Gala Queen managed to get a short dry spell to get the tree lit up today and Santa made his rounds of the children who turned up to see the ceremony.  Certificates were presented tot he winners of the best dressed shop windows.

First Thurso Fayre Pictures

Rainbow Over Loch Watten Today

Christmas Whist Drive
Saturday 8 December 7.30pm
1st Thurso Scout Hall, Riverside, Thurso
Lucky Spot Prizes, Tea, Home Baking

Boats And The Sea
There are many pictures of boats and sea related activities and information scattered through the web site.  Here is another new section that will begin to draw it all together.  And here is a new picture of Southards in Wick Harbour to get it started.  More boats will be added along with sea and coastal links.

Thurso Fayre Day Today
Pictures later tonight and Sunday

 

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