News Archive - September 2002

Farming Information Comes Together
There is already a great deal of farming related information scattered around the web site.  To make life easier for anyone searching for it we have drawn much of it together in a new section and added updating news and many more links.  Combining various historical items, links to where you can see old farming equipment, crofts and many of the contacts you might want in one place.

Thuster House And Thuster Mains Farm
The house and farm are part of the Thuster estate of about 1000 acres near at Bilbster.  The house is concealed from the main road by a small mature wood.  The current owners are working farmers - mainly cattle and sheep with some grain crops.   Country Houses Index

Papigoe From The Air
Papigoe sits between Broadhaven and Staxigoe and spreads out along the main road.  At current rates of development along this coastal strip it would seem that there will in a few years be no gaps between Wick and Staxigoe.  The road is a popular route for people heading up to Noss lighthouse or to see the small harbour at Staxigoe.

Bilbster School And Schoolhouse
Another old school and schoolhouse.  This one closed over 30 years ago.  The house is still occupied where as the school itself belongs to a local farm.  Many schoolhouses were sold back to the farms that had provided the land initially as per the terms of the original agreements when the schools were first built.

Business Park, Thurso

Pennyland Drive Area From The Air Just Added

Thurso High 1974 Reunion Gives Cheques To Local Charities
The Thurso High 1974 Reunion held last month in the Weigh Inn, Thurso was a big success and has donated money raised from the ticket sales and raffle to various local charities.  They raised a total of £1409.80 and the cheques were: Friends of Thor House £250, Crossroads Care £250, Caithness Spina Bifida £250, Stepping Stones £250, MacMillan Cancer Relief £250, Thurso High School PTA £159.80

Pennyland Drive, Thurso

Prince And June Campbell At Norfrost Fun Day
June Campbell and her horse Prince were at the Norfrost Fun Day helping to raise funds for charity.  The idea was to guess the weight of Prince.  We did not stay to find out what the weight was but Prince was in fine fettle and says "Hi" to everyone in Australia.

St Ola Leaving Scrabster Seen From Hoy Terrace, Thurso
A site that will not be seen for much longer as the St Ola Ferry to Orkney is on her last days on the crossing from Scrabster to Stromness.   A new ferry will shortly be on the route on a temporary basis until the Scrabstrer pier is completed when the permanent new ferry "Hamnavoe" from Northlink Ferries will take over.

Norfrost Fun Day In Castletown

Lyth Arts Centre In October
Lyth  Arts Centre is not resting whilst the theatre is temporarily out of commission.  They continue in October with Jazz at Northern Sands Hotel on 12 October when Theo Travis Quartet makes a return to the north.   Membership is only £10 so might be worth considering and you get reductions on tickets for many performances.  On 30 October Mull Theatre presents "There Was A Man" a drama-documentary about Robert Burns.

Cars For Sale Section Moving Those Vehicles - And It's FREE
If you have not yet ventured onto the Caithness.Org message board then remember you can save yourself bundles of cash if you come to sell a car, van or any thing associated with the old charabanc.  But you can also sell spares, engines, horse boxes , trailers or anything else linked to transport in the section.  Lots of folk have already used it and it works.  Just remember to let everyone know when the item is sold.  And its interactive as potential customers can ask you question on the board.  

Wick High Pupils Brighten Up Children's Health Assessment Centre In Wick
Some 5th year pupils Wick High - Lauren Sutherland, Michelle Brunton, Gail Matheson, Suzie Armstrong, & Callum Falconer brightened up the child Health Centre In Wick. The pupils came in their own time after school to paint the cartoon which was drawn by Kevin Matthews, Lybster.  This is in the assessment room in the Child Health Department at the Old Medical Centre, Wick where it will make attending to see the Community Paediatrician and Paediatric Physiotherapist a lot more fun.

Peggy Banks Raises Great Sum for Macmillan Nurses Charity
Mrs Peggy Banks and her daughter Wendy from Mansfield Cottages, Canisbay who raised £946.71 at a combined 70th & 40th Birthday party in Canisbay Hall.  This is a very great sum and will go towards supporting the Macmillan Nurse, Carers and the service that they provide in the county.

Loch Street, Wick

Highland Councillors have agreed a twin-track approach to achieving their 21st Century School Improvement Programme.  Members of the Education Culture and Sport Committee agreed to fund 11 new schools by a second Public Private Partnership Programme at a cost of £80 million and a further 13 projects via the more traditional Section 94 Capital funding route and the possible creation of a new School Improvement Trust.

1966 Wick High Reunion In 2004
Wick High Class 1966 Reunion in 2004 is already doing well with nearly 100 people already indicating they will be there.  The updated list shows more people contacted and now in touch with Colin.   You can help him if you know where folk are now and put them in touch with him.  This picture is another north School class from 1962 many of whom will be at the reunion.  Picture linked on the Reunion and Schooldays sections

1979 Thurso High Reunion
Sara Witten has updated the contact list and confirmed that the Reunion is set for 10 April 2004 at the New Weigh Inn, Thurso.  The picture left shows Sarah with her friend Morven in the USA where she now lives.  Just shows you no linger need to live here to help organise a reunion.

1984 Thurso High Class Reunion Postponed Until 2007
Response has been too slow for this reunion and organisers have decided to postpone it till everyone is 35 years old.  Caithness.Org will retain the listing so anyone can get in touch to add email address in the the next couple of years  to assist the organisers next time round.

A Smart Card Revolution At Highland Leisure Facilities
When were you last at your local swimming pool or library.  If it has been a while then you have not seen the great flexibility and fantastic offers on entry to all of the Highland Council Leisure facilities.  Swimming Pools in particular have introduced great deals on admission to not just swimming pools but fitness rooms, sunbeds and more.  The new smart cards are part of the High Life programme and can also be used as your library card. They offer great deals for individuals and family groups allowing entry to facilities at much reduced rates if you attend regularly.

Scout Leaders Challenge By Young Scouts On Chief Scouts Visit
The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts had to nominate leaders for this interesting challenge - space hopper races.

Newton Hill As Seen From The A99 Outside Wick

Three Country Houses - Bilbster, Hempriggs And Stirkoke
Donald Sinclair with assistance from Alexander William Sinclair of Stirkoke.  Ian Stewart of Bilbster and, Iris Hallam of Hempriggs has drawn together information on three country houses in Caithness as well as additional family information.  Stirkoke house was badly damaged by fire some years ago but the two others mentioned in the article are still in use - one as a Bed and Breakfast and the other as a old folks home.

During the past several days a number of counterfeit banknotes have been discovered in circulation throughout the Isle of Skye, particularly in Portree.  Police ask that members of the public, especially shopkeepers and B & B / hotel staff be aware.

Wick High About 1952 Class T1b
This boys class from about 1952 has been forwarded by Cameron Bain via Frieda Murray (nee Henderson).   There are quite a few missing names for you all to get the old grey matter working.  Was your father, grandfather, uncle, brother or other relation in the picture.  Were you in this class and can add a few more names.  Just send details to for them to be added to the page.

Caithness.Org Business Index And "Kaizen"
You may notice from time to time that changes are continually happening here at Caithness.Org and the business section is no exception.  New topics and improvements to the sites are moving always relentlessly onto the site.  Some improvements happen everywhere on the sites at once and others creep in over time.  Currently the business section has several improvements, tweaks and alterations in layout arriving in rapid succession.  So what's different - colours and shades, layout, more room on each business page, higher profile for business banners, better opening times with today highlighted  in many cases, date of latest update and continually being squeezed for faster delivery to your PC.  Check out This Page.   Businesses check our low cost banner ads.  For even higher profile Sponsor a Whole section and get increased banner ads.

South Public School c1945
More teamwork brings us complete information on this old school picture from 1945.  Names given by  Mrs Rene Taylor and friends.  The photo belonged to the late Mr George Ross.  The picture was scanned and forwarded by Frieda Murray (nee Henderson)

Civil Service Pensions To be Paid By Capita
From October 2002 all Civil Service Pensions will be handled by Capita - Pensions and Administration Services.  Whilst abiding by the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 they will be undertaking a major comparison of registered deaths to identify cases where pensions are still being paid despite the pensioners death.  This is being undertaken as part of the National Fraud Initiative.

The Old Stromness Linkspan May Find New Lease Of Life At Wick
The Linkspan from Stromness arrived in Wick on 24 September and may be set up in Wick harbour.  The linkspan has been replaced at Stromness to take the new larger ferry once Scrabster pier is completed.  Mr Andrew  Banks of Pentland Ferries has purchased the old linkspan and may use it at Wick to accommodate the Pentalina B when weather prevents docking at Gills pier.  Pentland Ferries is upgrading the Pentlina B to operate a winter service.

A Few Boats At Scrabster In September 2002
Scrabster harbour is a very busy place these days.  Not only is it one of the bigger landing ports for fishing boats these days but all manner of other boats can be seen round the quays.  Fishery Protection, coastguard, yachts as well as bulk carriers and of course the ferry for Orkney.   Additionally all manner of rigs and barges are at work on the new pier.

Keiss From The Air

University Of Aberdeen - Evening Progamme In The Highlands
The centre at Halkirk has closed but the university still has a programme of lectures in the Highlands.  The Caithness and Sutherland ones for the coming months are now entered in the education section.

‘People, Peatlands And Climate - a long-term perspective'’
Start of the Environmental Institute Winter Lectures in Thurso.  Lectures are free of charge and supported by UKAEA.

Pulteneytown Peoples Project Latest Minutes
The recently formed group is firing on all cylinders as they get down to tackling long and short term goals for their area of Wick.  They are involving people at all levels to improve the area and create more opportunities for themselves and others both old and young.

Beach Watch 2002 At North Baths, Wick Harbour
On Sunday 22nd September, a team of 24 volunteers cleaned North Baths, Wick Harbour as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch 2002, the national beach litter survey and clean-up supported by the Crown Estate and DEFRA’s Environmental Action Fund.  The local event was organised by the Highland Council Ranger Service.  Volunteers included members of the community with help from the Caithness Critters (local children’s nature group) and Caithness Countryside Volunteers.

Fireworks - The Case for Reform of The Laws
REMEMBER REMEMBER THE 5TH OF NOVEMBER, GUNPOWDER TREASON AND PLOT.  But, as the old poem goes on, while there might well be no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot, it is the explosion of problems that are now indelibly linked to the occasion, not just throughout but also well before and beyond the traditional firework and bonfire season, that have encouraged Scotland's Police Forces to call for a tightening of legislation and the voluntary codes of practice which relate to these potentially lethal events.

Murray Watts Launches New Children's Bible In Caithness
Murray Watts who lives at Freswick, Caithness has spent four years writing this latest children's bible for Lion Publishing well known for their many bibles aimed at different age groups.  The book launch took place at Mackays Hotel in Wick.   Murray dedicated the book to the children of Caithness whom he said had inspired much of his writing for the latest renditions of the stories.

Dounreay Visitor Centre Gains Green Tourism Award
A visitor centre that tells the story of the cutting-edge work involved in restoring the environment of one of the world’s most complex nuclear sites has itself received a prestigious environmental award.  The Dounreay Exhibition run by the UK Atomic Energy Authority has become the first visitor centre in the far north of Scotland to receive a silver award under the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Southend, Lybster

Caithness Woman To Hike Sahara Desert For Cancer Charity
Fiona McLellan who lives in Wick has registered to do the Maggies Sahara Desert Hike, to raise money for Maggies Cancer Caring Centres.  Maggies centres are currently in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee and the are currently trying to raise money for a Maggies Centre in the Highlands.

Scrabster New Pier - A Year On - The Biggest Section of Pictures Yet
About a year ago the new road out to Holborn Head was ready for the pier to start.  Work is now racing ahead and despite falling behind schedule will be finished early next year.  200,000 tonnes of aggregate are being transported from Achscrabster quarry to fill in between the piles now advancing rapidly into Thurso Bay.  There are a further 120 meters left to reach the final end of the pier.  New contracts will shortly be awarded for a transit terminal building, road works, lighting and electrical works.  The new linkspan is being constructed in Denmark and will be shipped over by barge in the next few weeks and fitted into position in the area now being made ready.  The new ferry is ready but cannot be used until the pier is completed and a temporary one will be used when the St Ola contract comes to an end.  There is activity going on all over the new pier from end to end.

Weydale - Another Beautiful Part Of Caithness
The old quarry at Weydale was opened up in the 1830's as part of the Flagstone industry.  The first woman teacher in Caithness - Miss Elspet Johnson was appointed in Weydale in 1718.  A spread out community with one small cluster of houses.

Environmental Research Students Visit Dounreay
Members of the Environmental Research Institute, Thurso part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) visited the Dounreay site on Tuesday 17th September.  Ian Rae and Dr Kenneth Boyd of the ERI accompanied seven French students.

Dental Services In Caithness - Statement From Highland Primary Care Trust
Highland Primary Care Trust has reassured the public in Thurso that it will continue to do its best to find replacements for the two Dentists who are due to leave the area in December.  The impending closure of the Princes St. Dental Practice in Thurso will significantly impact on the access to dental services for patients of the practice. Action is already underway to improve the situation. The Trust has already advertised 2 dental vacancies for Caithness and building works for a dental surgery at the Dunbar Hospital are to commence during October.

The Challenge Competition
The older scouts took part in a test of many of their abilities on Sunday during the chief scout visit.  They had to deal with contamination of the ground and build a platform and cook a meal whilst remaining off the ground.  All sorts of solutions were successfully created.  They had to stay on it for two hours.

Edinburgh Caithness Association Winter Programme

Scout Pipe Band Entertains At Lunch Time

Chief Scouts Award To Caithness Scout & Service Awards To Leaders
One of the highest awards in scouting was delivered by the Chief Scout George Purdy himself to Frederick Hughes. He then presented awards to two leaders for services to scouting over many years.

Scout Flag Ceremony and More Pictures Underway Shortly

Even More Chief Scout Day Pictures Coming In This Section Later

More Pictures From Chief Scout Day In Thurso

Caithness Scouts Gather In Thurso To Meet Chief Scout
All the various branches and age groups of Caithness Scouts met together in Thurso today to meet the UK Chief Scout on his visit to the Highlands and Islands.  He flew over from Orkney last night having already travelled to the Western Isles.   Here is the first many pictures yet to come of the day.

Massed Pipe Bands & Fireworks Display
The massed bands of Wick, Thurso, Bonar/Ardgay and Sutherland Caledonia entertained the crowds late last night with performances by each band with massed playing standing and marching in between each set in the Market Square, Wick.  Following those sessions the bands marched individually playing to the service bridge overlooking the outer harbour where they again formed a mass band on the bridge and played throughout the fireworks display. The fireworks had a great setting at the harbour and the band then marched off along Williamson Street and formed up near the Heritage Centre playing all the way.   With almost 100 pipes and drums it was quite a sound round the harbour last night.

Hillhead School Trip To Forsinard Bird Centre And The Peatlands

Ackergill Tower Dovecote Pictures From Doors Open Day Today

UK Chief Scout Arrives In Caithness - 6.15pm Saturday Evening On Highland Tour
UK Chief Scout George Purdy (Middle) arrived at Wick airport tonight as part of his tour of the Highlands and Islands.  Flying in from Orkney Islands he was accompanied by Duncan Alexander Assistant Chief Commissioner - Highland and Andy Mathews Chief Commissioner for Scotland.  They will be in Thurso for a day of Scouting activities on Sunday.

Lots of Football Pictures Now in The Sports Section
Wick V Alness Under 18's from their game last Sunday.

Some Pictures From The County Sevens Tournament

Counting Down The Days Before The St Ola Ferry Leaves Scrabster
With the days ticking by towards the St Ola's final trip to Orkney we thought it was time for another look at her.  Here she was getting the final cars aboard before leaving Scrabster.  With the new pier stretching further out and another 120 meters still to go the days approaching when another ferry will take over the route on a temporary basis until the new bigger ferry can come alongside the new pier.  Ferries Index

Caithness Businesses Get Found On In The Caithness.Org Business Index
Everyone benefits from our FREE business section.  In the period from the end of May to the end of August over 100,000 business pages were checked out.  Businesses got their page seen and a banner ad was shown.  The same people checking out the Business Section also hopped over here and looked at a further 3,447,206 pages.   We are offering the cheapest advertising you can get - FREE.

Keiss - A New Gallery Of Pictures

The Caithness Dovecotes by Elizabeath Beaton
Friday 20 September 7.30pm Dunbeath Heritage Centre.  Elizabeth Beaton kicks off the Doors Open Day on Caithness dovecotes on Saturday by giving a talk on the subject.  Anyone who intends to visit any of the dovecotes on the Open Day may well find the talk interesting and informative.  Elizabeth Beaton has written books on Caithness and other architecture and written for Caithness Field Club Bulletins in the past..  Her book "Caithness -An Illustrated Architectural Guide" is still extremely popular.  It is available in bookshops or via Caithness.Org Bookshop

Public Hall And Reading Room
The public hall and reading room has been empty for many years.  It was originally a gift from Miss Margaret Traill to the people of Olrig.  It opened on New Years Day 1867

Inside Keiss Primary One & Two Class
In small rural schools different age groups are taught together whilst still maintaining their different age groupings for lessons.

Crossroads New Primary One

Keiss New Primary One

Holborn Head Lighthouse
While we were out checking on the progress of the new Scrabster pier today we took the opportunity to get some new pictures of Holborn Head Lighthouse.

Theatre Network Upsurge In Highlands
Live Scottish theatre, in all its varied forms, appears to be enjoying an upsurge in the Highlands and Islands. September alone has seen no fewer than six companies from the area either on the road or preparing to tour a diverse range of shows.  Drama, dance, comedy and music are all on the menu for audiences in theatres and halls across the Highlands and Islands - and into the central belt as well.  And that is just the professional theatre.  Amateur Dramatic groups are reaching ever higher standards in the Highlands as evidenced by Wick and Thurso Players here in Caithness.

WICK GIRLS GROUP In Cone Zone Challenge
Six girls from the girls group went to Dunnet Forest to compete in the Cone Zone challenge, which was organised by the Ranger Service.  There were six mental & physical challenges for them to participate in and find their way around the forest.  The girls formed two teams of three and had an enjoyable Saturday morning completing the tasks.

Ranger Centre Exhibits
The Ranger Visitor Centre at Dunnet has a surprising variety of exhibits.  A display of stuffed birds has examples of many of the sea and other birds to be seen around Caithness.  But whale bones, rocks, shells and many other items collected in the area are on view.

Inner Wheel Plants Marram Grass At Dunnet
Inner wheel ladies recently planted more marram grass in the big blow out in the dunes at Dunnet Bay. The marram grass is the dune building grass, it provides a physical barrier which gathers sand and also stabilises the dune helping it to build up.

Althorpe Street, Lybster

Althorpe Court, Lybster

Church In Caithness Tries The Web To Find Minister
With several vacancies for ministers in Caithness one church has decided to try the Internet after previous attempts have been unsuccessful.   The linked Charge of Berriedale and Dunbeath with Latheron has been without a minister for over three years. If you know someone who might be interested in applying details are in the Jobs Section

With the closure of the Longman landfill site imminent, Highland industries face the prospect of finding alternative routes for waste disposal but a new Ross-shire company could have the answer to their problems.  From next spring, companies in the region will be responsible for their own waste disposal, increasing the demand for more efficient and environmentally friendly waste management techniques. With just months left to arrange for private companies to deal with their waste.

Trials For New Broadband Technology - Drumnadrochit and Muir of Ord
Organisers of a pilot project in the Highlands to trial new technology that gives up to ten times faster access to the internet, are looking for business and private sector users of the internet to take part.  The trials, beginning next month for a six-month period, are to take place at Drumnadrochit and Muir of Ord under a partnership project involving Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BT and Inverness-based internet service provider, Scotnet.

Latest Pictures From The Junior Triathlon Now In
More pictures yet to come.

The Highland Council has called for an adequately funded and open public debate on all aspects of GM crop technology before decisions are made on the commercial growing of GMOs in the UK. Councillor David Alston, Black Isle North, who represented the Council at a meeting of the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission in Edinburgh last week, gave details to the Council of the reviews which will take place during the next nine months and which will precede Government decisions on commercial growing.

Junior Triathlon - Results and Pictures
The Annual Junior Triathlon was sponsored again this year by UKAEA. 

Russell Street, Lybster
First Street into a brand new street index for Lybster.  Lots more coming in the next few days.

Lybster's New Primary One Class
Primary One shares a teacher with Primary Two.  In addition to the teacher most classes have classroom assistants.

A Caithness-based woodturner is turning to film making as a new venture, using the latest in digital technology.   Michael O' Donnell is based at Dunnet Head - the most northerly point on the Scottish mainland - and aims to make videos and DVDs for a range of markets including business and tourism and instructional videos for crafts.

Unemployment In Caithness & Sutherland Rises By A Fraction
Unemployment is still going down in the Thurso area but overall their is very little change from the previous month.  The number of unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland rose from 800 last month to 810. 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) 5.8% (5.7%), 5.2% (5.6%) and 2.9% (2.6%).

Sandra's Backpackers Hostel To Build Extension - CASE Latest
Sandra's Backpackers Hostel was awarded assistance totalling £19,000 towards the extension of the popular bunk house accommodation. They were also awarded a further £11,400 under HIE Standards.

Clan Sinclair Trust Gets Help From CASE
Clan Sinclair Trust received approval of £5,000 towards the cost of developing a conservation plan and undertaking an archaeological survey to safeguard the future of Sinclair & Girnigoe Castle.

£62,500 To Local Engineering Firm
D Gow & Son, Lybster were awarded £62,540 towards the on-going development of the business.

Westside Croft Also Known As Mary Ann's Cottage Plans

Highland Council Introduces Free Bus Travel For Pensioners And Disabled
Free travel will be available for pensioners and people with disabilities for all bus journeys made within The Highland Council area from 30 September.  A great move if you have buses in your area.  Seems like another message board topic.  Can people in your area get buses and make use of the FREE passes as many rural services have disappeared.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise has agreed to support the proposed community buyout of  Amhuinnsuidhe and North Harris estate in the Western Isles of Scotland with a financial contribution from the agency's Community Land Unit.

Caithness Waybaggers  - August Walk Pictures
The Waybaggers August walk took them down to Wester Ross to climb Beinn Dearg.   If you would like to see a variety of places around the north of Scotland then think about joining in on a walk with the Waybaggers in Caithness.

South School, Wick  - 25 Years Anniversary Today
Pat Bowers the head teacher told the children at their assembly today that the school was 25 years old.  A few parents who had themselves attended the school were present in the hall.

Highland Health Council - Next Meeting Wednesday 18 September
The next meeting of Highland Health Council which is open to the public will be held in the Bradbury Day Care Centre in Bonar Bridge.  The meeting starts at 11.00am

Upper Burnside Drive, Thurso - All Round
This quite little suburb just outside the main part of Thurso lies just at the corner near the Weigh Inn which you can see in the aerial pictures.

How A Boat Gets To The Top Of The Wick Slipway For Repairs and Painting
You may often have seen boats up a slipway for painting and other work but have you ever seen it go up.  The slip at Wick harbour had new gear installed a few years ago.  Here is a set of pictures showing the whole process including the winch that pulls the rig that holds the boat up the slip.

Mey A Few Years Back And From The Air
More information on the page thanks to Sheila Moir.  Sheila also points out that one of the pictures put on last week was the oldest school and the one recently the filling station was the later old school.  Both have also now been indexed in the Old Schools Page which can now be found linked in School Days and from the Education Index Page

From The Shadow To The Light
An Exhibition Of Woven Textiles at St Fergus Gallery Wick until 21 September.
The exhibition moves to Swanson Gallery, Thurso 27 September - 26 October

Abseil Wick Hospital Chimney For Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust
Saturday 19 October - Tel 01467 629468 to find out how you can go down the chimney and get sponsorship for the Anthony Nolan trust to help leukaemia patients.  Remember Last Year when 50 people did the abseil.  Places are limited so don't leave it too long to book.

The Seven Men Of Knoydart By Ian Munro
This article from the 1993 Caithness Field Club Bulletin is one man's story of his stay in the famous Knoydart.  An interesting true story.

Cromwellian Soldiers In Cannesbay 1652 - 1655 by Morris Pottinger
Another article from Caithness Field Club Bulletin 1993.   Everyone in Caithness, of course, knows about Cromwell and the presence of his soldiers in Cannesbey, of the legend that their horses were stabled in the church and his men quartered with the locals. Everyone knows what they were doing in Cannesbey, or do they?

Cyclic Sedimentary Structures Of North Sutherland by Jack Saxon
First published in the Caithness Field Club Bulletin 1993.  In this article Jack casts his artisitc eye over some of the rocky outcrops and applies his considerable knowledge to reach some interesting conclusions on rocks which he puts in the Mesozoic Age.

Caithness Field Club Bulletin 1993
A few more items  - Bumping Into The Americas - Burnt Mounds And Sweathouses - Ships V Brochs

Web Hosting With Scorrie Internet Services Only £50 A Year
The Caithness.Org business arm offers a range of services from web site design and building to hosting of your web site whether built by us, someone else or yourself.  We also offer many extra features such as free banner advertising in the first year for new web sites and big discounts for later years for all our web site customers.  Banner advertising on the Caithness.Org/Scorrie web sites is growing fast as one payment gets a full year of advertising.  Check it out!!!!  Remember we limit our banner advertising to our traffic numbers to ensure that we can guarantee your ad will be shown a certain number of times.  When the slots are gone they will be gone for a year.

Morrison's Men Keep Wick's New Sewage Treatment Works Ahead Of Schedule
Morrisons the firm building the new £4.6 million waste water treatment works at North Head, Wick are very pleased with the progress of the contract so far.  They are several weeks ahead of their schedule with much of the concrete foundations already in place.  Building of the tanks will begin next week.  The following sets of pictures show the current stage of the work - This work is one of a series of new treatment works by Scottish Water to ensure that all outflows meet stringent new standards on waste water being put into the sea.   A similar treatment works for Thurso and surrounding area will begin next year.

Manpower Leaving Night Out Becomes Party Night
Friday 13 September was meant to be a night out for the staff given redundancy notices but a last minute new contract has meant jobs have again been offered to all staff.  Despite the conditions being changed and six day working being brought in albeit temporarily most staff are expected to accept the offer of employment under the new arrangements.  The new BT contract will employ 140 staff and so the company instead of getting rid of staff are now about to recruit up to 90 more giving another boost to local employment rather than the opposite that was expected.

St Peters Masonic Lodge, Thurso
The Masonic Hall in Thurso was built in 1873 and was formerly a volunteer drill hall.  It shows its military character in its fortress like appearance with a tower.

South School, Wick - September Newsletter
The latest information for parents with children at South School, Wick.

Closing Date For Applications Extended For Dunnet Post Office
The Post Office has extended the closing date for applications to run Dunnet Post Office branch.

Scrabster Pier Delays Hold Up Northlink's New Ferry
Northlink the ferry company taking over the route from Scrabster to Stromness will have to lay up its new ferry the "Hamnavoe" as the pier will not be ready.  The new ferry being built in Finland will arrive on time but with nowhere to go.  Another ferry has been chartered from CalMac.  The "Hebridean Isles" will take over the route until the pier is completed and the very much larger and luxurious "Hamnavoe" can berth.  Ach Weel.

Scrabster Pier Full Pictures Index

Chief Scout George Purdy Visit To Caithness
George Purdy CBE the Leader of the 450,000 strong Scout Movement in the UK, will visit Caithness on Sunday 22 September 2002 as part of his Highland tour.  A Fun Day has been arranged for local Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts At Millbank, Thurso between 10.00am and 3.00pm.  Each section has its own programme arranged. There will be a formal flag break and a short service at 11.30am during which the Chief Scout will address the gathering and make some presentations.......

Doors Open Day Changes Saturday 21 Sptember
There are a some changes to the programme published in the leaflets for this day in Caithness.  The main one is that the Stroma trip to the mausaleum and dovecote is cancelled.  there are also slight changes to the previously published schedule.

Caithness Kidney Dialysis Support Group
Group thanks everyone for many donations in recent months and will be carrying on fund raising for patients.  Staff have now been appointed for the new Dialysis Unit at Caithness General.  Planning Permission has been granted and work has started on the building with GMR Henderson as contractors.  Opening date is still on target for January 2003.

Inverness Local Plan
The long term plans for Inverness the biggest town in Highland Region may have implications for everyone in the Highlands.  Although we all like to have a go at everything going to Inverness there is little doubt that a successful main town in any area can have many spin offs for the whole region.  In the north over 100 miles away in many cases it may well be worth taking a critical look as the long-term future may well be beginning in these plans.  Remember your own local plan in Highland is available at many public places such as libraries etc and in more rural areas in some hotels and village halls.

Internet Access Available At Wick Library
Internet access is available via 6 computers at Wick library.  If you live in the county or are visiting you can now get access to the Internet for research and email at Wick library, Thurso library and Thurso College.  Wicik Youth club also has access for its members.   Paid for access is also available at Sandra's Backpackers cafe in Thurso.   If you know of any other places offering public access then let us know.

Wick From The Air

Mey - New Picture Gallery
More pictures of Mey in a new gallery.

Give Blood  - Tuesday 17 September
Assembly Rooms, Wick  - 2.00 - 4.00pm and 5.00 - 8.00pm

The Coast Of Caithness From The Air - New Gallery
A new section to contain more aerial pictures of Caithness.  This latest batch are from Martin Lawrence.  The section will show many of the harbours and other coastal shots of Caithness.  Some will have two pictures the second slightly larger of the main feature in the picture.  More pictures will be added as we work our way round the coast.  Starting at Berriedale we have added Dunbeath, Latheronwheel and Lybster to get the section going.  Many more to come.

Scotland's First Minister's Message For September 11
The First Minister and other Scottish Ministers are attending a special service at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh today to mark the first anniversary of the terror attacks on America on September 11 last year.  Bill Fernie visited New York in 2000 and took many pictures of the city including a number from the top of one of the towers.  Remembering the many people seen there and still wondering who got out and who did not.  This picture taken from Battery Park - one of many angles lives on as with most folk who have ever been there.

Following Recent Meetings In Wick & Thurso Still Time To Have A Say
Highland Health Council would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the ‘Caithness Voices’ events in Wick and Thurso last week. The events were an attempt to do something different to involve as wide a selection of views from the community as possible.

Lieutenant William Adams of the Caithness Artillery Volunteers, c. 1880
This photograph has been sent to us by a collector of military pictures as it shows William Adams who was a Lieutenant in the Caithness Artillery Volunteers and might be of interest to our readers.  There are a growing number of pictures on the web site of historical interest.  In order to make them easier to find we will start to index them in the History Section under Historical Pictures.  If you have any pictures with a Caithness connection that you would like to share in this section get in touch.  Please be aware that we cannot publish pictures from the Johnson Collection for copyright reasons without permission of the Wick Society.

UKAEA Donates £250 To Assynt Mountain Rescue
UKAEA Dounreay has recently donated £250 to the Assynt Mountain Rescue Team. The team is a voluntary and self-funded organisation and is one of 28 represented at the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland.  The team is the northernmost in Britain and operates throughout Caithness and  Sutherland.

WORK Has Begun Replacing CLACHNAHARRY BRIDGE In Inverness
Delays Possible On The Kessock Bridge Due to Increased Traffic.  On Monday 9 September preliminary work on the 140-year-old bridge at Clachnaharry in Inverness  started and will last for 5 weeks.  During this period there will be temporary road works on the A862 road going over the bridge and traffic will be controlled by traffic lights. Drivers are advised that they could face delays whilst work is underway. The 7.5 tonnes weight restriction, which has been in place on the bridge since March, will still apply.

A new marketing campaign aimed at promoting Caithness flagstone as a paving material in English towns and cities is getting underway thanks to Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE).  Caithness-based A & D Sutherland Ltd have won many high profile contracts.

Rockpool Rummage Pictures
The recent rock pool rummage at Keiss beach attracted a good turn out onFriday night (over 20 people). Armed with sampling nets and trays, the rummagers searched for the air breathing fish and hunted for the meat eating predators living in the rock pool system.

Cone Zone Challenge
7 youth group teams turned out for the cone zone challenge held in Dunnet Forest on Saturday. The young folk navigated their way around the forest and completed a series of mental and physical tasks. All teams completed the challenge. The photo's show some of the teams at work.

Castle Of Mey Visitor Numbers Even Higher - More Pictures
The Castle and Gardens had over 15,000 adult  visitors and several thousand children in the first three weeks of opening.  There is now an admission charge of £5 per head for adults and the Castle and Gardens will remain open (except Mondays) up to and including 6th October 2002. They will be open again next year.

NHS Buys Up All The Spare Private Capacity In Orthopaedics For 6 Months
The National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland has purchased all of the spare capacity in orthopaedics in the private sector to clear the waiting list for people waiting over a year for knee or hip replacements.  Boards and trusts will contract with their local or most convenient private hospitals to carry out the operations over the coming months.  NHS Highland is using its money to increase surgery within its own hospitals.

Dunnet Parish School
Dunnet Parish School was built in 1864 and the date is set in stone above the door.  The building is now a private residence.  The house has been extensively re-modernised inside but the classroom at the back remains surprisingly as it was and some of the old items such as books, maps and other educational material has been handed on from owner to owner.

Doors Open Day In Caithness Saturday
A chance to see some places that are not always open to the public all over Scotland on various days.  In Caithness it's Saturday 21 September.  This year there are a number of tours of Doocotes or Dovecotes with a lecture on the subject on Friday 20 September at Dunbeath Heritage Centre by Elizabeth Beaton who has written about the Dovecotes of Caithness.

Highland Archaeology Week 12 - 20 October
It's a month away but you might like to check out what is coming up in Caithness or make the jump to the highland Archaeology web site to see what the rest of the Highlands have on offer.

Councillor David Green, Convener of The Highland Council, said he is delighted to have been appointed to the part-time post of Chairman of the Crofters Commission. The appointment will run for two years from 1 October.  Councillor Green is an Independent Councillor for the Lochbroom Ward and will continue in this post until April 2003. He does not intend to stand for re-election to the Council at the elections on May 1, next year.

Caithness & North Sutherland Children's Choir
The choir have started again after the summer holidays. Children from P4 - S2  can come along and audition on Monday nights, 6pm, Pennyland School.  The group are currently looking for new members so if you are a young person with singing ambitions or just enjoy singing in a group then contact the conductor Heather Lewry

New Child Protection Bill For Scotland To List Unsuitable Persons
Proposed legislation to stop "unsuitable" people working with children was unveiled by the Scottish Executive today.  The Protection of Children (Scotland) Bill will create a List of Persons Unsuitable to Work with Children.   Employers will refer people to the list if they have been sacked or moved as a result of unsuitable behaviour towards children, even if they have not been convicted of a criminal offence.

Scottish Waste Recycling Liaison Officer Begins Work
A liaison officer for sustainable waste management and recycling has been appointed in Scotland, The Executive announced today.  John Forbes is to be the Scotland Liaison Officer for WRAP – Waste and Resources Action Programme – an organisation receiving £2.1 million over three years as part of a UK-wide programme established to promote sustainable waste management and create markets for recycled materials and products.

Children's Hearings System In Scotland - Recruiting New Volunteers
You do not need special qualifications to sit on the Highland or any other area Children's Panels.  Panel members are trained to see the child as well as the problem.  Ordinary men and women can do an extraordinary thing -make a difference to a child's life..

Harold's Tower Near Thurso
This unusual folly was built as a replacement mausaleum for the Sinclairs of Ulbster.  Here are pictures of all sides of this heexagonal structure built to commemorate the death of Harold a norse nobleman at the Battle of Clairdon in 1195 and who was buried nearby.

Brough Bay At Dunnet
Here is a quiet little bay at Dunnet that few people find their way to.  It is on the road to Dunnet Head Lighthouse.  The bay has a small pier - slipway and a stack just out in the Bay that can be reached at low tide over the rocks and pools left by the outgoing tide. 

Ackergill Tower From The Air
Another view of Ackergill Tower showing the tower and the dovecotes on either side in the field.  The dovecotes will shortly be open to the public along with other dovecotes in the county.  Further details coming on the web site shortly.

Ackergill Village From Above
This picture of Ackergill from above shows the village and the harbour.  More aeriel pictures of various places that will now begin to appear on the site.

Recreation Park, Cliff Road, Wick
The small council run recreation park at Cliff Road, Wick has tennis courts, bowling green, trampolines, crazy golf, putting and a climbing frame.  The clubhouse which is in need of some repair and a lick of paint still hires out the equipment for all the facilities.  A relaxing place on a nice summer's day.

St Fergus Road, Wick

Vansittart Street, Wick
Vansittart Street runs into Bexley Terrace and is named no doubt after Nicholas Vansittart , Member of Parliament, Secretary to the Treasury who was given the Freedom of Burgh along with Sir William Pulteney, M.P.  for their assistance in getting a survey of the harbour and the improvements that followed leading to the improvement in trade in the fishing industry in the late 18th century.

Cliff Road, Wick or as It Is Known To Locals "The Cliff"
"The Cliff" as Cliff Road is known to most folk in Caithness leads on from Francis Street which is itself a lead on from the A99 (once the A9 and source of much local bitterness over the change of designation).  The Cliff heads on to Bridge Street after the small roundabout at Mackays Hotel.   Once it was indeed a cliff but the structure of the roads has long since hidden all but small trace of the drop.  The short street is home to the offices of The John O'Groat Journal that also backs onto Union Street and on the opposite side the small recreation park.

History Of Caithness - Appendix 2 - Dwelling Houses, Dress, Etc
This section of Appendix 2 gives some information on the houses lived in Caithness folk rich and poor.  It gives descriptions of some of the clothing common in Caithness in the eighteenth century.  The houses of the farm folk living right on top of their domestic animals.  It also describes some of the food eaten at the time and little meat was included in the diets of the poorer sections of the community.  A fair number of older words are used in this section so we hope you can follow their meaning.

Model Of Proposed Highland Clearances Memorial At Helmsdale
If you take a close look at the picture inside you will see the scale of the sculpture.  it dwarfs the figures of people climbing the path towards the top.

Weather Information For Jun - July - August
Weather information from Martin Duffy in Wick who maintains his own automated weather recording equipment.  Want to know the hottest, wettest, driest in the last three months then this is the place.

Gersa School - Another One Long Closed
With over 100 old schools in Caithness we have barely begun in this section.  There are already three class photos in Schooldays section so now you can see where they all went to school

Northern Constabulary Winning The Crime War
The latest annual report for the biggest area police force in the country show successes on many fronts.  With a 100% clear up rate on serious crime and improvements in many other areas such as credit card and cheque fraud.  Targeting of Drug Dealers is proving to be more and more successful whilst capital improvements in new buildings and an increase in manpower to the highest ever numbers.

On 3rd September, 2002, new information was received about the death of Kevin MacLeod on 7th/8th February, 2002.   A team of detective officers at Wick Police Station are actively investigating
this information.  Latest report says At 3.20pm Thursday said a man was detained by police officers in Caithness. This man is being interviewed in relation to enquiries currently being carried out in Wick. This detention is not directly related to the death of Kevin MacLeod.   Mr Graeme Napier, Area Procurator Fiscal at Inverness has been informed of this development.

Pleasanton Highland Games, California - Pictures
Why we hear you ask are we showing pictures of games round the other side of the world.  Well here goes with the short answer - Cindy and Helen sisters from California but with roots in Caithness visited a couple of years ago and joined the ranks of the jolly folk in our chat rooms and message boards and the rest is...well longer story and even more complicated.

Highland Clearances Project At Helmsdale
Today Thursday 5 September was a momentous day in the long history of the Highland Clearances when the directors of the Highland Clearances Project a £5 million project to create a lasting memorial to the Highland people who were swept from the land.  The project at Helmsdale was given another push today when the founding director of Clearances Centre Ltd, Dennis MacLeod, the mining entrepreneur, was joined by some of his directors to reveal the latest developments.  Also present was Councillor David Green, chairman of Inverness Highland 2008, who is supporting the project, as well as internationally-acclaimed sculptor Gerald Laing.

Caithness Triathlon Members Enter The Nairn Event
Seven competitors from Wick triathlon club made the trip to Nairn for the Sprint triathlon on Sunday last.  Excellent results were achieved by the Caithness Club for the event consisting of a 500 metre swim followed by a 20 km cycle and, immediately thereafter, a 6 km run.  The strength of the Wick club was apparent by the fact that they outnumbered the home team!.

Groats V Thistle Veterans Last Sunday
A four team picture as the veteran Groats and Thistle teams played a friendly ahead of the real match at Bignold Park, Wick.   Groats won 5-2.

Dunbar A & E Downgrading Fear Story Refuted By Health Trust Boss
Paul Martin, Chief Executive of Highland Primary Care Trust, commenting on the front page article in the Caithness Courier, Wednesday 4 September 2002, refuted the suggestion that a decision had already been made on the future of Accident and Emergency Services at Dunbar Hospital, Thurso. The article quoted Mary Scanlon, MSP, as saying that a nurse led minor injuries unit would replace the Accident & Emergency department at the hospital by the end of the year.

Caithness Early Years Autism Centre
Set up two years ago CEYAC (Caithness Early Years Autism Centre) has a role to facilitate wherever possible the inclusion of children with ASD into their local schools. To reflect this inclusion and outreach role there now two full time teachers.

Grey Coast Theatre Hit In The Making With "51 Pegasus" By Ian McDonough
The opening night of 51 Pegasus proves Grey Coast Theatre's drive to find new work and bring it forward with a young cast was vindicated.  Artistic Director George Gunn expressed his satisfaction to a first night reception in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso where the audience were invited back to meet the cast and production team.  The play, the result of Grey Coast's hunt for new plays in the Highlands last year has undoubtedly found another gem following it's "Farmlands" success last year.  The play will be on again tonight before setting off on a tour.  Catch it tonight at Thurso High School or at any of the other venues.  Serious messages delivered with wit.

Sutherland Folk Festival Is Under Way With Events All through September
with events all over Sutherland for the festival there is certainly something for everyone.  The guys in this picture are arriving for the big event in Borgie forest billed as something akin to Glastonbury.  That is on the 14th.  The woodland evening concert, which could have easily been billed "Tree in the Dark",  follows the Borgie Forest Open Day with highlights such as quad races, wood working demos and a fire fighting display.

Drug Awareness Tour of the Highlands
Glasgow-based Theatre Company FABLEVISION is touring its highly successful drug awareness programme LAST NIGHT to more than 2,000 young people in 24 secondary schools in the Highlands. The tour began in Inverness on 26th August and finishes in Wick on Thursday 12 September before taking the ferry to Stornoway to tour Harris and Lewis.

The decision to move the new headquarters of The Highland Councils harbour management team to Lochinver, Sutherland, was hailed as a big success by Convener David Green when he opened the Culag Building on Tuesday 3 September.

National Memorial Re-opens For Walkers and Climbers In Skye
The Glen Brittle Mountaineering Memorial Hut can welcome weary walkers and climbers once again following a short period of closure for refurbishment.  Situated at the foot of the spectacular Black Cuillin Ridge in Skye, the hut has provided warmth and shelter to climbers since it was built in 1965, although few realise it also serves to commemorate British mountaineers who lost their lives in World War II.

Biodiversity Week In Caithness and The Highlands
There are still plenty of events on around the highlands for biodiversitiy week.  In Caithness there is a Bat Watch with Mary Legg on Friday at 9.00pm at Dunnet.  On Sunday there is a wildfood and fungi walk at Dunnet leaving at 10.30am.  Check the full programme for other highland area events.

Rare Plant Find At Munsary Peatland Reserve, Latheron
 During the monitoring work, the survey team have recently made an exciting find by locating saxifrage hirculus (yellow marsh saxifrage), on site.   Munsary Peatland Reserve, north of Latheron, was opened in July 2000. The 3,300-acre reserve is owned by Plantlife - Wild Plant Conservation Charity, and run by a management group, including several local representatives.

New Police Station, Wick - Latest Pictures
Wick's new police station has been moving towards completion later this year.  The roof and outer walls are almost complete and the building will be water tight before winter appears.

Kennedy Terrace
New houses at Kennedy Terrace, Wick are gradually stretching out into the area of Old Wick

History Of Caithness - Superstition In Caithness
A short section in Appendix 2 of the History of Caithness.  Particularly refers to the story of a cat that had its leg cut of and the poor woman accused of being a witch after being discovered to have a leg missing.  Was it only the common sense of the Advocate-General of the day that Caithness avoided its own Salem type witch trials after the poor lady under torture gave many names of other local witches.

Wick Pipe Band - Last Parade Of The Summer
After a very busy season Wick Pipe Band had its last outdoor parade of the summer season on Saturday night in the Market Square, Wick.  As mentioned earlier Thurso Pipe Band will have its final parade this Saturday 7 September in Thurso.

Caithness Handbell Ringers Wick Concert
Caithness Handbell Ringers were joined by Erica Sinclair on the clarsach, Craig Campbell on the organ and Bruce Gordon on the bassoon for two concerts in Wick and Thurso.  Pictured her in St John's Church in Moray Street, Wick they played a range of music from John Denver and Irvine Berlin. to Handel and Mozart.  With an increasing range of music to play we are sure to be hearing more from this group.

51 Pegasus - Latest Production From Grey Coast Theatre Goes On The Road
After the resounding success of their last tour, Farm Land, Scotland’s most Northerly professional theatre company bring you 51 Pegasus, a hilarious and moving new play by Ian McDonough. 51 Pegasus will tour throughout Scotland from 4 September to 5 October, including three nights at the Traverse in Edinburgh and two at The Arches in Glasgow. The opening night will be in Thurso High School on 4 and 5 September and the Press Night will be in Eden Court Theatre on Sat 7 September.

Caithness Voices - Cancelling seminar In Thurso - Wick One Goes Ahead
Highland Health Council decides to cancel part of the event planned for Thursday 5th September at Thurso Town Hall.   The Health Council regretfully announces that due to a lack of response for the discussion and workshop element of the Thurso event we have decided to cancel this part of the day.

Scott Mackay Loses His Fight For Life
We are sad to announce that Scott Mackay has died at his home in Illinois, USA.   His wife Marissa has posted a message on their web page.   Our thoughts are with his family at his home and elsewhere round the world.  The news is being broadcast on Moray Firth Radio today at 12.00 noon and at 1.00pm

Thurso Pipe Band - Last Street Parade of The Summer
The band will be holding it's last street parade of the season on Saturday 7th of September at 7:30pm in Princes Street Thurso. If the weather is bad they will be playing in the Royal British Legion Rooms Thurso.  After the street parade the band will be holding a karaoke night in the RBL Rooms starting at 9pm and everyone is welcome to join in.

Thurso Live Music Association
2002 - 2003 Programme now out.  A programme of eight concerts for the 38th season.  Season starts with Opera On A Shoestring on Tuesday 8 October 2002.  Get a subscription ticket and save £21 on entrance to performances.   Another varied programme with some of the best musicians and singers around.

Thurso Pipe Band In Brilon, Germany - Twin Town Of Thurso

Thurso Pipe Band Gave Lots Of Concerts In Brilon And Met The Local Brass Band

Cars For Sale Section Set Up After Numbers Surge On Message Board
You cannot beat a good bargain and the FREE Items for Sale section on the message board has increasingly had cars, vans and other vehicles being advertised.  To make life easier we have now set up a separate section - Cars for Sale.  It is rapidly becoming the Caithness Car Mart.   All the sold vehicles have been removed but there are still plenty left.  Sellers just post a message when the vehicle is sold to help everyone.

Births, Deaths and Marriages Message Board Now Up and Running
Following many requests for this column we have now set one up.   Once again it is completely FREE so you can post information to a huge audience worldwide.   We are monitoring demand for other sections and will set new ones up if required.


Caithness.Org on Facebook