News Archive - October 2003

Saltburn, Ross-shire - Another Set of Highland Views

Barbaraville, Ross-shire

East Sutherland Coast To Dunrobin Castle

Around Kirkwall Harbour

Thurso & District Round Table - Fireworks Display Saturday 1 November 7.00pm
The event is purely self funding and due to the adverse weather last year a substantial loss was incurred. This is a well organised event and this year will have a welcome return of the Bonfire which will be lit on the Beach.

Highland Councillors have voted to oppose “in totality” plans to dismantle the Royal Navy’s laid-up nuclear powered submarines at Nigg, East Ross, and store the nuclear reactor compartments at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment site at Dounreay, Caithness.  They did so after hearing that the process was flawed because standard Cabinet Office guidelines on public consultation had been ignored as there was no consultation document to refer to.  They also expressed their concern that the MoD was relying too heavily on the private sector to find a solution to the management of the radioactive wastes.

Community Supported Agriculture in the Highlands and Islands
Would it work for your community?  A feasibility study commissioned by HIE is under way to see if Community Supported Agriculture can be established on farms and crofts in the Highlands and Islands. This paper gives a brief outline of how CSA farming works and invites you to get involved in the study and have your say.  Thurso & surrounds initial visit 5 to 7 November, open meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 6 November in Thurso Town Hall

A major investment in specialist equipment to transport wind turbine components will result in 10 new full-time jobs at Edward Mackay Ltd (EML) in Brora and help position the company as a national specialist in windfarm development.  Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) is backing the development with a £210,000 financial support package for EML. The £842,700 project involves the purchase of specialist plant and haulage equipment in order to transport wind turbine components - which are classed as abnormal loads - from coastal ports to windfarm sites in Scotland.

Caithness Youth Conference 2003
The First Ever Conference to be held in Caithness specifically for Young People- which is being organised by the Caithness Youth Forum - will be held in the New Weigh Inn on Sunday 16th November 2003.  It starts at 10.30 AM and will finish with live music entertainment at 9PM.

Orkney Communities Web Site Launched Over The Pentland Firth
Orkney Communities web site was launched in Orkney today (Tuesday 28 October 2003).  the new web site brings together information on about 600 local groups in the islands and has many features including allowing the user groups to update their own pages for a small annual fee of £35.  It is hoped the site will become a focus for local groups, their events and what is going on in the voluntary and charity sector.  Articles and pictures can be added at any time.   So if you want to know who is running what in Orkney this new and comprehensive site will be the place to look.

Peter  Welsh  retired as director of Dounreay on 29 October 2003 after five years  in charge of the site. He took over in August 1998 during one of the site's  most  difficult  periods  and immediately took charge of the site's response  to  143  recommendations  made by regulators in their 1998 Safety Audit. Peter Welsh is pictured during his official handover to new Dounreay Director Norman Harrison In A final comment Peter Welsh said, "If  I  have  a regret, it is that Lorraine Mann, a prominent critic during the  last  five  years, did not accept my invitations to visit the site and see at first hand the improvements and progress we have made".

Ormlie Community Association Gains £50,000 Grant
Ormlie Community Association has successfully secured £50,000 from the Transforming Your Space initiative for Phase 2 and 3 of the Ormlie Home Zone Project.  An open meeting of Ormlie Community Association will be held on Thursday 30 October 2003 at 7.30 pm in the Ormlie Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso to discuss the Home Zone project and the progress that has been made.

Recycled Computers From Ormlie Residents
Ormlie Community Association has also been given some recycled computers from the Highland Council for distribution to residents interested in improving their IT skills. Residents were invited to write or draw a picture explaining why they would want a computer and how they would use it. The successful residents will be announced at the Open Meeting on Thursday night.

A Light in The North A Celebration Of The Work And Life Of Neil Gunn
7 - 9 November 2003   A ‘drop-in’ weekend of lectures, guided walks and discussion, concluding with a performance of “Dunbeath Water” oratorio.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned a study team to look into expanding Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the region and is inviting food consumers and food producers to get involved.  CSA is a partnership between small farmers or crofters - both livestock and crop producers - and local consumers who want to eat fresh food.  By joining a CSA, local families can sign-up to be consumer 'members' of a farm or croft in their area and agree to pay for a year's 'share' of the food produced on the land.

Missing Cat - Thurso - From Mrs Lydia Bain and Family
Our cat went missing some time ago but has been seen from time to time.  Her name is Roxette which she answers too, she is 8 years old, she used to live with us at the end of Springpark Terrace near Charlie's farm until March this year.   We then moved over to Pennyland, 8 St Peters Rd   She took a week or so to settle in as it was the first time she had moved but then she seemed ok.  Can anyone in Thurso help find this missing tabby

Fly Tying Classes - Tuesday 28th October at 7.30pm
Fly Tying Classes again this year, every Tuesday evening during the winter months. The venue will be the Community Education Building behind Miller Academy, Princes Street, Thurso and the class starts Tuesday 28th October at 7.30pm.

Thurso & District Round Table - Fireworks Display Saturday 1 November 7.00pm
The event is purely self funding and due to the adverse weather last year a substantial loss was incurred. This is a well organised event and this year will have a welcome return of the Bonfire which will be lit on the Beach.

Halloween Party By Thurso Town Improvements Has Huge Turnout
Nearly 200 children turned up for the Halloween Party at Viewfirth on Sunday almost three times the number expected.  It all went off well with the haunted house having plenty of scares for anyone brave enough to enter.

Thurso Live Music Association - Mandolin, Flute & Piano Recital
Thursday 30 October 8.00pm Thurso High School - Tickets at the door Adults £7 Children and students £1

Employment Links
We have added many more links to the Employment Links section so it may be worth checking if you are looking for career ideas.

Around Helmsdale - More Pictures

Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale

George's Summertime Pictures
George has been unwell this year but is now stable on a couple of medicines.  She is getting to be an old lady now at over 17 years old.  She enjoyed the long hot summer and still takes an interest in the webby stuff especially if food is on the go.  Coffee time here is also open the sachet time for George.  Move to the kitchen and she hopefully follows through.

Transport In Caithness Pictures
As we are out and about we have taken many pictures that have not appeared on the web site.  A few are of the vehicles around the county and in this section we have drawn together links to some of the pages on the site showing various aspects of transportation and new new picture galleries where later pictures will be added from time to time. 

Make A Difference Day Today

Caithness Riders Access Group Sets Up New Web Site

Capture more of Caithness at
An exciting new website launched today.  Local artist Julian Smith offers a dynamic and engaging internet shop window for a range of high quality prints and original artwork.  The prints which featured in his successful summer exhibition can be viewed and purchased with ease on this extremely user-friendly site.  Some of the features are quite novel, for instance an 'In progress' page shows the 'life' of a painting from sketch to finished piece on the easel. This section, like many of the pages will be updated regularly with contemporary works.  Shortly Julian will have his unique DVD available for sale on the web site  - a combination of his artwork, animation and music and sure to be a popular gift this year and for some time to come.

Calling Caithness Arts Groups
Do You Want Scottish Arts Lottery Grants? Closing Dates November

College Court, Thurso  Pollock Place, Thurso College Court, Thurso

Dunbar Hospital, Thurso

Brilon Court, Thurso

Grant Avenue, Thurso

Winter Emergency Numbers
To help you find out who to call in an emergency this winter and for up to date road information we are again posting a list of emergency numbers.  The list will be linked on all the monthly news index pages,  the emergency services page and the police page.   Also remember our handy Help Lines page in the community index.

Planned strike action in the Unison Nursery Nurses dispute for the dates Tuesday 28th, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th October has been suspended following a series of meetings over the October holidays between Unison and Highland Council officials.  Although no formal agreement has been reached, there has been enough common ground covered as a basis for discussion for a final agreement.

Thurso Caged Bird Society Annual Show
Saturday 1 November Town Hall, Thurso - Open to the public from 1.00pm.  The Society are hoping to get a resurgence of people showing their birds to revive the fortunes of the group which has been declining in recent years.  So if you have birds why not enter them in this years show.  Contact the secretary for more information.

Children In The Highlands Education Support Services (CHESS) Surgery
29 October 11.00am - 2.30 Assembly Rooms, Wick.  CHESS provides advice, support, mediation, training on additional education needs for children, parents and professionals.  The surgery provides anyone with questions a chance to get some answers or find more information on what is available for their children.

Latheron House

A delegation of Inverness Area Highland Councillors and businessmen from the Highlands & Islands has just returned from China declaring their visit a positive step forward in forging strong economic and educational links.  Accompanying Inverness City Provost William Smith were Councillors Jimmy Gray, Norrie Donald and Bob Wynd together with Chris Claridge, the Highland Council’s Inverness Area Manager and businessmen from Inverness and the Western Isles.

Latest Pictures Added to Inverness Gallery

Dunbeath In Autumn
Not for long as winter seems to be sweeping in to the north of Scotland.

Albert Street, Wick

Boats Around Caithness In October

Latest Wick Heritage Centre Pictures - Centre Closes For Season on 31 October
Even if you have visited the Wick Heritage Centre you have probably barely scratched the surface.  Apart from many rooms set up in traditional style, a large art collection, thousands of artefacts the centre has one of the largest photo collections around with over 60,000 negatives and many pictures in lots of albums to browse.  Get there if you can or you will have to wait until April 2004.

Latest From The Caithness Quilters
The next meeting of the Caithness Quilters is in the Ross Institute Halkirk on Tuesday 28 October 2003at 7.30 there will be 3 corner demonstrations by committee members. The lucky winner of the Charity Quilt drawn on 30 September 2003 was Margaret Maclean, Tullochlea, Bruan.  Macmillan Cancer Relief received the grand sum of £1700.00.

Caithness District Young Farmers Cattle & Sheep Dressing Competitions
Caithness District Young Farmers recently held their cattle and sheep dressing competitions at Caithness Livestock Centre, Quoybrae by kind permission of Aberdeen & Northern Marts.  Five teams took part in the cattle dressing, which saw James Barnetson and Stuart Mackay (Bower) take home the Stainland Shield for winning the senior competition.

Hawkmoths In Caithness
Chris Nicolson in Castletown sent us in some news about a Hawkmoth some time ago. "I couldn't believe the size of the moth that dropped from the clothes I was working with yesterday!" (It was eventually released in Dunnet Forest). I understand one of the teachers in the local school also found a large moth recently, so I don't think I'll be the only one to come across one of these!  It’s not unusual for beasties to be brought in with the washing, but the moth that landed on a Castletown clothesline this week was slightly larger than the norm. Measuring about 7 cm, when the wings were closed the moth resembled a piece of bark. Further investigation revealed it to be a Convolvulus Hawkmoth.

New Funding Of £5 Million To Ensure Earlier Operations
Highland Gains £175,000 Extra Funding.  Hundreds of patients will have their operations carried out earlier as a result of £5 million additional funding announced today.   NHS Boards will receive £3.8 million, under the Arbuthnott formula, to expand capacity in their area or to buy capacity in the private sector for patients waiting for orthopaedic, urological or general surgery.  The National Waiting Times Unit will also use £1.2 million for a specific initiative to help reduce the number of patients waiting for ophthalmology operations.

Shining Example For Solar Energy
A new Royal Society for the Protection of Birds scheme designed to encourage people to use solar energy was launched today.  Deputy Enterprise Minister Lewis Macdonald explained that the ‘Going Solar’ initiative, a non-profit making scheme, offered the first ever ‘solar loans’.  It allows people to install this technology by offering a fixed solar power installation price and special loans to finance it.   It is open to members of the public.  More than one million members of the RSPB will be specifically targeted.  The solar initiative will offer those participating the potential of saving money on their current bills.  The scheme is being run by the RSPB, Solar Century, a UK photovoltaic firm, and the Co-op bank who are offering the loans.

Inverness to Get Low Cost Swedish Air Link in March 2004
Low-cost Swedish airline Snowflake has announced that it will fly a twice-weekly service between Inverness and Stockholm from March 2004.  The airline, a division of SAS, will operate return flights on Mondays and Fridays from 29 March 2004 with one-way fares starting at £45. Flights will be operated with Boeing 737 aircraft.

The Highland Council is being increasingly pointed towards opposing the commercial growing of Genetically Modified Crops.  This is the view of Councillor Richard Durham, Chairman of the Council’s Land and Environment Select Committee, who has asked the matter to be debated when his committee meets next on Thursday 6 November.  Councillor Durham made his comments after noting the results of the biggest environmental-impact study of GM crops anywhere in the world, which indicated that the cultivation of GM crops – such as oilseed rape – reduces biodiversity in wildlife compared to their conventional equivalents.

Pentland Brass Get UKAEA Donation
UKAEA Dounreay recently donated £100 towards the cost of instruments and music for Pentland Brass Band.  The band was formed in February 2003 and this month they played their music to the public for the first time in aid of funds for the Highland Hospice at St Peters Church, Thurso.  Colin Gregory, UKAEA is pictured here presenting the cheque to Ricky Mackay and Colin Turnbull of the Pentland Brass Band.

Old Brewery In Mansons Lane, Thurso To Have Future Options Reviewed
Assistance of £4,817 will enable Highland Buildings Preservation Trust to undertake an investigation into the future options for both the Old Brewery and a dangerous building in Princes Street, Thurso.   The old brewery sits in Manson's Lane at the corner with Riverside Place.  The brewery was set up by Alex Manson.  The original roof is thought to have been local slate and has for many years had a corrugated iron roof that now stands out with the rust.  There have been many suggestions for uses to which this substantial building could be put to.  To date none of the suggestions or plans have got any further so perhaps this will be the start of a recovery in the buildings fortunes.

Unemployment Continues Downward Trend In Caithness
Overall, the number of people unemployed in Caithness and Sutherland fell from 781 last month to 741. This compares to 797 in the same period last year.

Dog owners throughout Highland could face a fixed penalty of £40 if they fail to clear up their pet’s mess. This is the warning from The Highland Council’s Transport, Environmental and Community Services who will have new powers as the result of the introduction of The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003, which comes into force on Wednesday 22nd October.  Collect Your Poop Scoops From Service Points To Avoid Fines.

UKAEA  Dounreay  and  the  UHI Millennium Institute are to collaborate with their  counterparts  in France in a ground-breaking initiative to establish common international standards in decommissioning qualifications.  An  agreement to share decommissioning knowledge and experience has been in place between the UKAEA and the French agency CEA (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique)  since  1999. This has now been expanded to include education and skills   training  in  decommissioning  through  UHI,  the  Joseph  Fourier University  of Grenoble and the National Institute for Nuclear Sciences and Techniques (INSTN), CEA's training and education arm.

More Cash For Lower Pulteney With Environmental Renewal Grant
A grant of up to £43,466 has been awarded towards the costs of external environmental improvements to Telford House in Lower Pulteney,   Telford Street/Miller Street works

Two Caithness Schools To Get Craft Residencies In Highland Project
Six Highland schools, 2 each in Caithness, Ross and Cromarty and Lochaber, are to benefit from 3 specialist craft makers-in-residence. The residencies in Caithness will involve primary school children at Hillhead Academy, Wick and Miller Academy, Thurso. The residencies have been made possible by a £24,000 award to The Highland Council's Education Culture & Sport Service from the Scottish Arts Council National Lottery.

Pentland Brass Band Gain Community Assistance Grant
The recently formed Pentland Brass Band, are to receive up to £5,000 towards the cost of purchasing equipment for junior members.

Traditional Music Work Shops Organisers Have Had Huge Response
The workshops have totally sold out so much so that the organisers are urgently trying to arrange another fiddle tutor to cope with numbers.  The evening concert in MacKays Hotel will feature workshop participants performing a piece along side their tutor and all tutors will be performing individually and in groups. Concert will start @ 7.30pm, with tickets at the door which are based on a first come first served basis priced at £4 & £3.  Interest for advanced concert tickets has so far been high so it's a case of get there early as tickets are only available at the door on the night.

Wick High 1966 Reunion Tickets Now Available

Wick Firm K P Technology Wins A Smart Scotland Award
Iain Baikie's new firm K P Technology Ltd has won one of the awards in Smart Scotland.  K P Technology is science based company at the forefront of developing Kelvin Probes and their applications.  Enterprise Minister Jim Wallace announced the second round of winning companies from the 2003 SMART SCOTLAND awards scheme.   A further £2.6 million is available to take projects to pre-production stage.  The SMART awards are designed to help new and existing businesses with less than 50 employees gain a competitive edge in the market by funding the development of innovative and commercially viable products and processes.  Congratulation to K P Technology.

Yarrows Trail Walk To End Archaeology Week In Caithness
Marina Finlayson, Highland Ranger led a small group round the Yarrows Archaeological Trail.  The trail takes in a range of sites from the large broch site at Loch Yarrows to hut circles cairns and standing stones and much in between with Marina identifying a variety of plants and birds along the way.  the path is now in great condition with strong flagstone paving over the boggy parts.

Caithness Ranger Marina Finlayson's New Zealand Trip
Marina is not letting the grass grow under her feet as she is shortly off to Canada.

Latest Form Telford Street, Wick As Project Keeps Up The Pace

A Look Round Wick Industrial Estate - What A Tidy Place!!!

Weydale School Reunion Pictures
The reunion last night saw over 100 people get together in the British Legion Club, Thurso to recall their days at one of the old country schools in Caithness that closed in 1963.

Wick Caged Bird Society Annual Show 2003

An Old Bar Makes a Brief Appearance In Williamson Street, Wick
From under the old sign boards of various businesses the Former Thistle Bar has reappeared.  But it will be a brief appearance as the building is being renovated for Caithness Voluntary Group who hope to move in a few weeks to the completely refurbished building.

Summer Keeps On Going In Caithness - Wick On Friday
More unseasonal weather kept Caithness warm yesterday as summer seems reluctant to leave.  Another flush of Red Admiral butterflies in various parts combined with huge numbers of other insects kept the birds busy feeding on this unexpected bonus.  Spiders also taking advantage in every nook and cranny.

Last Walk In Archaeology Week On Sunday
2.00pm-4.30pm. A beginner’s introduction to archaeology. Explore the Yarrows Archaeological Trail, a landscape complete with roundhouse, chambered cairn and broch, and learn about the wildlife along the trail.  Meet Marina Finlayson at the South Yarrows Farm car park (ND305434). 

Sutherland Woollen Mill in Brora has this week been placed on the market by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). The 11,500sq.m. complex, set in 17.5 acres of land, until earlier this year leased from Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) by a textile firm, is being advertised for sale in property publications and the local and national press.

Guests of honour at opening of £5 million complex.  Two  of  the  last  people  to  live  on  a  Caithness  farm  before it was transformed  during  the 1950s into a world-leading centre for research and development  of  nuclear energy today returned to their former home to set the seal on a £5 million investment in its decommissioning.  The  farm  at Lower Dounreay was home to Mrs Elizabeth Nicolson until 1945, and  Mr  Morris  Pottinger  until  May 1956. The UK Atomic Energy Authority acquired  the house and farmland from Mr Pottinger and his late wife Nettie in  November  1955  following a Government announcement that Britain's fast reactor experiment would be sited at Dounreay.   The Dounreay farmhouse dates from 1859. Following its acquisition by the UKAEA in 1955, it was used variously for office accommodation and storage of archive material.

Weydale School Pictures Around 1945-46
Weydale school pictures from Mrs E Henderson just in time for the school reunion which takes place on Saturday in Thurso.

Growing List Of Local Web Sites In Scotland
If you are looking for a web site in other parts of Scotland you may find it in our fast growing list of local web sites.  Separate sections for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are also set up and list individually in the links section.  Pages are also set up for the cities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Dundee with updating news feeds from the Scotsman newspaper for four of these towns.  Keep checking the Links section for new additions.

Cormorants In Caithness

Triple C Country Music Club Presents Eamon McCann And Band
Friday 24 October - Dounreay Club Wick. Phone Janis for tickets.

Round The Ancient Sites From Cairn Of Get
As can be seen this time of year is great for seeing the ancient sites of Caithness.  This walk starts at the Cairn of Get (opposite Whaligoe Steps) and heads up the path to the Hill fort passing the old dam and round a variety of Brochs, cairns, cists and stone rows still clearly seen since the heather burnt back a few years ago but hidden for many years in the longer growth.

Kilmuir Easter Church Overlooks The Cromarty Firth

The Governors of Eden Court Theatre and Cinema, Inverness, have received a £1.5 million boost from The Highland Council in their drive to raise £10 million towards an extension to the Highland’s premier cultural venue. The Council has promised £600,000 and the Inverness Common Good Fund, £900,000.  The first £300,000 of the Common Good funds was presented to Douglas Yule, Chairman of the Board of Governors, by Councillor Janet Home, Chairman of the Common Good Fund.  It is hoped that construction works can commence during the summer of 2005 and be completed by the end of 2006 – in time for the Scottish Year of Highland Culture in 2007.

A Revolution In Scottish Archives
On Thursday 23 October the biggest Scottish archive resource on the Internet will be opened.  The £4 million project took a team of Scottish archivists and US digitisation experts 4 years to complete. It involved digitising over 4 million unique and fragile documents, and combined the resources of 52 major Scottish archives, known collectively as the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN).  Magnus Magnusson will launch, the world's largest archive digitisation project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund in Edinburgh at 4.00pm.  North Highland Archive in Wick is one of the 52 archives contributing.

SONGS IN TUNE WITH YOUNG PEOPLE  - CD Launched With 40 Classic Gaelic Songs
The Highland Council’s Mairi Mhor Gaelic Song Fellowship launched a new Gaelic song teaching resource at the Royal National Mod in Oban. Entitled “Seinn o ho ro Seinn”, the venture, which has been funded by the Scottish Arts Council, is designed to encourage more people, particularly young people, to sing Gaelic songs. 
The MOD is in full swing this week and full results are being posted on The MOD web site.  Gaelic News with link to BBC Gaelic News

Spinningdale, Sutherland In Autumn
If you have not been along the road to Bonar Bridge for while it is well worth taking the old road south or north at this time of year especially as the Autumn colours are particularly vibrant following the warm summer.  The coming weeks could be spectacular in the north as many trees are already showing the deepest shades of colour for many years.

Clashmore, Sutherland In Autumn

Halloween Night At Captain's Galley
The Ice House, Scrabster makes a great setting for dinner with some stories for Halloween by well known local writer Donald Omand.  Contact them soon to make a reservation.



Multi-million Pound Contract Will Create 200 New Jobs.  Four  companies  have  been  named today as the preferred bidders to form a design  alliance with the UK Atomic Energy Authority for one of the largest construction projects in the Dounreay Site Restoration Plan.  Atkins  (design  integrator), Serco Assurance (building services and safety and  environment),  Taylor  Woodrow (civil engineering) and Weir Strachan & Henshaw  (mechanical  handling)  will work with UKAEA to form an integrated team  capable  of providing a concept design for a solid intermediate-level waste store in 2004 and the detailed design by 2005.

Highland NHS Board today agreed the way forward for the structure of NHS Highland following the abolition of Highland Primary Care NHS Trust and Highland Acute Hospitals Trust in April 2003.  The Board had published its proposals for the dissolution of Trusts and the creation of an integrated healthcare system for NHS Highland in its document Care without Barriers. Formal consultation on the proposals took place between 5th August and 6th October 2003 and the Board heard today of the detail of the 112 responses to that consultation.  The Trusts will be abolished and the Community Health Partnerships established from 1st April 2004, but the majority of the other changes will be phased in over the following year.”

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise network (HIE) has just published its twelfth annual report, covering the agency's activities during the period from 1st April 2002 to 31st March 2003.  The 104-page document charts a highly successful year for the enterprise network, which met or exceeded all of its key targets.  Highlights include  1,552 people to gain a job with training through Modern Apprenticeships, helping to start up a record 714 new businesses, and assisting 39 community land purchases.

Royal Observer Corps Posts In Caithness
Here are pictures of the tops of three ROC posts in Caithness - Wick, Duncansby and Dunnet.  They are left over from the Cold War and overtaken by other technology but they remain in the landscape and may be there for a long time to come unless removed.  Most of the posts are underground and we may yet venture in to see what is left but there is not much as most of the items of equipment has been removed.

Blackstairs In A Lowry Picture
The well known artist L S Lowrie produced a few pictures of Wick and one was of the Blackstairs.  The picture may help provide inspiration for the renewal of this part of town as the Pulteney project moves on.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise network (HIE) has just published its twelfth annual report, covering the agency's activities during the period from 1st April 2002 to 31st March 2003.  The 104-page document charts a highly successful year for the enterprise network, which met or exceeded all of its key targets.

In the run up to Guy Fawkes’ Night on 5 November, the Highland public is being urged not to be tempted to buy fireworks, from anyone other than established retail outlets.  Read the Do's and Don'ts for safety

Excursion Train From London At Wick Station
The popularity of train trips to the north of Scotland seems to be gaining ground as yet another excursion train left wick on Monday morning after a weekend in the far north.  With meals served aboard the train and stops for short trips around the various stops the journey to the north by train seems to have a lot to offer people who want to leave the car at home.

Wage Increase For Agricultural Workers
The Scottish Agricultural Wages Board today confirmed that, as it had received no written representations against its proposals, there would be a 5.5 % wage increase for agricultural workers in Scotland from 1 January 2004.  Details of the award are as follows: For adult workers in the first 10 weeks of employment a rate of not less than £4.55 per hour.  For adult workers employed for more than 10 weeks a rate of not less than £5.00 per hour.

A Highland councillor has been raising the profile of the Council’s campaign for more effective management of shipping around coastal waters. Councillor Bill Fulton, Kyle, who is a former Chairman of the Tankers in the Minch Working Group, has already lobbied the UK Government, the European Union and the International Maritime Organisation to tighten the control of shipping through UK coastal waters and hopes to make a breakthrough by addressing delegates attending a maritime safety seminar held by the Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions in Nantes, France.

Highland Councillors have strongly hinted that they will oppose a proposal to use the Nigg oil fabrication yard to dismantle some of the Royal Navy’s laid-up nuclear-powered submarines and store the reactor compartments at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment site at Dounreay. However, they are to await the outcome of forthcoming consultation meetings before confirming their response. The consultations will involve community briefings in East Ross and Caithness as well as a national forum being staged at Lancaster University.

Mohamed Al Fayed May Turn A Cromarty Rig Into A Tourist Attraction
Plenty to think about as the owned of Harrods and the tourist centre at the Falls of Shin in Sutherland debates the possibility of turning a rig into a tourist attraction on the Cromarty Firth.  Will plans to decommission nuclear submarines hit up against plans for increasing tourism on the Cromarty Firth and would nuclear decommissioning of subs be a barrier to this industry.  There may be public meetings or requests for public involvement to get views of the public in Caithness, Ross-shire and elsewhere over these issues.

The Highland Council has welcomed the Scottish Executive’s injection of £10 million over the next two years into the Communities Scotland Development Programme in Scotland and is ready to play its part in easing the shortage of housing in the area.  In addressing the Convention, Councillor Magee said the Council was committed to working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Communities Scotland to establish a revolving land bank fund, building on the principle of the £1.5m land banking fund provided to the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust.

Houstry - Old School
The old school at Houstry near Dunbeath lies in the heart of an area rich in history for thousands of years.  The evidence is all around from a wag, nineteenth century steadings and much more.  It is easy to imagine the area as it was a hundred years ago with children walking the few miles to their local school and then down the years moving away to other places.

Knockinnon Castle In Archaeology Week
Once a very large castle of which almost nothing remains.  Folk who came on the walk heard how the castle was on an ancient site and built and demolished as a father and son struggled for control of the area.  The site of the castle has commanding views of the coast and unusually inland.

Match Report - Thurso F.C 6 V Halkirk United 1 - North Caledonian League

Houstry Near Dunbeath
Between Dunbeath and Smerral is this ancient place full of Caithness history with everything from Pictish Brochs  to nineteenth century houses and farm buildings.  An unusual feature in the landscape is a wag.  This ancient building with huge flat stones supported as the roof and built outwards still survives and mostly untouched.  Much smaller than the wag at Forse but still an unusual structure in this now deserted area and in the distance a small graveyard with the graves of the victims of a cholera epidemic.

Seals At Duncansby On Saturday

Latheronwheel Walk
The first part of the day at Latheronwheel with Caithness Field Club started at the harbour and went over the old bridge up to the field above to see the old watch tower, long cairns, brochs and the views along the coast and up to Knockinnon castle in the distance.   The second part was up to Houstry near Dunbeath and these pictures will come later.

Ghost Ship Watching
TWO FURTHER `GHOST SHIPS’ TOW.  Following the receipt of a full survey report from the United States by an independent surveyor, the Secretary of State’s Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Robin Middleton, (SOSREP) has cleared a further two vessels, the Compass Island and the Canopus for tow to the United Kingdom.  The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and Able UK were informed late yesterday of his decision and these two further vessels are now to be brought to Teesside from their anchorage in the James River in Virginia. It is unlikely that this tow will commence before Sunday 12th October due to inclement weather.

A Short Walk Round Wick Harbour

"Authenticity" At Wick Harbour

Heaps More From the Heritage Fair

Calling New Media Artists - Want To Work On An Unusual & Exciting Project In Wick?
Past Present Future  = New Media Meets Old : Telford Street Heritage - And Harbour Towers Community Public Art - Pulteneytown, Wick, Caithness.   New Media artist specialising in lens based imagery and/or time-based art required for major community arts project in the regeneration programme of Thomas Telford’s 19th Century fishing town.  The artist will be involved in the creation of still and/or moving images and/or lights for three street projections from two harbour towers in collaboration with the Trainee, The Youngsters and other members of the community.  The artist will also direct underwater filming along the coastal waters co-ordinated by the Far North Sub Aqua Club.

Hamnavoe Showing She Can Take Stormy Seas Of The Pentland Firth

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
Wednesday 15 October 8.00pm - Booking from Lyth Arts

Oscar The Robot Promoting Safety In Caithness
Dounreay is enjoying a visitor with a difference this week.  The Alstec owned robot called Oscar is on site for Dounreay European Safety & Health Week that Dounreay is currently running.   This year's theme is making your place of work a safe and healthy place by preventing risks from 'Dangerous Substances' at work.  The robot has also been out and about in Caithness and has visited two local primary schools, Miller Academy in Thurso and Wick South School.

UKAEA Employee Volunteers Finish The Job
UKAEA's help of financial backing and the use of their volunteer employees ensured that the final one hundred and twenty metres of the Thurso River Mall was finished ready for the official opening last Saturday.  UKAEA have worked with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) over the past three years to make a vast improvement to the Thurso river footpath walk up to the salmon pool.  A 20 strong team from Dounreay, some of whom are pictured, rolled up their sleeves to tirelessly shovel hardcore and clear shrub land, finishing the project in two days.

Ainsley at Dunrobin
Dunrobin Castle provided a magnificent backdrop for a day of culinary events featuring celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot. Organised jointly by Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) and Ross and Cromarty Enterprise (RACE), as part of the Highland Food and Drink Festival, the day started with a showcase of local food produce from across the two areas.   Students from the North Highland College had prepared canapés, based on the winning entry in a competition for Modern Apprentices run to coincide with the event.

Blackstairs, Wick - Could Be Returned To Its Former State
The Blackstairs, Wick may be completely rebuilt following the Caithness area committee decision to put a large part of next years annual footpaths repair funds into this project.  The decision will help to bring in European funding of several hundred thousand pounds required for the full works which include lighting and footpath work joining the stairs to the harbour area.

Telford Street, Wick - Front And Back
The Lower Pulteney regeneration project moves forward with obvious progress on the houses at Telford Street and Miller Street.

Autumn Comes To Caithness - Argyle Square, Wick

Services For People With Learning Difficulties In Caithness - A Survey
The health service in Caithness (Caithness Local Health Care Co-operative) in partnership with Highland Council, the voluntary sector, service users and carers has developed service priorities for people with learning disabilities in Caithness.  A short survey is being carried out and replies are wanted by 31 October 2003.  You can either complete the form from the web site, print it off and send it in or contact the group for a form.

Piping and Chanter Competitions
Wick RBLS Pipe Band will be holding their annual piping and chanter competitions in the Pipe Band Hall, High Street, Wick on Saturday 15th November commencing at 10.00am. There will be various competitions for juniors and open. Most of the competitions are for solos but there will also be competitions for junior and open trios.

Land Issues Highlighted By The Sunday Herald
The Sunday Herald highlighted land issues yesterday and has posted the articles on its web site.  Andy Wightman author of "Who Owns Scotland" and Torcuil Crichton have collaborated on a special investigation on how the system operates.  Other articles look at other issues in this important area   The system of secret land owners in Scotland could be ended if the Scottish Executive grasp the changes needed as The Scottish Law Commission is currently planning a review of the Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 and the law of trusts.  but will they use this opportunity.  See what the authors think.

AEA Battery - First In To New Golspie Business Park
East Sutherland had a jobs boost with the announcement today that AEA  Li-Ion Battery Recycling will be the first new Business in the Golspie Business Park.  30 new jobs will be created at the site.   Possibilities for further jobs may appear when the firm set up new research and development facilities.   It is a major boost for East Sutherland and particularly Golspie.  The Golspie Business Park site has room for other businesses as the infrastructure is already in place.  M M Miller (Wick) Ltd were the building contractor on the project.

Weather Statistics Show Caithness Had Hot Summer But Not Record Breaking
Our resident local weather man Martin Duffy's records show what a great summer Caithness had but it was not the hottest ever on anyone day.  Low rainfall and many dry days were great for outdoor events where virtually everything ran on sunny days this year.   But As Martin points out and we all know too well October has started out as one of the coldest.

The  UK Atomic Energy Authority today delivered its annual report on safety and  the environment at Dounreay during 2002/03 to the site's local liaison committee.  Dr  Guy  Owen, UKAEA's head of safety and environment at Dounreay, said the site  continued to be one of the safest industrial workplaces in the UK but insisted there was no room for complacency.

BSM Rider Training, the motorcycle and scooter training arm of driving expert BSM and part of RAC Group, is looking for ambitious training organisations and individuals who want to improve rider training standards and develop their businesses.

Ranger Walks October - December
Sunday 12th October Badryrie deserted settlement; as part of Archaeology week. Visit the deserted settlement of Badryrie and discover the secrets hidden in its walls. Rough walking in parts. Boots essential bring snack Start time 10.30 Loch Stempster layby (Road from Causemire to Lybster)

The impact on the environment of all flights in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland each year is less than the effect of just one day's air traffic between the UK and the USA, according to a new report by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  HIE is calling for a balanced approach to the introduction of environmental charging and argues charges should be based on actual environmental cost, rather than being imposed at a flat rate.   Given the lack of viable alternatives - such as high-speed rail links and  fast and frequent ferry crossings - HIE believes there is no case for environmental taxation of flights on routes within the Highlands and Islands or between the region's 10 airports and other Scottish airports.

Busy Month Of October At Timespan In Helmsdale
It's always worth checking out what is happening at Timespan in Helmsdale as they have a constant flow of new exhibitions up to the end of October each year. Once that is over they continue to hold events that may be of interest to children and adults.  So with school holidays on they have events to occupy the children and for archaeology week and last in the month Halloween.

Stornoway, Kirkwall and Lerwick Get Broadband In 2004
Three island towns will be joining Thurso in getting Broadband next year.  You can still help the Wick area by signing up to any number of Broadband sites if you have not already done so.

LIVING PAINT- Fergusson Gallery Collection Tours Highlands
Paintings by the renowned Scottish artist John Duncan Fergusson, will be touring Highland Council galleries in Kingussie, Inverness, Wick and Thurso this autumn and winter  Born in Edinburgh in 1874, Fergusson is increasingly recognised as an artist of both national and international standing. “Living Paint” is a unique opportunity to see a selection of landscapes, portraits, still life and nudes, which demonstrate his experimental and varied output.  Fergusson is now best known as one of the Scottish Colourists, along with SJ Peploe, FCB Cadell and GL Hunter.

Yes it’s that time again, put away the golf clubs, running shoes and football boots dust down that squash racquet and make your way down to Thurso & District Squash Club. Over thirty players from the local community did just recently for the Annual Handicap Squash competition, once again very kindly sponsored by the UKAEA.

The major opportunities for business and economic development in the Far North, created by UKAEA’s commitment to restore the environment at Dounreay, were highlighted  during a visit to Forss Business and Technology Park, Caithness by the local MP and MSP on Friday 3rd October 2003.  John Thurso MP and Jamie Stone MSP visited the Park being developed by New Park Highland as part of a growing network of Technology Centres throughout Scotland.

Rugby - Caithness Under 15's In Great Form - Caithness 85 :: Highland 7
Caithness Rugby Club under 15s travelled to Inverness on Sunday 5 October 2003 with a squad of 19 players to play their third game in the North Under 15 Development League against Highland at the Bught Park.  The weather was cold and blustery as Caithness kicked off and it soon became apparent that the Greens were a much bigger, faster and heavier side and soon had their counterparts under the cosh.

Heritage Fair - Hillhead Views

Wick Institute

Latter Day Saints

John Thurso MP Opens Thurso River Mall Project
John Thurso MP opened the latest stage of the Thurso River Development Project on Saturday 4th October 2003 in weather more akin to December or January.  Blustery showers of rain and hail, however, failed to dampen the spirits of those involved in this project and an opportune break in the cloud at 2.30pm allowed the ribbon cutting ceremony to go ahead outside.  This ceremony was preceded by a walk around the river.

Match Report - Thurso FC 5 :: Invergordon 0
Port Services Cup Semi-Final - Saturday 4th October 2003 From Brian Mackay

Caithness Heritage Fair Gets Over 1000 Visitors
The Earl of Caithness and his son Lord Berriedale were at the heritage fair for the two days letting visitors know about the current stage in the developments of Clan Sinclair Trust and the restoration work which will begin in the near future on Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.  Major works are expected to take at least five years and the addition of a causeway using material from the inside of the castle will make it possible in future for disabled people to get inside part of the castle.  When work begins next year access will be denied but display boards will explain what is happening from a viewpoint nearby.

More Heritage Fair
UKAEA, Caithness Guides, Caithness Quilters, Wick Society

Ghost Ships Heading For The Pentland Firth Soon
Following discussions between the French; Irish and Belgian authorities, the Secretary of State’s Representative in Maritime Salvage and Intervention, Robin Middleton, (SOSREP) has cleared the way with the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) for Able UK and its contractors to begin the tow of two vessels known as `ghost ships’ from the James River in Virginia to Teesside.   Mr Middleton has decided not to resist the passage of the tows into home waters after clear and detailed contingency and passage arrangements were finally agreed late Friday between the various jurisdictions and Able UK which was co-ordinated by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).  Many of the ships anchored on the James River have hazardous materials onboard and they will pass through the Pentland Firth under tow on their way to Teeside for break-up.

Caithness.Org Inspires Another Web Site In Guildford
Isabel Thurley (nee Bruce) has appeared in the Guildford Times stating that Caithness.Org was the model for her new web site for the Holy Trinity Amenity Group covering the neighbourhood of the town in which she lives.  Isabel is originally from Caithness and often logs on to us in the north.   Isabel is the editor of the group newsletter and lacking space to put everything in she has gone for a web site which is now growing at

Caithness Walking Festival 15 - 23 May 2004
"2004 will go down in history as being the year in which the first Caithness Walking Festival took place. As a follow up to recent press trips to the north by journalists from a range of publications, organised by the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board, the festival will take place during the week 15th to 23rd May. That week was decided upon for several reasons.

Caithness Heritage Fair Has something For Everyone
You could easily spend a couple of hours checking out the stands at the Heritage Fair.  From Archaeology, Genealogy, Archives, History, Groups and more.  Food is on offer - soup sandwiches tea coffee and a children's room upstairs while the adults head for the main hall.

Caithness Brownies and Rainbows Having Fun Competing For The Challenge Cup
Brownies and Rainbows - the junior sections of the Caithness Guide Association - had a great day at Wick High School for their Challenge Cup day.  All of the Caithness groups of Brownies and Rainbows spent the day involved in many activities, songs and competitions.  Halkirk won the competition for the Rainbows and Keiss for the Brownies.  Vice-presidents of the Caithness Guide Association Mrs Evelyn Glass and Mrs Gladys Manson judged the competition to make a scene from a nursery rhyme from waste materials.

Cone Zone Challenge Grows In Popularity
Groups from Thurso and Wick headed out to Dunnet forest recently to take the Cone Zone Challenge  - tests both mental and physical in Dunnet Forest under the eye of Ranger Marina Finlayson.

Castletown Heritage - Autumn Newsletter
Updates on premises, donation of a collection of artefacts from Sinclair Gunn including old glass plate photographs from 1918, new  boards at the flagstone trail, exhibition at the highlander Restaurant , involvement in the Heritage Fair on 4 and 5 October, and Castlehill as part of a possible new Geopark.

Wick Pipe Band Has Busy Time In Germany
The recent Wick RBLS Pipe Band visit to play with the Highland Pipes & Drums of Bad Waldsee in Germany was a tremendous success, the band arrived back in Wick on Monday 29th September, exhausted but elated at the success of the trip. The band had left at 7am the previous Thursday and after a tiring day of travel arrived in Bad Waldsee for a meal with their German hosts and then off to stay in the homes of members of the German band.

Highland Councillors have strongly hinted that they will oppose a proposal to use the Nigg oil fabrication yard to dismantle some of the Royal Navy’s laid-up nuclear-powered submarines and store the reactor compartments at the Vulcan Naval Reactor Test Establishment site at Dounreay. However, they are to await the outcome of forthcoming consultation meetings before confirming their response.  The consultations will involve community briefings in East Ross and Caithness as well as a national forum being staged at Lancaster University.

Countryside Volunteers - New Dates For Action
The Caithness Countryside Volunteers programme has come to an end.   First date in the winter programme is Sunday 19th October 03- Path clearing to Lieutenant Patrick Sinclairs Grave at Lybster.  Meeting at 10.30am outside Lybster post office.  New members welcome.

Latest On Kirk Homes
Commenting on today's press reports, the Kirk's Director of Social Work Ian Manson said: "The Board of Social Responsibility has faced overwhelming financial pressures for many years. These pressures could have resulted in the closure of all our residential homes for older people. We are now delighted to have secured the future provision of care for the vast majority of our homes. This has been made possible by maximising our income as well as examining every aspect of our own expenditure.

Song Of Wick Dress Rehearsal
The dress rehearsal for 250 primary 6 and 7 children from Hillhead, North, South and Pulteneytown primary schools in Wick took place this afternoon.   The first performance of the show written by George Gunn and put together by Grey Coast Theatre company working with the kids over the past three weeks.  There are two shows on Friday - afternoon and evening but if you have not got a ticket it is too late as they are all sold.   More pictures of the rehearsals coming shortly.  A CD of all the pictures will be for sale shortly at a cost of £6.  The pictures will be at much higher resolution and about three times bigger than we have on the web site.  You can then print your own or send the file away by email to photo printers online.  We will advise on this when we send out the CDs.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, SEPA, has helped to improve the water quality in the Dunnet Bay catchment area by working with a local business and farms. Dunnet Bay is officially recognised as bathing water and SEPA's Thurso office carried out an action plan in 2002 to investigate the potential impact of industrial and farming activity in the catchment.   SEPA worked with Norfrost to improve the quality of the Stangergill burn.

Northern Constabulary is currently looking for interpreters to assist non-English speaking communities when dealing with the police and their partner organisations.  The intention is to enhance the current list of proficient individuals who can assist the Force and its partners in providing a face to face interpreting service.

MISSING PERSON - Elizabeth Sneddon
NORTHERN Constabulary is issuing a fresh appeal for information regarding the whereabouts of Elizabeth Johnson Sneddon, who was reported missing from her home in Edinburgh.  The woman, aged 46, lives at Flat 4, 5 Parkgrove Bank, Edinburgh and was seen in the Aviemore area on 12/13 September.  She may be anywhere in the Northern Constabulary area and may have booked into a B&B or hotel.  She does not have a car.  The woman is known to have visited Inverness, Thurso and Invergordon and has been withdrawing money from cash machines.

UKAEA has awarded a contract to CH2M Hill - an American environmental management company whose management of the US Department of Energy’s site at Rocky Flats, Colorado  - to help it prepare for changes in the way the UK Government manages the decommissioning of UKAEA and BNFL sites. The company will assist UKAEA to develop the processes and procedures needed to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which is due to come into being in 2005.

UKAEA has awarded a contract to AMEC for the construction of an extension to the electrical substation that serves the complex of waste management plants at Dounreay. The project is designed to double the capacity of the station to meet the predicted growth in demand for electricity from new construction and plant modernisation in this area of the site. The total value of this work is expected to be in the region of £1 million. Construction is expected to take until May 2004 to complete.

A local engineering firm is constructing a 3m-long tool that will sample the liquid metal surface in the primary cooling circuit of the experimental Dounreay Fast Reactor.  Norfrost Technologies Ltd was awarded a contract to design and manufacture the device.

A disused storage facility for drums of radioactive waste is the latest building at Dounreay to be demolished. The decommissioning and demolition of the building known as D1254 took 15 months to complete. The decommissioning work was carried out by UKAEA and Mitsui Babcock personnel while the demolition work was carried out by Gunn’s of Lybster.

Further evidence that decommissioning is gathering pace Dounreay has come with the award of a demolition contract to KDC Contractors Ltd, of Manchester. The contract, valued at around £140,000, is for the demolition of the fast reactor facilities building and the original Lower Dounreay farmhouse.

Renewable Realities 2003 - International Renewable Energy Conference And Exhibition
Programme of presentations and workshops.  Call for project ideas and status reports.  Funding is available to assist with travel and attendance costs for representatives of renewable projects and initiatives from within the Highlands and Islands enterprise Area.  Submit details of an idea or project by 7 October and it will be presented to experts at the conference for comments, tips, guidance and costings.

The History Of Wick Carnegie Public Library by Robert Bain
From its formation in 1891 - Present.  Robert Bain's History is available in the library and newsagents and he has kindly offered it for publication on the web site to allow as many people as possible to read it.  With copies of letters from Andrew Carnegie, plans and other documents as well as photographs of past librarians and some present staff the history comes right up to date.

£9 Million For Digital Hearing Aid Services
Patients are to benefit from advanced digital hearing aid technology through a new funding scheme.  The money will help ensure hearing services have the necessary equipment, staff and availability of digital hearing aids.

Children's Activities At Caithness Heritage Fair 4 and 5 October
Assembly Rooms, Wick - The Children's Activities will be in one of the Upstairs Rooms in the Assembly Rooms and there will be lots of different craft type activities specially for Children, so while mum & dad or granny & grandad etc have a look at the displays which interest them the children can be left upstairs having their own fun.  The children's Activities begin at 12 noon on Saturday and finish at 4 PM and 1 PM on Sunday until 4 PM.  The children's Activities have been sponsored by Rolls Royce-Vulcan and UKAEA, Dounreay.   Musical events throughout the two days with Pipes and drums starting off.

French Students Visit Dounreay
Five French students who are on a 4 week visit to The UHI Environmental Research Institute recently visited Dounreay with 2 members of staff from the ERI.  They are picture here with Peter Wade from UKAEA during their tour of the Waste Management Complex

Song Of Wick Rehearsal At South School
South school at rehearsal for their part in "The Song of Wick" a portrayal of a few historical events in Wick's past.  Grey Coast Theatre company have been coaching the children at four Wick schools for the past three weeks.  Dress rehearsals begin on Thursday afternoon for three performances starting on Thursday evening in Wick High school.  The show is a sell-out already.  250 children are taking part singing a range of lively action songs.

Caithness Field Club Programme 2003 - 2004
As winter comes on the Field Club moves more to talk than walk with an interesting series of talks from experts on various topics.   The first talk in the winter programme is on Friday 3 October at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso 7.30pm with John Barber on "Pre-History of the North Coast"   If you really want to get to know Caithness places, history, flora and much more then over the years you will be surprised what you learn about Caithness and other parts of the north.  Non-members are welcome at all events.

South School, Wick - October Newsletter
The latest newsletter from South School , Wick shows just how busy the children and teachers are.  With a programme of events and activities past and to come there is plenty to keep everyone busy and having fun whilst learning.   The South school children are along with other Wick schools rehearsing with Grey coast theatre company for performances of "Song Of Wick" this week.  With tickets going fast it looks like another big hit for music in Caithness.

Caithness Explorer Scouts At Launch Of New Group In Scotland
Last weekend, 9 Explorer Scouts from Caithness Explorer Unit joined more than 500 others from all over Scotland for the official launch of Explorer Scouting in Scotland.  The 'In The Beginning' camp was held at Scottish Scout Headquarters near Dunfermline.  The Explorer Scouts from Wick and Thurso spent Saturday morning and afternoon and Sunday morning doing activities including mountain biking, kayaking, caving and archery.

Visitors Well Up On Last Two Months
Hits 6,308,287  Visitors 114,955  Daily Average Hits 210,275  Visitors 3831
Last 12 months Hits 58 million Visitors 1.2 million
Not the highest month for visitor numbers but extremely good and missing the second spot by just two visitors.  But by comparison it is one of the best ever as September is a 30 day month compared to July and August.  Adding another one average day would have made the visitor rate 118,786 for comparisons with July and August - both 31 day months.  If these trends continue Caithness.Org will pass the 75 million hits for a 12 month period over the next year with visitor numbers possibly reaching in excess of 1.4 million.   Thanks to everyone for your continued support.


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