Caithness Quilters - Another Successful Exhibition

Caithness Quilters held another successful exhibition during Wick Gala week.  The group have now moved onto the web by setting up their own web site.  They will shortly set up another web site with their own domain name.

Exam Results Helpline to Open in August
As young people across the Highlands and Islands anxiously await their exam results, Careers Scotland is urging pupils to remain calm and take advantage of the Exam Results Helpline. Exam results will be posted throughout Scotland in August, and experts from Careers Scotland will be on standby to reassure callers and provide impartial advice. Standard and Higher Grade exam results are due to arrive on Tuesday 8 August 2006 and that morning Careers Scotland will open the Exam Results Helpline for students who need professional advice before they take their next step.

More Action From Halkirk Highland Games
229 - 240                     241 - 250
Thanks to Neil Buchan for the latest photos from the games




Halkirk Highland Games 2006
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Halkirk Highland Games 2006
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Halkirk Highland Games 2006
121 - 132                                  133 - 144                              145 - 156

Halkirk Highland Games 2006
85 - 96                                         97 - 108                   109 - 120

Wick Pipe Band Week Fancy Dress Night  - Another Film From

Latheron Show Clips From
Wick Banger Derby

Halkirk Highland Games 2006
61 - 72                       73 - 84

25 - 36                           37 - 48                  49 - 60

1 - 12                         13 - 24

Wick Gala Week Programme and Photographs

Seven Gates At Wick Harbour Opened

the Seeven Gates at wick Harbour were launched last night in a ceremony involving pupils from all of the schools who helped design the gates , the artists sue Jane Taylor, Liz, O'Donnell and Shelagh Swanson.  the gates were made by local blacksmith Ian Sinclair.  The gates tell the story of Wick Harbour and are now guarding the salt cellars once used in the heyday of the Herring industry.  The townscape Heritage Initiative Project commissioned the gates and the salt cellars are now cared for by the Wick Society. the images on the gates were inspired by stories of local history and folklore, capturing the dreams and memories of ancestors as retold by members of the Wick Society..  The gates are named - Port of the North - Superstitions - Ancient Myths - Roond ai Harbour - The Phoenix - The Big Storm - Scorries.  The gates tidy up an area that had become very untidy over the years and join up with the recently rebuilt Black Stairs round the corner.

Halkirk Highland Games Today
We are all off to the Halkirk highland Games today.  March to the field begins at about Noon.  Some events begin in the morning with the main events in the afternoon.  Over 5000 people are expected to attend as numbers have been growing in recent years.  Caithness is busy to day with the continental Market in Thurso until Sunday and Wick Academy Plays Clachnacuddin at Harmsowrth Park.  Wick Gala continues with events today and finishes tonight at Riverside with their usual big fireworks display barbecue and music included - all for a donation in one of the tins circulating.  Hope the kippers are as tasty as always at the barby.

Wick Gala Golf Attracts Good Entry
The open golf competition for Wick Gala Week at wick Golf Course attracted a good entry this year with 75 men and 12 women playing two rounds a the course which this year is in excellent condition.  Good weather made conditions just right with play finishing about 9.30pm. the results can be found in the Sports Section Here


Blessing Of The Fleet - Wick Gala
Last Sunday saw the annual ceremony of the "Blessing Of The Fleet".  Despite Wick's big fishing fleet days being in the past there are still a few fishing boats and fishermen from Wick going to sea.  The boats still carry a Wick registration even though they mainly no longer land much of their catch in Wick due to European rules that mean Wick is not designated landing port - Europe finally put paid to Wick's long history as big fishing port.  Nevertheless a tradition with its roots back past the days of the Herring Queen still continues each year in Wick Gala when people pray for the safety of the fishing fleet and the fishermen who risk their lives to bring the catch home.

Caithness In Festive and Continental Swing This Weekend
Caithness is a very busy place right now and this weekend has plenty on offer for everyone.  the Continental Market started yester day in Thurso running from Thursday - Sunday
Halkirk Highland Games Tomorrow  Saturday 29th July
Wick Gala continues with several events today and this evening with a treasure hunt, Wick Players  with three comedies at Assembly Rooms, the opening of the Salt Cellars at Wick Harbour with entertainment - music and a barbecue - a another part of Wick given an unusual make-over.  Fayre in Market Square on Saturday, Pipe Band parade and the Fireworks and Barbecue at the Riverside.  Check out our Whats On for more today and tomorrow Sunday continues with John O'Groats Harbour Day.  And along the way keep an eye out on the coast for whales and dolphins being spotted daily at the moment.

The Caithness Store Wars
Tesco Site Level At Wick - Work To Go On Despite Coop Legal Moves
Work will carry on at the Tesco site at Wick despite the Coop legal attempts to get the planning decision over-turned. The Co-operative Group (CWS) are now asking for Judicial Review of the Highland council planning decision to allow Tesco to build a new store at Wick.  The matter has now been scheduled to be heard on 5 and 6 October in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The Coop are challenging the accuracy of the Retail Impact Assessment which had the general support of planning officials.  In addition there is also a question being posed by them over the size of the car parking arrangements.  Tesco have indicated there would be no slow-down in the building work and the site is now cleared and ready for foundations to begin.  The topic arose in the forum earlier today - See the debate so far
Meantime the Asda petition has reached 2853  There is also a possibility that the Asda case to be heard on 16 August at the Planning Committee in Inverness may be deferred as the outcome of the decision at the Court of Session might have some bearing on the decision as it also rests on a Retail Impact Assessment.  That will be for councillors to decide on the day.

Only Two Days Until Halkirk Highland Games - Saturday 29th July
Halkirk Highland Games are almost upon us once again.  We will be there taking photos and this year the crowds will be boosted by a Clan Gunn gathering somewhat larger than usual.  Gunn's from several countries are currently checking out their ancestral places in Orkney and Caithness and will converge on Halkirk on Saturday to join what is increasingly one of the busiest and biggest games in the north.  With prize money for events the biggest ever offered the competitions will be hard fought.  See you there....

Trinkathon A Big Hit As Sun Shines On In Caithness
Sunday 23rd July 2006 was successful day for organisers of Annual Trinkathon, warm weather ensured a very good turnout and £531 was raised towards future maintenance and equipment. David Hall representing the Royal Mail was on hand to present the North Bath Cup [won this year by the Trinkie team] this cup was generously donated by the Royal Mail.

Sutherland Venue For Northern Sheep Event
Lamb grading, sheep health, production systems and easycare sheep are among the topics to be discussed at North Sheep an open day for the sheep industry which is due to be held on Thursday the 10th August 2006, at Kirkton Farm by Melvich, Sutherland, by the kind permission of Messers W Findlayon. This free event which starts at 1.00pm has been organised by SAC and is supported by European Social Fund (ESF), Highlands and islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Tall Bike Tour Of Britain Reaches Scarkskerry
Three young men are on a 4500 mile tour of the UK coast to raise money for charities. The tour will take nearly five months averaging 50 miles a day. The men Will Stevens, Ed Stevens and Michael Garnett sit high in the saddle with their heads about eight feet off the ground. The style of bike originates from Chicago where they were once used for lighting street lamps. They are now over in Orkney but will be back for the Halkirk Highland Games on Sat 29th July before they head south again. Tall Bike Tour Web Site  More Scarfskerry

MS Boudicca Cruise Ship In Thurso Bay Yesterday

MS Boudicca was in Thurso Bay and passengers embarked at Scrabster for sight seeing in Thurso andother places in Caithnesss including the castle of Mey. Sea taxis plied back and forth all day carrying up to 120 passengers each time. MSD Boudicca can carry up to 900 passengers and has a crew of 320. The ship was built in 1973 and had a major refit completed in 2006. The ship weighs 28,338 tonnes. On board are three out door swimming pools, sauna, 2 jacuzzis, a fitness centre". Entertainment is provided in a show lounge, casino and there is a library and dining can be in any one of 6 restaurants and eateries.

Report Sets Out Year Of Progress To Decommission Dounreay
The first annual report on progress to decommission the former experimental reactor site at Dounreay is published today. Dounreay Review 2005/06 has been produced by UKAEA, the body carrying out the safe clean-up and dismantling of the 140-hectare site. Its publication covers the 12-month period since April 1, 2005, when UKAEA's clean-up role changed to that of a contractor to the new Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
To see the full 20 page report Click Here (Pdf file)

Wick Banger Derby  - The Movie - From
If you could not make it on the day or missed some of the racing here is compilation of some of the action from the Wick Banger Derby. We will have it linked in shortly.  You can adjust the size of the film  - look for the small black arrow at the bottom to change the size.  You can download the movie if you want to keep it - FREE.  If you have any nice digital clips from Caithness and would like to share them you can add them to Google and let us know the link..  If you cannot do it yourself get in touch and we may get it on for you.  All we need is a DVD with the digital clips.

Basking Shark Hanging Around In Thurso Bay
It certainly seems to be a good year for whale, shark and dolphin sightings in the far north with many reports locally. The Caithness coast has been no exception with lots of reports Basking sharks have had at least 60 reported off off the west coast in late June.  Its been busy in Thurso bay with good sightings of Common dolphins on Monday in the bay.  Rissos dolphins were spotted on Friday evening.
For what you might spot off the Caithness coast see Whales

Wind power dilemma for Lewis  - BBC
This item on the BBC web site sets out the problem of wind farms for Lewis where Europe's biggest wind farm is proposed.  But the same arguments may well apply on both sides to Caithness and Sutherland.  With the Caithness population predicted by all official predictions to fall drastically do we need to grasp any opportunity for investment or is the price too high.  The Western Isles may now be wrestling with the biggest wind farm proposal but Caithness has many wind farm applications at various stages in planning.  whether Western Isles or Caithness and Sutherland the wind blows strong in our areas.  With traditional industries in decline and decommissioning now gathering pace in Caithness do we want wind farms to be part of the solution?  Jobs & Community Benefits versus Views and Changes in the Landscape? Wind Farms Index   Wind Turbine Applications as at December 2005  The people against wind farms are very well organised now but do they represent the majority?  Have your say on the Message Board.

Thurso High 83 - 84 6th Year
Sent by Kim McColm in connection with the Thurso High 1978 Reunion on Saturday 29th July at the Park Hotel, Thurso.

Main Reunion Pages   Schooldays Index


BOOST FOR HIGHLAND AIR SERVICES New Links for the Western Isles
Sunday Services Introduced
Air services to and from and within the Western Isles are to be further improved with the news announced today that Highland Airways is to directly link Benbecula with Inverness, and increase frequency on its Stornoway -Inverness services. The enhancement includes the addition of a new lunchtime rotation between Inverness and Stornoway each weekday and a flight on Sundays to provide more comprehensive weekend travel options between the two centres. The times of existing services will be varied slightly as a result of the additional rotations.

Cycle Races At the Riverside For Wick Gala

Wick Gala Gymkhana Breaks One Million Hits Per Day Barrier As Wick Gala Traffic Surges
The web site traffic surged to new heights over the past two days taking the site to the biggest daily totals ever.  Both of the past two days have broken through the one million hits per day total.  The numbers for the past two days are -
Sunday 23 July - Hits 1,053,981 Visitors 25,299 Pages 410,684
Monday 24 July - Hits 1,102,320 Visitors 26,761 Pages 400,285
July has already exceeded all previous months and the month is not yet completed.  The hit rate has tripled since Sunday.

Count Down To The Thurso High 1978 Reunion On Saturday 29 July
Only a few days now to the Thurso High 1978 Reunion. If you still haven't bought your tickets yet - time and tickets are running out fast. Tickets cost £15 each and are on sale at Shear Genius, Hairdressers in Princes Street, Thurso or are available from any of the organisers direct. List of people attending is shown on the reunion page.

Lady Thurso Opened The Art Exhibition For Wick Gala Week
Lady Thurso opened the art exhibition for Wick Gala Week.  The exhibition is on until Thursday at Wick Youth Club.  The exhibition is now in its third year. Lady Thurso recalled her "Weeker" connections from her days at school and earlier art exhibitions from her past.  Many of the works on display are for sale and can be collected at the end of the exhibition. Well worth a look to see what great work local artists produce.

Floral Art and Veggie Beastie Winners In Wick Gala Week
The two competitions were judges on Saturday as part of Wick Gala Week and the winners were on display at the Art exhibition at Wick Youth Club



Wick Gala Week Programme

Wick Gala 2006
397 - 408                   409 - 420

Wick Gala 2006
349 - 360                   361 - 372                   373 - 384      385 - 396

Wick Gala 2006
301 - 312                    313 -324                    325 - 336        337 - 348

Wick Gala 2006
253 - 264                    265 - 276                  277 - 288                   289 - 300

Wick Gala 2006
217 - 228                   229 - 240                       241 - 252

Wick Gala 2006
169 - 180                   181 - 192                             193 - 204                   205 - 216

Wick Gala 2006
145 - 156                   157 - 168

Wick Gala 2006
97 - 108                       109 - 120                    121 - 132                          133 - 144

Wick Gala 2006
49 - 60                       61 - 72                       73 - 84                         85 - 96

Wick Gala 2006
1 - 12                  13 - 24                                       25 - 36            37 - 48

South School Win Liam Henderson Memorial Junior Five-a-side Competition

In a scene reminiscent of the world Cup the junior five-aside competition ran to a nail biting finish.  At the end of the final between South School and Keiss & Canisbay the score stood at 3 - 3.  On to penalties and after five shots each the penalty score was 4 - 4.  Finally in the sudden death shoot out Keiss & Canisbay missed their next shot to hand victory to South School.  The competition was judged to be of a very high standard with some great play in all the matches.  From a short list of some fine players Eddie MacGregor was chosen as "man of the match" for the day.  Despite the mist that covered Wick today the players had a few fine games and made excellent entertaining football for the spectators.  Well done to players and the organisers.

Wick High Reunion - Ages 54 - 56 Friday Night in Mackays Hotel

Wick Gala Week Programme Bigger Than Ever

Wick Gala Floral Art Competition - Saturday 22 July 2006
There is still time to enter the Wick Gala Floral Art competition.  kids ask your mum for some old fruit and veg or flowers etc and get a picture made for Saturday and hand it in to Wick Youth Club at 11.00am.  See what the categories are inside.

Caravan And Camping Site At Wick Reopened
The caravan and camping site is once again open for business after much work by Mr & Mrs Miller cutting grass, clearing rubbish painting and bringing in new picnic tables and flower baskets not to mention all new electric hook-ups etc. The Wick caravan and camping site is set in an ideal location near the Wick river and just a few minutes walk into Wick for shops, meals etc.

Most Looked Up Caithness Business Pages
The wonders of the web now allow us to show you which pages are the most looked up in our Caithness Business Pages.  It will come as no surprise to that property and related business such as solicitors and estate agents  followed by tourist industry businesses are in the top categories.   Nothing too much should be read into the all time listing at the moment as it does not go back yet but will change over time.  New businesses may tend to feature as people seek them out to find contact details etc. Other recent developments on the Business Pages include a section for all the latest changes in the left column showing which businesses have had their page changed or added to the site.  Yesterday 19 July saw 4,516 visitors to the Caithness Business Pages looking up 23,291 pages.  In the last 12 month the Caithness Business pages have had an incredible 8.7 million pages looked up with the month on month trend continuing to rise. If you are a Caithness Business make sure your details are up to date.  Sutherland Business pages are also on a similar rise and we will be making upgrades to that web site shortly.

Ian Thompson And Family On Holiday In Caithness

Thurso Acks Receive £300 Donation From Dounreay Companies
The UKAEA, supported by AMEC and CH2MHILL, on behalf of NDA have recently made a donation to the Thurso Acks Football Club to assist them with expenses during the football season. Players from the Thurso Acks are pictured here before a recent match receiving their sponsorship from Gemma Macdonald, UKAEA.


Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise Approvals - June 2006
Among the grants made to businesses or community groups in June were - Precision Machining Services, Castletown, purchase of specialist equipment, £18,000; JGC Engineering and Technical Services, Harpsdale, development of new markets for T3UK at Janetstown, £4,926; Think Happy Ltd, Wick, development of new markets for a range of organic hair and beauty products, £70,000, Jennifer Redgate, Castletown, Creative Sketchbooks online course, £500; Sutherland Brothers, Wick, two-year workforce development plan, £3,301; Casper Club, Castletown, three-year workforce development plan, £8,355, Caithness Archaeology Trust, Dunbeath, development post for the 'River of Stone' project, £19,300; Caithness Small-Bore Rifle Club, Thurdistoft, Caithness Scottish Open event, £4,295; Highland Wildcat Trails, Golspie, mountain bike event at Ben Bhraggie in 2007, £5,000

Retailers In Dempster Street, Wick Taking On The Competition

The shops in Dempster Street, Wick have taken on a different look recently with a flurry of activity.  There is no lack of confidence from these established and new shop-keepers in this easy to park in street. The butchers shop closed and is now occupied by Amanda's florists a new business opened following the retiral of the owner of Four Seasons.  Four Season shop has now been taken over by Secrets LingerieThe Gift House and Polteny News are as busy as ever.  Harpers the home decorators have now expanded into furniture and are gradually increasing stock into the floors in their building.  Are these guys frightened of the big new stores on the periphery of Wick?  You bet your life they are not and seem to be getting busier by the day.  What next for Dempster Street In Wick?.  In fact Dempster Street seems to be just small snapshot of what is happening around Wick with premises being snapped up for new ventures or changes of ownership making for changes in the shopping around the town.

Plans lodged for Inverness Asda - BBC
In two additional applications Elphinstone Land have applied to build a hotel, medical centre and 51 houses.

Latest Caithness Planning Applications
Planning Application To Change Lorne Restaurant To Flats - (Pdf file)
The Lorne restaurant in Bank Row, Wick near the Heritage Centre has been unused for several years and an application has been lodged to turn it into two flats.
New Cafe - change Of Use Applied For At Whaligoe
Application For House At Occumster with Wind Generator
10 New Semi Detached Houses for Park Lane, Thurso
New  Restaurant and Food Outlet for Princes Street, Thurso

Latest Building Warrants Granted

Asda Petition Still Rising  -  2822 Signatures at 9.15am
The Asda Debate

The Papers
Deep water windfarm ‘key to EU energy plans’  Herald

Whitegate Broch, Keiss Excavation July 2006
Whitegate  Broch is being excavated by a team under the leadership of Dr Andy Heald of the National Museum of Scotland with students from Nottingham university and local amateur archaeologists.  The two brochs at Keiss harbour are under investigation with the larger dig being concentrated on the Whitegate broch.  The project has the full support of the Caithness Archaeological Trust.
Open Day - Saturday 22 July - See It all for Yourself
The team are inviting members of the public to an open day on Saturday 22 July between 1.00pm and 4.00pm to view the site and hear what they have discovered to date.  Free tours will take place.  Brochs Index

Highland Council's door to door consultation about the forthcoming ballot on transferring council houses to the not-for-profit organisation, Highland Housing Association (HHA) draws to a close this week.  The end of the latest stage in the Council's information campaign comes as the Minister for Communities Malcolm Chisholm visits the area to see how tenants could benefit if they vote to transfer their home to HHA later this year.  The Minister's tour of the region includes visits to several affordable housing projects in the Highlands which are being funded through the Community Ownership Programme (COP).  Mr Chisholm said: "Community ownership offers a real opportunity for people and communities in the Highlands.

Artists Looking For Places To Stay In North West Sutherland
Joanne B Kaar a Caithness based paper maker has sent the following request -
"I have been appointed as the artist-in-residence for Durness/Cape Wrath area. It's a 3 month residency, and I will arrive in Durness on Friday 21st July. I have managed (just last night!) to get accommodation for the final 2 months of my residency in one of the static caravans at the Sango Sands campsite. But am still looking for accommodation for the first 3 1/2 weeks." There are 2 other artists who will also be working in Sutherland for 3 months each, they are both looking for accommodation! Self-catering is preferred for all.......but anything is considered!

Caithness Beef Group Get Up to Speed on Production Efficiency
The change in farm support away from direct headage payments means that livestock producers need to improve efficiencies in production and not rely on the single farm payment to prop up the business. Learning new ideas and implementing these ideas is the way forward. And, for members of the Caithness and Sutherland Beef Group there was an opportunity to do just that on 12th July at Rattar Mains near Dunnet, Caithness. In the near future a sheep group will be established and producers interested in attending should contact David Brewster at the above address.

Reunion Approaching Fast For Wick High 54 - 56 - 21 July
Another reunion for this group and unbelievably the first time as reunion  is now on their second time around after five years on LAST CALL FOR PLACES AS FINAL NUMBERS NOTIFIED TONIGHT 

Farr Junior Five-a-side Winners
Back row left to right are Stephen Mackay, Dean Munro, Alan Swaile
Front row Lewis Appleton (Goal keeeper) and Matthew Mackay (brother of
They get to keep the trophy for the year, (they have to get in engraved) and they each got a medal and a pass to north coast leisure for a free visit.



Wick Pipe Band At Dunbeath Castle Gardens Open Day
Wick Pipe Band has busy schedule right through the summer and yesterday were playing at the Dunbeath Castle gardens open day.  Dunbeath Castle is private residence and not open to the public.  It does however open the gardens a couple times each year with the proceeds going to charities.  the castle sits on a spectacular cliff top setting and can easily be seen from along the coast and especially from Dunbeath Harbour.
Dunbeath Castle  Wick Pipe Band
The band runs summer shows every Wednesday evening at 8.00pm

Tickets Sent Out For Thurso High 1978 Reunion
The tickets for the reunion on 29 July have been sent out.  If you still want to attend contact the organisers right now.

Keep On Walking This Summer
The walks on this list will not only help to keep you fit but take you to lots of interesting places in Caithness and Sutherland.  We are half way through this summer programme but there is still plenty left to see over coming months and the walks vary in length and the time they take.  If you are unsure about any just contact the Rangers who will tell you of any problems or give more details about the particular routes.  Many are relatively short last only a couple of hours and you will see many parts of the coast or inland areas accompanied by someone who can point out many of the features.

165th Caithness County Show 2006

Photos from the County Show Will Start To Appear On Sunday Morning

A Beautiful Day For The 165th County Show At Scrabster
All the usual attractions and a few new ones.  the new ones include bungee running, a cookery demonstration using Caithness produce, Donkey rides.  The flower show reaches its 40th year and a large entry is expected for the dog show.  the day ends with  a buffet dance in the Weigh Inn.  Livestock judging begins at 9.30am.  Around the show will be a fleece competition, sheep sheering competition and full programme of  sports including children's races, hackney carriage driving, sheaf tossing and much much more.....  we are off shortly (its now 7.55am - hope to see you there...........
Photos coming on Sunday and maybe few tonight.  See 2005  2004  2003

Wick Rotary Club Raises Over £1200 For Riding For The Disabled At Scottish Concert
James Ross topped the bill with his haunting style of piano playing with its distinctive Scottish tones.  At one point he was accompanied by Ali Leith and Jeana Leslie both studying music at the royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.  Other acts included Highland Dancing, Caithness Junior Pipers and Ian and Anne Moncrieff.  The evening was a big success and numbers were swelled by a party of Americans who are currently touring Scotland.  the total raised in the evening which included a raffle and silent auction was just over £1200.

Caithness Kids On Exciting Glass Course During Lybster Glass Week
A few lucky Caithness kids are enjoying an unusual summer holiday activity learning about glass.  They are on a two day activity course Kilnforming for Kids under the expert tuition of Michael Bullen who worked for some years on the glass restoration of Lincoln cathedral and other tutors at the Northlands Creative Glass centre based in Lybster.  The course has been supported by the National Lottery, Scottish Arts Council and by Bullseye Glass of Portland Oregon who run an educational outreach programme.  Bullseye glass have generously donated a large quantity of glass,  over ton of which was sent in large wooden crates over the Atlantic to Lybster for the use of the centre in its educational courses.  Northlands have been running the courses since Sunday running two two day course since Sunday leading on to the Kids course.  Northlands hope to run another Lybster Glass Week next summer and perhaps extend it as it has proved extremely popular this year with the courses all being booked up. the kids complete their course today and will be taking home the glass creations they have made over the two days.

Radio-active Particles In The Marine Environment
An independent report on the views of people in Caithness and north Sutherland about radioactive particles in the marine environment has been published. The report summarises the feedback from more than 400 people who took part in a series of information-gathering events ahead of formal consultation later this year on the options for dealing with the particles. Bill Fernie, Chairman of the External Particles Consultation Steering Group, which was set up to oversee the transparency of the consultation process said "The Steering Group welcomes the publication of the UKAEA's response and is satisfied that the first part of the consultation has been carried out in a transparent way. The Steering Group believes that this is groundbreaking work involving members of the public at such an early stage and we look forward to being kept abreast of progress and ensuring that UKAEA continue in this vein through the programme of consultation.  Other Dounreay Items On    More Recent Dounreay News Items

Almost 1700 People Visited The Isabelle Fortuna At The Portsoy Boat Festival
Wick's sea-going ambassador the "Isabella Fortuna" was one of the big hits at the Portsoy boat festival.  Nearly 1700 people visited the vessel in the two days of the festival .  This was taster in advance of 2007 for the vessel that was restored by the Wick society and now makes regular trips out to sea and is often to be seen coming in and out of Wick bay.  She sits most of the time in Wick harbour where the members of the society have carried out much of the restoration work over the years.  The whole flotilla leaves from Wick next year and should be a wonderful sight in the harbour and down the Caithness coast.  Events will be laid on for their stay at Wick and should make Wick harbour perhaps briefly look as busy as she once was.  It will certainly be great photo opportunity to see the harbour once again packed with boats.  The Wick Society also runs Wick Heritage Museum - open Mon - Sat  More Photos Of Museum

Oil : We're Addicted - New Statesman
Should we all put the car away a day or two a week or more before we cannot afford to run it at all.  Perhaps that would help to bring the price down. And have you got your house as highly insulated as you can before next winter comes as power companies are threatening that gas and electricity prices are going to go up again before the winter starts.  As for heating oil well the price seems to be going ever upwards at the moment with oil at $75 a barrel.  Better get knitting the woollies.

Wick Pipe Band Week Fancy Dress Night Brought Out The Crowds

Asda Petition Stands At 2796 and Still Rising
The Asda Debate

Photos From Halkirk Heritage And Vintage Motor Society Opening Day
Here are some photos from the opening day of the Halkirk Heritage and Vintage Motor Society's opening of their summer exhibition.  Something is definitely happening in Halkirk these past few years what with the most successful Highland Games going from strength to strength, announcements about what looks likely to be the biggest sports centre in the north of Scotland and now they are putting on this great exhibition.  Well done to all concerned and it looks like this years highland Games are going to be bigger than ever with the arrival from all over the world this year of even more Gunns for their clan visit.  Check the what's On for opening times.  See This Is Halkirk

All 24-tenant organisations throughout the Highlands are to be invited by the Highland Housing Association to attend their management committee meetings. This invitation by Highland Housing Association, the new not for profit organisation, set up to take over the ownership and management of The Highland Council's housing stock, is the result of the management committee's recent statement committing the organisation to openness and accountability. The management committee firmly believes that by providing opportunities for tenants, tenants organisations and local community groups to be involved in and to influence decision making will uphold the principles of openness, accountability, equal opportunities and best value.

Thurso Surf School Presents O'Neill Go Surfing Days - Summer 2006
Surfs up this summer in Caithness with an O'Neill sponsored event run by Thurso Surf School. The event is scheduled to take place throughout July and august and will be operating 7 days a week subject to favourable swell conditions. Those interested in coming through for a surf lesson during July and August will receive a discounted lesson at £25 per person and a free O'Neill goody bag.
If you want more inspiration and a look at what surfing in Caithness can be like - and its rapidly getting a reputation as one of the best places in Europe for consistently good waves.  Check out the web site that was set up for the recent O'Neill Highland Open  Click on to the page of videos shot in Caithness and see for yourself and think about getting ready to enter this competition sure to be back in Caithness in coming years.  Even if you are not a surfer take a look at these videos to see why Caithness has got what it takes for surfing.....and there is hardly anyone on those waves for most of the year but it might be different in years to come.  Why not try it out with Thurso Surf in the next few weeks.

Wick Gala Week 2006 - Art Exhibition - 22 - 29 July
Wick Gala Art Exhibition will once again be held in Wick Youth Club From Sat 22 July until Thursday 27 July.  Items for display to be handed in on 20 July between 2.00pm and 5.00pm at Wick Youth Club.  Details will be sent to previous exhibitors but new exhibitors should contact Marjory Mackenzie, 19 Smith Terrace, Wick.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - A New Film Clip
A trailer promising more to come from the Live To Die Society - check it out now via

Other film clips coming soon to include the Wick Banger Derby, Horse Shoeing at Latheron Show, Wick Pipe Band Fancy Dress Night.

Have you got some interesting Caithness digital video available and want it on the web.  Get in touch and we may be able to help you get it on.

Caithness and Sutherland Vintage Vehicles Club 2006 Rally

The annual Caithness And Sutherland Vintage Vehicles Rally took place at John O'Groats with an increased entry and some vehicles travelling considerable distances to enter.

Pro Nuclear Group To See Prime Minister Tony Blair On Wednesday 12 July
A group of people representing many workers in the nuclear industry will present Prime Minister Tony Blair with a petition and letters in support of the retaining the nuclear option for the production of electricity in the UK.  John Deighan UKAEA Dounreay will be one of four delegates to meet the Prime Minister.  The others are Stuart McGhie British Energy, John L Rogerson Chapelcross, Howard D Rooms BNFL. John Deighan UKAEA Dounreay will also deliver a letter from the Thurso and Wick Trade Union Council. A further letter from the Chamber of Commerce will also be handed over to the Prime minister.

Mey Hall Sponsored Cycle Raises £1700 For New Hall Project
Mey hall committee held a sponsored cycle on Sunday when twenty four cyclists took part and raised around £1,700.  The sponsored cycle is one of many fund raising events the hall committee are running in their bid to get enough for new hall.  They were recently awarded  a grant from the Big lottery along with Keiss Hall.  However they still require to raise half the money from other sources.
Mey Hall Committee also recently launched a new web site

Labour Party Announces List Candidates For Highlands and Islands In 2007 Election
Following the Scottish Executive Committee meeting of the Scottish Labour Party, the full ordered list ranking for the Highlands and Islands has been published. Peter Peacock currently education minister and Rhoda Grant formerly an MSP (1999 - 2003) are the numbers one and two on the list for Highlands and Islands - 1. Peter Peacock - 2. Rhoda Grant - 3. David Stewart - 4. Christine Conniff - 5. Michael Macmillan - 6. Dawn Graham - 7. Simon Harrison.  2007 Elections Index Scottish Council elections and Scottish Parliament election will be held on the same day.  All of the counts will for the first time be held in Inverness meaning no counts in Wick due to the introduction of electronic counting machines. The results of the council elections may not be completed until the second day after the elections as the Scottish Parliament count will be done first.

March Of The Highlanders At Thurso
A couple of weeks ago the Highlanders 4th Battalion marched through a number of Highland towns.  Here at Thurso Ross Mackay managed to get on board an armoured vehicle. The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, can trace their roots back to five Regiments raised in the late 18th century, including The Duke of Albany’s Own, The Ross-shire Buffs, and of course The 92nd Gordon Highlanders. Over the last 200 years, the Army has evolved to reflect the ever-changing military environment.  The reorganisation of the Army saw the creation of The Seaforth Highlanders, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and The Gordon Highlanders while the draw-down of the Empire through the late 1950s saw the formation of The Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforth and Camerons) in 1961, and “Options for Change” saw the creation of The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons) in 1994. Throughout this long history, The Highlanders have amassed numerous battle honours and been deployed all over the world. Most recently operations have included tours of Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq and exercises in Kenya, Belize, Canada and Norway. The Royal Regiment of Scotland was created on 28 March 2006, with the The  Highlanders now forming the 4th Battalion in a structure designed to most effectively respond to the needs of the country and soldier alike. Many historic elements remain, however, including the distinctive blue hackle of the Highlanders, the recruiting area, and the name. The Highlanders are now based in Fallingbostel, Germany, as part of the 7th Armoured Brigade (The Desert Rats) and have re-rolled to use the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle which will be on display at the Freedom ceremony. The Warrior is fitted with some of the Army’s most modern equipment and provided firepower, protection and mobility for the Battalion on their recent deployment to Basrah and Al Amarah in Southern Iraq. It was used for numerous duties including the training and mentoring of the fledgling Iraq security forces.

Hey Kids In Thurso - If Its Wet check This Out
Workshops running every day for another couple of weeks - at Ormlie  - under 9s attend from 11.30 am - 1.00 pm whilst the over 9s are from 2.00 - 3.30 pm. Programmes and consent forms are available from the Ormlie Office - 01847 891789 . Enrolment costs £1.00 per child and 50p per session.

Halkirk Tug O War Team 2006 Scottish Champions In Two Weights
Halkirk Tug O' War team returned from the Stirling Games on Sunday 9th July as Scottish Champions in two weight categories. The 680kg title was retained and the 640kg title was added this year. The lads just missed out on a hat-trick of titles after losing in the final of the 720kg weight.  Well done lads - a great effort.
Sport Index

Isabella Fortuna From Wick Was At Portsoy
Isabella Fortuna sailed to Portsoy for the Flotilla of traditional boats.  In 2007 the flotilla will leave from Wick and Isabella Fortuna will be joined by a growing number of boats setting out to arrive in Portsoy on 1 July 2007.  The boats will sail close to the beaches of Brora, Nairn and Burhead. and call in at Lybster, Helmsdale, Invergordon, Cromarty and Buckie taking part in traditional music and dance events.  Already over 20 boats are signed up to make the trip and more coming along so by end of June 2007 there may be quite fleet ready to sail from Wick.  One of the largest fishing boats from the old Shetland fleet - the Swan will be there.  The sights from the Caithness coast will be like stepping back in time.  The First big party will be in Wick so make a date to get to Wick for an unforgettable sight as the flotilla leaves harbour. We will post more information about this great celebration of our older boats as we get it.

Dunnet Play Group at the Caithness County Show On Saturday 15th July
Scrabster Farm, Thurso

Come along and play at the County Show......Magician / children's entertainer will be at the Play area set up by the Play Group and children can be left for a period.  See Last Years County Show At Wick and remember its at Scrabster this year.  See you all on Saturday

Hee Haw Donkeys At The Latheron Show

If You Happen To Be Heading Bettyhill Way  - North Sutherland - Kids Camp
Farr High School is the place this summer for lots of activities. See HERE for more details.
Booking form HERE  runs Monday 10 - 14th July.  We just got it in.  Just phone or take pot luck and turn up if in the area.

Tickets for Wick Rotary Scottish Musical Evening With James Ross Now Available
The concert is to raise funds for new sound system for Riding for the Disable Group in CaithnessThe concerts is to be held in Mackays Hotel on Thursday 13 July at 7.00pm.  tickets are available from Reid's Chemist, Wick or pay at the door - cost £5Artists include Guest - James Ross, International Accordionist and Pianist - Anne & Ian Moncrieff - Folk Music - Wick RBLS Junior Pipers - Ailsa and Kaitlin Bogle - Highland Dancing and Piper.  Other features of the evening will be a Silent Auction - items - Child and Adult size fishing rods - Very large cuddly toy - Various bottles of whisky - Wax Hand treatment kit - and lots of other items.  Also a raffle.  the aim is to raise £700 to help the group buy their sound system.

Asda Petition At 2765 at 12.20pm
Asda Debate

Wick Banger Derby

Latheron Show 2006

Clips From Pipe Band Week Now On
A few clips from one of the evening performances by Wick Pipe Band and the some of the young dancers..  If anyone has any digital film of any local events we would be happy to add it to the section.



Thurso Town Improvements Bringing Continental Market To Thurso Pre Gala
Thurso Town Improvements have set there sites higher and higher in the last couple of years.  This year in addition to adding new events and a Big Gig Bands day there will also be visit from the continental Market that has been in Wick a couple of times.  The dates for the market are Thursday 27th July to Sunday 30th July in Thurso Pedestrian Precinct See the Market in Wick in May 2006  Thurso Gala runs from 5th - 13th August  Thurso is going to be busier for a few weeks.

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Goes Mobile - Seen Here At Wick Today
NHS Highland’s Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Programme has gone mobile, benefiting the 7500 diabetes patients in Highland who need to be screened.  Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the working age population, and everyone with diabetes is at risk of developing this condition, which fortunately can usually be successfully treatable if detected early when at an asymptomatic stage. NHS Highland now has two dedicated digital retinal cameras used for diabetic retinopathy screening. One is based in the Diabetes Retinal Screening Centre at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, and the other in a fully equipped self contained mobile unit which will be travelling widely to other outlying areas throughout Highland. The Diabetic Retinopathy Mobile Unit  was at Wick On 7 July 2006.

Call to replace Dounreay jobs as site faces closure - The Herald

Wick Pipe Band Ladies Busking In Wick
Ladies from Wick Pipe Band showed off their talents in Wick by holding an afternoon concert of their own.  These ladies have bags of talent and lot of experience going in some cases right back to the Wick Girls Pipe Band


Fancy A 15 Mile Sponsored Cycle To Help Mey Hall Funds
a fundraising event, to raise money towards the hall renovation project, on Sunday 9 July.  a sponsored bike ride (15 miles) leaving the Castle Arms Hotel at 10.00 am. The route will go through Scarfskerry, Rattar, Barrock and then we will take the High Road down to Gills, then along the coast road and back to the Castle Arms Hotel.  All welcome who would like to come along and do the bike ride and raise some money for the hall.

Asda Petition Now At 2724 At 4.45pm
Asda Debate

Bands At The Dammies 13 August  - End Of Thurso Gala Week
So you couldn't get tickets for "T in e Park"!  Never mind head for e Dammies in Thurso on 13th August from Noon until 10.00pm for 10 bands playing all day.  FREE with donations for Gala and Hospital.

Pulteneytown People’s Project Summer School
Pulteneytown People’s Project Summer School will be running for three weeks from the 3rd – 21st of July at Wick High School from 9.00am – 5.00pm . The Summer School is open to children aged 5 – 14 years and offers affordable child care for working parents as well as fun filled days for any children who are looking for activities during the summer holidays.

Postmen banned from coast path – after 100 years - Times Online

1220 Businesses And Organisations Now Listed In Our Caithness Business Index
Make sure your business is listed in the Caithness Business Index.  Listings are Free and you can also add a small photo and description for no charge.  430 of the businesses or organisations also have links to their web site or web page either of their own or on our pages.  Make sure you can be found and keep your information up to date by using the online form to notify changes.  641,415 look ups were made to the Caithness Business index in June alone.  You can get a higher profile by adding a banner ad or have feature article to advertise sales or changes to your business. Over 21 million pages in the group were viewed in the 6 months to June 2006 giving our advertisers a very high profile on the web both locally and further afield.

Fines Of Up To £1000 for Anyone found Abusing the Disabled Blue Badge Parking Scheme
Tough new measures to stamp out abuse of the blue badge parking scheme for disabled people will come into force on 29 September 2006.  Police, traffic wardens, local authority parking attendants and civil enforcement officers will be able to inspect blue badges as part of their other parking enforcement functions. It will be an offence if a person refuses, without reasonable excuse, to produce a badge for inspection - punishable on conviction by a fine of up to £1,000.

Orkney And Shetland Ferry Contract
The six year contract for lifeline ferry services to Orkney and Shetland has been awarded to Northlink Ferries Ltd. The company takes over today having been formed following the appointment of Caledonian MacBrayne, ferry provider on the west coast of Scotland, as preferred bidder in March.
The Hamnavoe currently operates from Scrabster on the run to Stromness in Orkney.  Basically its business as usual with Caledonian MacBrayne who already own Northlink.

Historic Scotland's Support For The Voluntary Sector  - A Consultation
The voluntary sector is a core part of Scottish community life. The draft operational policy paper invites views on Historic Scotland's policies and plans for providing support for the voluntary sector.  the consultation runs  from 1 July to 30 September 2006.  If you have any views on the subject let them know.  The Consultation Paper

MSP Jaimie McGrigor: "Thurso Mart closure might not be last"
Responding to news that Thurso Mart is to close, Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Jamie McGrigor said: "While there is still a market at Quoybrae, and Caithness Livestock Breeders run a collection service, this is a sad decision for Thurso which has a long and proud tradition as a livestock market town." "This decision is an example of the general malaise in farming since devolution and is resultant of the mismanagement of agriculture, and the rural community in general, by the Liberal Democrat/Labour partners. "Prices have continued to fall while farmers' costs have risen, and the Scottish Executive's only response has been to heap increased regulatory burdens on an already over-burdened farming sector.

Hot List Of Volunteering Opportunities
Copper Counter

Committee members of Wick and Thurso Gala are looking for volunteers to "count pennies" on the Sunday following "Float Night". This will be Sunday 23rd July for Wick Gala organisers and Sunday August 6th For Thurso Gala organisers.
Chest Heart and Stroke require Volunteer Drivers
The local organiser based in Thurso, is urgently needing volunteers, and particularly drivers to help with the transport of their clientele. Transport training is available to volunteers aged between 25-70 years of age.
Distance Befriending for the Highlands
Distance befriending are looking for volunteers to participate in a new scheme which offers a secure home based befriending service for people facing physical, geographical or social isolation.

Latest Pets In Pets Corner

Musical Evening By Wick Rotary Club In Aid Of Riding For the Disabled
Wick Rotary are raising funds in order to help Caithness  Riding for the Disabled to purchase a sound system for their place at Halkirk.  The musical evening Thursday 13th July at 7.00pm in Mackays Hotel, Wick.  James Ross the well known pianist from Wick will be among the growing list of local entertainers who will be at the event.  Tickets can be obtained from Lesley Mackay Tel 01955 604362.  Tickets are already selling well so get yours now and support Rotary in their bid to get riding For the Disabled a new sound system for the Riding Centre.  There will also be a raffle and a silent auction for range of items on show on the night.

Caithness Partnership July 2006 eBulletin
Included in this issue of the Caithness Partnership eBulletin that may be useful to individuals and organisations in the county and beyond.
A Strategy for Caithness & North Sutherland - A Review of Community Planning - Highland Council Beyond 2007 - Start-a-business - The Scottish Consumer Council, -The Highland Tourism Awards - SCVO and the Carnegie Commission for Rural Community Development
SEPA Update - Envirowise - FastTrack Visits - The Waste Minimisation Initiative - Reducing Scotlands Ecological Footprint - Highland Energy Forum - Enquiry into Energy Issues in Scotland
Funding - Training - Events.  We are currently working on a new web site for the Caithness Partnership that will carry much more information and be updated as items become available.
Caithness Partnership Index

Dounreay Bulletin Issue 6 - July
In Dounray bulletin this month are - Formation of Site Licence Company at Dounreay - EU Publishes Dounreay Verification Report -, Former Research Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant Cleans Up Nicely - Dounreay to Review Socio Economic Planning for Site Closure - Dounreay Prepares New Contracting Strategy for Decommissioning - NDA Announcement on Pensions - Particles Consultation Steering Group Meets - £500 for Race for Life - New Rugby Shirts for Bower Young Farmers.

Asda Petition At 2695 at 9.40am Today
Asda Debate

Resign call to board over Croft Reform Bill - The Herald

Highland 2007 Getting Noticed Globally
All part of the Highlands including Caithness will have events on during 2007 and despite the debate about how much is being spent where  and whether or not the projects are the right ones there is no doubt that the combined effect is getting the Highlands noticed.  Take for example the Wilderness ARC now featuring on a bike racing web site - Highlands and Islands at the 2007 World Championship where a large entry from around the world is expected due to the low entry fees and high prize money on offer.  Many of the events are now listed on Highland 2007  The events are listed under Arts, Environment, Heritage, Language, Science and Sport.  A few of the things happening in Caithness are the Flotilla of boats starting from Wick, Caithness and Sutherland Walking Festival, Highland Quest, Blas Festival, Caithness Science Festival, Caithness Archaeological Trust Museum.  In addition a growing list of Caithness projects have received capital funding from Highland 2007 and it is hoped these will have a lasting impact after 2007

Caithness Heat And Power In Wick Urges People To Get Connected Now
The Pipes going in to the Pulteneytown area of Wick will in a few months be sending heat to the houses connected up.  Anyone not yet signed up would be best to think about doing it right away whilst the contractors are in the area.  With rises in electricity and gas prices looking more and more likely for this winter once again on top of the last increases the cost of heating is going to be much more expensive.  Oil prices are rising in the face of the North Korean missile tests and hit new records yesterday at $75 a barrel (Today Online)  The new heating scheme in Pulteneytown has set its charges and a household can have unlimited heat for a fixed price.  Meanwhile as the Wick Heat And Power project surges ahead other countries are thinking about it  -
Australia should be paying closer attention to Europe on biofuels - The Age

The Nuclear Debate In Australia
Should Australia Have a Nuclear Industry? -
Nuclear debate picks up with show of British energy - The Age

Heat Centre In Wick Launches New Web Site
Heat Centre have unveiled a new website today that represents a significant milestone in the company's history and further signifies the company's desire to be the prestige heating and plumbing supply company in Caithness.  Another web site designed by Over Ord in co-operation with us here at Scorrie Internet Services who bring you the and Caithness Business Index web sites where your business web site gets more push  - See Heat Centre Business Page linking to your web site.  Get Seen Here.

Asda Petition 2686 At 11.30pm
Asda Debate

Convert Your Unwanted Item For Cash Now - It will Not Cost You A Penny
there is still time to get more cash for the holidays by selling unwanted items in the Classified section of the message board.  It does not matter how long it takes as the services is FREE.   Since it started lot of items have changed hands via the message board.  Not only does it help find a customer for your item but is the best way to recycle unwanted goods.  If you are not worried about getting cash then you can even give items away instead of throwing them away in our Free Stuff section.  So whther you just want rid of clutter and are giving it away there is not better way of doing it than the Free ads on  Folk will come and collect your items.  We have seen folk give away Rocks, Wood, and all manner of useful items from furniture to prams, cat baskets and much more.

Thurso Auction Mart To Close
It was announced today by United auctions that as part of a strategic re-organisation, that that the seasonal livestock mart at Thurso is to close in November. In recent times only one person has been employed at the mart in Thurso and some casual labour when sale was being held. This follows the company’s recent disposal of its 30 per cent shareholding in Dingwall and Highland marts. The company is making a £350,000 investment in new facilities at Huntly and is proposing to invest some £10 million in a new mart at Stirling. The usual programme of sales is planned for the autumn with closure expected at the end of November or early December.     Farming Index

North Region Board Meeting of SEPA
The North Region Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) will hold its next quarterly meeting at the Park Hotel, Thurso, at 9am on Friday 7 July 2006. The meeting is open to the public. The board advises SEPA on matters affecting the delivery of services within the region. It also engages with communities, regulated industries, local authorities, environmental partners and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of how SEPA's work is perceived in the area. Prior to the meeting, the board and external stakeholders will undertake a tour of Dounreay Nuclear Power Station. The tour will form the basis for discussion on decommissioning a nuclear power station and the opportunities for redeveloping of the site. Outputs and feedback will be reported during the board meeting.  Regional board members play a pivotal role in promoting the work of SEPA and represent a wide range of interests including pollution control, conservation, local government, industry, business, education and consumer affairs. Minutes, agendas and details of board members are available at

Ormlie Judges Orkney Playpark
Ormlie Community Association made a special trip to St Margarets Hope, Orkney last Friday to visit the Hope School Trim Track. The trustees of the Nancy Ovens Award for Play contacted OCA and asked if some young people would be willing to assess the play park as part of the judging for this year’s Nancy Ovens Award for Play. OCA won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Play’ award at last year’s event, so the Trustees of the awards felt it would be appropriate for young people from Ormlie to give their input into the assessment process for the St Margaret’s Hope application.

More Caithness Videos Linked Via
Caithness Explorer seen leaving John O'Groats.  this is the tame bit and you really need to get out and experience the sheer power as it lifts off to go on a trip round Stroma or along to Duncansby.  If you have not tried it yet check it out this summer.  Book via North Coast Marine Adventures  We here at the Org have been out more than once and the trips were great experiences whether for the thrill of the speed or the wildlife and birds on the trips.  Also see what the Caithness Kayak Club gets up to in the pool and on the river.

Another Huge Total Raised For Liam Henderson Memorial Fund
The 3rd & 4th June weekend (including raffle sales from Wick) £22,900 + £4600 from Sponsors & donations here in Wick made a  Grand total £27,500. This far surpassed expectations again & they still have the Mini fun morning for the kids at Harmsworth Park on 22nd July 06. Photos from this years event at Newmacher can be seen HERE  In 2005 the event raised over £18,000 and in 2005 over £27,000.  The fund has disbursed funds to local football clubs in Wick where Liam came from and Newmacher where he worked after university.

Campaign group highlights wind-farm tragedies - Scotsman
Caithness Windfarms Information Forum the local group actively campaigning against wind farms highlighting the accidents at wind farms in the government consultation.

NORTHERN Constabulary has said it is pleased with the results of the Safer Scotland Knife Amnesty after 504 blades were handed in during the month long campaign. 82 items were handed in across Caithness and Sutherland.  Although the figures are relatively low compared to other areas of Scotland, Chief Inspector Ian Arnott urged people to continue to report anyone they believe may be in possession of a bladed weapon. The types of weapons handed in at Police stations across the Highlands and Islands included kitchen knives, non-domestic knives, swords and other weapons. The national knife amnesty saw over 12,000 weapons handed in as the public responded positively to the Scottish Executive led campaign.

Ullapool Day Trip With PPP
Pulteneytown People’s Project has arranged a day trip to Ullapool on Tuesday 15th August. The bus is to leave at 8.30am picking up at South School and Pulteneytown Post Office then onto Ullapool for a few hours returning to Brora for a two course meal at the Sutherland Arms hotel. The cost for the day is £14.50 per person including meal and must be paid by 21st July. Anyone interested in booking a place should contact PPP on 01955 606950 or pop into the offices at 41 Murchison Street.

The planning application by Asda for new store at the Pennyland site in Thurso once again is in the press.  Both the Press and Journal  and Caithness Courier carry items today highlighting Councillor Tom Jackson who opposed the application as being unhappy with the retail impact study commissioned by Asda which he claims is "riddled with inaccuracies and in my opinion exaggerated claims with regard to turnover".  In today's Caithness Courier councillors Tom Jackson and Roger Saxon are quoted as being unhappy with the retail impact assessment submitted by Asda.  The application was turned down after the chairman Graeme Smith used his casting vote to refuse outline planning permission.  Councillor Donny Mackay also voted against the application.  The split vote has led Councillors Alistair Macdonald, David Flear (area convenor), Bill Fernie and John Green plus four other Highland councillors to present a notice to have the matter reviewed by the full planning committee in Inverness.  Councillor Alistair Macdonald who organised the notice of review described the refusal decision as "perverse".  Meanwhile work goes on at the Tesco store on the edge of Wick where another retail impact study suggested £8 million per annum of spend might be retained in Caithness after the new store is opened.  Tesco has very detailed information on shoppers spending habits due to the high numbers of Caithness households with a Tesco club card heavily used by them in Inverness for groceries and petrol.
Meanwhile the Asda support petition  has reached 2660 signatures (10.45am today) and debate continues on various threads on the Message Board mostly linked in the Asda Debate

SNP Backs Scathing Crofting Report Says MSP Rob Gibson
Highlands and Islands SNP MSPRob Gibson has praised the ERD Committee's constructive critique of the Crofting Reform Bill that reveals the Scottish Government proposals as lacking in vision, clarity and a genuine commitment to the future of crofting. He said, 'In contrast the SNP's long standing commitment is to promote sustainable crofting communities, but the current Crofting Bill has no vision for the future of crofting. Evidence to Parliament confirms that the shambolic and incomplete crofting register is a prime symptom of political failure by successive UK governments and for the last seven years by the LibDem Labour Executive. They have failed miserably to ensure the Crofters Commission has done its job laid down in law.

River users win over hydro plan - Perthshire Advertiser

Asda Petition Reaches 2644 Signatures At 9.10pm Tonight
The Asda Debate
It has been pointed out that the online petition may be a reasonable indicator of public feeling but sending letters to the Highland council is much more certain to be taken notice of.  On the Message Board details of who to contact have been given for folk to write in as well as signing the petition.

More Castletown Gala Photos Just In
....120                                        121 - 132                       133 - 142

Click Here for start of Castletown 2006 Gala Photos

Beach Fun Day At Dunnet With Dunnet Play Group
Jacqueline Mackay said, "We had a lovely day where the turn out was phenomenal. Attached are the winners of the sand castle competition - 1st Daisy & 2nd Andrew MacGregor. We made a total of £681:00. We had a sandcastle competition and children's races, barbecue, ice cream, candy floss and local seafood. Children's games, face painting, bouncy castle and finally a treasure hunt in the forest......"

St Fergus Triples Bowls Competition Hits Another Successful Year

St Fergus bowling club in Wick ran their third successful triples bowls competition at the weekend.  64 triples - 192 bowlers played in the two day competition spread over Thurso, Rosebank and St Fergus  bowling greens.  Despite the competition being only in its third year it is highly successful with competitors this year coming from Shetland in the north and Essex in the south of England.  The winning triple picked up a cheque for £1000 with the runners up receiving £300 along with their trophies.  Semi-finalists and plate competition winners received smaller cheques.  All agreed the weekend was very enjoyable and many competitors had brought other family members along with them for the weekend adding to the buzz in Wick over the two days.

Farmers  - Do You Burn Waste On The Farm?  Are You Aware Of the New Regulations?
Handling farm waste-changes needed

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is hosting agricultural waste roadshows to help the farming community and its suppliers comply with new waste management controls. The Agricultural Waste Regulations (Scotland) 2005 brought agricultural waste under the same regulatory controls as other commercial activities. The controls came into full effect on 21 January 2006, Waste Management Legislation now prohibits the uncontrolled burning of waste on farms and the use of unauthorised farm tips. Farms, like any other business, now have a Duty of Care to ensure that the waste they produce is disposed of safely and without harm to the environment, through licensed waste management facilities.

Asda Petition Still Climbing As total Reaches 2607  - at 2.05pm Today
The Asda Debate

Public to be Consulted over Proposed Taxi Increases
The Highland Council is to ask the public for their views on plans to increase taxi fares later in the year. The public have until Friday 4 August to make representations, which will be considered by the Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee on Thursday 17 August. The proposed date for implementation of the increased fares is Monday 4 September.

Dunnet Forest Link Path
A new multi-user path link has been created by the Environment Section of The Highland Council Planning and Development Service to link Dunnet Village, Dunnet Pavilion and Dunnet Forest in Caithness. The new path is wide enough to cater for walkers, buggies and pushchairs, cyclists and horse riders allowing for both visitors and locals to use the various facilities of the beach, the village and the forest whilst avoiding walking on the road or road verge. There have been a number of other benefits from the scheme. Sight lines have been improved for drivers exiting the Dunnet Pavilion car park and holiday makers using the Dunnet Bay Caravan site now have safer access between the beach and forest, providing options for outside activities in most weathers.  Dunnet Area    Whats On In Dunnet and Around the North With Rangers

New Caithness Arts Festival Co-ordinator Appointed
Caithness Arts was pleased to announce a new development in their effort to support growth in the local arts infrastructure.  Linda Hutton has been appointed as Caithness Arts Festival Co-ordinator. Despite the title, her role extends beyond the Festival, and she is now the main point of contact for those wishing to organise events for Caithness Arts Week, post information via the e-mail list, or send items for inclusion in the Newsletter and What's On, which Linda will now produce.

KNIVES CHARGES - Press and Journal
In two separate knife incidents two teenagers have been freed on bail following being charged.

Scotland's most senior law officer introduced at House of Lords  - North Tonight
Lord Advocate Colin Boyd, now known as The Right Honourable Lord Boyd Of Duncansby QC. His new title is taken from Duncansby Head in Caithness.  As boy he spent several years in Wick.

Wick Pipe Band Week In Full Swing

wick Pipe Band Week continued with an outdoor performance from the band and dancers from the Elise Lyall School of Dance.  The week is packed with events - See the Calendar On Wick Pipe Band Web site
See Earlier Pipe Band Events  Photos From Wick Girls Pipe Band

The Asda Petition Reaches 2569 at 10.00pm On Monday 3 July
The Asda Debate  Support for the Asda proposal at Thurso shows no sign of abating as the petition keeps on growing at an unprecedented rate for an issue in Caithness.

The Scottish Open Rifle Meeting At Thurdistoft, Castletown
1 - 12

For the second year running the Scottish Open Rifle Meeting is taking place in Caithness following the highly successful first year in 2005Caithness has been pleased to welcome 250 shooters to the county for the competitions that includes several members of Caithness clubs.  Many of the entrants have come with their families swelling the visitors to the county considerably this week for the competition that runs from Saturday 1st to Friday 7th July.  The Caithness Scottish Open Rifle Meeting Web Site
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25 - 36                                                                                  37 - 39

Photos from the 2005 Meeting

Community Centre At Pulteneytown Gets Go Ahead From Caithness Planning Committee
The Community centre which was described as partly a regeneration centre was given the go ahead after site inspection today in Wick.  8 councillors attended and there were no dissenting voices.  Councillor MacNab who is also the manager of the Pulteneytown People's Project and the applicant for the new centre did not take part in the proceedings as she had an interest in the result.  Councillor Mowat was not available for the meeting.  Despite being set up a hearing following objections none of the objectors appeared to make their case against the new centre.  If funding applications now in the pipeline are successful Wick will have a new centre costing in excess of £2million to continue local people's drive to turn round the area that is listed along with another area of Wick in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Chairman of the PPP David Dunnet hoped that the centre would be open within two years.  The centre will provide On the ground floor the building will provide a sports and function hall with adjacent store, a plant room, a youth project room, two classrooms, a cafeteria with internet access, a kitchen, a soft play area and a nursery crèche with adjacent rooms. On the upper floor there will be an office for the Pultneytown Peoples Project with adjacent committee room, office and reception room, a meeting/function room, 6 social economy office units, a kitchen, a recording studio and 3 IT suites.  Education and training are a large part of what the new centre will be about to try to take Pulteneytown people out of the category of one of the highest unemployment black spots in the north.

Castletown Gala
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Rangers  - Dunnet Walk Cancelled For 2.00pm Thursday 6 July

Asda proposal to be reconsidered - BBC

Castletown Gala - more Castletown Gala Photos later this afternoon.........
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Asda Petition Now At 2527 as at 9.40am Today
The Asda Debate

Caithness Planning Committee - Special Meeting
The special meeting is called today to try to deal with planning applications before the council goes into its summer break.  The main application is for hearing on the application by Pulteneytown People's Project for new community centre.  The £2 million centre has attracted three objections and small petition signed by 11 people and therefore the full hearings system has been invoked.  The planning meeting takes place today at 10.00am in the Assembly Rooms, Wick.  Several other planning applications will also be dealt with.

Castletown Gala -   Last photos on for tonight. More Castletown Gala photos on Monday
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Castletown Gala
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Pulteneytown People's Project Fun Day

Another of the many events on in Caithness on Saturday.  The PPP Fun Day is getting bigger each year.  Here are few photos from the early part of the day.

Work Has Begun On The Tesco Store Site At Wick
The much anticipated start on the Tesco store at Wick has begun as a firm of fencing contractors are already hard at work even on a Saturday fencing off the whole site with a huge fence.  Diggers have moved in ready to commence work on the roads, car park and foundations.  Looks like they meant business when they said open in plenty of time for Christmas.  We will be following progress every step of the way over the next 20 weeks.  The site next to the airport and adjacent to the main road is ideally situated for people coming from across the county and even further afield.  Already the Shops on the other side of Wick are attracting shopper from a long way off in Sutherland and Orkney.  The new Tesco will mean that Wick will in less than a year have become nearer to being the shopping capital of the north.  Two shops remain available the Homebase complex but they are not expected to remain empty for long.

Asda Petition Now 2470
The Asda Debate

Canisbay Show
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Canisbay Show 2006
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Show 13 - 24               25 - 36                       37 - 48

And Once Again Records Broken In June On
Hits : 14,815,869   Visitors : 688,920  Page Views : 4,338,048
Daily Average - Hits : 493,859  Visitors 22,961  Page Views 144,609
6 Months Jan  - June
Hits : 83,049,351  Visitors : 4,041,312  Page Views : 21,515,151 had more visitors in the first 6 months of 2006 than in the whole 12 months of 2005.  All the numbers show a continued rise.  Despite June being one day less than May the month still beat last months records.  Every month now adds to an even bigger record over 2005.
Sutherland Business Pages Also Breaking Records
Hits : 794,832   Visitors : 89,080  Page Views : 673,283
Page views were up by a third in June over last month indicating the site is increasing its usefulness.
Thanks again to all of our visitors.

Today marks the end of the knife amnesty, which commenced on 24 May. During the amnesty a number of knives and weapons were recovered from the red bins that were placed throughout Highland and Islands. These weapons will now be destroyed. Northern Constabulary and the Procurator Fiscal service today have moved into the enforcement phase whereby an even tougher line is being pursued against those persons who choose to carry a knife. Such persons can now expect to be met with the full force of the law: Arrest – they will be arrested and usually be held in custody until their court appearance - Bail – where such a person pleads not guilty in court, it will be more likely that the Procurator Fiscal will oppose bail. Sentence – many of the cases will be prosecuted on indictment with the sheriff being able to impose a sentence of up to four years imprisonment.  Due to the connection of alcohol with violence drinking in the street laws will be more likely to be enforced.

In Living Memory - Scotsman
The Queen Mother Memorial Garden at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - to be opened by the Queen this Friday.  147 slabs of Caithness stone have been used in the construction.

Asda Petition Still Growing - 2396 at 9.35am Today
The Asda Debate

Property Pages Keep Getting Bigger
117 Properties for sale are currently on show in our property section.  For advertisers its a great deal as the pages are FREE.  why?  You do the work.  Just complete the online submission form and attach your photo and your ad is on.  Just let us know when you want it removed.  Easy and efficient.  Keep the ad on as long as you like.

PPP Fun Day At South School, Wick - Today - 1.00pm
This is the annual fundraiser where all the community come together and have a good day out.  Activities  include Highland dancers, local bands playing, old fashioned races, face painting, football competition…..5 a-side. Kids get along and enter your team, trampoline, raffle stall, bottle stall, baking stall and a plant stall where you can come along and exchange a plant or buy a plant for 50p, barbecue, tea, coffee, home baking, hot dogs.  Any funds raised on the day go towards subsidising  outings that organised throughout the year.

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