Earlier Days With Wick Sea Cadets Set The Scene For A New Beginning
A new group have set out to get the Sea Cadets going once again in Wick.  They are looking for leaders to take the new unit forward.



Far North MSP Jamie Stone is keeping up the pressure for action to improve road safety at the Berriedale Braes on the A9. Mr Stone has received a positive reaction from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) about possible support for a flyover at Berriedale Braes and he has also secured a commitment from Scottish Transport Minister Tavish Scott for a site visit in the summer. In a letter to Mr Stone, Dr Ian Roxburgh, Chief Executive of the NDA, has outlined that the authority may be prepared to consider supporting a flyover.
Councillor Bill Mowat has rarely ceased to mention the road at Berriedale at council meetings in Inverness managing often to push it into debates at every opportunity to emphasis the need to have it upgraded.  He will be pleased to hear that Mr Stone and the NDA may be getting to grips with one of his long term goals of making a major improvement to what has been a dangerous piece of road for heavy vehicles and slow place to drive when there is a line of commercial traffic passing through.
Berriedale Hairpin Bend   See More Of Berriedale

Capturing Fly-tippers
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has adopted an invaluable database which will not only assist in building up a true picture of the extent of fly-tipping, but help track those who illegally dump waste. Fly Capture is an electronic system which records the amount and type of waste illegally fly tipped in Scotland. It also enables local authorities to input data and calculate the costs for clearing the problem.

Army Cadets On Fieldcraft Weekend At Broubster
Caithness Army Cadet Force held a fieldcraft exercise weekend at Broubster Forest near Reay as the culmination of the Company's training before annual camp. Activities included living in the field, camouflage, observation, tactical movement and patrolling. The cadets had an enjoyable, sunny and extremely wet time; but the skills learnt and equipment issued kept them warm and dry most of the time. This years camp will be at Strensall In Yorkshire from 1st to 14th July.
Army Cadets Index

Far North MSP Jamie Stone is pressing Scottish ministers to reconsider the conditions of the water rates relief scheme for charities. Under current rules, charities can only claim relief if the premises that they occupy were eligible for rate relief as at 31 March 1999. Mr Stone is aware of at least two charities in Caithness - the Neurological Group in Thurso and the local branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society - which have to pay full water rates since the premises that they use do not meet the criteria.

Latest Newsletter From South School, Wick

Planning Applications for Week Ending 26 May 2006
Includes one for change of use for the shop in Williamson Street, Wick to 6 Flats by Tulloch Construction.  This continues the redevelopment of Putleneytown.  The flats will be owned by Pentland Housing.
Building Warrants For the Week Ending 26 May 2006

Update On Enforcing The Smoking Ban In The Highlands
A report going to The Highland Council's TEC Services Committee on Thursday (I June) will show that following the introduction of the ban on smoking in enclosed places, the enforcement strategy adopted by the Council, has been effective, and compliance by businesses and customers in Highland has been extremely high. Councillors will be told that of the 778 premises inspected so far, 572 have been found to be fully compliant and the remaining 206 required advice in meet the strict requirements of the legislation. No fixed penalty notices have been issued in the Highlands nor has anyone been reported for prosecution.
Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee Agenda 1 June 2006

Tourist Guides Lead The Way
Future visitors to Caithness and Sutherland will benefit from the hard work and achievements of 11 newly-qualified professional Tourist Guides. The successful candidates were presented with their Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA) Affiliate certificates and badges at a recent awards ceremony at the Portland Arms Hotel, Lybster. They had completed a rigorous course over the last few months to demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of the Caithness and Sutherland area, and also their skills in communicating with groups of tourists to our area, in a variety of settings including walking tours and bus tours.

Door to Door Consultation with Tenants over Housing Transfer
The Highland Council is to go door knocking at the homes of 14,500 tenants soon to advise them of the impending ballot on housing transfer, which will ask them to vote on transferring council houses to the not-for-profit organisation, Highland Housing Association. The consultation and communication with tenants will take place between 19 June and 14 July. It is proposed that visits will take place between 9.00am - 8.00pm, Monday to Saturday. No visits will take place on a Sunday. In advance, tenants will get a letter advising them about the purpose of the visits, asking for their cooperation and giving contact details of our staff. This will be a significant undertaking given the geography of the Highlands, which extends to 10,000 sq miles. However, the Council believes the effort is worthwhile to secure a strong response to the secret postal ballot, which will take place in October.

Halkirk Gala Week 2006 - Programme Now Out
Friday 9th to Saturday 17th June - Bigger than ever.
EVent Organisers. Get them on as soon as possible for maximum FREE coverage.  Just fill in events at the Submission Page in the What's On section.  When entering lots of events with some details the same just hit the back button and enter any new details and resubmit the page - much faster than entering the same info over and over again.  Galas/Shows/Highland Games/Events

Highlands And Islands Enterprise Chairman Hails Area's Progress
A year of remarkable progress in the economy of the Highlands and Islands has significantly enhanced the area's potential to become one of the best regions in the world to live, work, study and visit. That was the message from William Roe, chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) today as he announced the agency's performance against targets for the financial year 2005-06.

Opening Hours At Caithness Recycling Centres And Community Skip Provision
Following a report presented to the Caithness Area TEC Services Committee yesterday (Monday 29 May) on Monday, the opening hours at the recycling centres in Wick and Thurso will be changed to reflect demand and the community skips in Halkirk, Castletown and Lybster will be removed.

SAC Gets New Funding For Courses In HIE Area
SAC has been awarded nearly £152,000 by the European Social Fund (ESF) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to fund the continuation of a training project in the highlands and islands area. The renewed funding will support the project from August 2006 to July 2007. This most recent award follows on from similar support awarded last year which enabled SAC to initiate a series of subsidised training courses.  In the first year of operation the courses have attracted more than 1000 trainees - well in excess of the number who were originally expected to participate.

Bird Song Evening - Thrumster House Woodland
Thursday 1st June - Meet Thrumster house car park 7.30pm

This Ranger led evening will take you on leisurely stroll around the woodland enjoying beautiful bird song. Listen to the many bird calls in quaint surroundings. Contact Marina Swanson on 01955607758 or e-mail  No Booking required for this evening.  Children under 16 must be with an adult.  Wear good shoes or boots and warm clothing.
If you cannot make this outing there are plenty more in coming weeks and months
See The 2006 Listing
Bird Watching Index    Ranger Pages   About Thrumster House

Latest Newsletter From Pulteneytown Academy Primary School, Wick

Wick ATC Cadets At Highland Wing - Sports, Drill, Competitions
On 13th May members of 1285 (Caithness) Squadron travelled from Wick to RAF Kinloss to participate in the Highland Wing Drill, Aircraft Recognition and modelling competitions. High School exams limited the numbers of cadets who were able to travel, but attending the events were James Bamfield, Christopher Bremner, Yeager Coghill, Kerry Wilson, Kerry Smith, Diane Banks and Steffi Niwa. The squadron achieved a 2nd and 3rd place in the modelling event with the cadets "airfield scene" being selected to take part in the Regional competition in Edinburgh. The cadets were also shown round one of the operational Nimrod maritime reconnaisance aircraft during the course of the day.

The Papers
Giant pylon inquiry 'may take 9 months' - Scotsman

Planning Applications For Week Ended 19 May - Pdf file
This weeks applications includes one for the new Sports Centre at Halkirk
Building Warrants Granted Week Ending 19 May - Pdf file

THE Northern Safety Camera Partnership is appealing to the public to reduce their speed on the roads of the Highlands after figures released today show that a number of drivers are breaking limits by 10mph or more. The Northern Safety Camera Partnership took part in a recent Speed Monitoring Survey and it revealed that significant numbers of motorists across the Highlands exceed the speed limit by 10 mph or more.

'Don Quixote' from Martin Danziger's Theatre Modo - Mill Theatre, Thurso 7 June
Theatre Modo has become known for imaginative and innovative adaptations of classics that place dynamic emphasis on live, ensemble theatre. Our last show, Ubu, toured Scotland and Europe before a highly successful run at the Edinburgh Festival gaining four 5 star reviews. We explore new ways of presenting classical text to make theatre which is entertaining, relevant and appealing to contemporary audiences. Theatre Modo tours throughout Scotland on a regular basis and has performed across France, Italy and Germany for the last 7 years. "In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd."

Council Encourages Claims For Schools Meals And Assistance With School Clothing
Parents, who think they may be eligible to apply for free school meals and assistance towards the cost of school clothing, are being encouraged to submit claims to The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Service so the support is in place at the start of the new school session in August. From this time, the Council is streamlining the application system so that anyone who qualifies for free school meals is automatically entitled to a clothing allowance, which is increasing from £40 to £50 per eligible pupil per school year.

Scottish Arts Council Backs Highland 2007 With £250,000 For Capital Funding
Organisations planning arts projects to mark Highland 2007, the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture, will from today (May 29) have access to the Highland 2007 Arts Capital Fund. The Scottish Arts Council, working in partnership with Highland 2007, has made £250,000 available in capital grants for Highland 2007 related arts projects in the Highlands and Islands. This recognises the importance of high quality arts projects as key to the success of the celebration of the year of Highland culture. Alison Magee, chair of Highland 2007, said: "This fund will enable groups and organisations across the region to buy new equipment, such as musical instruments or lighting equipment or to undertake small building projects for their neighbourhood facilities.

Latest Music Link Media Photos Added
A few of the latest photos from the Music Link Media project have been added to the May gallery.  If you have not thought about music before and are under 25 why not get in touch with them to see what they have to offer.  Full Details Here


Council Conducts Weekend of Music
Around 250 young Highland musicians will meet in Inverness this weekend (Friday 2nd ~ Saturday 3rd June) to take part in selection events for the regional instrumental groups run by The Highland Council's Instrumental Tuition Service.  The new Regional Ceilidh Band applicants will meet in Charleston Academy on Friday evening to participate in a group session and to play their instruments to a panel of tutors who will make selections for members of the new group.

Concert Held In Episcopal Church, Wick
The concert held in the Episcopal Church, Wick on Friday 26 May 2006, by Wick Choral. The concert was well attended and the audience were treated to items from Wick Choral, Caithness Handbell Ringers and a short Organ Recital by Margaret Widdowson.  A second concert takes place in Thurso Episcopal church on Friday 2 June.  Photos

Calendar Of What's On Caithness & Sutherland - June - October 2006
This is all of the Ranger Walks, Archaeology Items, Nature, Birds Children's Activities from the Rangers
This guide is in the Rangers pages and linked in the Nature section and most of it will appear in our What's On as the weeks go by.

Dunrobin Glen, Sutherland

Another of the clearances glens.  Drive for few miles in this almost empty land at the back of Golspie and look for wildlife and wander round some of the long abandoned croft houses.  Soon a new link road could be built from Dunrobin Glen to allow 19 wind turbines to get access to nearby Kilbraur - new planning application now in per Scottish Executive web site.  Sutherland Index     Wind Turbine Applications In Highland

Dounreay News Bulletin Number 27 - May 2006

Quayside Raise £606 For Family Centre In Wick
Quayside formed during the summer of 2005. Margaret MacDonald, who has sung locally for a number of years, and Bob Turner, who plays guitar, teamed up to provide support to a charity concert in the Wick Youth Club.  The have continued to do charity concerts and this latest one raised £606 for the Family Centre and a cheque was presented to Mrs Ann Beveridge, who runs the Family Centre by Margaret MacDonald of Quayside. 
More About Quayside

Sunday Papers
Oh, we do like to buy beside the seaside...Scotsman - cheapest seaside properties are in Wick
Short clean-up contracts prompt safety warning - Sunday Herald
German GPs drafted in to cover out-of-hours services - Sunday Herald
Earlier In The Week
Question that may drive up cost of police chief’s car - The Herald
Anger as NHS pays to recruit US medics - Observer
ITER and fusion energy research your questions answered - EurofundingMag    Tritium Users Group
Sellafield MP's trip paid by US group - Telegraph
Truth carved in stone - Scotsman - Davinci Code On Roslyn & Earlier Earl Of Caithness mentioned.  Come on now we all know in Caithness that the grail is in the devils pool near Dirlot Castle...Hm........

“Wick High 50” - Come and Get Your Tickets
Already over 50 people have booked their tickets and there is still 8 weeks to go for this reunion in Wick Gala Week.  Janis Paterson has the tickets ready and they can be obtained directly from her by post or in a local shop in Wick.  Tickets are limited so get booked early and help the organisers make arrangements.  The last reunion in 2001 was a sell out and this one looks as if it is on track to be just as busy.

Iceland Newspaper Shows Some Of Our Migrants Have Had A Hard Time
This cutting from an Iceland newspaper has an article about how birds there have had a hard time due to the late cold spring.  "The cold is terrible here. We have not had such a spell in late May since the 19th century. Many small birds such as plovers, snipe and thrushes have died on their nests in the North-East where it is coldest and others have broken off their nesting. Larger birds such as eider and geese try to stay on their nests, neck deep in snow. Ravens and skua are of course having a feast on abandoned eggs and dead birds." - Islay MacLeod

More Golspie Streets
Millicent Avenue         East Millicent Avenue  Fraser Street               Grant Crescent

Prize List Continues To Grow For The Liam Henderson Memorial Trust
With only a week to go before the football matches and the massive raffle draw in Newmacher this year the prizes are still coming in.

The Shopping Continues At Wick
Continental Market At Wick On Saturday

Final Day Tomorrow Sunday 28 May.   Today was the third day of the Continental Market at Wick once again giving everyone a chance to sample some new tastes from German sausage, Dutch pancakes, Spanish food and much more.  Market Square was busy despite the showers today.

Streets In Golspie, Sutherland
Ben Bhraggie Drive          Argo Terrace              Tower Street
Golspie Index
Sutherland Index



Ross Gardens              Seaforth Road             Lindsay Street

New Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop Opened Today At Wick Retail Park
The latest shop opened today at Wick Retail Park as Edinburgh Woollen Mill opened its doors with a piper in attendance to get the day going.  The shop is not what many expected "a clone" of the Woollen Mill at John O'Groats but has a different range of clothing lines available.  And there is something of shopping bonanza on in Wick at the moment as Homebase are offering 10% off everything in the store today.  At the same time the Continental Market has once again taken over the Market Square in Wick for four days having started a couple of days ago and on until Sunday.  The Wick Retail Park now has Homebase, New Look, Super Drug, Argos and Edinburgh Woollen Mill. However not to be outdone some Caithness shops are determined to compete with Thurso Building Supplies emphasising their wide range of products and thumping in with their own 10% off on purchases over £25 until 31st May.  A price war may not be here yet but the early skirmishes look good for customers in Caithness.

The Farm Salmon Scam - UK-wide Action Hour planned for October 2006
The Salmon Farm Protest Group (SFPG) has announced plans to hold a UK-wide 'Action Hour' outside the nation's supermarkets on 14th October. From 11.00 am to 12 noon. SFPG supporters will distribute leaflets to shoppers highlighting the damage that fish farms have done and are doing do to wild salmon and sea-trout, and to the natural environment. Supporters are being asked to register their interest in participating in the event by emailing SFPG chairman Bruce Sandison at saying which supermarket they will visit.

POLICE in Wick are warning householders to be vigilant following reports of bogus worker operating in the area. At around 20.00 on Wednesday 24 May 2006 a man and a woman called at the home of an elderly man in the Dunnet Avenue area of Wick, identifying themselves as Social Workers to try and gain entry.
When asked for identification by the householder they were unable to produce any and were refused entry. They were seen to leave the area in what was described only as a dark red car. Inquiries with Social Work confirmed the couple were not Social Workers.  They are described as: Male - mid 40s, 5ft 8", short black curly hair, olive skin, foreign accent, wearing a dark suit and carrying a wooden clipboard. Female – 30s, 5ft, shoulder length straight black hair, English accent, wearing a black suit. Police are anxious to speak to anyone who may have seen this couple or have information regarding them. A Police spokesman stated the elderly gentleman in this case acted correctly in asking for identification refusing entry when it was not produced.  Anyone with information should contact Wick Police station on 01955 603551 or in confidence at Crimestoppers 24-7 on 0800 555 111.

Scotland’s First Geopark Starts Rocking For The Summer
North West Scotland will join a Europe-wide network of rock events this week to celebrate its fantastic geological formations. North West Highlands Geopark became Scotland’s first European Geopark last year and is now amongst 25 sites across Europe which will run events about their special geology during European Geopark Week (27th May – 4th June). In the North West there are a range of guided walks on offer, led by the local Rangers and geologists from The British Geological Survey and supported by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Pamela Thornton And Garry Bainbridge Got Married
Pamela Thornton formerly from Thurso and Garry Bainbridge got married last Saturday at Barry Island RAF St Athans.
Weddings Index
If you would like to share your wedding photos send them to 
Wedding Notices can be added to our Forums FREE

Playbox Group, Wick Off To See The Ducks
The ducks at Broadhaven are always popular with younger children and no doubt the ducks look forward to the extra food they bring along.
Playbox Index
Nurseries, Play Groups Etc Index  This section is not yet completed and groups and pages are being moved from Social Groups. Any groups are welcome to send in additional information for their page FREE of charge.

John Henderson Wins BT Personal Achievement Award
Wick man John Henderson has won a BT personal achievement award recognising the way he and his wife Janice have overcome a personal tragedy following the death of their son Liam Henderson who was killed intentionally by a driver at a football match in Glasgow. John and Janice Henderson have since set up the Liam Henderson Memorial Trust and raised over £40,000 for young football teams in Wick and Newmacher where Liam lived. They will shortly be travelling to Newmacher for this years football match and other events raising more money.  See details of the raffle and get your tickets

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm has announced record £31.5 million spending for affordable housing in Highland this year. The investment through Communities Scotland, the Executive’s housing and regeneration agency, will enable 560 new homes to be built for rent or low-cost ownership in the Highland region.  This is the second year of the £1.2 billion programme announced in 2005 which will provide 21,500 new or improved affordable homes across Scotland by 2008.
Pentland Housing Association will receive over £2 million to continue supporting projects such as Manson’s Lane and Spring Park Farm in Thurso. Once completed these two projects will provide the area with 37 new homes.
Over £1 million of funding will see the completion of 14 much-needed homes in Lochinver and Scourie this year.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) today announced the award of the contract for the administration of the new Combined Nuclear Pension Plan (CNPP) to UKAEA. UKAEA will administer the scheme through its Pensions Office in Thurso.  This contract secures the jobs of the staff who work at the office in Brownhill Road.

From The Papers
MP's fears over bidders - The Whitehaven News - On the bidders to run the nuclear industry in the UK
EU, US Sign Nuclear-Fusion Reactor Pact - Yahoo - P R Delegation of the Euro Commission to the U.S

Rock Pipit Spotted At Sandside Beach
Rock Pipit. This one of two of Scandinavian race 'littoralis' at Sandside Beach. Undoubtedly a subspecies overlooked in the county, but nevertheless another good find by Nigel Fairney who captured some fine portraits which illustrate clearly the features associated with 'littoralis'.   Bird Sightings    Bird Watching Index

Bird Watching Message Board

Another Early ATC Photo
This photograph was taken as the Duke of Edinburgh inspects the Guard of Honour from 1285 Caithness Squadron Air training Corps in Wick's Bridge Street on a very rainy day in the 60's. Flt /Lt Hamish Gunn Squadron Commander at the time, accompanies the Royal visitor.  Early ATC Index 
Other Early Caithness Photos  Early Caithness Postcards


Natural History Photographic Workshop ­ June 1 Castletown School from 7pm - 9pm
Entries are now being welcomed for an exciting new competition open to photographers of all ages and abilities, based in Caithness. To help launch the competition, Ken Crossan the highly respected and internationally renowned photographer will be running a workshop at Castletown School on Thursday 1 June from 7-9pm. The topics covered will be invaluable for beginners and more experienced enthusiasts alike. This is a great chance to learn a few techniques from one of the best professionals in the business, and an opportunity not to be missed. To receive an entry form for the competition which closes on September 30, please download here (Pdf file)

Mey Selections Adds £140,000 In Premium Prices For Local Farmers
Mey Selections the new group formed to promote quality livestock from the northern parts of the Highlands has been hugely successful - way beyond expectations.  The first annual report covering five month of trading has reported a turnover of £1.2million.  Mey Selections was launched by The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay in August last year aiming to boost the North Highlands economy by promoting three aspects - produce, tourism and the built environment.  Strong and increasing demand for the Mey Selections brand means that the product is in demand with Sainsbury's who were first in looking to expand the products into 98 stores and more demand coming from the service and catering industries.

Seeking Super Apprentices Across The Highlands And Islands
HIGHLANDS and Islands apprentices and the people behind their success are being sought by the organisers of the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Awards 2006. Apprentices, training providers, colleges and employers throughout the region are invited to enter this year's awards in a number of categories.

Friends Of The Castle Of Mey Group Launched At The Chelsea Flower Show
The Castle Of Mey launched a new Friends of The Castle Of Mey group at the Chelsea Flower Show this week.  The well known star of "Monarch of the Glen", Susan Hampshire was there representing celebrity ambassadors for the new organisation.  Leading television gardening expert Alan Titmarsh is an honorary patron.  At the launch was local MP John Thurso, Earl of Caithness, Ash Windham Extra Equerry to Prince Charles and garden designers Sue Bradbury and Catherine Jago of the garden at Chelsea sponsored by Kinnaird Sporting Estate, Caithness Stone Industries, Atholl Estates, Chedworth Horticultural Society and George Goldsmith.  A range of supporters membership is available under the heading of Friend, Patron and Corporate Sponsor  - each bestowing a variety of privileges at Mey and elsewhere.

Maths Day At Hillhead School, Wick
Pupils at Hillhead Primary school had fun with Maths on Monday. All pupils from the nursery to Primary 7 participated in a variety of fun activities. Pupils in the primary school moved from class to class to take part in different fun maths activities ranging from bingo, shape puzzles, giant floor puzzles, graphing and activities in a minute. Even Andy the school chef got in on the act with pyramid potatoes and number spaghetti being served for school lunches. The day was enjoyed by all and helped to show the pupils that maths can be fun.
Hillhead May Newsletter  Hillhead Main Page

Playden Nursery In Thurso Have A Web Site
You can find your way to it later via out Nurseries and Play Groups section now being updated

More Papers
Scotland visit for American kilt student - Scotsman
The Nathan Warmack kilt story continues as he prepares to come to Scotland.

Play In Caithness Open Golf Competitions
If you are coming to Caithness on holiday and would like to play in a golf competition then then there is almost sure to be one when you are here during the summer months.  There are four golf courses to choose from - three 18 holes and one 9 holes and all with their own challenges.  Even if you do not want to enter competition the courses at Thurso, Wick, Reay and Lybster will welcome you.  Here is handy list of open competitions and links to the web sites of all of the courses.

From The Papers
A mutual support movement with Montenegro
- The Herald, Caithness gets a mention
Fears raised over Dounreay jobs  - BBC - Nothing New Just a Labour Attack on HIE
Crofters Commission backs reform bill - Shetland Times
Culture festival to take to sea - BBC

Public Meeting To Gage Local Feeling On Need For More Affordable Housing
In Thrumster, Haster and Milton Area

Tannach and District Community Council are holding an Open Public Meeting in Thrumster Hall on Tuesday 30th May at 7p.m. to try to see if there is a need in the Thrumster, Haster and Milton and surrounding areas for affordable housing. Ronnie MacRae from the Highland Small Communities Trust will be there to answer questions or queries on a questionnaire that is being sent out to the people in the Tannach and District Community Council area this week.  Meeting is open to anyone to attend.

Baby Birds At Shinval Garden Centre, Glengolly Near Thurso
Baby Robins      Baby Blackbirds
The birds obviously like the Shinval Garden Centre and are happy to use anything for nesting such as the baby robins in an old grobag or the baby blackbirds in a small Christmas Tree in a pot tied up to fence to stop it blowing over.  All th ebabies have left the nests and are to be seen around the garden centre during the day.
Bird Watching Index

Companion Dog Show (held under Kennel Club Rules and Regulations) Saturday 27 May 2006
At Thurso Youth Club and Grounds Show opens at 10am for judging to start at 10.30am
Entry fees:- £1.00 per dog per class. Rosettes to 4th place Special Rosettes for:- Best in Show, Best Crossbreed, Best Novelty Winner Contact: Mike Potts tel: 01847 893471

Ambitious plans to regenerate a Caithness community by harvesting energy from the sun, wind and hydrogen are to receive financial support from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The NDA, through UKAEA, is to invest £60,000 over the next three years to help Ormlie Community Association Ltd develop its green energy scheme. It will support the appointment of Thurso engineer, Louise Smith, who also chairs the Caithness Renewable Energy Forum, as project manager. She returned to the area two years ago, previously working for Jacobs Babtie on UKAEA projects. The funding has been made available as part of the NDA's remit to help communities adjust to the social and economic consequences of accelerated decommissioning.  OCA Ltd believes successful development of the scheme could serve as a model for other communities, with the profits being reinvested in the community.

More Oil Related Photo Where Caithness Folk Work
These latest oil related photos where Caithness folk work are form Colin Campbell who has been out on the Pascagoula Mississippi and the Atwood Hunter in Egypt.
Not seen them all - Start Here
Send Oil photos to

Spittal School 1946 & 1947
Two photos sent in by William Mackay who is in both photos.

Schooldays Index  Old School Buildings


Gibson in Rail Freight Plea - And Homebase Goods To Come In To Wick By Rail
Increased rail freight to the far North is the future and is possible according to a North MSP. SNP MSP Rob Gibson was commenting after he received a letter from England, Wales and Scotland railways about the future possibilities of transporting freight on the Far North Line. The letter talks about the possible return of the Timber loading system at Kinbrace which was shelved last year because of cost implications.
Mr Gibson was also was heartened to hear that EWS and John G Russell had managed to arrange that goods from Homebase would be transported by rail to Wick from Daventery within 24 hours of the request being made by Homebase.

"Getting It Right for Every Child" in Highland
Highland's Joint Committee on Children and Young People has agreed that Highland should be a pathfinding authority for the national implementation of "Getting it Right for Every Child". This is a major programme, and is likely to have a significant impact on all of Highland's children - and subsequently on all of Scotland's children. Implementation will commence first in the Inverness Area.  "Getting it Right for Every Child" involves action to implement the national review of the Children's Hearings System, to achieve more joined-up assessment, planning and review processes for children, who would get the right service at the right time, packaged for their particular needs.

Close Encounter With Killer Whales On Hoy Trip
The folk who went on the Hoy boat trip on Sunday had the great experience of seeing killer whales as they went across the Pentland Firth.  thr trip was one of the first outings for Highland Wild Encounters which runs until 4th June. Two more boat trips are on the programme so check it out - one from Wick and one to see the seabirds at Duncansby.

The Papers
‘Marine park plan will kill our way of life’ - The Herald

Featured Articles Get Their Own Photo Galleries In The Caithness Business Index
We pushed off a new way to advertise local businesses at the end of last week and over the weekend we upgraded the whole set up to introduce photo galleries to enhance the information in the articles.  Businesses can now show more of their products for sale via the galleries and get real value from their advertising budget.  Take a look once again at the current three featured articles to see if your business could benefit - See Jim's Carpets N Beds     Sutherland's Photolab     Riverside Replicas.
These ads are not in the bin the day after they are read but on the site for longer to ensure customers can find them again.  The ads are linked to your business page and also appear in the section indexes See Furniture Retailers and ChemistsThe items are also linked to the individual Business Pages so anyone looking up your business will see the latest feature at the foot of the page See Sutherland's Pharmacy, Jim's Carpets & Furniture Warehouse and Riverside Replicas.  The ads are there 24/7 for anyone searching for your products or services.  Even after the features is done the item will remain on the web site for a while after - we are still to decide how long but it will be a few weeks and maybe longer....think about it!!
Is that it.  Definitely not.  Now we have a new set up with the new Caithness Media firm Overord we will be coming with yet more........Better Value, Higher Quality and Longer Lasting Advertising for your money.

Catching Up With Music Link Media
May Photos                April Photos
We are catching up with the photos from the Music Link Media project based at Wick Youth Club.  This new group are already very active and are into everything to do with the music business from playing to production including sound and video.  The young folk attending are all getting into their stride as everything is FREE and all that is need is the will to learn an instrument or some new skills and better still it all looks like great fun.      More About Music Link Media

Have You Seen It? - "The Loch Of Mey Monster"
An air of confidence is obviously flowing from Caithness in the field of children's books.  Here is another delightful story from a local author with the story set in Caithness.  Graham Winkle has produce his first children's book set on the shores of Loch Mey.  The book has been well received and is available locally in bookshops and at the Castle of Mey.  With illustrations by Rebecca Winkle the book is sure to be winner with young children everywhere.

1285 Caithness Squadron ATC
A few photos sent in by Hamish Gunn who was a member of 1285 Caithness squadron ATC  If anyone would like to add to this section send photos to

More Early Caithness Photos

Doctors' court action over letter - BBC
Two Polish doctors are seeking £250,000 each in damages over a letter sent out after their contracts were terminated. Michal Samberger and Kazimierz Dabek lost their jobs within weeks of being recruited to Caithness General in Wick two years ago...............more

Elizabeth Hendry To Walk The Great Wall Of China With A Little Help From Her Friends
This group of girls spent Saturday doing a sponsored walk from John o'Groats to Wick, to help raise funds for Elizabeth Hendry (Back left, head in shade.) to do her sponsored walk for children's Cerebral Palsey in China. She will be walking 100Km along the great wall later on this year.


The Sunday Papers
‘Who gives a toss what a London hack thinks of us?’ - Sunday Herald
The article today in the Sunday Herals is one of many in the past few days in the papers and on TV.  What was all the fuss about?  - well see for yourself and Read The Article at the Economist

A Quiet Day At Wick Harbour - And A visit From HM Customs

It was a quiet sunny day at Wick harbour with only the clunking of the dredger clearing the sand bar from the harbour entrance when suddenly a high powered rubber boat from HM Customs roared into the harbour.  Out from the harbour was the main boat.  what were they here for.  Nobody knows.  Just a rekky or checking out something dodgy.  We may never know.

Liam Henderson Memorial Football Match & Raffle
Just a reminder if anyone intends going to Newmacher to get tickets for the bus and dance as soon as possible.  Raffle tickets will be on sale once again at Somerfields in Wick next weekend.  Anyone wishing to donate a raffle prize should contact Janice Henderson as soon as possible.  This year its Newmacher but the vent will be back in Wick next year and the amazing amounts raised in the past two years have gone to sporting groups in Wick and Newmacher

The Papers
Computer records of every child to be kept -
Grampian TV
Cable study may find key to unlock wind power dream - Shetland Times
Crofting estate is sold to islanders for £4.5m - The Herald

Lybster WRI Walk A Mile For MacMillan Cancer Fund
Some of the ladies form Lybster WRI walked a mile round Lybster for MacMillan Cancer Fund. They were led off by piper Ernest Budge from the bottom bus shelter as they set out to walk to the bus shelter at the top of the village opposite Quatre Bras. They then headed back down to the starting point to complete their sponsored walk. One lady made the journey in her motor buggy.

Race for Life Ladies Online Fund Raising Takes them Way Out In Front
The ladies from Caithness General hospital did the training and the running  - hopefully you are all much fitter now!!  Their fund raising has now reach as at 10.00am on Sat 20th May the amazing £14,643 making by far the leading team in the UK unless others flood in with big donations in the next few days.  You still have time to add your donation to this campaign to help to find a cure for cancer. Only days to go before the online web site closes for donations.  All we can say is what team and what a county that never fails to donate to good causes and all of you in other parts not from Caithness who donated to the Caithness team or one of the many others who took part.  Well done to everyone - runners and donors.  The Foties

Thurso Building Supplies More Determined To Succeed - Another Overord Web Site On The Way
Thurso Building Supplies have decided not to hide from the new competition currently in Caithness but to embrace the possibilities of new custom and to try push forward through new means of sale including the internet. In order to do this, it was felt that they need a common brand to help link all the forms of media they will be marketing. is pleased to be working with Overord on another new project.

Another 50 Jobs For Wick As CASE Signs New Call Centre Deal
Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) has successfully clinched a deal to create up to 50 jobs in Wick. A development grant of £487,900 will enable ViewPoint Systems (Scotland) Ltd to establish a contact centre in premises on Wick Business Park.
There is a lot going on and in case you have forgotten look at Bill Fernie's "Snapshot of Wick in December 2005"  Since then the new shops have begun to open Homebase, Argos, New Look and SuperDrug at the Wick Retail Park.  The Edinburgh Woollen mill is expected to open shortly and interest in the remaining units is very strong. Tesco has planning permission and has stated its intention to open the new store out past the former Caithness Glass factory by Christmas.  The former Caithness Glass factory was acquired by Tulloch/New Park for development showing the confidence about Wick now flowing through the business sector. With several new housing developments either under construction or planned Wick is definitely on the move in a way it has not been in the past 20 years.

Caithness Businesses Increasing Profiles On The Web With And Overord Media has entered a new era with a special relationship with anew company aiming to give businesses a much higher profile on the web delivering more information to customers about what they have to offer.

Overord Media  - A Caithness Based Company Working With
Overord Media based in Caithness launch not only their own business today but a number of features to coincide with the preparation of new materials from leaflets to brochures and advice on how to get noticed. via the Business Index will be giving more attention to increasing the profiles of businesses locally with the increased quality of graphic design that Overord Media can deliver.  Contact them on their New Web Site

New Features Today In The Business Section
Jims Carpets            Riverside Replicas            Sutherlands Photo Lab

These new features will appear regularly for Caithness Businesses and can be tailored to suit business needs running for periods of  1 week, 2 weeks or 4 weeks for maximum coverage at extremely competitive prices.  Apart from running for periods in the Business Index with the business banner and links to the individual business page coverage will be increased by small links and mentions in other parts of the site including this page from time to time.

Overord & - Changing Your Business Corporate Identity From Today
Overord the new Caithness media business launched today will be working with businesses to increase their profile and improve all aspects of their presentations to customers, suppliers and other important contacts. By improving the design and look of everything from leaflets, brochures and web sites a better image can be advantageous.  To mark the launch of the new business will be adding more new looks from Overord Media to the web site pages..  Her are the first with more to come..........
Headlines Hair Studio             A & D Sutherland
If your business advertising materials need a makeover then get in touch with Overord Media or with  More new ideas on the way.....just watch this space.

The Papers
Asda plan presents challenge to reign of Tesco - The Herald
Article about Asda proposals for Inverness
Amount of nuclear waste stored in Scotland is set to quadruple - Scotsman
New fears for future of rural post offices - The Herald

Thrumster Nursery Group Update
You may have thought things had gone quiet after the Highland council held up any changes to nursery and play group provision until next year but the group at Thrumster are still pushing ahead to improve their nursery and tackle head on the problems of reducing numbers.  Apart from fund raising to improve the environment and get additional equipment they are tackling the problem of too few children head on where it matters.  Faced with reducing numbers of children the problem was thought to be too few affordable homes in the area and they have now arranged for a survey to be carried out to see what is needed.  Having seen that the problem might not go away the parents of Thrumster are tackling the problem head on and forms are going out.  Check the next public meeting date - they mean business.

2nd Wick Brownies Raised £660 From Sponsored Silence For Charities
It is probably one of the hardest things you could ask a girls to do - stay silent for an hour.  The girls of 2nd Wick Brownies managed just that and raised an amazing £660.  Representative from two charities were at the church hall in Argyle Square on Thursday evening to receive cheques for £330 each.  the two charities were Caithness Asthma and Caithness Early Years Autism Centre.  Well done girls and who can we send round that we would like to be silent for an hour.  Are you giving lessons.
Guides and Brownies In Caithness

Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso - Latest Newsletter

New Affordable Homes For Thurso - At Springpark Farm, Laurie Terrace

Work is about to begin in June on a development to bring 13 new affordable homes to Thurso, with support from Communities Scotland, the Scottish Executive’s housing and regeneration agency. The £1.35 million development in the town’s Laurie Terrace by Pentland Housing Association will bring a much-needed boost to affordable homes in the area. Nine of the properties will be for social rent and four will be for sale through the Executive’s new shared-equity scheme, Homestake, which aims to get those on a low income onto the property ladder.

Caithness Moto Cross Club New Season Starts Sunday 18 June

Just a taster of what is ahead this summer for the Caithness Moto X Club.  The first event is on Sunday the 18th June at the Gala Track, Scrabster Farm by Thurso.  More details on Caithness Moto X  Is your bike cleaned and overhauled ready for the new season?

Annual MacMillan Cancer Walk At Wick - Wet But Successful
The ladies who take part in the annual MacMillan Cancer walk around the outskirts of Wick seem to be increasing in number each year.  This year the route followed the usual track up and round Newton Hill and back to the Caithness General Hospital. Well done to all who took part - maybe the odd man was hidden in the crowd. 
2004 Walk  2003 Walk  2002 Walk

Watch Wild Life This Summer In Caithness And Sutherland
This page shows just a fraction of the wildlife that abounds in the north of Scotland.  Caithness and Sutherland have some of the emptiest places where there is little human habitation.  Drive for miles along empty roads and walk just a short distance into hills and moorland to see a huge variety of plants, birds and animals.  Take look at the Nature section for much more.
See More Of Sutherland Here

Osprey Spotted At Sandside
Nigel Fairney captured this image of an osprey being mobbed by gulls at Sandside on Wednesday 17 May 2006.
BirdWatching Index  Straight to the Photos
Latest Bird Sightings
Caithness Bird Watching Forum

Who Is The Best? - A Battle Of The Bands Competition
Music Link Media is running a Battle of the Bands Competition with a difference.  New bands need to be formed from existing musicians and perform 3 songs - an original composition, a cover and blues or reggae song.

The Papers
Green: Crofters 'entitled to market value' -
Waiting times deadline -
The Herald
Executive admits it must do better over delays in cancer care - Scotsman
Isles air fares scheme takes off - BBC
Cheaper flights start today - Shetland Times

Three Play Areas In Caithness To Be Upgraded
Caithness has been allocated £100,000 to redevelop certain play areas in the county. The Transport, Environmental & Community Services committee approved the report recommending that the play areas at Oldfield Terrace, Thurso, King George V Park, Wick and Durran be the ones to benefit. Head teachers at  Mount Pleasant School, Thurso and North School, Wick will be consulted. The objective being that they involve their pupils in these projects in order that we can consult with those age groups most likely to use the facility as regards the play equipment best suited to their needs. Any scheme at Durran would be minor and may depend on current usage.  HAGS Play Equipment has been awarded the Council contract for the supply of equipment for the next 3 years.

Ormlie’s Buzzy Bug Clean Up Day
Ormlie Community Association will be holding its annual clean up day in Ormlie estate on Sunday 21st May between 12 noon and 4.00 pm. Volunteers have worked hard during the last year to install over 25 flower tubs throughout the area and the spring clean day will give the community the opportunity to plant summer flowers in the containers, the wavy wall, magic circle and garden area beside Ironside Place. It is envisaged that some of the older tubs will be repainted and children and young people will have the opportunity to plant a sunflower seed and the tallest plant will receive a prize during the annual fun day in July 2006. The event will also give residents the opportunity to tidy their gardens and get rid of all their garden rubbish.

Goldfinches At Stirkoke
Recently in the garden of Graham Mellor were a pair of Goldfinches who are apparently still around and keen on the peanuts in his garden.

BirdWatching Index  Straight to the Photos  Caithness Bird Watching Forum


Calling Caithness Charitable Groups - The Money Is Out There
Just Complete The Application Forms

Another set of links to the latest announcements of money available for projects.  The latest lot posted today cover a wide range of possibilities from reading schemes for playgroups, youth in rural areas - £10,000 - £75,000, community diet projects £500 - £3000, UK Villages Community Kitty with small grants from £50 - £500, Investing In Communities £10,000 - £1,000,000 - funding for projects for communities in the most need. BT Community Connections- computer and internet packages worth £1,300, Cash to help more involvement in democracy, Educational grants to support consortia of EU and US higher education,

Caithness Sea Angling Association - Open Boat Championships - Over 1000 Fish Landed
Anglers from as far south as County Durham visited Scrabster last week to fish in the annual Caithness Sea Angling Association Open Boat championships. Despite a strong south easterly the winds the competitors aboard the Karen and Hebridean Warrior found excellent fishing with cod and pollack the main species. Over 1000 fish were landed, the majority of which were returned after being marked on the angler's score sheet. The cod, pollack and ling were of a good average size and the largest of each as around the four kilo mark. The keenly contested event was won by Colin Mackay of Thurso who picked up £250 for his efforts. In a close second place was Gus Mackenzie of Inverness followed by Fife visitor Robbie Robertson.  The team prize went to the local duo of Derek Yuille and David Proudfoot.

Caithness And Sutherland Enterprise - Latest Grant Approvals
Amongst this months approvals the largest grant is for £20,000 to Homeaid the Caithness group that recycles furniture and other goods, £12,000 for Pulteneytown People's Project in Wick, £6,500 for Kongsberg Maritime Ltd, Wick to purchase specialist equipment.  New business Start-ups assisted include two in Caithness and two in Sutherland.

Todays Pets
Pets Corner  Moggies  Doggies  Unusual Pets  Farm Pets  Baby Animals

Send photos for Pets Corner to


Walk to School Week – Highland, 2006
Highland parents and carers are being encouraged to join the adventure of "Walk to School Week" and support this year’s theme of independence from Monday 22nd till Friday 26th May 2006. By encouraging parents to walk to school with their children from a young age it enables youngsters to develop the necessary skills to make their own journeys in the future. This practise lets children learn many skills and experiences including: road and personal safety; meeting and greeting people; time and distance management; the feeling of the weather; and exploration of what's around the corner.

The Papers
'New Highlanders' face jobs threat -

Got A Sports, or Arts Story You Want To Share  - Sending It In Is Easy
If you have a local story about your Arts group or Sports group placing it on is simple.  Just put it in the Submission form and hit send.  See the Sports Form in the sports section or the Arts Form in the Arts section for anything fro music, dram about artists or special events.  We will highlight items on the front page here about or shortly after they go in.  Photos can be emailed to us for inclusion with the item.

Council Informs Education and Catering Services About E.coli O157
The Highland Council is writing to all pre-school, early years and nursery groups in Highland to remind managers and proprietors of their responsibilities regarding infection control and food hygiene and E.coli O157. A similar letter is also being sent to all Education, Culture and Sport Service catering establishments which includes school canteens, leisure centres, swimming pools, museums and visitor centre cafes. Bruce Robertson, The Highland Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport said: "Clearly we are taking the recent events in Fife and Aberdeenshire very seriously and we have been in discussion with our Environmental Health Officers, with colleagues in NHS Highland and with the Director of Public Health who have provided guidance that we are issuing on E.coli O157."

Lots Of Activity Today As Contractors Get On With Edinburgh Woollen Mill's New Shop At Wick

The latest new shop for wick Retail Park is the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and work was going at a great pace today as several contractors were working at once to get it ready. Classified Ads Section Is Getting Bigger and Bigger - Bargains Galore
the Message Boards and forums continue to expand in several directions.  Never been in that part of the web site yet?  Check it out - Items For Sale - Audio / Video Equipment - Baby Items - Books, Videos, DVDs, CDs - Clothing & Footwear - Computers, Peripherals & Software - Domestic Appliances - Furniture - Game Consoles & Games - Mobile Phones - Musical Instruments - Pets / animals and Accessories - Sports & Fitness - Cars For Sale - Motorbikes For Sale - Commercial Vehicles - Caravans, Campers & Accessories - Spares. Car Dealers Ads - Richard's Garage - Wm Dunnet & Co Ltd.
If you want to give something away or obtain an item for FREE check out what your fellow citizens in Caithness are giving away for Free in Free Stuff - Don't throw items away - Give them away and save them going to landfill - recycling has come to the web.  And after that lot if you have time check out the community forums on many topics - General - Chat Room Events And Meetings - Genealogy - Lost or
Missing Persons - Music - Photography - Recommendations - Reunions - Birdwatching - Gardening - Technical Support - Job Vacancies - Births, Deaths & Marriages - Volunteering Opportunities
Free to all non-commercial advertisers.

Over 100 Properties For Sale In Our Property Pages For First Time Ever

For the first time ever on the number of properties being advertised for sale passed the 100 mark.  With visitor numbers increasing year on year offers unbeatable value to sellers with FREE adverts placed in minutes by sellers or their agents.  New properties placed today broke the 100 barrier.  In addition the number of properties to rent continues to grow.  Commercial Properties . One of the busiest sections on the web site it is one of the places people looking for a property head for.  How much did you pay to advertise your last property?  It is still FREE on - why pay more?

Wildcat Traditional Music Association Present
Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne At Pentland Hotel
Wildcat Traditional Music Association are pleased to present Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne from Newfoundland, Canada at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso, 8:00pm, Sunday 21st May, 2006. This celebration of Newfoundland culture will take you on a journey through stories, tunes and songs.  Enquiries to : or: 01847 892607.  Members FREE - Members 1st guest Free, Non Members £8. Senior Citizens 2.50. Accompanied under 14s Free.

Three Consultant Appointments in Wick For Maternity Services Finally Made
David Alston, Chairman of the North Highland Community Health Partnership said today, "Interviews for the three Obstetrics & Gynaecology posts were held last week. I am pleased to say that three offers of appointment have been made, subject to formal acceptance. It is hoped that the candidates appointed will be able to take up post in the early Autumn."  North Action Group (NAG) was set up in November 2003 after a public meeting in Wick following the intentions to review the maternity services for the third time at Caithness General in four years.  The campaign that ran for over two years wound down when NHS Highland finally acceded to local demands to retain a consultant led maternity service at Wick.

Latest Caithness Bird Watching News
Details of some of the latest birds seen around the county in the past few days.  Also a request to notify information about herons and their nesting sites.  If you would like to contribute to this fast growing section send photos to and Julian Smith at Julian is collating the information to forward to the web site and Bill is updating and adding to the section.  Today we have added a listing as an A - Z of bird photos all over the web site and this will grow as more come in.  See the BirdWatching Index  Straight to the Photos  If visiting Caithness why not pop over to St John's Pool where there is bird hide.  While there visit the exhibition of Julian Smiths paintings. And remember the Photographic Competition  Check out the recently set up Caithness Bird Watching Forum in our Message Board for more photos and questions and answers on identification.

Halkirk Community Sports Foundation - Open Day
Saturday, 20th May 2006 10.00m  - 12.00pm and 2.00pm 4.00pm

Members of the Halkirk Community Sports Foundation are hosting an Open Day to showcase their plans for Phase One of a new proposed sports complex in Halkirk. The Open Day will take place in the Ross Institute, Halkirk on Saturday, 20th May 2006 between 10am and noon and 2pm and 4pm. The open day follows Fridays announcement that retired executive Andrew Sinclair had pledged £1,28 million to the new centre.  the whole centre is expected to cost £4million for the first phase and be built at the Recreation park in Halkirk.  The scheme will have a 60m by 40m football pitch indoors, fitness suite, sports injury clinic, sauna, an outdoor  sports area, 100 metre grass running track, floodlit football pitch, cafe, conference centre.  Mr Sinclair was brought up in Halkirk and is member of the Clan Sinclair and has lived in the south for many years.  He started Sinclair Pharmaceuticals in 1971 and became a millionaire as the company grew successfully.  The firm he started now called Sinclair Pharma operates in 60 countries.  He will be a hero in his former home town where the biggest sports facility in Caithness will be based.  Later a heritage centre and motor museum is planned to house a collection of vintage vehicles owned by Edward Sutherland.  Ten full time and part-time staff will be employed.  So head on over to Halkirk to see their ambitious plans.  Halkirk is home to the Halkirk Highland Games the biggest in the far north being held this year on 29 July. Halkirk  Halkirk From The Air

May Newsletter for North Highland Forest Trust
Packed with information about visits, walks funding and lots more.  Details of the NHFT annual forum at Laid, Sutherland on Woodland Regeneration In the Far North for anyone interested in community forests.



Fancy A Walk In The Walking Festival  - 13 - 25 May - check it out here
Wild Encounters 21 May - 4 June - A full programme of events

Announcing Two New Courses In 2006 At North Highland College
1 -
Get Ready For Uni - Five Day Course - 19 - 23 June - FREE with transport FREE from Wick
Get your skates on as you must apply before 14 June and demand is expected to be high for places.
2 - Higher National Certificate COMPUTING incorporating Microsoft Desktop Support Technician

This new course can be done at Alness or Thurso.  You have choice of full time over one academic year, part-time over a longer period, day release or flexible learning. Here is chance to gain a very practical qualification increasingly in demand by employers.
For more courses head on over to the North Highland College web site

£19.99 Seat Sale on Inverness Dublin Air Link
The cost of air fares between Inverness and Dublin have been reduced to £19.99 one way, inclusive of taxes, as part of Aer Arann's summer seat sale. All seats booked via the airline's  website during May will qualify for the all inclusive one-way price of £19.99, subject to availability - making a return trip less than £40. The sale lasts until the end of May and covers travel until 17 September 2006.

Thurso Players Present Dracula At The Mill Theatre
18 - 20 May 2006

Dracula has been adapted many times and a script by Liz Lochhead has been chosen for this production of Bram Stoker's chilling love story.  The adaptation has a touch of modern tongue and with with this is mind has had a modern direction. Don't go expecting to see a flowing red cape and a badly constructed Transylvanian accent. You will see the story of Dracula in its purity; which is a love triangle.

Summer Daze And Her New Foal Sonny
Summer Daze and her new foal Sonny who is just over a week old.  If you want to add a photo of any baby animals in Caithness send them to


Entries Called For New Rural Pub Awards

Wild Encounters - Snazzy Snaps - Sunday 28th May
Ever wondered how to take a great natural history or landscape photograph? Our outdoor studio will be the beautiful area of Dunbeath where a wealth of wildlife and stunning scenery awaits to be captured on film. Learn about the wildlife while local photographer, Ken Crossan, discusses helpful hints to make those special shots. Be inspired by an introductory illustrated presentation by Ken which will set the scene and aim of the day. Please bring along your own camera equipment and a packed lunch. Booking essential. Start time 10am, meeting at Dunbeath Heritage Centre (ND 162 294). Allow 4 hours. £2 per person donation. For further information & to book place, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955 607758 or e-mail

Wild Encounters -  ‘CLOWNS OF THE OCEAN’ - Monday 22nd May
A short walk to view a fascinating puffin colony in the Dunbeath area. Booking essential. Start time 8pm. Allow 1 hour. Please bring binoculars. DONATIONS WELCOME For further information & to book place, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955 607758 or e-mail

 Wild Encounters 21 May - 4 June


Wild Encounters - ‘BATS, BOTHIES & BOWS!’ - Friday 2nd June
A nocturnal stroll up the strath of Dunbeath on the lookout for bats before returning to a salmon bothy to enjoy traditional music and tales from the past. Start time 10pm. Allow 2.5 hours. £5 per person donation. Booking essential. Event run in conjunction with Dunbeath Preservation Trust & local artists. Please bring a torch, hot drink/snack. For further information & to book place, please contact Marina Swanson on 01955 607758 or e-mail

Brethren Well To Get New Footpath
Latheron Lybster and Clyth Community Council has secured funding from the Scottish Executive Rural Development Small Awards Fund for footpath development in the Council's area.  A new path is to be installed to the recently renovated Brethren Well. The well was derelict and overgrown until through the efforts of the late Donald A Young it was rebuilt and opened up for the public to visit. It is understood that water from the well was used by local Celtic monks who believed it had mystical healing properties. A need for the new path was identified by local folks wishing to gain access to it as the current access is somewhat difficult across the face of the brae. The project which is due to be ready by the summer is supported by a number of local groups including The Highland Council Ranger Service, Initiative at the Edge, the South East Caithness Development Group and the local Community Council.

Lybster Under 7s and Under 15s Now Wearing New Strips

400 Caithness Businesses Have A Web Site Linked In Our Business Index
73 Local Arts Folk - Artists, Musicians Etc Have Web Site Linked in Our Arts Section
43 Caithness sports Groups Have A Web Site Linked In Our Sports Pages
1196 Caithness Businesses   413 Sutherland Businesses 
155 Sports Groups  163 Artists/Musicians   Hundreds Of Local Groups/Schools Etc

Make sure your business or group contact details are up to date and if not listed get your FREE entry.

Caithness Bikers Rally Started From Lybster On Sunday

Look Back to 2005 Bikers Rally

More Boats From The 2006 Pentland Model Boat Show

A few more boats from yesterdays model boat show held in Thurso

Book Sale Bargains At St. John's Church Wick Saturday 10 June
Caithness booklovers and those readers who just love a bargain have a treat in store, so put the details in your diary.  St. John's episcopal church is holding a sale of good-condition second-hand books in the St. John's church hall, Moray St., Pulteneytown, Wick on Saturday 10th June, with the sale open from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. Books will include novels of all kinds (hardback and paperback), factual works, children's books, and a few books in large print. Prices will be 20p for children's books; 30p. for paperback novels (50p for hardbacks); and 50p for most of the factual works. There will be a few top quality books at £1.00.

The Plant Hunters - May 2006 - Caithness Floral Art Club
The Plant Hunters was the theme when Hazel Hall from York gave a very informative demonstration to the Caithness Floral Art Club. Using a wide variety of foliages along with a lovely array of flowers she created six arrangements in tribute to the exploits of Joseph Banks, Ernest Wilson, Charles Clusius, Francis Masson, Frank Kingdon Ward and David Douglas, showcasing their introductions from around the globe to our rich plant heritage.

Caithness Floral Art Club Index

Sunday Papers
Thoroughly modern manors - Scotsman
Price is not an issue, and a weekend can cost more than £20,000. Caithness's Ackergill Tower - owned by John and Arlette Banister - is Scotland's most successful country house. "It's always booked up, even though it's the most expensive in our portfolio," says Loyd.


Join In The Annual MacMillan Cancer Walk
The Wick Committee of Macmillan Cancer Relief is holding its annual walk on Tuesday 16th May 2006 leaving from Caithness General Hospital Car Park at 7.00pm. Everyone will be made very welcome. Sponsor forms available if desired, but not necessary, just come along and join us and give a donation more details and forms available from Kay Oswald 880246, Isobel Nicolson 880406 or June Pollard 880403. (The walk is up over Newton, down over Milton and back to the hospital).

Jake  - A Caithness Dog Who Needs To Do His Homework
In the late April snow, Jake decided to learn to write. He tried to string several letters together, but in the end he could only manage "P".

Pets Corner  Moggies  Doggies  Unusual Pets  Farm Pets


Estrella Launch An EP And Busy As Ever
Estrella have just launched their latest EP. It's a 5 track CD including original songs , "She's Got It", "Woman's Touch", "Going For Glory", "Wet n' Wild" and "Ride Away".
The Launch took place last week, starting on Thursday the 4th of May in "The Malt Mill" then on Sunday the 7th the band were playing at Aberdeen FC Stadium before the match against Celtic. Later that night they headed over to Aberdeen's Radio Station - Northsound for and interview and to play some tracks from the E.P. They also played a live acoustic version of "Ride Away".

Winners At Pentland Model Boat Club Show 2006

The annual Pentland Model Boat Club took place on Saturday and as always a huge display of highly accurate model boats was on display.  All the winners were not present  - See Full List

Model Boat At The 2006 Show Made From 19,500 Matches
This amazingly accurate scale model of "Pacific Banner" was built by John MacNamee from 19,500 match sticks in 2 months.

More boats from the 2006 show coming later today


Caithness and Sutherland Walking Festival Starts Today
A wide range of walks of varying lengths starting today 13 May until 21 May.

Committee on Nuclear Waste Management  - Consultation Event
6.45pm Wednesday 17 May at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso
This public meeting will be an opportunity for all those concerned about the long term management of waste to have their say. After a short presentation CoRWM will seek views on a number of the issues CoRWM members are particularly seeking the public’s views on including:
CoRWM’s assessment processes - how the shortlisted options for managing radioactive waste were assessed - The integrated package of draft recommendations on preferred options and proposed implementation -  How public confidence in the recommendations could be increased
The draft recommendations can be found at or click on the “opportunity to comment” listed under the welcome menu on the CoRWM website  or Draft Recommendations and Rationale.

Latest Caithness Partnership Newsletter
Packed full of information on a range of topics aimed at Economic Regeneration and associated topics.  Funding items may be of interest to many groups in Caithness.

Latest Newsletter From Pulteneytown Academy

New Transport Initiatives for South East Caithness
South East Caithness Development Group  - the recently formed group under Initiativie At the Edge are happy to introduce 2 transport initiatives. A New Bus Service & Community Transport For Dunbeath Area. A new bus service run by Rapsons has begun and will run for a year on a trial basis.  the evening service introduction follows a survey of what people would most like to see in transport services from the area. Secondly a new community transport service is starting in partnership with Caithness Rural Transport.  A new vehicle was handed over at the Dunbeath Day Care Centre and volunteer drivers were presented with their certificates following passing the tests to allow them to drive with passengers.  The Rural transport vehicles can carry wheelchairs.  It is hoped that Pre-school, school, youth, sports and any other community groups will make full use of vehicle.

Don't Panic !! - Dounreay Alarm Will Signal An Emergency Exercise
An emergency exercise will be held at Dounreay at approximately 0900 hours on Wednesday 17th May 2006. The Dounreay site alert will be sounded for approximately 1 minute to initiate the exercise. This notice is to inform the public not to take any action when the alert sounds.

News From The Papers & The Web
Just Like Hawaii - Scotsman - Yes they really are talking about Caithness
In this context it is the surfing following the O'Neill Highland Open surfing competition.  Looks like they are now checking along the Caithness coast to see if other reefs create other good surfing conditions like Thurso and Brims for future world championship qualifying rounds
'Spiroflow' conveyors cap 'em all! - The Hub 4 - One for the engineers & science folk
Red squirrel tsar aims to make the Highlands a safer habitat - The Herald

More Wind Turbines For Caithness Councillors To Consider on 15 May At Planning Committee
Caithness councillors will once again be faced with deciding on another application for wind turbines on Monday 15th May.  This time four additional turbines are being applied for at the existing site at Forss.  The applicant is Fivestone Ltd, c/o Abbey Produce Cambridgeshire Ltd, Funthams Lane, Whittesey, Peterborough, who already have two turbines on the site which is brownfield site at the former American base now a business park where firms mainly involved in work at Dounreay are based.  Turbine planning application - Pdf file.  The report for councillors states -  Other major planning applications or appeals in the public domain relate to sites at Borrowstoun (refused on appeal, decision on Legal challenge pending), Baillie Hill (S36), Hill of Lieurary (refused 12/9/05 and appealed), Camster (negotiations regarding access and ES continuing) and Stroupster, Dunbeath (S36), South Shebster (application received) and Bower Quarry (single turbine). Members will be aware that permissions have already been granted for Causeymire (24 turbines) and at Boulfruich (15 turbines). There are several other potential sites at ‘Scoping Stage’ in Caithness. These are Durran Mains, Spittal Hill, Schoolary, Nottingham Mains, and Burn of Whilk in East Caithness; and in Sutherland on the western edge of Caithness; Strathy North, Strathy South, Melvich and Akron nr Melvich.  Wind Farm Index

Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 - Core Path Plan - Public Meetings Now Being Held
Council Wants Public Input For Caithness Paths
The new legislation introduced by the Scottish Parliament in February 2005 requires Highland Council to draw up a core path plan to “provide the basic framework of routes sufficient for the purpose of giving the public reasonable access throughout their area.”  As a first step in the consultation process for the Caithness area the Council is holding a series of local drop-in sessions. Drop in session tonight in Keiss Hall 5 -  Just go along and find out about the plan and give your ideas. See list for other dates and places.

Wick Rotary Club Helps With Garden At Wick Heritage Centre
As part of its commitment to the local community Wick Rotary Club carries out some work each year that will assist the area or a groups in addition to fund raising for charities.  wick Heritage Centre has an extensive hillside garden at the rear.  Over the past few years it had become very over grown with shrubs and bushes not to mention weeds.  Last Saturday was the second visit by Rotary Club members and a third visit is planned to complete the task which saw several lorry loads of branches and other material removed and some new planting done to help have the place in better shape for the new season ahead.  Wick Rotary Club  Wick Heritage Centre

MSP demands a better deal for Northern Constabulary police
Commenting after today's reports that nearly two-thirds of Scotland's police stations no longer provide a round-the-clock manned service and that only 14 out of the 74 police stations in the Northern Constabulary area are manned 24hours, Conservative Highlands and Island MSP Jamie McGrigor said: "I appreciate that many of the remotest stations will not have a permanent police presence, however I would be interested to know what hours they are manned and what effect that has on local crime and anti-social behaviour levels. "Communities across the Highlands and Islands want the reassurance of a local police presence in their area, especially when they've experienced crime amongst Highlands and Islands' 14-16year olds rise 24% , and total crime up in the Constabulary's area risen by 8%.

The Papers
SMEs facing battle to secure nuclear work  -
Contract Journal
Will small and medium sized companies be squeezed out as the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) begins to set rules for contracts.
Sunk trawler wreck set for survey - BBC
The trawler Trident is to be surveyed 32 years after sinking off the Caithness coast
Why don’t we have Japanese-style bullet trains? - The Herald
MSP Rob Gibson still fighting for better trains with a letter in today's Herald demanding faster services to Thurso and Wick from the south.
First casualty of new wind policy  - BBC
Caithness councillors rejected Stroupster Wind farm application

Work Underway On Bank Row Memorial Garden At Wick

Work has begun building the memorial garden at the site of the bombing of Bank Row, Wick in World War Two.  After more than 60 years the relatives of the children who died are now seeing their dream of memorial to the children realised.  Trainees are working on the first part gaining valuable experience and qualifications in the building trades under the expert eye of a master mason.  Memorial Garden Index

Busy Couple of Days At Wick Harbour

Wick harbour has had a busy couple of days with the delivery of well heads for the pipeline at Wester and the arrival of vessels to tow it out over the next few days depending on the weather.  A delivery of lime arrived despite a swell that threatened to force it to go to Scrabster.  Boats Index

Ben and Storm In Pets Corner
If you have a pet, baby animal, dog, cat or story connected to them send it to for inclusion in the section.
Pets Corner  Moggies  Doggies  Unusual Pets  Farm Pets



Lambs In New Baby Animals Section
If you have a kitten, puppy, or baby animal of any sort in coming months send us a photos for this section.



Three Ways To Promote Your Gala, Highland Games Or Farming Show
On there are three ways to promote these events -
Add it to the what's On section if it is not already shown - See Submission Form
2. Request it is added to the Galas/Shows/Games page
3. Send us an article about the event or a full programme for inclusion on the web site.
All of this is FREE of charge but if you want still more coverage throughout the year you might consider a banner ad circulating round all of our pages.  Banner ads - £165 gets you 365 days of advertising to promote your event and get your dates out there to assist visitors making arrangements for trips to Caithness.  Yes that is just over 45 pence per day for advertising on our site with coverage increasing year on year - See our stats  Banner ads run 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Wow - Caithness Race For Life Team From Caithness General Fund Raising Heads Skywards
£13,694 now collected as t 3.04pm today and still going in online.  A truly fantastic effort by the team and thanks again to everyone who has donated and are donating right now.  Still time until 28th May to increase that total even further.  The Caithness ladies are now at the top of all of the UK fund raisers for this cancer charity.   The Photos of the Big Race  
Donate Online Here

New Tea Room Planned For High Street, Wick
A new tearoom is one of the planning applications made in the week to 5th May now showing on the Highland Council web site.  The application is in respect of one of the shops used by Whatsits.

Caithness Business Index Getting More Popular Every Day As Visitor Numbers Climb
The partner site continues to grow as fast as the main site itself as more and more folk use it to check out local businesses and contact details. Over the past few days since the 1st May visitor numbers have averaged 4188 visitors per day to the Business section.  The visitors to that section have looked at 231,983 pages and in just under 12 months have checked out an incredible 9,488.884 pages.  It looks like 2006 will double the visitor rate over 2005 and we estimate pages views will be at least 12 million by the year end.  For our advertisers this is great news with ads being seen by more people than ever for extremely low cost.  The Business page entries are FREE so make sure your business entry is up to date and make any changes or additions by completing the online form.     More stats on Caithness .org

The Alexander Bain Awarded "Employer Champion Status"
Wick bar, The Alexander Bain, has been praised as part of a national campaign aimed at tackling age discrimination in the workplace. The Age Positive campaign has awarded JD Wetherspoon "Employer Champion" status, which means it joins an elite list of employers from across Great Britain who exemplify an open-minded approach to hiring staff of all ages. The news comes during Age Positive Week (8-12 May), when a series of awareness-raising events to inform employers and the public about age discrimination and to celebrate the benefits of age diversity will be held across Scotland.

Corrie - Latest Addition To The Caithness Doggie's Gallery
Pets Corner continues to expand and here is the latest addition to the Doggie's Gallery - the very cute Corrie. If you have pet, baby animal, dog, cat or story connected to them send it to for inclusion in the section.
Pets Corner  Moggies  Doggies  Unusual Pets  Farm Pets


Latest Birds Spotted Around Caithness
Amongst the latest birds spotted in the past few days are a Greenland Wheatear and a Lesser Whitethroat.  If you would like to notify birds spotted in Caithness send details to Julian Smith whose Art Exhibition is now open beside St John's Pool.


Caithness Councillors Reject Stroupster Wind Farm Application From N Power
Following a site visit to Stroupster Hill on Monday 8th May the Caithness councillors rejected a planning application for 12 wind turbines. After discussion six Caithness councillors agreed to accept the planning officers recommendation to refuse permission.  The turbines were to have been sited in the forest area at Stroupster Hill.  Forestry is to be removed.  See Details of Application - Pdf file  Map showing proposed location

The Papers
Bird 'hotspots' at risk as pressure for new homes and industry grows, RSPB warns - The Independent- Caithness and Sutherland mentioned as one of 10 areas where birds are under threat due to previous forestation and currently wind farms.
Taking stock: it’s the luck of the draw - The Herald
As the vote approaches for Highland council tenants this article may be of interest as it contrasts what happened in Edinburgh who did not vote for the transfer and what happened in Argyle and Bute who did. 

Liono The One Eyed Cat Who Turned Up
Recently Liono   from Thurso was reported to us as missing but before we could add him to the lists he turned up home again.  If you have a garage or out building keep a watch for cats wandering in before you lock the doors.  If you are building a new house and are locking up check round as we have had reports of cats locked up for several days in new buildings.  Cats are naturally curious and always investigating so may easily get locked in somewhere.  Just check round if the door has been open for a while.  Pets Corner  Moggies  Doggies  Unusual Pets  Farm Pets   Send you pet pictures to for inclusion in the pet galleries.  How about a few lambs of calves young chicks etc.  If we get a few we will start a new baby animal section.

Thurso High Group Receive Princess Diana Memorial Awards
Thurso High School’s S6 Pupil Support Group were presented with Princess Diana Memorial Awards for Anti-Bullying activities and M.V. Awards at Gold, Silver and Bronze. They were presented with their awards in North Highland College by Dr F. Grant, Thurso High School’s Rector, and Mrs Catherine Paterson, M.V. Awards Development Officer for Caithness. Also present were Mrs H. McLean, Deputy Head, who worked with the Group and nominated them for the Awards, and members of the Caithness People First Group. The Group have been extremely successful in all of their activities. The 25-strong group received weekly anti-bullying and child protection training, to help them in their work around the school.

As a result of concerns raised over a recent court case in Dingwall, involving the appearance of a child witness, Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Maureen Macmillan has sought reassurances that the Highland courts were prepared for next years implementation of the Vulnerable Witnesses Act in the Sheriff Courts. Mrs Macmillan, who sits on the Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish Parliament, said, "The present situation is that an application has to be made to the Sheriff for special measures to be put in place for child witnesses. In cases of Domestic Violence there is a presumption that the child will not be called as a witness, unless absolutely necessary.

South East Caithness Development Group
SECDG meeting is tonight Tuesday 9th May at 7.30pm in Dunbeath Community Hall. Also John McHardy from Highland Council Housing Development Co-ordinator will be giving a presentation.

Dunnet Forest Car Park Improvement
Dunnet Forest Car Park will be closed between Thursday 11th and Monday 15th May for improvement works. Alternative parking will be available between 8am and 6pm at the industrial entrance to the forest. If you are not certain to be out by 6pm, please park at the caravan site.  The improvement is the building of dry stone walling at the entrance and around the car park. This will be done by a squad of enthusiastic but clueless amateurs learning how to do it under the tuition and watchful eye of George Gunn, Master Drystone Waller. Drystone Dyking is not normally a spectator sport, but it might be this weekend. If you are in the forest anyway, go along and see what's doing.

Wildlife Encounters
For two weeks at the end of May (20th May- 4th June 2006), Highland Council Rangers and RSPB staff will provide unique opportunities to observe Highland Wildlife in Caithness and Sutherland. "Highland Wild Encounters" will offer guided walks, minibus tours and boat trips to enable people to get close to some of our rare, beautiful and unique wildlife. This will be the fifth year of the Highland Wild Encounters in Caithness and Sutherland and the programme is as promising as ever. Andy Summers, Highland Council's Senior Sutherland Ranger said: "Caithness and Sutherland boasts some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities anywhere in the United Kingdom: from the dazzling Black-throated Divers and soaring Golden Eagles to the frantic Puffin colonies and the extraordinary lekking Black grouse.

Evensong At Achvarasdal Wood - Friday 12th May 7.30 pm
Wander around the woodland to enjoy the birdsong at the close of day and possibly track down a bat as it emerges. Meet at entrance.  Donations welcome.  Organised by the Ranger Service.

The Papers
UK atomic group may go on block for £450m -
UKAEA could go private -
News & Star
UK atomic agency boss plots £450m buyout - Observer
UK atomic group may go on block for £450m -Telegraph
Nuclear industry sell-off heating up - This Is Money
Lots of speculation in these stories in the papers - Is chancellor Gordon Brown going to keep his spending up by selling off the nuclear industry?  Are UKAEA's new partners Amec and CR Hill likely bidders for part of the business?  Is UKAEA sell off figure of £450 million correct?  These and other questions are all posed by the articles flowing into the financial sections of the papers.

Race For Life Team From Caithness General Finish Race And Break £10,000 Barrier

Support has flowed in over the past few days carrying the ladies team from Caithness General to the top of the UK fund raisers.  There total has now passed £10,000 and there is still time until 28th May to make a donation online.  Well done ladies.  Lots of photos from yesterday in Inverness and a few from a Wick fund raiser.  Race For Life Web Site   Top of the Listings  Total as at 5.30pm £10,069

Flying This Summer? - How To Bag A Bargain
Frustrating, isn't it? Trying to book seats on a low cost airline. First there's the nightmare of finding who flies where, then there's the major task of getting a seat at anything like a bargain price.

Caithness Heritage Fair Meeting - Is Your Group Interested?
Thursday 11 May at 7.30pm - Assembly Rooms in Wick

2005 should have seen another heritage fair but due to other work commitments Education and Leisure did not have time to organise one.  To guage interest in holding one in 2006 a meeting will be held in the Assembly Rooms in Wick on Thursday 11 May at 7.30pm.  The purpose of this meeting will be to: 1. Agree to run a Heritage Fair in 2006  2. Date and Venue 3. Composition of Steering Group  4. A “catchy” title 
5. Date of next meeting

Ethnic Fashion Show To Raise Funds For Disaster Areas Of Pakistan
7.00pm 20 May - Back Bridge Street, Wick
This fund-raiser will send money to Islamic Relief supported by UNICEF.  Ladies and gents clothes fashionable in the areas around Islamabad will be modelled and some put up for auction at the end of the show.  The show will be accompanied by Bangra music.  Tickets are £5  - contact 01955 605489 after 6.00pm or Back Bridge Street Club 01955 603194

Focus On Nature And Art - Introducing A New Caithness Photographic Competition
£150 In Prizes To Be Won - Artsmith Exhibition & Studio Now Open

If you have an interest in Nature and Art but have no idea here or how to start bringing them together then a series of opportunities have been brought together by local Artist Julian Smith and widely acclaimed local natural history photographer Ken Crossan.  First a Caithness Natural History Photographic Competition with the chance to have some first hand instruction from Ken Crossan.  Julian Smith will also be running a drawing class for beginners on animals and birds or you can check out the Artsmith exhibition at his studio which has now started.  Leave time when visiting his studio and visit St John's pool there to see the fantastic range of wild birds.

Far Reaching Strategy Agreed in Care Home Review
The Highland Council  on Thursday 4th May 2006 agreed a far-reaching strategy for modernising care for older people, including doubling the number of houses for older people over the next five years, increasing home care and agreeing to invite tenders for modern care homes in Inverness, Tain, Muir of Ord, Fort William and Grantown. At the same time, the Council agreed to prepare detailed contingency plans for each of the six homes – should the tender process fail to produce the quality of care required and value for money.  A suggestion that community arms-length companies could be established to run the individual homes is also to be investigated.

Loch Lomond

Just a few.

Have You Got A Quiz Team Raring To Go? - Then Get Along To The Radio Remedy Quiz Night
Radio Remedy are having a quiz night in the Seaforth Club in Dempster Street, Wick on Saturday 13th May at 8 pm. Teams of 4 will be challenged by 8 rounds of 10 questions on general knowledge topics. Good prizes. £1 per person to enter. Come along and bring your grannies, neighbours, friends, enemies. A fun night guaranteed.

Thurso FC Sports Dinner – Weigh Inn Motel – 13th May
Due to Wick Academy being rescheduled to play their last match of the season away to Fort William on the day of the Thurso FC Sports Dinner the Academy can no longer take their 10 places at the event. Anyone interested in buying a place or places may contact Thurso FC or Wick Academy for information.  However, despite the above arrangements are now more or less complete for the Sports Dinner on the 13th with about 160 expected to attend. The event is timed as a 7.00pm for 7.30pm start. Since there is a lot to do on the evening a prompt start is essential and those attending are asked to be in their seats by 7.30pm when speakers and top table will be piped to their seats.

Wick Music Shop Says Thanks To All Customers - Thurso Shop Sale Now On
The Wick Music Shop shut last weekend and the owner and staff would like to thank all customers for their support over the last 6 1/2 years. The Thurso shop is still open for now to run down the stock and all CD's and Cassettes are all now half price. All guitars, amps and keyboards have 25% off and all other stock has 20% off.

Rent rises could be ‘pegged’ with transfer
Council tenants in the Highlands could benefit from guaranteed ‘inflation only’ rent increases for five years if tenants vote for housing transfer in a ballot due to be held later this year. A report to The Highland Council meeting on May 4th outlines the business case submission on which the price of the homes being transferred would be based. This price is being calculated on the assumption that there will be no rent increases in real terms for the first five years after transfer. For the next five years rents rises would be limited to ½% over inflation and by 1% over inflation after 10 years. These proposed rent levels are based on research into what people in the Highlands can afford and recognises the low incomes in many communities.

The Council of Assembly will ask this month’s General Assembly to freeze the total amount paid by congregations to the Church of Scotland’s overall budget next year. This is a report to next month’s General Assembly shows that Church of Scotland members increased their offerings to the Church last year by just under £2 million – a rise of 2.4% over the previous year in line with the General Assembly’s policy of maximising resources available for local parish work. All of this increase will remain available to congregations.

Other Places Today

Waterloo Bridge          Gilbert Street             Grant Street               Kessock Bridge

Glasgow - The Lighthouse

We visited the Lighthouse in Glasgow recently and here are a few photos from the top over Glasgow and inside this centre of Architecture and design that houses amongst other displays an exhibition on Rennie Mackintosh in addition to a range of other exhibitions and examples of design.  Tucked away in the back streets of Glasgow in Mitchell Lane near central station. Great views of the city from the top.

Wick Girls Group
The programmes is well underway but sill plenty of fun things coming up for any girls at High School or Primary 7

More Birds Spotted

The amazing variety of birds in Caithness is beginning to show as the photos and details of birds spotted recently begins to build up in this new section.  Julian Smith would be interested to see details of what others are spotting around the county and to receive photos for inclusion in the new bird galleries for the county.  A new discussion forum for Bird Watchers or anyone with a question  has recently  begun in the Message Board.    To send details to Julian Smith - see the Birdwatching Index page or nip over to the St John's Pool web site

Latest Birds Spotted In Caithness
American Wigeon and BlackTailed Godwit are just two of the birds reported to Julian Smith by Hugh Clarke.  If anyone would like to add to Julian's list of birds sen this year just email details  - with or without a photo.  Caithness Bird Watching News.  Hugh Clark and Robin Sellers have produced a book The Birds and Mammals of Caithness available locally.

Protest over care home sell-off  - BBC
Protesters are planning to stage a major demonstration when Highland councillors meet to consider plans to privatise care homes.
Modernising Services For Older People
Agenda Item at Today's meeting of Highland Council in Inverness  - The Outline Business Case (Pdf file)
For the whole of today's Highland Council agenda in Inverness Click Here

Gibson calls on BBC to drop tune that venerates 'Butcher'
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament which calls on the BBC to drop music that venerates a man who nearly destroyed Highland society being used to introduce their World Cup football action. Mr Gibson is objecting after it was revealed that the BBC announced that it plans to use a tune called "Sports Prepare" as their theme music for the football World Cup. "Sports Prepare" is adapted from "See the Conquering Hero Comes", a hymn which praises the Duke of Cumberland and which was used by composer George Fredrick Handel as part of the oratorio, "Judas Maccabaeus", celebrating the Hanoverian victory over the Jacobites in the rising of 1745-46. Mr Gibson says that if the BBC will not drop the song then it should be up to the Scottish Executive to remind them that that in a multicultural age appropriate music for world cup football coverage should not engender memories of oppression and destruction. "The Butcher Cumberland is not revered in many parts of the Highlands and Islands as well as Scotland. It is galling to think that a song that venerates him and his actions will receive so much air time over the summer."

North Action Group (The Maternity Protest Group) Ticks Over
Interviews for new consultants are to take place for on 11 May.  BBC Wales flew up and interviewed North Action Group members as West Wales are facing a similar situation faced by Caithness and North Sutherland - To be screened on S4C (Sky 135) on Monday 8 May at 9.30. English subtitles.
A delegation from Scottish Health Campaigns Network, including George Bruce, are to meet with the Health Minister in Edinburgh this week.  History Repeats In West Wales  Will voters take out their wrath on this issue at the ballot box?  Results on Friday might show if health figures in the local elections whether it should or not.

Thurso Town Hall Refurbishment All Set As Wick Firm MM Miller (Wick) Ltd Awarded Contract
The building enabling work for Caithness Horizons has begun, with the contract for the first phase of work being awarded by Highland Council to local firm MM Miller (Wick) Ltd. Caithness Horizons has held its first annual general meeting and is delighted to announce that directors Paul Cariss, the company's chairman, and Tina Wrighton of UKAEA have both been co-opted back onto the board. Pictured is Jeanette Farquhar who is assisting Alan McIvor of Thurso Heritage Society with the cataloguing at the Forss store.

Highland MSPs John Farquhar Munro and Jamie Stone have welcomed the news that European officials have today lifted the export ban on British Beef. The beef export trade was worth £130 million to Scotland before exports were banned in 1996 in response to the BSE crisis.  Reacting to the announcement, Far North MSP Jamie Stone said: "This is fantastic news. A most welcome shot in the arm for our farmers who have had to put up with impossibly hard circumstances."

Gordon Campbell Independent Heads For 2007 Election
Gordon Campbell is setting out to win and is as determined as ever to fight  the 2007 election with as much fervour as in his previous campaigns.  He passionately loves his adopted area and Dornoch where he lives.  A tireless campaigner he is already well on his way to getting to all parts Caithness Sutherland.  In the 2003 election Gordon Campbell came 5th with 953 votes beating Frank Ward the SSP candidate who came sixth with 828 votes.  Gordon Campbell has increased his vote gradually over each election but still has big mountain to climb.  He is undeterred and we will be seeing much more of him over the next 12 months.

Scottish Socialist Party Select Candidates For 2007 Election
The SSP have selected their list candidates to contest next year's Scottish parliamentary elections in the Highlands and Islands region. Top of the list and aiming to be elected as the party's first MSP from the region is SSP regional co-ordinator and spokesperson, Steve Arnott, who was selected by members with 77% of all first preference votes cast in a Single Transferable Vote ballot. Frank Ward will stand in Caithness, Sutherland. Announcing the result of the ballot to members on May 1st - the traditional worker's day throughout the world - Ray Stewart, the party's regional returning officer for internal elections, said "this will be a team effort. All the candidates who have put themselves forward will have a valuable role to play in the coming year. We missed out narrowly in 2003 - this time we believe we can go one better."  The SSP failed to get a list MSP elected in 2003 by just 870 votes out of an electorate of over 200,000 throughout the geographically vast region, which includes the Highlands, Moray, the Northern Isles, the Hebrides and Argyll & Bute.

Briton Russell Winter Makes Surprise Winner Of O'Neill Highland Surfing Open
From O'Neill Web site - It was a spectacular ending for a spectacular surfing event. Before proud parents and an enthusiastic local crowd, British surfer Russell Winter scored a gigantic stand-up barrel to post a perfect 10 and win the inaugural O’Neill Highland Open in Thurso, on the north coast of Scotland. With sensational 4-6ft surf on hand, the final against tube-riding expert Bernardo ‘Pigmeu’ Miranda (BRZ) was a barrel-fest of Hawaiian proportions. Despite a series of high-scoring waves by the Brazilian, it was Winter who made the most out of Brims Ness’ gargantuan right-hand barrels. In addition to the perfect 10, the Briton scored a second huge tube to post an 8.33 and secure the win.    More Photos From the final day
Weel done to everyone for bringing this spectacular event to Caithness and we hope to see you all again next year.  Check Out The Competition Videos From Thurso and Brims On The  Web site

Miller Academy 1962 - Class 5.1
Photo sent by Sandy Cormack.  This is thought to be the final photo from the Centenery year that was missing from the the photos already sent for that year.



POLICE can confirm that a 57-year-old man is expected to appear at Tain Sheriff Court today in connection with a fire at the Bridge Hotel, Bonar Bridge in the early hours of 1 May 2006.

Air Cadets - Awards 2006 At Annual Parents Evening
Miss Anne Dunnett, Lord Lieutenant of Caithness, was inspecting officer at the Thurso Air Cadet’s Annual Parent’s Night and Presentation of Awards in the Royal British Legion Thurso at the end of April. In addressing the cadets, Miss Dunnett highlighted their high standard of turnout and emphasised that, by being part of an organisation such as the Air Cadets, they were all youngsters who were doing something to make a difference in their lives.
Air Cadets Index

Little Ship Club Heads Round Scotland For RNLI Lifeboat Funds - Into Wick On Thursday 4 May
Members of The Little Ship club will left Ardrossan on 22 April bound for Banff to celebrate the Club’s 80th anniversary this year and raise money for a new RNLI lifeboat. A specially made teak baton is being carried on board a chartered Beneteau 38, “Christina”, by Raymond Gregory and his crew. The baton set off from The Little Ship Club on the Thames in London on Tuesday 19 April 2005 and is being carried in 48 relay legs clockwise around the coast of Britain and Ireland – arriving back in London in time for the anniversary celebrations of the Club in November, a total of 2,500 nautical miles. The crew will cover more than 750 miles heading north from Ardrossan to Banff taking in the Western Isles and Orkney before leaving the baton for its onward journey and returning through the Caledonian Canal. The “Christina” will be leaving Stromness on Thursday 4 May, heading for Wick, weather permitting. The date is also dependent on how long the first two legs from Ardrossan take.

Castletown Heritage Society Quiz And Stovies Night
On Friday 28th April, Castletown Heritage Society held a fund raising Quiz and Stovies Night in the Drill Hall, Castletown. Sandy McWhirter, Socio-Economic Development Manager, UKAEA, Dounreay acted as compere for the evening, keeping everyone entertained while he put eight teams through their paces on subjects as diverse as Sport, Geography, Entertainment, Words & Language, Local History and General Knowledge.  In what proved to be a closely fought but thoroughly enjoyable evening, the local team from the Highlander Cafe just managed to scrape victory by half a point over the 'Tattie Howkers' from Thurso. Each member of the winning team received a unique trophy - a replica ceramic model of the Wind Pump tower at Castlehill mounted on a flagstone base. The highly detailed and original trophies were hand made by Mrs Elizabeth Moar and her son John.

Surfing in Scotland: more thermal gloves than summer sun - Herald

NDA Directors See Clean-up Of Fast Reactor Legacy
The board of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority got a close-up look at the progress being made to decommission Britain's fast reactor legacy when it visited Dounreay on 27 April 2006.  The NDA is responsible for the clean-up of 20 civil nuclear sites in the UK, with Dounreay being the second largest of them. UKAEA, working with AMEC and CH2MHILL through their recently-announced alliance, now decommissions the site under a contract with the NDA. Dounreay

Safety Training Course At Wick For Canoists and Kayakers For New Coaches
Kayakers from the Pentland Canoe and Caithness Kayak Clubs attended a one day training course for the Scottish Canoe Association Canoeing Safety Test in Wick. The award is a pre-requisite for those wishing to become a kayak coach. During the course, the students were trained kayak safety features; hazards which maybe encountered on the water; life saving techniques and kayak rescue skills.

O'Neill Open Surfers Signing Session At Tempest Surf Thurso

For many more photos head over to John Baikie's Image Bank and type the pass word "Surf" 

Brims Was The Focus For Today's Heats In The O'Neill Highland Surfing Open
Everything was go again today after the competition was put on hold yesterday due to a lack of waves. Russell Winter the only UK competitor left in took full advantage of Brims Ness’ explosive right-hand barrels to win his Round of 16 heat against Brazilian legend Neco Padaratz and advance to the quarterfinal stage of the O’Neill Highland Open. Winter, the last remaining Briton in the event, posted a 6.5 and a 5.0 to edge out the multiple WQS champion and secure his place in the next round.  Photos Of Todays Action

Property For Sale In Caithness
More property than ever passing through so take a look.  Property ads are still FREE on and there is no time limit.  All you need is a photo of your property and you can add it yourself  - it's easy.  Why is it FREE?  Well you do the work and save money and we get more surfers - seems like a good deal to us.  Why pay more?.

Caithness Field Club Summer Programme Is Underway
Why Not Get Along To Some Of The Outings

The annual bus trip has just passed but Caithness Field Club has plenty tom come this summer.  Anyone is welcome to come along on the outings whether local or visitor to the area.  You will learn a lot about the natural history, archaeology and history of Caithness on the many easy walks around Caithness and sometimes a wee bit further afield.  Members will receive the annual Bulletin always full of interesting articles on Caithness.

The Howlin Gaels New CD "Lonely Road"
The Howlin Gaels new CD has been written and compiled with all the usual love for their music that has made them one of the top blues/rock bands in Scotland. With an incredible playing experience behind them with the ability to play almost anything they have over the years wowed audiences wherever they went.
Their latest CD is full of freshly written tunes and typical of the Gaels distinctive style. A Caithness band they have played all over and made many appearances at concerts and on radio and TV.

Comet Update - Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3  - Gordon Mackie
The month of May 2006 will provide an opportunity for some interesting objects to be observed in the night sky with no more than a pair of binoculars, with some even being visible to the naked eye.  Unfortunately true darkness does not fall until around midnight, but if you're up late at night or very early in the morning why not take a look at what's up there. As mentioned in the recent newsletter this comet, or at least the many parts of it (there are currently 38 individual fragments being tracked by astronomers!) will pass close to the Earth (a mere 6.5 million miles!) during the month of May.   Caithness Night Sky

A Feast Of Entertaiment At Lyth Arts Centre In May
Lyth Arts Centre continues to bring a huge variety of high quality live entertainment to Caithness. May is no exception with a fantastic variety of drama, music and comedy with nationally and internationally respected groups coming to the county.  There has never been a better opportunity to see so much high quality live performances in Caithness and all at the recently refurbished.  You can book your tickets by phone and pay for them when you get to the theatre.  Set in the Caithness countryside why not try a relaxing evening and go early for a cup of coffee and a cake or a drink from the bar.

Wedding Photographer John Baikie Gains Another Qualification
Thurso-based photographer John Baikie of Caithness Photographic has just been awarded an important qualification by the Society Of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. John, who has just set up a new wedding based business called Captiv8, has been awarded a Licentiate by the society, which is one of the fastest growing photographers association in the world. The award was given under very unusual circumstances, in that he did not submit any prints!

Places In Between The A - Z - Dwarwick To Dunnet

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