Over 420 Ads in The  What's On Right now - Is Your Event In Yet?
Get your event in our what's On as soon as you can to let folk know about it.  You can get days, weeks, months and even years of FREE advertising for your event.  We get requests all the time asking for dates of events so the sooner it goes in the better.  Don't delay add your event as soon as you know the details.  It's easy - takes a minute - GO HERE or see the link in left column

Have You Signed The Petition To Help The Campaign For A New Wick High School?
The Parents Council of Wick High School began a campaign only recently to get some thing done about the state of Wick High School. An Audit Scotland report came out on 20th March and stated that about one third of our schools in Scotland are in poor condition.  Wick High School is one of them.  Read the Audit Scotland Statement and Reports
Wick High School is in an appalling state of neglect and disrepair and in places it is potentially dangerous. We want a new environment for the future of our children and for the staff who put so much into the school. A new Wick High School could be a beacon of Science, Engineering and Technology and could provide a hub of energy and talent to drive the success of our County. If you support Wick High School Parent Council's campaign for a new Wick High School please sign NOW!

Climate change impacts in the Highlands and Islands, including assessment of impacts on environment, livelihoods, employment, and transport
Friday 11th April 2008 - ERI Seminar Room, Castle Street, Thurso
Hosted by the Environmental Research Institute, North Highland College and chaired by Dr Stuart Gibb
Buffet lunch from 11.30am - 12.00pm: John D Nelson, Professor of Transport Studies, University of Aberdeen - “Transport, Climate Change and the Role of Travel Behaviour” - 12.30pm: Dr Sandy Kerr, The International Centre for Island Technology, - Orkney Campus of Heriott-Watt University - “Climate Change Impacts, Responses and Opportunities: A Highland Perspective” - 13.00 – 14.00 Discussion and debate

Highland Youth Voice - The Apprentice!
Young people from across the Highlands recently got the chance for the third year running to play the "Apprentice" by shadowing senior officials within The Highland Council's Glenurquhart offices in Inverness and partner agencies. The executive of Highland Youth Voice, the youth parliament for the Highlands, have found this event to be the best way of developing their links with policy makers and decision-takers. Working with the Council's Youth Development team they organise this day for members of the Youth Voice Executive and area forums to shadow key officials in Housing; Social Work; Education, Culture and Sport; Finance; Planning; Community Care; Environmental Health and Police.  Larger Photo

Changes In Prescription Charges From 1st April - WOW Something Coming Down In Price
The Scottish Government announced reductions in the cost of prescription charges on 5th December 2007. Over the next three years they will reduce until finally abolished in 2011. Also welcome is the decision to reduce the costs of prepayment certificates by half, so that those who live with a long-term condition can get all their prescription medication for a one-off fee of £48 for a year.  Anyone who regularly takes medication should consider the reduced price of obtaining medicines as the half price of a prepayment certificate at £48 for 12 months is probably the cheapest method for many people as it works out at less than £1 per week.  If you know someone who takes medication make sure they are aware of the changes now coming into force.

St. John's Church Building Fund - Coffee And Cake Afternoon - 5th April
A fundraising Card, Coffee and Cake afternoon is being held in St. John's church hall, Moray Street, Wick this Saturday 5th April between 2 pm and 4 pm. A group of church ladies will be selling quality greetings cards, giftwrap and stationery, with ten per cent of all sales to be donated to the Fund. One of the organisers, Mrs. Lyn Ball, said "We are trying various fundraising events, and this is one we have not done before. The average person sends 55 greeting cards every year, so we want to offer a choice of good quality cards and stationery for all ages at very reasonable prices. We hope that many folk will come along, enjoy a free cup of coffee and cake and see what may suit them. Also collecting books for the next booksale so take them along and hand them in.

Caithness Cat Charity On The Prowl For More Volunteers
Do You love animals and especially cats? Would you like a chance to help improve the lives and indeed often save them from their poor conditions and possibly unite them with people who would like to look after them? A local cat welfare charity in of more volunteers is holding an informal recruitment event at the beginning of April. Cats Protection's Caithness branch is on the lookout for people to fill a range of roles including secretary, fundraiser and Helpline operator and have organised the event at The Norseman Hotel, Wick on Saturday 5 April (11am to 3pm), so that people can find out more about volunteering for the charity.

Pipes And Drums At Carbisdale Castle Concert - A Film
Nearly 70 pipers and drummers spent a week at Carbisdale Castle improving their piping and drumming skills.  Many also sat exams and gained certificates under the expert tuition from some of the best players in Scotland.  A contingent from Caithness was also there.  Carbisdale Castle is a fabulous setting for this event and bookings are sure to be made soon for next years event.  The concert was held on Friday evening for parents, friends and invited guests.  John Thurso presented a full set of pipes that was awarded to the best improved piper of the week. See Another Short film from the Carbisdale Concert HERE

Carbisdale Castle Piping and Drumming Course - Wick Pipe Band Had A Few Folk There

Film Of Caithness Geo Explorer Trips Today From Wick
The Caithness Geo Explorer is now up and running trips from wick Harbour and folk were taking advantage of it on Sunday.  To book see the web site of Caithness Seacoast



Janetstown Schooldays 1970 Photo - All The Names Now In
Last week we published a series of Janetstown School photos.  The 1970 one attracted some interest as it was taken in the year the school closed. Carol Rosie has come up with a full list of names for the photo so thanks to her.


Roybridge                  Spean Bridge

Highland Views Index  Scottish Views Index

Sign The dotSCO E Petition on the Scottish Parliament Web Site
Help the dotSCO campaign and sign the Scottish government e-petition on lead up to the .sco application process;
Petition by Ross Ingebrigtsen, on behalf of dotSCO, calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to give full support to the dotSCO application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to introduce a standard "".sco"" top level domain name in order to enhance Scotland's distinct languages, culture and identity, and for use by all Scottish public bodies.
See the dotSCO Campaign web site

So You Always Wanted To Paint Or Draw - Now's Your Chance - Head For Lybster
The introductory twelve week course in painting and drawing is now due to start at 10am on Wednesday, 2nd April at Lybster Day Centre on Jeffrey Street. Each class runs for two and a half hours and the fees are £6 per session including some materials. An alternative evening class will also be available in the near future. Everyone is welcome but places are limited so please phone Lydia on 01593 721318 for more information.


Clocks go forward for summer time - BBC
Daylight Saving Time

Earth Hour -
Will You Be Switching Off electric Items Between 8.00 and 9.00pm Tonight

Some of our forum users are preparing to switch off all of their electric items between 8.00 and 9.00pm to support Earth Hour.  Some are going to switch everything off except their computer and meet in the chat room.  Google  See the forum debate         About Earth Hour

Wick High 1958 - 5th Year
Photo supplied by William Mackay.  Only one name missing from this photo.

Wick High School Days Photos Index

Caithness School Days Photo Index

Store Wars
Tesco purchase Kirkwall store - The Orcadian
It has been confirmed this morning that supermarket giants Tesco are due to take over Somerfield Ltd in Kirkwall in six weeks time.
Meanwhile in Caithness there is no news on the ASDA front as speculation continues in our forum

House Building In Highland 2007
In 2007 1,807 new houses were completed; a 7% increase on 2006 figures and a new high for Highland. This is a significant contribution to achieving The Highland Council Administration’s priority of working with Scottish Government, local partners and the private sector to enable 6,000 new houses to be built over the next 4 years. In 2007 house completions in Caithness by ward were - Thurso 55, Wick 39, Landward Caithness 80.  Housing Index

Open Day at Drummuie, Golspie - 2 April 2008
The public is being invited to look around the The Highland Council's new flagship office complex in East Sutherland at Drummuie, Golspie, from 1-3 pm on Wednesday 2 April. The impressive listed building, situated on the southern outskirts of Golspie, has undergone a total refurbishment to provide modern office accommodation for up to 130 administrative and professional staff from a number of Council Services. Staff from offices in Brora, Dornoch and Golspie will relocate to Drummuie in a phased move from Monday 14 April.

Latest Police Reports - Can You Help?
Van Vandalised - Rear Of Bridge Street, Wick
Theft From Building Site - Wellington Street, Wick
Outside Light Broken At Town Hall, Wick
Vandalism - Bowling Green, Thurso
Vandalism - Union Street, Wick
Vandalism - Huddart Street, Wick

Surprise Birthday Party Raises £250 for Wick Sea Cadets
Presentation made to Wick Sea Cadet Unit 634 by Frazer, Shannen, Caitlin & Kelly of £250.00 raised at a surprise 60th birthday party held for their grandad, Donnie Bain, Mid-Clyth

Wick Sea Cadets Web Site


Time For Fresh Thinking On Berriedale Braes - Wellbeck Estate Has A Plan That Is Viable
A couple of weeks ago Welbeck's factor Anson MacAuslan launched a report on how a series of improvements could be tackled at Berriedale rather than waiting for the extremely expensive option of a possible flyover that was mooted many years ago but which may never happen due to the excessive costs involved.  The proposals include widening the north hairpin, an uphill climbing lane on the south brae and improved overtaking stretches in places such as Ousdale. The landowner is willing to help break the deadlock and has paid for this latest study to try to find a solution that will be more likely to gain the required funds that are much less than previous proposals.
Read the whole paper (Pdf file)

Countdown To the Firewalk Fundraiser - Will You Have A Go?
Are you ready to permanently break through life’s obstacles, fears, doubts or beliefs that have been standing in your way? Walk across glowing, red-hot wood embers completely barefooted. Interested in taking part in this sponsored evening event at Thurso High School on 5th April 2008? For more information and sponsor forms contact Dawn on 01847 811505 - - DO IT FOR YOURSELF - - DO IT FOR THE SCOTTISH SPCA  Stalls, Line Dancers, Barbecue from 6.30pm Firewalk starts 7.45    Forum Topic
There is still time to register and you must do this in advance for insurance reasons etc

Photos Taken From Thurso Beach Today
Take a close look and see the snow in Orkney today.



Latest Crimes  - Can You Help The Police With Information?
Minibus Stolen From Sinclair Terrace, Wick
Vandalism At Bremners Walk, Wick
Attempted Break-in At Louisburgh Street, Wick
Break In At Lybster Fire Station
Van Damaged At Whitehouse Park, Wick
Did You See Anything Suspicious At East End, Wick?
Solar Lights Stolen From Wick Garden

Campaign For A New Wick High School - Sign The Petition
The parents council are formulating their plans to further the campaign to improve the place where almost half the secondary education in Caithness is carried out.  You can add your voice to the campaign and help raise their profile by signing the petition online.  You can also read views and/or add your own to the Wick High School thread in our Forum

Thurso At 7.30am and Another From Wick At 12.30pm
Unfortunately due to the weather conditions the Ester Egg hunt at Dunnet was cancelled.  The snow showers are continuing this afternoon although so far only lasting a few minutes before the sun comes out again.


Caithness Floral Art Club - Caithness My Home - March 2008
Caithness My Home was the title chosen by Amanda Coghill from Wick for the March demonstration of the Caithness Floral Art Club. Using large posters of scenes she had photographed as her inspiration she illustrated the Dounreay dome, a sunset at Loch More, rural Caithness at the Loch of Yarrows, a cascade of flowers for the Latheronwheel coastline and the windmills beside the Causewaymire. Once again Amanda brought unfamiliar plant materials to use in her arrangements - Craspedia and Asclepias - 'Moby Dick'. Floral Art Club Index

Winter Hanging About On Easter Monday In Caithness

These photos show the scene in Wick about 8.00am this morning.  Easter Sunday was also a day with a few light snow showers.  Could make the Easter Egg hunting at Dunnet to today interesting looking for eggs under some snow but it will probably all be gone by mid morning.

Easter Egg Hunt - Make It A Family Day Out - See Dunnet Forest And Help Scallywags Nursery
Scallywags nursery look like they have hit on a great idea this year and are giving the chance for a nice family day out hunting eggs in Dunnet Forest.  Starts at 12.00 Noon on Monday 24th March with Egg Hunts at 12.30pm and 1.30pm.  Other fun things for the kids include a bouncy castle and face painting.  Then you can take a stroll through the forest.  whilst there you can see for yourselves the way the Dunnet Forestry Trust have now dealt with the potholes of the past few years and made their car park fit for the purpose - a joy to arrive at.  Or take wander along Dunnet Beach and maybe pop in for tea at the Northern Sands - plenty of reasons to visit Dunnet on Easter Monday.

Lybster Primary School Easter Fayre At Portland Arms On Sunday
A successful Easter Fayre was held with kind permission of the Portland Arms Hotel on Easter Sunday to raise funds for Lybster Primary School. The event which raised £222.25 from table sales and various other activities such as face painting was organised by Lindsay Kirk. Dr 'Bobby' was there to judge the hand painted Easter eggs whilst Mrs Carol Grant Lybster Headteacher was on hand to collect the cheque from Lindsay at the end of the event. winners of the Easter egg competition were Boys 8-12 Ellis Hall: Girls 8-12 Chelsea Lightley: Boys 5-8 Mackenzie Barton-Oag: Girls 5-8 Kelsi Simpson. The giant chocolate bunny was won by Dorothy Gunn and the soft toy Easter duck went to Kevin Lightley.

Edinburgh Caithness Association 1837 – 2007 - 170th Anniversary
The Edinburgh Caithness Association, which was founded in 1837 recently celebrated its 170th anniversary with a well-attended dinner and musical evening in the Macdonald Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh. Returning to where the Association celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1977, a group of 87 members and friends, many of whom had travelled from far-distant places between Orkney and Manchester, came together on 23rd November 2007

Janetstown School Photo Collection From Wilma Farquhar
A collection of Janetstown school photos has been sent in by Wilma Farquhar.  Some are missing the year and details of who is in them.  Many thanks to Wilma for sending them in.

Schooldays Photo Index

Good Friday Easter March In Wick
Film of Christians from across the denominations in Caithness united to remember what Easter is all about.

Local Lady Nancy Foggo Running For Cancer Research
Click through to view her web fundraising web page on Just Giving.

Final Countdown For O'Neil Surfing Championships In Caithness Registration
The most northerly professional surfing championships held in Caithness by O'Neill are now established on the surfing calendar.  the 2008 event is due to be held 24th April - 1 May 2008.   About 192 surfers from all over the world are already signed up to compete for a possible 3000 points towards the world championship and a purse of $135,000 (winner gets $25,000).  The event continues to grow in its third year.  If you are a professional surfer there is just time to get your name in for this event at 59 degrees north - Thurso and Brims. to register or for further details go to the new O'Neill Highland Open Web Site
It's not for the faint-hearted - but it is the place where you will see the best surfing in Britain this year.

USB Stick Lost In Wick
We have been contacted to ask if anyone has found a USB stick lost in Wick.  The memory contains some family photos.  If anyone finds it can they pass it to Wick police station or contact who will tell you who has lost it to pass it back.

Tesco Wick Raises Highest Total For Red Cross In Highland
Tesco Wick raised the most amount of money for the British Red Cross in the Highlands, raising over £6,500. Tesco stores across the Highlands have raised more than £25,000 in 2007 for local British Red Cross services. As Tesco Charity of the Year for 2007, the British Red Cross became the focus for staff fundraising, benefiting from a further 20 per cent 'top up' by Tesco Charity Trust. Money was also raised from donations on products sold in store, collection tins at tills, recycling schemes, Clubcard mailings and a Christmas charity single recorded by Katie Melua and the late Eva Cassidy.

Broubster Leans
Broubster Leans 7km south west of Thurso features in the March issue of RSPB North of Scotland News.  The short article gives details of the new bird reserve in Caithness that sits 7km south west of Thurso.
Birds In Caithness

Five Young Engineers Teams From Farr and Thurso In Engineering Challenge Final
Five teams from the far north competed at the Young Engineers Royal Navy Engineering Challenge on Thursday 13th March 2008 at HMS Sultan, Gosport. Three teams from Farr High School and two teams from Thurso High School were selected to attend the final. The teams had to construct radio controlled vehicles capable of recovering objects from water and land. Each team had two attempts at the course and had to deliver a five minute presentation about their project. All of the pupils and staff had a flight in a Sea King helicopter during the day. The two teams from Thurso High School - The Schottle Sharks and Team Bravo featured on Meridian TV  Full results will be published on the Young Engineers web site

For Peats Sake - RSPB Campaign Asking Gardeners Not To Buy Peat Products
Gardeners around the country will be hitting garden centres this Easter weekend and the RSPB is urging them to avoid peat products.  RSPB Main Index Page

Wildlife Operation - Badenoch, Strathspey and Nairn
NORTHERN Constabulary together with officers from Tayside, Lothian and Borders Police and Grampian Police yesterday (20 March 2008) carried out an operation to target wildlife crime in the Badenoch, Strathspey and Nairn area. Around 50 officers supported by officials from the National Wildlife Crime Unit, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Government Rural Payments Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) and the SSPCA took part in the day long operation which was the culmination of a lengthy planning process. A substantial number of items were recovered during the searches of several properties and locations in the Badenoch, Strathspey and Nairn area. Inquiries will continue over the coming weeks and months.

HIE Caithness And Sutherland Disappears In Management Shake-up
Economic development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is reorganising its responsibilities and will, in future, focus on three key objectives in order to deliver sustainable economic growth in the region.
There will only be three larger areas in the new set up - Highland, West and East.  Caithness will be part of Highland that will now include offices in Thurso, Golspie, Portree, Fort William and the Inner Moray Firth. Up to 60 staff will take voluntary redundancy in the shake-up.

Lecture On A Henge In Caithness
Professor Richard Bradley, widely regarded as Britain's foremost pre-historian, will be giving a lecture on the forthcoming excavation of the Pullyhour Henge near Halkirk.
The lecture will be held in the Ross Institute, Halkirk on Monday 7th April, at 7.30 pm.

Wick Team Make It To Final Of Youth Challenge 2008 - Final six teams go through to Hot House
A Wick High team have beaten off stiff competition to make it through to the final round of Youth Challenge 2008.  The team members are Alan Sinclair, Laura Oag, Calum Risbridger and Adam Risbridger. The final six teams have been announced for ICT Youth Challenge 2008 following yesterday's event at Strathpeffer where young innovators pitched their ideas for the future to a panel of judges.  The teams are from Lochaber, Nairn, Wick, Keith and two from Fortrose and were chosen from sixteen teams of young innovators. The overall winners will win a trip to the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Caithness Science Festival Includes Drama To Highlight "Future World" Depletion Of Resources
The Caithness Science Festival continued with its road-show last night at Pulteneytown Academy where we popped in to see an important message. The hugely entertaining drama with a future world focus on recycling waste and how future generations will suffer if we do not change our habits.  Ex Astronaut Duane Carey was still drawing the crowds to hear first hand experiences from a man who had been on a shuttle mission in space.  The science road-show continues for the rest of the week visiting other schools in Caithness but there are no more days now open to the public.  Well done to the volunteers who have created the Caithness Science Festival and to all the sponsors for helping to make this a truly unique Caithness annual event.

Something For Everyone In Coming Weeks At Lyth Arts Centre
Lyth Arts Centre always has a varied programme and coming weeks are no exception.  Something to listen to, something to laugh at and something for the children.  Check these latest performances out and book early. 

New Scottish Screen Archive Has Films Of Caithness
The Scottish Screen Archive has set up a new web site and improved the quality of the clips online. The project is preserving old footage and made clips of some available online with more to come.
Wick 1960's  Scrabster - Early 1970's  Thurso Gala Day 1953  A thousand clips of film from many parts of Scotland are already online so you may be a while.  This looks to be a huge resource for a look at Scotland's past.

Can You Help The Police With Information On These Crimes
Broken Windows At Thurso Railway Station
Deliberate Tyre Damage At Girnigoe Street, Wick
Broken Window At Assembly Rooms, Wick
Buddha Statue Stolen At Murkle
Car Vandalised At Harald Street, Thurso

Dunnet Forest Car Park Resurfacing Completed

Dunnet Forest car park is set to re-opened on Saturday 15th March one week early in spite of the recent bad weather. An excellent job by main contractor Holt Drainage and John Gunn and Sons who did the surfacing. Stop and admire on your way to the log sales on Saturday 15th March. The car park will be closed without notice for one more day for car park markings when the weather improves and the road marking team is available.  Dunnet Forestry Trust Forum Record Broken Tonight
587 Users of the forum/message board were logged on at the same time tonight 18-Mar-08 at 8.25pm.  The forum continues to grow at an amazing rate and sometime ago passed 300,000 posts and a classified ads section that sees more items passing through every month.  Thanks must go to the volunteer moderators who keep it all working smoothly.

Newtonhill Community Woodland, Caithness - Closed On Safety Grounds
The Highland Council has received the consultants report on the investigation of a former landfill site in Caithness, which is currently a community woodland. Elevated levels of some contaminants such as heavy metals and arsenic, and the presence of asbestos, were found within the site soils and surface waters, for which further investigation has been recommended. The Council have contacted the consultant and requested a detailed scope of works for a second phase of investigation, which includes further soil and water monitoring. The investigation has demonstrated that there is no risk to any of the neighbouring properties from gases generated from within the landfill. Neighbouring residents in 25 properties close to the site, and community groups which use the site, have been advised of the findings and recommendations of the report. The site at Newtonhill is approximately 2Km south west of the centre of Wick. The Highland Council is carrying out this work in the interest of public safety and as a precaution, given the uncertainty regarding risk to site users, the Council has decided to close the site while further investigation and assessments are undertaken.  Newtonhill Woodland Photos

Russian Buyers See The Best Of Mey Selections
Visiting Russian buyers were introduced to the full Mey Selections range at the 'Meet the Russian Buyers' event, held last week at Culloden House Hotel, Inverness. The event, organised by Scottish Development International, brought together buyers from six Russian companies looking to source quality Scottish food and drink products. Mey Selections, a company actively seeking export opportunities, was on hand to introduce the visitors to the quality and delights of North Highlands produce. Dr. John Strak Managing Director of Mey Selections and Tracy Waters, Business Development Manager presented the visiting Russians with gifts including Mey Selections Barrogill Whisky and Mey Selections shortbread. They were also able to speed communication by giving the buyers a Russian translation of the Mey Selections brochure.

Council Conference Invites Parents To Participate
Parents in the Highlands are being encouraged by The Highland Council to engage in a partnership in their children's education. The Council's Education, Culture and Sport Service is holding a conference for Highland's parents titled 'Journey to Participation'. The event takes place on Saturday 12th April at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness from 10am to 3.30pm.
Topics of discussion on the day will cover:
~ what's working well with Parent Councils;
~ how pupils are doing;
~ new national body - what's needed; and
~ how the Education, Culture and Sport Service and Parent Councils should communicate.

New Wick Enterprise Centre Offers Low Cost Work Stations For Business
Highland Opportunity Limited has opened a new enterprise centre in the Pulteneytown area of Wick. Located at 9 Miller Street, the Wick Enterprise Centre provides a base for Highland Opportunity Ltd's business advisory service to Caithness and Sutherland and offers flexible workspace for small businesses who are seeking an office presence in the town, together with a small meeting room. An occupation licence covers all costs of a workstation: rent, rates, light and heat, cleaning and wireless broadband access. Licences are flexible in duration from a week to a month to a year, with easy termination. They cost £60 a week or £250 a month plus VAT.  See inside the Wick Enterprise Centre and an old photo

Easter Fun in Ormlie
Ormlie Community Association is delighted to announce that they are running an Easter Workshop event in Ormlie during the first week of the school holidays. On offer will be a range of exciting and innovative arts and crafts workshops over a 3 day period beginning on Tuesday 25th through to Thursday 27th March. The Easter workshops will be held in the Ormlie Community Centre, Henderson Street, Thurso. Registration will take place at the Centre on Thursday 20th March between 4pm – 5.30pm and costs £1 per child, with each session thereafter just 50p. Morning sessions for the under nines will run from 11.30 – 1pm, whilst the over nine sessions will be held in the afternoon between 2pm – 3.30pm. As in the past Ormlie Community Association welcomes children and young people from outwith the Ormlie estate and under fives can also attend but must be accompanied by an adult. For more details contact Sue on 01847 891789 or e-mail

Astronaut Duane Carey Kicks Off 2008 Caithness Science Festival

Former astronaut Duane Carey returned to the Caithness Science Festival at Mount Pleasant school in Thurso on Sunday and proved he is just as inspirational as last year.  His talks really do grab children's attention and his homemade film of some rest time in the space shuttle was of interest to children and adults.  He answered questions about his experiences and told the audience that in his youth he was not a good student but once he realised education was a gateway to learning and opportunity he never looked back even though he often found subject like maths hard.  Duane Carey now delivers talks to many groups of children and adults.  See more on his web site at or catch him on Tuesday night at Pulteneytown Academy, Wick.  He will be visiting all the schools in Caithness over the next few days to deliver more talks.  Check the programme for Tuesday nights events.

British company to build world’s largest tidal power scheme  - Telegraph
No not the Pentland Firth but in Korea. However the chairman of the company building the one in Korea is quoted in the article - Mr Law added: “The ideal place is the Pentland Firth in Scotland where there is a huge resource of at least 10,000 megawatts – equivalent three large coal-fired power stations or enough to power a million homes – in deep water.

Caithness Model Club Annual Show 2008

Almost 400 people visited the Caithness Model Show over the weekend.  The show continues to grow each year with exhibitors coming from long distances to show their collections.  Some rare and valuable specimens were on show. Caithness Model Club Pages with photos from earlier shows

Latest Listing As At February 2008 Of Wind Farm Applications For Highland
The latest listing shows there are now four wind farms operational in Caithness - Forss, by Thurso plus the Forss extension, - Causeymire, - Buolfruich at Houstry, Dunbeath, - Flex Hill, Bilbster.  Two more are approved or under construction Achairn, Wick- Causeymire extension. Nine others have submitted planning applications but are not yet determined Causeymire extension - Baillie Hill, Westfield - Camster - Dunbeath - South Shebster - Hill of Lieurary, Westfield - Burn of Whilk, Yarrows - Spittal Hill, Spittal - Stroupster, Nybster - Bower.  Five more are at the scoping stage -  Scoolary - Durran Mains, Durran - Olgrinmore Moss, Appat - Rumster - Nottingham Mains.  One is under appeal - Stroupster, Nybster.  Two have been refused after appeals - Hill of Lieurary, Westfield  - Borrowston, Dounreay
Wind Farm Index

Best Book Sale Yet At St John's Church, Wick
Last Saturday's (8th March 2008) bargain booksale at St. John's Church Hall, Moray St., Wick, proved to be a tremendous success, said organiser Gordon Johnson this week. "We had a great rush of people in the first hour, and then it remained steady through the rest of the day, and we ended up with total sales of £375 - our best ever result. I would particularly like to thank not just those who came and purchased, but also those who generously handed in books for the sale as well. These extras were great for adding to the stock as the numbers went down. We must have sold close on a thousand books. The cash raised will give another boost to our fund-raising for major repairs to St. John's church building. If we have enough good quality books donated, we will try to hold another sale at the same prices in June or July."

Caithness Diabetes Endowment Fund
Caithness and Sutherland Diabetes Team are doing a sponsored triathlons in Wick swimming pool and gym on 28/3/08 to raise money for the Caithness Diabetes Endowment fund.
Team includes: Sandra Jones - Podiatrist, Pam Campbell - Specialist Nurse, Lucinda Sutherland - Dietician
Judy Shallcross - Dietician
Anyone wishing to donate money please contact Pamela Campbell 01847 893442 Thurso Community Health Centre.

New Sea Tours From Wick Harbour

A new attraction for locals an visitors started on Saturday 15th March.  A Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), the “Geo Explorer” is 10m (33ft) long with family friendly seating and is licensed to carry twelve passengers. The latest boat in Caithness offering trips to see the coast and wildlife or castles and stacks will become a familiar site at the harbour this year.  Bookings can be made online, by phone or at the harbour office nest to the coast guard station.

The Biggest And Best Caithness Science Festival Yet For 2008 - Starts Sunday
The 6th Caithness Science Festival is the biggest yet and continues to make learning about Science, Technology Engineering and Maths more fun than most of us could have imagined. Aimed principally at young people it nevertheless has many elements of interest to people of all ages.  Bringing some of the foremost experts in their fields to give talks and demonstrations there is something for everyone once again at this years festival.  The festival is a huge voluntary effort led by Professor Iain Baikie of K P Technology and sponsored by a number of local firms and grants from various bodies including Highland Council.  The Science Festival will visit all of the local Caithness schools and some community centres in addition to the two days open to the public on Sunday 16th March at Mount Pleasant School and Tuesday 18th March in the evening at Pultneytown Academy.

Training Of Gaelic Tutors
This week The Highland Council has been running a special six day immersion training course for Gaelic language tutors in Portree, with 12 students signed up for the introductory course. Skye and Lochalsh Community Learning and Development Officer (Gaelic), Shona Paterson has organised the Ulpan training course which is being held in Tigh na Sgire. She said: "Ulpan is a fast and effective way to learn a language. It has been used to great effect in Israel, where it originated, and in Wales. "As Ulpan is a new way of teaching, tutors need to be trained and accredited in the system. Cli Gaidhlig has joined forces with Deiseal Earranta Ltd to provide this. Deiseal is a company set up by Daibhidh Grannd and Guto Rhys, both language tutors and linguists, to adapt the Welsh system to Gaelic."

Leading UK businessman Sir Anthony Cleaver has been appointed chairman of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP) executive board. The CNSRP was formed last year by key agencies charged with driving ahead initiatives to ameliorate the economic and social consequences of the run-down and eventual closure of the Dounreay nuclear plant. Currently the site supports around 2000 jobs in Caithness and North Sutherland. The partnership has already published a 50-point action plan specifying a range of projects which it intends to deliver within proposed timescales. The partnership's executive board to be chaired by Sir Anthony, comprises the chief executives of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and The Highland Council, the regional director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and a senior representative of the Scottish Government. The board meets quarterly.

Lybster Senior Citizens Auction
Portland Arms Hotel: Saturday 29th March 2008 starts 8.00pm viewing 7.00pm auctioneer: PETER MACKAY

Pullyhour Henge Excavation by Professor Richard Bradley, Reading University
Next month Professor Richard Bradley, Professor of Archaeology at Reading University and considered the foremost pre-historian in Britain, will be visiting Caithness with a small team to conduct an archaeological excavation of the Pullyhour Henge near Halkirk. The Pullyhour project starts on Sunday 23rd March (afternoon) and continues until the 12th April. Caithness Archaeological Trust (CAT) is looking for volunteers to help the Professor excavate this ancient monument. If you are interested in taking part please contact Paul Humphreys 01847 851 275 for further details.

Update From Steve Hoad Re Photo
The girl, top row, end right is Charlotte Service, middle row next to teacher is Aggie Service and bottom row far right is James Service (we think). I would welcome any correspondence from the ladies if they are interested, and can offer any further information. I would love to find out where the Service family lived. I will be visiting Caithness in May.
Answer Found
Elise Linney has been in touch as has Norma Sinclair regarding the photo we asked for information a few days ago.  The name of the school was Auckengill and the photo was taken in 1923, the teacher being Miss Margaret Nicholson.  Elise Linney said,"My interest in this photo stems from the fact that the girl right next to the teacher is Jeannie Steven, who was my mother's bridesmaid. Jeannie became a Senior Sister at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary."   We have also had it pointed out that Miss Margaret Nicolson appears in another school photo from Auckegill  in 1953 in the latest book of photos "Capture The Moment" on page 60
Do You Know Which School This Photo Is From?
Steve Hoad would like some help identifying this photo.  He is trying to find out which school around Wick his grandmother went to in the 1920s. Perhaps someone can recognize others in the photo, or maybe the tie that a number of the boys have on?  If you know the answer get in touch.


Dunnet Forest Car Park Re-opens For Log Sale Today
Dunnet Forest car park is set to re-open today Saturday one week early in spite of the recent bad weather. An excellent job by main contractor Holt Drainage and John Gunn and Sons who did the surfacing. Stop and admire on your way to the log sales on Saturday 15th March. The car park will be closed without notice for one more day for car park markings when the weather improves and the road marking team is available.

Caithness Model Show - Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March
The annual show of the Caithness Models and Collectors Club is on today and Sunday at the Norseman Hotel in Wick.  Thousands of items are on show each year and new additions from the members and visitors from other clubs.

Caithness Model Club Pages with photos from earlier shows

Rock Solid Showcase
Eight secondary school rock bands from Caithness, Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Lochaber, Inverness and Nairn secondary schools will be under the spot light when they take to the stage for a special showcase event. Rock Solid, organised by The Highland Council, takes place in the One Touch Theatre at Eden Court on the evening of Monday 17 March. School bands from Wick Academy, Golspie High School, Fortose Academy, Ardnumurchan, Gairloch and Farr High Schools, Nairn Academy and Charleston Academy in Inverness will all be taking part. The Council's Music Development Officer, Norman Bolton said: "Some of the bands performing are regularly gigging at venues across the Highlands, but for others the Rock Solid showcase will be their first opportunity to play on stage in such a supported environment." Rock Solid starts at 7.30pm and tickets are available now from the Eden Court Box Office on 01463 234234.

East End Boys Club Prize Winners
East End Boys Club held their annual prize-giving at a coffee evening in Mackays Hotel, Wick

East End Web Site


Rannsachadh ùr air a' Ghàidhlig toiseachadh an t-seachdain seo
Thèid rannsachadh mòr a thòiseachadh an t-seachdain seo a bhios coimhead air buaidh na Gàidhlig air fàs eaconomach, is e toirt sùil air àite is inbhe na Gàidhlig, ann am margadh obrach air feadh na h-Alba.
New Gaelic research launched this week
A major study is launched this week on the role of Gaelic in economic growth in Scotland, focusing on its place in the Scottish labour market.

Canisbay Pupils Promote The Recycling Message
As part of a drive to encourage everyone in the Highlands to recycle more of their waste, the Council's Waste Awareness team have recently visited 13 primary schools in the Caithness area to raise awareness of the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle message. At the schools pupils and staff took part in a number of sessions discussing how much waste we all produce and what can be done to minimise and recycle this waste. The sessions all finished off with pupils playing a giant recycling floor game which allowed them to have a bit of fun whilst putting into practice what they had learned during the day. Larger Photo  Canisbay School

Study Aims to Identify How Best to Access Credit in Rural Highlands
A feasibility study has been commissioned to identify how best to provide affordable credit across the Highlands. Working under the umbrella of the Wellbeing Alliance Financial Inclusion Working Group, The Highland Council in partnership with the Albyn Housing Ltd, Highland Opportunity Ltd and Citizen's Advice Scotland has appointed consultants ~ Knowledge Partnership ~ to carry out the study and recommend a way forward.

Couple Set Of On Trip From Caithness To Syria By Boat And Cycle
Local photographer Martina Cross met a Canadian couple who have set out on a five month trip from Caithness to Syria. She said, "This weekend I finally met Colin and Julie Angus, an explorer and adventurer couple from Canada. They did the first human powered world circum navigation and Julie was the first woman to row the Atlantic... some amazing people! I was lucky enough to take the shots for their latest adventure where they are doing a 5 months long human powered trip from the North of Scotland to Syria. They will go there by bike and by rowing boat and they have left this morning from Duncansby Head.  See photos in the forum

Campaign For New Wick High School By Wick High Parents Council
The Wick High Parents Council started their campaign in earnest last week to try to get a new school or major improvements to the school where overall conditions have steadily deteriorated over the last 30 years.  A presentation was made to parents, councillors and an MSP. See Presentation
Thurso and Farr High schools parents councils are similarly campaigning for improvements to their schools

Sunday Papers
We're Kings Of The Castle  - Sunday Mail
The Secrets Of Working Life Behind The Battlements  - HEAD CHEF - KEVIN DALGLEISH

Technology Can Help Open Access to Council Meetings
The Highland Council is to investigate webcasting council meetings, starting with the live transmission of meetings of the Planning Environment and Development Committee that are held at Council Headquarters in Inverness. It is also to establish a protocol for allowing councillors to take part in council meetings by use of video conferencing. Speaking for the Administration, Councillor Drew Hendry, Chairman of the Planning Environment and Development Committee, said the Administration strongly supported webcasting of meetings.

Caithness Breast Friends
BREASTFEEDING mums in Caithness now have new friends to turn to in the difficult first few weeks. Caithness Breast Friends is a voluntary-sector initiative run by mothers for mothers. It is aimed at increasing the number of babies in the county who are getting the health benefits of breast milk. The group is an informal network of experienced breastfeeding mums who are happy to support and encourage new mums in their efforts to breastfeed. This can involve visiting in hospital or at home, or simply chatting over the phone to give the real low-down on how to succeed through the early physical and emotional challenges that may arise when breastfeeding. To help spread the word the group has its own website -

850th Anniversary Of The Death Of Earl Rognvald - Where Did He Die In Caithness?
It is the 850th anniversary of the death of Earl Rognvald this year and Orkney will be holding a number of events, including the Rognvald 850 Conference in September.  It tramspires that the steering committee would like to visit the spot in Caithness where Earl Rognvald fell - but the group do not know whether there was a site marker or anything like that.  Does anyone know if there is marker or where the spot might be found.  Send any details to for sending on to the group.  At a later date we will publish details of the vents in Orkney for anyone interested in attending some of them.

Council Confirms Commitment To Gaelic Plan
The Highland Council has confirmed its Highland-wide policy on bi-lingual road signs. At a full Council meeting on Thursday 6th March 2008, the Council voted in support of an amendment by Councillor Hamish Fraser Chairman of the Council's Gaelic Committee, to support the Council policy as set out in its Gaelic Language Plan. In doing so, the meeting rejected by 36 votes to 29 a notice of motion by 8 Caithness Councillors who wanted their area excluded from the policy stating: "...the blanket roll out of bi-lingual signs in the Highlands should only proceed where there exists significant local demand for such a policy." Councillor Hamish Fraser said: "I am pleased that the Council has confirmed its Highland-wide support for our policy on bi-lingual signage." Highland Council's draft Gaelic Language Plan was adopted by the Council's Gaelic Committee on November 8 2007 and was submitted to Bord na Gaidhlig on October 1 2007, as required by the Gaelic Language Act 2005.

Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine boost troops' morale in Afghanistan
Bushcraft & Survival Skills is the UK's first bushcraft magazine, based in Thurso, Caithness.
They have just received a wonderful letter and footage from 3 troop, 8 Armoured Engineer squadron, 26 regiment, based in Helmand, Afghanistan with 1Royal Anglian Battle Group. SSgt John Francis, received the publication, Bushcraft & Survival Skills Magazine, from his wife, who sends copies of the magazine out regularly to keep up morale. SSgt Francis commented, 'To help keep the lads entertained I thought that I would impress them with my knowledge of bushcraft and try to pass some on to them'. The film shows that it certainly does that, as the troops attempt to make a fire using the fire-saw article written by fire lighting expert, Dave Watson, founder of Woodland Survival School based in Derbyshire.

Portland Arms Hotel Wedding Fayre
Portland Arms Hotel Lybster - Sunday 9th March 12.00 - 4.00pm
A must for anyone planning a wedding. Local businesses will be showcasing all those essentials to make that special day something extra special.

Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., 4th March 2008) Sold 79 Prime Cattle and 2719 Prime Sheep

Pultneytown Conservation AREA
Monday 10thMarch at 7.30 pm in Mackay’s Hotel, Wick - Guest Speaker ANDREW PK WRIGHT OBE BArch RIBA PPRIAS FRSA FSAScot, Chartered Architect
Taking another look at the special qualities of Pulteneytown, Andrew Wright has recently been undertaking the Inventory of Caithness Redundant Buildings for the North Highland Initiative. This is an open public meeting, being held in association with, the Royal Burgh of Wick CC. for all those with an interest in preserving our Heritage and the future management of this outstanding Conservation Area. The meeting will allow our guest speaker who has been having a good look at Pulteneytown to share his views on this special place and perhaps throw some light on the remaining heritage. He will enjoy hearing the specialised information that members of the community may also know.

Employment Training For Voluntary Sector
Caithness Voluntary Group has still some spaces available on an ACAS workshop on 13th March 10.00am-1.30pm, held at Caithness Voluntary group offices, Telford House, Wick. ACAS training is for employers who want to ’get it right’ employing people the workshop will cover written statement of main terms and conditions, why have it, when to produce it and who is entitled, the impact of Working Time regulations, Making changes and the implications. Disciplinary Rules and procedures, What are they? Why have them? The advantage of effective rules and procedures, good practice, Grievance procedure. Drafting Procedures, How to construct procedures, Roles and responsibilities, Applying procedures.

Book Sale At St John's Church, Moray Street, Wick - Saturday 8th March
St. John's Church, Moray Street, Pulteneytown, Wick, is about to hold a bargain-basement version of its popular book sales on Saturday 8th March, doors open 10 am until 3 pm. This results from demand after the great success of the previous sale a few months ago. The booksale, organised as before by Gordon Johnson, will be in the church hall (further up Moray Street from the church building). The booksale prices are extraordinarily cheap, because the extensive stock is all donated. Children's books will be 20p each, adult paperback novels 30p, hardback novels also 30p, and adult factual books at 50p are the cheapest you will find anywhere - and all in good condition. We also expect to have some videos and cds at 50p. each.
The proceeds all go towards the church's building and repair fund, so every bargain for you is also a bonus for the church! We will be laying out the booksale late Friday morning, and additional book donations are welcome on both days.

East End Boys Club Collecting Daily Record Tokens For Football Strips
East end are collecting the football tokens from the Daily Record for new football strips.  If you would like to donate your tokens to the club they can be handed in to Harrold Butchers in High Street
Get along to East End Boys Club Annual Coffee Evening Prize Giving on Friday 7 March 7.30pm - 10.00pm and help boost the funds of this great club for young football players.

Great Expectations At The Mill Theatre, Thurso
Thursday 6th March
Charles Dickens' classic story of love and mystery makes terrific theatre. Pip longs to be a gentleman, but he is haunted by the memory of the mysterious Magwitch. Caught in the web of the reclusive Miss Havisham's desire for revenge against all men, Pip's love for the beautiful Estelle seems to be just another dream. Jo Clifford's beautiful adaptation uses Dickens' own words to create a classic work of modern British theatre.

The Socio-Economic Aspects Of Dounreay Decommissioning (Pdf)
The above paper will be presented to councillors of Highland Council at their meeting on 6th March 2008. This report advises Members of recent developments in relation to the socio-economic aspects of Dounreay decommissioning and seeks approval for the Council’s membership of the Advisory Board. Further progress reports will be brought to the Council on various aspects of the socio economic initiatives.  The report outlines the Highland Council contribution to the Regeneration partnership and several of the initiatives that are being looked at or developed.  Regeneration Index

Scotland’s Rural Past Project - Launches Teachers’ Resource Pack
An exciting heritage project that was established in October 2006 to investigate and document abandoned rural settlements throughout Scotland is about to launch a Teachers’ Resource Pack for use by teachers and pupils throughout Scotland in the Curriculum for Excellence. Scotland’s Rural Past is a project that supports local communities to investigate the remains of long abandoned settlements in their area that often date back hundreds of years. The project encourages members of the public to discover more about historic rural settlements, by learning valuable new techniques and skills in archaeological identification, surveying and recording, to rediscover a sense of place and gain a greater understanding of the changing historic landscape around them. The Teachers’ Resource Pack has been developed after a series of close consultations and training courses with volunteer groups, Young Archaeologists Clubs and schools around the country.

Report of Junior Highland Invitation Badminton Tournament In Caithness - Shetland Times
The annual Junior Highland Invitation badminton tournament was held in Caithness last weekend.

Call to switch off street lights  - BBC
A councillor wants at least half of the street lamps in the Highlands, outwith town and city centres, to be switched off to cut emissions and costs. Robert Coghill said reducing lighting by a minimum of 50% would help reduce the region's carbon footprint, a measure of harmful gases it produces. Highland Council convener Sandy Park ruled out any cut and said the authority was already saving energy...........
Full Highland Council Agenda for 6 March 2008

Caithness Waybaggers February Walk - Ousdale To Berriedale
It was a lovely morning. The temperature was 4° c but it felt warmer as there was no wind. We parked the cars at Badbea and walked ½KM south along the A9 until we picked up the Ousdale burn. This runs down a lovely wooded strath which gradually becomes deeper as it reaches the sea. Once we reached the coast we walked north towards Badbea passing several old crofts before we stopped at the monument at Badbea for lunch. After some hot tea and rolls we set off again. We picked up the old coast road which made walking a lot easier until we finally came in sight of the two towers (sounds like Lord of the Rings) above Berriedale before scrambling down the hill and coming out at the swing bridge at the shore.
The Waybaggers next walk is in March along the Strath of Brora.  Waybaggers Programme of Walks 
Walking Index - More Photos Of Badbea  Berriedale  Ousdale

Royal Dram Is A Winner - Daily Record

Kits For Kids Scottish Gas New Strips Set - Sunday Mail
To Help Lads' Team Beat Their Local Rivals
THEY have bags of talent and team spirit but the boys of Thurso Youth Club FC are lacking just one thing...decent kit. The lads sent out an SOS (Save Our Strips) and started collecting the Sunday Mail's great Kits for Kids tokens. Now they hope they can say ta-ta to tatty tops and stop their star players nipping off to local rivals Thurso Swifts. And the under-11s, who came second in the Caithness league, believe that new kit from the Sunday Mail will help take them to the top of the table.
Thurso Youth Club Daily Record Appeal For Vouchers

Firewalk - Are You Ready For A Life changing Experience - First Time In Caithness
Are you ready to permanently break through life’s obstacles, fears, doubts or beliefs that have been standing in your way? Walk across glowing, red-hot wood embers completely barefooted. Interested in taking part in this sponsored evening event at Thurso High School on 5th April 2008? For more information and sponsor forms contact Dawn on 01847 811505  - - DO IT FOR YOURSELF - - DO IT FOR THE SCOTTISH SPCA

Council and Enterprise Company Help Fund Dunnet Forest Car Park Improvements
Highland Councillors representing the Caithness Wards recently agreed to give £7500 (£2500 from each ward)  to help Dunnet Forestry Trust resurface their car park that was in a very poor state.  Highlands and Islands Enterprise (Caithness and Sutherland) have given £5000 towards the project.....Work will start on Monday 3rd March and will take about three weeks to complete. Car Park Closed For Three Weeks Walkers are asked to use the alternative car parking at the beach car park. "We are sorry for any inconvenience, but it is necessary in the interest of public safety, and we are sure you will appreciate the improvements once complete." The work will be carried out by Holt Drainage from Scrabster.

Front Page Headlines Archive Index From 2000 Onwards