Take The Family To Noss Head On Saturday For A Medieval Treat - Sat 1 August
Noss Head
12.00 (Noon) - 4.00pm
Free Parking

What's On At Noss
Drama Production
"Writing On The Wall" involving local youngsters. The play will move from Noss enacting four scenes on the way to Girnigoe Castle.  Tours of the Castle to see what stage they have reached. Pig on a spit. Battle Scar Renenactment Group playing out scenes of medieval skulduggery. Period Games ongoing all afternoon, face painting, stalls and much more.  Learn about some Caithness history in this fun afternoon at Noss and Girnigoe.

Tonight At Mackays Hotel - A chance To See A Production Before It Hits The Edinburgh Festival
North Highland Connections Presents A Variety of Music And Drama
The Deep at Wick and Tain - 8.00pm
North Highland Connections presents "The Deep" at Wick and Tain
July 31st at Wick and August 1st at Tain - Both at 8.00pm Mackay's Hotel in Wick on the 31st July and at the Collegiate Church in Tain on 1st August.
One of Scotland's most outstanding Shakespearean actors is returning to the North at the end of July. Liam Brennan, who has played Macbeth in nine different productions from the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh to the Nottingham Playhouse and has toured America with the Globe Theatre, is coming to Wick and Tain at the end of July in 'The Deep' by Icelandic writer Jon Atli Jonasson.


Surprise Judge Simon Cowell Brings House Down At Wick Gala Camps Bar Karaoke Night

Camps Bar in Wick was packed out last night for the first ever wick Gala Karaoke Competition.  David Steven had offered prize money of �100 to the winner, �50 second and �30 third.  A big entry kept the judges busy all evening weeding them out until they had final with finalists.  the winner was ecstatic as were his many supporters as the place exploded with cheers at around midnight.  Plenty of laughs were had when it was announced that Simon Cowell was to present the prizes along with David Steven.  The night was so successful that the bar have announced the competition will be run at every gala from now on.

Caithness Loyal Rangers Supporters Club: Next Bus
Saturday 15th August to Falkirk at Ibrox. Bus leaves Wick 0430; Castletown 0450; Thurso 0500 and Halkirk 0510. Cost for Bus and Ticket: Non Member - Adult �60, U16 �45; Members - Adult �55, U16 �40
Contact Alan Mowat on 01847 821059 or [email protected] to book seat or for further details.

Wick Gala 2009 - See Who Joined In With The Beach Float
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Wick Gala 2009 - Pairs Bowls Competition
The Wick Gala 2009 Pairs Bowling competition was held at the Rosebank Bowling Green and sponsored by the Francis Street Club. Francis Street Club chairman, John Malcolm (second left) is seen congratulating the winning team from St Fergus of Alex Thomson (third left) and Colin Macintosh (second right) along with runners up Jim McWhirr (left) and Frank Ross (right) of Rosebank.


Halkirk Highland Games - Still More To Come in Next few Days - Start Here For All the Photos
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WATERFRONT FRIDAY 31st JULY 8:00 -11:00pm
13 years upwards ENTRY �3:50
Bands Polarus Ultraviolet Pilot, the Chicken Pickers, Private Investigations

Wick Gala 2009 - Gymkhana At Riverside
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Wick Gala 2009 - Cycle Races At Riverside
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Halkirk Highland Games 2009
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Highland Dragonfly Is Top Of The Ponds
A dragonfly in Highland has reached new heights as it was discovered breeding in a pond at 830 metres above sea level, a UK record, below the summit of Tom a�Choinich just north of Loch Affric. A female of the dragonfly in question, a Common Hawker, was seen egg laying at the pond and on further investigation a larva was found along with an adult that had just emerged that morning. The previous highest recorded dragonfly breeding in Scotland was at 650 metres.

 A Jig At Halkirk Highland Games Last Saturday

The Highlanders Pipes and Drums At Halkirk Highland Games 2009

Get Your Team Entered For Its A Knockout In Thurso
Thurso Town Improvements are once again running their popular Its A Knockout competition as part of Gala Week on Sunday 2nd August.  Adults and Kids teams can enter so get your friends of work colleagues together and enter a team. Its all very safe with an inflatable course and sumo suits to bounce around in - great fun for participants and spectators.  You might even win �100 for your favourite charity.

Work Begins On Sensory Garden At Thor House, Thurso
Members and Friends of Thor House in Thurso have started work to create a new sensory garden that can be enjoyed by both respite and day care visitors to the centre. In the first stage of work climbers and creepers have been planted around the wooden fenced border that encloses the garden. Care has been taken to select wildlife friendly plants which, when established, will both look and smell good and provide cover for nesting birds. It is hoped that the plants will also attract bees, butterflies and moths for people to watch and enjoy. There are further plans to build raised beds, provide seating and grow many more herbs and plants. The project is being grant aided by CSV Action Earth and supported by Morrison's Supermarkets. Help in kind is been given by The Highland Council's Countryside Rangers.

Halkirk Highland Games 2009
Around 4000 people attended the games on Saturday.
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Wick Zip Slide Photos - thanks To A T H Ross

Wick Gala 2009
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Wick Lifeboat Now A New Pontoon

Wick Lifeboat - Roy Barker11 now has a much easier and safer way to get on and off the boat now that a new pontoon has been installed at Wick Harbour.  This pontoon is separate from the recently installed marina further along in the main harbour.  It certainly adds to the modernisation that is now underway in Wick Harbour.

Scottish Country Dancing Group - The Place To Get Fit And Learn the Dances
Every Wednesday Evening from 16th September

Dates for the coming season are now in the What's On so why not think about getting fitter, having fun and a night out for only �2. Members of the Thurso Scottish Country Dance Club meet to dance reels, jigs and strathspeys, some old, some new. The emphasis is on friendly informality. You don't have to know the dances, since each dance is walked through beforehand. Visitors and new members are always welcome. Contact Alan Wilcock for more details - tel 01847-821341

A team of highly experienced archaeologists from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) are coming to Caithness in September to run a free archaeological training course as part of the Scotland's Rural Past nationwide project. They are calling for local people to sign up and get involved...............the SRP team are working with local people to develop new initiatives to record and preserve the unique rural heritage of Caithness. On 4 and 5 September 2009, SRP is offering a two-day training course near Thurso focusing on archaeological survey and recording techniques. The course is free and open to anyone interested in researching rural history. No experience is necessary,........

New Caithness Broch Centre OPEN DAY - SAT 25 JULY ~ 10.30 am to 4.30pm
Come and see the magnificent new displays and National Museum artefacts in the newly opened centre.
Activities (Approx times)
10.30am Introduction to the exhibits by Dr Andy Heald
11.15am Guided tour to Nybster Broch with Andy
All day Children�s Activities
All day Treasure Hunt
2 to 4pm Ranger Activities
ADMISSION FREE (Donations Welcome)
Location: Auckengill, 2 kms. N of Keiss, en route to John O� Groats - See Map
Open Mon to Sat 10.30am to 4.30pm

A Sinclair Odyssey
27th-31st July, daily, 10.30-12.30pm, Caithness Horizons (Thurso) - A few places left
Iain MacDonald of Eden Court will be running these drama workshops for children aged 9 and above to create a piece of theatre for the Gathering on August 1st. The workshops will be free but places are strictly limited, so early booking is recommended. Bookings will be taken at Lyth Arts Centre by telephone or email, and at Caithness Horizons front desk.


The Gathering - An Cruinneachadh
Saturday 1st August, 12-4pm, Noss Head Lighthouse, Wick
Step back in time and discover life in the 1600's. What did people wear and eat? Find out about the battles, brawls and brighter days. Have a go at catching your dinner with a bow and arrow and see a criminal caught in the stocks. Take a tour of the spectacular Sinclair Girnigoe Castle and discover its secrets. A day for all the family with plenty to see, hear and do.

North Highland Connections Presents A Variety of Music And Drama
The Deep at Wick and Tain
North Highland Connections presents "The Deep" at Wick and Tain
July 31st at Wick and August 1st at Tain - Both at 8.00pm Mackay's Hotel in Wick on the 31st July and at the Collegiate Church in Tain on 1st August.
One of Scotland's most outstanding Shakespearean actors is returning to the North at the end of July. Liam Brennan, who has played Macbeth in nine different productions from the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh to the Nottingham Playhouse and has toured America with the Globe Theatre, is coming to Wick and Tain at the end of July in 'The Deep' by Icelandic writer Jon Atli Jonasson.

Traditional Scottish Music At the New Mey Hall
North Highland Connections presents Traditional Scottish Music at the New Mey Hall - Monday, 3rd August, at the Mey Village Hall
Following the formal opening of the fine new Village Hall at Mey by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, on Sunday, 2nd August, the first public concert will take place on the following day. Scottish Traditional Music will be performed by three gifted young musicians, all alumni of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama. The concert is presented by North Highland Connections, the cultural arm of Prince Charles's North Highland Initiative.

Develop Music Skills With "Variations" At Ullapool
"Variations" at Ullapool
At the Macphail Centre, Ullapool
1st - 8th August, at the Macphail Centre, Ullapool, the established VARIATIONS Summer school for amateur chamber musicians. North Highland Connections will this year be partners in this venture. Participants may play, learn and develop skills under the guidance of professional musicians, Edinburgh Quartet and Joanna Shaw(flute). All ages and levels welcome. The concerts will take place at 7:30pm. Since Dornoch Cathedral has no public performance license we are unable to charge for admission. We invite generous donations! For consistency we will also have admission by donation at Thurso.

Young Artistes Series At Dornoch And Thurso
Young Artistes Series at Dornoch and Thurso
Saturday29th August at Dornoch Cathedral and Sunday, 30th August, at the High School, Thurso Starts 7.30pm
On Saturday, 29th August, at Dornoch Cathedral, and Sunday, 30th August, at the High School, Thurso, we present a further concert in our 'Young Artistes' series. Matthew Fields (violin) will perform with his father, Robert Fields (piano). Matthew is a student at the St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh. His home is at  Brough, near Dunnet.

Oxford Schola Cantorum At Tain
North Highland Connections presents Oxford Schola Cantorum at Tain Friday, 18th September at the Collegiate Church (St. Duthus) in Tain
On Friday, 18th September there will be a performance by the celebrated Oxford chamber choir, Schola Cantorum, in the appropriate and inspiring setting of the Collegiate Church (St Duthus) in Tain. The visit is part of a 50th Anniversary UK tour by the choir. Do not miss the only appearance in the Highlands! Music by composers with links to Oxford, including Taverner, Sheppard, Parry, Walton and more recent works by Francis Grier, Roderick Williams and Tarik O'Regan, as well as music with connections to the areas they visit.

One Week Course - A Great Chance To Gain Training In A Number Of Areas
Pulteneytown People's Project are offering the chance to gain experience in a range of topics in a one week course covering Health and Safety at Work Level 1 Certificate, Manual Handling and Hand and Power Tool Safety. Contact Tracey or Julie on 01955 606950 for more details and to book.  There are a limited number of spaces on the course.

UK debt �will lead to drastic cuts� - Press & Journal
Liberal Democrat business spokesman John Thurso said: �It is now clear that there will have to be savage cuts in spending and further increases in tax whoever wins the next election.�......

Goodman launches space base at Harwell - Property
Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Science and Innovation, has today unveiled plans to establish a European Space Agency (ESA) facility at Goodman�s Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, in Oxfordshire. The facility which Goodman is developing in a joint venture with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) will be a first for the UK......

Community Energy Conference 2009
The first Community Energy Conference in Scotland takes place in Stirling University on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th August.  For more information about Community Energy Scotland check out their web site. More and more groups running halls and facilities are getting grants to help install new heating systems and using alternative energy to reduce their running costs. 

Halkirk Highland Games - Saturday 25th July  - March Begins at 12.00 Noon
On Saturday the biggest Highland Games in the far north takes place once again.  Halkirk Games started in 1886 and attracts some of the best heavy athletes.  Prize Money is also one of the best of any of the games.  For most folk it is a day out relaxing while the athletes - heavies, runners, cyclists and also Highland dancers do their stuff.  A piping competition and Pipe band provide entertainment at various points in the afternoon and a variety of stalls sell their wares.  Children's races let the young ones join in and the baby show always attracts a high entry.  Photos of earlier games - 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004

Calling All Football Coaches - Scottish Football Association In-Service - Saturday 25 July
SFA North Regional Manager Graeme Sutherland and Football Development Officer for the Highlands & Islands Peter Budge will be delivering coaching theme's with Caithness Utd U -15's.
This is an opportunity for all coaches at any level of the game to come along and hopefully pick up a few new coaching drills or practices. This session will be available to managers, coaches� helpers, parents and anyone else who is involved in the game. You may not even actually be working with a team or club but you are more than welcome to come along. The SFA see it as an important part of developing coaches and the game across the North of Scotland. To register your name please contact Gail, HFA on 01349863399 or if its at late notice please just turn up on the day.
We look forward to seeing there.

Highland Independent Museums Meet National Standards
Months of hard work have paid off for seven Highland independent museums. Dunbeath Heritage Centre, Timespan (Helmsdale), Groam House Museum (Rosemarkie), Ullapool Museum, Grantown Museum, Gairloch Heritage Museum and the Museum of the Isles on Skye have all achieved museum accreditation, meeting the set of national standards for UK museums. Gaining accreditation ensures that the museums are well managed and working to the highest standards. This includes behind the scenes work in caring and documenting objects and exhibitions, visitor services and working with schools and community groups. To achieve accreditation, museums must meet published requirements in how they care for and document their collections; how they are governed and managed, and on the information and services they offer to their users.

Triathlon joy as Shetland win first ever inter-county contest - The Shetland Times

Top Of Dunnet Head Lighthouse
This link takes you to a nice photo of the top of Dunnet Head Lighthouse.  From there you can find links to lots of lighthouse photos from all over the UK.

NDA makes �183m in savings - Whitehaven News

Wind farms are an essential part of our green vision for future energy supply - Scotsman
The above is the title of a letter from Tom Pottinger, a director of Baillie Wind Farm, Westfild, Thurso published in today's Scotsman newspaper.

Another Blogger With A Caithness Connection
The Green Isle of the Great Deep
In addition to an interesting and regular blog by Calum Davidson check out the great photos at his Flickr site

Mob forced Wick police to call for Highland-wide back-up - Press & Journal


When the hearse carrying Duncan MacLeod on his final journey from Wick to historic Canisbay Kirk made a detour via the roundabout now marking the �End of the Road�, in front of the derelict shell of the now-closed John O�Groats House Hotel, this was entirely appropriate. For genial Hebridean Duncan, who passed away after a short illness in Caithness General Hospital at the age of 73 on June 30th, 2009, knew it in happier times. He had a substantial impact on the John O�Groats community during and after his decade-long spell as �mine host� in the House Hotel with its famous octagonal tower; then an iconic building for Caithnessians world-wide...........

Wick Academy V Halkirk United - Nutel North Of Scotland Cup
This coming Friday 24 July sees Halkirk united play Wick Academy in their first game in the Nutel cup at Harmsworth Park, Wick.  Kick off is at 8.00pm.

Note change of DATE
The game was originally scheduled for Sat 25th July but due to the Halkirk Highland games being on that day has been switched to Wick on Friday 24th 8pm

Want to take part? Then grab your binoculars and head for the coast! Local Sea Watch site: Strathy Point - Saturday 25th July. 10am.
Meet at Strathy Point car park. Grid reference NC 827687
Very weather dependent!  Contact: Paul Castle. Highland Council Countryside Ranger 01641 521884 [email protected]  For more details and a species guide:

Rare Mole Cricket Found In Wick
The forum members in the biodiversity section did not take long to discover that what was at first thought to be an earwig turns out to be a rare Mole Cricket.  On of the forum members contacted the Natural History museum in London and it has been confirmed that it is Mole Cricket although there are no known colonies in the UK.  Specimens are often thought to come in on pot plants.  So keep your eyes peeled and post any photos if you find one lurking in your garden.  That earwig may just be a Mole Cricket.

New Plant Discovered In Caithness - The Marsh Stitchwort
Taraxacum  - one of the forum members in the Biodiversity section reports "a colony of Marsh Stitchwort (Stellaria palustris) at the south end of Loch Calder in the marshy bit where the old road used to be."



MS Therapy Centre At Wick Offers Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
Did you know that Wick has for many years had a Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber available to sufferers of MS and a range of other conditions that in many cases might benefit from its use.  The MS Therapy Centre also known as the Friends of ARMS based at the Braehead has the unit.  It is available on weekdays for sessions and many folk say they benefit from sessions in the chamber.  The group are a registered charity, fully insured and raise funds to pay for the service and running costs are around �9000 per annum.  Usage has fallen off in recent years and the present members wonder if there has been a lack of publicity that fewer younger people may not be aware of the centre and what it does.  If you suffer from MS or certain other conditions and are interested and want to find out more then contact the group - phone numbers are on the page inside.  If you would like to join the committee to help them also get in touch.  A meeting room is available for hire to groups or businesses - rates are cheap and the view is great and it helps the funds to run the centre.

Busy Weekend - James Gunn's Photography Blog
Caithness Festival Of Cycling - County Show Horse - Halkirk V Avoch

Latest Paper Boats At Joanne Kaar's Mary Ann's Cottage Paper Boat Blog

Joanne Kaar's Blog aims to raise funds for Mary Ann's Cottage and in the process is becoming something of an international phenomena.  With boats coming in from all over the world from artists, schools and members of the public.  The latest two from Tatiana Serrano - Ecuador and Judy Wise - USA.  You have until 10th August to send in your paper boat.  All boats will be displayed at Caithness Horizons where a silent auction for all of the boats will raise funds for the cottage.  On Wednesday 22 the project may get a mention on TV in New Zealand when Lynn Taylor who has been co-operating with Joanne is interviewed about her work as an artist.

Caithness County Show 2009
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 A Few Of The Vintage Tractors At Caithness County Show 2009

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Caithness County Show 2009
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Ormlie's Got Talent
Earlier this month the Ormlie Drama Group along with some members of Thurso Junior Players staged a very professional show at The Mill Theatre which included elements of comedy, dance, singing and storytelling. The Ormlie group is led by Donna Swanson assisted by Jacqueline Keith who is the Young Peoples Worker for Ormlie Community Association. The young people were also involved in the production and put in a tremendous amount of effort to get the show on the road! Donna has been working with the Ormlie Drama Group for some time now and has built up an excellent rapport with the young people encouraging them to use their imagination and creativity in ways that has increased their self confidence and performing skills.

Keiss Mini Gala 2009 - Friday 14th - Sunday 16th August
Keiss has launched its programme for the Keiss Mini Gala 2009 that covers the whole weekend and is packed with events.

School Days Photos
Keiss 1947                        Wick High 1958          Keiss - Year Unknown

Keiss 1952                   Wick High - Year Unknown
Photos sent by Lesley Clark daughter of Jessie Taylor.

Keiss School Days Index

Main School Days Index for other local schools

Royal Mail Services Running Normally In the North Of Scotland Today
Strikes in some parts of the country by Royal Mail staff do not affect most places outside London and Edinburgh A few other parts of Scotland are affected and the places can be found on the web site - linked above.  there is no indication of any disruption to services in Highland.  Postal workers went on strike in some areas on 19th June with other sporadic action on other days in different areas and it looks as if there will be further industrial action in the sector even though the government has shelved plans for privatisation.
Postal staff stage 24 hour strike - BBC
Post strike over job and pay cuts - BBC Scotland

Wide ranging children�s Summer Holiday Programme taking place in North Sutherland
Alongside Gala weekend, the young people of North Sutherland are set to benefit from a great deal of activity during their summer holidays. Free swimming sessions are taking place at North Coast Leisure Centre every Tuesday throughout the holidays (for those aged 8 years upwards from 10am-12 noon), additionally a variety of outdoor activities courtesy of Highland Ranger Services for all ages; and Highland Libraries are running a Bookstart Rhyme-time for babies and toddlers on 7th Aug and this is just for starters! From Monday 3rd to Friday 7th August the Active Schools Programme kicks off involving a variety of exciting activities taking place all over the north Sutherland area. Not only this, but when you find that most events are free or are run at a minimal charge to participants � this is positively wonderful news! Activities that your children can get involved in this summer (age-dependent) range from Rugby, Football, Basketball and Hockey sessions, plus trips to the horse-riding centre at Torrisdale and golf coaching at Reay Golf Club. Arts and Crafts activities include T-shirt printing, drama sessions and creating your very own puppet. For the full programme and a booking form go to and click on Farr. Booking forms also available from the Telecentre in Bettyhill. Completed forms to Farr High School or the Telecentre for the attention of Sean Wyllie, Active Schools Co-ordinator.

Dj�pid (The Deep) by Jon Atli Jonasson - A New Play Coming To Caithness
Mackay's Hotel, Wick - Friday 31st July 8pm
Your chance to catch this new play before it hits the Fringe in Edinburgh 6th - 31st August.

168th Caithness County Show - 2009 - Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 2009 at Wick.
More entries in almost all categories this year will make for one of the biggest shows for a number of years.
2008                            2007                               2006                              2005

2004  2003

What To Do and Where To Go In Caithness In July August
There is plenty to choose from for children and adults this summer in Caithness so mark your calendar and head for a few activities this summer.  If you are running an event whether in the voluntary sector or a business add it to the Whats On HERE - It's easy, effective and FREE.  Items entered in the main calendar for today's date automatically appear on this page daily just after midnight in the left column.

Strawbs And Spuds - Beating The Recession In the Garden
A Few Thoughts On Growing Your Own Fruit And Veg

The main crops in the garden are strawberries and potatoes.  Bill left off gardening for a few years due to pressures of time but last year began to dig over bits of the garden to get some badly need exercise and save a few pounds on the food bill as energy costs in the house began to soar - especially the heating oil price.  Cutting the grass was usually the only exercise but that supplies nothing for the table so getting the tattie patch back to work last year has paid off.  This year at least 50 kilos of spuds should easily be lifted over the coming months - perhaps more with a few strays left here and there from last year.  Even using some of the pink fir apples from last year in a short row will probably produce a few for the table.  A few spuds and strawberries in pots and tubs will provide more.  Other veg such as swedes, peas, carrots and lettuces will save a few additional pounds.  Possibly a few less miles of travel to the table will help the carbon targets but mainly it will keep money in your pocket to grow some of your own food.  Why nip to Tesco or the Co-op when you can step out with a fork and a bowl for strawbs and spuds.  If you do not already get digging for next year and save money - tastes better too. Then you can get back to cutting that grass or sit back and watch the weeds add to your biodiversity garden......  Bill's wife Maggie takes care of all the strawbs while Bill does the tatties......Thought For The Day..."How many weeds are edible?  And for north gardeners Strawberries and Potatoes do really well in Caithness.  Bill wanders off humming "Gotta Pick A Strawb Or Two For Tea"......

Caithness Broch Centre Opens Saturday 25th July
150 Items Returned On Loan From National Museum of Scotland In Edinburgh
The Caithness Broch Centre opens to the public on Saturday 25 July with a day of activities and talks. The centre, based in Auckengill Old School, takes over where the Northlands Viking Centre left off some three years ago. The new facility, collaboration between Caithness Archaeological Trust, National Museums Scotland and The Highland Council, will celebrate the extraordinarily rich archaeology landscape of Caithness. The Caithness Broch Centre, Ionad Bhroch Ghallaibh is home to an ambitious and innovative display that presents a new story of the prehistory of the north coast of Caithness during the time of the brochs. It has three main narratives: the nineteenth century community who first excavated the brochs; the community who lived in the area two thousand years ago; and the community who now work and live with the brochs..........

Many More Reasons To Come To Caithness - Check Out Jamie Buchanan's Latest Photos

Loch Calder, Old Track at Dirlot and Thurso Bay are just three of Jamie Buchanan's superb photo's adding at the rate of one a day for 2009 now standing at 195.  Get a cup of coffee, relax and hit the Slide Show button Wish you were here?

Halkirk V Thurso Swifts - James Gunn Photography Blogspot
Halkirk beat Thurso Swifts 1 - 0.  Michael Bremner scored the only goal late in the game (see above). With half of his team missing, Neillie MacKay had to use his full squad to muster a scratch team against the unbeaten league leaders. The result blows the league wide open and gives the "Wildcats" a great boost for their Highland Amateur cup replay against former HA Cup winners Avoch, this Saturday (3pm in Halkirk). Castletown await the winners for a place in the final.

Locals losing patience with Groats revamp - Press & Journal

Paper Boats Still Sailing In To Mary Ann's Cottage
This unique Caithness fund-raiser continues to flourish with new boats arriving regularly.  The latest on show is not paper but a knitted boat based on a Caithness Gansey pattern. All the boats sent in will be on show at Caithness Horizons in Thurso 5th  - 24th September.  You still have time to send in a boat but they should all be in by 10 August 2009. All money from sale of boats will go to the Caithness Heritage Trust to help keep Mary-Ann's cottage open for future generations.  So if you would like to add to this amazing collection of paper boats and get it exhibited get folding, painting, colouring your ideas. Other Bloggers joining in are Home in the Highlands with a sneak preview before she send her boats to Joanne Kaar who set the project going.

Great Caithness Photos From Ian Cowe
Ian Cowe has some great photos of Caithness set up as a slideshow.  For all of his other photos Click HERE Forum/Message Boards Breaking Records
Just over a week ago on 7th July at 5.32pm the largest number of forum users online at the same time reached 892.  Between 1st and 13th July there were 80,262 visits to the forum and these visitors looked at  over one million pages - 1,005,073 pages to be exact.  Over 28 million page views have been recorded in the forum in the past 12 months up to 13th July ( hit rate for the forum of 145,406,871 in 12 months).  New items are added almost every hour of the day and night with currently Threads: 40,776, Posts: 472,774 as at 11.30pm today. The classified ads, car sales are very busy and the job ads (free to employers) continue to grow with record numbers of jobs now showing.

Wick Gala Week Programme 25 July - 1 August   Thurso Gala Week Programme 1st - 9th August
Thurso Gala 1953 - A Short Film
Thurso Gala 2006 - Speeches  Thurso Gala 2006 - Queen and Court  The Floats 2006
Many events on in Wick and Thurso Gala Weeks - See What's On July and August
Caithness County Show 2009 Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 2009 at Wick.
Biggest Highland Games in the North - Halkirk Highland Games - Saturday 25 July

Have You Taken Up the Zip Slide Challenge? - 25th July Over The Wick River - Spectacular!!!
Remember the 2009 Wick Gala Week For Your Flight Over Wick River and Raise Vital Funds For the Children's Cancer Charity "CLIC Sargent"
CLIC Sargent the children's cancer charity are gearing up to run an exciting adrenalin event to help raise funds.  Johnson Controls based at Dounreay have agreed to help with the construction of a 3- 40 foot tower on ground near Wick Police Station.  From the platform a 160 foot slide will be put in place for an amazing "adrenalin rush" as participant whiz 160 metres to another receiving platform between the boating shed and the Coghill footbridge over the river. As part of Gala Week other events on at the same time will include many stalls and the fair in the afternoon, horse and donkey rides. Joy from Shelligoe Archery will be giving archery lessons and we hope to have musicians there and any other groups who will give the whole day a bit of atmosphere and family fun. Participants need to be 16 or over and weigh less than 18 stones.  Fancy dress encouraged..  No experience or strength is need and very experienced team will be in charge on the day. �20 to register and raise a minimum of �80 in sponsorship.  If you have abseiled the Wick Hospital Chimney then have go whizzing over Wick river on the Zipslide on Saturday 25th July.
Complete A Registration Form and Send It In
Go on you know you always wanted to slide fast over the Wick River..........

Children�s nature detectives - Children�s holiday events at Wick river
All events run from 11 am till 12.30 pm, and will start at the boating shed by Somerfield car park. Suitable for all ages, but under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. All events are free, but we welcome any donations!! For more info, please contact: [email protected] 01955 607758
Thursday 16th July - Big Chief tells little stories - Meet Chief �hehoehasawarptmind�, who will take you on a journey along the river to tell you little stories about nature.
Thursday 23rd July - The last tree in the forest - Come along with the old forester who will tell you how two little kids saved the forest.
Thursday 30th July - Selkies and water horses - Follow �Tam O� Shanter� as he travels through a magic land full of fairies and other creatures.

Theatre Modo seek creative team for Caithness community project
Theatre Modo has been commissioned to create a large scale community project in Caithness. The project will take the form of a processional show in Wick on 11th September. We are looking for a team of workshop leaders, props and costume makers and crew with detailed knowledge and skills in youth and community work, and with experience of outdoor performances. The project will run from 17th August � 12th September.  These jobs are being created by the same theatre group that brought Assipattle to the streets of Wick in 2003.  Get ready for something interesting.........Apart from these short-term jobs take look at the Jobs section at the moment as there is a big variety on offer right now in Caithness.

Thurso Heritage Society Needs Your Help To Secure Grant Aid To Restore Old St Peter's Church
Thurso Heritage Society is a registered charity (SC015758). The Society was formed in order to preserve and promote the character, history and traditions of the county of Caithness in general and the town of Thurso in particular. Thurso Heritage Society needs your help as it will be applying for grant aid to raise funds to restore and interpret Old St. Peter�s Church. As part of its fundraising campaign the Society needs to gather letters of support from the local community and visitors to the area so please complete and return the letter of support.  Download the form or write your own letter and send it to Mrs Isobel Corner, Honorary Secretary of Thurso Heritage Society, Morven, Olrig Street, Thurso, KW14 7JA or Caithness Horizons, Old Town Hall, High Street, Thurso, KW14 8AJ.  You can also join the society and make a donation but that is not essential.  The main thing is to take couple of minutes and post a letter of support for the restoration of this important Caithness building - a gem in Thurso and rarely open to the public.  Let's see if we can help Thurso Heritage Association change that.........
Take A Look At The Church

Did You Know Highland Council Has an Income Maximisation Team?  Do You Need Help?
In these recession times Highland Council is aware that some people may need help in claiming benefits they are entitled to.  The council has always assisted certain groups of people to claim their benefits.  Recently they have increased the scale of help available and have produced a handy guide "An Essential Guide to Benefits and Money Advice"  It is not comprehensive but covers many of the commonly used benefits and anyone can contact the team for assistance. Paper copies are also available at service points.
Will you be 60 Years of age by 21st - 27th September? Then you are eligible for Winter Fuel Payments Claims made by 25 September will be paid before Christmas and all claims for 2009/10 must be received before 30th March 2010. 
What else is the council doing to alleviate the affects of Recession for the Highland Community.  Here are some examples - Progressing Employability Services - Trainees and Apprentices In The Council - Caithness Partnership March Funding For LEADER Programme - Supporting People Into Work - Looking Into Setting Up A Pan Highland Credit Union - New Council Offices For Wick - Extra Support For Welfare Rights and Money Advice Services - other actions were contained in the Council Response to the Economic Downturn In June 2009 and March 2009

Mey move threatens Dunbia jobs -
More than 20 jobs are expected to go in the meat trade in Scotland after Dunbia (Dornoch) lost  a major contract. The company has lost a beef boning and packaging contract to North Highlands Products of Caithness, which produces the Mey Selections brand..........

Witnesses Sought For Serious Crash
About 0800 hours on Monday 13h July 2009 a two vehicle road crash occurred on the A836 Thurso / Castletown road at Lady Janets wood, Thurso . The collision involved a blue motorcar and a motorcycle. As a result the rider of the motorcycle received serious injuries and has been transferred to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness where he is under going treatment. The carriageway was fully reopened at 1100 hours same date. It requested that anyone who may have witnessed this collision contact Thurso police station.

James Bremner Plaque Unveiled At Keiss
Councillor David Bremner unveiled a plaque at Keiss Harbour for James Bremner (1784 - 1856).  James Bremner who was born at Stain near Keiss and became one of the country's great engineers.  He was a boat builder, constructor of harbours and in his day gained great fame for his work in lifting wrecks that everyone else though impossible to raise.  (See chapter 15 of the History of Caithness by J T Calder A memorial to James Bremner sits overlooking Wick Bay

Fleet Leaving Wick Harbour At End Of The HarbourFest

Thrumster Mini Gala
1 - 12                         13 - 24                  25 - 36                          37 - 44

Caithness County Show 2009
Friday 17th and Saturday 18th July 2009 - Returns to Wick once again.

Latheron Show 2009
121 - 132                         133 - 135

109 - 120

Fancy Dress Night  - End Of Wick Pipe Band Week 2009 

Latheron Show 2009
73 - 84                        85 - 96                                   97 - 108

Horse Jumping At Latheron Show 2009

Adventure At Sea Departing From Wick With Alba Endeavour

The Alba Endeavour was moored at Wick harbour today as a new crew of folk were coming aboard for a n adventure at sea.  Normally the vessel which is one of three owned by Ocean Youth Trust Scotland sails with young people aged 12 - 24.  This trip they are setting off with adults as part of a fund-raiser to help subsidise later trips for young people.  The fast yachts owned by the trust were built as world ocean racing yachts and have excellent specifications as well as speed.  The trips offer the chance to develop sea and life skills for young people.  To date very few young people have been among the crews on board but there are moves to change this in the future and we may see trips leaving Wick with Caithness youngster aboard.  To find out more about the trust and the trips got the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland web site

Latheron Show 2009
37 - 48                       49 - 60                       61 - 72

Turnouts At The Latheron Show 2009 

Latheron Show 2009
1 - 12                                         13 - 24                                 25 - 36

Police Notices
Bogus Phone Calls
Vandalism At Wick Harbour
Assault - Ashley Court, Wick

Gardens Galore In the North Open To The Public This Month
Dunbeath Castle Garden - Sunday 12 July 2.00 - 5.00pm
Castle Of Mey Gardens - Thursday 16 July - 10.00am - 5.00pm
Sandside House Gardens - Sunday 26 July 2.00 - 5.00pm
Amat, Ardgay - 18th and 19th July - 2.00 - 5.00pm
House of Tongue, Tongue - 25 July - 2.00 - 6.00pm
For other Scottish Gardens open days see Scotland's Gardens Scheme

Ian Scott - Life and Art
As part of Science 03's Homecoming Events we are pleased to welcome Caithnessian Ian C Scott who will give a talk in Lyth Arts Centre on the 19th of July at 8pm. He will discuss how growing up and living in Caithness influenced his art. Entrance is free but due to limited seating booking is recommended via Lyth Arts Centre on 01955 641 270 or
See some of Ian Scott's paintings Here   At Wick in 2001 Here  Sept 2001 Here
The artist at Wick Youth Club 2004

Johnston Revisited St Fergus Gallery, Wick Library
The Wick Society have put together an extraordinary exhibition of some fifty images from the Johnston Collection, now showing in the St Fergus Gallery, Wick. The images were printed on a new large format A1 printer obtained recently by the Wick Society with grant aid from Awards for All and the Highland Council Culture Fund. The original photographic plates were made by three generations of the Johnston family between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibition opened with a private viewing for Wick Society members and friends and other guests on Friday July 3rd. After introductory remarks by Wick Society Chairman Donald Sinclair, the exhibition was formally declared open by Highland Councillor, Bill Fernie. Over one hundred guests attended to view the fifty images displayed.......
Exhibition runs until August 1st. Opening hours Mon, Tues, Thurs 1 to 5pm; Fri 1 to 8pm; Sat 10am to 1pm. Admission is Free

Flood Worries Subside Thanks To Castletown Sewer System
Properties in the Caithness village of Castletown that have experienced flooding in recent years are benefiting from the completion of a �136,000 Scottish Water project to upgrade the local sewer system. An investigation showed that a section of pipe under Main Street struggled to cope during downpours of heavy rain, causing water and sewage to back up and flood nearby properties. Work started at the end of April to replace the sewer with larger pipes to enable the system to cope better. The project is part of Scottish Water's 2010 Vision for the Highlands, the �200million campaign of improvements across the region. By 2010 Scottish Water expects to have invested around �20million in Caithness & Sutherland since 2006, while the average household water bill remains below �1 a day. People can find out more at

Caithness Businesses Staging "The Wedding Show" For Laurandy
Despite these recession times Caithness businesses are banding together to put on one of the biggest Wedding Shows ever seen in the county.
The Wedding Show will be a chance for everyone getting married in the next cxouple of years to see what is on offer locally. Everything from flower arrangements to wedding clothes, transport to stationery. The show will start with a Bridal Catwalk Show believed to be the first in the county. The Catwalk Show will last for 30 minutes...........The organisers think the event will have a much wider appeal as a show in itself and with all the proceeds of the event going to the local charity "Laurandy Centre" who do so much for elderly people providing vital services. The Wedding Show takes place on Wednesday 2nd September at 7.30pm in the Waterfront with tickets costing �5.

Summer Activity 2009 - At Caithness Horizons
The weather might have turned cooler this week, but there's plenty to do at Caithness Horizons, Thurso during the summer months. Whether it's watching the sky, painting a picture or treading the boards, the message at the new Thurso museum is: Heritage is definitely huge fun.
Astro-Art Exhibition - 1st - 19th July
Astronomy slideshow 'Eyes on the Skies' film screened daily 2-3pm - FREE
Astronomy Fun - Drop-in session for all the family - Wed. 15th and Fri. 17th July, 2.00 - 4pm -FREE
Activity Workshops for ages 9+ - Thursday's 9th Jul - 13th Aug, 2-4pm
(- a different theme each week): Fossils, Vikings, Natural History, 'A Sinclair Odyssey', Art Project - 'Old Thurso', Weaving - BOOKING ESSENTIAL - �2 per session
Drama Workshops - '2009: A Sinclair Odyssey' - Mon 27th - Fri. 31st July, 10.30am-12.30pm

Council Signs Historic Agreement
The Highland Council has signed and sealed a formal agreement with the National Archives of Scotland and the Church of Scotland to secure the transfer of historical documents from Highland Presbyteries and Kirk Sessions to Inverness. These important historical records, currently preserved in Edinburgh by the National Archives of Scotland, are to be transferred later this year to the new Highland Archive Centre currently in the final stages of construction at the Bught, Inverness. Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, said: "This long awaited development will enable people to access these significant historical documents locally, and create a useful, accessible resource for anyone with an interest in the history of the Highland area."

Young Wick Team's Technology Project Wins Them A Trip To USA
Team TIC from Wick High school were among the finalists in a Highlands and Islands-wide information and communications technology competition. The inventiveness and marketing skills of TIC saw them reach the last six of the 2009 ICT Youth Challenge and win the Microsoft-sponsored award for the project with the best commercial potential. While visiting the company's lab in Seattle in October, the team will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to Microsoft's Scots-born Vice President Bob McDowell.

Young Wick Swimmers In Winning Form
It was a small but talented group of Wick Amateur Club swimmers who took part in the recent Elgin Mini Meet. At the 9 year old age group Darren Taylor gained more experience when he participated in three strokes which included a personal best time in his back stroke. The remaining four swimmers were all taking part in the very competitive 11 year old age group. The Keiss pair of Ben Johnston and Ross Perry are now getting the benefit of the commitment to their training over the last twelve months and are now able to compete with the top swimmers in the North of Scotland. Both the boys came home with Pb�s and Ben took a fourth place in his breast on for gold winning performances

"Body Currents" Dance Project Coming To Caithness
Eden Court has secured �590k funding for this community based dance project, � 475k from Scottish Arts Council, �39k from Highland Leader, �36k from Cairngorm Leader, �15k from Robertson Trust and �25k from the Council (�20k from the Highland Cultural Programme and �5k from Area Arts Budgets), thus securing significant new resources for the Highlands. "Body Currents" will consist of four dance residencies, each of 9 months duration, centred on the locations of Dornie, Aviemore, Lybster and Fort William and involving other communities, towns and villages in the surrounding area; these locations were chosen because of their waterside locations and in consultation with local communities. The project plans to involve as wide as possible a range of local people in dance classes and activities. Each residency will culminate in spectacular, outdoor community performances and events. As dance provision has been identified as weak in terms of arts provision and opportunity in the Highlands, this project would offer valuable new access. It also aligns well with the Service's Youth and Sports strategies and the Highland 2007 legacy.  8 Dance posts are being created on fixed term contracts of 9 months  the posts will be two each in Caithness, Skye & Lochalsh, Badenoch & Strathspey and Lochaber.  Highland Councillors heard about the project at the meeting of the Education, Culture and Sport committee held on 21 May 2009

Looking For Something To Do Or Places To Go In July In Caithness?
This month there are many events and activities for young and old available in Caithness.  July is always a busy month in Caithness and this year is busier than ever.  Just check the What's On section to find something of interest.  In the past 6 days there were over 30,000 visits to the section to check out what was happening in Caithness so if you are organising an event, putting on an exhibition or want visitors to know about something then make sure you advertise it here by completing the form - It's FREE
Museums and Visitor Centres  St Fergus Gallery  Swanson Gallery

Humanists Get A Celebrant for Caithness
On 1st July 2009, Kate Buchanan became licensed to wed!

Kate, who lives in Thurso is neither a Minister of religion nor a Registrar, but a Celebrant for the Humanist Society of Scotland. Humanism is an ethical belief system which focuses on the things that unite us as human beings rather than those which divide us. Kate decided to train as a celebrant as she strongly believes that all people have a right to mark important occasions in their lives with a meaningful ceremony, and her own experience as an atheist had highlighted the absence of that for those with no attachment to an organised church. Humanist Celebrants officiate at non-religious Funeral, Wedding and Naming ceremonies, which are becoming ever more popular. Kate and 4 other newly registered Celebrants join the team for Highland, Islands and Moray, now nine Celebrants in all.

Scotland lures �green� computer centres - Financial Times

Johnson Photographic Exhibition - 4 July to 1 August
St Fergus Gallery, Wick Library, Wick  - The Wick Society presents The Johnson Photographic Exhibition
A superb sampling of Wick photographs from the Johnson Collection held by the Wick Society.  These black and white photographs have been blown up to large sizes and the detail in them is amazing.  You are sure to be enthralled looking at Wick in earlier times - it is the must see exhibition for this year at the St Fergus gallery. - Opening Times - M, T, Th 12 to 5.30pm, Fr 2 to 8pm, Sat 10.30am- 1pm
Orders will be taken for copy prints at various sizes at the gallery or you can order direct from Wick Heritage Society at the museum in Bank Row.

Forsinain Trail - A Four Mile Circular Route
Sitting on the edge of Caithness & Sutherland�s high quality bogs, the four mile Forsinain Trail is self-guided and takes in farm fields, bog pools, riverside and woodland allowing an insight into conservation management and exciting wildlife.  It starts on The Flows National Nature Reserve, part of RSPB Forsinard Nature Reserve, continues through Forestry Commission Scotland�s Forsinain Forest and returns along the privately owned River Halladale salmon river. This circular trail which rises 100m to the bog begins at the roadside car park on the River Halladale before ascending the farm road through fields used intensively by feeding and breeding peatland bird species.

Calluna Country Marks Return Of Hunter's Tweed To Brora
"Calluna (the Latin for heather) Country with Hunter's Tweed" has opened its newly renovated classic store at London House in Brora on the corner of the main A9 and Station Square. This is opposite the original Hunters shop and is a welcome return for Hunter's in beautifully turned out premises. It cleverly combines items made from the long established and unique Hunters brand of tweed with quality country clothing, a horse tack and equipment section and Scottish country gifts from jewellery to jams, and is now a major attraction to visitors and locals alike. The Hunters tweed name and quality, hefted to Brora, will remain and in future the tweed will be manufactured locally to the original formula by weavers at Johnstons of Elgin whose renowned cashmere and woollen goods are also stocked in this new shop along with garments made by Toggi and other well known brands......Calluna Opened Their First Shop in Caithness in April

Telford Weekend Was At Berriedale Church Yesterday

The visitors who had made the journey north for the Telford Weekend visited Berriedale church one of Telford's parliamentary churches in the Highlands.  The church was opened for the the visitors and is currently hosting an exhibition about Telford that runs 7 July - 10th August Monday To Saturday 12.00pm - 2.00pm.  The visitors and a few locals who joined them visited a number of Telford places in Caithness throughout the weekend and had lectures along the way and in the evenings.
Thomas Telford's Parliamentary Churches   More about Berriedale   Last Service 1 October 2006

Castletown Gala 2009 - All In Now
133 - 140

85 - 96                   97 - 108                     109 - 120                   121 - 132

37 - 48                         49 - 60                        61 - 72                           73 - 84

Castletown Gala 2009
1 - 12                         13 - 24                  25 - 36

North 'cheapest for seaside home' - BBC
The cheapest place to buy a home by the sea is in the north of Scotland, according to latest property figures. The Bank of Scotland survey suggests Wick in Caithness has the country's cheapest seaside homes. Prices were about three-times the average salary.  Caithness Properties For Sale

Email Deluge Crashes Bill's Email Box
In the past week or so there have been so many emails being sent with large attachments - mainly photos that Bill's email system has been unable to cope.  Check with Bill to see if your's got through.  They can be sent again and hopefully will get through now things are cleared.

Welcome Wick Harbourfest Spinoff For Pupils
Wick HarbourFest has provided a welcome spin-off for some fortunate local primary and High schools pupils. Three of the heritage sailing boats were chartered by the HarbourFest organisers to provide educational sea trips for local school children during Monday and Tuesday following the HarbourFest weekend. Groups of eight children from each of the four Wick Primary schools were shown what life below deck was like on a herring Fifie 100 years ago by the crew of the 80ft long Reaper. They were then given an exciting sea trip along the Caithness Coastline aboard the Caithness SeaCoast RIB in the company of a Highland Council Countryside ranger who pointed out the flora and fauna to be found on the rocky cliffs. Groups of High school pupils were treated to half-day trips aboard the 100 year old Swan into the Moray Firth where a Countryside Ranger explained the ecology of the Firth and its natural habitat value as fish breeding grounds and seabird territory......

Castletown Gala Week Starts Tonight
Decorated floats to assemble at the top end of Traill Street to be judged at 6.40pm crowning at 7.00pm

Items Lost At Wick HarbourFest Found
A electronic Game Player and a Gold Bracelet were found during the Wick Harbourfest.  the items can be reclaimed by contacting Wick Police Station.

Sannie O'Brien Memorial Banger Derby Photos
Photographer Angus Mackay has loaded up photos of last Sunday's Banger Derby.

Thrumster Mini Gala 3 - 5 July
Thrumster Hall continue with their fundraising activities this weekend by staging a fancy dress Rounders Competition on Friday evening starting at 6.30pm. Top prize is �25.00, a BBQ and refreshments will follow. On Saturday afternoon at 2pm. Willie Mackay Oldhall, will compere a Mini Highland Games, there will also be a Pet Show, Face painting, a vintage tractor display, fun activities, baking stalls and teas. At 7pm Prize Bingo will be held in the hall with a raffle and refreshments, Then on Sunday evening at 7pm a Quiz takes place in the village hall where again every one is wellcome to join in.

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