Castlehill Heritage Society have been shortlisted in the Epic awards - They Need Your Vote To Win
They need our votes for the people's choice.  You can vote on-line here:

Calling All Forest Users - Path Clearing Help Wanted At Dunnet
Path Clearing Help wanted at Dunnet Forest

Photographic Exhibition At Caithness Horizons 9 - 31 January 2012
From Paula  - the local Weather Girl - Tugmistress on the Forum

Photo Exhibition at Caithness Horizons in January 2012

Do Cats Enjoy A Caithness Sunrise?
Sunrise In Caithness Sunrise in Caithness watched by a cat
Noel Donaldson was out early to see the sun rise and caught this cat obviously enjoying the new day.   Do cats and dogs enjoy the sights and sounds of the country as we do - if we are up early enough!!!!

Mackays Hotel Offers a Dinner To Reward Unsung Heroes of Caithness - Nominate Yours
Mackays Hotel, Wick are arranging a special dinner to recognise unsung heroes in our community and you can nominate people for the tickets they are giving away.  Ellie and Murray Lamont who run the hotel reckon that there are many people who do things all the time for others and the dinner will let you give them something to thank them.  So come folks here is a chance to thank some of our local heroes and Caithness is full of them.   The nominations need to be in fast to allow the hotel to send out invitations to the dinner.

More Lights In Caithness
Christmas Lights in Caithness Christmas Lights in Caithness

Christmas Carols Concert At St Fergus Wick
Christmas Carols Concert at St Fergus, Wick 2011 Christmas Carols Conceert At St Fergus, Wick Christmas Carols Concert At St Fergus, Wick
THE annual carol festival hosted by Wick St Fergus Church is firmly established as a seasonal favourite and that was again underlined by this years performance. A warm welcome was extended to Wick Choral Society and especially so, to the Caithness Orchestra who were unable to be present last year because of snowstorm conditions. No weather hiccups this year though and both orchestra and choral gave their audience of some 280 an enjoyable festive programme, performing jointly and separately. Musicians and choral were in fine form for the Christmas curtain raising recital, Don Renwick combining his roles as compere and conductor in his customary humorous style skipping between the orchestral and choral podiums with his tinsel decorated baton. The audience was given the opportunity to join in some of the carols and other traditional pieces and made the most of it no more so than with the reminder if any was needed that Santa Claus is coming to town.
Two Caithness Men "Ride for Life"
Two Caithness trial bike enthusiasts kick started a challenge today which will see them raise money for the UK’s leading children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. Paul Steven, 37, and Colin Leask, 49, commenced with a ride on the shortest day of the year.
The Other Christmas Lights Around Caithness
More Christmas Lights In Caithness  More Christmas Lights In Caithness
Noel Donaldson has snapped a few of the alternative Christmas lights around the area.  If you would like to add one or two then email them to

Caithness FM Toy Appeal
Caithness FM Toy Appeal 2011
Caithness FM received a welcomed boost to their annual toy appeal from Dounreay Employees Charity Fund. John Deighan, Chairman of DECF, said: Once again the DECF Committee fully supported this very worthwhile cause. Given the current financial climate, this year more than ever these toys are needed to ensure less fortunate children in Caithness have a present to open on Christmas morning. Jackie and Bob Johnson from Caithness FM are pictured here receiving the toys from John Deighan and Marie Mackay of DECF.

Wick Girls Pipe Band - Might Spark Some Memories Of High Street, Wick
Wick Girls Pipe Band about 1960
Noel Donaldson might spark some of your memories with this photo.
I took this photo of the renowned Wick Girls Pipe Band parading through the town, probably in the 1960s. It's an interesting and nostalgic scene and not only because of the 'girls' but the part view of High Street as it once was, before the skyline was changed irrevocably, some would say for the worse. On the right, is the Nicolson emporium, Dan Dunnett's shoe shop, then a butcher's shop, Dan Thompson's, if I mind right, Robertson the drapers and then the gable-ended, Bowles the
baker; after that, the street line was set back and Dan Bain's quality chocolates business and I think fruit shop; further along was the John O' Groats cafe. On the other side on the left was situated the famous Cabrelli's Cafe, not sure about the next shop, the one after was the Dolphin Restaurant, which became the Aberdeen Savings Bank, not sure about te one after that but, I remember Henderson the grocer, further along, opposite Bowles. The redevelopment scheme was aimed at eliminating the bottleneck, but I think Wick lost some of its character when the bulldozers moved in. The businesses, as such, have long gone, of course. What div ye mind o' the High Street of yesteryear? Feel free to post your memories on the general forum.
John  Sutherland "Johnny Fats" Obituary By Bill Mowat
Keiss School Christmas Concert - A Cracker
Keiss School Christmas Concert  Keiss School Christmas Concert Keiss School Christmas Concert
Reporter Noel Donaldson
THE younger generation are understandably preoccupied just now with the annual visit from the man in the red and what his bag contains for them. Keiss schoolchildren are no exception but they also found time to put all their festive thoughts into word, music and song in their annual school concert which turned out to be a veritable Christmas cracker!
I seem to recall we did some seasonal songs in my primary time and took it round all the classes, but it was nothing on the same level as the Keiss pupils of P4/7.  The amazing aspect of it was, that while the joint effort received guidance from teachers Mrs Ferguson and Mrs Hickey, the songs, music and sketches were largely the work of the pupils themselves, who were also responsible for the choreography, costume and props.
The emphasis, these days seems to be about the children receiving, at this time of the year, but the young Keiss thespians gave us a timely reminder of the giving as well.  They gave their audience an early present in a fast-moving, imaginative, programme, blending the serious side of the annual festive with a generous helping of humour.
The show opened with some violin and cello turns and it was refreshing to see youngsters playing stringed instruments.  These require greater perseverance, than keys, which I favoured, because you have to find pitch (there are no frets to guide you) and you also have the physical aspect, in the case of violins, of holding the violin in the correct position which can be tiresome.  Along with learning to read music, strings present a formidable challenge.
The Christmas show included the First Nativity Play, a Santa Video Game, sketches from wrapping presents to cooking, a letter from Santa, and a selection of songs, Everybody’s Going on a Sleigh Ride, Shout, Stop the Cavalry, Your Song, My Heart Will Go On, Santa Claus Rock, Frosty the Snowman, Snow Is Falling, Jingle Bells Rock, What Makes You Beautiful, the hilarious Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer , Waiting For A Nice Surprise and of course that seasonal favourite without which no festive production is complete, Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.
There were of course a few butterflies flitting about, during the 75-minute show, in the school hall, but, let’s face it, given the variety and content, that wasn’t surprising, and grown-ups featuring in professional productions have been known to get a  little nervous before, and after, the curtain goes up.
I found it an amazing and entertaining performance, so all concerned, please take another bow.

New Classes at the Pulteney Centre, Wick
Pulteneytown People's Project in Wick will be opening the doors to its new community Centre, Pulteney Centre, at the end of January and promises to bring a huge variety of new classes to the town.  Pulteney Centre will be the first of its kind in Wick, offering a comprehensive collection of groups and educational classes all housed under the one roof.
This unique Centre will enable parents to drop their children off at childcare during the day while they attend classes or appointments.  Since the closure of Wick College the local area hasn't been able to access such a programme of training and PPP hope people will take full advantage of having such opportunities together in one building.  The Centre has SQA approval and offers both accredited and non accredited courses.  The Centre is registered with ILA Scotland (Individual Learning Account) which allows most people the option to claim for the cost of specified courses.

Computer Problems At
We have had a computer failure at the web site and lost our emails before 15 December 2011.  If you sent anything in the past few months that has not appeared on the web site please send it again to  Apologies to anyone that has missed a date for events etc.  Aprt from being unable to update the front page everything else such as forums and Whats on etc were not affected and have continued to operate as normally.
Salvation Army Jam Club In Wick Cancelled For Tonight
Due to the weather warnings the decidion has been taken to cancel the jam club for primary aged pupils

Winter In Caithness
Winrer in Caithness Winter in Caithness
Caithness Chamber Of Commerce Launch Web Sites To Generate Trade
Invest Caithness
Have Your Say
What’s important to you when you go shopping?  Do you spend locally?  If not, why not?  Tell us and ‘Have your say’!
‘Have your Say’ is a questionnaire designed to gather information on town centre shopping trends.  It explores what factors influence these trends and how the Wick and Thurso shopping experience can be enhanced.  Only by knowing what you think can we hope to enhance, protect or improve your town centres.
Look out for the ‘Have your Say’ Town Centre questionnaire later this month, visit or for more information.
Get Your New Local Loyalty Card for Caithness and Begin To Save When Shopping
One Card - Many Local Shops Offering Discounts

Spend Caithness - A Local Loyalty Card To Make Great Savings
Local businesses can find out more via any of the web sites or by contacting them  -
Nicola Dreaves Business Development Manager
Caithness Chamber of Commerce
M: 07540688042  E:   
66 Princes Street, Thurso, Caithness KW14 7DH
T: 01847 630200  E:  W:;

Do Any Orgers Know Whose Wedding This Photo Is From?
Whose Wedding Was This?
Noel Donaldson is looking to solve a small mystery.
This photo fell out of .a book handed in at the Tyler Trust shop in Back Bridge Street, Wick.  It was made available by staff, in the hope that those pictured or relatives would, through the org, be able to identify them.  Being a wedding, it is naturally a special event and one which they would wish returned.

Doanalsin's Diary
           Noel Donaldson writes Doanalsin's Dairy
Fit's in 'e Groat

Scots Night In Wick
Scots Night Scots Night
A FINE traditional Caithness concert has been a rare treat in recent years but variety certainly made a comeback at Wick's Norseman Hotel, on Wednesday night, hosted by the Wick Society. A full house enjoyed an evening of refreshing home-grown entertainment that used to be a regular occurrence before television got a grip, and as the inimitable compere, Harry Gray found unanimous agreement when he commented "surely much better than sitting in the house, watching the box." It certainly was a grand nicht. The Wick Arion Choir set the scene with a selection of Scottish evergreen songs taking us west to the isles with the stirring Uist Tramping Song and the contrasting Dream Angus. That was followed by the traditional dances, the Highland Fling and Blue Bonnets from Sarah Harper, Megan Sutherland Katie Gunn and Beth Harper.
Danielle Cabrelli delighted us with an old favourite, Wee Winkie and Kieron Sutherland took us on The Sunday School Picnic, in the Caithness dialect. Our native \u2018toung\u2019 was certainly not neglected as we also had recitation contributions fae Jenny Syvelbain, who not only recited the poems but composed them, one about a moose loose aboot, the house, from a child\u2019s viewpoint and the humorous tale of how a Caithness fermer outwitted the taxman. There was more humour in Ellie Harrold's Fidgety Bairn. Accordionist Adie Harper, added to the variety of the show, with some sparkling Scottish selections.
Bar a break for tea, the St Andrew's Day concert in aid of Wick Heritage Centre, was a non-stop affair, songs from Louise Gunn, Isle of Mulla, and vocal trio Kerne Plowman, Megan Sutherland and Rachel Lyall
who sang of the romance involved when Comin\u2019 through the Rye. If Caithness nights are here to stay, and I hope they are, then there will be no shortage of talent, particularly from the younger generation.
The show, woven together by Harry Gray who ensured continuity which intermittent snatches of humour. The night's entertainment finished with some community singing featurig some auld Scots favourites.

Christmas In Caithness 2011
Santa Sleigh
Wick Lights                                                                                  
Wick Lights Wick Lights
Chest Heart & Stroke Support Group Santa Delivers In Thurso
CHS Santa

Key Santa
Key Santa

Update - Camera Has Been Found - Well Done Orgers - Thanks For Your Help
Reward Offered for Camera Lost At Freswick -
Mark Thacker from Lewis is doing a Phd in archaeology and was recently carrying out field work at Freswick Mains.  Unfortunately he lost his camera with some of the images he took for his work.  The camera is a Panasonic Lumix, and was in a medium sized, black  camera case with a couple of black and white archaeological cm scales.  Mark said, "I think it was lost about the road end at Freswick Mains, on Sunday 27th November, on the way back from a trip to Bucholie castle. I am  offering a 100 reward. I am very upset over losing the camera more because it contained a lot  of my PhD research images on it."
If anyone can help get in touch with Mark at
Mark Thacker PDD MA PhD candidate, Stonemason & Buildings archaeologist.
27 Upper Carloway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, HS2 9AG

Progress on the future provision of Primary Schools in Wick has been outlined this week by The Highland Council.   Earlier this month on 10 November, members of The Highland Council's Education, Culture and Sport Committee heard the outcomes of statutory consultations on the proposed amalgamation of Hillhead Primary School and North Primary School and the proposed amalgamation of Pulteneytown Academy Primary and South Primary School in Wick.

Council welcomes Dounreay announcement
The Convener of The Highland Council Councillor Sandy Park, who is Chairman of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Advisory Board, has welcomed the NDA announcement that Babcock Dounreay Partnership is the preferred bidder in the competition to become the new PBO for Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd.

Dunnet Forestry Trust Autumn 2011 News Letter
The nights are drawing in, autumn is here and its time for another Forest news letter; it's been a very busy summer season in the forest.

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