New Ways To Pay Highland Council From 1st April
Ways To Pay Highland council

From 1st April, the public will be able to pay by cash or cheque at any Post Office and more than 300 PayPoints and Payzones throughout the Highlands.  From 1 April, the public will not be able to pay by cash or cheque at a Council Service Point, although they will continue to be able to pay by debit or credit card.  As a result of the new arrangements, the HQ cash office on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, is closing permanently on 31 March.  Already 67,400 people pay their Council Tax by direct debit, so they will not be affected by the change.  The Council is following a number of other Councils throughout the United Kingdom in modernising the way it accepts payments from the public to ensure it does so in the most efficient and effective way.

90 Year Old RAF Veteran From World War Two Still Remembers His Time In Wick
Harry Varley

Sent by David Preston a nephew of Harry Varley
Just some more information for your site regarding "Wings Over Wick".  My Uncle Mr Harry Varley now in his 90th year spent almost the entire duration of the war at Wick as a radio operator - he was not attached to the "flying boys" at the aerodrome, but in a little hut set away from the main RAF Depot - it was here he says he spent time eavesdropping on the enemy. The section was called "Y" section and I think I am right in saying this was a very secret affair that even today he feels that he should not be talking about it.  I have not seen any information as to this section of the RAF at Wick but if anybody has any recollections of this or pictures perhaps. It would be good for me to show him on my next visit to him. I do have some pictures of him in uniform with the special insignia on his arm relating to his section and I can send them to you if they are of interest.  I can also tell you that even now at 90 years old - he has not forgotten the Morse code that he learned at Bletchley Park  nor indeed his love of Caithness which he has visited many times over the years.
Wings Over Wick - A projct from Hillhead Primary School in 1993
Containing the memories of people based in Wick during World War Two.
RUGBY - Caithness RFC V Lasswade - Photos At James Gunn Photography
The score was Caithness RFC 14  Lasswade 18

Keith Teach Academy A Painful Lesson
Wick Academy V Keith 3 - 5Wick Academy v Keith 3 - 5Wick Academy V Keith 3 - 5

Wick Academy 3.....Keith....5     (half time: 2-3)    Report and photos by Noel Donaldson
the Academy of football, their report card might have read- “Hardworking, promised great things but couldn’t deliver. Can do better with their home-work.”  For the fans, this eight-goal thiller, at Harmsworth Park was well worth the entrance fee, complimented by the bonus of superb, spring-like weather.  All that was missing for the home supporters was a victory, but it was Keith, the teachers, who taught Wick a painful footballing lesson, stamping a black mark on their recent home achievements.  It could have been oh so different, with the Scorries grabbing an early, dream-start opener, courtesy of Stevie Cunningham.
More photos from the game at James Gunn Photography

Another Place To Recycle In Thurso
A permanent Blythswood clothes/shoes/books bin has been set up in the Thurso Free Church carpark.
A Few News Items From the Web
Highland classroom support jobs to be examined - BBC
Task group plan to look at primaries pupil support - Press & Journal
Highland Council Paper on Task Group etc For Approval At the Meeting on 3 March can be found HERE
Council in school cash warning - Press & Journal
‘Green’ money three-way split - Press & Journal

Council Looks To Maximise Energy Community Benefits

Caithness Mod Was Big Boost To Local Economy

Letter In Scotsman - Any More Debate Needed?
Fight climate change, not wind farms
As Highland Council looks at a paper on enhancing community benefits from wind farms and the Pantland Firth etc is there still need to debate the issue as more wind farms are on the way and as the marine energy industry could deliver huge benefits to the north of Scotland in jobs and engineering training.  North Highland college has new  buildings almost completed to take advantage of the opportunities to run egineering courses.  Scrabster harbour is poised tp make a leap forward with its new facilties to enable it to take advantage of  being part of Alex Salmond's "Saudi Arabia" of the north.  There is obvioulsy great anxiety in many quarters about the issue of energy developments and particularly in the north which has huge wind, tidal and wave potential.  Planning committees always give rise to controvery and councillor Robert Coghill has shown his exasperation to restrictions placed on councillors in a written question to the Highland Council convenor on 3 March -
To the Convener
“We cannot, as Councillors, comment on planning applications and then sit on the Planning Committee. What will you do to rectify this injustice?”
Mr Coghill will be entitled to ask a supplementary question which will be answered by the Convener.
See Written Response HERE
A Look Round Reiss
Reiss near Wick, Caithness Reiss near Wick, Caithness

It has been a while since we added a few photos from Reiss so here are a few taken in September. 
Reiss Index  to see  earlier photos from Reiss and the surrounding area.
A to Z of Caithness Index

Lesley Crawford - Memorial Event
A MEMORIAL event to celebrate the life of Lesley Crawford will be held in the ballroom at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Saturday 5 March at 1.30pm.  All are invited who wish to celebrate Lesley’s passion for life, her energy, achievements and contribution to local and national life.  This is not a black tie or formal dress affair but an informal upbeat tribute to a wonderful feisty woman whom is sadly missed.  Please contact Ron on 07770 682922 for more information.
The Scottish Parliament Building and Area
The Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament The Scottish Paarliament The Scottish Parliament

Last Summer Bill had a look round the Scottish Parliament ijn Edinburgh.  Here are a few of the photos from that visit.

Marine Scotland study to assess fishing activity around Orkney and Pentland Firth
Happy Valentines Day To Everyone

Noel Donaldson Wins Place In Scottish Field Magazine Competition  - "Storm At Wick"
Storm at Wick photo wins Noel Donaldson place in Scottish Field magazine competition

Larger Size HERE

But Noel Still Looks For Summertime With These Photos
Boats At Ackergill Harbour Wick St Fergus Church
Doanalsin's Diary Photo Gallery
Doanaldsin's Diary - Over The Last Few Days
Noel Donaldson writes Doanalsin's Diary
A possible path to a quieter night's sleep
Party Plea
This weeks Groat review
Open Season For Salmon On The Wick River
Partial Reprieve For Classroom Assistants
As The Bleak Winter Days Drag Out Noel Looks Forward To Summer
Wishing for more summer days like this one last year near Girnigoe Castle

Got Any Interesting Bits Of News - Doanalsin's Diary might be the place for it.  Email items and photos to Noel at   For other photos of interest Schooldays etc email to
Remember you can post your photos in the Photography section of the forum yourself anytime.  You can also now add video clips to the forum after posting them on Youtube.  See how to do it HERE

Keeper More drives Inverurie loco - More of the same, please, James
Wick Academy...2   Inverurie Locos...1 -  (ht: 1-0)    Photos From the Game
Saturday 12th February 2011 at Harmsworth Park, Wick
Wick Academy V Inverurie Locos 12 February 2010 Wick Academy V Inverurie Locos WickAcademy V Inverurie Locos 12 February 2011 Wick Academy V Inverurie Locos 2 - 1 12 February 2011
STEVIE CUNNINGHAM and Richard Macadie were the guys who did the business on the goals front but the other hero of the 90 minutes, was keeper James More who pulled off a string of superb saves.........

Craigmore House At Dounreay Demolished As Decommissioning Proceeds
Craigmore House Demolition At Dounreay

A bomb factory in our back yard - Geoffrey Lean - Telegraph
How's this for timing? A week ago The Daily Telegraph published a confidential cable from the US embassy calling a controversial plant at Sellafield "one of Her Majesty's Government's most embarrassing failures in British industrial history". Then, within days, ministers said they were minded to build another one like it.......
Though the annual loss is kept secret, the cable – passed to this newspaper by WikiLeaks – states that it is "costing taxpayers 90 million a year........................

Scottish Parliamentary Elections May 2011
elections for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament are coming on fast.  But did you know you will also be asked to vote on a referendum on a new voting system for the Westminster Parliament

'Ban radioactive cargo ship from Scottish waters' - Scotsman - By John Ross
campaigners have urged the UK government to ban a transatlantic shipment of radioactive material which will pass through waters off the north of Scotland. The three-week journey aboard the MV Palessa would include passage through the Pentland Firth between Caithness and Orkney.

Mackays Hotel asks - 'What are you celebrating?'
Mackays Hotel Mackays Hotel

Everyone has something to celebrate. You could have an important birthday coming up, a special anniversary, a graduation or a wedding. No matter what your special day is Mackays Hotel will help you celebrate it.  Our unique Celebration Fair in Mackays Hotel will feature a host of exhibitors who can help with any special day. We have magicians, photographers, florists, jewellers, bridal wear, car hire and bakers all ready to chat to you and showcase their skills.  The fair will take place on Sunday 27 February from 12pm until 4pm in the function suite and dining room in Mackays Hotel - FREE ADMISSION

Wedding Fayre At Caithness Horizons
Wedding Fayre

Thurso High School Pupils Art Exhibition - Runs Until 25th February
Thurso High School Pupils Art Exhibition

Caithness Artists Prepares To Take Pre-degree Show To Edinburgh
Catherine Redgate
atherine Redgate (23), a fourth-year Painting student at Robert Gordon University's Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, has been putting the finishing touches to her work ahead of staging a pre-degree show exhibition in Edinburgh later this month.  Catherine, from Castletown near Thurso, and 26 of her classmates are preparing to showcase their final-year work at an exhibition devoted solely to the art school, entitled 'Gray's Contemporaries', at 'art's complex' in the Scottish capital from 19 - 26 February 2011.

Lisa McHugh New Band Launch In Caithness
Lisa McHugh

Lisa is looking forward to a launching her new band in on Fri Feb 25th at The Northern Nashville Country Music Club.   Newcomer to the country music scene Lisa McHugh launched her new band to a packed audience at the Bushtown House Hotel, Coleraine. Immediately Lisa was introduced on stage the dance floor filled with enthusiastic dancers many of whom stayed on the floor dancing until the last song was played. The crowd danced, enjoyed and applauded, it was an excellent start to Lisa's long awaited dream.  Lisa now looks forward to a launching her new band in your area on Fri Feb 25th at The NNCMClub, and on Sat Feb 26th at the Social Club, Invergordon finishing on Sun Feb 27th at the Mosset Tavern, Forres. Lisa has been invited to support Roly Daniels on a ten date tour throughout Ireland during February and March.

Gardner's Question Night At Bower Community Centre - Monday 21st February
Thumbs up to Gardener’s Question Night!    Got a question that needs a Green Thumbs Up answer?   Join Bower & District Gardening Club’s next meeting 7:30 p.m. on Monday 21st Feb at Bower Community Centre.  Caithness gardening experts will pool their resources and knowledge to answer questions on such subjects as: wet and windy gardening, spring planting tips, healthy houseplants, pest control  and much more. The panel comprises of Mary Sinclair of Shinval Garden Centre; Jo & James Walker from Westlea Plants & Garden Nursery, Lybster and Angus Wares, prize winning Thurso gardener and former Bower Gardening Club chair.  To submit questions and for details, contact Barbara Cormack 01955 661230 or e-mail to bowergardeningclub[AT]    

Community Drama Festival Coming To Caithness - Book Your Tickets Soon
Fifty four local actors are currently in rehearsal for Caithness's five entries into the Scottish Community Drama Association annual One Act Play Festival.  The plays will be publicly adjudicated over the SCDA festival's two nights on 25th and 26th Feb, performing at Thurso High School 7pm.  What makes this year's festival unique is that each of the two nights performances will feature both youth and adult entries, providing audiences with a variety of entertainment, and insight from adjudicator, Ron Nichol.   Thurso Players, Wick Players and Mount Pleasant After School Drama Club will present the five plays, two of which were written especially for the festival. Public Urged To Have Their Say On Design Of New Wick High School
A public meeting is being held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 23 February at Wick High School to give interested parties the chance to have their say on the design of the proposed new state of the art secondary school for the community.  The Council has appointed an expert team to prepare a detailed brief for the new 34 million High School and the co-located community facilities and want to explore the requirements of the new facility at the public meeting.  Volunteers will be sought at the meeting to serve on a Community Liaison Group for the new development.

Cross Party Group To Review Classroom Assistance
Cross party group to review assistance provided in primary school classrooms

The Highland Council has agreed to set up a cross-party working group to review - before this summer - the level of assistance provided in primary school classrooms.
In doing so, it agreed to reduce the amount of savings to be taken from classroom assistants in 2011/12 from 883,000 to 319,000. The full year saving will be set at 751,000 rather than 1.47 million.
Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of the Education Culture and Sport Committee, explained that the proposal to cease provision of 344 classroom assistants had generated significant concern amongst teachers, parents and school groups.

Council Revenue Budget Set For 2011/12
The Highland Council has confirmed a freeze on the Council Tax for a fourth year in succession.

New Membership of The Highland Council
Two Liberal Democrats recently left their party and the administration and shifted the balance on committees.
Giants invade Scotland - Wired
The tidal turbines are heading here in big numbers.  Maybe first minister Alex Salmond's prediction of the Saudi Arabia of Tidal Energy is coming true for the Pentland Firth.

Storm conditions hit schools, homes rescues and roads - Press & Journal
The fire service was called out to power lines near Thurso which started sparking due to heavy winds and rain.

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