Floral Displays At Kirkhill, Wick
Kirkhill flowers celebrating 125 years of the Guild
THE council gardeners have Wick proud, again, this year with their magnificent Kirkhill floral displays.

Hoverflies and Raindrops On Roses
Hoverflies on Roses with Raindrops
Noel Donaldson caught these hoverflies on his roses after a rain shower.  We are not sure of the species so have put a link to a page tha tmight help you identify them.  If anyone would like to add to this gallery then please email photos to

Look no hands! - time stands still for Wick Town Hall Clock
Wick Town Hall Clock being repaired
TIME is not hanging heavily on the hands of the Wick town clock...for they've been removed!The mechanism of the far north civic timepiece has been dismantled, ahead of a complete overhaul. It's part of a major £1 million upgrade at the town hall which will include the installation of a lift. The clock work is being undertaken by an Edinburgh firm which handles its annual service and it will be eight months before the renovations are complete and Wickers will again be able to get a time check in the town centre.
Highland Council Is making extensive investments in Wick over the next two years with new council offices, new children's home.  Replacing all schools with new buildings. new swimming pool, and a new library.
Other investments in Wick by other agencies include Wick Harbour improvements - increase in marina size and new hard stand opening up opporunities for marine and wind energy.  Historic Scotland in Lower Pulteney at Burn Street
Wick Town Hall contains a number of paintings connected to the history of the town such as this one

Highlands and Islands businesses celebrate summer talent
Businesses Celebrate Talnet Scotland Graduates
Twenty-one ambitious students who have been bringing fresh knowledge and ideas to companies across the Highlands and Islands gathered in Inverness on Friday 30th August 2013 to present their summer placement project findings to a panel of business experts in a dragons' den style competition. The winner of finals day was Robert Anderson, of Shetland who is studying at Glasgow University. He has been placed with NB Communication Ltd in Shetland. As well as securing the judges vote he also won ‘people’s choice award’ from the audience, which included businesses and fellow students.........Ryan Sutherland, trainee engineer, who was working with JGC Engineering and Technical Services Ltd in Thurso, was also a runner-up.

Gills Bay Transmission For Marine Generation - Public Exhibition  5th & 6th September
SSe Gills Public meetings
We are carrying out a number of upgrades to the electricity transmission network in the north of Scotland. This work will reinforce the network and provide extra capacity for new generators of electricity wishing to connect. In March 2010 the Crown Estate leased ‘option areas’ in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters for the establishment of marine generation developments. Two of these leased areas are in close proximity to Gills Bay and have a combined potential generation capacity of 500MW of tidal energy. As the existing distribution network in the Gills Bay area does not have sufficient capacity to connect the planned marine developments, we are proposing to extend the transmission network into the area.
Huge Range Of Concrete And Building Products On Offer Near Wick

Fit's in 'e Groat - an e' Courier
Noel Donaldson's fast look at the local papers.  For more see Doanalsin's Diary

Wildlife app exceeds expectations with 10,600 downloads
Big 5 app
More than 10,600 people have so far downloaded a mobile phone app encouraging them to enjoy Scotland’s wildlife and vote for their favourite wild animal. The free app was launched by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in March as part of the Year of Natural Scotland celebrations. It features information, video and audio recordings of Scotland’s Big 5 – animals selected to represent the unique character, diversity and beauty of Scotland’s wildlife and environment. Scotland’s Big 5 are all high profile species, widely associated with Scotland, with a broad geographical spread and that people stand a good chance of seeing in the wild. They are the red deer, otter, red squirrel, golden eagle and harbour seal.

New course enables primary teachers to train in Highlands and Islands
Aspiring primarily teachers can now complete their training in the Highlands and Islands. The University of the Highlands and Islands has launched the first ever Professional Graduate Diploma in (primary) Education available in the region. There has been so much demand for the new course that, despite little advertising, over 80 people applied for the 20 places available in this year’s intake. The first cohort of students is taking part in an induction in Inverness this week. Those who pass the nine-month diploma will have met the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s standard for provisional registration and can start their year as a probationary teacher in a Scottish primary school.   See the link inside for next years new intake............

Aladdin Auditions In Thurso
Aladdin Auditions
If you would like to try acting, singing or playing an instrument then get along to the Thurso Players auditions for the pantomime this year.

Bee disease confirmed near Inverness
Disease confirmed in Honey Bees in Strathglass near inverness
American Foulbrood detected in Inverness. A case of American Foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in an apiary in Strathglass in the Inverness area. The disease was confirmed today following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). Outbreaks of AFB have previously been reported and dealt with in this area over recent years. The AFB infected hive has been destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK. There are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of honey. The movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary are under specific controls.

Stunning range of voices to grace Eden Court at Blas 2013
Blas 2013
Forget Sir Tom Jones,, Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue as Blas 2013 offers its own version of The Voice, or "An Guth" as part of the festival which begins on 6 September. One of the most exciting combinations of voices ever assembled for a Blas festival will be one of the highlights of this year’s series of events, with high demand expected for tickets. The mid-week performance of “An Guth” or The Voice, where the focus is on the musical quality of performers’ vocal talents rather than any instruments they may bring to the party, will take the stage at the Empire Theatre at Eden Court in Inverness on Thursday 12 September.  Festival Brochure

Last Parade Of The Summer By Wick Pipe Band - Saturday 31st August 2013
Wick Pipe Band will have their final outing of the summer this coming Saturday.  They will be joined by Highland dancers.  so why not take stroll down to Market Square at 7.30pm on Saturday to give them a cheer for all their playing this year.

Young Caithness People Get Job Ready Experience From DSRL
Caithness Young People Get Ready for Work Course at DSRL
A week long summer school was held in late July for students of Thurso, Wick and Farr High School students in 4th, 5th & 6th years to prepare them for the world of work. The course, organised by DSRL (Dounreay Site restoratiopn Ltd) on behalf of the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Agency), was supported by North Highland College and Skills Development Scotland. DSRL is committed to the socio-economic development of the Caithness and Sutherland area, and in particular to improving the employment prospects and “job-readiness” of local school leavers. The aim of the event was to provide CV preparation and interview practice, but it was also thought useful to introduce the students to job and business opportunities in the area.

Construction Of The New Children's Home for Wick Has Begun
New Children's Home Construction At wick
The Highland Council’s Housing and Social Work Committee agreed in March 2011 to build a new five-bed children’s residential home in Wick at an estimated cost of £1.2 million. The proposed new home at West Banks Avenue will replace the existing building at 50 Northcote Street, Wick, which was built in 1978 and, on opening, had capacity for 12 residents.  Thinking has moved on and the new home will comply with all the modern standards and methods on helping children to have nice place to live and develop.   This is another construction project that wil also help wick as part of the ongoing moves to regenerate the local economy.  Part of the site will also be used for new allotments to allow local people to grow their own vegetables.  The site previously had thriving allotments and it is hoped this can be reinvigorated once the site is prepared.  Water will be available to the allotments from new pipes to be installed.

A Short Walk From Ellan Bridge, Thurso
Walk From Ellan Bridge, Thurso Walk From Ellan Bridge, ThursoWalk From Ellan Bridge, ThursoWalk From Ellan Bridge, ThursoWalk From Ellan Bridge

A pleasant walk from the Ellan Footbridge across the Thurso river can take you round some of the historic places including old St Peters Church and get something to eat, see the bay across to Scrabster and much more.  On some days surfers are to be seen from the river mouth if you look out to sea.

Events At Caithness Horizons
What’s On At Caithness Horizons: September 2013.  To see what is happening around the county check the main What's On section - August  September.
Licensing Board meet to finalise new Policy Statement for the Highlands
The two main changes to the current policy concern Sunday hours and the use of plastic glasses.

SNH Offers Advice On Bumper Wild Berry Crops
Brambles and other berries in good supply this year of 2013
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is offering advice to berry pickers after a bumper crop of wild raspberries, brambles and other berries this year. The hot weather has resulted in excellent crops of berries right across Scotland, giving Scots a chance to get outdoors and celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland.

Stones Of Skinnet - Go Fossil Hunting With The Rangers
Stones Of Skinnet Walk
Visit one of the best fossil fish quarries in Caithness. Visit a fantastic fossil fish quarry and search for your very own specimen. Discover the original home of the Skinnet Pictish Stone by walking to the remains of St.Thomas chapel (stone presently housed in Caithness Horizons). Short walk but rough in parts. Wear boots and no dogs please. Suitable for family groups.

Old St Peters Church, Thurso - A New Photo Set From All Sides
Old St Peters Church, Thurso Old St Peters Church, ThursoOld St Peters Church, ThursoOld St Peters Church, Thurso

In recent times there has been much controversy about the church being closed due to vandalsim.   We thought it might be a good time to take a look around the church now that the gate is once again open and a key is avalable for the inner section from the service point for anyone who wishes to gain access.  Information about the church can be found on the Canmore Database  The church is one of the oldest buildings in Thurso and is very easy to get to being in the centre of town a very short walk from the Caithness Horizons (Old Town Hall). Our previous photos were taken in 2001 and they have been added after the new ones and include the interior that was not accessed on Sunday.  This time a few photos taken from a hi-cam to give better perspective of the building and the grave yard.

Seashore life identification and survey workshop at Dunnet Bay
The Highland Seashore Project is running a free 'Seashore Life Identification and Survey' workshops at the Seadrift Centre, Dunnet Bay on Saturday 7 September. Running between 10am and 5.30pm, the day will be a great opportunity for anyone with an interest in what lives on the shore, whether they are a natural history enthusiast or someone who loves their shore, to learn how to recognise different species on the rocks, in rock pools, buried in the sand and amongst the seaweeds.

Historical Cooking With Peter's Pals At Caithness Horizons
This event for children is on 29th September 2013 2.00 - 4.00pm but is sure to be popular and places need to bebooked in advance so get booking soon.

Amazing Automata At St Fergus Gallery, Wick Until 7th September
Amazing Automata At St Fergus Gallery, Wick unitl 7th September 2013 Amazing Automata At St Fergus Gallery, Wick until 7th September 2013
Amazing automata at St Fergus gallery, Wick until 7th September 2013
An unusual exhibition of twenty performing automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre opens at the St Fergus Gallery, Wick 7th September. The machines, or mechanical toys, come to life when visitors press a button and activate the mechanisms. The miniature performances are funny, strange and unexpected - a man in a bath practices eating spaghetti, a row of dancing ladies perform the can-can; a small dog has taken up skiing and a monkey rows a banana boat. Their antics entice visitors to come closer to the action.  Kids love pressing buttons to make things work..    More about the Amazing  Autiomata.   Everything is behind perspex to they cannot be broken.
Almost The Last Outing For The Summer For Wick Pipe Band and The Dancers
Wick Pipe Band Wick Pipe Band and Dancers Wick Pipe Band Wick Pipe Band

Wick Pipe Band At Market Square on Saturday Evening

See more Videos From Caithness

Creepy House Reading Challenge Awards At Wick Library
Creepy House Reading Awards 2013 at Wick Library
In this year’s Annual Reading Challenge a record 83% of children from the East Caithness area completed the Summer Reading challenge. The Medal and Certificate presentation took place at Wick Library on Saturday 25th August. Presenting the awards were Councillors Neil Macdonald, Gail Ross, Bill Fernie, Willie Mackay and Gillian Coghill, along with Library Supervisor Robbie Macdonald.  Apart from reading all the books the children also created a huge creepy mural in the main library.

Several New Funding Opportunities for Local Groups Just Added To The Community Section
A range of funding opportunities just notified to us have been added in the Community Section.  These cover a variety of topics from Heritage that might be of interest say to the group looking to do more wiht St Peters in Thurso to Scotrail Grants that might be used to tackle vandalism.  Others are more general and might fit a range of prioject so check them all out.
New Power Generation Of Apprentices Join SSE
SSe Apprentices 2013
New power generation join SSE for the start of a bright career in the energy industry Over one hundred talented new Modern Apprentices (MAs) are starting a bright and promising career after passing a rigorous selection process to join SSE’s industry renowned Modern Apprenticeship programme this week. The new recruits were picked from thousands who originally applied for the roles and they took up their tools for the first time at the Scottish induction in Perth this week. Fifty two apprentices will now join the company’s prestigious Modern ApLinkprenticship training programme in Scotland and SSE’s highly skilled and safety conscious 20,000 workforce. The 2013 Modern Apprentices come from all over Scotland (from Orkney to Edinburgh) and will be training for around three to four years.
This May Be of Interest If You Are Thinking About A Career In Energy Businesses

ICT Teacher From Wick High Short-Listed In App Competition - VOTE NOW FOR CHRIS AND HIS APP
Christ Aitken the principle ICT and computing science teacher at Wick high has been shortlisted for an award in an App competition. He stands to gain £5000 for Wick High if he wins through on votes by the public at the web site "Talk Talk Digital Heroes". So he neds to get your votes to help his chances.

Free dog ‘MOTs’ for the Highlands
Highland dog owners are invited to bring their pooches along for a free wellbeing check at PDSA’s PetCheck vehicle between Tuesday 3 to Friday 13 September. In partnership with The Highland Council, the veterinary charity’s annual UK-wide PetCheck tour will be at the following locations from 9am to 4pm.
• Tue 3 & Wed 4 Sep – Riverside Road lorry park, Thurso
• Thurs 5 & Fri 6 Sep – Riverside car park, St Fergus Road, Wick

Gymnastics In Wick for P1 - P7
Gymnastics in Wick for P1 - P7
Fun And Fitness For Life Starts Early So Get Your Kids Registered
As with any sport, a child’s health and fitness levels will also improve by taking part in gymnastics, helping to combat any signs of obesity or weight related issues from creeping in. With an increased exposure to physical exercise, body confidence will improve which in turn will promote self-esteem. With physical wellbeing comes an increase in confidence that drips into other areas of a child’s life. Gymnastics also challenges children mentally. As they progress through the stages, and the moves become more daring and challenging a child will need to acquire a self-belief that they can actually do it! Overcoming fears is a major confidence booster.   Book Early as demand is likely to be high for places.
New Home for NOSCA Treats
After over a decade, The North of Scotland Childcare Association’s Treats service are saying good bye to Miller Academy and are relocating their services from 20th August 2013 to the upgraded Ormlie Community Centre in Henderson Street, Thurso.
Surf Board Art Competition For 5 to 12 Year Olds
Surfboard Art competition
The library service in Caithness is running a competition to design a poster with surboard as the main theme. The are providing the basic chape and the design can be anything and the background any theme from Caithness. The entry age is 5-12 year olds. The 6 best designs will be on show at St Fergus Foyer Gallery, Wick Carnegie Public Library from 19th October to 10th November.

Download a blank sheet HERE to colour in to enter the competition.

The Fabulous Caithness Night Sky
Ackergill Tower by Maciej Winiarczyk
Maciej Winiarczyk whose fantastic video of the aurora and noctilucent clouds we showed a few days ago also has a great Flickr site showing his work from around Caithness.  His video is climbing fast on Youtube

Caithness Gigs Brings More Music To The County
Hot on the heels of another great Bfest, there's more good news for music fans in Caithness with the launch of "Caithness Gigs". The new company has been set up as a not-for-profit venture to bring the best in live music to Wick and Thurso and give local musicians a platform to develop their careers. First up will be local boys The Maginot Band. Since recently signing a management deal, the band have been locked away in the studio writing new material, which will be showcased at their up-coming mini tour that sees them play Inverness (Mad Hatters, 4th October), Wick (Blackstairs Lounge, 5th October) and Thurso (Y-Not, 6th October).

Are you batty about Bats? - Find Out more
Bat Walk Thrumster 30th August 8.30pm
Are you batty about bats? Discover the truther about our smallest flying mammals by coming along to a projected bat talk and walk at Thrumster woods. Use the bat detector to help find our marvellous midge munchers. Event is weather dependant and booking is required.Please bring torch, wear stout footwear. Location: Thrumster Woodland 30th August 2013

Queens 2 Victorious In Summer Pool League
Queens 2 top in Wick and district summer Pool League
Queens2 were presented with the Summer Pool League trophy on Monday night after their 7-3 victory over Lybster side Bayview. Tam Sutherland and Scott Risbridger played well in the early stages of the final as they helped their Queens side take a 4-0 lead. Both doubles frames were shared, before Bayview captain Steve Atkins pulled it back to 5-2. The next frame saw Alan Stewart grab the glory with some good play to clinch the Queens side the summer title. Gavin Simpson, Jordan Tait and Milky Ronaldson were all in great form for Sinclair Bay as they helped their side take a 3-0 lead in their third place play-off match against Camps2. Six of the next seven frames went the way of the Camps team as they secured third place.

New Wick Council Offices Construction - Latest Photos
New Wick council offices 20th August 2013 New Wick Council Offices 20th August 2013

Pile driving continues along with other works at the site of the new Wick council offices.  To see from the start go HERE

Warning  - Tarmac Scammers May Be operating In Caithness Right Now
if you really need your path or driveway done contact a reputable contractor and not someone who comes to your door unannounced as you may wish you had not dealt with them.  Cheap job may mean it will break up very quickly and you need it all done again.  They were reported in the Dornoch area recently by trading standards.

Wick To Receive Huge Volume Of Nuclear Records At New Archive Centre By 2016
Dounreay’s huge collection of historic documents will be among the first items to be stored in the new archive to be built in Caithness. The National Nuclear Archive is due to be open for business by 2016, said NDA’s director for Dounreay, Nigel Lowe. The facility will be purpose built beside Wick John O’Groats Airport, and is expected to cost in the region of £20m to build. It will house up to 30 million digital records, papers and photos covering the history of the UK’s civil nuclear industry, including archives from UKAEA in Harwell.
Investment Flowing to Wick In Record Breaking Amounts In Next Two Years
What's coming To Wick?   As agencies seek to regenerate Wick several projects are coming closer.
Nuclear Archive near Wick Airport - opening 2016
Site of the new UK Nuclear Archive Site near Wick Airport

New Children's Home - work just commenced this month at site near Rhind House - opening 2014
New Wick High School - Site clearance at back of present school starts end of this year - opening 2015
New Primary School - amalgamating Pulteneytown and South Schools - part of High School project - opening 2015
New Primary School - amalgamating Hillhead and North Schools - opening 2015
Site for the new wick primary school north of the wick river combining North and Hillhead schools

New Community Library - community facility at new Wick High - opening 2015
New Community Swimming Pool at new Wick High - opening 2015
New Wick Council Offices - work underway - opening early 2015 - See progress so far
Wick Town Hall - Major Refurbishment at cost of  £785,000 - out to tender - completion 2014
Heavy Lift pad - Wick Harbour - ready 2014 in anticpation of new work in marine energy projects
Coghill Bridge - replacement being considered if repairs and improvements considered not giving value for money.
Marina Expansion at Wick Harbour - ready 2014 to accommodate the amazing success of the Marina
Wick John O'Groats Airport - In anticpation of more activity Flybe has announced more flights to Wick airport.
Wick airport has seen a huge rise in traffic since the reloaction of helicopter facilities to Wick.  Chevron UK has been flying fixed wing charters into Wick follwoing the grounding or all its super Puma helicopters, before crew transfer to helicopters for the short flights to the rigs off the Caithness coast. This was a temporary arrangement following problems with the helicopters but may lead to a longer term arrangement.  The super Pumas have been given the all clear to resume flights but there are still doubts in the minds of workers

Caithness And Sutherland Councillors Hear About The Junior Warden Scheme
Junior Warden Scheme
At meeting of the Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee held in Drummuie offices, Golspie on Monday 19th August 2013 members were updated on the pilot Junior Warden Scheme which took place recently in Thurso. Three of the participants, Amy, Marra and Lannie, gave an insightful presentation to the Committee on what they have achieved. The Junior Warden Scheme, organised by HC Housing Tenant Participation Service and Community Safety Partners, was run over a twelve week period with twelve young people in their first year at Thurso High School. It was delivered by Ormlie Community Association who will continue to work with the group to allow them to identify further projects to work on in the community.
School transport passes for Highland pupils  - Technical Issues Cause Delays In Issueing Passes
All Highland pupils return to school tomorrow and The Highland Council had intended to issue passes for school transport to all pupils who are entitled to free transport on Stagecoach services. However, due to technical reasons not all passes have been issued. Parents and pupils are advised that anyone not yet in receipt of a pass should go to their bus stop as normal tomorrow.

More Pipes Bound For Subsea7 Yard At Wester
Pipes being delivered to Subsea7 at Wester by Simpsons
Town centre traffic in Wick came to a halt, temporarily, today to allow Simpson's driver to slowly negotiate the Bridge Street-High Street, corner with the latest load of pipes for Subsea 7's fabrication yard at Wester.

Caithness Timelapse Video Becomes NASA's Astronomy Photo of the Day today
Caithness received a boost on the internet today when the video timelapse video we featured a few days ago became the Chosen photo of the day for 19th August.  Maciej Winiarczyk who lives and works in Caithness is to be congratulated once again for his stunning films.  This latest one was of rare occurence - noctilucent clouds and aurora together.  Congratualtions Maciej and we can hardly wait for your next production as this one will be hard to beat.
The message about Caithness weather and conditions is spreading according to local astronomer Gordon Mackie as he recently met a Canadian astronomer visiting Dunnet head and he took some great photos now on the web HERE

Airline adds extra services between Edinburgh and Wick airports  - - Check Flybe for tickets
Flybe franchise partner, Loganair, will be adding an extra two services between Edinburgh and Wick from Friday, September 27 this year. The carrier currently operates six rotations (12 flights) a week between the capital and Wick

Police in Highlands and Islands to target speeding motorists around schools
Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division will be targeting speeding motorists around the region's roads from tomorrow for the next fortnight to ensure the safety of all school attendees and encourage motorists to drive at lesser speeds. The division-wide initiative will focus on all primary and secondary schools from tomorrow (20 August 2013) until next Friday (30 August 2013), particularly in areas where those attending are known to walk to and from school.

Last chance to nominate for Highland Council Tenants Awards 2013
People throughout the Highlands are being urged to shout out loud about folks who make a difference to their community by nominating them for a Highland Council Tenant Community Award. Sponsored by The Co-operative Membership, the deadline for nominations for the inaugural Awards is on Friday 23 August, 2013. Anyone who lives in an area managed by The Highland Council’s Housing and Property Service can be nominated for the awards
Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh 0 - - Academy take it and then dish it out.
Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh 0Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh 0Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh 0Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh 0

Academy shrugged off early pressure and settled down to what they do best – incisive, attacking football – to retain their table-topping position, albeit on goal difference. It was 15 minutes in, though, before they got their reward, through man-of-the match, Richard Macadie, dispatching from a Gary Weir cross, for their opener. Macadie made it 2-0 in the 27th after a keeper foul on Weir, then Richard exorcising the Academy penalty bogey, in the process. Davie Allan made it 3-0 from a long ball from Macadie, taking his team into the break with a comfortable cushion. Surprisingly, no more goals from either side, in the second period which saw the Broch desperate to get on the score sheet but although fast on the break, their poor finishing let them down and they scorned the few chances that presented themselves.  Photo Gallery
So Some Teachers Thought They Could Hide At The Back of The Photo Yesterday - Here Are Some Zooms
Highland Probationary Teachers 2013 zoom in Highland Probationary Teachers 2013 zoom in

For an even bigger view just right click on the photos and click on "Open in New Tab" and you wil see an even bigger image to see the great new band of teachersin our area.  Welcome to all of you in Caithness and every other part of Highland.

Bower Gala 2013
Bower Gala 2013 Bower Gala 2013
Bower Gala 2013Bower Gala 2013Bower Gala 2013
Bower Gala 2013 looked as if it mught be held in wet conditions early on.  But the rain cleared and the sun came out for the afternoon.
Probationer Teachers Welcomed to the Highlands for 2013
New Highland Probationer Teachers 2013
Over 100 probationer teachers were welcomed to the Highlands today at an induction meeting held at Milton of Leys Primary School, Inverness by Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee. Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chairman of the Council’s Adult and Children’s Services Committee, said: “Probationer Teachers play a vital role in the provision of education for our pupils. I am delighted that Highland Council has again been able to offer an increased number of placements for these teachers starting out in their educational careers.   A Big Photo Of The New Teachers

Bower Primary School Children Get Gardening
Bower School Children Gardening with New Equipment
Before the summer holidays Bower Primary School children, staff and parents helped with gardening work around the school grounds. Planters were planted up with colourful flowers, potatoes were planted, flower beds weeded and the whole school area given a general tidy up. New tools, protective gloves and a wheel barrow were bought after the school parent forum was successful with a grant application to MFR Cash for Kids. These were put to excellent use during the gardening day.

Fit's in 'e Groat 'e Day
A fast look at some items from the local paper from Noel Donaldson.
Or e'Courier on Wednesday

Have You Got What It Take To Be A Referee?
Referee course
No exeperince required and open to men and women.  Here is your chance to get the training and become qualified referee.  

The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Demonstrator Project: an Illustrated Lecture
Beatrice Wind Turbine
Final part of an education programme to complement Sue Jane Taylor’s exhibition ‘Beatrice Works’ – on display at Caithness Horizons until 22nd August 2013. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Bristol has the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and Dundee the Tay Rail Bridge. Engineering construction that was cutting-edge in its day is continually superseded by newer, alternatively challenging projects which push the boundaries of technology ever further in one direction or another. So the Burj Khalifa in Dubai today lays claim to the proud boast of being the tallest building in the world, dwarfing New York’s tiddly Empire State Building and all its subsequent record holders. What fantasies will the future turn into a reality of beams and girders?               Sue Jane Taylor Exhibition of Work-Beatrice Works  
Spotlight on Community Sport in Thurso
Thurso Community Sport Hub Development. Community Sport goes under the spotlight in Thurso as the first stages of an exciting new sports development initiative gets underway. The project will see Thurso being developed as one of only four Community Sport Hubs in the Highlands. Sports clubs, sports enthusiasts and interested members of the public are being invited to attend an open meeting on Wednesday the 28th of August, 7pm at Thurso Swimming Pool to hear more about the initiative and give their views on how the project should be shaped locally.

Energy first for revamped Scrabster Harbour
SR 250 tidal turbine at Scrabster
A new multi-million pound redevelopment at mainland Scotland’s most northerly port, Scrabster Harbour, is already reaping the benefits, only two months after coming into operation. Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd, based in Orkney, has chosen Scrabster as the location for their most recent operations and maintenance work on their prototype tidal turbine, the SR250.

More Bee-utiful Photos From A Caithness Garden
Bee and flower from the Tenacious Gardner From the garden of the Tenacious Gardner
 See from the Start   2006 Collection  2007 Collection
If you have any recently snapped photos of insects, motsh or butterflies on flowersin your  garden or country side you would like to share in this section email them to    Neil Money is also always on the look out for new photos for his Moths in Caithness web site.
In 2006 we also ran a gallery for fungi in Caithness  Is 2013 a good year for fungi? - send any contributions in if you have taken any photos.

Seashore Road Show
Seashore Road Show

Caithness Clouds and The Aurora
Maciej Winiarczyk has posted his latest film of an event in Caithness on the forum but its so good it deserves wider audience so we are posting it on the front page. Well done.

Check Out The Latest Jobs On Offer Today
New employment opportunities ar ebeing added every week and often every day so check this section regularly if you are looking for a new job.  Note to Employers - Advertising your vacancies is FREE and all you need to do is join the Forum to begin placing ads.  The ads are closed so replies should be sent direct to the advertising employers for more information. Ads are removed after suitable length of time or when the deadline for applications if posted has past.  The forum has many hundreds of people looking in each day and job ads receive a high viewing rate from prospective employees.  And best of all it keeps your recruitment advertising costs down.

Wick's New Council Offices - Latest Photos
Wick Council Offices construction 11th August 2013
Work continues on the construction of the new council offices in Wick.  To see the photos so far from the start go HERE
To see Impressions of how the new offices will look see HERE

Construction Of A New House At Old Wick Road
Old wick road - New house under construction New house under construction at Old Wick Roadnew house under construction at Old Wick Road New house under construction at Old Wick Rd

Buidling continues on the outskirts of Wick with expansion of the Old Wick area of the town still moving ahead even if things have slowed down in recent times.  M M Miller Ltd continue to build and have plots available for new homes.  This series of photos followed the building of one new home and this house wil soon be completed and we will finish off the series of photos in the near future.  
Orkney Show 2013
Orkney Show 2013bOrkney Show 2013 Orkney Show 2013Orkney Show 2013

Early showers of rain gave way to sunshine at the annual Orkney Show on Saturday. The crowds including a contingent from Caithness, were treated to a fine display of stock, trade stands and a varied entertainment programme, not least the Jarl squad from Shetland and the Kirkwall City Pipe Band.

A New Batch Of Photos Of Brora
The last photos added to this gallery was in 2004 so it was time to take another look round.  A few photos let you see what is happening from the notice board and a few will let you compare with almost 10 years ago when the earlier ph0tos were taken

Mey 10K - Hundreds Took Part - We Finally Have Added Hundreds Of Photos To The Gallery
Mey 10k Run Mey 10K RunMey 10 K RunMey 10k RunMey 10K run

Were you there or can you see many people you know keeping fit.  Will you be there next year?

Happy Pipers Of Lucerne Played With the RBLS Wick Pipe Band
Pipe Bands in Wick Pipe Bands in WickPipe Bands in Wick

Fit's in 'e Groat  - Last Friday
Noel Donaldson's fast look at some items from the local paper.
Open Day For The Community To See Gordonbush Wind Farm Near Brora
Gordonbush Wind Farm Visit For Local Community Gordonbush Wind Farm Visit For CommunitySutherland School Pipe Band plays At Gordonbush Wind FarmGordonbush Wind Farm Visit

SSE who built the Gordonbush wind farm comprising 35 turbines organised visit for the community to see the windfarm and get more information about community benefits.  The information showed the number of jobs during construction, the road improvements and a new bridge to be constructed shortly along with information about the community fnd already set up and now oopen for applications.  The bus trip carried members of the public and the Sutherland Schools Pipe Band who played at the hall then at the wind farm site itself.  SSE is now major sponsor of the pipe band.

Two New Books On The Highland Clearances
Two New books on Highland Clearances
If you have an interest in the Highland Clearances then you might like to pop in to Caithness Horizons on Sunday to hear about two new books from the authors.  
BEARING THE PEOPLE AWAY June Skinner Sawyers -  Part reference guide, part handbook, part travel guide and part resource in one portable volume, Bearing the People Away uses an encyclopedia format geared toward the general reader.
PARTING PROPHECY POETRY Fògradh, Fàisneachd, Filidheachd / Parting, Prophecy, Poetry Duncan Blair, John Alick MacPherson and Michael Linkletter

Caithness Ladies Netball
Caithness Ladies Netball
20th August 2013 - Come and Try Thurso High School Games Hall 8.30 - 10.00pm
Ever played netball before or want to try something new? Want to have some fun and improve your fitness at the same time? Or just want to make new friends? Then come along to our Netball come and try night! No experience is needed, the rules are quick and easy to pick up!

Castlehill Heritage Garden Looking Good - Go Along If You Are In The Area
Castlehill Heritage Garden Castlehill Heritage Garden Castlehill Heritage Garden
Photo Gallery

At Least One Tenacious Gardner Is Alive and Kicking In Caithness
Gardening with dogs and owls?  Not so much an instruction manual on how to do gardening but a light-hearted look in this blog at gardening in the county with results that many of us have seen despite our best efforts with occassional successes to keep us interested in planting again next year.
More Vintage Vehicles Photos From The June Rally At John O'Groats
Vintage Vehicle Rally 2013
We finally got time to add all of the photos from the vintage vehicle rally in June.  All the photos including prize winners are now in.

Many other photos of various types of vehicles used in the north in the Transport section.

RWE NRL Publishes Caithness Community Profile
RWE NRL has published online the results of the Caithness converstaion research run several weeks ago in the county. Foundation Scotland carried out the research for RWE NRL to find out the views of communities, businesses and key local stakeholders as to how they thought community benefit could be used to the best advantage for the area as whole and local communities.   Caithness Conversation Community Profile document    RWE Web Site
Wind Farm Activity Map as at December 2012

Add Your Support for The North Highland Way Trail
The web site Lets Go North currently has a link to the petition to get a new trail opened up across the north of Scotland.

Thurso Live Music Association - 50th Season - Golden Jubilee
If you would like to listen to live classical music then check out the Thruso live Music Associatyion offering for their Golden Jubilee year and a great offer on a season ticket to make a good saving for the series of concerts ijn 2013/14.

Wick Academy 4 - Clachnacuddin 3
Academy go through to the semi-final of the north of Scotland cup following a great game last night. Academy wil now be up against Thurso or Brora in their semi-final.  An enormous cheer was heard by half of Wick when the fourth goal was scoared. - Well done.

Garden Tiger Moth In A Lybster Garden
Garden Tiger MothThis photos has been sent in by Linda Claxson for the gallery on bees insects and flowers.  Linda said, "Garden Tiger moth taken a week or so ago in my garden in Lybster. 3rd one I've seen this year although the RSPB claim their numbers are diminishing - this is the first year I have ever seen them."   The Butterfly Conservation web site confirms this decline in moths including the tiger.  For help with identifying moths in Caithness see Neil Money's web site "The Moths Of Caithness"  If you would like to add to this years gallery of bees insects and flowers  in Caithness email your photos to
Planning Scotland's Seas - Marine Scotland Consultation
Marine Scotland are holding a series of public events to advise and inform on the three consultations which were launched recently.  The event will be held in Mackays Hotel, Wick as a drop in between 1.00pm and 8.00pm on Wednesday 21st August for anyone who wants to find out more about what is happening to the seas around our coast in coming years.

Pentland Survey Work Now Underway
Catmaran Lia
Detailed sea-survey work for a tidal stream electricity 'array' in the Pentland Firth is in full swing just now with specialist vessel Lia. The officers and crew of a specialist vessel, owned by a venerable British family business with a history dating back over 200 years, have been busy this week (starting 04.08.13) in the Pentland Firth conducting detailed surveys in connection with a planned sub-sea 'tidal stream electricity' power station.............. The Lia's intensive 2013 summer works, in waters between 60 and 80 metres deep, are a precursor to an early 'consenting' application to Marine Scotland. The location lies between 7 and 8 miles North-North-West from Gills Bay.   Gills Harbour Ltd

Bee-utiful - Caithness is Blooming in Gardens and in the Countryside
Bees and other insects out on flowers in Caithness Pollinating going on in CaithnessInsects and flowersBees and insects on flowers in Caithness

Noel and Bill have been taking a few photos in the garden and out around the country lanes.   The variety of bees and wasps in Noel Donaldson's garden has given him plenty of photo opportunities. Here is a selection of them from the bumbles to the paper wasps which tried to squat in a bird box.  Bill has been walking regularly along the road near his house this summer and snapped a few flowers and the odd bee or moth. If anyone would like to contribute more photos to this gallery just email them to
In 2006 and again in 2007 we created a similar collection so it will be interesting to see if there are any differences and possibly even  better photos as digital cameras are now everywhere and much improved in quality and at very affordable prices now.
Nature Items
Biodiveristy Collection Looking Very Calm At Wick Harbour Compared to the Big Storm in December
Crab boat near wick Harbour on a calm day in August 2013

This photo was taken yesterday on 5th August 2013.  Remember how it was on 15th December

Caithness death crash case involving Leicester cyclist dropped - BBC
A case against a 95-year-old woman accused of killing a cyclist by dangerous driving has been dropped. Alice Ross, of Lybster, is thought to have been the oldest person in Scotland to have faced a High Court indictment. She blamed a rare medical condition for causing the accident in which Elaine Dunne, 30, from Glenfield, died.

More Pipes Bound for Subsea 7 At Wester Arrive At Wick Harbour
Celtic Crusader At Wick Celtic Crusader at Wick Harbour Celtic Crusader At Wick Harbour

Subsea 7 based at Wester near Wick have full order book for pipeline bundles as can be seen from this latest delivery of pipes at Wick Harbour. Subsea 7 has a well-established track record of safe and successful bundle design, fabrication and installation, with over 70 bundles produced since our first bundle in 1980. In January 2013 Subsea 7, a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services to the offshore energy industry, was awarded a contract worth a total of approximately US$135 million from Shell U.K. Ltd for work on the Shell operated Fram oil and gas development in the Central North Sea. Subsea 7, Inc. was the result of a series of mergers between DSND, Halliburton Subsea, Subsea Offshore and Rockwater over an extended period, with Rockwater and SubSea merging in 1999 to form Halliburton Subsea, and the resulting company merging with DSND in 2002 to form Subsea.

A Special's Tale of Two Cities - Could You Be a Special Constable?
Special Constable
Erin Dignan gives an insight into the role of a Special Constable. Special Constable Erin Dignan is one the first Special Constables to have experienced working in both the Highlands and in Glasgow as part of Police Scotland. Erin, who is from Inverness always wanted to be a Police Officer from a young age and joined the Special Constable Programme in Glasgow, whilst studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. She said, "From a young age I had wanted to be a Police Officer, but once I finished school I wanted to go and gain a degree at University. Whist at University, the Special Constable program seemed like an excellent opportunity to gain insight and practical experience into policing while still allowing me to study and gain my degree.”

Bower Show/Gala/Flower/Baking/Competitions - Saturday 17th August - A Wee Show - Great Fun
Enter the flower and baking competitions - Children's Fancy Dress -

Get A Team of 4 and enter the Bower Big Bale Push Competition

ERI Seminar: Satellite communications for dummies - 15th August 5.30pm ERI, Thurso

MSP David Stewart Highlights FREE Eye Tests For Drivers
David Stewart MSP highlights FREE eye tests for drivers
Highlands & Islands MSP and road safety campaigner David Stewart, in partnership with Macrae & Dick and Tesco Opticians, Inverness, have come together to launch a campaign to highlight that 1 in 6 road collisions may be caused by drivers with poor eyesight. The Group are campaigning for a change in legislation which will mean that new drivers will have to undergo a proper eye examination by a qualified person before they can drive and drivers will require to have their eyesight tested every three years thereafter.

Funding still available through Highland European Fisheries Fund
Do Any Other Caithness Harbour Groups Have Ideas Needing Funding? - Act Now

Highland fishing communities still have time to benefit from the European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 programme. Now entering into the latter stages of the programme the Highland Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) would like to highlight there is still financial support available to assist local projects. The European Fisheries Fund aims to help develop communities where fishing is in decline by supporting measures to build skills and knowledge and increase the capacity of local fishing communities and business networks through innovation, collaboration and diversification. Those that have been successful in securing EFF funding include Wick Harbour Authority, who were recently awarded funding of £30,098 for the purchase of additional infrastructure to increase the capacity of Wick Marina from 72 to 84 berths.
Wick Marina commenced building in 2009 and the change has been amazing....see it at recent harbour day  The decline was obvious for all to see as can be seen in this photo in 2001  So if your harbour can use some grant fnding get applying.

Feis Rois Coming To Scrabster 15th August
Feis Ross Ceilidh Trail At Scrabster
It’s only a matter of weeks since Feis Rois returned from Australia where they worked with The National Celtic Festival of Australia to introduce the hugely successful Ceilidh Trail model which has been delivered successfully in Ross and Cromarty since 2000. Since those early days the trail has been replicated across five other communities and for the second year this summer is set to tour nationally to venues and communities across Scotland.............This year we are delighted to be coming to Scrabster Village Hall on 15th August at 7:30pm where we’ll be joined on stage by a group of local youngsters.

SQA Results 2013 - Strong exam performance by Highland candidates
Exam candidates across the Highlands get their results by text, email or by post this morning (6 August 2013). Overall, the number of S4 pupils in The Highland Council area achieving five grades at level 4 or better has risen by 3.7% to 83.1%, the highest in five years. Similarly, the number of S4 pupils achieving five grades at level 5 is up by 4.4% to a five year high of 41.1%.
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Fit was in 'e Groat Last Friday
A quick look a the local paper from Noel Donaldson

Charles to visit family bakers  - The Irvine Herald

Wick Gala 2013 -  Fireworks and Bonfire Night
Wick Gala 2013 FireworksWick Gala 2013 - Fireworks Wick Gala 2013 FireworksWick Gala 2013 - fireworks

Crowds converged on the Riverside on Saturday night for the traditional, penultimate, attraction of a successful gala week, the bonfire and fireworks displays and they were not disappointed. Many, enjoyed the spectacular scene from their cars on the upper field.   Sorry we cannot send you the taste and smell of kippers from the night - you have to be there.

Triathlon At Wick Harbour Was Last Wick Gala 2013 Event
Triathlon - Wick 4th August 2013
Adding fitnesss to the fun of Wick Gala Week 2013 were members of Wick Triathlon club and others wiling to take on swim round Wick Harbour followed by the cycling and running.  The competitors need all their energy to cope with very windy conditions for the running and cycling after a swim in the cold waters of Wick harbour.  Well done to everyone who took part in this event brining to a conclusion a very successful Gala Week in Wick.

Scorries Win First Match Of the New Season
Not a classic but it's goals that count at the end of the day
Saturday 3rd August 2013 - Bignold Park, Wick WICK ACADEMY 2 BUCKIE THISTLE 0 Report - Noel Donaldson
Wick Academy 2 Buckie Thistle  Wick Academy 2 Buckie Thistle 0 Wick Academy 2 Buckie Thistle 0

THIS was no season opening classic with both sides struggling to cope with the windy conditions. But the positive that the Scorries camp will take from it, is the all-important one, all three points and that too, without three key players, as well as the fact that their unbeaten home record remains intact. It was a scrappy first half in the sunshine, but things started to look more promising ten minutes from half-time, when, during a spell of pressure, Academy was awarded a penalty!
Photos From The Wick Academy Buckie Thistle Game

Harvest Rush Before Rain in Caithness
Rush to Get Grass harvested before rain near Wick
A short video showing the frenetic activity in Caithness last week when rain was forecast and the rush was on to get in grass crops for silage and baling. This film was shot at March Road on the outskirts of Wick, Caithness. A similar rush and long hours could be noted all over the north as farmers tried to beat the rain forecast for the next day. This operations cleared this field in less than an hour.  These guys were really moving up and down the road as they cleared the fild in double quick time similar to the race all over the north in those couple of days before the rain came.

The Seann Truibhas - Highland Dance at Mey Highland Games 2013
Seann Truibhas at Mey Highland Games
A short video of three dancers in one of the Highland Dancing competitions at Mey Highland Games on Saturday 3rd August 2013.  Highland Dancing is one of the main attractions at the Mey Highland Games held annually in Caithness. The dance here on Saturday 3rd August 2013 was one of several. The Seann Truibhas is a beautiful dance and the history of Scotland is woven into the steps. Highland and other forms of dancing are very popular with girls in Caithness and they enter many competitions througout the year. There are several dance class groups in the county.

Big 'push' by France into tidal-stream electricity developments
Big 'push' by France into tidal-stream electricity developments, spearheaded by a major Pentland Firth participant, is welcomed by the chairman of Scotland's most Northerly mainland port. Community-owned Gills Harbour Ltd lies adjacent to the Firth's 'tide-fields', while upgrade works at the Gills Bay site continue throughout this summer (2013). France is making a determined push to harvest the energy of its tidal streams and perhaps challenge Britain's 'current' lead in this new 'horizontal hydro-electricity' field, with employment-creating developments already occurring on the other side of the English Channel. A major shareholder in MeyGen Ltd, the consortium that aims to kick-off tidal stream electricity in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound, off NE Caithness, as early as next year (2014), wants to build a second 'pilot plant' to harness the fast-flowing tides in the ten miles-wide strait between Alderney, in the Channel Islands and Normandy in Northern France.
Mey Highland Games 2013
Mey Highland Games 2013Mey Highland Games 2013Mey Highland Games 2013Mey Highland Games 2013Mey Highland Games 2013

Mey Highland Games had it all - sun, rain, wind  in equal parts.  The stormy blast lasted only a few minutes from time to time.  Prince Charles/Duke of Rothesay chieftan for the games and his guests joined the locals and visotrs to enjoy the afternon depsite th eblustery weather.  One little girl presented him with bouquet of flowers while another dancer in her sailor suit ready for the competition presented small teddly bear to the Duke of Rothesay for his new grandson.  Highland dancers, Kuk Sool Won demonstration amongst the various light hearted races for all comers were competed to the background of the serious heavy events of throwing the hammer.  Sooin the afternoon was over and the Wick Pipe Band played once again to the departing spectators and the Dukle of Rothesay.
Wick Gala Programe For The Full Week

Video of a Jig At Halkirk Highland Games 2013

Sword Dance At Halkirk Highland Games 2013

Halkirk Highland Games 2013 Photos
A Look Round Kyle of Lochalsh
Kyle of Lochalsh
Bill was recently in Kyle of Lochalsh on a nice sunny day.

A Few More Photos From Children's Fancy Dress At Wick Gala Just Added
Children's Fancy Dress At wick Gala 2013

A Norwegian Tony Jensen Has Created a Blog About His Visit to Wick and Scotland
Tony Jensen On His Visit To Wick
The blog is written in Norwegan but with the help of google we have placed a translation for you HERE
We were contacted to today by Norwegian Blogger Tony Jensen who has prepared a blog about his trip to Scotland. Greetings from Norway! I have just been to Wick, and have written a blogg.. The text are in norwegian language, but there are some nice pictures there. The blogg is going to be launched at Bergen Scottish Societys web page, and norways biggest local paper, Fanaposten. Hoping to spread some nice word about Caithness in western part of Norway.. Cheers, Slainte.. Tony

Gala Queen And Attendants Drew The Raffle At The Floral Competition In Wick
Raffle Draw by Gala Queen and Attendants
Who are the lucky raffle prize winners? Patrons at the Wick gala floral competition in Wick Assembly Rooms on Wednesday didn't have long to wait for the answers as gala queen Hannah Russell and her attendants Carys Miller and Ashleigh Tucker got the draw underway.

Fit's in 'e Courier
A few notes from items in the mid-week local paper featured in Doanalsin's Diary

What's On At Caithness Horizons In August
Beatrice Lecture
Caithness Horisons has a busy programme of events and exhibitions for august so why not pop in if you are in Tjhurso in coming weeks.  Across Caithness there is a lot happening in coming week so check the What's On to seeif anything is of interest to you.  Wick Gala continues all week until the finish on Saturday night with Kippers and fireworks at the riverside. Still plenty of events for adults and kids so check it out.

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