News Archive - August 2014


Work Begins For New Wick High School, Primary School and Community Campus
New wick high and Community Campus as work begins 28 August 2014
Work has finally begun with the initial groundworks underway.  A few photos to begin our photo gallery to follow the building progress over the next two years until completion of the new Wick High School primary school to replace Pulteneytown and south primary schools, new larger swimming pool and new community library.  The new complex will feature a covered street with the schools on one side and community facilities on the other side.  Taking into accunt the winter weather in the far north pupils will be able to have dry facilties outwith their classrooms with extended dining factilities able to accomodate many more pupils.  
Rushdance Back From UDO World Street dance championships
Rushdance at UDO World championships have just competed at the biggest street dance competition of the year. UDO (United dance organisation) have just held the World street dance championships in Glasgow at both SECC and CLYDE venues, with dancers from over 30 countries around the world from afar a field as Canada, Australia, Japan, America, Netherlands, Germany and many more, with 250 crews competing and over 6000 people attending.

Latest Progess At Lidl Wick
Lidl Extension, ick - 27 August 2014

Dunbeath's Bronze Age Temple - excavations at Halmie
Dunbeaht Bronze Age Temple
A chance to hear about one of the recently excavated places in Caithness that so many talk about but remain largely unseen.  Head over to Dunbeath Heritage Centre on Thursday 4th September at 7.30pm to find out more about one of your local historical places.

Watten Fun Day 2014 - Ferrets and Flowers
Watten Fun Day 2014Watten Fun Day 2014Watten Fun Day 2014

Canisbay Couple Celebrate Golden Wedding With Gift To Caithness Heart Support Group
Canisbay Couple donate to Caithness Heart Support Group
CAITHNESS Heart Support Group's funds received a welcome boost from Canisbay couple David and Jean Kennedy (centre) in the shape of this cheque for £1,090. The couple, who live at Granzel, Tresdale, asked well-wishers to donate cash instead of presents on their golden wedding anniversary, for a charity of their choice.

Get Training With Caithness Rugby Football Club - Juniors
CRFC - Juniors 2014/15 training begins Sunday 31st August at Thurso and Wick.

Police anxious to trace missing person Brad Acland from Dunbeath in Caithness

Summer Engineering Programme Prepares Young Adults
Engineering Programme for summer at UHI North Highland college
Last week, fourteen North Highland College UHI students celebrated the completion of a new six week summer programme aimed to help young people into employment, by providing essential training to progress into sustained employment within the Engineering Sector. From July to August the students have developed engineering employability skills, industry standard training and gained a suite of statutory certificates. The students also benefited from additional Dounreay Training, Industrial Visits, CITB Health, Safety and Environment Course and HELCAT Training.  PHOTOS

Fit's in 'e Groat 'e Day
A selection of items from the local paper in brief.

World's Largest Tidal Project Surges Forward
The green light has been given on Thursday 21st August 2014 to kick off the first phase of the MeyGen project - the world's largest tidal power development which will be installed in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is backing the project with a £3.3m grant. MeyGen has announced that terms have been agreed for a funding package of £50m and this means construction of the first phase will now begin.

Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership Latest News
Weekly update from programme manager Eann Sinclair

Castle Of Mey Awarded £193,440 By Historic Scotland
Castle Of Mey
£1.5 MILLION AID FOR HISTORIC BUILDINGS. More than £1.5 million has been awarded to help repair seven historic buildings across Scotland as part of Historic Scotland's Building Repairs Grants scheme. The announcement was made by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, whilst on a visit to Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, which had itself been awarded £500,000 as part of the scheme. Ms Hyslop said: "We are incredible lucky in Scotland to have a built heritage which is the envy of the world. By investing in these important buildings we are not just ensuring the protection of these vital, tangible connections to our past but also ensuring that they play a prominent role in the future of their communities."
Keep On Runnin On Sunday 24th August 10k & 4k

Catching Up With Lidl Extension Build At Wick
Lidl Extension, Wick - 21 August 2014
The Lidl extension buidling at Wick is moving fast with activity all over the site.  The shop closed last weekend and reopens on 9th October.  Meantime for Lidl shoppers there is a bus being provided to take shoppers to Lidl, Thurso leaving at 9.30am and 1.30pm each day.

Lidl Wick opened on 20 March 2003

A9 to Wick
This neat take off of a well known song in a Youtube video highlights Wick by the well known character Mr Boom aka Andy Munro and added here for those of you who have not seen it before or if you have for another smile.

Boost to employment opportunities in the Highlands
In the Highlands over the last 3 months 149 employment opportunities have been created through the Council's advisory and business support services. During a meeting of the Council's Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee held today (Wednesday 20 August) members heard that 71 new businesses have been supported by Business Gateway to start up and a further 122 Highland businesses already serving local markets have accessed advice over the last quarter.

One Bedroom & Studio Apartments Ready Now At Cairn Housing

Cairn Housing
Are you looking to downsize? Are you looking for somewhere with affordable fuel bills? Would you like the option of having the company of others? If you answered yes to any of the above, Cairn Housing Association can help by offering you an excellent range of one-bedroom and studio apartments in Wick that are available to move into right now. Caberfeidh Court is situated in a quiet residential area in Wellington Avenue and offers quality accommodation exclusively to people over the age of 50. Situated off the main road on the outskirts of town, this peaceful housing complex is surrounded by a large private garden and car park with fantastic views over the North Sea and surrounding coastline.

Princes Street, Thurso - New Photos
Princes Street, Thurso
Another look at one of the longer streets in Thurso.  Princess Street first enrtered ont ot he web site 11 years ago in 2003 so you can take a brose and seeif you can see the changes particularly in some of the shops, or the temporarily relocated library while they await the improvments at the other site.
To see the photos from 11 years ago START HERE

Play Away Music Class
Play Away Music Lessons
Starts 29th August 2014. Windsong Studio, Bower. £4 1 child or £6 with sibling over 6 months Wiggle, Giggle, Dance, Drum & Sing with Early Childhood Music Specialist, Fiona Murray. This class is for Parents with Nursery and Preschool age children 3 - 5.

27 Students take advantage of summer work opportunities
Gaelic Students
27 students were provided with summer work under this year's Students Summer Placement Scheme, which HIE contract Comunn na Gàidhlig to deliver. The students, who are either fluent Gaelic speakers or learners, are working with businesses and third sector organisations across the Highlands and islands.
27 Oileanaich a' Faighinn Cothroman Obrach Fad Mìosan an t-Samhraidh
Fhuair 27 oileanaich obair samhraidh air Sgeama Greis Gnìomhachais nan Oileanach na bliadhna sa a tha Comunn na Gàidhlig a' libhrigeadh fo chùmhnant do HIE.

Free Wifi Hot Spot For Brora
Free Wifi For Centre Of Brora From end august 2014
The beautiful village of Brora in Sutherland is set to become a digital gateway for tourists and locals, as part of a community broadband pilot project being supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). An open access wifi zone is scheduled to go live in the centre of the village by the end of the month. It isn't the first time the village has been a pioneer of technology. It was nicknamed the 'Electric City', when in 1913 it became the first place in the North to have electric home, business and street lighting. The local residents of Brora and District Action Group (BaDAG), a registered charity, have developed the project which will create the public hotspot, to benefit local businesses and visitors.

Chair of further education regional board for the Highlands and Islands takes up post
Michael Foxley
Dr Michael Foxley has taken up his post as chair of the University of the Highlands and Islands' new further education regional board. The Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act makes the University of the Highlands and Islands, through a further education regional board, accountable for all college and university-level education in the Highlands and Islands. This means that from 1 August 2014 the university is responsible for all education in the region after students leave school. Dr Michael Foxley is a long-time campaigner for improved further and higher education in the West Highlands and is a former chair of Lochaber College and West Highland College UHI. A retired general practitioner, he is also a former leader of The Highland Council, a board member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and NHS Highland and a crofter.
Concessionary Travel Scheme Is Just the Ticket
Research published today by Transport Scotland shows high levels of satisfaction amongst users of Scotland's concessionary bus travel scheme. The research found that 98% of cardholders are very or fairly satisfied with the scheme which offers free bus travel across Scotland. As well as the financial savings, the findings also highlight how the scheme has a positive impact on the physical and mental well-being of cardholders, allowing individual independence or freedom. This was particularly important for disabled users with 77% saying that having the card helped them improve or maintain their mental well-being, with 63% of all users saying the same.

Beat The Burglars - Home Security Tips
Remote lock
As the nights draw in and temperatures drop and we start to prepare for the onset of winter, we need to be mindful that burglars often strike under the cover of darkness. Window and door manufacturers, SafeChoice, have some useful tips to making your home safe and secure this winter. Research shows that in the UK, burglars strike every 40 seconds. Families with children are likely victims and 56% of burglaries happen at night. You are six times more likely to be burgled without both window locks and double locks or deadlocks on outside doors. 73% of burglars use doors to enter a property and in 3% of cases the door is unlocked!

ABB to provide UK grid connection for Europe's largest tidal energy project
Tidal Energy
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has been awarded a contract by Atlantis Resources Limited to provide the onshore grid connection for Phase I of the MeyGen tidal stream project in the Pentland Firth. The MeyGen tidal stream project is at the forefront of world marine energy development and will harvest the tidal resources of one of the most energetic maritime sites in Europe, the strait connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea between the Orkney Islands and the Scottish mainland.

Wick Town Hall Almost Ready
Wick Town Hall
More photos to update where the work is.  Most of the outside work is completed and the final touches are being done inside.

Academy derailed by locomotive works team - Wick Academy 3 Inverurie Locos 6
Wick Academy 3 Inverurie Locos 6
Reporter Noel Donaldson
A NINE-goal encounter but no thriller for Academy's fans as the bulk of the strikes were down to their opponents, in one of the Scorries' heaviest home defeats. It began optimistically for the home side with Jack Halliday netting from close in, in 17 minutes, but the early promise was painfully snuffed out, when, in a nightmare few minutes Locos scored three times and David Ross rubbed salt in the Scorries' wounds by making it 4-1 before the break, from a rebound. Photo Gallery

Work to start on latest radon testing programme in Highland
Radon Tester
The Highland Council's Community Services have commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to test around 1,150 Council houses in Highland at the highest risk from radon gas. PHE is writing to 1,150 Council tenants in parts of Badenoch and Strathspey; Wester Ross Strathpeffer and Lochalsh; Caol and Mallaig; Landward Caithness; East Sutherland and Edderton; Dingwall and Seaforth; and Aird and Loch Ness Wards during the week commencing 18 August 2014. Tenants will receive test kits and instructions on how to use them the following week commencing 25 August 2014. Highland is one of 16 local authorities in Scotland which has areas with a presence of radon exceeding recommended levels.

Theft from a motor vehicle in Wick

Call for speedier upgrade of Berriedale Braes on the A9 -
Bower Gala 2014
Bower Gala 2014
Bower Gala 2014Bower Gala 2014

Missed e' Groat - Quick Catch Up Here

Assault On Wick To Thurso Bus
Probationer teachers welcomed to the Highlands for 2014
New Highland teachers 2014
One hundred and eleven probationer teachers were welcomed to the Highlands today (15 August 2014) 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. Of the 111 probationers, 49 have been allocated to secondary schools and 62 to primary schools in the Highlands.
  Close-up Photo

SEA Postcard Art Auction Raised £4517.27
Sea Postcard
Brough Bay Association and Castlehill Heritage are £4517 better off following the online charity auction fund-raiser to bif for small paintings.  Artists names have now been added to the pictures so check them out to see if you guessed any of them.

Launch Night Photos

Blue do for Lilywhites as they crash out of Cup - Wick Academy 2 Clachnacuddin 0
Wick Academy 2 Clachnacuddin 0 - 13 August 2014
Reporter Noel Donaldson - WICK got off to a perfect start through a Gary Weir strike in the opening minutes but it didn't deter the visitors who demonstrated they wanted that semi-final North of Scotland Cup slot just as much. The two teams served up an entertaining 90 minutes, which, unlike the earlier league encounter had no nail-biting finish as Academy went on to consolidate their lead. A Macadie cross gave Weir a golden chance of grabbing an early advantage and he made no mistake from close in. Fast-breaking Clach were always dangerous, but a combination of poor finishing, and sound defending by their opponents, meant they were never able to put anything into the "ingin' bag". The visitors pressed hard in vain, in the closing stages of the first half and kept on working, despite losing a second goal, slid home by Sam Mackay, minutes from the break.  Photo Gallery

Local Family Raising Funds For Anthony Nolan - Can You Help?
Caithness Family Appeal for Anthony Nolan
Two small boys in Caithness, Euan (7) and Arran (4), have been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Chronic Granulomatous Disorder. This condition means that their bone marrow produces faulty white blood cells, leaving them open to bacterial and fungal infections their bodies are unable to fight.   Luckily they have been matched for bone marrow transplants that may help save their lives.  Meantime the family are attempting to raise funds to help the Anthony Nolan organisation that run the transplant register in the UK.  Read the letter and if you can help get in touch with the names mentioned.

Wick Harbour On A Wet Day
Wick Harbour on a wet day
A wet day as the ending of Hurricane Bertha dropped its final rains on Caithness and the rest of the country. Wick harbour is very bussy with wood being exported out and wind turbines for the Stroupster wind farm filling space around the harbour.

Fit's in 'e Courier
Fast look at some items from the local paper.

Orkney Vintage Car Club Rally 2014
Vintage Car Club Orkney Rally 2014
Owners of vintage vehicles converged on Hatson for Orkney Vintage Club's 31st annual rally on Sunday, and were rewarded with good weather and a fine display of private, commercial and agricultural vehicles.
Transport Index for many photos on of vehicles of all kinds

Gin set to flow from new Caithness micro distillery
Dunnet Bay Distillery
Work has now finished at the most northerly gin distillery on mainland Britain with the final piece of equipment - a new still called ‘Elizabeth' – installed in the new custom-built distillery at Dunnet, Caithness. Husband and wife team Martin and Claire Murray, the founders of Dunnet Bay Distillers have distilled and tested the first batches of Rock Rose gin and full production will be under way in time for the launch of the new micro distillery on the 21 August. Over the next three years, the company will receive support of £83,990 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) which the owners say have put a huge amount of effort into helping them develop their Rock Rose gin. Claire has been working with experts in Caithness to research local botanicals which can be used to flavour the gin.
Licensing Board concern at poor compliance on refresher training
Members of The Highland Council's Licensing Board were today (12 August 2104) informed that a very large number of Personal Licence holders have still to notify the Board that they have undertaken refresher training which is required if they are to retain their Licence. As at 12 August, of 1,559 Personal Licences needing to be refreshed only 688 (44%) had notified the Board that they had completed their refresher training. More than half (56%) Personal Licence holders have not notified the Board that they have refreshed their training. If personal licence holders do not refresh their Personal Licence holder training within the specified period, the Board must revoke the personal licence.
Personal licence holder refresher course
on 22 August in Wick.
97% of callers to Skills Development Scotland's Exam Results Helpline would recommend the service. This year's Helpline received 1200 calls during the first two days of operation. Career coaches were on hand to offer young people and their parents help, information and advice on next steps. Two-thirds of calls came from pupils and over half of that number hadn’t received the results they expected. However, ten per cent of callers had received better results than anticipated.

Who Do YOU Think You Are?
Who Do You Think You Are? - Caithness Family History
Wasn't the story of Julie Walters' Irish ancestors fascinating? (Who Do You Think You Are? Thursday 7th August at 9pm on BBC2 ) Did it make you wonder about your own family?

NHS Highland facing cutbacks of £22m

Police appeal for information following reports of bogus workmen
Police in Caithness and Sutherland are appealing for information following a report of bogus workmen operating in the area.

Dunnet Viking Ventures
Viking Ventures at Dunnet
As in days gone by Dunnet Bay in Caithness was once again a venue for Viking activity this summer on Thursday (7 August 2014). Mini-Vikings invaded Dunnet Beach and undertook activities such as writing in Viking runes, hunting for treasure, milking the cow, spear the deer, tug O' war and the Viking kubb throwing game. The Viking Ventures event was part of The Highland Council’s Caithness Countryside Rangers activity programme and was enjoyed by 11 children in total.

Wick Youth Discovery Day
Discovery Day in wick
Wick's Youth Network is inviting all youth organisations to the Wick Discovery Day on Saturday 13th September, from 11am-3pm at the Rosebank Recreational Park and Pavilion. The purpose of the day is to allow Youth Groups or workers operating in the Wick High School catchment to engage with the public for whatever purpose would best advance their activities and objectives.

Flower-rich grasslands - brilliant for bumblebees
Flower grasslands - brilliant for bees
If you want to encourage a sward of wildflowers on your land, and help bumblebees pollinate the countryside, then the coastal grassland workshop at Castletown, near Thurso, Caithness on 19th August 2014 can meet your needs. Scotland's coastline is made up of a unique collection of habitats, all influenced by proximity to the sea. These maritime grasslands along the north coast are particularly important for the wildlife they support, maintained by traditional grazing patterns.

Workshop on Coastal Grasslands and Bumblebees
Coastal Grassland workshop

Ranger Events In August

Soil Muck & Money Event
A practical day looking at soil & grassland management and making best use of FYM & slurry; there will also be a seeder demonstration.  Event is in September but book early as places limited.
MP Jim Murphy Leads Street Debates Today In Thurso and Wick for the Better Together Campaign

Jim Murphy is going aorund Scotland leading tradiionsl old style street debates to take the independence question right to the people.  Today he will be in Thurso from 11.30 and then in Wick from 2.00pm.  The venue for each debate is outside M & Co.   Jiim Murphy is the labour MP for East Renfrewshire and is currently the shadow secretary of state for international development.
Wick Academy 3 - Deveronvale 2
Wick Academy 3 Deveronvale 2 Saturday 2 August 2014
Reporter Noel Donaldson
ACADEMY and their fans couldn't have wished for a better season opener than this, with Richard Macadie snatching the decider in the dying minutes. It was essentially a game of one half as the first period was a non-productive tussle with Academy looking the more threatening. No real scoring chances until Gary Weir put the Scorries ahead, at just the right time, before the break. A bad-tempered element was creeping in and manifested itself in the second 45, with no fewer than three red cards and a well thumbed yellow card. John Urquhart levelled, early into the restart before Weir restored Wick's lead and Deveronvale evened things again, from a Kyle Ray header in the ding-dong battle for the points.    Photo Gallery

Wick Gala 2014 - Commonwick Games
Wick Gala 2014 - Commonwick GamesThe kids had a fun day going for gold in the evnrts organised by the Wick Gala committee on Saturday at Riverside, Wick.

Last batch now in - START HERE

Euromillions FIFA World Cup Online Lottery scam
The Highland Council's Trading Standards is alerting consumers to be on their guard if they receive a ‘Final Award Notification' letter address from "Euromillions FIFA World Cup Super-Lottery". Letters are being sent out by fraudsters claiming that people have won £725,000. This particular scam claims to have been sent from ‘FIFA House’ in Zurich, Switzerland. It is a scam run by fraudsters trying to con people out of money.

New Gym Equipment for Wick Swimming Pool
The fiiness room will be closed for a short time from Monday 4 to Wednesday 6 August while the new equipment is installed.

"My Hearts in the Highlands" August Events
The Highland involvement in the Great War, a historic woolmill, Highland family history, a clan gathering, traditional Highland stories, and the things Highlanders took with them when they had to leave the North are the themes of August's programme of the "My heart's in the Highlands" Homecoming Scotland 2014 events in the Highlands and Moray. Newtonmore, Fochabers, Knockando, Thurso, Tain, Cromarty, Strathpeffer, Wick and Glencoe will all be hosting events this month encouraging local people and visitors to explore and celebrate what makes the Highland special to them.