News Archive - September 2014


Has A Beaver Reached Caithness?
Keep your eyes peeled as on of the forum members think there may be one around.

Nuclear Archive At Wick - Pre-Qualification For Contactors Announced
Pre-qualification to find a contractor to build a new national nuclear archive in Wick has commenced, it has been announced. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has stated that the selected contractor will start work on the building in summer 2015. The total cost of the new archive is in the region of 17 million.

Highland Council takes enforcement action on dog fouling
The first two weeks of September saw Highland Council staff stepping up action on dog fouling in response to the Keep Scotland Beautiful annual ‘Ditch the Dirt' campaign.

What's On At Caithness Horizons in October 2014
A busy month at Caithness Horizons so check out if anything is of interest to you.  Pop in and then have coffee, tea or juice and a snack in the cafe.

A look at The Scorries opposition in their games
Fraserburgh v Fort William and Brora Rangers v Forres Medchanics  - 18 minutes

Fort William made the long trip east to face Fraserburgh FC. The visiting side led the charge early on and could have opened the scoring through Nicholas Stein but for a good stop by Fraserburgh goal-keeper Joe Barbour. Kris Hunter, Manager of Fraserburgh, demanded a quicker tempo and control of the ball and on 12mins a wonderful chip from Bryan Hay split the Fort William defence for William West to grab the opening goal. Fort William put up a good fight and the score remained 1-0 at half-time. The second half saw Fraserburgh start to dominate and control the ball but were unable to finish the move in the final third. Good goal-keeping from Richard Munro ensured that Fort William were not going to lie down and it took a penalty, awarded by referee Craig Sim. Up stepped Scott Barbour to lash home Fraserburgh’s second on 73mins. Scott Barbour grabbed his second of the day on 90mins rounding off a move that consisted of several neat and quick touches. Interviews by Sam McKay with Alex Mair, (Coach, Fraserburgh), Calum MacLean (Managaer, Fort William) and scorer of two goals, Scott Barbour. Included in the program is the mid-week game and goals from Grant Munro, Colin Williamson and Steven MacKay of Brora Rangers with some great saves from Stuart Knight of Forres Mechanics.
Wick Harbour
Wick Harbour 27 September 2014
There is always something happening at Wick harbour these days and if you go for walk around it you will see many more boats around than a few years ago.  The marina goes from strength to strength and with better facilities now for visiting yachts it looks set to continue as busy port for local and visitors whether for work or leisure.  More work boats look set to come to Wick as more port facilities are required for the new Moray Firth energy projects just beginning to get underway.

Scottish Ensemble strings spectacular for young Highland musicians
The Scottish Ensemble, the UK's only professional string orchestra, will be visiting the Highlands in October to host a special day of tuition for young musicians in Inverness. Pupils of all ages and abilities who play stringed instruments have the chance to come and join the Scottish Ensemble musicians for a fun day of music making with the opportunity to ask questions and learn how to get more out of their music playing.

New Council Offices In Wick With 6 Month To Go
New council offices at Wick under construction - 27 September 2014
With 6 month to go and much of the scaffolding gone it is easier to see the shape of the new building with work still ongoing on both sides and internally.  Wick is certainly busier than for many years with several big projects under construction at different stages.  The other projects are new Noss Primary School,  Lidl Supermarket, Wick High school just getting started and Wick Town Hall now completed.  With other projects still in the pipeline Wick looks set to be busy for the next two or three years.

Academy to the four as they take three points in Keith clash
Wick Academy 4 Keith 0 - 27 September 2014
Wick Academy 4 Keith 0 - Reporter Noel Donaldson

THERE can be nothing more demoralising for any football team team than being hammered 7-1 and days later losing 4-0 with no immediate prospect of things improving. That's the morale-sapping story for Keith F.C who must be quaking at the thought of meeting their next opponents, Brora Rangers, albeit it at home. Contrastingly, the Scorries were flying high, having recorded their sixth straight win on the bounce - the last three, without reply - and, if they keep complacency at bay, must be a good bet to secure another three points in their next outing, away to Strathspey Thistle to keep in touch with the league leaders.   PHOTO GALLERY

UCAS/Expanding Horizons Event  - Assembly Rooms, Wick - Monday 29 September 10.00am - 3.00pm
UCAS Higher Education/Expanding Horizons event organised by Skills Development Scotland. Primarily aimed at senior phase school pupils though parents and members of the public interested in Higher Education and graduate/graduate level opportunities are welcome to attend.
Skye Feels The NHS Highland Axe As Cuts Take Their Toll On Local Services -
West Highland Free Press
The West Highland Free Press has highlighted what might be the first of many cuts in NHS highland local services in abid to save over 22 million.  The Endoscopy service is being cut at Broadford hospital to save 92,000 per year with between 500 and 600 patients having to travel from Skye to Fort William or Inverness in future for their procedures.

Pentland Ferries seek public views for Gills Harbour To Burwick service  -
Gills Harbour is once again the focus of attention as Pentland Ferries announces a survey to guage views on a new faster ferry from Gills in Caithness to the southern tip of Orkney at Burwick.  if there is shown to be demand this new faster service to Orkney look set to make trips to the fa r north even more attractive as it lessens journey time.  The survey will be available from Monday.

Wick Town Hall Back In Action After Major RefurbishmentWick towwn Hall 27 September 2014 
Wick Town Hall chamber
Wick Town Hall got back to work after its major refurbishment.  The old and new sit alongside with a new lift and toilets giving full disabled access to the whole building. The building is available for weddings and will be used to good affect now that web access is also now installed.  It is hoped that usage of the building will increase in coming months.

Saturday Working At New Noss Primary, Wick
New Noss Primary School - 27 September 2014
Taking advantage of the good weather work at the new Noss Primary school site was firing ahead today.  With so much Saturday working Wick is very buy right now.

Lidl Pushes Towards Opening Deadline In Wick
Lidl 27 September 2014
Saturday working show that the Lidl contractors are pushing hard to meet the opening deadline of 9th October.  The fencing has been removed and grass is being laid after the completion of the groundworks for the car park.  Internally work is going ahead at a good pace.  The flow of vans and trucks show just how fast things have been done on this extension and refurbishment.  The supermarket war goes on apace in Wick with Tesco in the process of a big refurbishment of the store on the outskirts of Wick as part of their mulit-million spend to upgrade their stores.
Highland Archaeology Festival Begins 27 September 2014
Highland Archaeology Festival 2014
The 21st Highland Archaeology Festival begins on Saturday 27th September. Whether you are a complete beginner or an archaeology expert, the events will help you explore and enjoy the amazing range of archaeological sites and collections in this area.  We have highlighted the Caithness events but you can click the link at the bottom of the page to view the whole Highland programme.

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

Charity tree planting at The Highland Council
Tree planting at Highland council
Russell Ball, a charity cyclist, stopped off in Inverness on Tuesday 25 September, as part of his 1,000-mile ride from Land's End to John O'Groats, to plant a tree in the grounds of The Highland Council’s headquarters in Inverness. A copper beech tree was planted by Russell with support from The Highland Council’s Convener Jimmy Gray and the Development and Infrastructure Service’s Forestry team.  Russell stopped at several primary school along the way including Keiss in Caithness.

Police In Highland Target Commercial Vehicles In New Approach To Fight Crime
Two day multi-agency operation to combat doorstep crime carried out in Inverness and Fort William. As part of ongoing efforts to help keep people safe from doorstep crime and its associated criminal activity, on Wednesday 24 September and Thursday 25 September 2014, officers from Police Scotland, VOSA, SEPA and Highland Council Trading Standards, carried out a high visibility operation in both Inverness and Fort William. This operation saw a large number of commercial vehicles being stopped and checked by officers from the various agencies...... During the operation a number of offences were detected which included drugs possession, road traffic offences, trading practices offences, environmental offences and benefit fraud. A number of people will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

Caithness Field Club Winter Programme
Caithness Field Club runs many walks, talsk and other events and have now set their winter programe commencing in October.  The membership fee is very good value at only 6 or 10 per family for one year. The fee includes a copy of the annual bulletin with article on many topics of interest.  Many articles from the previous bulletins can be found HERE.

Local museums lead the way
Over the coming months staff and volunteers from museums across Highland and Moray will be taking part in a series of professional development workshops covering all aspects of collections management. The diverse programme ranges from documentation, conservation, archaeological finds to making the most of retail opportunities and working with schools. Each of the 8 sessions will be led by an expert in their field, able to take a realistic and practical approach helping local museums improve the services they deliver.

Fit's in 'e Groat Today
Fast read of a few items.

Drama, Music, Opera - Lots of Events For October Now In the Arts Pages
Verdi's Macbeth Coming To Thurso - Tuesday 7th October
Verid's Machbeth by Scottish Opera at Thurso High School 7 October 2014
Lyth Arts Centre are pleased to announce the presentation of Verdi's MacBeth by Scottish Opera at Thurso High School. This brooding, atmospheric Macbeth returns in celebration of the 2014 Year of Homecoming. Inspired by events in the war-torn Balkans, Dominic Hill's production is at once contemporary and ageless; a world of camouflage-clad leaders and grungy, chain-smoking witches, where power is all but it comes at a price.

'e Courier Snippets

Theft of scaffolding - Helmsdale

A Caithness family are urging people to give support to a fundraising event
Bone Marrow Appeal
Both of Janet and Calum Macleod's sons are set to undergo life-saving bone marrow transplants. Their two little boys - Arran (4) and Euan (6) - suffer from chronic granulomatous disorder (CDG) and have been helped by the Anthony Nolan Trust so have organised a ceilidh, auction and supper in Wick on September 27, to benefit the UK stem cell register.
See also The FACEBOOK Page

Cnoc Morail Community Benefit and Ownership Working Group Meeting 12th November 2014
The Cnoc Morail Community Benefit and Ownership working group will have its first meeting on the 12th November 2014 at Watten Village Hall at 7.30pm. This will provide an opportunity for local people to find out more about co-operative energy and what would be required to help establish the proposed local energy co-operative.

Highland Council pact cracks begin to show after No vote - Ross-shire Journal

Gills Harbour At Biggest Electricity Conference
Scotland's most Northerly port represented at 2014 biggest conference of the year devoted solely to electricity from the seas............ Gills Harbour Ltd, (GHL) that owns and operates the busy small port, was attending in its role as a corporate member of Scottish Renewables, a grouping with its administrative HQ in Glasgow that held its fifth annual gathering in the prestige riverside venue on September 23rd and 24th, 2014.

Minimum wage increase for agricultural workers
A rise in the minimum wage rate for agricultural workers has been confirmed by the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board (SAWB). The wage rates agreed by the Wages Board on August 20, 2014 were in line with those announced at the SAWB's negotiation meeting held in May. The minimum rate of pay for agricultural workers with more than 26 weeks continuous employment will increase by 15p per hour to 7.14 from October 1, 2014 - bringing the minimum wage for a 39 hour week to 278.46.

Setting the direction for the future of Caithness and Sutherland
Highland Councillors have given the go ahead for a major public consultation to help prepare a new 20 year Local Development Plan for the Caithness and Sutherland area, to be known as CaSPlan. The Caithness and Sutherland Area Committee agreed the Main Issues Report which will be the first formal stage of preparing the new CaSPlan.

Find out more about the range of Community Services provided in your area
You can find out more about the local services which Highland Council provides at a series of events across the Highlands, beginning on 1 October. Community Services is a new directorate of The Highland Council that delivers many of the Council's everyday services, with staff in regular contact with the people of the Highlands. The Service delivers a wide range of services including refuse collection, grass cutting, winter maintenance, housing, homelessness, roads maintenance.

Highlights From the Wick Academy V Buckie Thistle Match On Saturday 20th September

Buckie Thistle made the trip to Hamsworth Park to face Wick Academy who had several players return to the full squad. Wick Academy took the lead through Davie Allan on 18mins with a good passing move starting from the back before Richard MacAdie fed Davie Allan with a superb pass beating the Buckie defence. Referee Morag Pirie had to have eagle-eyes to spot some foul play resulting in Gary Weir and Graeme Stewart going into the book with a yellow card for each player.. The second half played out similarly to the first half and substitute Lukasz Geruzal secured all three points for Wick Academy on 81mins, with a header towards goal that unfortunately Darren Strong failed to catch. Interviews by Kenny Cormack with Assistant Manger for Wick Academy, Richard Hughes and Head Coach of Buckie Thistle, Paul Lamberton with views from Captain Alan Farquhar of Wick Academy. League tables follow the Interviews.
Caithness & Sutherland Area Committee - First Meeting In Refurbished Wick Town Hall

Missing person - Wick  - Update - missing person now found safe and well.

Thistle scythed by Academy's cutting edge -  Wick Academy  2  Buckie Thistle  0
Wick Academy 2 Buckie Thistle 0 - 20 September 2014
ACADEMY returned to league business after their cup catastrophe but it was a hard slog for both sides. With a little luck, the Scorries might have had a substantial goal tally. However, a goal in each half was enough to clinch the points and send their fans home happy. Davie Allan led the way with a well-taken goal in the 18th minute, racing away after securing a long cross from Richard Macadie and Academy missed a golden chance soon after. Both teams had chances that failed to produce results and it was Wick which dashed Thistle supporters' hopes of snatching a draw, minutes from time. Lukasz Geruzel headed on a Sam Mackay free kick which keeper Darren Strong couldn't hold.

Burn Of Whilk Wind Farm
Burn Of Whilk Wind Farm
Miles of new roads have already been constructed and forestry is being felled in advance of the new wind farm at Burn Of Whilk.  A few photos before the wind turbines begin to be erected to show the landscape as it is now - a combination of moorland and forestry being felled.  New roads, fences, gates, and bridges are all in place from construction that has been on going for many months.  We will add photos later once the turbines begin to be erected.  The 22.5MW, nine-turbine Burn of Whilk project originally received planning consent in 2011. The wind farm was originally applied for and started by RWE Innogy UK but it was sold on to Eneco UK in March 2014.

Back To Clan Gunn Museum On Doors Open Day
Clan Gunn Museum - 20 September 2014
As it was Doors Open Day in Caithness yesterday we visited Clan Gunn Museum.  A great place to view some of the history of the area and Clan Gunn in particular.  For anyone with a family connection with Clan Gunn or its many septs there is a huge array of material on families and their connections.  Many books and records allow for detailed searches.  Set in the old church the museum has maintained the building and will soon get some work done inside to fix the ceiling that is now very old.  Well worth a visit for anyone to find out more about Caithness history.

New Noss Primary School, Wick - Latest Photos Of Building Progress
New noss Primary School, Wick - Building Progress 20 September 2014
A few photos to show the l;atest stagein the building of the new Noss primary school that will replace North Primary next to the building site and Hillhead Primary.

See photos from the start HERE

Progress At Lidl Store In Wick - Opening 9th October
Lidl, Wick 20 September 2014
A few more photos to show progressat the Lidl Store in Wick with less than 3 weeks until opening.

See the photos from the start HERE

Something Unusual at Wick Pipe Band Hall - "Nae Plans"
Nae Plans at Wick Pipe Band Hall 22 November 2014
Pianist/vocalist Hamish Napier (Back of The Moon, Man's Ruin) and fiddler Adam Sutherland(Treacherous Orchestra, Session A9, Croft No. 5) join forces in a new and exciting project called ‘Nae Plans‘. Following the release of an album that was strictly unrehearsed (the pair barred any discussion between themselves about what tunes they would play or how they would arrange them until the 'record' button was pressed), the duo are taking 'Nae Plans' on the road this winter. They will perform a series of unplanned or 'off-the-cuff' gigs across Scotland this winter, showcasing the talent of two of Scotland's leading traditional musicians.   Get Your Tickets Early.
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
This latest update is full of details about the stream of recent announcements that affect Caithness and the wider norrth of Scotland.

Fits in 'e Groat

Caithness Field Club - April 2013
It is some time since we published bulletins from Caithness Field Club so we wil notw begin to try and catch up on the last few years.  Many earlier articles can be found HERE

Eyebrights Of The North by Ken Butler

A Door Support By Geoff Leet
Door Support

The Battle of Altimarlach by Malcolm, Earl of Caithness

Hetty Munro's War Diaries By  Elizabeth Rintoul

Mr Clark, A Caithness Remittance Man (by George Watson)

Preparing for 4G at 800 MHz
John Thurso has recently been contacted by at800 who will shortly be carrying out specific activities in the constituency to ensure TV viewers, including the elderly and vulnerable, can continue to watch Freeview as new 4G mobile services at 800 MHz are activated.
Today in 'e Courier

Police appeal for information following damage to a building at Thurso High School

Pentland Firth turbine firm MeyGen signs 10-year power deal  -

Pavement Repairs In Wick
Pavement Repairs In Wick
Over the past few weeks pavements the centre of Wick have been having repairs carried out.

Could You Help Others Regain Their Independence?
Volunteer with Red Cross - Caithness
The British Red Cross in Caithness offers support at home to help people remain independent. This includes visits at home, company for an outing, assistance with shopping or appointments. If you have any free time no matter how little they would love to hear from you.

Police Crackdown Continues - Week two results of warrants initiative known as Operation DEKA
Police Scotland has continued its high profile crackdown on those wanted on warrant throughout the North and Northeast of Scotland. More than 680 warrants have now been executed and over 340 people arrested during the successful warrants initiative, Operation DEKA, a high-profile enforcement by Police Scotland to crackdown on those wanted on warrant. Fine defaulters with an accumulated debt of over 65,500 have also been dealt with. Officers started the campaign on 01 September 2014, and have been working in partnership with representatives of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Scottish Court Service. Officers arrested a total of 342 people wanted on warrant for outstanding crimes, failure to appear at court, failure to comply with court orders and non-payment of fines.

Accommodation Services framework agreement - supplier events
The Highland Council wishes to establish a framework agreement for Accommodation Services in the Highlands with suitably competent providers. The framework agreement would commence on 1 December 2014 until 30 November 2017 with an option to extend for a further 12 month period. Accommodation Services may be used when the Council and partnering organisations, have a responsibility or have agreed to pay accommodation for employees, councillors, visitors, contractors, clients or patients - for the purpose of attending work related meeting or training conferences and medical appointments.

Pledge for Plastics
The Highland Council supports new campaign to get the Scotland back on track with recycling. This September, The Highland Council is supporting the Pledge4Plastics campaign, which aims to get recycling back on the household agenda. The campaign is part of a new government backed initiative created to significantly increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling.

Big Band bash was Strictly for music lovers and dancers
Big Band Bash - 13 September 2014
Caithness Heart Support Group's Big Band Bash proved a hit with locals. Patrons who turned up at the Norseman Hotel, on Saturday night were treated to a swinging programme of nostalgic numbers in melody and song for listening and dancing to. Keiss demonstrated that it's not just television that has the monopoly on Strictly Come Dancing, with two separate routines one by Marianne and Martin Tait and the other, featuring Maureen Miller and Hilary Buchannan, both of whom received warm applause.   Photo Gallery

e.on Camster Community Fund Panel - Newsletter
Camster Newsletter 2014
This is the first newslettter showing the first year of grants made from the wind farm payments in the Camster area. Starting from Year 1, E.ON is contributing at least 150,000 per annum for 25 years or for the lifetime of the wind farm. In subsequent years the amount will be based on the Year 1 contribution adjusted by Retail Price Index. This amount is split equally between the three Community Council areas.  The grant payements are listedi n the newsletter.

Job Ads Today - Cleaner, Staff Nurse, Educational Support Worker, Cafe Assistant
Still others with closing dates coming up - check them out.

Several New Funding Opportunties Just Added To Our Community Section
Looking for funding is a bit task for anyone.  Today we have listed a few suggestions in several categories that maye be of interest for groups or individuals involved in music, carers, young people, communities and much more.  Deadlines for applicatiosn are also included so you knwo when you have to get your aspplicatiosn in by.

Spittal Soon To Begin After Contract Awarded  - See SSE Film About It

$800 million Contract Awarded to ABB

Invitation to Tender For Framework Contractors
North Highland College UHI wish to invite tenders from suitably qualified contractors to be placed on a preferred contractor's framework for planned and reactive maintenance at their sites in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross-shire. The College will require separate trade tenders for each of the trades listed below and suppliers can tender for more than one trade - but separately - if they have the requisite skills. Plumbing work - Heating and Mechanical works - Joinery Services - Painting & Decorating - Builderwork - Roof works - Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. It is envisaged that the framework will be in place by 30 November 2014 and run for a period of three years with a possible extension of 1 year.

Police to conduct high visibility patrols on Friday as part of ongoing Campaign Against Violence
Police Scotland will be conducting increased high visibility officer patrols across the Highlands and Islands on Friday evening (19 September 2014) as part of Operation Respect and the ongoing national Campaign Against Violence.

Help Save A Sand Dune Near Bridge of Wester
Save A Sand Dune at Bridger of Wester 22 September 2014
The conservation Volunteers Scotland are are an organisation that mobilises volunteers to carry out important work in many parts of Scotland. They are coming once again to Caithness and this time will be looking to help save the dunes near Wester that are suffering from erosion. Sand along with plants make an important contribution to the coastline of in parts of Caithness. Conservation Volunteers Scotland will carry out a programme of work over 6 weeks on the dunes near Bridge of Wester and the more pairs of hands they can get the more they can achieve. If you would like to help with this important work and see it prevent more erosion in coming years then contact Rob Thomas the development officer - details on the poster.

John O'Groats to Land's End cyclists warned over safety -
SAFETY campaigners have issued new warnings to motorists and cyclists to be more aware as the number of charity bike riders on the roads has soared.
Wick Harbour  - Busy Busy Busy
Wick Harbour - 13 September 2014
Wick Harbour seems to get busier each month and currently boats are ferrying parts for a new rig 8 miles from Wick out in the Moray Firth as early work towards the erections of hundreds of turbines. Recently the Stroupster wind turbines filled every empty space around the harbour while timber loads arrive and depart constantly now and new structures for Subsea7 arrive more and more often.  The marina continues to be highly successful and even the addition of new berths seemingly cannot keep up with demand.  Harbour days are hugely successful attracting big crowds and no shortage of people asking when the next one will be. Wick Harbour Authority is certainly going to be increasingly busy and the fortunes of Wick are rising in line with it.  Wick Harbour 29 June 2014

Grizzly Park, Wick - Get The Skateboards Out
Grizzly Park, Wick - 13 September 2014
A few photos of the Grizzly park, Wick with its recently completed concrete skateboard ramps. The new skateboard place replaced the old wooden ramps which had become rotten and dangerous in parts.

Fit's in 'e Groat
Dash through a few items from the local paper.

New Students At North Highland College
New Students at North Highland College - September 2014
The North Highland College UHI Care & Creative Arts department welcomed 203 students last week for induction. The C&CA department is spread across the North Highland UHI campuses, with the Alness campus specialising in Care and Music courses.Students and staff from the new NQ Sport, Fitness and Health course joined the department for a photo outside the College with the new NHC student mascot.
             Click HERE to larger photo

Canisbay Fayre
Canisbay Fayre - 13 September 2014
Saturday 13th September 10.00am - 1.00pm
Funds towards roof repairs.

Ian Charles Scott - Book Signing At Mackays Hotel Tonight  Friday 12 September
Weel known Wick artist Ian Charles Scott from Wick who lives in New York is returning once again to his home town. A new book highlighting his portrait work will be launched and on sale. If you would like a copy head along to Mackays hotel on Friday 12 September 2014 at 7.30pm.
Wild North Festival: Geocache Adventure!  - Saturday 13th September
Want to go on a treasure hunt across a beautiful stretch of the north Highlands? Take the family or your friends on a jaunt along the east coast of the north Highlands in our geocache adventure - with prizes and activities for everyone!

2015 Caithness Calendar To Boost Caithness Heart Support Group
River Reflectiosn - one of the phots in the new 2015 Caithness Calendar from Caithness Heart Support Group
THE winter reflections scene at the Riverside, Wick, is just one of the many scenes in Caithness Heart Support Group's 2015 calendar. A limited number of copies will be available at the group's latest fundraiser at the Norsemen Hotel on Saturday night, featuring the Caithness Big Band. The calendar, the group's second, has endeavoured to include as wide a county spread as possible, but of course, can't include every area. The calendar, which comes with an envelope, is a fine size for overseas mailing and would be a good choice for a Christmas present from home. Cost of the calendar is 5.    Pick one up at the Big Band Bash On Saturday 13th at the Norseman Hotel

Thrumster Railway Station Gets Its Sign Restored
Thurmster Station - September 2014
Yarrows Heritage Trust located near Thrumster has a number of projects and one of them for the last few years has been the restoration of the Thrumster Railway Station that was once part of the Wick Lybster railway. Recently the Trust managed to locate and recover the original station platform sign. Following restoration and repainting in the original colours the sign has now been erected on new posts of same design as original.

Shortcuts to the Far North - full showcase
Rhea Booth In Seaglass
Last Friday (5 September 2014) The North Highland College UHI showcased seven of its student films to a delighted audience at the impressive Pulteneytown People's Project in Wick. The first six films had been premiered in June and the latest viewing highlighted a new film from screenwriting student Donna Booth. Seaglass is a haunting story set around Dunnett Beach starring local talent Kerry Tait, James Robson and Rhea Booth, Donna's daughter. On seeing her creation onscreen for the first time Donna said: "Seeing ‘Seaglass' on the screen was a pretty surreal experience, even more so with my daughter starring in it.
Towhead Headache Did Not Last Long
Towheads at Wick - 10 September 2014
It was a case of "easy, easy" as two towheads made their way through Wick, today, on their way to Wester and SubSea 7's latest pipeline contract. The towheads made their way up Scalesburn and onto Willowbank, without difficulty but getting round the corner from Girnigoe Street into Henrietta Street presented a challenge for the delivery men, particularly so far as the bigger of the two was concerned.

John O'Groats Artist's Commission - Major Opportunity To Create A Work Of Art
This commission is a substantial opportunity for a permanent feature work in a stunning and very special site - John O'Groats - one of Britain's best known destinations where a major transformation has been underway over the last few years. The work will be located at a central point in the public area above the harbour. This preferred site is a raised open grassy area overlooking the harbour and the Pentland Firth. This project is part funded by Creative Scotland through its Public Art funds.

Highland & Islands Police Crack Down On Defaulters - 200 Arrests In First Week
Operation DEKA - Highland & Islands Division. More than 350 warrants have been executed and almost 200 people arrested in the first week of a new high-profile Police crackdown targeting offenders wanted on warrant. Operation DEKA was instigated by Police Scotland to proactively target those wanted on warrant throughout the North and Northeast of Scotland. Fine defaulters with an accumulated debt of 37,459 have also been dealt with during the first phase of the operation.

Opportunity to shape future LEADER funding in Highland
Highland LEADER is at the final stages of developing a Local Development Strategy for the new 2014-2020 LEADER Programme which will determine the kinds of projects this funding can support over the next six years and are asking people to participate in an on-line survey. LEADER is a European Union Community Initiative to support economic and community development within rural areas. The last LEADER programme ran from 2007-2013 and provided funding of around 14 million to 371 projects in Highland.

ABB wins order for Caithness-Moray subsea power link
BB has won an order worth over $800 million from Scottish Hydro Electric (SHE) Transmission plc to provide the Caithness-Moray high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission link, which will connect the electricity grid on either side of the Moray Firth in northern Scotland. This follows a favorable decision by Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets), an independent National Regulatory Authority, on the need for the link. ABB will design, engineer, supply and commission two 320 kilovolt land-based HVDC Light converter stations, one rated at 1,200 megawatts (MW) at Blackhillock in Moray and another rated at 800 MW situated at Spittal in Caithness.

Fit's in 'e Courier

Thurso Players Present Office Suite By Alan Bennett
Office Suite by ~alan Bennet - Thurso Players 11 - 13th September 2014
Furniture Back In To Wick Town Hall Today
Furniture moved back in to Wick Town Hall - 9 September 2014
The final touches of furniture and carpets were in the process of being done today and for the next few days.  The picures from the walls wil be rehung but many wil be moved into better locations within the building.   See the pictures from Wick Town Hall

Police enquiries ongoing into an assault in Wick town centre
At about 22:20 hours on Friday 05 September 2014, Police Scotland received a report of an assault on a woman having taken place within the lane leading to Kirk Lane car park in Wick town centre. As part of ongoing enquiries into the assault, police are continuing to appeal for witnesses who may have been in the vicinity of Anderson Lane, Kirk Lane, Bridge Street and Harper's Bar, Back Bridge Street, between 21:45 hours and 22:15 hours on Friday 05 September.

Make your vote count
With just days to go before the referendum on Scottish independence, Highland's Counting Officer Steve Barron is urging voters to make sure their vote counts.

Lidl, Wick - Latest Photo
Lidl Extension and Upgrade 9 September 2014

Caithness Junior Orchestra Weekly Rehearsals
This friendly youth orchestra, conducted by Susie Dingle, meets weekly during term time. It is open to any young musician aged 8 and over who is having lessons (either privately or in school) on any orchestral instrument.

Wick Academy made the long trip to face Cove Rangers in this league encounter. Although Cove Rangers dominated the opening quarter, Stevie Cunningham drilled home the opening goal for Wick Academy after half an hour played. Thirty five minutes later Davie Allan had Sandy Wood in the Cove Rangers goal rooted to the spot with a sublime goal worthy to win any game. Gary Weir scored Wick Academy’s third goal to secure the three points by side-stepping the Cove defence before shooting low past the goal-keeper. Cove Rangers did score in the 94th minute with Jonny Smith meeting substitute Barrie Stephen’s cross but it was too late to salvage anything from this game. Interviews conducted by Joseph Anderson with Wick Academy coach, Ross Suttar and Manager for Cove Rangers, John Sheran followed by goal-scorer Gary Weir. Following this game stay tuned to watch action from Lossiemouth v Rothes with the home side securing the win with two goals from Ryan Farquahr and Shawnie Scott.

Energy Innovation award for Council
External biomass units in Highland Schols
The Highland Council's Energy and Sustainability team have won the best innovation prize at the annual Energy North Awards which were held in Inverness last week. The Council has embarked on a project entitled Carbon Saving Capital Works for Council Buildings and Properties, with a specific emphasis on biomass, and in doing so has become an innovative leader in the renewable energy and low carbon sector. 75 biomass plant installation projects have been completed and are expected to attract an income of around 850K annually. The Council has also introduced a supply and maintenance contract to provide on-hand expertise for all servicing and maintenance issues and come up with an effective way to overcome logistical challenges. Biomass energy cabins are now used for many of the installations which means the cabin itself is transported onto site, connected and commissioned as a self-contained unit.

Praise for top apprentice plumber
Andrew Fraser - Highland council apprentice plumber
The success of an apprentice plumber from Dornoch who won the Student of the Year 2013/2014 title for SVQ 3 Domestic Plumbing 2nd Year from Inverness College has been recognised by Highland Councillors. At the start of the recent Community Services Committee, members learned of Andrew Fraser's success and took the opportunity to congratulate him and pay tribute to the support and training given by council staff.......The Council’s next apprentice recruitment drive will be in May and June next year and staff will be particularly encouraging more females to apply to join the apprentice scheme.

More Funding Opportunities For Volunteer Groups - See Community Section
Just in to our community Section are a number of new funding opportunities with closing dates and links to web sites for more details -
Esme Fairbairn for Museums Collections
Young People and Youth Workers
Tesco Community Awards
Postcode Lottery - Dream Fund
Community Grants From Voluntarty Action Fund
Power to Change Short Film Competition

Big Band Bash Could Boost Heart Group's Funds
Caithness Big Band
THE popular Caithness Big Band returns to Wick's Norseman Hotel, later this month, for a charity bash in aid of the Caithness Heart Support Group. It's one of the group's biggest fundraisers and tickets both for the event, on September 13, and raffle, are available. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be included in the admission fee of 5. Tickets for the event can be obtained from the Norseman or from group secretary, Marge Donaldson, on Wick 605545.

Caithness From The Air
Business, Thurso     Scrabster
Watten Looking Towards ThursoScrabster Harbour
Woman Assaulted In Wick - Police Appeal For Witnesses
Assualt in Wick
At about 22:20 hours on Friday 05 September 2014, Police Scotland received a report of an assault on a woman having taken place within the lane leading to Kirk Lane car park in Wick town centre.

Dunbeath Castle Gardens Open Day
Dunbeath Castle Gardens 2014 - Open Day Dunbneath Castle Gardens - Open Day 2014
   Dunbeath Castle Index
   Dunbeath Index

Caithness From The Air
Ackergill                        Castlehill Harbour
Ackergill from the air Castlehill Harbour
Fit's in 'e Groat
Zoom through a few local stories from the paper.

Caithness From The Air
Wick Aerial View
Views of Caithness from above starting with views of Wick and other places following soon.  Larger images can be viewed by right clicking on photos and opening in a new tab or window.
Other views of Caithness from above are at Aerial Views

Aberdeenshire fundraiser raises vital money for the Caithness MS Society
A keen fundraiser from Portlethen in Aberdeenshire whose brother has multiple sclerosis (MS) is to take on the challenge of running her first half marathon to raise money for the Caithness Branch of the MS Society. Debbie Mackay originally from Thurso, will run in the Crathes Half Marathon on Saturday 13th September. She is aiming to raise in excess of 200. Debbie's brother who lives in Thurso, has suffered from MS for many years. Debbie was keen to support the Caithness Branch of the MS Society, who as well as providing support and information, run Therapy Groups in Wick and Thurso.   Donate HERE

Technical Data Gathering In The Pentland Firth
The most extensive science and engineering research project to take place in Caithness for many years is occurring this month (September, 2014) from a base at Gills Harbour, on the shores of the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound. Expensive high-tech equipment, under the TIME initiative, has been laid on the Sound's seabed from the 25-metre-long 'multi-cat' vessel Orcadia for the 28 day-long task, which is being managed by The Carbon Trust, the UK Government-supported body that, amongst other things, helps to develop and deploy 'low carbon technologies'. Recently-created buoy-mounted measuring devices from Rockland Scientific International of Victoria, BC, on Canada's Pacific Coast, will measure natural seawater 'turbulence' in a broadly middle depth in the Sound's 35 metre-deep water-column.

HRH The Princess Royal visits World Sheep dog trials
HRH Princess Royal at World Sheep dog Trials in Tain
Yesterday (Thursday 4 September) HRH The Princess Royal paid a visit to the international sheep dog society's World Sheep Dog Trials at Fearn Farm by Tain. Arriving to the site in the morning she spent 3 hours watching dogs and their handlers in action and meeting many of the competitors from the 24 nations taking part including teams from South Africa and Spain who are competing for the first time. HRH, who arrived at Fearn Farm by helicopter, was met by Deputy-Lieutenant Mrs Annie Stewart and then escorted by car to the site where she was introduced to Douglas Gordon, Chairman of Fearn Community Council and John, Fiona, James and Janet Scott who are hosting the event on their farm.

Wick Council Offices As Wraps Come Off
New wick council Offices - 5 September 2014Wick Council Offise from Above - Aeriel - September 2014
Still 6 months to go but with scaffolding coming down the front view is becoming clearer.   To see the development from the start go HERE

Wick Academy 1 Brora Rangers 2
Wiock Academy 1 Brora Rangers 2 - 3 September 2014
THE SCORRIES turned in a gutsy performance in front of a packed Harmsworth Park, last night and must have felt cheated by that late Brora decider as well as left wondering what might have been had some of the Wick chances borne fruit. The wee Rangers' keeper, Jo Malin was partly "to blame" for that, pulling off some spectacular saves. He demonstrated his ability by taking care of early strikes by James Pickles and Lukasz Geruzel but it promised well for their team when the Dudgeon Park keeper was caught cold, the Orkney man lobbing him with a long distance effort,    Photo Gallery

e' Courier
Red Hot Chilli Pipers' Concert Sold Out - Saturday 6 September
As part of this year's Blas Festival, Wick's Assembly Rooms will be rocking to the distinctive sound of the Red Hot Chilli Pipers on Saturday 6th September. However many fans will be disappointed as the concert is now completely sold out.

Safe Highlanders In Caithness
Caithness Safe Highlanders
Safe Highlanders
Caithness Safe Highlanders 2014 was attended by primary 7 classes from all the primary schools in Caithness and North Sutherland. The day provided safety tuition to pupils on a range of topics. Landward councillor Matthew Reiss opened the day and welcomed everyone and then helped as a steward for the rest of the day. The day was made a success with the help of Fire Scotland, Highland council, NHS Youth Action Team, SSPCA, Red Cross, Millers Construction, DSRL, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Fujitsu and pupils from Wick High School.  The topics included, construction site safety, drugs and alcohol, first aid, animal safety, internet safety, safety near water and fire and rescue.

Great Chance To Learn Spanish In Caithness

New Noss Primary School - Latest Photos
New Noss Primary to replace North school and Hillhead school - 2 September 2014
A dry day meant work is going ahead well after recent weeks when rain was very heavy.  A change in plans meant that drainage works had ot be brought forward to ensure catchup could be played and prevent undue delays that might have crept in to the long term completion date.  To see the photos from the very start of the project go HERE

Radon works to Council properties - Highland Council Briefing
Halkirk Primary has level below the limits but wil be tested for a further 3 months
The Highland Council's Director of Education, Culture and Sport has updated school head teachers and local Council members on radon works in their areas. The following briefing was issued on Friday 28 August 2014. Over the summer the Council has been taking action to reduce radon in nine properties which include five schools. Testing earlier in the year showed all properties had radon above the statutory action level of 400 Bq/m3. Remedial works were designed for the Council by a specialist radon consultant and specialist radon contractors were employed to carry out the installation and commissioning of the systems.

Wick Academy 3 - Fraserburugh United 2
wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh United 2 - 30 August 2014
Wick Academy 3 Fraserburgh United 2 (half-time 2-1)
- Reporter Noel Donaldson
IT was perhaps poetic justice, that, in a game where penalty issues caused much controversy, Academy snatched the decider from the spot, seconds from the final whistle. Even then, there was drama, as Scorries' supporters held their breath while referee Graham Elder, who initially awarded Wick a free kick from the edge of the box, consulted his linesman and then pointed to the spot. Richard Macadie, who had earlier bagged his side's equaliser, made no mistake. The hard-earned win, sets Academy up for that eagerly-awaited north cup, semi-final clash with derby rivals, Brora Rangers, on Tuesday night, certain to attract a bumper crowd. With the Dudgeon Park outfit's runaway progress interrupted by a 1-1 league draw against Formartine - beaten 2-0 by the Scorries in the league, last week - the cup clash might not be the one-sided affair many might predict.