News Archive - January 2015


Top 50 Signs Of A Mum
Buying gallons of milk, always having a packet of wet wipes to hand and knowing the words to ‘Let it Go' are just some of the signs of being a mum, it has been revealed. They'll also be yearning for a long lie in, have photos of their children as a screensaver and have learnt how to swear under their breath. The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 mums which looks at the tell-tale signs of someone who has clearly had children.

Home Heating Oil Prices May Be Dropping But Thieves Still Targeting It In The North
Police Scotland issues warning and security advice following reported thefts of heating oil across the north
Get your oil tank secured to stop theftFollowing a number of reported thefts of heating oil and kerosene from rural properties in the north Highlands, Police Scotland are advising local farmers, commercial premises owners and householders to take appropriate security measures to secure their fuel tanks and supplies. Operating in secluded areas where oil tanks can be easily approached in darkness or under the cover of trees can make the those within the rural communities especially susceptible to this type of theft.

The Highland Line: donations to NHS Highland keep growing - David Ross Blog in The Herald

Wick Rotary Looking For Two Young People For Fun Excitement and Leadership Awards
Rotary Youth Leadership Award - Wick Rotary District 1010Rotary is well know for its fund-raising and charity work but it is about much much more. One of its aims is to help young people to learn leadership skills. This year once again Wick Rotary club is sponsoring two places at RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award).  Wick Rotary will pay the full costs and travel for the week for the successful candidates.  Click through for more information if you are aged 15 - 18.

Hi-Scot Credit Union Has Another Successful Year The Hi-Scot Credit Union that covers Highland, Orkney and the Western Isles recently held its annual general meeting and the chairman who like all the directors is an unpaid volunteer was able to announce increased membership and a rise in the savings of its members. The amount of loans also continues to rise due to the excellent lending terms for members but the Hi-Scot Credit Union now has a very good amount of capital available for new borrowers. With more people joining credit unions each year the increased publicity from government and churches has helped push membership higher than ever for this members only based savings and lending organisation.  It is owned by members with all profits going back into the pot for members benefits and to pay dividends to members once a year.  Worth checking out it you are thinking to save or borrow.  A very small staff runs it all with an unpaid board of volunteer directors - no fees to directors.  Money is safe covered by the Financial Services Guarantee.  Check it out. Police in Wick appeal for information following vehicle fire

Another Drug Dealer Caught As Police Keep Increasing Activity

Do We Still Need The Committee On Radio Active Waste Watchdog?
A review of the committee that provides independent advice to the UK Government on the long-term management of radioactive waste has been announced. It is the second Triennial Review of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), part of the government's commitment to ensuring non-departmental public bodies "continue to have regular independent challenge". The CoRWM also provides independent scrutiny on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's proposals and programmes for geological disposal, storage and long-term management solution for nuclear waste in the UK.  Stakeholders are being invited to comment on the future of this committee.  CoRWM Web site
22 year-old man charged with serious assault following incident in Wick

Wind Turbine Blades Move Slowly Through Wick
Wind Turbine blades snaking through Wick 27 January 2015
TRAFFIC was held up for a short time to allow these wind turbine blades to negotiate the roundabout at the foot of Cliff Road, Wick, today, and as you can see it was a case of easy-does-it.

Met Office Predicts Snow In The North For Wednesday
Frequent snow showers, some heavy, giving slight to moderate falls, even on low ground away form the west coast. Strong to gale westerly winds, causing drifting on high ground. Maximum Temperature 5C.

Are you a newly appointed member of staff or an existing member of an EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE team seeking to increase or refresh your knowledge and practical skills prior to commencing a formal qualification to meet SSSC requirements? This practical six day training course delivered by CALA and HiMATS provides learners with an introduction to the value of play and learning. The course has the SQA NC unit "Child Development and Health" embedded within it, therefore is an ideal introduction to study for those beginning to work towards a relevant qualification.  Application Form HERE

Pilot of choice based lettings to be launched in Caithness
Choice based lettingNext Wednesday (4 February 2015) the four housing partners of the Highland Housing Register in Caithness will be hosting special sessions in Wick and Thurso to let people know about an exciting new way of allocating some of its properties, giving applicants much more choice about the housing they will be offered. For a period from 16 February 2015 onwards, vacancies will be advertised to promote choice. Instead of waiting to receive an offer of housing, applicants will be able to choose which properties they are considered for by responding to an advert.

Vikings Venture On Board for Up Helly Aa - Watch It Live Today
Up Helly AANorthLink Ferries' iconic Viking, Magnus, was brought to life today (Tuesday, 27 January) during celebrations at Shetland's world-renowned fire festival Up Helly Aa. Acting as King Magnus the Good, 13-year-old Lewis Harkness led 15 members of the Junior Jarl Squad on board the MV Hjaltland followed by over 100 members of family and friends to enjoy a lunch hosted by NorthLink Ferries. NorthLink Ferries is also a proud sponsor of this year’s Up Helly Aa webcam which provides visitors to the NorthLink website the chance to enjoy the festivities. To watch the event unfold visit

Caithness Junior Orchestra - new members welcome!
Join Caithness Junior OrchestraThe Caithness Junior Orchestra was created last September to give an opportunity to all young musicians aged 8 and over to make music together. The orchestra now has 24 junior members from 10 different schools across Caithness and north Sutherland. The weekly rehearsals are a great chance for the children to make new musical friends. We're currently working towards our next performance which will be an afternoon concert at the beginning of April, and we're also planning to perform at the Music Festival in June, so now is the ideal time to join in the fun.
Rehearsal 2nd February 2015

Joint Ward Forum - Thurso, Wick, Landward Caithness - 10th February Open To The Public
Updates from Police and Fire - If you want to find out more go along and ask questions.
New venue for this week's Caithness District Partnership Meeting - Open To The Public
The scheduled Caithness District Partnership will still take place on Friday 30 January 2015 in Thurso but people should be aware that the venue and start time have been changed from what was originally promoted. The Partnership meeting will now take place at 10.30am in the Pentland Hotel, Princes Street, Thurso.  Issues to be discussed will include updates on Caithness General Hospital and the Children's Care Partnership.
Marine Mammal Medic Course - Wick 25 April
The course is a full day's session, usually with 20-30 delegates. The course fee is 90 - this includes your first year’s supporter’s fee and third party insurance while on a rescue.

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update
Three Cheers As Faster Broadband Launched in Caithness
Next generation fibre broadband is available now to the first customers in Wick and Thurso
A Thurso broadband cabinet at Thurso ready for roll outMore than 6,000 homes and businesses in the two Caithness towns are able to order fibre based broadband now, with speeds of up to 80 mbps, delivered through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project. Services will be available to another 700 plus premises soon, as cabinets currently in the final stages of activation in Wick go live. (In the old Bignold Hospital and Louisburgh St areas of the town.) This is just the start for the North which will see roll-out continue in the towns and across a number of new areas of Caithness in 2015.

Caithness District Partnership - meeting 30th January to include update on Caithness General Hospital
The Caithness District Partnership meetings are open to the public and this is probably the first opportunity for you to hear first hand the latest position on the hospital services and what is happening on redesign and out of hours services that have been so much in the news recently due to staffing problems.  Also on the agenda is a presentation from Bill Alexander, director of Care and Learning for highland Council on the way forward for District Partnerships that came out of the changes agreed for integration of health and social Work services 3 years ago. Also on the agenda is anothe important topic - Adult Social Care Initiatives - Joanna Macdonald, Director of Adult Social Care and Deborah Jones, Chief Operating Officer, NHS Highland.  Meetings of the Caithness District Partnership chaired by Bill Fernie are held 4 times a year and topic covered can include those suggested by members of the public.  Questions from the public are taken at the end of the meeting or following pesentations.  This meeting has some important issues being presented and this is an opportunity to get questions asked.   Changing Services     Still changing
The Caithness District Partnership meets 4 times a year and has no budget. It is a meeting point for health, social work, third sector and the public to hear about issues and get updates and for discusion of topics raised by all parties. New topics require to be submited in advance of the meeting and forms are available for this.
New Noss Primary School
Noss Primary School construction project 21 January 2015
Latest photos of the Noss primary school construction project showing the damaged corner dismantled awaiting a rebuild.  

CAITHNESS ARTIST Selected for national exhibition of outstanding graduates
Magi Sinclair selected for exhibition of outstanding graduatesWork by Magi Sinclair of Latheron, Caithness has been selected to appear in an exhibition of work by outstanding arts graduates in London. FBA Futures 2015 picks work by recent graduates from Degree and MA shows across the country. More than 40 Art Schools were visited by the selectors, who are all members of the Federation of British Artists and 18 students have been selected. ‘Forsinard Ebb and Flow' is one of two pieces which will be exhibited by Magi, from her charcoal studies of the Flow Country.

Gills Sees Work Begin On Tidal Electricity Scheme
C-Salvor at GillsThe 24 metre-long multi-cat vessel C-Salvor is paying her first 2015 operational visit to Gills Harbour this week. The little rectangular-shaped 145-tonne ship is using the Scottish mainland's most Northerly port for conducting diver-led survey operations for tidal electricity developers MeyGen Ltd at its Crown Estate lease site, 1 mile off the little port, and just offshore from its planned cable-landfall site at Ness of Quoys, that lies 1 mile along the Gills Bay coast east from the harbour. This is also the first operation being carried out for MeyGen Ltd by James Fisher Marine Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of James Fisher & Sons plc, a major group with its headquarters at Barrow-in-Furness, in NE England.

Apprentice Designer, Mechanical Nuvia Limited  - another apprentice opportunity in our Jobs Section
See the full jobs listing HERE
For employers - Our job ads section is completely FREE to advertise positions and we remove ads at the closing date or soon after or at any date earlier if you email us.  Place ads as often as you require.  Easy to do - just join the forum and start.  All job ads are closed to comments in this part of the forum.

Wick & District Pool League - Week 9
Week 9 2014/15 Season Wick and District Pool LeagueRetro1 put in the performance of the night to defeat Bayview1 7-5 in week 9 of the 201415 Wick & District Pool League season. In their debut season in division one, Retro1 remain undefeated and sit in third place in the league.

Your World War One Ancestors - Course Starts 28th January
North Highland Archive at Wick LibraryCome along and join the Caithness Archivist in the first of 4 weekly sessions and learn how to find out more about your Caithness World War One ancestors who fought in World War One, and the communities they left back home. The courses will feature online resources such as, as well as the archives held in the Caithness Archives in Wick Library.

Repairs to Pipes at Service Bridge, Wick
Repairs to pipes at Service Bridge, Wick

JGC and Dounreay Looking To Recruit Engineering Apprentices
This could be the start of a great career so get applying.

Highland Homecoming Quilt at St Fergus Gallery, Wick Until Saturday
Highland Homecoming Quilt
St Fergus Gallery and High Life Highland would like to invite you to view the beautiful Highland Homecoming Quilt 2014 at our gallery from 10th - 24th January 2015. If you cannot make it to the gallery by 24th January you can check some of the details and names of the contributors to the quilt in our photo gallery - see link above. Some are from Caithness but there are names from all over Highland.
To see close ups of the patches go HERE.   Remebr to get an even larger image you can right click on the image and open it in a new tab or window.  Then click on it to enlarge again.

Last Days To See Abstract Artist Fred Pollock Picture
Fred Pollock picture
If you have time up until Saturday you can still see some pictures from the Highland council collection. Take in the Fred Pollock picture seen here but much better in full size in the St Fergus Gallery, Wick until Saturday 24th January 2014.

Social Media Workshops for Local Food and Drink Businesses
Early in February the first two in a series of workshops specifically for anyone working in the local food and drink sector will take place to highlight how social media can be best used to increase profit, support other local businesses and promote the area. The workshops follow on from the project The Highland Council ran last year across the Highlands to investigate the potential and appetite for developing an industry-led local food and drink network that could co-ordinate and drive future activities to support the local food and drink sector in the region. The sessions will feature case studies, provide lots of step by step practical advice on how to make Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn work better for businesses, networking opportunities and the chance to share best practice. The first workshop takes place on Monday 2nd February at the Duisdale House Hotel, Sleat, Isle of Skye and on Thursday 5 February Mackays Hotel in Wick will host the Caithness workshop. Both events are free and will run from 11am to 3pm.
Loch Seaforth The New Ferry For Western Isles Visits Scrabster
MV Loch Seaforth new ferry for Western Isles calls at ScrabsterThe MV Seaforth was in Scrabster on its way to the Western Isles today.  MV Loch Seaforth is the new Caledonian MacBrayne ferry being built for the Stornoway to Ullapool crossing. She was launched on 21 March 2014 and was delivered in early November 2014. She will replace the 1995-built MV Isle of Lewis as the main ferry on the route. A replacement vessel for the Stornoway-Ullapool route was announced by Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP on 8 June 2012. Two weeks later on 22 June, Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited announced that the contract to construct had been signed with Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft MBH and Co KG in Germany.

Still Time To Sign Up For New Spanish Courses - starting February 2015 Thurso College
If Spanish is not what you are looking for then check out all the courses on offer at North Highland college by peeking at the lot HERE   Why not fill in a winter night with some learning or activity.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Starts in Wick - Tuesday 20 January
Egnlsih Classes Start 20 January 2015 in Wick
FREE classes Informal Open to all levels - Beginner to Advanced Practise speaking, reading, writing and listening.

Class starting Tuesday 20 January 2015 6.30-8pm
Rhind House, West Banks Avenue, Wick.

Calling Parents Of North School Pupils
Online training for parents of North Scvhool parents in Wick
Are you interested in getting online?
Do you want to feel more confident using your laptop or tablet?
Would you like to learn how to help your child with their school project, access various services or just send an email?

Billion Pound Cable To Link Caithness And Moray
Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission), a subsidiary of SSE plc, has confirmed that it will accept Ofgem's proposals for the funding of the new Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link at a cost of 1,118m. The project is now set to help support over 100 new energy careers across the north of Scotland, including via SSE’s industry-leading apprentice, trainee engineer and graduate programmes. In total, the subsea cable and associated work at sites located right around the Moray Firth will support over 600 jobs during construction.

Wind Farm Cash Making a Lasting Difference to Local Community
Local groups and charities are celebrating awards from the E.ON Camster Community Fund. The latest awards panel awarded over 65,000 in the first of two rounds in the fund's second year bringing the total invested in the area to over 200K since it opened in the summer of 2013, making a positive difference to the local community.  
New Community Index
Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

Would you like to support adult learners in your community?
Become an adult numeracy and literacy tutor.

Wick & District Pool League - Rockwater Shield Quarter Finals
Rockwater Shield quarter finalsMartin Hill's fantastic performance on Monday night helped play a big part as his Crown1 side earned a 6-2 first leg victory over Blackstairs Lounge. The Crown side look to be big favourites to progress, requiring just three frames in the next leg to make it through to the Rockwater Shield semi finals. Hill made an outstanding 8-ball clearance in his singles, and would seal victory for his team with a 6-ball finish in his doubles game....................

Senior citizens celebrate at their exclusive party in Wick
Wick senior citizens party - January 2015Who said the festive party season was over?....not a band of Wick pensioners. They were again the guests of honour at their annual treat, its 51st anniversary, in the Assembly Rooms. Bad weather took its toll on the attendance which was down on the previous year, but those that braved the elements were rewarded with another memorable evening. The main hall was decked in bunting, balloons, Christmas crackers and after an excellent meal and refreshments, the Wick RBLS Pipe Band set the scene for the entertainment programme with a superb display.  40 Photos HERE

'e Courier in Two Minutes

Pentland Gale - Painting by Jane MacRae
Pantland Gale by Jane MacRae
This painting by artist Jane MacRae is currently on show at the exhibition at Caithness Horizons in Thurso.  Our artists gallery is open to any artist producing pictures of Caithness or other subjects either resident here or elsewhere.

Artists Gallery Index

Snowy Caithness
Snow in Caithness - January 2015Snow in Caithness - January 2015
58 North - A Modern Pilgrimage around the Globe

Police appeal for information following break-in to premises in Thurso

Fire On Keiss School Bus To Wick High
Fire on School bus Keiss to Wick High
Everyone got off safely.

Highland Schools Update
Damage At Wick High But Will Open On Monday
Canisbay Roof Damage - Power Off - School may open Tuesday or Wednesday
Brora Primary - Roof Damaged - May Open Tuesday

New Noss Primary Construction Site Has Wind Damage
New Noss Primary gets wind Damage
The new Noss primary construction site sustained some damage to one corner with the high winds of the last few days.   The damage is not thought to be major but some of the framework has been pushed over but will not cause much delay at this stage.

Latest From The Power Company

Continuing Problems In The North

Multi-agency partners issue further advice following prevailing severe weather

AVAAZ Will Carry The Names Of All Who Sign the Petition in the March In Paris On Sunday

Stormy Weather Causing Lots of Damage Across Caithness
Stormy Weather January 2015Across the north of Scotland high winds are still causing problems for electricty and many roof lsoing slates.  In many places trees have come down and are still being cleared.  Council workers were out early yesterday working througout the day to clear them from roads.  Many trees still have broken branches waiting to fall so everyone should take care near trees. Private owners of land are responsible for trees on their property and should check them carefully for loose branches or to see if particular trees need to be felled.  A few have been weakened and have roots already showing and they may be ready to fall any time another wind hits.

Warnings For Bad Weather and Power Cuts Continue Today - BBC
Wind Speeds Increasing - View it on this interactive Globe
Click on any spot to see the wind speed

North Of Scotland Power Cuts
Some people will now have power off overnight according to the web site.
See all the areas affected HERE

Met Office Issues Yelow Alert For Snow & Ice
Update on severe weather across Highlands and Islands

Second Blast of Severe Weather On The Way for Saturday - See Met Office page

The Highland Council responds to the impact of severe weather

Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Update

New Thurso Hotel and Public Park Plan - Projects 60 jobs, 600,000 Guests and 25m into Local Economy
New Hotel Proposal for Thurso local plan
Raymond Taylor from Thurso is currently looking for support for his proposal for a new hotel to be included in the local plan currently being drawn up by Highland council.  You can comment on the survey link inside or contact Raymond direct via his email address on the page.  
Discuss the idea in the forum HERE

Storm Damage Showcases Importance of Dangerous and Defective Buildings Legislation
Highlands and Islands (Scottish Labour) MSP, David Stewart has said that the recent storms which have battered the Highlands and Islands and have caused damage to buildings and led to major travel disruption across Scotland highlights the importance of the introduction of new legislation that will give Local Authorities the necessary powers to tackle dangerous and defective buildings.
Water Polo in Wick  - Would You Like To Take Part In This Fast Paced Water Sport?
Water Polo In UK       Watch A Beginners Guide To Water Polo

More Schools Now Added To Closed List for Friday - 8.00pm
Several Caithness schools now added to the closure list for Friday.

Multi-agency partners issue severe weather warning
Following reports of an amber weather alert (be prepared) for the Highlands, the Western Isles and Orkney along with a yellow weather alert (be aware) for Shetland, the Highlands and Islands Local Resilience Partnership (HILRP), is seeking to remind the public to be vigilant of severe gales and storm force winds, with gusts in excess of 100mph which are expected to occur from 22:00 hours on Thursday 08 January 2015 until 10:00 hours on Friday (09 January 2015).

Fast Look at 'e Courier

Wick & District Pool League - Week 8 Results

Raw TV Storm Project  - Calling Any Film Makers  - Anyone Can Do It  Bad Weather Coming Thursday Night
TV company Raw are currently making a documentary for Channel 4 about extreme winter weather and they need your help. They want to get a complete picture of the way that storms, snow, ice, rain, high winds and big waves can affect life for ordinary Britons - and so are asking members of the public to document the way in which bad winter weather affects their daily lives.  Weather Warning At Met Office for the North  Risk of gusts over 100mph
The public should be prepared for the potential for disruption to transport as well as power supplies and the possibility of structural damage. Very large waves may also lead to dangerous conditions along some coasts. A second storm will hit on Friday night into Saturday.
Many New Jobs Just Added To The Forum

Notice to Mariners - Maritime Safety Information
C Salvor at Pentland Firth 12th - 17th January 2015
Imminent survey works to be conducted in the Inner Sound by Leask Marine Ltd of Kirkwall's multi-cat C-Salvor. Note the two locations; one off Ness of Quoys and one at the seabed lease site held by MeyGen Ltd, for tidal turbines, between Gills Bay & Stroma.  Work shall be undertaken by: Leask Marine Limited Tel No. 01856 874 725 Mob No. 07966 228 830 Email

Staff praised as Council toilets receive top awards
Cleaning staff responsible for looking after The Highland Council's Care and Learning services' toilets are been praised after scooping 7 national category awards, and 2 major national awards in the annual Loo of the Year Awards. With 20 facilities receiving platinum certificates and a further 23 gold, the Council has also been awarded a Champions League Standards of Excellence Certificate.
Former Depute Head Teacher of Thurso High School In Honours List

Wick High School Campus Latest Photos
Wick High School - New Campus Building Progress 4 January 2015

Rhoda Grant MSP Forces Answers From NHS Highland About Deaths On Delayed Discharge List
97 Patient Deaths on Delayed Discharge Lists in NHS Highland Since 2012. Figures revealed by NHS Highland to Rhoda Grant MSP, the Shadow Minister for Sport, Health Improvement & Mental Health, following a freedom of information request show that nearly 100 patients have died whilst on delayed discharge lists.

A Look Round Scrabster to Start 2015
Scrabster 4 January 2015
From time to time we take look around various places in the county.  
Here is the Scrabster look for 5 January 2014
 Earlier 2012   2005   Pier opened 2003
Black Prince At Scrabster 26 May 2007
Noronna 18 June 2007
Scrabster Hill repair work October 2007
MV Pharos 26 July 2007

Still time to comment on CaSPlan Main Issues Report
Communities are being reminded that the consultation on the Caithness and Sutherland Local Development Plan (CaSPlan) Main Issues Report continues, with any comments needing to be received by The Highland Council no later than 12 noon on Thursday 29 January 2015.

NHS Highland Must Reveal Number of Patients Dying Each Year On Delayed Discharge Lists
Highland MSP and Scottish Labour Shadow Sport, Health & Mental Minister, Rhoda Grant is to write to NHS Highland to ask for figures relating to the number of patient's across the health board that are dying in hospitals whilst waiting on a delayed discharge list. Mrs Grant is seeking figures after the Scottish Labour Party revealed at the weekend that across Scotland more than 400 patients a year died in hospitals whilst on a delayed discharge list in the previous two years, however, NHS Highland has failed to produce figures.

Time to enrol children for school
Enrolment for Highland Schools 2015Parents and guardians of children are being informed by The Highland Council that it's time for enrolment into primary school in the Highlands. All children who will be five on or before 29 February 2016 are eligible to be enrolled for Primary 1 starting August 2015. Enrolment will take place in the week commencing 26 January 2015. Enrolment will take place at local primary schools at 3pm each day from 26 January to 30 January 2015.
Lidl, Thurso To Reopen Larger Store On 26th February
Lidl, ThursoLidl Thurso 4 January 2015

Vessel overturned off Wick - Cemfjord
8 missing
Lifeboats from Stromness, Scrabster, Longhope and Wick were still searching.   Last Position on Vessel Finder
Report in Independent

Man Fell Into Harboured Vessel At Scrabster Harbour

Moray Geology: Past, Present, Future
Elgin Museum conference
Elgin Museum presents Moray Geology: Past, Present, Future
A conference on the history of Elgin Museum, its fossils and the geology of the Moray area. Sat 21st- Sun 22nd March 2015.

More Evening Courses In 2015 At North Highland College, Thurso
Evening Classes at North Highland College 2015
Why not fill up those winter nights with an interesting or useful course of study.
The topics are many and varied.
Leisure -  Languages - Business, Admin and Accounting
Health and Social Care - Engineering
Check out the brochure and application form

More Wick Hogmanay Photos Added To The Gallery
Wick Hogmanay Crowds welcome 2015

Hogmanay Street Party Welcomed 2015
Hogmanay Street Party at Wick to welcome 2015
WICK gave 2015 a warm welcome with band Penny Lane helping the year off to a fantastic start for the revellers who crowded into the Kirk Lane venue.

Happy New Year From
We wish you all have a great 2015.