12 December 06
Horizons Appoints Marketing Firm And Goes For A Geo Thermal Heating System
Horizons has this week appointed Shetland based marketing consultants Shaw
Marketing and Design Ltd. to develop and implement the pre-opening
marketing plan in preparation for opening the new facility in 2008.
Johnson, Director of Shaw, said: “Immediately on reading the project
brief, it struck a chord. Here was a project about a core community asset
that had been in danger of becoming extinct. Living in a similar remote
community where people have strong links with each other, are proud of
their culture and heritage, and enjoy sharing these experiences with
visitors, we instinctively felt a strong desire to be part of this project
and are delighted with our appointment.”
Thurso Town Hall refurbishment continues to progress with the main
building construction work going out to tender very shortly, with a number
of local companies having expressed an interest.
Ingham, venue manager of the prestigious Rutherglen Town Hall
redevelopment project, has been continuing to work alongside the project
team to impart his valuable knowledge and experience to assist with
crucial business decisions for the future.
of the art geo-thermal drilling rig, the first of its kind in Europe, will
shortly be carrying out test bores of up to 300 metres in order to test
the level of water beneath the Town Hall site. The trials are expected to
prove a success, allowing plans to go ahead for a sustainable and
eco-friendly ground source heat pump heating system.
5 November 06
Old Rope ?
This may seem a strange request from
Castletown Heritage Society.
Let me explain. In 2007 Highland Region is celebrating Year of Culture. As
our contribution CHS is putting on a series of workshops on traditional
skills which used to be part of village life.
One of the skills is that of rope-making. We have invited an artist in
rope making and basket-weaving to conduct a creative workshop using rope
and basket weaving as a medium for interpreting the story of Castletown
and district. As we need some themes to base our interpretations on we
have chosen firstly the tale of the selkie (seal-woman) who came from the
sea as a baby and was buried in Olrig cemetery. Secondly is the theme of
emigrants who left the area to find a new life elsewhere in the world. Our
rope artist incorporates various mementos or appropriate objects into the
weave of the rope so that they help to tell the tale.
We are contacting those, whose families originally came from here to ask
if they might possibly send us a small length of e.g. local grasses/
straw/ leaves from your part of the world/ ribbon/ fabric/ a flag/ a
message on paper/. Just enough to go in an envelope will do, and a few
words of explanation would be ideal.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could send us something before
March 2007 when the rope workshop is due to start. If you know of any more
people with connections to Castletown or Olrig parish please pass on this
The workshops are being held in our new premises at Castlehill, and the
finished interpretation in rope will be on display in it.
Castletown Heritage Society
8 August 06
Scottish Land &
Society: the Threipland Papers
This summer sees the fruition of a two year project by Perth & Kinross
Council Archive to catalogue the extensive Threipland papers. With support
from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Perth and Kinross Council, Project
cataloguer Richard Costello has looked through over 31,000 documents,
arranged and listed them. For the first time ever, the Threipland
collection is now accessible to the public.
The papers will be on display in Caithness at Halkirk, Thurso and Wick 4 -
23 September 2006
29 June 06
SCRABSTER MISSION PERMANENT EXHIBITION NOW OPEN
A PERMANENT exhibition entitled Scrabster: Then and Now has been
officially opened at Scrabster mission by superintendent Murray Campbell.
exhibition features hundreds of photos encapsulating the history and
present day-to-day life at the busy whitefish port. A smaller version of
the exhibition was previously held on a temporary basis in 2004 but, due
to popular demand, it has been expanded and made a permanent fixture at
fishing vessels, Thurso lifeboats over the years, and pictures of royal
visits to Scrabster also feature in the exhibition alongside four
different St Ola models in bottles and other historical pieces.
Her Late Majesty
the Queen Mother's visit to Stroma from Harrow harbour in the 1960s aboard
the Primula WK97, skippered by Angus Macintosh, is shown.
also has an archive of wrecks in and around the Pentland Firth, including
the recent grounding of the Audacious BF83 in 2004 off Canisbay.
"Scrabster: Then and Now is a varied display that depicts the port in the
old days and through the years up to today. "As a boy, I was sent to the
old Scrabster Post Office on errands and was recently given an old
photograph of the building. The photo gave me the inspiration to try to
put something like this together, with the help of those who have been
good enough to lend and donate photos and other items."
He drew attention
to the aerial views of Scrabster over the years which show how the port
has expanded and diversified to include cruise liners and oil vessels.
"Everyone is welcome to come and visit the exhibition; it's opening hours
are the same as the mission - 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 7am to
midday on Saturday. Entry is free," he said.
featured in the exhibition include local boats, like the Opportune WK171
and Boy Andrew WK170, and those from further afield.
28 June 06
Halkirk Heritage and Vintage Motor
Saturday 1st July 2006
Ross Institute, Halkirk
Grand Opening By John Thurso MP 2.00pm
Open To The Public 3.00pm - 5.00pm
The exhibition will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays 2.00pm - 4.00pm &
7.00pm - 9.00pm and on Saturdays 2.00pm - 4.00pm
4 April 06
DOUNREAY VISITOR CENTRE OPENS ITS DOORS FOR 2006
Dounreay’s award-winning visitor centre has opened its doors for the 2006
season in time to catch the early tourists heading North for Easter.
The centre explains to visitors the remarkable story of the pioneers who
developed the fast breeder programme at Dounreay over 50 years ago, and
the major clean-up programme now underway to restore the environment.
It describes how
UKAEA is working with the local community to establish Caithness as a
global centre of excellence in nuclear decommissioning, qualities that can
sustain the skills and enterprise base of the north Highlands beyond the
closure of Dounreay. Nearly 9,000 people visited the centre during
2005, making it one of the most popular visitor attractions in the far
New to the centre
this season will be information on the proposed new low level waste
disposal facilities at Dounreay, following consultation on the preferred
way forward as part of the decommissioning and clean-up of the Dounreay
site. Plans are now being prepared for a planning application for the new
facilities adjacent to the site.
will be on hand to take visitors through the story of Dounreay’s
pioneering past and explain how UKAEA has become the most experienced
organisation in Europe in nuclear decommissioning.
Wrighton, who manages the centre, says: "The visitor centre plays a vital
role in giving the public the opportunity to find out more about the
decommissioning challenges that lie ahead of us and the ground-breaking
work that is carried out at the site. UKAEA is working very closely with
the local community to ensure that the benefits of Dounreay can be enjoyed
by everyone for years to come."
The whole family
can enjoy the exhibition and admission to the centre is free, reflecting
the importance that UKAEA attaches to both communicating openly and
honestly with the wider community about the decommissioning programme and
supporting the local economy.
Area Director, Scott Armstrong said: "Overall in 2005 the visitor numbers
to the Highlands increased and high quality visitor attractions, such as
Dounreay, play a major part in attracting more people to our area. I wish
everyone at the Dounreay Visitor Centre all the very best for a successful
season in 2006."
16 March 06
HORIZONS PROJECT WORK STARTS
£3.5 Million Project Will Create New Jobs
With the Thurso Town Hall now closed to allow the refurbishment to
begin, the enabling work for the Caithness Horizons project is scheduled
to start very soon. The contents of the main building and the artefacts
from Thurso Museum have been safely packed up and transferred to an
off-site store, and cataloguing the collection will begin shortly.
13 January 06
FULL FUNDING PACKAGE FOR CAITHNESS HORIZONS
Caithness Horizons has been awarded the final phase of its crucial capital
funding package allowing work to begin within the next few months. The Highlands and Islands
Partnership Programme (HIPP), which administers EU funds for the region,
has announced its support for the redevelopment of Thurso Town Hall, with
a contribution of £100,000 from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Dennis Malone, Chief Executive of HIPP, said: “I am delighted that ERDF
has been able to make a financial contribution to one of the most exciting
projects in Caithness and I am confident that the investment will deliver
significant benefits for the area.”
Grass Roots Comes to Inverness
Representatives from museums and galleries across northern Scotland
and the Highlands and Islands met at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery this
week (15 November 2005) to attend the second of a series of workshops as
part of the Grass Roots initiative.
Grass Roots, a partnership between
the Scottish Museums Council (SMC) and the Group for Education in Museums
(GEM) is giving museums and galleries throughout Scotland the opportunity
to increase and enhance the learning services they offer by providing
practical support, particularly to those lacking dedicated learning and
access staff, in developing high quality learning and access programmes.
The workshop - 'Developing Learning
Activities in Museums' - called on the expertise of several speakers from
the region who have experience of working with schools, higher and further
education and the wider community on education and learning initiatives.
The day was aimed at demonstrating
inspiring ways to incorporate learning into museum programmes, including
practical examples of teaching techniques, case studies from previous
successful projects and practical advice on who is available to help.
Informal discussions were also held on issues affecting museums and the
implementation of learning activities.
Susan Galloway, GEM/SMC Education
Officer for the Grass Roots project, said: "Through the Grass Roots
project, we aim to boost the confidence and proficiency of museums that
currently offer limited learning activities, enabling them to develop
their own, tailored education resources using their own collections and
facilities. This will be of real benefit to both the museums and visitors,
giving them an increased sense of involvement and an enhanced experience
of the collections."
Joanne Orr, Director of SMC, said:
"The Grass Roots project puts into action Scottish Museum Council's
Learning and Access Strategy, published earlier this year, making quality
access and learning policies and practices an integral part of museum
delivery. We are delighted that so many of our museums in the Highlands
and Islands and the north of Scotland are getting involved in the
· To view a copy of SMC's Learning
and Access Strategy, please visit
· A full explanation of the Grass Roots project can be viewed on GEM's
5 November 05
DOUNREAY VISITOR CENTRE
Dounreay Visitor Centre, rated as a four-star attraction, has
closed its doors for the 2005 season after enjoying yet another successful
season with almost 9,000 people through its doors. The Visitor Centre
opened in March this year to encompass the early Easter break and has
received a steady flow of tourists from all over the world, as well as
members of the local community throughout the season.
Visiting Caithness & Planning
Remember the Highlands of Scotland and the far north in particular can
have very variable weather often changing very rapidly. If you are
planning to spend a few days in the far north think about being flexible
seeing the coast and beautiful scenery on a dry day and visiting some of
the many and varied centres on the wet ones. Caithness has a rich
history and cultural background that is still very much alive.
Ask locals when you might see some of the local events especially during
July and August. Watch out for exhibitions, local musical events,
Highland or country dancing often hidden away in halls and not advertised.
Visitors are welcome to join in local events - just ask.
5 June 05
“SILVER DARLINGS” DAY AT “WATERLINES”, LYBSTER
SAT, JUNE 25TH 2005
As part of
a celebration of the life of the fishing community in Lybster and of Neil
Gunn, the well-known Caithness author, Lybster Heritage Trust and Lybster
Harbour Society are inviting everyone to come and join in the fun on
Saturday, 25th June. There will
be demonstrations of creel and net-making, spinning and rag rug-making;
there will be a story-teller and traditional music; there will be stalls,
including one where you can buy Cullen Skink and another selling crab. The old
film “The Silver Darlings”, which was partly made at Lybster harbour will
be shown at 12 noon and at 3.30 p.m.
25 March 05
Wick Heritage Opens For Easter Weekend
The folk over at Wick Heritage have been dusting down
and getting ready to open early this year and they will be open over the
Easter weekend. with a huge range of items and rooms set out
reflecting Caithness in earlier times it may take more than one visit to
see it all. the centre boasts a huge archive of photographs many
from the Johnson Collection and a unique photo from Caithness can be
purchased in a variety of sizes.
25 March 05
DOUNREAY OPENS ITS DOORS EARLY FOR
Dounreay’s award-winning visitor centre opens its doors for the 2005
season today in time for the early Easter weekend. The centre explains to visitors the remarkable story of the
pioneers who developed the fast breeder programme at Dounreay 50 years
ago, and the major clean-up programme now underway to restore the
environment. It describes how
UKAEA is working with the local community to establish the north Highlands
as an international centre of excellence in nuclear decommissioning -
qualities that can sustain the skills and enterprise base of the north
Highlands beyond the closure of Dounreay and so ensure the ultimate legacy
of Scotland’s first “atomic factory” is one everyone can be proud of.
21 March 05
DOUNREAY VISITOR CENTRE SET TO OPEN FOR SEASON
Dounreay's award-winning visitor centre will open this year on
Thursday, 24 March 2005. The centre, which last year attracted over 9,000
visitors, tells the story of Dounreay's role over the past fifty years,
how it was developed as the centre for Britain's fast reactor development
programme, its operational years, and how the site is now focussed on
decommissioning. Tina Wrighton, who manages the centre, said it is one of
the leading tourist attractions in the area. "With Easter being so early
this year, when normally there are a number of tourists in the area, we
wanted to make sure that our doors are open to bid them a welcome," said
Tina. Visitors of all ages are welcome and they can enjoy a light snack in
the adjacent cafeteria.
19 October 04
NEW WEBSITE FOR COMPANY BEHIND THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THURSO TOWN
The group behind the redevelopment of Thurso Town
Hall into a multi-purpose community, visitor, information centre and
museum, Caithness Horizons, have launched a new website to keep
people informed of the projects progress and have formalised
themselves by becoming a company limited by guarantee. Preliminary
sketches and plans of the proposed layout for the redevelopment are
now available on the new website. There is also a chance for people
to complete an online survey form, which will provide information on
what facilities people would like to see provided. Plans are
also available in Thurso Town Hall and both Wick and Thurso
Libraries. Under the plans Thurso Town Hall and the adjacent
library which are owned by The Highland Council will be developed to
improve the public spaces for meetings, talks and local groups, and
to bring together information for visitors on Thurso, Caithness, and
the decommissioning work at Dounreay. The project will ensure that
the Victorian old building is maintained for public use in the
From The New Archivist At
Wick - Rachael Taylor
Just a quick note to introduce myself as the new Archivist at North
Highland Archive in Wick. I began work here at the start of August and
it's great to be able to work in such lovely surroundings! I have worked
in various archives around Scotland including the National Archives of
Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Glasgow City Council.