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Nwicker60
22-Apr-11, 12:48
John O' Groat Journal review April 22, 2011


THE RESIGNATIONS of Richard Hughes and Ian Munro make the headlines on the front page of the paper and the story is also cover in other local and national outlets.


OUR jobs were lost when Alacam’s electrical business in Thurso ceased trading. Boss Alan Cameron said it was due to financial constraints but stressed that the repair and contract work is continuing under the name of Fixm, which was set up by his father, Robert. The Alacam shop in Olrig will be converted into a workshop which will be the base for the new firm.


DRAWINGS have been unveiled, revealing the modern building that is set to replace the out-of-date Highland council offices in Wick’s town centre. The local authority is planning to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with a modern, fresh working environment to increase service delivery and keep the town centre alive, according to Wick ward manager David Sutherland. He said that the current offices in the High Street and Market place will eventually be knocked down with the exception of the listed building Stafford Place, the curved section of High Street which will be kept, and incorporated as part of the new design.


EXPERTISE in decommissioning, developed at Dounreay, will help workers in Ukraine take apart the infamous Chernobyl plant. It was 25 years ago that one of the four reactors at the site exploded, releasing large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere which spread over much of western Russia and Europe. Helping bring Dounreay’s knowledge to the project is Jillian Bundy who has just returned from a three-day visit to Ukraine where she joined other international experts at a workshop on training to decommission the Chernobyle nuclear power plant.


A THURSO-based housing association has been awarded over 4000 to help its tenants most at risk of fuel poverty. The grant has come from the Strategic Affordable Warmth Fund, a three-year programme undertaken by Energy Action Scotland and Calor, and will be given to Pentland Housing Association’s subsidiary company, Pentland Energy Advice, which will assess the level of fuel poverty being experienced. Angela Craig, manager of PEA, said: “Our aim is to establish the level of fuel-poor households within the PHA stock and help removed them from fuel poverty.


POLICE are taking a “more robust” approach to motorists in the Thurso area who park their vehicles at junctions, blind corners and double yellow lines. The warning came from Chief Inspector Matthew Reiss, the area commander for Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross. He said the move followed an increase in complaints from the public about indiscriminate parking. He said that there had been an increase in the number of fixed penalty fines that have been issued in the Thurso area and he stressed that will continue to be the case. The senior officer added: “Some drivers seem to assume that there is nothing wrong with parking at junctions, on blind corners and double yellow lines but, by doing that, they can often restrict visibility of other drivers and cause problems for pedestrians.”

A SERIES of exhibitions will take images from the unique Johnston Collection, out and about, thanks to a lottery award and a cash boost from Highland Council. The Our Rural Heritage project was launched by local Highland councillor David Flear at the Wick Society’s Centre, recently. The exhibitions are being funded by a grant of 12,800 from the Heritage Lottery fund and 2000 from the Wick ward and landward discretionary funds. Society director Harry Gray welcomed the representatives of the four areas involved with the project, Watten , Dunbeath, Castletown and Halkirk, to the launch. He said the society was delighted with the award and explained how some of the money will be used. “The awards will fund a series of exhibitions around the country this summer” he added.


AND so to sport. Thurso and Halkirk United both have testing away fixtures tomorrow in the fourth and last cup tournament of the North Caledonian season. Their respective tasks have been made tougher with this week’s onset of the Caithness county leagues season. Unable to train because of the local matches, the Far North duo are also missing key players for their forays to Easter Ross.


WICK Amateur Swimming Club had a big team competing at the recent Swimfest competition in Tain. As well as the host town’s club and Wick, there were teams representing Skye Dingwall, Nairn, Grantown and Inverness. In the eight to nine age group, Wick had some


AFTER struggling to spark early on, Thurso’s season has caught fire since the turn of the year. Saturday’s nerve-jangling extra-time success, in the Jock Mackay Memorial Cup, finally landed them their third cup and extended their unbeaten sequence to 12 wins and a draw.


AND finally...it underlines the old proverb “all that glitters is not gold”. A Wick woman’s dreams of emulating Halkirk man Walter Fraser’s first edition Beano loft find was shortlived. She realised that she had the same copy in her kitchen, belonging to her late grandfather and thought she was also in for a windfall. However, her edition turned out to be a 24-page facsimile and not one of the much-sought-after remaining and genuine, 1938 first editions of the comic.