View Full Version : Fit's in 'e Groat 'e day?

29-Apr-11, 11:40
John O' Groat Journal review: April 29,2011

THE newspaper leads with the gloomy news that Wick’s annual Hogmanay party is “no moa”. After struggling on for many years with a skeleton committee, the decision has been taken to pull the plug. Repeated appeals for support have fallen on deaf ears. However, the committee has left the door ajar, saying that if there is a move to rescue the popular event, they would be happy to advise and make the funds available.

THE thoughtful gift to the couple of the moment, William and Kate, a mosaic featuring the Castle of Mey, takes the form of a photo-piece on P1. The idea for the mosaic, came from parent, Maranda Thomson who gifted the glass and ceramics and supervised three sessions while the pupils of Crossroads School constructed the 20in by 14in creation. The gift will be handed over to Prince Charles when he makes his annual visit to the castle in August.

THE front page is anchored by the condemnation by new chief constable, George Graham, of a single police force concept which he said could pose a threat to local policing and lead to a centralisation of resources. Mr Graham added that the nationwide force would also be “costly disruptive and intensely distracting”. He made the point that such a structural change could impact on the level of services in communities across the North and stressed he has yet to be convinced that such a move would save money. He stated: “It would cost money in the first few years and pose a significant risk to some of the things I value”.

INSIDE Gaelic signs row rumbles on. Apparently a quote for providing an English/Gaelic sign for a local village has been price at 80 per cent more than a like-for-like replacement, by a central belt-based firm. The differential led to renewed calls to reinstate the Caithness opt-out from the blanket council directive. The English-only sign for Milton, near Wick was priced at £473 compared to £849 for the larger dual-language version. As it transpired, a replacement was not needed as the original sign, which had been demolished by a car, was later found in a field relatively undamaged. The design for the dual-sign of Milton and Baile A Mhuilinn has therefore been mothballed. Thurso councillor Donnie Mackay claimed the council does not have a mandate for its policy in Caithness.

ON the same page, the loss sustained by Keiss skipper Donald Anderson, of his prawn trawler, Strathelliot, is recorded in a two-column story.

The 70ft trawler went down in the North Sea after it started taking water. After an unsuccessful attempt to stem the flow, the crew of three took to a liferaft. Mr Anderson remained on board for a time, but he too was forced to abandon ship.
The fisherman were picked up by the Banff boat, Sardonyx. The sinking is now the subject of an investigation by the Department for Transport’s Marine Investigation Branch.

A LOCAL firm of architects has won a competition to prepare indicative plans for a new renewable energy hub in Stromness. Pentarq’s Thurso-based director, Alan Gray, presented the favoured design for the mooted complex on the site of the former secondary school overlooking the harbour. It is the current campus for Heriot-Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology. The university and Highlands and Islands Enterprise ran the competition to progress interest in capitalising on Orkney’s renewable energy potential.

A SENIOR Caithness Highland councillor has been cleared of breaching the local authority’s code of conduct in his opposition to the exercise of its Gaelic language plan. Thurso’s John Rosie was the subject of two complaints, following his objection to candidates for two Thurso primary head posts having to indicate their support for Gaelic. Council administration leader Michael Foxley and Bord na Gaidhlig chairman, Arthur Cormack, were especially riled by Mr Rosie’s claim that the Gaelic reference had echoes of 1930s Germany when jobs were earmarked for National Socialist Party members. But their complaints to the Commission for Ethical Standards in Public Life have been dismissed. Chief investigating officer, Stuart Allan found that Mr Rosie’s press announcements amounted to fair comment and that he had not breached the councillor’s code of conduct in any way.

THERE are two solid pages of political comments from the various candidates bidding for the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross seat, so no-one can say the issue is not well covered.

ON back-page sport, Wick Academy is looking to bounce back from their disappointing away defeat to Strathspey Thistle but will have a tough match in prospect, against Deveronvale who are still in contention for the league championship and will be desperate to come away with all three points.