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

17-Jun-11, 11:10
John O’ Groat Journal review: June 17, 2011

THE paper leads on its front page with the news that Bill Fernie, chairman of Highland Council’s education culture and sport committee, has rejected a call for the current review of the four primary schools in Wick to be postponed. He reckons it would be better to “bring the matter to a conclusion rather than leave it up in the air”. The Wick councillor stressed the review is trying to make the best use of existing resources and said the outcome could be improved educational provision in the town. Mr Fernie continued: “Some people are taking a negative view, and focusing only on the possibility of school closures, but the review could lead to new or refurbished facilities, instead of half-empty buildings.”

NO prizes for guessing the front page picture...yes, its that luxury yacht, again, snapped in Wick Bay. As previously reported, The World was paying Wick a visit. Her millionaire passengers include Mike Clare who arranged the stop-over to enable them to visit the Castle of Mey, the Pulteneytown Distillery and Ackergill Tower which he owns. The story with local reaction, appears on page two.

ANOTHER page one piece informs us that a group of MPs will be in Caithness next week to get an insight into the potential of the Pentland Firth for renewable energy development. Members of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, including chair, Ian Davidson, Fiona Bruce, who comes from Wick and is the MP for Congletown in Cheshire, Lindsay Roy, MP for Glenrothes, and Dundee MP Jim McGovern, will in the county on Wednesday after visiting Orkney. They will be accompanied on the boat crossing to the mainland by Bill Mowat and John Green, chairman and secretary/treasurer of Gills Harbour Ltd, respectively. The party will hear about the marine energy potential of the Pentland Firth and its tide races, as well as being shown Gills harbour before having dinner at the Seaview Hotel, John O’ Groats.

INSIDE, the paper reports the sad death of Caithness farmer Sandy Banks while working with his cattle on his holding. Mr Banks, who was 64, was found lifeless in a field on Sour Farm near Halkirk, on Monday. Police are treating his death, as a tragic accident while a probe has begun by the Health and Safety Executive.

THE Union Jack will be proudly saluted by the county’s veterans, next week as they pay tribute at the annual Armed forces Day, to the fallen, injured and the survivors of past and present conflicts. Members of the Wick branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland will be joining with veterans around the UK, in holding events, before and during Armed Forces Day, which is set for June 25. The main commemoration ceremony is being held in Edinburgh, this year, making it especially poignant for Scottish service personnel and their families.

A TOURIST has thanked a Caithness bus driver who saved him from being stranded in the Far North. Belgian traveller Raymond Maxwell faced his holiday ending in disaster when he was told he was not allowed to bring his bicycle on board a coach from Georgemas Junction to Inverness. However, local minibus driver, Andrew Budge(30) came to his rescue and drove him south. The incident took place on Tuesday May 24 when atrocious weather forced ScotRail to cancel train services to Wick. ScotRail hired Newtonhill firm, John Budge Mini Buses, to transport passengers from the town to Georgemas Junction. They were then picked up by a coach from and Inverness bus firm. However Mr Maxwell was unable to get on the coach with his bicycle, as the driver indicated he had two bikes already on board.

A VULCAN Rolls-Royce apprentice overcame, sunburn, a crash, camping troubles, wild weather and aching limbs to complete a John O’ Groats to Lands End challenge. Haster-based, Graeme Clyne, a member of the Wick Wheelers cycling group, at just 21, was the youngest taking part in Action Medical Research’s UK End 2 End challenge. He managed to raise over £2100 with his 974-mile cycling effort which will help the charity to care for sick babies and young children.

A car boot sale and fun dog show was held recently at Bower community hall, to raise funds for the Pets at Home charity, Support Adoption for Pets. The event was organised by Debbie Prouse who works at the firm’s Wick store. She was helped on the day by Angie Murray and Kay Gunn, who also works in the local shop, and Shannon Murray and Francis Prouse. Anne MacDonald judged the show. There was an excellent turnout for both the sale and the dog show. Pets at Home staff baked cakes which were sold on the day to raise money for Support Adoption for Pets.

A DOUNREAY contractor is facing a massive bill after being found liable to pay redundancy to 16 former long-serving shift workers. The ruling against Nuvia Ltd follows a hearing into a dispute, over the termination of their employment at the site at the end of May, last year. The Unite union which represented the men at an industrial tribunal has welcomed the outcome, though anticipates an appeal being lodged. Cheshire-based Nuvia maintained it had no responsibility for the workers after the end of its safety surveillance contract at Dounreay’s protype fast reactor. Back by their union, the workers, most of whom had spend their working life at Dounreay, claimed they should have been taken on by site operator DSRL. Nuvia sought to establish that, at least some of the roles carried out by the workers continued after they had left. DSRL denied this was the case, and insisted the transfer-of-employment right should not apply. In the newly-issued findings of the tribunal which met in Wick last November, Nuvia has been found liable to foot the redundancy cost of the six supervisors and 10 operatives.

FIVE players have declared their short-term futures are with Wick Academy by putting pen to paper. The club confirmed yesterday that midfielders, Gary Manson, Bryan McKiddie and Craig Shearer have signed new two-and-a-half year contracts. Defender Shaun Sinclair and prolific forward Gary Weir have also agree terms to stay with the club, until at least January 2013.

AND finally...you may have thought that the Land’s End to John O’ Groats had been every conceivable way, but you would be wrong. A horse-drawn replica, First World War ambulance will set off from Land’s End, on Monday, with an honour guard of equine outriders, made up of servicemen who have lost limbs, in order to raise money for injured service personnel charity Help for Heroes. Leading a team of drivers will be modern-day wonder woman and mother of three, Jacks El Tawil. She is a high school drop-out who went on to show jump internationally.