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

30-Dec-11, 11:46
John O’ Groat Journal review: December 30, 2011

THE paper’s front page lead story reveals that a man whose parents were killed when their car was hit by a train at Halkirk two years ago, is suing Network rail. Donald Mackay(50) a former data analyst, originally from Wick, is taking on the rail infrastructure company for failing to implement measures to prevent the accident which also claimed the life of his uncle. Mr Mackay’s parents, Angus and Margaret, who were both 81 and formerly of Wick and 65-year-old Donald, who stayed at Forse House residential nursing home at Latheron, all died when their car was hit by the Inverness to Wick train at the open crossing, in September 2009. Mr Mackay claims that Network Rail should have taken into account, the history of the crossing and implemented safety features, long before his family was tragically taken from him. He maintains that, even now, the rail operator is dragging its feet.

“I THINK we have just got to take the pain along with everybody else”. That is the view of Landward Caithness representative David Flear who has welcomed a Scottish Government-imposed pay freeze for Highland councillors. Mr Flear said that in a time of great financial pressure and tightening budgets across the whole economy, it is only fair that councillors take on the pay free willingly. He said: “Considering the position we are in, financially, as a country, I think we have to take our fair share of the pain”.

INSIDE...a Thurso community councillor this week welcomed the news that the £1.2 million dental clinic at the Dunbar Hospital will open on January 11. Don Smith who chairs the local community council, said: “It has been a long time coming but this is something that should be welcomed with open arms. He said the facility will enable people to get NHS dental treatment in the town rather than having to go to Wick, Golspie or even further afield.

THE show is all set to go, according to the organisers of Hogmanay in Thurso. Preparations encountered a hitch after The Jacks guitarist, Kevin Jack, injured his hand over the festive period casting doubt on their headline appearance at the street party which is set to rock Sir John’s Square tomorrow night. However, Hogmanay in Thurso press officer, Graeme Dunnett, told the Groat yesterday that despite a replacement guitarist having been found, the injured musician is set to appear on stage as planned after a week of practice.

A PAIR of Wick bikers are preparing for the challenge of a lifetime as they make plans to visit the Far East to raise money for a good cause. Trial bike enthusiast, Paul Steven (37) and Colin Leask (49) are set to embark on the Ride 4 Life challenge that will test their endurance skills, stamina and fitness. The off-road adventure takes place in Vietnam and will be undertaken in January 2013 to raise money for CLIC Sargent which supports children and families affected by cancer.

A PLAN to install permanent artwork on coastal paths at John O’ Groats, as part of the £6 million project to redevelop the area, has been welcomed by community and business representatatives. John Green, the chairman of the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council, said the artwork would help to enhance the appeal of the place. He said: “It if it done properly and to a good standard, then it could add to the ambience of the area and encourage people to stay longer”. Mr Green hoped the artwork would reflect the stories and history of the place and be aesthetic and functional.

A WICK man has received a certificate of achievement from the British Heart foundation for his 35 years with the charity. John Farquhar – one of the longest-serving officials in the history of the organisation – received his award and an inscribed quaich at a special lunch which was held in Aberdeen recently. His wife Rona also from Wick, received a bouquet. The couple, who have lived in Aberdeen since the mid-1970s, were invited to a lunch at the Atholl Hotel but were surprised by the presentation. Mr Farquhar, a well-known bank manager in his home town of Wick, Oban and Aberdeen, was presented with his certificate of achievement by Marjory Burns, the director of BHF Scotland.

BEEF lovers in Royal Deeside can sample meat with its own regal connection for the first time – thanks to Mey Selections. Butcher H.M. Sheridan is the first in the area to stock the Far North –branded beef, and the firm believes its high quality coupled with its royal connections, will give it added appeal to customers. Danny Miller, chairman of North Highland Products, which produces Mey Selections of beef along with lamb and other products said: “Mey Selections now has around 150 farmer suppliers in the region who are dedicated to delivering top-quality produce.”

THE vast majority of scheme and proposals included in the planning blueprint for the Highlands in the next decade have been given the green light by the Scottish Government. The Government’s mandatory review of the key Highland-wide Local Development Plan, which acts as a guide for what should be build and where, in the region during the next 10 years, was published on Thursday. Government reporters studied 90 unresolved issues which were highlighted by local residents and community groups in the draft plan, holding a two-day public hearing in Inverness, in September and have published their recommendations in a 600-page report.