View Full Version : Fit's in 'e Groat 'is week

20-Jan-12, 18:03
John O’ Groat Journal review: January 20, 2012

THIS week’s edition leads on its front page with the news that a local councillor has quit Thurso Youth Club’s management committee in a fury, over a move which he claims will negatively impact the “most vulnerable people in Caithness”. Thurso Highland councillor, Donnie Mackay, who has represented the local authority on the youth club committee for four years, resigned yesterday, in a rage as it emerged that the popular Monday Club is to look for new premises. The 10-strong volunteer committee held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night when members decided that they would leave the youth club, citing their recent treatment as too much to take. The row blew up, after moves by High Life Highland to ensure that Thurso Youth Club gives priority to youngsters. A girls group had been earmarked to take over the Monday Club’s evening spot.

THE long-awaited Pulteneytown People’s Project community centre finally opens its doors to the public on Monday. The new £3.4 million community hub in Wick, is a multi-functional facility that will house community services, training, small businesses and a host of other activities to entertain and educate. PPP’s chief executive officer, Katrina MacNab, said the Huddart Street premises will cater for all ages and urged locals to come along during the first week for a look around. She said: “People can come up, have a cup of coffee and ask the staff what is going on. We are providing services and amenities that are not in the local area at all”. PPP previously operated out of five properties in Murchison Street with 26 members of staff.

ANOTHER story on the front page gives notice that a street party could be held in Thurso to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee later this year. That is just one of the suggestions made by the Thurso Town Improvements Association which has organised a meeting in Caithness Horizons at 7pm next week, to give local people an opportunity to put forward their ideas. TTIA chair, Doreen Macleod said the committee would like the public to attend the meeting on Monday and outline their views. Volunteers to help out, are also being sought.

INSIDE...a company has been set up by two Caithness brothers who would like to see films being made in the county for television, the internet and the big screen. Toby and Fionn Watts from Freswick, created Far North Film and hope, in the longterm, to capitalise on the potential the area has to offer. They have made a number of short films, corporate documentary and drama, over the years and launched their own website, showcasing some of their work. But now, the brothers, whose father is a renowned writer and director who has been involved in a number of TV and film projects, have set up their own production company and have definite plans for the future.

TRAINS will start transporting nuclear material from Dounreay through the Highlands in the summer but the exact times and dates will not be disclosed because of fears of terrorist attack. Speaking yesterday to Highland Council’s transport, environmental and community services committee in Inverness, Dr Adrian Simper, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s head of strategy, said that publicising the schedule could increase the risk of terrorists targeting the trains. He said that such information would be helpful to a terrorist and make it an easier target. Dr Simper admitted that the number of rail routes the consignments could use, through the region, were limited. He added that he understood the public’s interest in the journeys, but insisted that the spent fuel was a relatively benign material and the movement would be “highly regulated”. He stressed the material was not nuclear waste.

LOCAL unsung heroes who have contributed to the community or helped others, have been recognised at a special dinner held in Mackay’s Hotel in Wick. Over 100 members of the public, nominees and their guests or partners attend the event, last Friday, which was organised by hotel owners Murray and Ellie Lamont. Lord-Lieutenant of Caithness, Anne Dunnet made the opening remarks and paid tribute to all those who had been nominated.

A SENIOR Caithness councillor has apologised to classroom assistants for the time it has taken to end the uncertainty over their jobs. Wick councillor Bill Fernie, who chairs Highland Council’s education culture and sport committee, said ‘sorry’ this week after a colleague claimed the issue had handled “very badly” and in a “shambolic” way. The SNP group’s education spokesman, Councillor Bren Gormley, said the proposal to axe the 344 posts, including 42 in Caithness, was “flawed” and led to a year of anxiety for staff.

A CAITHNESS village heritage group has been voted as the people’s choice in a new annual arts award. Castletown Heritage Society came out on top in the Scottish section of the Epic Awards online poll for excellence in the arts and crafts. The group won the People’s Choice award for last year’s innovative restaging of an Edwardian concert, which originally took place in 1911, as well as the runners-up prize in the judged section.

WICK Academy manager, Davie Kirkwood is taking on the role of preacher man ahead of this weekend’s re-arranged fixture against Keith. The Scorries’ boss’s sermon is all about confidence ahead of the 3pm kick-off, tomorrow, which has been switched from a home game to an away match due to the wet weather and stormy forecast. Academy will now travel to Keith to play the fixture that was originally postponed on September 10.

AND finally...a local retail era will come to an end next month when Doreen Turner leaves the shop she has run in Wick for the past 33 years. Her retiral from T. Turner & Son, in High Street, will sever a family link with the local retail trade that stretches back over 100 years. But Doreen is hopeful that the shop, better known as Turner’s, will continue to operate. She said: “My dream wish would be for someone to take it over. There is some interest on that front but we will just have to wait and see what happens.”