Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Erosion on central beach "something really needs to be done before next winter"

In his latest blog post Cllr Paul Oldham states: 

"I recently took a walk with members of Nairn West & Suburban Council led by Community Councillor Kristin Duncan. Kristin was highlighting the issue that the rock armour which protects the section of the Links from the only significant groyne to the Leisure Centre car park has been significantly disturbed by the winter storm which also did damage to the harbour.

Unless you actually see this from the beach side you're not really aware of how bad it is but we have a real problem in that the damage means that further storms are now likely to erode the ground under the tarmacked path along the front and result in its eventual loss.

We will be discussing this issue at our next ward business meeting as something really needs to be done before next winter. And continuing from my last item both the Links and Central Beach are assets of the Common Good so we may well want to discuss this at a future Common Good Engagement Group meeting."

The Gurn went along for a look this morning and it does indeed look as though there has been significant erosion in the area Paul describes. More news from Cllr Oldham here.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Farewell Murd Dunbar

Murd Dunbar was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a friend, a proud Shankie, a custodian of the riverside and many other things as well. But one of the main things that Murdoch Ross Dunbar was was that he was a thrawn old bugger. I'm sure that many folk within organisations such as the Highland Council and Community Councils, rued the day that Murd learnt how to use a computer and got loose on the internet. I bet you there was many a morning when some Councillor or Official opened up their Inbox and spotted an email from Murd Dunbar and then cried silently to themselves, “oh no, it's him again!”.

Murd was determined, he was tenacious, persistent, dogged, he didn't give up as many people would have done when multiple obstacles and broken promises were chucked back at him in response to his many causes and campaigns. He was never one to be fobbed off just because someone said “No, can't do that”. Dealing with officials he was a bit like Islay and Belle in the case that you can throw a ball or a stick as far away as possible but I'll be back, I'll take it back, I'll stand at your door, your door of bureacracy. His modus operandi was keep on gurning until they do something, something he lived by even in his final weeks.

He made Community Council meetings interesting, in many way's he was their nemesis, they would have their cosy agenda and he would come along and rock their wee boat. He had his opinions and views and if you didn't agree with them, tough, he just ignored them and carried on regardless.

Murd worked on many fronts and people used to go to him with issues which he would then raise at meetings or via the Gurn or the Nairnshire. He cared about our community and he set an example by sometimes doing the things that the authorities had neglected; repairing and painting benches, salting the bridges and clearing the leaves and, of course, he occasionally had something to say about the Firhall Bridge! I often feel that he was more value than some of those that are paid handsomely to represent the community to sort things out. Personally, I think he was much more in touch with folk than many of the various representatives. He got off his backside and got on with it.

Of course, Murd made use of the information super highway in other ways by highlighting issues on social media – he was a campaigner for houses to be built for the town’s young people among other things. Murd cared, he knew that a community ignores the needs of the young at its peril.

He was a contributor to the Gurn in its heyday. Our Riverside and Queenspark correspondent and often lots of other stuff. Any message left on the answerphone always went the same way, “Hi Des, Murd here, here, listen, and then there would follow something along the lines of I've just sent you, run it by you, see what you think”....

And it’s all there, the Gurn has been a bit quieter the last couple of years but if you put Murd Dunbar in the search box you’ll have a few hours reading material that will come up. The hospital bus stop, the state of the riverside paths, the state of the benches, the Firhall Bridge!

Murd, in his own way was an innovator, someone who did things before other people. He embraced his electric bikes and many a time he, tinkered. You would often see him coming hurtling towards you around the river on his bike, feet out, coming to a stop because the brakes just weren't quite working properly at that moment but that never stopped him. The craic was tremendous, pure Nairn born and bred, a priceless way of looking at the world and sharing his wisdom.

So Murd, wherever you are now I hope you're standing at that door giving them what for and not going away – just like the time an MP seeking re-election came to Queenspark with a TV camera crew and his assistants – they chose the right door that day!

They all came to him, the politicians, the high heid yins, the officials. He never asked them to but his sheer force of nature meant they knew better then ignore him.

When it’s time to put the festive decorations on your tree up the river at the end of the year, I’ll be there to raise a dram to you and the well-lived life that was yours, your achievements and your impact that made our community a better place.

Here’s to you Murd, all the best!

Soraidh slàn a charaid, clach air do chàirn.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Fabulous news for Nairn High Street - The Original Factory Shop is coming to town!

 Regular visitors to the High Street may have noticed a couple of guys working in the former McKays. And now a Facebook page has appeared: more information here.

Good to see a national store chain wishing to invest in our High Street and fill up a big gap where the former McKays was situated.

Monday, March 11, 2024

"Invitation to pay" to go ahead for Links amenity and splash pad area

Item 6.4.2 of the "Nairn Common Good Fund – 2022/23 Audited Accounts, 2023/24 January Monitoring and General Update, Proposed Budget 2024/25" which went before the Nairnshire Area Committee last Monday 4th of March read:

"Discussions have taken place during 2023/24 with Highlife Highland, #TeamHamish and THC Facilities Management, in an attempt to find a more affordable but effective method of cleaning at the Splashpad in light of escalating costs. Options are being progressed on best value principles to commission THC Facilities Management to carry out the periodic deep cleaning of the Splashpad at a cost of £2,840 per clean. The existing contract with HLH will continue with spray washing weekly and a further deep clean scheduled as required using THC Facilities Management. 

Monthly monitoring of the cleaning will be done by the Nairn Common Good Fund Officer to ensure it remains in good, clean order and reflects positively on the partners and community. 

At the request of a previous meeting of Committee work is ongoing to develop an invitation to pay donation scheme for the NCGF Links amenity facilities proposals will be brought to a future meeting of the Committee."

This now goes through - you can see all this and more in the Video of the meeting embedded below. 

This item has generated a wee bit of debate on the ever popular Nairn Our Town social media page and can be seen here if you have a Facebook account.  

Friday, March 08, 2024

NCFC fans Ground Improvement Fund organises Whisky Tasting and 50/50 draw

There's a 50/50 draw taking place at the Fans' whisky tasting - you get tickets with every contribution via the crowdfunding linked in the embedded tweet below. 

"We are holding a Whisky Tasting on Saturday 6th April 2024, which will raise £750, we would like £1000!!! To help reach our target we plan to hold a 50/50 draw. £5 a square! Everyone will be allocated random number(s) and the draw will take place at the Whisky Tasting."

Monday, February 19, 2024

Gurn twitter account - usually a lot of interesting stuff

We're old media now too, most news in Nairn breaking over on Facebook these days but we still have our moments from time to time. And don't forget that the Tuesday edition of the Inverness Courier carries a lot of Nairn news too from local journalist Donald Wilson.

In the meantime if there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days and you can scroll down the wee twitter box on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Monday, February 05, 2024

Cllr Paul Oldham continues to keep us all up to date: "Haventus are intending to create a £1,000,000 Community Fund to benefit the communities around the port over the next ten years."

Cllr Paul Oldham recently attended a community liaison group meeting down at the Haventus site. He also gives us a fair amount of detail of other information provided by the company  - for all this and more head over to Paul's weekly newsletter. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Nairn East Housing Development no more?

Before the proposed development at Nairn East goes ahead it looks very much like a bypass will have to be built. Cllr Paul Oldham outlines it all in an excellent informative article. He says:

"You may also remember that many voices in the ward, lead by Nairn River CC, said we ward councillors should reject the new Plan. We declined to do so for reasons I’ve discussed here before but instead got changes made to it to ensure, in particular, that there would be no new development at Nairn East (NA05) before we got a bypass.

This seems to have been even more successful that we hoped: the Reporters noted that:

The uncertainty regarding the implementation of the A96 dualling and Nairn Bypass project raises doubt over whether development on allocation NA05 is deliverable within the plan period."