Friday, July 19, 2019

Young musicians kick off summer of music in Nairn

Young musicians from Nairn will take to the road next week as the Fèis Inbhir Narainn Cèilidh Trail kick off their annual summer tour.

A group of five talented young musicians and singers will be entertaining audiences with traditional Gaelic music and song over the next couple of weeks at venues in Nairn and surrounding area.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Cèilidh Trail programme which was pioneered by Fèis Rois but has now been adopted by a number of other Fèisean. It gives young musicians and singers, aged 16 to 25, the opportunity to take part in a professional summer tour through their local Fèis with support from a team of musicians and specialist tutors. This unique opportunity offers participants training in the core skills required for a career in the creative industries, particularly music. Participants have the opportunity to gain a PDA in Performance or Sound Production, through a collaboration with West Highland College.

With support from Creative Scotland and HIE, Fèisean nan Gàidheal Cèilidh Trails help young musicians develop their performance skills and provide a widespread traditional music entertainment programme in the Highlands and beyond. This year there are Cèilidh Trails in Ross-shire, Lochaber, Paisley, Skye, Stirling & Trossachs and Argyll with this year being the fourth time a Cèilidh Trail has hit the road in Nairn.
Rhona MacDonald, ceilidh trail co-ordinator, said: “Our Fèis Inbhir Narainn Cèilidh Trail is absolutely raring to go and entertain audiences this summer! They’ve recently gone through a week of intensive training and preparation at Fèis Alba in Plockton with musicians from Cèilidh Trails around Scotland.”

“The Cèilidh Trail is a phenomenal opportunity for these young musicians to get a taste of what life as a professional touring musician can be like. Not only do they play the gigs but they are involved in the organisation, marketing and tech side of the tour – it’s hard work but great fun at the same time and I’m sure people who come along to the gigs won’t be disappointed. There is a mix of formal and informal concerts as well as family ceilidhs so there is something for everyone – you might even learn a song and dance or two!”

This year’s Fèis Inbhir Narainn Cèilidh Trail members are Beth Cain (keyboard), Lena Mckechnie (fiddle), Alix Aburn (Gaelic song), Hamish Drennan (bagpipes and whistle) and Ross Clark (fiddle).

Dates and venues for Fèis Inbhir Narainn Cèilidh Trail are:
Saturday 27th July – Community & Arts Centre, Nairn (launch night with Assynt, 7.30pm)
Monday 29th July – Croy Village Hall, Croy (supporting Saltfishforty, 7.30pm)
Tuesday 30th July – The Gellions, Inverness (session, 5-7pm)
Wednesday 31st July – Black Isle Show, Muir of Ord (concert, 5pm)
Thursday 1st August – Black Isle Show, Muir of Ord (concerts/sessions throughout the day)
Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd August – Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Beauly (workshops throughout the day
Monday 5th August – The Havelock, Nairn (session, 2.30-4pm)
Monday 5th August – The Gellions, Inverness (session, 7-9pm)
Tuesday 6th August – St Columba’s Church, Nairn (Afternoon tea and concert, 3.30pm)
Tuesday 6th August – MacGregors Bar, Inverness (session, 7.30pm)
Wednesday 7th August – Croy Village Hall, Croy (TMSA Young Trad Tour 2019, 7.30pm)
Thursday 8th August – James’s @ the Putting Green, Marine Road, Nairn (Busking, 11.30am)
Thursday 8th August – Nairn Museum, Nairn (concert, 2pm)
Friday 9th August – Glenurquhart Public Hall, Drumnadrochit (family ceilidh, 7.30pm)
Saturday 10th August – The Invernairne, Nairn (concert, 7.30pm)

For further details of all Cèilidh Trail events across Scotland, visit

Police seeking help to find graffiti vandals

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Riverside Fun Day! Saturday 20th July 12pm-3pm at Riverside Park, near the Jubilee Bridge

Green Hive, the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership and other local community groups with an interest in the Riverside Park are joining together to provide a free and accessible afternoon of activities.

Green Hive’s recent survey in Queens Park highlighted that the Riverside Area, including the play spaces and football pitch, were of value to the local residents. It was apparent that people wanted to see more done to improve play spaces and promote a stronger sense of community. As part of the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative, working to reduce species such as giant hogweed from our riverbanks, Green Hive was already planning a volunteer day inviting members of the public to help clear Himalayan balsam plants from the woodland area along the riverside.

“The idea for a fun day was suggested in a few survey responses. So it seemed like a good idea to turn our volunteer day in to a family friendly activity and invite other groups to join us to make this day a riverside park community event. Other groups such as Nairn PLAY, the Mill Road allotments, the Forres and Nairn welfare football league and Highlife Highland have been keen to become part of it and we’ve developed a really good network of people that all have an interest in seeing a flourishing riverside environment that provides a safe space to play and explore nature.” 

– Kirsty Ellen, Green Hive Development Officer

The Nairn and Nairnshire Community Planning Partnership (NNCP) is made up of people from the local council, health, police, fire, voluntary and leisure/culture/wellbeing services, striving to improve access to public services and promote equality. 

“We believe that community members should play an active role in shaping the future development of services and spaces in Nairnshire. As a Partnership, we hope to see a great attendance on July 20th, with many people engaged with the activities and groups present. We hope to gather community perspectives on how the Park should be developed during the event and to feed these insights into our Partnership planning and future actions.” 

– Rhona McNicol, NNCP Community Engagement Officer

Support for resources for the day will come from the Boy’s Brigade, St Ninian’s Church and Highland TSI who are lending a marquee, tables and chairs and notice boards, the Highland Council with bins and extra park maintenance and Nairn BID to coordinate food vendors. 

“So it’s a real community effort for this day to take place.” – Kirsty Ellen, Green Hive Development Officer

Park development:

“The Riverside is Common Good Land administered by local members and The Highland Council. There is a need to improve the facilities in this area especially for the use of our citizens. We will be having some fun on the day but also seeking the views of locals concerning how they would wish to improve this area for the benefit of all. It would be good to develop a plan for the improvement of existing facilities and ensure they are maintained for the future.” – Cllr Tom Heggie

Engagement activity – The event is the first part of working together with the Places and Spaces group of the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Planning Partnership. We intend to help each other enhance the riverside area and gain support from the wider community to develop activities and possibly annual events. During the day there will be the chance to find out more about the plans by Nairn PLAY and the Welfare League. There will also be the opportunity to contribute your ideas and express what you hope to see happen at the riverside park. If you are part of a community group that uses this area get involved by contacting Cllr Tom Heggie

Parking is limited so please walk if you are able to. The car park by the Jubilee will be closed to vehicles and the car park by the football field will be open with preference for disabled users.


Inflatable kick darts

River dipping and nature trails

Himalayan Balsam conservation activity

Bunting making


Mill Road allotment’s open day and treasure hunt

Highland cycle ability bikes

Fire Scotland fire engine

Bouncy castle

Rodeo bull



Youth led sports and games

There will also be food vendors where you can buy snacks and lunch

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Street Markets - something we should have on a regular basis?

This observer was on the Golden Mile yesterday and noticed just how many Nairn folk were doing their shopping or dining or moving going through in that part of Snecky. As we sometimes do it prompted a tweet on our twitter account. That tweet generated an interesting response which you can also read below.

There has also been a bit of conversation on a Nairn social media page about the value of markets and the opportunities to trade etc and whether they are good for the town or not.  We, of course think they are, and market towns elsewhere seem to benefit from the extra folk the stall holders pull in. Witness Murray MacRae's image from July six years ago shows.

It's good to see Nairn High Street full of people at times like the Christmas Lights ceremony and the Fun Runs - maybe the powers that be and the new Nairn BID could bring back a street market or two? Could such a scenario make Nairn truly "more about the experience".

Friday, July 12, 2019

Highland Council survey becomes "mother of all complaints page" on Facebook

One of our regular readers sent us a link to a Highland Council Facebook page which links to a Survey site.

"We have set a vision for The Highland Council to be: - Ambitious, Sustainable and - Connected." They say but the entries on the wee embeded bittie below are a litany of what people across the Highlands think is wrong with the Council.   Click on the  "See more" link to see what Highlanders have to say 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Info on recent delays at Nairn traffic lights from MSP

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Meeting to set up Nairn Extinction Rebellion Group - 6.30 pm Tuesday July 23rd in the Nairn Community and Arts Centre

On Monday evening (1st July) there was a talk in the Community Centre about the group Extinction Rebellion. The organisers were delighted with a turnout of about 40 people who came along wanting to do something to stop the climate emergency destroying our world. There will be another meeting on Tuesday 23rd of July in the Community and Arts Centre at 6.30 pm to form a Nairn group. 

Time to do what we can folks, if you are concerned about what we are doing to this planet and want to change things then please come along to the meeting.  

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Thursday 18th July 7.30pm Mac McClure (piano), Juan Carlos Higuita (violin) Fort George Chapel, Ardersier Tickets at the door. £15 /2

On Thursday 18th July the exquisite and historic Garrison Chapel at Fort George will be a very special venue for the first concert of Music Nairn’s exciting and ambitious Outreach Programme which will provide the opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience top quality live music in wonderful atmospheric venues.

The chapel was added to the Fort in 1763-7 and is perfect for such a musical performance.
Both performers, Juan Pablo Higuita (violin) and Mac McClure (piano) specialise in Spanish and South American music and an exciting and colourful programme including Albeniz, Piazzolla, Ginastera, Sarasate and Turina should be ideal for a summer evening.

Juan Pablo trained at Bogota and Vienna Conservatoires, has performed to critical acclaim throughout South America, and is currently professor of violin and chamber music at the University of Colombia, while US born Mac, who has worked extensively with Alicia de Larrocha on the Spanish and classical repertoire teaches and tours in Spain, the USA and South America.

Nairn Community Transport minibus is available from Forres or Nairn for those who do not wish or are unable to travel there by car. Advance booking is required at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre on 01667 453476. Pickup time will be advised on booking, and a £2 contribution is requested.
Once at Fort George, the buses will operate a shuttle service between outside car park and Chapel for those who don’t wish to walk, so prompt arrival is requested.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Removing the Courthouse Steeple - Sunday 30th June 2019 video and images

All went well today and quite a few folk turned out to see the removal of the Courthouse steeple as the renovation works by the LTM Group continued assisted by a crane from the Stoddart company.

A picture below of the some of the team involved today and also images from Murray MacRae. More Gurn images of the operation coming soon.

Picture Murray MacRae - click to enlarge 

Picture Murray MacRae - click to enlarge