Monday, August 03, 2015

World Orienteering Championships in Nairn - videos.

Some videos have been posted on Youtube. Some remarkable overhead views of the action here from Richie Main. And some ground level footage from Eleana Reid here and here. 

Nairn Traffic Lights Anger - "They've put this town in shambles"

The temporary traffic lights at the top of Harbour Street have certainly had an effect today with the town's traffic flow and many tempers going into meltdown. One of our readers tells us:

"I got to Delnies junction at 1340. I turned of at Pinewood Ave at 1423, 43 minutes. God knows how long it will take to get past Sainsbury’s."

Another observer tells us too that around midday there were already tailbacks past the Ardersier turn off. The Facebook group "Remove Nairn Traffic Lights" is complaint central today. Warnings too that the unofficial Auldearn-Cawdor bypass is very busy. There is debate on the traffic lights group page about why the work had to be done at the height of Nairn's tourist season. More here

Interesting article and comment on the Highland News site this evening too:

Nairn community councillor Rosemary Young was caught up in the traffic jam and livid.

"It’s a standstill. An absolute standstill. Horrendous," she said. "I have never seen anything like this. They’ve put this town in shambles." More here.

Meanwhile it looks like the delays are so horrendous the authorities have to take action:
The Website states: "The two-way temporary traffic lights which have been in place today on the A96, at the junction of Harbour Street with High Street, Bridge Street and St. Ninian Road, will be taken down this evening. We will complete this section of work at a later date and will provide a further update once revised plans have been finalised."

And it looks like there has been an impact on the World Orienteering Championships too, BBC Alba's Hugh Dan has commented on twitter - probably on his way to try and commentate on the orienteering.
And at five o' clock a certain amount of normality had returned as the traffic lights had duly been taken away but there was still no access to Harbour Street. 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Gas update - temporary traffic lights on A96 for a week and no access from the trunk road into Harbour Street and High Street for 4 weeks

A post on the SGN website states:

"From Monday 3 August there will be two-way temporary traffic lights in place for approximately one week on the A96 while we are working at the junction of the A96 with Harbour Street, High Street, Bridge Street and St. Ninian Road. 

For approximately four weeks there will be no access from the A96 into Harbour Street or High Street. Traffic will also not be able to join the A96 from Harbour Street. Local diversions will be in place. 

We are sorry for inconvenience caused and would like to thank road users for their patience while we complete our essential work."

Nairn orienteering shop windows displayed on Facebook as the town prepares for tomorrow's World Championships

The Scottish Six Days event runs in tandem with the World Championships and they have been in Nairn to take some pictures of shops supporting the events tomorrow. Pictures on Facebook here. 
One of the images also in the six days tweet below.

Ashers have stepped in to feed the film crews too

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A fascinating conversation about Nairn going on right now

The facebook group "Please don't kill our town" has reached a membership of over 500 in its first week of being online. A multi-layered discussion seems to be running through many posts about what is good and what is bad about our town. 

A fascinating conversation is underway and it seems that here is a constituency that has perhaps barely been touched by all the years of town centre improvement/development meetings etc, from the likes of Highland Council, the Community Councils, NICE, NEI, ANB and a few other acronyms too perhaps over the years complete with powerpoint presentations and maps and graphs at many consultation events. 

One of our local Highland Councillors, Stephen Fuller, has made contributions to what is being said; fair play to him too he is an advocate of digital participation and so is putting into action what he preaches. This afternoon someone has posted a link to the webpage about NICE but perhaps they and all the other groups would do well to present themselves officially and test the water? It seems to be where a conversation that is relevant to people's lives is taking place. A rich seam of real time opinion available for movers and shakers to engage with if they wish. One local woman posted today:

"I've read through many posts on both this site and NWYAB and it seems that people want a committee made up of common folk to help pull Nairn up by the bootstraps... and you don't get much more common than me!!So, if any of you want to meet up in a real room (possibly with real coffee and biscuits) please let me know either by PM or on here and I'll sort something out"

If you have a facebook account "Please don't kill our town" is available here. 

NICE = Nairn Improvement Community Enterprise
NEI = Nairn Economic Initiative
ANB = Association of Nairn Businesses

Our drains correspondent asks: "Will the world's orienteers be wading through Nairn's effluent when they come to town for the Championships?"

Could some of our drains do with a quick pull through and jet blast? We had earlier posted images of drains overflowing elsewhere this week including at the top of the Links Car Park - article here and pictures of a very wet day on the Gurn's Flickr pages here. The following from the Gurn's drains correspondent:

"The heavy rains during the past 48 hours have once again overwhelmed Nairn's overloaded drainage and waste water network. Not only have there been overflows in all the usual places, but for the first time in recent memory the drain-covers on the Links cricket field were forced up by the volume of waste water.

The good news is that the pool of water seems to have drained away. The bad news is that it has left behind all the solid waste and debris, which is now spread across the field (see pics)

Cricketers might be accustomed to the phrase, "rain stopped play". But this is much more serious. Not only is the Links field a public park and recreation area used by local and holidaying families. It is also the venue for the opening ceremony and events of the World Orienteering Championships this coming weekend. Thousands of spectators and participants will be gathering on this very field, and television crews will be broadcasting the pictures to the world.

Health and safety? If the orienteers and visitors are having to run through, or step around, the waste that has been spread around the field from Scottish Water's overflowing drains, in full view of the TV cameras, some people are going to have a lot of explaining to do. The authorities have barely 24 hours to organise and complete a clean-up. The clock is ticking..... and the world will be watching. "

The world starts coming to Nairn...

...just had a blether with some of the Hong Kong orienteering team on the High Street. They are certainly looking forward to it, should be thousands more oreinteering folk here on Saturday if predictions prove correct. Should be fun - a once in a lifetime opportunity perhaps and it kicks off on the Links just as the Farmers Show will be winding down so a chance to take in both events. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Forres one step ahead of Nairn on town centre regeneration matters?

Recently we had the news that NICE had sourced 10K from the Scottish Government to take Nairn town centre plans forward.  Are folk in the neighbouring town  just 10 minutes along the A96  thinking bigger and acting faster however?

"Jump in the CARS and head for £2.9 million" is the splash in this week's Forres Gazette.

The paper goes on to say: "Businesses are being urged to sign up to the Forres CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) project. 

It is estimated that funding totalling £2.9 million could be made available to boost the town centre, if partners come on board to make up match funding." 

More in this week's Forres Gazette, lots that will resonate with gurnites concerned about town centre affairs and worth a look, hopefully it will go online at some point. 

If Sutton Coldfield can do it...why not Nairn?

The latest newsletter from the Scottish Community Alliance popped onto the Gurn e-doormat this morning. It had a headline title "If Sutton Coldfield can do it..." We adapted that title for this article. 

Perhaps the West Midlands scenario of Sutton Coldfield voting for UDI from Birmingham is not wholly analogous with Nairn's relationship with Inverness but in the context of a democratic deficit it probably hits the same spot. 

Here's what the SCA newsletter had to say:

"Throughout all the discussions over the past couple of years about community empowerment and the debates as to what should be in and what should be left out of the Bill, the elephant in the room has been what to do about our missing tier of local democracy. The residents of Sutton Coldfield have just voted to establish a new Town Council, taking on powers previously vested with Birmingham City Council. The new Town Council will raise income through a local tax and deliver local services. Why can't that happen here?"

Why can't that happen here? A vote to see what Nairnites would like to do? We never had a vote either on whether we should have just one community council for the town - that could have been an embryonic vehicle for a re-birth of Nairn District Council.   More details about the Sutton Coldfield situation here on the SCA website. 

Real time Bus info via Google - Nairn Inverness

It can be a bit tricky getting into the bus timetables to Inverness even when you
have them bookmarked. There are two or sometimes three timetables to look at.

This observer was quite surprised by what is perhaps a new development on the Google search engine (more techy savy gurnites might know more), when you type in "buses Nairn Inverness" you get a live timetable. It even tells you when there's trains and how long you've got to get to the bus stop. Picture on the right of what it all looks like. 

Volunteers needed to assist with the World Orienteering Championship arena set-up in Nairn on Saturday morning.

Mike Rodgers of Scottish Orienteering tells us that help is still needed to set up the spectator arena for the World Championships on the Links on Saturday morning. If anyone can spare a little time the orienteers would be very grateful.

The arena build team for Saturday's sprint relay are meeting at the Links quite early with the aim of having it complete by 1100 so ideally volunteers would need to report by 0800 to Chris Huthwaite and Limelight Event Services team leader Gus McLeod down at the Links.

Mike also gave us some information that gurnites planning to observe the World Championships might find interesting:

Car Parking:
Spectator car park - Old Farmer's Showfield (Opens 1400)
Athletes car park - Maggot (Opens 1430)
Volunteers Car Park - Next to Sainsbury's (Opens 0800)

Race Arena:
Build complete by 1100
Officially "opens" at 1600 but people can come earlier
Opening Ceremony at 1645

Road Closures:
Road closures take effect from 1700

TV Previews and Live TV:
Various TV news previews on Friday
BBC Alba 1800-1925.

Orienteering theme on BBC Radio Scotland "Get it on" with Bryan Burnett 1830 tonight.

Race Start:

Expected runner changeover times:

Relay finish:
1900 approx

"Flower" ceremony
1915 (medals awarded at later stage after technical scrutiny by officials complete)

Public race:
Runners start from 1930. Courses close and roads reopen at 2130.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A solution for historic Nairnshire asks one of our readers?

One of our regular readers was up Tomintoul way and took the picture you see below. Our correspondent asks is this the way forward for Nairnshire now? Just simply an historic arrangement of the past that might be worth a note in passing or can some way be found to reinvent the County as a local government unit? It is the direction of travel perhaps if you consider the forthcoming Community Empowerment and Renewal bill coming from the Scottish Parliament. Indy Councillor Michael Green also wants to see a measure of self-rule returned to Nairnshire too and it may be that the new Independent administration at Highland Council may be sympathetic to calls for decision making powers to be returned to Nairnshire. Provost Laurie Fraser also wishes to see a return to something resembling the former Nairn District Council. What will it be for Nairnshire - a footnote in history or a bit of a comeback?

NICE has secured a grant of £10,000 from Scottish Government to drive the Nairn Town Centre Plan forward

From the NICE website:

"The regeneration of high streets and town centres remains a high priority for the Scottish Government. DTAS secured funding from Scottish Government for a number of pilots, and through its DTAS membership NICE has secured a grant of £10,000 from Scottish Government to drive the Town Centre Plan forward. NICE will be working with its partners to use this money to best effect, and initial meetings have taken place with a view to developing an action plan. NICE will make a further statement when this has happened. NICE is also involved in several other community initiatives, and will be making further announcements as they come to fruition."

Full article here on the NICE web pages "A Review and Update"

Liz on six women list of potential SNP candidates for Holyrood's Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency

Councillor Liz MacDonald was in Portree last night at SNP party hustings with five other women who are in the selection process to become the party's Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch candidate for the Holyrood election in May 2016.

There were several mentions of the six women on twitter this morning and after being contacted by the Gurn Liz confirmed that she had been involved in hustings recently, she told us:

"As Area Leader for Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey it is a tremendous honour to be nominated by fellow members for the selection process. If I am successful I'd build on Dave Thompson's good work, champion local issues and represent all within the constituency"

Wet start to Tuesday as heavy showers hit Nairn - Broon lagoon back at Sewage Bridge too

The wet weather was keeping pedestrians off the High Street this morning and with the brae closed to traffic there weren't many motorists around too. 

Some drains were coping with the downpour better than others and unfortunately the Sewage Bridge drain covers couldn't cope despite improvements in recent years and the Broon Lagoon reappeared on the riverside paths with a familiar odour in the air. 

A drain cover had come loose at the top of the Links Car Park too and a similar odour hung in the air there. A large pool of water had formed on the Links and if the orienters had been here today they certainly would have needed their wellies. A few more images of a wet walk around town here. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sainsbury's Nairn raise 6K plus for Sight Action

Friday, July 24, 2015

Whitebridge weight restriction Community Consultation event

A Highland Council press release:

The Highland Council is hosting a drop-in Community Consultation Meeting next Wednesday (29 July) in Cawdor Community Centre to provide people with information about the introduction of an 18 tonne weight restriction at Whitebridge. 

The Council is aware of concerns raised locally about the impact a weight restriction will have on the local economy and this will be a chance for local residents and business owners to ask questions give their feedback to proposals and provide suggestions as part of the consultation. 

White Bridge, spanning the River Nairn, is one the oldest bridges maintained by the Council and is a ‘Category A’ Listed structure. It has a humped vertical alignment and carries single file traffic in both directions, subject to traffic control signals.

The weight restriction is required following the recommendation contained within a recent structural assessment of the bridge. 

The Community Consultation event, which takes place in Cawdor Community Centre on 29 July from 3pm until 7.30pm, is the first of two such events that the Council plans to hold. 

Tracey Urry, The Highland Council’s Area Community Services Manager said: “We have given the community the reassurance that we will involve them fully and staff have worked with the Community Council over the arrangements for this drop in session next week. Poster publicising the meeting have gone up and public notices are in the local press so we hope as many people as possible manage to call in to Cawdor Community Centre between 3pm and 7.30pm to speak to us to let us know their thoughts and ideas.”

World Orienteering Championships - Live broadcast from Nairn scheduled for BBC Alba on August 1st

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nairn 0 Aberdeen Xl 3 Pictures of Bobo's testimonial from Donald Matheson, Murray MacRae, Mashy Young and Kenny MacLeod and a gurn photographer

Click read more tab to see images.

On yer bike! Tribute concert to Rev Steve Friday Aug 14th - tickets going very well - hurry to avoid disappointment

One year on - Tess the guide dog is still missing

It's a year today that guide dog Tess went missing - today we repost an article from around that time last year.

Article first published 27/07/14

Female Guide Dog Tess- went missing near the Old Cemetery along the river in Nairn around 3 p.m. on Wednesday the 23rd of July last week during play time off the harness. She had apparently gone into the river chasing ducks and has not been seen since, despite searches of the riverside and nearby areas and posters being put up in the town. She has a leather collar with tags but no harness or attachments on her. 
Were you in the riverside area around that time, this includes the Broadhill side of the river, the Jubilee Bridge and playing fields, Mill Road etc and below the A96 bridge around about 3 pm.? Did you see anything? Were you in the town centre or anywhere else in Nairn and did you see a dog matching Tess’s description – see poster below. 

Did you see anyone with a similar dog? Did you see anything unusual at all? Please think about this and ask your family, friends, neighbours and workmates if they have any information or sightings. Please check your gardens, sheds, garages and any areas nearby where a dog might be. If you have a business with a yard etc please check that.

Tess is more than a companion dog she is a working Guide dog and an important and vital part of her owner’s life. If you have any information at all it is time to come forward. There is a contact number on the poster but if you have difficulty with that number please contact the police on 101 and give them your information.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015