Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nairn Healthcare news June 2016


Nairn Healthcare would like to welcome Kevin Stuart to the team. Kevin is a paramedic and will be joining the duty team 4 days a week to do on-the-day telephone consultations and face-to-face appointments.

We would also like to extend a big thank you to Heather, our loyal cleaner at Ardersier Branch surgery for her 25 years of service.

Cervical Screening

From 6th June, the age range for cervical cancer will change from 20-60 years to 25-64 years. The frequency of cervical screening will continue to be every three years from women aged 25-49 but will change to every five years for women aged 50-64.

5,000 lives are saved by cervical screening in the UK every year. Please don’t ignore your invitation for your smear test, it could save your life!

For more information, visit
or call 0800 22 44 88.


If you are attending the surgery for an appointment with a GP, you may be asked to complete a survey after you see the doctor.

Each doctor will be taking a turn and asking their patients to return to reception to complete a survey on our new tablet.

The reception team will be happy to help for those who are less familiar with a tablet.

The survey shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete and is very useful feedback for the Practice and the individual GP.

Credit/Debit cards

The Practice now accepts the following credit and debit cards for non-NHS services:

Visa Debit
Visa Credit
Mastercard Debit
Mastercard Credit
Visa Commercial – Debit card only


Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions affecting one in five people at some point in their life and unfortunately, it is during the Summer months that it surfaces. It is an allergy to pollen and the symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

Many people find their symptoms improve as they get older. Symptoms disappear completely in around 10-20% of people.

There is currently no cure for hay fever but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment to a certain extent. Treatment options include antihistamines which can help prevent an allergic reaction from occurring. Steroids are sometimes recommended to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Most hay fever cases can be controlled with over-the-counter medication from the pharmacy, however if you feel your hay fever is more troublesome, it may be worth speaking to a GP as you may require prescribed medication.

Some self-help tips:

· Wearing sunglasses outdoors to stop pollen reaching your eyes

· Take a shower after being outdoors to remove unwanted pollen from your body

· Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the nasal opening to trap pollen grains.

Ardersier branch

Ardersier branch surgery operates from 8.30am -5.30pm Monday to Friday (Closed Thursday from 2pm) and ever 2nd Wednesday evening 6pm -8pm.

Over the last month, GPs treated 317 patients in the Ardersier branch surgery. Nurses dealt with 130 patients and the Health Care Assistants saw 152 patients.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Video cameras installed at Nairn A96 junctions

This evening a video camera was being installed at the Waverley Road/Manse Road A96 junction. The guy installing the camera told the Gurn that he had also installed three others at nearby junctions. 

Dave Stewart MSP upset his request for 50 mph limit for HGVs on A96 turned down

Not everyone in the Labour Party is occupied with their full scale civil war emanating from Westminster. Dave Stewart has other things on his mind. Here's a press release we received:

Highlands, Islands and Moray MSP, David Stewart, who is also a seasoned road safety campaigner, has been advised by the Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf, that the Government have no plans to consider an increase in HGV speed for the A96. 

“I wrote to the Minister back on 24th May 2016, suggesting a pilot HGV speed increase from 40mph to 50mph, similar to that on the A9, would help reduce frustration and as a direct result road collisions,” said David Stewart. 

“From previous work I have done with experts at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) I am advised that if you reduce the difference between the speed of vehicles then the traffic flows smoother. For example, on the A9 if cars travel at 60mph and HGV’s 50mph, on non dual carriageway sections, the speed differential is 10mph. However, if cars can legally travel at 60mph and HGV’s at only 40mph then the differential is larger and there is more likelihood of congestion and congestion equals frustration which contributes to road collisions.”

“In his reply to me, the Minister states ‘one life lost is one too many and as you may be aware inappropriate speed is a major cause of death or injury on roads’.

“Of course excessive speed is a contributory factor, but I am not talking about excessive speed, I am talking about a balanced approach and increasing the HGV speed on the A96 by 10mph,” said David Stewart.

“I am disappointed that this Minister and his predecessor keep peddling the line that the Department of Transport’s impact assessment for the rises in HGV speed in England and Wales forecasts an increase in fatal and serious road collisions. The expert from the Transport Research Laboratory whom I am dealing with, advised me that ‘In order to fully assess the potential safety risk of increasing the speed limit of HGVs on single carriageway de-restricted roads, large samples of accident data for all injury severities would need to be combined with behavioural studies, traffic flow simulations and injury risk curves. However, not all this data is available and other information sources would require extensive research.” outside the scope of this study.’

‘Basically, an overall impact assessment of all roads combined is unlikely to be accurate enough to understand the effect of a universal speed limit change; instead analysis is necessary on a road by road basis to take account of the characteristics of each road.’

David Stewart went on to say “The bottom line is that the Government have no desire or motivation to ease congestion on the A96 until the route is dualled by 2030, so in effect they are happy that commuters and other users just get on with it for another 14 years. The increase in speed of HGV’s on the A9 has contributed to a reduction of road casualties on that route, even although the Government and the A9 Road Safety Group only want to highlight what they call the success of the average speed cameras. With that in mind and my knowledge that reducing the differential between the speed of vehicles eases congestion, I plan on continuing my work and that of my team on this issue and I will look for support from businesses, hauliers and other road users.”

Gilliam McWilliam resigns from Board at Nairn County FC

The Club's facebook page states:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Crafters across Scotland come together for charity auction for Nairn boy

Nairn business Crafty Wee Birdie Gift Shop has teamed up with Forfar business knittykittybangbang to run a charity online auction for local Nairn lad, Hamish.

Hamish is a brave wee boy from Nairn who has already been through so much in his life. At a young age he was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic aleveola rhabomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. He underwent lots of treatment including pioneering surgery called rotationplasty, which involved the middle section of his leg being removed.

Hamish, now 7, has now been diagnosed with a DIPG (brain stem tumour) and his family have been working hard to raise money for 2 charities which have helped them and many families in the same position - Glasgow Children’s Hospital and Calum’s Cabin.

Iona Hampson, owner of Crafty Wee Birdie, explains 'Hamish's family are great supporters of local crafters and when I heard about their fundraising efforts I had to do something to help. I emailed my suppliers asking if they'd like to be a part of things and got a huge positive response! Crafters from Orkney to Newton Stewart in the borders wanted to donate items, we've even had something come in from Germany!'

The choice was made to do an online auction so that anyone, regardless of geographical location, could take part, and almost all items can be either posted out to the winner or collected from the Crafty Wee Birdie Gift Shop in Nairn. Items have been donated at every possible price point – from under £10 to an original artwork by artist Moira Third valued at £70, and a £50 gift voucher from Quinney's Antique Jewellery.

The auction will ‘go live’ at 6pm on Wednesday 29th June, and bidding will close at 9pm on the same night. For more information visit


Saturday, June 25, 2016

At least 1500 plus Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch voters want another Euro Referendum

A UK wide petition for another referendum now has more than two million signatures. One of our regular readers, Brian, sent us a link. The petition states:

"We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum."

A bit hopeful perhaps and remember a Scottish Devolution referendum in 1979 was front loaded with an amendment:

"An amendment to the Act stipulated that it would be repealed if fewer than 40% of the total electorate voted Yes in the referendum. The result was that 51.6% supported the proposal, but with a turnout of 64%, this represented only 32.9% of the registered electorate. The Act was subsequently repealed." More on Wikipedia here. 

Hard to see how you can go back and change the rules retrospectively in a democracy. It was done beforehand in 79 and even that left a bad taste in its wake. 

Anyway there is a map linked from the petition page that shows that there are plenty of people signing in Scotland with over 1500 in our parliamentary constituency and over a 1,000 in Moray where the result was very close. The situation is moving very fast and who knows what will happen tomorrow let alone Monday or in a fortnight's time, all sorts coming out of the Euroref Pandora's box now.

Summer football scores at the riverside today

A sunny football fiesta this afternoon down at the riverside and a good crowd in attendance. A Community kids showcase first, then County fans took on their Rothes opposite numbers. The fun culminated in a legends match between County and Rothes. Afterwards Club Chairman Donald Matheson made a presentation to the Rothes captain. 

Playing in the Nairn Legends team was Hearts legend John Robertson. Here he is pictured with Nairn's Steven (Tessa) Sanderson who got at least six goals today we believe. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Solstice sunset 20th June 2016 on Nairn Beach - video

The quality of midsummer light was quite something last night, it was rather cloudy in the west but it didn't spoil the magic of the moment. Quite a few images were published on twitter last night, here's one from Nigel here that captures the quality of light over the town at 11.12 pm. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dolphins - Shorewatch training day on Saturday 25th June at Nairn Sailing Club

Dolphin watcher David Shaw told the Gurn

"I enjoy being out along the coast and watching dolphins in the Moray Firth. Last June my wife and I saw an advert for a free training day in Nairn to enable us to become Shorewatchers and it was one of the best things that we have done for ourselves in recent years. A Shorewatcher is a volunteer for the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society and we undertake to do regular, but short, watches for dolphins and other cetaceans from fixed points around the Scottish coast, one of these watch points being near the Leisure Centre in Nairn. One of the things that attracted me to becoming a Shorewatcher is that we do not work to a rota, we just turn up whenever it suits us and do a watch.

Over the last year I have learned a lot about the dolphins of the Moray Firth and visited other Shorewatch locations, including one on Lewis. A few weeks ago some of us made a trip up to John O’ Groats to watch Orca. I get a lot of enjoyment from being on the coast observing the dolphins and I am also contributing to what is called citizen science. My sightings are all logged into a database and the information is used to monitor the health of the Moray Firth dolphins and to help contractors who may be working in the Firth, eg for the undersea cable about to be laid from the offshore windfarm at Wick to Keith in Moray.

The next Shorewatch training day will be held on Saturday June 25 at the Nairn Sailing Club and runs from 10:30 to 3pm. Teas and biscuits are provided but you should bring your own packed lunch. The training is given by Katie Dyke from the Scottish Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay and you should contact Katie in advance to secure a place. 

Contact Katie by telephoning 01343 820339 or by email at

Come along and give it a try, I am very pleased that I did."

David also tells us in connection with reports of a dead porpoise on the West Beach that featured in social media posts locally this weekend:

"On Saturday lunchtime one of the Leisure Centre staff advised us that he had seen a dead porpoise on the shore, just east of The Golf View, that morning and reported it. Carol and myself went along and took a couple of photos which I posted on the 'Shorewatch' FB page and, at the same time, I telephoned the responsible body Scottish Marine Animals Stranding Scheme (SMASS) who advised that they had already been notified and were visiting in the afternoon. The SMASS inspection is to see if they want the carcass for a post-mortum but given the bloated condition of this mammal I suspect that they would just have requested the Council to remove it. Whether or not that has happened yet, I don't know.

To report dead marine animals the finder should telephone SMASS at 01463 243030. "

This is just sooooo good - love it - well done all those that helped create this fantastic mural!

Fantastic! Yes your time is now. Well done!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quiet on the Gurn? Have a look at the Gurn twitter account for news too.

It's Gurnshire Summer Time so this observer is a bit busy out and about. Service may be a little slimmer but there is usually something interesting happening out there on twitter.


Nairn Academy DofE award Belize Blog

Words and pictures from the pupils involved:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Cawdor Community Council AGM and some very nice coffee and cake afterwards

Monday night saw Cawdor Community Council’s AGM and handling the brief interregnum when the office bearers stood down to be re-elected was Highland Councillor Roddy Balfour. Also present in the Community Centre were Cllrs Kate Stephen and Michel Green, either of the two of them could have presided over that part of the event but they preferred to see Roddy to do that part of the business given the very obvious and genuine warmth that those Cawdor area citizens in the room at the Centre felt for the veteran member. It’ll be all change soon and perhaps the Cawdor folkies might wonder if they will receive as much attention from the existing Nairn members as they have had from the diligent attendance records of Roddy and Kate. Time will tell if the return of Cawdor to Nairnshire will prompt big turnouts from our four Nairn Councillors for this bimonthly Monday night fixture. 

Re-elected chair Stevie Webster thanked the former interim chair, Meg Robertson, for the time and commitment she dedicated to the Council. He said that the biggest issue had been the White Bridge, which “carried big concerns for local people and businesses. A consultation raised in the community centre raised some very big questions as well as some truthful answers. A dedicated group was set up with regular meetings held in the Cawdor Estate office in order to keep everyone concerned updated.” He added that the weight limit was causing some disruption and went on, “however it is accepted that a new bridge will be built and funding has been allocated to this. We hope this will not be in the too distant future.”

He mentioned that work on the original application for Tom na Clach had been started with “Lizzie Rose putting on her willies and cutting the turf last week.” 

Gurnites will probably be aware of the latest situation with Tom na Clach and the latest decision from Highland Council Iain Ramage of the Press and Journal recently reported:
“A windfarm developer has six weeks to put a shovel in the ground at the site of a proposed scheme or miss a chance to build it.

Highland councillors gave the ultimatum yesterday despite planning officers recommending that more time be allowed for Infinergy to begin work on the controversial Tom nan Clach project on Dava Moor, between Nairn and Grantown.” More here. 

So given the recent decision it was probably safe to surmise that Cllr Michael Green is probably not the most popular Highland Councillor of the Nairn bunch at the moment with the Cawdor supporters of the wind farm project, given the part he played in that recent decision. He was cordially received however although there must have been a temptation for the community councillors not to alert him to come back into the room when discussion of a local planning matter had finished (councillors on the planning committee are in the habit of leaving the room when “live” planning matters are being discussed). 

A regular attendee at the Cawdor CC meetings is Infinergy’s Fiona Milligan. Not long after Michael Green was invited back into the room she spoke:

“Firsty I would like to thank this community and the councillors here representing this community all the way through this process since 2008 or earlier in fact, for its unstinting support for this project. You have been able to see the benefits of it quite clearly, whereas others have not. We have been through the mill with the planning applications committee who have again, twice this year, have ignored their expert planning officers’ advice and recommendations and gone against us but we carry on because we do believe that this is a very worthwhile project and as we always said, we would start this month and we did and thank you everyone who came along last week.”

There was a little more business to be done and then it was time for coffee and some very tasty cakes indeed. Even Michael Green was offered a cuppa too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The minor injuries unit at ‪Nairn Town and County Hospital will be closed from 7pm tonight (14th June) until 8:30am tomorrow.

NHS Highland inform us:

"The minor injuries unit at Nairn Town and County Hospital will be closed from 7pm tonight (14th June) until 8:30am tomorrow.

Anyone who requires the service during this time is asked to go to Raigmore Hospital.

This will not affect contacting the out of hours service which people can still access by calling 01667 452096.

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure may cause."

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cancer hitting family members inspires local man to get on his bike and organise a coffee morning fundraiser too.

Nairn resident David Osborne told the Gurn: 

"A few months ago I got a call from Dad who informed me that he has Prostate cancer which came as a huge shock to the family. Having lost my Uncle and my Granddad  to cancer over the past few years I decided it was about time I got out there and raised some money for Cancer research. One of the things I am doing is a 121 mile cycle on August 13th from Perth to my Home in Nairn and considering I only started cycling when I got the news this is going to be a huge challenge but one I am relishing and hope to complete in one day. I have set up a just giving page to aid this I referee in the Forres & Nairn welfare league and I would like to thank the teams Nairn United, Uncle Bobs for their sponsorship also as well as the elgin teams that have contributed and everyone who has supported me so far it really is appreciated."
David Osborne
David, also a goalkeeping coach for Nairn County, continued: "Along with doing the cycle I have arranged to hold a coffee morning at Whinnieknowe gardens where I will be holding a raffle draw to aid in the fundraising with some great donations from some local companies including Macks diner, Lochloy Caravan park, Swansons, Chivas, Diageo, Landmark, Highland Delicatessen, Eilean Dubh Fine Foods, the Inside Scoop, Clachnacuddin F.C, Torvean golf club and if any other companies would like to donate then they can get in touch."

Jacko's runners up in Welfare League Ally Ross Rosebowl 5-4 thriller final - missed it? Never mind you can still watch it online

The final between Jacko's and Kinloss Sappers and the awards ceremony were broadcast live on social media. You can see the first half, second half here and the award of the trophy here on the Welfare League facebook page.  

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Nairn Academy win 2015/16 Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament held in the Scottish Parliament

Local MSP Fergus Ewing was quick to congratulate, Caitlin Sherrett and Finlay Allmond the winners from Nairn Academy.
You can see Catlin and Finlay on the Scottish Parliament TV pages here. Catlin at 1.26.40 into the video and Finlay at 1.39.45. The prize is awarded to the Nairn Academy pupils at 3.15.54.

Edward Mountain MSP also witnessed the Nairn Academy pupils debating too he told the Gurn: "delighted to be actually in the chamber to listen to and then congratulate Caitlin and Finlay. A credit to Nairn Academy."