Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A96: Nairn Suburban Community Council Meeting

Last night saw an initiative from the Suburban Community Council to launch a campaign for a dual-carriageway all the way from Inverness to Aberdeen. Their strategy is to urge all community councils along the route to campaign together and bring other groups and industry on board. The call is for more joined-up thinking and in a very professional presentation the council outlined some of the problems we face today and how effort needs to be made to avoid similar in the future. The failure to build the Dalcross air terminal close to the A96 and the Railway was cited as typical of mistakes according to the speakers from the Community Council. Mention was made of proposed housing developments between Nairn and Inverness and where the bypass-line should go. Members of the public and other councillors along the route were in the Community Centre tonight. It is hoped that those present will report back to their organisations and a further meeting will be held, perhaps in Elgin in the near future.
This was a very thought-provoking meeting and it was a treat to hear so much common-sense spoken, hopefully politicians and planners will be listening. Someone definitely listening to the concerns of our community was David Thompson, the prospective parliamentary candidate for the SNP in this constituency.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Maggot Conservation shock on the cards?

Rumours are circulating Nairn that the Highland Council have turned down the proposal to have the Maggot included in the Fishertown conservation area. This proposal was unanimously approved at a public meeting in the Community Centre where over 100 people were present and several councillors and hi' heid 'uns. It beggars belief if this is to come out of the Easter Bunnies hat - it cannot be possible but the rumours are out there on the street!

Nairn's five easter bunnies

The General Register Office now has made the 1871 census available on line and has been having a bit of fun looking up various things.
According to the
With the Easter weekend close by the GRO also found a number of festive surnames with 25 people called Easter, eight called Egg and five called Bunny - all of whom lived in Nairn.

Spelding has a recyling gurn (contributed)

While we applaud the Highland Council for finally jumping on to the recycling bandwagon (only cos they had to, thanks to the EU) it's a shame that the stuff is only going to be collected once a fortnight. Have the Council underestimated the amount of stuff that could be recycled? Our box is already nearly full and we've only had it 2 days!. There are only two of us in the household, if you were in a bigger household and were diligently recycling all the appropriate waste you would certainly need more than one box.The limited collection may put people off as, once their boxes are filled, they won't want to have the recycling items lying about for 2 weeks at a time - they'll just stick them in their normal bin.Kind of defeats the object?Hopefully the Council will review the situation once it's up and running.

Nairn – eBay of the North

An Iright report:
Nairn still attracts a fair few tourists. We have numerous hotels and eateries. One of the best sea fronts in the highlands (where else has a path along the sea front). The weather is exceptional in terms of the number of hours of sunshine and low rainfall. Parts of the town are still ‘quaint’, historical, interesting. There is much to see in the surrounding area. All good so far but as a tourist I have itchy pounds in my pocket which I want to spend, so I hit the high street. If I want to overdose on carry oots and charity shops then the main street in Nairn is surely heaven. But I don’t want this kind of shopping paradise. I maybe want shops such as those you will find in Grantown, Kingussie, or even Cullen to name but a few nearby towns which seem to be doing well. These seem to have local shops with interesting items. I am holiday, I don’t want to go to Tescos I shop there every week, I want to spend in Nairn - help!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Harbour Street Gridlock – Sensational picture!

Unfortunately the visit of the Blog photographer to Habour Street wasn’t at the same time as iright our roving reporter but yes other people have noticed problems too iright, you are not alone. Population increases, more people driving in from the ‘suburbs’ or using the A96 to access the Tesco stores in Forres and Inverness. The situation doesn’t look good. The Bailey Bridge would be of some relief to the Fishertown there’s no doubt about that. Will it ever be repaired replaced?
Meanwhile just yards away on the Inverness Aberdeen super-highway things were a little busier. You really must make sure motorists are going to stop before you use the pedestrian crossings on the A96: even red lights don’t seem to convince a minority that that would be a good idea.
The blog has seen an advertisement in a local ‘dead-tree’ media outlet that announces a public meeting for Tuesday 29th March at 7.30 p.m. in the Nairn Community Centre. Organised by the Nairn Suburban Community Council to discuss the A96 trunk road and associated planning matters. Get your gurns together and get down there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Harbour Street Gridlock

From our roving reporter iright

Harbour Street The closure of the Bailey bridge has seen increased traffic in Harbour Street. As you enter from the town end it is the norm for parked cars to be on the left hand side, however as there is no-longer an exit over the bridge, Harbour Street gridlock is fast approaching. Do we need double yellow lines with wheel clampers in operation? Harbour Street Stores need folk to be able to park outside. Harbour Street has long harboured bars that have attracted the young folk of Nairn, but living in the street must have long been a nightmare at closing time, especially at the weekend Harbour Street also offers a portal to the Fishertown. Road speed restrictions seem very confused though. I would have thought that it would have made sense to have a blanket 20 mph speed limit, but no... Harbour Street allows 30 mph, and turn left into the Fishertown and you might not be aware that you are entering a 20 mph limit Harbour Street needs more thought and action from our town leaders. Many a tourist ventures to the sea front and harbour by vehicle, but their exit onto the A96 road is both challenging (hill start) and dangerous (limited visibility, volume of traffic) Maybe a rota with a local councillor on duty with their finger upon the pelican crossing at the top of Harbour Street?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sunset Saturday Night

This was how it was until the Haar came folks. High hopes for next weekend according to the forecast. Don't let this amazing picture distract you however, you must read irights latest gurns posted below. Our correspondent is in a real bad mood today!

Contirbuted: Iright gurns again - Highland Council and recycling plus the council tax bills

iright tells it like it his folks: here's his gurns for today!
Highland council have offered to swap out householders conventional light bulbs to energy saving ones but only on one Tuesday during late morning/early afternoon. Not fair for the majority of the working populous, plus would it not be greener for folk to let their old light bulbs die (energy, materials taken to make them)? And does each household need a leaflet. Why not put items on-line, save paper, and give folk a reduction in the following...
Council tax forms fell through our letter boxes with a heavy thud into our cheque books this week. If you have moved house recently your banding in a similar type property to your neighbours could be very much higher. Is this fair?
A recycle box arrived today from Highland Council. It is for paper and tins - great. But where am I going to keep it? If I leave it on the street like the wheelie it is sure to disappear. What if I am not up to shifting it (it has no wheels). Is it itself made from recycled materials?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Been outdoors yet?

Has anyone been outdoors yet? In other words has the haar lifted? Is that how you spell 'haar'.
It was that thick last night that you probably wouldn't see the tops of the new street lights in the Fishertown!
Saturday was so wonderful, warm and sunny and then came the Haar - we woz robbed! Provost can you do something about the Haar?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

New mock victorian street lights are proving to be a mockery! (contributed)

Braking Gurn! From our regular correspondent iright(just in time for the midnight edition). - Mutiny possible in the Fishertown? Fasten your seatbelt and read this gurn:

'Seem to remember reading that these very expensive fakes were funded by lottery money? Anyhow, apart from having to dig up most of the fishertown, the lights are not going where the old street light were, so many folk upset that their bedrooms etc are all of a sudden being illuminated. To add insult to injury the new lights just don't look right. The poles are too high (for gas lights - remember someone used to light them), and seem to be quite thin with the result that they sway in the slightest breeze. There is a square at Wick where such lights have been installed and they do look OK there (shorter poles) Nairn fishertown has been buggered about so much planning wise that it is going to take a lot more than a few repro gas lights to make it look good. I say bring back middens!'

Riverside Cemetery Gate Locked

This happened before and protests had the decision reversed. A padlock and chain have appeared again and no explanation. If you don't have a car and you live like the majority on the other side of the river, then this is a convenient way of visiting the graves of loved ones or friends. Given that many of the people that walk to the cemetery are elderly this unexplained lock-out is very unfortunate indeed. The 'Gurn' understands that representations have been made to the Provost and the Nairn River Community Council and will inform you of any response.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The Death of Nairnshire

The Boundary commission's proposals take no account of local feelings, history or culture and will hack off Piperhill and Cawdor and give them to be administered with Smithton and Ardersier. The concept of Nairnshire becomes redundant without Cawdor. Ok, Nairnshire no longer exists as an independent local government area but the fact that the historical territory corresponds to the Highland Council Department has meant that the name has been able to live on.
Is there the stomach in the community for a fight? It is close to a general election and at such times people have been known to make promises. We need a public meeting and a campaign off the ground quickly and our councilors are the ones to set that up. Come on Sandy, let's kick ass!. Are we going to let the Boundary commission get away with this?
If anyone wants to make 'Save Nairnshire' T-shirts this blog will buy one.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The last of Nairn Democracy to Evaporate?

An Aberdeen based daily ‘wood-media’ outlet reports that the Highland Council are likely to slim down the number of administrative areas down from 8 to 5. As a result of recommendations from the Boundaries Commission there could be a lot of shifting of boundariesJ So any bets on how long Nairn lasts as an administrative centre? Is it time to start a Nairn Freedom Party to free us from the Highland Council, or maybe we do need one Community Council for the town that can speak up for the population and fight for Nairn. Highland Council is supposed to be here to help us, is it now just to big to be able to offer satisfaction to any of the component parts at all?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Is Blogging the new Rock And Roll?

Quite often now you hear the mainstream media talking about bloggers and what they are up too. I read today that a blogger has been invited to White House press meetings for the first time (not us Guv): the blogging phenomena is elbowing its way into the mainstream and changing the face of how people look for their information.
An article too in the ‘Ecosse’ Sunday Times supplement detailing the activities of
www.scottishblogs.co.uk. It is a sort of Scottish bloggers club with nearly 200 members but most of them are in the central belt with only 8 to chose from in the Highlands and Islands at present. Well worth a browse if you are ever out surfing aimlessly in the near future.

Shivering Daffodils

You expect sometimes to see the odd crocus poking up through the snow in Nairn but the daffodils have been caught out a little this time. The first daring bulbs had come up and the chill left in the Nairn air by the 5-0 defeat by local rivals Forres yesterday, persisted into Sunday and snow flurries became longer and longer and everywhere you would normally see green you are seeing white at the moment. Most pavement and road surfaces are resisting the temptation to follow suit at the moment but more tonight and perhaps in larger quantities is forecast.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Nairn 0 Forres 5

A bad afternoon for the local side as the problem of incosistency returns to haunt the team. New players in the squad this season but the old problem still lurks. The Wee County looked as thought they had picked up a bit but this result will come as a bitter blow.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Police investigate Nairn e-bay ad

Looks like somebody was trying to sell something they shouldn’t on e-bay. Ever heard of Tamiflu? A drug that should only be sold on prescription. It is an anti-viral tablet given to flu sufferers and people in contact with them. According to the P&J the tablets were receiving bids of up to £100. Nairn police are investigating after a complaint was made and e-bay have withdrawn the ad. ‘The complaint related to an address in Nairn.’
Aren’t Garlic pills or Echinacea meant to be useful against getting bugs and flu? Aren’t mineral and vitamin tabs a good defence too, in this day and age where so much of our food can lose its nutritional benefits before it reaches us.
‘Bird-flu’ is a frightening prospect and some experts say it is inevitable that it will become a pandemic, others are not so sure but has the black market in treatments already started?
Perhaps farming poultry in such intolerable conditions has had something to do with the danger that now faces us?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What shall we call it? Atlantis?

The new town of 3,000 proposed on the site of the McD's on the Carse. Carse has to be ruled out for obvious reasons. What about Atlantis? Very handy if global warming moves faster than predicted?
And street names?
David Stewart MP Photo-Opportunity Crescent
Alastair Darling Was Here Avenue
Wish List Mansions?
Let's look on the bright side. Atlantis will have a supermarket before Nairn and perhaps there will be a tube line so we can go out and get some shopping and also maybe enjoy, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, health services, (might have NHS dentists in Atlantis), a community centre(now there's an idea), and council service point. There will be affordable housing too, tourism and leisure developments according to an Aberdeen based daily newspaper.
Wow! Atlantis isn't even built and it has most things Nairn hasn't got - David Stewart MP is amazing, truly amazing. Wouldn't need to use a Viewfield, Showfield or Sandown field if we go Carse brownfield!

Sia uairean - Six o' clock

The chip papers dance in the breeze. The cleaners are at work in the Co-op. The papers are going on the shelves just along the High Street. Seagulls drift overhead reflected in the streetlights. A huge lorry unloads the lines with the latest logo at the supermarket. Two joggers go down the brae discussing mundane things. By the legion the dawn chorus starts to overwhelm the sound of seagulls as commuters head for their train. A confident suburban cyclist makes good speed past the war memorial on his way to the Industrial Estate. The yellow municipal machines leave the council depot, their mission should they accept it, to deal ruthlessly with the chip papers.Nairn is moving again, breakfasts are being made.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Take it or leave it (twice or three times removed) or sling your hook!

Customers were quite thin on the ground today in Nairn’s permier food-store and I must say the staff of this blog have seen it a lot busier mid-way through a Sunday afternoon. Are yet more Nairnites voting with their tyre rubber and heading out on the Highway for Tesco in Forres or Inverness. Are the population dissatisfied with the new regime or have they been satisfied with any of the regimes. To be fair Somerfield don’t seem to have less lines than the previous owners and they are still supplementing this choice with numerous left-overs from the Morrison days but do they need to try and earn a bob or two by punting ‘Safeway’ frozen peas? Hopefully nothing is left over from the Presto and Templeton days lurking in the depths of the freezers.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

First chilling picture of the terror lurking offshore

Thanks to Citizen Steve for alerting Nairn and the world to this menace. Definitely a custard-slice from Asher’s award ceremony in the making here. Keep alert citizens!

Could the Provost help trap the sofa with a few of his tasty pies? The best in the north without doubt and no-one should ever visit Nairn without buying at least £20 worth from his shop on the High Street. Perhaps we could do it as a special attraction at the next Habourfest – as long as we could get Hugh Allison back to organise it and Capercaille to play in a giant marquee again.
Those were the days my friends

Friday, March 04, 2005

Citizen Steve spots new sofa threat

Concerned Nairnite Steve contacted the blog today to forward an alarming picture to our technical department. We hope to soon have picture processed by our able bodied back room boys and girls, if they can finish that tin of Grolsch and get back to work! Please be patient viwers.
But yes, lurking just off shore near our finest bathing beach is the sofa, it can't be seen but it must be there waiting to attack the first people that go for a dip this spring. We know because we have seen ourselfs Steve's dramatic new picture that confirms our worst fears - the sofa is still there. The Highland council should put up warning signs in English and Gàidhlig now!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Compromised by the very nature of the organization. And another thing - Chill Graham!

The editorial team bumped into a former Nairn District Councilor at the weekend and conversation turned to the glory days when people that lived in the town had a lot more say about what went on here and things were a lot more visible at local government level. This former public servant wasn’t dissing our present elected representatives just bemoaning the fact that the way the Highland Council is set up it means that the members of the outlying communities have no real power against Inverness anymore and when they try to get something done they have to trade off on various bits and pieces that can often work against places like Nairn.
Rightly or wrongly that is what a lot of people feel and it is a bit of a shame that it has come to that.
The former member of NDC also said he was appalled at the comments attributed to Nairn River Community Council’s Graham Marsden who detailed his complaints about Billy Smith’s yard. We agree, not Billy’s fault someone set fire to his business, he did his best to clean it up and the fence looks fine – good luck and best wishes in building the business back up Billy.

Chill Graham!