Sunday, August 31, 2008
It is maybe an item every home should have if you are serious about reducing your power consumption but what puzzles me is to why a power company who makes money from selling it’s goods (power) chooses to give away such a device which can only make the end user use less?
PS: If anyone spots spelling mistakes on the Gurn then please accept a complete refund.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Nearby below Whinnieknowe new railings appear.
A festival to celebrate Highland culture kicks off in Nairn next weekend with a Celidh House in Nairn Community Centre.
The evening features Breabach one of the most talked about bands on the folkscene in Scotland today, entertainer Rona Lightfoot, and Nairn Gaelic Choir, who are organising the event in association with Blas 2008.
The festival was launched three years ago to create a festival to match the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton and has grown in popularity each year with new acts coming to the fore harnessing local talent with top bands and entertainers in a celebration of music and song.
“We are delighted to host this year’s ceilidh and are looking forward to a packed house at the centre on Friday,” said Nairn Gaelic Choir Chairman Iain Gordon.
“It’s a great opportunity for the choir to perform the two songs we have been rehearsing for this year’s Mod and with Breabach and Rona Lightfoot on the bill it’s sure to be a superb evening.
"We hope the public will also check out the splendid exhibtion we have created about Gaelic in Nairn at the library.”
Rona Lightfoot has been described as a ceilidh personified. She is a great piper a hugely talented singer raconteur with a great sense of humour.
Breabach have an exciting Celtic style blending double bagpipes, flute fiddle, song and Scottish stepdance in an exciting mix which has earned them international recognition.
Nairn Gaelic choir have regularly figured among the awards at the national and provincial mods and some of the proceeds from this event will help fund their trip to Falkirk.
The festival continues across the Highlands until September 13 but there will be another ceilidh on Friday 12th September at the Nairn Community Centre featuring the Donald Black Trio, duo Angus Lyon and Ruaridh Campbell on accordion and fiddle; Chrissie Crowley and Jason Roach on fiddle and piano who are one of the most captivating emerging acts on the Cape Breton scene and Inverness Gaelic singer Jenna Cumming
Thursday, August 28, 2008
That is the title given to excellent short film dedicated to the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams that has been posted on Utube. Some young visitors to 'Nairnia' and their impressions of our town. More material for the tourist board to snap up and use to promote the area?
A great film girls! Well done!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Gurn recommends you read this blog post by a recent visitor to the Nairn games. Maybe it should all go in next year's tourist brochure?
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Right on Brian! Wild cheers and applause even before Tilda and Mark climbed up the step ladders with the State of Cinema national flag. And then the safety information – in song tonight!
And the film, this BBCOD-goer was spellbound to see the movie on the big screen for the first time. With a cheering audience applauding all the songs it was nothing less than a liberating experience. Thank you Tilda – Cinema to the People!
(The safety information delivered in song)
PS: The Editor of the Gurn was sitting next to someone who worked on the conversion of the Ballerina to a bingo hall. He remembered the experience well because he told me how he fell through the ceiling during the work. His fall was broken by a bingo table however, and although he had a sore back for a day or two he was none the worse for wear. Another nugget from the goldmine of Nairn heritage that rests to be mined from the Ballerina Ballroom.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Once a year The Police Ball was held there and the proceeds from that auspicious evening went to local charity to provide “tackety boots” for the poor of the town. I was the recipient of a pair more than once. We had to go to the Police Station at the end of Courthouse Lane and get a voucher from Inspector Stewart which we took to - I think the name of the shop was Rennies in the High Street to get fitted out.
I have a vague memory of being there with Mam – must have been before Jean was born in 1927 – to watch a magician perform. His name was Dr. Body and I remember being very frightened by some of his “tricks”
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
3) During the festival itself, we guarantee that plenty of tickets will be available to buy on the door before each performance. Doors open 45 minutes before advertised start time. In the case of heavily over-subscribed performances, second screenings may be possible later in the day. Cash or cheques only, please. Fairy cakes welcome. '
An update on their 'news' section dated yesterday states that:
'Door ticket allocation
18 August 2008
Due to changes requested by the licensing authorities after we went to press, it has not been possible to offer the full 50 tickets per screening on the door as promised in our brochure. We apologise profusely for this and wherever possible we will do our best to screen films again, dependent on running times and licensing restrictions. '
The good news is that in just about all cases where there has been time an extra performance has been scheduled which is indeed a great credit to the organisers, with Tilda and Mark attending these extra shows, but some folk have travelled miles, prepared to stand in an early queue only to be told (Even if at the front of the queue) that tickets are not available for that performance, and through time constrictions have not been able to wait a few hours for the 2nd performance.
The event has been an unqualified success and would probably have to run for eight and a half months to get everyone who wants to see the films through the door, but making tickets on the door available meant that folk without internet access or didn't want to come to Nairn beforehand stood a chance of entry by queueing - seems fair but is obviously foul when it comes to the authorities. Please organisers (Tilda, Mark) change your website ticket information to reflect the real availability of tickets.
P.S - four days through and there is a definite resounding chant of 'we want a local cinema post the eight and half days of the festival' - anyone up for cinema manager then?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Nairnscotland.co.uk is the Nairn internet portal that time forgot, just look at these two screenshots in this post . According to this website John Matheson is still a councillor and Sandy is the Provost. Now we all know that Sandy has gone on to greater things and Liz is now our Provost and Graham Marsden is the new kid on the block. Might be a good idea to tell the world?
It all started so well too, just look at the claims made in aHighland Council press release in 2004. Why, after so much time, trouble and investment has this site been allowed to fall into disuse, the painfully obvious danger of letting things fall away was well aware to those who contributed to the press release, one of them is quoted as saying:
"The website creates a new shop window for Nairn to show what is (sic) has to offer to the world. It is essential that it is kept up-to-date and lively with the latest information. The local community can help by contributing news and ideas; it is their community website."
The reality? Well it seems nothing of interest has happened in Nairn since April 2007 (including the local government elections). Time to send for Mulder and Sculley to get to the bottom of this enigma?
The site has a page called ‘Nairn means business’, well lets hope nobody looking to do business here looks at the Diary of events which hasn’t got past April 2007. Something that should be a community resource is rapidly becoming a community embarrassment. Time to update the site or pull the plug? Who is responsible for allowing Nairnscotland.co.uk to fall so far behind?
Update: Bill has been researching:
'I see this website is registered in the name of an outfit called 'Digital Routes' operating out of a business park in Elgin; it is obviously a commercial outfit (not that there need be any problem with that of course) with no official status. The website itself contains no contact information that I can see, merely an 'online survey' which respondents are asked to complete and send to who knows where.'
Thanks Bill, that lack of contact information is worrying, however this site was set up with funding from Highland Council and Inverness and Nairn Enterprise and listings are free and presumably would still be so if anyone should ever bother to update information.
The group organises cielidhs at the Royal British Legion's Highland Hall in Cawdor Street every Thursday from 8-11pm between June and September.
"They're great fun," said Ceildh group member Donald Wilson who acts as MC and sings at the ceilidh.
"We give everyone a warm welcome and there are locals on hand to teach visitors the various dances and reels so they feel very much part of what's happening.
"At our last ceilidh we had visitors from Russia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and the USA and some competitors in town for the Bowling Week came along to join in the fun. It was virtually a full house and the hall was really bouncing.
"We have a big pool of local talent to call on including singers, pipers, Highland dancers, musicians and the Nairn Gaelic Choir and one of our committee Jean Laurenson has a rich fund of stories and recitations which go down well with the audiences.
"The ceilidh's are family orientated and it's great to see youngsters coming in with their mums and dads and enjoying themselves."
If you are in Nairn on holiday, pop along to the British Legion on Thursday evenings. Ticket prices are only £2.50 and there is a raffle at the door.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Hello everyone, here's a few pictures of the Games. Nothing exciting but proof that the sun shone on Nairn and Nairnshire for the 2008 games. Worth trying the side show once you arrive on the pictures page.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
I have heard the organisers Mark and Tilda giving radio interviews today and read 'exclusive' interviews in the local press. There are many questions including probing ones asking if this will be an annual event to which there are guarded answers. I am more than impressed that the organisers just decided to get up and do it and wish them every success. One of the concerns of the interviews was that of seating but apparently there are now sofas and deck-chairs as well as the bean bags, and as the Gurn has already reported there has been a sign on the door to bring your own chair.
The last time I attend a small town cinema was as a child, Saturday matinees were a favourite. For some reason it was a tradition to buy boxes (Not tubes) of Smarties and pelt each other, the trick was not to get chucked out by the usher. The projectionist sometimes became a target when the projector broke down - to our boos. I also remember attending evening performances with parents, my mother was so taken with Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday we saw it twice! Later as a teenager I got into trouble for going to the cinema to see the Beatles Abbey Road. It wasn't the film my folks objected to but the fact that myself and my pals had chosen to go to the cinema of a lovely sunny summers afternoon. The cinema is something I truly miss, outfits like the Vue just don’t create the atmosphere. Long may we have a cinema in the town.
Another mention on today’s radio interviews was a comparison with the Cannes film event. We have the beach and nice boats in the harbour but I think the hope is that Nairn’s film festival will have all the good things but with no red carpet and other Cannes style trappings.
Have a look for yourself:
I did like the idea of their poster at Cannes - here is my effort for the Nairn Film Festival. I thought the logo should be that of bottom such is the concern about seats! I am sure the Gurn would like to see other folks poster ideas!?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The return fare cost a shilling. 1/- old money
Hamish has sent us the above pictures of Capt Watson and The RMS Ailsa. Thanks Hamish
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
First time on the Gurn? Lots of fun stuff in the posts below this week. Our technical correspondent and co-conspirator Iright is on a run!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Many folk might be unaware that our local newspaper The Nairnshire has a loyal fan base who almost camp out on the streets of a Monday night to obtain their fresh off the press copy. For the uninitiated small groups of people wait outside the three Nairn Monday night outlets awaiting the arrival of the circulation van driver (The Nairnshire offices, the Co-op, and Morning, Noon and Night). The paper is printed and then delivered from presses at Dingwall. (picture will enlarge)
The driver has a set route, delivering first to the Nairnshire offices, then walking to the Co-op. The hush of waiting folk outside the co-op is broken when the delivery van is spotted. 'It's coming, his van has just gone past'. Sure enough a couple of minutes later the driver arrives with his slender bundle for the waiting punters. The rattle of small change is heard as the crowd of three gathers up the 40p cover price from deep pockets ready for their purchase. The paper hasn't reached barcode technology yet so special buttons are pressed on tills to enable the sale.
Meanwhile the driver continues on his journey to the Morning, Noon, and Night store where another loyal fan base awaits their copies.
In a world of Internet driven news the Monday night vigils are fast becoming history. Folk get their news when they switch on their computer, or increasingly when it arrives on their mobile phone. News is seen and read as it happens, not in the case of our weekly newspaper when it is printed. But whilst there are only a few who queue for their Monday night news fix, there are plenty who amble out and buy a copy of the two minute silence on a Tuesday justifying The Nairnshire's existence. How long it will last no one can be sure, the bottom line is for as long as advertisers throw their money in the Nairnshire's direction. Meanwhile back on the mean streets watch out for the Nairnshire twitchers around 9:00 p.m. on Monday nights, they are fast disappearing!
As Simon Kelner the newly appointed managing director of the Independent and the Independent on Sunday claims: "We don't have a circulation problem. We have a frequency of purchase problem." Hmm... maybe he needs a few more twitchers?!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
What can that white stuff that has come out of the drain be?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
After half an hour without getting offered even a breadcrumb Salty decided to check out this year's new attractions.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
"Following the Hearing meeting in Nairn in June, we have been working closely with the planning team at The Highland Council and have discussed a set of conditions which will now be considered by the committee next week.”
Jeff Wilson, Sainsbury's Town Planning Manager for Scotland said:
"We are excited about the prospect of Nairn being home to our first food store in the Highlands and we look forward to bringing improved choice and competition in food shopping to Nairn. In addition the petrol station will bring competitive prices for local motorists. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from local people and we are committed to continuing to consult on our detailed proposals with the local community."
Andrew Stanley added,
"As well as quality and choice in food shopping, this development will bring job opportunities and the twin benefits of retaining and increasing expenditure within the local area. We think we have now covered all the outstanding points with the council planners and hope that these matters will be approved at the committee next week.”