Wednesday, February 27, 2008

And a new supermarket on the other side of the road?

Nairn must look fairly run-down to motorists passing through when you consider all the buildings that are boarded up and waiting for demolition. Buildings that are waiting for the supermarket to take their place. Anyone know when it will happen?

Supermarket on the bus station site - lidl chance?

The Gurn would put Lidl's chances at about 5/1. There has been interest in this site in the past but nothing ever went ahead and this may, unfortunately, happen again. The Gurn, however, wishes Lidl all the best, they are a fun cheap supermarket with a range of most things including fresh fruit and veg. It would be great if they pulled it off. We really do need more supermarkets in Nairn, it would work wonders in cutting the community's carbon footprint with all those trips to Forres and Inverness - trips just to find something to eat!

Monday, February 25, 2008

World food prices to impact on Nairn's fastfood habit?

Most of us can still afford a fish supper or another choice from the many outlets on Nairn High St. But elsewhere in the world things are not quite so simple even for people who have up to now been immune from food shortages. The Financial Times reports news from the World Food Program.
'WFP crisis talks come as the body sees the emergence of a “new area of hunger” in developing countries where even middle-class, urban people are being “priced out of the food market” because of rising food prices'
And where there's a shortage, ration books get printed: 'In response to increasing food prices, Egypt has widened its food rationing system for the first time in two decades while Pakistan has reintroduced a ration card system that was abandoned in the mid-1980s.'
The article is sobering reading and very soon we too may not be able to enjoy the choice we have enjoyed for many years. Are we at the dawn of a new age of austerity?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

From anxiety button to crisis button without even a mention of panic?

Nairn 2 Lossiemouth 2
Nairn's drop down the table continues as second from bottom Lossie manage a point at Station Park. The headline on the back page in the Friday edition of the Inverness Courier was 'Fridge not ready to press panic button over dip in form.' NCFC has to acknowledge that this slump in form has serious consequences. Some fans were heard calling for the manager to go as they left Station Park, others have serious worries. Will the concern of the fans be reflected by the board? Are the manager's days numbered or will he be given a deadline for improvement as often happens in these cases?

Mild day in Nairn

An Inverness bound train leaves Nairn as the last stragglers make their way to Station Park for the game against Lossiemouth

Friday, February 22, 2008

Nairnshire Scouts at Buckingham Palace 07-07-1972

Thanks again to Gordon for a picture from his Flickr site.  Follow the link for more information about this picture.

Harbour Street PO, did anyone mention the caravan site?

Lochloy Caravan Park is often overlooked as part of the Nairn economy but the Gurn has heard the suggestion that up to 30,000 people pass through the site each summer and some of them use the Post Office. The Gurn hopes that this information was submitted in an objection or two that was sent to the consultation process.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The River Nairn the awful truth – wild bike infestation.

The Gurn realises how the admission that we have wild bikes nesting on the River Nairn could damage the town’s economy but we feel that we have to act before things get much worse The Gurn was very lucky to get pictures of the wild bikes, they are notoriously shy close to human beings but they can be very dangerous if cornered. We were lucky that the wild bikes came out of their burrows to enjoy the February sunshine, experts state they only do this during the short mating season. .
We call on our local representatives to deal with this menace. We realise that the local authority doesn’t have the expertise or the finances to deal with this situation so we call upon the Scottish Government to act. Help our community before it is too late!
A regular walker of the riverside paths was shocked to see one of the wild bikes, she told the Gurn, ‘I think someone should contact a former MSP, these wildbikes are after all less than five miles from the proposed site of a potential truly sustainable community. Surely that adds to the urgency.’

Take a good look at these pictures and be alarmed!

Breaking news: new environmental danger in the River Nairn

Readers will remember the scandal that was caused after the Gurn revealed the danger that faced the community early in 2005. It was periously close, this incident nearly destroyed our tourist industry. Now the Gurn has been alerted to an even bigger danger and at this moment a team is trying to get pictures of a menace that once again, official neglect, has allowed to get out of control. Please stay tuned to the Gurn, it is hoped to break this story this evening.
The river earlier today, everything looks calm, but does a hidden danger lurk?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nairn - 47467 10.38 Inverness - Aberdeen 17-09-1988

Do you remember the glory days when a train was a train? Instead of weird contraptions that look like two giant tins of Tennants Lager on wheels? Thanks again to Gordon for this pic of bygone days. A Gurn reporter was in Aberdeen today and as the multiple units failed to 'couple' correctly (they tried several times), a large crowd of passengers were crowded onto two carriages that left after 1600 instead of the usual four at 1523. Our intrepid travel correspondent managed to secure a space on the luggage rack.  Is it just the effect of rose-tinted spectacles but in the days that this picture was taken didn't all the trains through Nairn have five carr1ages?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Another environmental issue...

Phil Woolas, the environment minister, added that the amount of money spent on mineral water "borders on being morally unacceptable". More here on the Telegraph site.

I suppose drinking bottled cider (industrial or otherwise) in such plastic bottles verges on the same then. The Editor has been guilty of that too. The Gurn doesn't wish to debate the issue, yes one of our staff admits to refilling a former bottle of mineral water with filtered tapwater each morning, but only wishes to state that we are disgusted that any politician dare tell us what is 'bordering on the morally unacceptable'.
How dare they try and lecture us! - they have no moral credibility. We will make our own choices thank you. Sod off Woolas! Go and live in a 'truly sustainable community' in a wood somewhere but not around here please.

The Gurn: deep loony green forever - Mother Earth we love you!

Former Green MSP demonstrates why she is a former Green MSP

The P&J reports today:

'Local Green Party activists have given their support to Forestry Commission Scotland's plans for an eco-housing development in woods near Nairn.

But they want to see more affordable houses included in the scheme at Kilnhill Wood, Lochloy.

The Forestry Commission submitted proposals for 32 houses, eight chalets and community services last week.

Green Party spokeswoman Eleanor Scott said: "We believe that this has the potential to be an innovative scheme which would give people the chance to live and work in a woodland setting.'

She has some reservations however,

"We also believe that the sewage issue must be considered, and that all agencies should work together to find an on-site, environmentally friendly way of dealing with sewage from the houses in the wood.

"We believe this development must become much more than just a group of nice eco-friendly houses - it must be about creating a truly sustainable community".

Well the problem is that everyone that lives in the country has a car and that will mean at least 40, 50, 60 cars coming down Lochloy Road every day? Many people are opposed to this scheme because the road out that way is just not up to it at the moment and people fear a serious accident. Just how will the folk from the truly sustainable community get their kids to school? Will the folk in the 'truly sustainable community have their own truly sustainable supermarket and truly sustainable petrol station? Maybe our former green msp knows something we don't - will cars be banned?
'See you later darling, just taking the handcart down to Nairn.'

Wake up Scottish Green Party!
Green the towns and less of this rubbish, if you want another nice scheme in the country for
the reasonably well-off light-green brigade, then just admit it!

Thought for the day...

A comment arrived on a comment (thanks ekim)

Ekim said...

I enjoy seeing the comments on the blog. Please be aware that you folks live in a beautiful part of the world with much to be thankful for. There are great and wonderful folks everywhere and a few jerks. Savor the former and endure the latter. On the weather, I too, live in a northern clime where summer starts on July 5th each year! BUT, it is most always green, not dead brown. Thanks Graisg.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Community councils and the common good

It is quite obvious that the stature of two community councils in town is rising in leaps and bounds. The protest march organised by the River Council and the large public meeting on the Sandown issue is proof of that. The Gurn predicts that the reputation of these councils will rise while that of the Highland Council will go the other way. No disrespect to the Highland Councillors but the Community councillors are unpaid and thus fantastic value for money. In recognition of this and to inject some more democracy into the Common Good Fund how about letting the Community councillors on as trustees?

Failed bank lives on, post offices still to close

I suppose the NuLabour party has to get its priorities right. Banks are more fun than post offices aren't they? Now everytime the Labour Government repossess someone's house will that get nationalised too and given to the nearest local authority as a council house?
I just heard a figure on the telly that astonished me, I know figures are being bandied about like snowflakes in a blizzard but someone suggested that the taxpayer is into this for 100 billion pounds. Doesn't that kind of money give us a chance for a little compromise over the Nairnshire post offices?
Apologies if you have seen these pics before.

A tale of two bridges - Bill on the case...

Seems there's money for a bridge in Inverness but none for the Bailey Bridge in Nairn. To find out more read Bill's perspective on this.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How much more development can the A96 take?

And specifically as regards to the section through Nairn. The present plan for Sandown is for 550 houses, how many more cars would that be, 500, 700 or even over a thousand. The Sandown scheme is only one of a few major housing projects envisaged for the area. Is it wise to have any more major housing schemes until something is done to improve the transport infrastructure? Time for another protest march?
The picture was taken today about 16.30, not even the rush hour yet and traffic backs up to get on the King Street roundabout as queues start from the Lochloy/Broad Hill junction and head back right through the town.

Time to think of alternatives? Doubling the railway line all the way to Inverness and tramway spurs to the Carse development and the proposed airport suburb? Maybe the price of oil will one day dictate a rapid change of perspective but what a shame we couldn't be as bit more forward thinking. And, last Gurn of the day, why wasn't the airport terminal built on the southern side of the airport next to the Railway and the A96 and the first place. And... oh time to shut up and have a nice soothing cup of tea...

PS update before the cup of tea, a member of the Gurn staff has just returned to the town and reports traffic having to slow down to a crawl this evening from the former Delnies school into town. Wouldn't a controlled level crossing and a roundabout as proposed at the Sandown suburb just be the icing on the A96 motoring cake?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A day in April 1978

Thanks to Gordon for this pic downloaded from his flickr site. He writes on his site:
Apologies for the quality of the print - included for rarity - historic interest. This was the first visit of an HST to Inverness for publicity purposes, in advance of these fine trains being introduced on Inter City services from Aberdeen to London.This is the train passing Nairn. The passing time was announced in the local paper - the Nairnshire Telegraph - and resulted in a decent crowd of spectators to witness the passing of the HST.

Another of Gordon's pictures soon. Thanks Gordon, he tells the Gurn,
'My family lived in Nairn 1968 to 1982. I was at the Academy 1968 - 1973. Happy days, we still visit. Lovely town'

Comment from Bill on the previous post

Thanks Bill, don't agree with a lot of it but it deserves to be elevated from a mere comment that many might miss.

'Bill has left a new comment on your post "Anyone need their heads turned back round the righ...": What an amusing story. Ah! Nairn, what is to become of it? I share your reaction to this Daily Mail 'expose', but if that's the kind of rubbish newspaper you read (I don't!) then that's the kind of nonsense you can expect to see.However, talking about the habits of others (specially, to be blunt about it, 'outsiders' who take up residence there) is common in Nairn, as I know myself. When I first moved there and mentioned to people in several of the shops around town where I lived they more or less knew my whole life story already; the fact that I was still bleaching my hair in those days was an extra juicy talking-point; in many ways I'm not entirely 'conventional' I suppose. I do also recall being at a social event a few years ago along the Moray coast (near Fochabers actually) and one of those present used to live in Nairn (a 'native' I believe) and when I mentioned where I lived she immediately (and these gossips are almost invariably female) mentioned a rather unusual former Nairn resident in unpleasantly derogatory tones (I still had my bleached hair then of course) - I speak of the late Tanya Arkipova, who happened to be quite a good friend. I'm afraid that I froze-out that particular gossip-monger for the remainder of the evening!It is highly unusual for people in Nairn to be openly unpleasant or dismissive or anybody when face-to-face with them, but they sure do whisper about others behind their backs! One has only to recall some of the rather nasty gossip circulating around town about the widow of murder-victim Alistair Wilson.I have no doubt at all that tabloid reporters find no difficulty in finding Nairnites to feed their little bits of supposedly salacious gossip; it may be wrong of the Daily Mail to write silly stories like this, but I expect some locals played their part, too, with so-called 'background information'.I like Nairn a lot, but I can get out when I feel like it, thank the Lord!'
Yes Bill, Tanya was great craic and if there were some that were willing to slag her off for whatever reason the majority accepted her as part of the community, which she had every right to be, being born in the town. Nairn is a great place to live and we have a strong sense of community, there is gossip like anywhere else but it is by no means a retarded Wickerman type community à la Daily Mail article. We don't buy it, just take internet newsfeeds that mention the town. No sun tody here hope you have some.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Anyone need their heads turned back round the right way? It can happen in our village it seems? The Gurn thought the only real danger was the A96!

Oh for goodness sake can't the Daily Mail talk about the things that really matter in Nairn, like 'dense schemes' and Post offices and the overwhelming sensuality of custard slices in Ashers?

Look at this bull:

'It's no wonder that heads turn in Nairn when they see Swinton, Byrne or, very occasionally, Kopp out shopping in the village.'
Sod off and leave them alone you dead-tree deadbeat plonkers!

Vikings are coming again even the 'empty nesters'

Stand by for a major Scandanavian invasion this summer.

'She said: "It was great to discover hotels in small villages. I did not expect to find that. Many of our family groups will book into the caravan holiday parks in Embo and Nairn, but we also have 'empty nesters' travelling who will not pre-book accommodation and will enjoy exploring the towns and villages of the Highlands."

Who said it and why? You'll have to read the John o'Groats Journal to find out.

Development is too dense

That seemed to be the overall view of a well attended public meeting (150-200?) at Nairn Academy this evening. The meeting was arranged by the Nairn Suburban Community Council to find out the public reaction to the Sandown Plans. There was a lot of concern raised about all the developments in the Nairn area but the chairman had to keep reminding the public that the meeting was about the Sandown development. Seems the consensus is to insist on a 240 maximum number of houses instead of the proposed 550.
No Highland councillors in sight but they were invited, MSP Mary Scanlon was in evidence however.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

As others see us: the log

Thanks to Craig Robertson for the use of this excellent picture.

Would you go back to Nairn?

Well Molly would and she says:
'Yes, and I already have many times. It is so good I never get bored of it!'

Nice one Molly and well worth the Book tokens you won on the Independent site.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Gurn has authority!

(Harbour Street Demo pics and link in posts below.)
Yes we have authority! So say the professionals at Technorati. We are simply the two million, nine hundred and ten thousand and twenty-fifth best blog in the world. Unfortunately we cannot keep up with the authority of the Gurn's sister blog the sensational Gàidhlig: cha bhithinn às a h-aonais which will soon be the best blog in the universe.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Save the Harbour Street Post Office Demonstration more pics on

Here are the pictures, posted as promised on You can look at them all here or view them as a slideshow here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

More scenes from the streets of Nairn today!

Before the weekend is out the Gurn hopes to put a bigger selection up on Well done to the Community Council who organised the demonstration and march and the hundreds of protesters who turned out to show their support for the Harbour Street Post Office. If the Labour Government in London continues with its crazy plans to close Post Offices then they will reap the whirlwind of their foolish, damaging actions at the ballot box. We enjoy living in a community and we will defend that community!

On the streets of Nairn today!

More soon...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Save Harbour Street Post Office - the campaign spreads!

Thanks to our international correspondent based in our Inverness Office for this dramatic picture of international solidarity for the campaign.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Peter Hain's unused think tank comes to Nairn?

The raison d'être of a new mystery object down at the Harbour may have been solved.
Looks like you could get a lot of bundles of £5,000 in there.

Winter returns to Nairn