Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Gurn survival guide

The survival guide to reading the Gurn that is. First look at this idyllic picture of one of Nairn's glorious sunsets.

Nairn is wonderful, amazing, friendly and picturesque so if you are a first timer here don't go reading anything to do with sewerage. Yes there has been a bit of local difficulty at the 'Merryton Bridge' but with the help of SEPA, Scottish Water and the Highland Council Environmental Health department plus the Gurn's legion of co-conspirators it could be that that is all now past. As our regular correspondent Iright recently wrote:

'For decades Nairn has peddled itself as a beautiful seaside town. It still attracts the tourists to it's clean golden beaches, river, paths, and bridges. Holidaymakers stop for ice creams, and eat them as quick as they can walking around the harbour before they melt. Ducks, swans, and even seagulls enjoy the influx as bread and other fast foods are fed to them. On the beach people paddle, swim, windsurf, and get dragged along by kites. Sandcastles are made, dams are built, and parents are buried, all safe good fun. B&Bs put up no vacancy signs, bars, restaurants and cafes are full. At Woolies (Formally Woowarts) shelves are running short in some places, tourists are here and loving every moment, Visit Scotland has done its job. They peer into solicitor’s windows to see if they could afford to live here - the perfect scene? A resident famous film star is about to hold a film festival, there is a jazz festival, Highland games and much more. There is no Tescos but a handful of High Street shops to get your messages But... suddenly...'

Never mind the 'buts' folks go to this slightly chaotic site to look at loads of amazing pictures that show you how wonderful the area is (you'll have to scroll down a bit once you get there to really research it.) Far better than looking at all the awful sewerage pictures on this blog page.

Seriously folks if you are coming here for the Film and Jazz festivals or liked it so much at the Book festival that you bought a house and stayed then have a great time and enjoy our gurning and if you have anything you want to get off your chest please let us know.

Unable to read the Gurn at work?

Do you have a nasty IT department that prevents you keeping up to date with all the goings on in our community? You may for example have to keep up with sewerage happenings in the town as part of your job. We know that Scottish Water and SEPA are allowed to read the Gurn but others might not be so lucky. Well if you suffer from that problem help may not be far away with an on-line service that a Gurn reader has found. Try WebToMail.
They claim:
Are you at job and you can only check your mails? This is your solution.
WebToMail is a free service where you can receive web pages by e-mail. It's simple and very easy.
Just send a mail to with the URL* of the desired web-page as subject.
In a few minutes you will be receiving the web page in HTML format in your mail account.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams

Have you checked out the festival's Daily Schedule of films yet?

The Sewerage Bridge: was fat to blame?

Scottish Water employees busy working on the stretch of pipe that leads from the Sewerage Bridge to the Maggot road told the Gurn that they have discovered large quantities of fat in the pipe. If this is the case does the community bear some collective responsibility or is it just one or a few individuals that are to blame? No doubt more will be revealed by Scottish Water later.
The Gurn expects that some will be sceptical but this would not be the first time that fat has caused problems in Nairn sewers.
Someone has also dug a soak away from the scene of the weekend's huge sewer lagoon. A ditch now goes between two of the huge conifers (well-fed trees indeed but now with disturbed root systems) but does not directly enter the river. If there are more discharges this is where the water will gather. Scottish Water vehicle on the Maggot this lunchtimeThe new soak away from the footpath just below the Sewerage Bridge

Iright calls for a Nairnshire name change

In the light of recent developments Iright is calling for drastic action at the borders of Nairnshire and he forewards his vision of how this should play out (picture on right). It is a good article Iright but considering breaking news in the post above it may be that it is us the punters that have to 'get our act together' instead of the authorities or both sets of human beings in the equal measure. Who knows? Let's wait for the official result of investigations from the authorities. The Gurn calls for a period of calm and a positive attempt to work with the authorities to solve these problems. Let's have a summer of Peace and Love instead of a Summer of Sewerage. Chill Iright, chill, just a wee bit alarmist perhaps? PS we welcome comment from our Scottish Water readers, please e-mail us with anything new. Anyway Judge for yourselves fellow conspirators, here's Irights usual zany take on the situation :

'For decades Nairn has peddled itself as a beautiful seaside town. It still attracts the tourists to it's clean golden beaches, river, paths, and bridges. Holidaymakers stop for ice creams, and eat them as quick as they can walking around the harbour before they melt. Ducks, swans, and even seagulls enjoy the influx as bread and other fast foods are fed to them. On the beach people paddle, swim, windsurf, and get dragged along by kites. Sandcastles are made, dams are built, and parents are buried, all safe good fun. B&Bs put up no vacancy signs, bars, restaurants and cafes are full. At Woolies (Formally Woowarts) shelves are running short in some places, tourists are here and loving every moment, Visit Scotland has done its job. They peer into solicitor’s windows to see if they could afford to live here - the perfect scene? A resident famous film star is about to hold a film festival, there is a jazz festival, Highland games and much more. There is no Tescos but a handful of High Street shops to get your messages But... suddenly this idyll with the scoop of a very large hand is gone. Everyone is baffled, what has happened? Nairnshite, that is what has happened. The cosy seaside town has been transformed into a medieval village with open running sewers. Soon there could be black plague and the Nairn pipe bands will see hundreds of rats follow them up the street. Children play spot the jobbie, and with a wild laugh shout ‘that ones yours’. At every street corner folk are sprayed with disinfectant It would only take a minor alteration to change the signs for the town, so cost would not be high. There is just a chance of course that people in high places could get their act together and make sure our drains and sewers really work then we could go back to being an attractive seaside town? So citizens we have a choice and just like the coming of Sainsbury’s we could all vote with our feet and attend the next meeting of the folk in charge, or will they do something to alleviate the problem very very soon? No doubt the Gurn will let us know first! '

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Meanwhile you could almost be a million miles away...

from the stench that still lingered around the Merryton Bridge.
The scene up the High Street as the town goes continental in the continuing warm weather.

Exclusive: Scottish Water official tests Nairn water quality?

Sewerage Bridge blows again overnight?

The Gurn understands that SEPA is today investigating a report that the the Merryton Bridge was once again in full flow. If this complaint turns out to be correct then it would indicate that something is seriously wrong with the Nairn Sewerage system in this area if the bridge can release sewerage onto the footpaths three times in 11 days. The Gurn has been down to take pictures and it seems indeed the manhole cover has moved again and fresh material is on the path - down by the site where a huge lagoon had formed on Sunday it looks as though the left over detritus has received a suspicious brown top up. Although it is hard to tell which is the filth from last time and the time before that, so unsatisfactory has been the clean-up at the weekend. At least SEPA are on their way to investigate an 'unsatisfactory situation.' Maybe the Highland Council environmental health department should get down there too.
The site of Sunday's lagoon receives a brown top up that has mysteriously appeared overnight. Looks like the manhole cover has moved again and detrius has appeared again in the site of the previous 'clean-up.'

Monday, July 28, 2008

'Shit happens!'

Thanks to Scottish Water, without their help this video would not have been possible.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Sewerage Scandal

The smell of human excrement hung over the town centre as the storm drains emptied contaminated water into the River Nairn. The river, very low after the dry spell, was unable to absorb the sudden influx and changed to an ugly grey as the rains fell once again. The Merryton Bridge sewerage pipe was once again a major contributor to the pollution as these pictures show. (all pictures will enlarge)

Here the sewerage runs away to the left of the bridge, very soon flats will be built close to this area.

The contaminated water flows to the right also, forming a huge sewerage lagoon that quickly covered the riverside path and cycle route.

The view from the other side of the filthy lagoon.

The outflow runs away from the newly created lagoon, trying to find a way into the river.

Nearby sanitary towels flowed down the river towards the swans and ducks and other wildlife that were enjoying the Island sanctuary.

There had been discharges too on the Fishertown side of the 'Sewerage Bridge' and Nairnites will once again have to walk through the remains of the discharge.
Of course it was not only the Merryton bridge that was contaminating the riverside, the outflow from this drain doesn't look too healthy and there was a sheen of oil on the surface of the water in this area, a popular spot for the bird feeding brigade.

This week's Nairnshire carried a quote from a Scottish Water spokesman concerning a similar incident at the Merryton Bridge last weekend, Jason Rose said: 'Our men were out pretty quickly to clear it up. It appears there was no blockage but the system was overwhelmed by heavy rain. We will be keeping an eye on it and coming back to have a look at it in the long term.'
Looks like it needs a look in the short term too Mr Rose!

Let's hope today wasn't the day that the Bathing Water Quality test sample was taken. The Gurn asks, should Nairnites and holiday makers be warned that they are walking in areas that have recently been contaminated with sewerage?
Update: the Gurn has received a number from a concerned reader that anyone concerned about these issues can phone to complain about this or anyother pollution they may see in the river: Its SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) on 01349 862021.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Gurn goes to Auldearn - Chaidh an Gurn gu Allt Eireann

The Gurn went out to Auldearn today and on the way it was evident that everything was nearly ready for Saturday's Nairn show, it will be interesting to see how things go on the new site just of the A96. If the good weather continues until the weekend that will help. Don't forget there will be a free bus service to take you to the show.
Things are starting to look bilingual in Auldearn, if this design on the village notice board is anything to go buy

Auldearn is a village with some surprising architecture.

Click the first and fourth pictures to enlarge, the second doesn't want to play for some reason and the third won't enlarge much anyway.
today and on the way it was evident that everything was nearly ready for Saturday

Mad summer rumour

Rumours are sweeping the town that the Links paddling pool was closed yesterday, on one of the warmest days of the year so far. The Gurn doesn't believe these rumours for one minute, surely not.

Lack of litter resources on hot days?

Joe sends us a picture and a gurn about how the Council have trouble keeping up with the litter on hot days down at the beaches. A need for bigger bins during the summer? People are making the effort but sometimes there's just no room for more. Makes life fun for the enterprising Jackdaw however, and nearby everyone busy enjoying the Nairn sunshine by means antique and modern. Thanks for the pictures Joe.
Click on the pictures to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Out and about in Nairnshire

Soothing clouds today in the summer skies above Nairnshire.

Rural wheelie bins relax in the sun

Alder down

A new obstacle in the river today just between the railway bridge and the Jubilee. Some think the name Nairn comes from the gaelic name for Alder, feàrna, and through time the name 'Inbhir nam feàrna' became shortened to 'Inbhir Narann', time ago, perhaps it sounded something like Inbhir Nurn? Gaelic is of course still here with 200 fluent speakers according to the last census, the Alders too, well one less today unfortunately.

Another former cinema has problems

A regular reader of the Gurn called the former Regal building the 'Cinema of Nightmares', a joke inspired no doubt by the Ballerina Ballroom cinema of Dreams festival that is coming soon to the top of the brae. Now another former Nairn cinema is making the news, the Nairn County Social Club (click picture to enlarge) will close its doors from the end of the month. The chairman of the club is quoted in the Nairnshire, ' Members are just not using the club, but it is probably a sign of the times with all the pubs finding it difficult.'
Incidentally you can now book tickets for the Ballerina Cinema of Dreams on Tilda Swinton's festival website. Sales it seems are going well for the two weekends with bookings being made from many overseas locations, you'd better hurry if you want advance tickets but there will be some available each night on a first come first served basis.

Dry at last!

No, not the Vic after 11 pm but the Firhall Bridge. Scottish water capped a pipe and all is well. Well done Murdo and the rest of the river patrol. Click the picture to enlarge and see for yourself, safe underfoot at last!

Bird comment for iright or is it 'irate'?

Regulars will get the drift, newcomers might like to trail through one or two other posts to get up to speed on this one.

Wildlife campaigner Joe takes iright to task again:

'iright...or should i say irate..any relation to spelding, identical twins perhaps?I see where you're coming from and there is certain merit in some of your net searches.As with everything in this world, humans think they know it all and dont allow for the fact that birds have been around longer than us.Birds are driven by the same force that drives us all...survival and procreation ! (not so sure about cabbages though.)Birds will do whatever it takes to survive and pass on their genes, even if that means taking food from another species. What i know about Swans is that they will only eat what they want, when they want.The cygnets like the previous 5 seasons ones, will be chased away by their parents in october, about 6 months after hatching.They will be totally wild and free and able to fend for themselves. They will also be healthy fit and strong, with sufficient reserves hopefully to get them through their first winter safely. The river nairn habitat is unique in so far as it's tidal, has many more predators than say an inland less likely to harbour diseases such as botulism, also more prone to changes and less able to provide constant food supply all year. As for the ducks, the predators (not man made) killed approximately 50 chicks this year from the roadbridge down, so natural selection is alive and well. 22 survived so far...which is less than the 36 that made it last year. However if you feel so passionate about your argument, take it to the RSPB , the council and the government.Does this mean i will have to remove my wild bird feeders from the garden too ?'
Without revealing anyone's identity Joe the editor of the Gurn can state quite confidently that iright and Spelding are not twins but as to past lives etc, sorry no guarantees there.

The future of newspapers on the High Street - iright muses

Strachans is up for sale (click picture to enlarge), iright puts pen to paper, after wiping the breadcrumbs off his keyboard...

'News that yet another Nairn high street business is up for sale may put another empty store on our shopping map. Strachans the towns biggest newsagent has announced that it is up for sale for the princely sum of £330.000
My perception as a customer has always been that this is a very busy store, with deep queues at weekends as folk buy their papers and then flit across the road for their rolls from Ashers.
Strachans has a good selection goods other than newsprint, books, magazines and stationary, the nearest such items are available outwith Nairn would probably mean a journey to a Tesco town. So why the sale? Strachan’s main business is that of newspapers whose sales are in decline big time. Young people tend not to read newspapers so the buying populace is increasing in age and therefore dying in numbers.
Figures at: make for grim reading. Advertisers are switching to the Internet and that is not an item a newspaper shop can sell. Falling sales of tobacco products, sweets for the bairns (Bad for their teeth), also probably exacerbates the dwindling income for such a store? I hope that a buyer is found and the business continues, but we have recently seen the demise of Watsons, and have to count our lucky stars that Dougie found a buyer for our last remaining post office in Nairn.'

Maybe the demographics in Nairn might be a help to our newsagents iright? We have an older population so there will be a few here that will go on reading papers for a while yet, but you are right, I don't see many young people picking up a paper in the mornings. However, Strachans is definitely the best place to pick up your Sundays, they always manage to get the supplements in correctly. Another point worthy of consideration is that given the credit crunch and the increasing price of the papers, especially the Sundays, will those that wish to buy the papers still have the cash to do so.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Joe replies to bird-feeding criticism

Regular readers may have noticed criticism of bird feeding on the River Nairn in the comments of another post. Wildlife campaigner Joe has sent the Gurn a reply.

'In reply to spelding anon and co, You are preaching to the converted as far as feeding wildlife is concerned.
Interestingly enough during the 5 years i have been feeding the birds, their numbers have grown at least 10 wise anyway.
Must be all that porridge oats and wholemeal they've been getting, along with raw sewage from the merryton bridge area !
The Swans, in addition to their natural food when available, get spinach, fresh grass, dandelion leaves, and wholemeal bread.
They seem to be thriving on it, and i have no worries about them being deprived of nutrients from me !
Maybe spelding could contact the RSPB and give them my 5 years experience for free, and add the fresh grass and dandelion leaves to their swan good food list ?
I have tried them also with potatoes, carrots and lettuce...other than the odd bit of potato skin they dont fancy it.
I do educate people as and when the opportunity arises, even though it draws some criticism and annoyance from some.
Done correctly and with skill, supplementing the wild birds food supply can increase their numbers and harmony between humans and the natural world.
The river and harbour would be a sadder place if there was little or no wildlife.
In the UK there are around 20,000 pairs of Mute swans, and 60 million would suit me if those numbers were reversed!
We are fortunate to have a single pair in the river nairn and 4 cygnets, i for one will make sure they have a better diet than i have !'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Has 'Invercentricity' been taken to new levels?

Dear Gurnmeister,
Another wee observation for your entertaining website.
I see from this weeks Highland Snooze that ‘Invercentricity’ has been taken to new levels, where ‘10 tonnes of sand, palm trees and a dolphin mural’ have been used in the creation of a ‘beach’ in Falcon Square The 'beach' must be a substitute for the slimy, foul smelling area of foreshore opposite the Golden Mile. It doesn't seem to mention how much the beach has cost. This actually sound to me like the latest effort to eventually relocate all Nairn’s amenities to the Highland Capital’ with the additional economic benefit to our big city neighbours of curtailing the leakage of Invernessian money from the food court at the Eastgate Centre to Nairn’s Links Cafe . I doubt it won't be long before the East and West beaches are barriered off with red and white tape by men in dayglo jackets. Nairnites can then visit Inversnecky beach after signing on, visiting the job centre, making your court appearance, getting a choice of supermarket and visiting the council chamber. In fact, they may as well just stay in Inverness while they're there, and the Highland Council’s objective will have been achieved.
Remarkable goings on Nairnac, what will they try next to bring Nairn to heel? The Press and Journal states that this venture cost £4,500. 'The project cost £4,500 and was funded and managed by Inverness Business Improvement District (Bid). Bid manager Stefan Krause said the idea was to encourage people to meet and interact with each other.'
For the same price a 1,000 Invernessians could have walked over to the Falcon Square bus stop and purchased a £4.50 return ticket to the miles of free beach where you can interact or not, no pressure at all.

Nain's bridge of jobbies and shame

Thanks to Joe for the Picture. In the early hours of Saturday morning a heavy rainstorm caused the manhole covers on both sides of the aptly named sewerage bridge to rise and release hundreds perhaps thousands of gallons of untreated filth onto the paths and the riverbanks. One thing a picture cannot convey and that is the smell that hung over the area throughout the day. A taste of it is probably still there at this moment. Surely something can be done about this, why should dog walkers, cyclists, children that play in this spot and others that pass this way every day have to risk coming across the likes of this?
Bizarrely someone had earlier emptied the contents of the red dog-shit bin you can see on the right of the picture on to the manhole cover. Was it mere vandalism or someone making a point about there being more human shit around that the dog variety? Perhaps it was just sewerage art as about two dozen assorted coloured bags with their dog turd contents glistened in the sun surrounded by mankind's unwrapped offerings.
After a local citizen gurned to SEPA it seemed that someone did come out and sweep the contents to one side later in the day but should disinfectant have been used on the paths? Why should Nairnites have to endure medieval sewerage conditions every time there is heavy rain? You can click on the picture to enlarge if you have the stomach.
Very soon around 40 flats are to be built on the other side of the fence in the picture, perhaps a retaining wall will be necessary to stop further floods of sewerage heading in that direction too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Wee County faithful take their positions once again at the Station Park field of dreams

(click picture to enlarge)
The dream is on for another season: win the league? Win the qualifying cup? Even come fifth once again? It was good to see all the familiar faces in the sunshine (when it came out). The Aberdeen loons were very fit but County were unlucky not to get a draw with the young professionals. If you want to follow the local football team this season then bookmark this page. Quick slideshow of this game available here.

Got anything for the Gurn?

Can you help your friendly neighbourhood blog? Have you news, views, rumours, scandal, pictures, poems, dandruff, historical reminiscences or anything else that might be of interest to the community? Please send anything you have to Of course we can't publish everything, remember we have to play by the same rules as other media but in the spirit of the Gurn we'll do our best :-)
Meanwhile, the Breadcrumb debate, has it kicked off? It started out on a different topic but it seems some folk have strong views on giving wild birds bread. You'll need to scroll down to the comments on this page.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Carse Development still on course say developers

You need to rush out and buy the Highland News for the full story but it seems that the consortium that is behind the Whitness Head development are denying rumours that plans are on hold.
'A source told the Highland News that the company was laying off staff, demolishing offices and putting the site up for sale amid fears that the deepening credit crunch had placed the whole project in jeopardy.'
The developers strongly contradict the rumours however “We can assure the public there is no break in our momentum and this suggestion is completely unfounded.”
You'll have to go to the dead tree shop for more.
Who needs a new 500 berth marina on the Moray Firth when we have Nairn's very own 'kaleidoscopic riot of colour and shapes' down at the harbour? How does the harbour get a mention in a 'country diary'? The hard-core duck and swan police will be most upset if they read Ray Collier's article, it seems, 'Some people were feeding the gulls, despite a sign by the council warning against this practice "in the interest of health and safety'.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Old Regal - Cinema of Nightmares?

Thanks to Nairnac for the phrase 'Cinema of Nightmares. Why might that apply to this building? Well you'll have to read this thread and the comments to get the concept
(Once again click the picture to enlarge)
The editor of the Gurn can remember going up to watch a film in the Regal, cinema goers went upstairs after the bingo faithful had finished downstairs. The fog of nicotine had settled in the upper half of the building and stayed throughout the film. Can't remember the film, still smell the fags though. The Gurn wonders if anyone has been upstairs since what passes for Nairn's supermarket was so cruelly implanted on top of part of Nairn's Bingo history?

What now for the local economy?

Just how badly will the current economic problems affect Nairn and the surrounding area? Already there are reports of less visitors coming to the area and word of pay-offs in the building trade. Will we weather the coming storm better than others? It is difficult to predict really when even the experts don't seem to know how bad things really are. Nairn blogger Bill has written about how he sees the coming course of events, again, how his analysis will translate into the local situation is hard to say.
The picture? It's a Dutch flower wholesaler's lorry that regulary visits the High Street to supply a local business, will it be worth him coming to Scotland in the near future as the economic downturn/crisis (call it what you will) continues? At least he can fill up with cheaper fuel before he sets off.
The Courier reports the 'Action for Planning Transparency Committee' calling for a change of direction from our local council as regards the drive for development along the A96 corridor.
“In this new and difficult economic environment, what sense is there in the Highland Council persisting with their controversial plans for the A96 Corridor in their present form?” Asks a spokesperson, more here. Good question indeed, but who can claim to be in control of events now?
At least we still have our dreams and on that subject the The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams now has a website and promises a full programme of films soon. The perfect opportunity to take our minds off the bad news will be with us soon.

Victoria hotel made to close early each evening after police complaint

One of Nairn's most popular watering holes has to shut its doors at 11pm each evening now. You can get the full story on the Press and Journal website.

A familiar building changes hands yet again

The Gurn has come up with a sign that might be suitable for the building that we know so well. (click the picture to enlarge)

Seriously fellow gurners, what now for the town centre masterplan? Will the Co-op want to keep two stores in Nairn? Will we become 'Co-op Town' ? The BBC reckons they might have to dump some stores anyway: 'The Co-op may now be told by competition watchdogs to sell some of the stores it has purchased, with Morrisons, Waitrose and Iceland touted as potentially interested parties. ' Will the co-op or anyone else that gets the Nairn store feel obliged to follow through with those nice drawings that Somerfield revealed to the world?

Sainsbury's on the edge of town you say? - Bring it on!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A major store away from the High Street is nothing new for Nairnites

Iright muses on the days when it was easier to get yourself an out of town centre store. How times have changed indeed. Thanks iright.
As the good folk of Inverness continue to debate Nairn having an out of town supermarket a photo from the '70's reveals that a major store away from the High Street is nothing new for Nairnites.
Apart from the Nairn sailing club building nothing else is still standing at the harbour, but of the two white sheds to the right one was a cash & carry and the other a freezer centre. I wonder if it took years of planning to give the go ahead for those businesses? Anyone remember getting their messages there?

As the good folk of Inverness continue to debate Nairn having an out of town supermarket a photo from the


Robh please contact the Gurn at the e-mail address in the banner above, we would like to research your information about what you believe is going to happen to the Somerfield store in Nairn.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Supermarket Monopoly games continue

It seems the Co-op will buy Somerfield for £1.6 billion this coming week. Such predictions have come and gone before but one of the Sunday dead-tree weeklies is pretty bullish about this coming to fruition. So what happens next, if the Co-op buy the Nairn Somerfield site will they go ahead with the development, sell the supermarket on to another store, or even shut it down? Anyone placing bets on the new supermarket going ahead in the next six months?
The Mail on Sunday says: ' The Co-op plans to hive off as many as 150 Somerfield stores to rivals, which could include the lucrative sale of some of the freehold stores that account for about a quarter of the chain.'
Somerfield today, Co-op next week, someone else the week after?
Another interesting quote,' A clause in the agreement is understood to offer a further potential windfall for the original Somerfield investors should the Co-op raise more that £300 million from the sale of the stores and the petrol stations.'
The Gurn contends that the best bet for our community is to continue the bonding process with Sainsbury's and do all we can to ease the path for the construction of their intended store and just wait and see what, if anything happens, with Somerfield or whoever their owners may or may not be in the near future.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy tourists

Despite the gloomy weather Nairn Pipe Band puts on their usual saturday afternoon summer performance on the High Street.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams

Worth taking a look at the Ballerina's myspace page.
'If you could imagine the opposite of Cannes, this would be it. A new film festival, which Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton is founding in her hometown of Nairn, north-east Scotland, is to have no red carpets, no ranks of paparazzi and no designer evening dresses. Entry to the films will cost you £3 or a tray of home-baked cakes; and the audience will sit on beanbags.' So says the Guardian .
'Three movies a day for the 8 1/2 days, from 15th' – 23rd August 2008. It seems a pity that Ronnie Watsons, The Fruit shop just across the road from the Ballerina will have been closed for nearly a fortnight as the film festival gets under way. Maybe someone could step in with an imaginative idea that would fill up (just for a while) what will indeed be a sad empty space.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

End of an era and yet another change to the High Street

A unique and independent business will disappear from the High Street from Saturday, 2nd of August 2008. Unfortunately, due to illness, one of the stalwarts of the town centre, Ronnie Watson’s the Fruit shop, will close its double doors for the last time. The town will be duller without the colourful window displays of a multitude of fruit and flowers, the oranges, bananas, grapes, carnations and roses, the tatties, strawberries and daffodils in the door way.

It will also miss the Watsons’ themselves; ‘I’ll just pop in a few extra …’, the adding up of your bill by the trusty old pencil stub, the unhurried slowness of gathering your requested items, the old message bike, the banter.

This is an event on par with the closure of Rose Brothers. The Gurn thanks Ronnie, Allan and the late Mrs Watson for all their service over the past 48 years.

An end of an era indeed.

Amateur on-line betting pundit reckons Danny Alexander is a goner

Political is a very busy site which often gets more visits than the likes of the political bloggers Guido and Iain Dale. The site is looking to the next General election and has done an article about the seven Highlands and Islands seats. Not much hope for Danny Alexander if their prediction turns out to be right. A few more pictures next to the A96 with Graham Marsden should sort it. Even if Alexander is toast at the next election, the Gurn predicts a bright future for our other well known LibDem, Councillor Marsden.
The article states:
'Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey: (LD) won back from Labour in 2005, Danny Alexander is not a great performer in contrast to the SNP’s Fergus Ewing at Holyrood. Once Scotland’s only 4-way marginal this is really now likely to be an SNP-LibDem dogfight and I expect the SNP to take this in 2010 unless Alex Salmond has become public enemy No 1. '

Cannes of the North?

'A major new festival will be launched this summer in the "Brighton of the North", set up by local resident and multi-award winning actresses Tilda Swinton and backed by Mark Cousins, a former director of the Edinburgh Film Festival, and the Oscar-winning writer/director Joel Coen.'
Looks like The Herald scooped the Nairnshire and the Gurn on this one. And speaking of festivals, was it just the good weather last month or anything to do with the Book and Arts Festival that so many people seemed to wearing white/cream jackets and or trousers? What do film buffs wear? Maybe the Gurn will have to hire a papperazi section to hang out at the Ballerina? Will iright wear white?