Friday, July 31, 2009
Never mind the Pilgrimage, one of the most sought after tickets this season will be for the second Strictly Belly Dance Show that Liz is organising. Tickets at £5 per person for 7.30p.m. on Saturday the 5th of September in The Little Theatre. The venue only has 75 seats so you'd better be quick. Compare: John (the Prof) Matheson, Moray Firth Radio.
More over on the Nairn Drama Club site.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Attendances at the first three ceilidhs are well up on previous years with all proceeds going to charity after deduction of expenses for some excellent bands whose members travel from Banffshire to Ross-shire to perform.
"We've had some youngsters from the the Nairn Feis performing this year and a display of Scottish country dancing and on July 30 we are very lucky to have John Carmichael's band from Glasgow doing a free gig for us," said a spokesman for the group
"Demand for tickets ( priced £5 as a one-off) will be high and that is expected to be a sell-out."
Suggestions that Brits could stay at home this year because of the recession seem to be borne out by attendances so far.
"We've had many visitors from all over the world and we find there are a lot of tourists from other parts of the UK.
"The local Lovat Lodge regularly supports the ceilidhs and we always receive a visit from the children from Belarus and their host families. That is always a very sepcial evening.
"The ceilidhs are a mix of tradtional Scottish music with dancing and piping throw-in and are great for people of all ages.
"It would be great if we could get some more locals and organisations to support the ceilidhs. If you have visitors this summer and want something to do pop along for the evening and you are assured of a warm welcome and great fun. At £2.50 entry you'll not be out of pocket." The ceilidhs commence at 8pm and end at 11pm in the Royal British Legion Highland Hall ever Thursday until September 10.
More details on the ceilidhs can be found at high-societies.org
We're about to embark on our Pilgrimage, safe in the knowledge that flash floods have already hit Nairn this month, and surely the same thing can't happen again...?
For those of you who are joining us in person, and haven't yet bought tickets, there are some still available at thebooth.co.uk or to buy in person at Nairn Bookshop, but they're selling up fast!
For those of you who'd like to come and see us pull Screen Machine, or even join in the heave, some of our pulling locations are a little tricky to get to/park at, etc. and so for safety's sake we're not encouraging onlookers to those spots. However, if you find yourself in Strontian on Mon 3rd at 1.30pm, you'll see us pull Screen Machine out of town. On Tues 4th at 2pm we'll be pulling from the viewpoint on the B862, 5 miles out of Fort Augustus. On on Wed 5th at about 11.30am we'll be pulling along the driveway of Culloden Visitor Centre. Thanks to Highland Council and Contraflow Traffic Management!
But for the rest of you, those who are in far-flung places and unable to join us in person, please please check in to the website a-pilgrimage.org as each day of the journey we will be updating the Day By Day page with our photos, scrawlings, movie clips, sound recordings, dried flowers, brass rubbings, mathematical equations, sandwich crumbs and 20 pence pieces we lost down the back of the sofa years ago so's you can experience the delights and diversions, and even watch some of the films along with us.
Mark, Tilda and Matt
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The laying of the foundation-stone of a new Chapel is gratifying proof that whilst the good folks of Nairn are attending to the things of this world, they are not forgetting the more important matters which pertain to the next.
We would suggest to the intelligent Provost of Nairn that the "guid town" should adapt the "Rail, the fish, and the bath", rendering it intelligible by the motto "Nairn can bigg" '
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Major housing developments are being planned across most areas of Scotland, and will impact many existing communities. If readers wish to get an idea of the sheer scale of house construction proposed they should access the Scottish Government's web-site and study the list of 68 projects listed under the "Scottish Sustainable Communities Initiative" (and this list is not exhaustive with respect to planned house building in Scotland: as the list contains sustainable developments only).
Not only the should the numbers cause some serious reflection and questioning, but also the type of "high density" development being mooted as "the answer" in more and more cases. Few people who have ever lived in "high density" housing developments feel a burning desire to repeat the experience-and those who champion high density homes are very unlikely to move into one themselves.
The methodology for projecting future housing needs has recently moved away from the sole use of standard population projections based on factual birth/death data (See General Register for Scotland website) to the incorporation of "aspirational growth" projections for the next 25years. For the first time also we see use of a "high migration variant" projection in the derivation of these aspirations - these "assume higher levels of net in-migration to Scotland". So, for example, for the whole of the Highland we see births in the period 2006-2031 falling, but a population growth aspiration of 17% if the "high migration variant" is used in the calculation.
These "aspirations" might explain the 4,600 new homes (and a population growth of 10,000 people) envisaged for Nairn, because such an expansion surely doesn't stack up against the actual local population trend. What's generating the need for all these homes and, particularly in areas outwith the central belt and oil-zone around Aberdeen, where are the long term employment opportunities coming from?
Even if it is accepted that certain regions of Scotland need to retain and grow their resident populations, there has to be serious analysis of the factors that attract them. People move to the Highlands for quality of life, quality of environment, and quality of access and infrastructure for business and leisure. Building "affordable" housing alone, or in quantity, is not the solution, and is more likely to become part of the problem.
Members of the public have limited time and expertise to comment on these topics- which are at the heart of the future economic wellbeing of Scotland. People need homes, but something is not right with the logic here. Let's get back to a fact based planning methodology and away from an over-dependence on "aspiration" as the leading indicator for driving commercial house building projects. Is there any civic leader or politician who is prepared to challenge this approach-if so let us hear from you?
Brian Lynch (For Nairn Residents Concern Group)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Flash floods such as those we experienced in Nairn late Thursday night, early Friday morning are impossible to predict, but planning for such events should be in place.
Reports suggest that the telephone line to Highland Council’s Service Point in Nairn was almost impossible to get through to on Friday morning, and rather than an engaged tone callers received what sounded like a voice message for council employees rather than any useful information. Tec Services was also very difficult to reach.
In these times when Broadband is deemed as important as water or electricity Highland Council’s web site remained devoid of any news or information with regard the flooding, here at the Gurn we did our best to research and publish what we thought might be relevant information for anyone needing help.
The three pallets of sandbags available to the public from the Station Park depot had all gone by this morning, but no information as to when more might be available.
A caller to Nairn Service Point on Friday morning was informed of the sandbags but when he said he was disabled was told there was no delivery service or anyone to help him. His house had flooded in the early hours of Friday morning.
The doors to Nairn Service point were firmly closed as per usual for a Saturday morning, but taking the scale of the damage from the floods would it have been too much to have arranged for someone to be there today to offer help and advice?
Money is tight within the council budget but it seemed they were far from prepared for the flooding, or if they were is the level of service we should now expect?
We can only hope that we don’t see a repeat of Thursday night’s rainfall anytime soon!
Friday, July 17, 2009
The river Nairn is in high spate, tree trunks can be seen on the beach and out at sea, and the brown river water stretches right along the west beach past the swimming baths.
The grass sledges on the Links might need some floatation as a new water feature has appeared!
TV crews are out and about so expect Nairn to be featured in this evening’s news bulletins.
Torrential downpours hit all of Nairn and the surrounding areas last night, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Many drains failed to cope with the shear volume of water, which led to flooding; fortunately for many fishertown homes the tide was low at the time of the worst downpours.
The BBC reports that Union Street was flooded, the full extent of the damage is not known as yet, but certainly many homes have been affected and crops have also suffered.
The weather prediction is for further rain with a large area of low pressure not starting to move away until Monday
Nairn Tec Services have a limited number of sandbags available. Call the Nairn service point for details (Note: The phone line is very busy, you might be best to call in person)
Opening Hours Monday to Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Court House High Street Nairn IV12 4AU
Tel: 01667 458500
- Social Work / Roads, Flooding, Lighting - 0845 769 7284
- Housing - 0845 700 2005
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Perhaps this is a bargain when you consider that the cost of building a mile of motorway in 2006 (Hansard) was £29.9 million
Highland Council has made a bid to the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund for a further £1,327,000 to complete the revamp of the High Street, but going by the Brae costs will this sum be enough?
In the article pressure group Action for Planning Transparency (APT) said the authority’s “A96 growth corridor delivery forum” summary demonstrates how “unrealistic” its framework for development between Inverness and Nairn had become.
Clearly APT feels that Highland Council has over looked key infrastructure issues.
Once again we are in a situation whereby we have developers and Highland Council putting together ideas that are not totally shared by the current populous.
Developments yes but only if they are planned sensibly and are not riddled with holes before the first foundation has been dug!
You can read Highland Council’s report here.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
According to this news release Highland Council is still seeking contractors to complete this next stage, but the tendering cut off date was at the beginning of April this year and no further tendering notices have as yet been published.
One shopkeeper was concerned that if the contract for the second phase went to a different contractor it might introduce non-matching materials in terms of the stone being used.
Hopefully at the end of the day everything will match!
‘The new Lidl store would be a lot smaller than the current 45,000 sq ft Tesco supermarket at Inshes Retail Park, but larger than the 8000 sq ft Somerfield supermarket in Nairn’
It’s good to know that our Somerfield store is useful for something!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Bill McDonald is a first time visitor to Nairn and feels the improvements to the Brae are worthwhile, but it is let down by:
We have often aired views on the Gurn with regard the poor state of the town and what the visitor must think. Here we have a visitor’s impression and it’s not very good when it comes to our High Street.
The Gurn would like to thank Bill for his honest opinions and hopes that he will indeed return as a visitor to Nairn.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The East bound A96 is going to be extremely disrupted once Gordon Street is closed for the next phase of the streetscaping work, when traffic wanting to get to the High Street will be forced to use the Brae and will have to queue for a right turn on the A96. Businesses on the Brae suffered badly through the months of work; will business take a downturn for the whole High Street in the autumn with what will be limited access?
Still as you may see, the Brae is now greatly improved!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Highland Council awarded the contract to Hampshire firm Walcon Marine earlier this year.
Work to install the new pontoons is unlikely to start until October when it is hoped that many boats will have been craned out of the water for the winter, which will allow the installation to commence.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
The painters in question are an A Geddes dated 25.11.78 and H Geld dated 06.03.94
Monday, July 06, 2009
The Highland Council Countryside Rangers organised a conservation task at Nairn West Beach on Saturday 20th June. A press release, which was issued at the time, did not make the local press, however, the purpose of the task was to address the following:
The dunes at Nairn Beach are slowly being invaded by broom, gorse and sycamore, which if left unchecked will eventually take over the dunes. These invasive shrubs and small trees will gradually shade out the natural dune loving plants which grow here and have a knock on effect on other wildlife such as some of our rarer butterflies. The plan is to remove small areas of shrubs every few years to keep this in check. This is exactly the same kind of work the RSPB have been carrying out on the dune systems around the Minster’s pool area at Kingsteps over the last few years. Prior to any work being carried out the volunteers were asked to check very carefully for any signs of birds nesting in the shrubs, it was also considered that hand cutting would be a better option than using chainsaws to reduce disturbance to wildlife and the public.
There was no sign of nesting birds and very unlikely that skylarks would be nesting at that location
The Gurn also reported that the much more invasive Japanese Knotweed has been left to thrive.
Perhaps some priorities need to be set with regard to what plants need to be removed and the work carried out at a time of year when there are fewer chances of disturbances to wildlife?
Sunday, July 05, 2009
His photography covers a wide spectrum of subjects from rock to royalty; his latest project is Rankin live.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Nairn is third most expensive which maybe explains the interest from developers to build here; cheapest is Wick, which Nairnac is tempted to move to!
Friday, July 03, 2009
A site of pilgrimage already and with a University we would be so unstoppable. The Canterbury of the North? That is if Canterbury has a Uni?
The sea is still cool in temperature but inviting enough this lunchtime for a few brave souls to paddle and swim in.
Nairn is hard to beat on a day like this, let's hope someone is snapping a few shots for future tourist brochures and advertising.
Despite the recent rain the grass on the links has all but given up and crunches underfoot, how many more days of this weather can we take Gurnites?The sand on the beach is pitted and damp from yesterday
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Nairn has a very divided population, split between the affluent retirees and the less than affluent locals and seldom do the twain seem to meet. It’s not just retirees from the colonies who desire ‘decent well-designed houses, in gardens and with green spaces’, local working people would like them just the same, unfortunately they’re unaffordable for most.'
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
'Welcome to the state of cinema. We think you’ll like it here. You can be whoever you want to be in this special place. You can lose yourself in great glens, or lie on your belly on heather and peat and dip your lips into crystal clear mountain streams and drink ice-cold water. You might see a stag or eat fairy cakes. '
Good luck pilgrims, a warm welcome awaits you in Nairn.