Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nairn 3 Rothes 2

Rothes fans were in playful mood and dressed for the occasion. 'We had the lead for forty minutes,' they proudly chanted. Mmmm, twenty minutes maybe?
Match report here.
More pictures here.

Nickle and Dime - Opening Thursday the 5th November

Among the first customers will be the Water Lane residents who, as regular Gurnites will know, have more reason than most to welcome the former Woolies building coming back to life.

Indoor boot sale at the Community Centre proves a success

The sale winding down around 11.45 a.m.
The Nairnshire Allotment Society's indoor boot sale was a great success with a huge crowd descending on the stalls when the doors opened at 10.00. So pleased were the society that they plan to repeat the event on the last Saturday of January 2010.

Row over funding for care of the Elderly - Situation is 'immoral" says Liz

Liz and Cawdor man Richard Campbell-Howes feature in a Press and Journal article this morning. Richard is campaigning for his mother to receive all the funding she is due under the terms of a £1.2 million award the Scottish Government gave to the Highland Council. The article states:
'Nairn Provost Councillor Liz MacDonald said some families would be as much as £5,500 out of pocket, and she was aware of four families who had been hit.'
Mary Scanlon MSP is also quoted saying that the Highland Council could face legal action. The accusation then is that the Council is subsidising its budget with money designated for caring for the elderly and infirm. More details on the Press and Journal site.

Former Petrol Station to become a community shop?

Will it be the community that cleans up the King Street dereliction and not the council? You'll have to go back to this thread and read the comments.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Not just for Christmas?

Could Nickel and Dime be with us for at least 10 years? The details of the lease for the former Woollies building are now available on the Culverwell website.

Could it happen here?

An interesting article forwarded by a Gurnite:
'Blog sparks mass council walk-out - Councillors in a rural town have staged a mass resignation after becoming tired of criticism from a blogger.'
More information on the BBC site. And here's the blog that is to blame - Muck and Brass.

Indoor car boot sale - tomorrow - Community centre Sat 31st October

Open from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m.

Dutch elm disease in Viewfield

The Ward forum on Thurday night was informed that 14 trees have to be felled in Viewfield on public safety grounds as they are dead or dying with the disease. Another 12 are possibly doomed but will be reassessed in the Spring. There were calls at the meeting for more tree planting in the town to replace dead and dying trees that have to be removed.

The Picture above from Murd isn't from Viewfield but demonstrates the effects of the disease, wood doesn't only drop from the branches, the roots rot and the trees can then fall.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

When will the clock get sorted?

5 days into the new temporal regime and still the Courthouse clock thinks time is an hour ahead of what it really is. Who can accurately predict when Nairn will officially join the rest of the country in acknowledging the real time? I suppose it all adds to the excellent impression the passing motorist gets as they drive through Nairn, past all the run-down Co-op property portfolio with the wrong time visible behind all the dereliction.

Update: John Street saves Nairn's blushes. Our Queenspark correspondent reports that NNT (Normal Nairn Time) continues elsewhere in the town no matter how far behind the times the Courthouse is.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Nairnshire Partnership and Ward forum tonight

Perhaps the easiest way to go over some of the subjects discussed tonight is to let Gurnites have a look at some of the correspondence that went out with the minutes. Members of the Partnership or interested citizens sometimes submit questions in advance.

Here's the answers that community watchdog Sheena Baker got to her detail requests for information about the Sandown Lands. Copies of the two page leter, here and here.
Joe Telfer submitted a letter about seagulls and got a response, page 1 & page 2.
What use is the Highland Council's eplanning service if you don't have a PC or, like up in Glenferness, no broadband connection. Sandy did mention that help may soon be at hand however on the broadband front as the Scottish Government wants the whole country to have availabilty as soon as possible.
We remarked earlier in the week about the omission of the Nairn by-Pass in the Highland Council Draft Transport Strategy, well Liz has put her name to a letter that should put that right. Seems a bit crazy since we now have a by-pass line but the right hand and the left hand and all that.

Sandy on the warpath over Co-op’s attitude

At the Nairnshire Partnership meeting tonight Sandy Park mentioned that there had been a meeting between the Highland Council and Somerfield/Co-op last week. Sandy is very disappointed that the Co-op have stated that a further meeting planned for the 7th of December will not go ahead if Sainsbury’s get the go ahead from the Scottish Government. It is anticipated that the result of the Inquiry will be released by ministers by the end of November. Sandy has strongly hinted however that a flurry of enforcement orders could be winging their way to the Co-op if they think they can walk away from their part in the town centre redevelopment deal.
Good on ya Sandy, get intae them! It isn’t funny, the co-op trying to hold a loaded retail gun to the community’s head. The community is behind you Sandy, let them know you’ll give them some stern enforcement ( a good municipal kicking in other words) if they want to take their ball home.

More news from the Ward forum/partnership goings on later.

Amphibious sofas?

We've had big sofa problems in the River Nairn before and have mentioned the enormous threat they pose to civil society and Nairn's tourist industry. Could yet another sofa make it to the river however? Joe Telfer has moved into sofa blogging territory, see here for the latest details as yet another sofa expresses its desire to head for the sound of running water.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nearly midnight press review (or what the Nairnshire thinks of the Highland wide Development Plan)

The Nairnshire Telegraph is once again full of sensational local news, leading with details of the proposed by-pass route. Rush out and buy one now (a by-pass or a paper please yourself). There's plenty more including Liz blasting her own council again on Nairn care issues plus an editorial about the plan that was discussed last Thursday night. We can't resist quoting a few words to give you a flavour of this week's edition.
...'On the other hand the area is so large one wonders if there is any point in such a plan. If we were to gloss what we heard last Thursday we might describe the structure plan as set out as: all power to the A96 corridor; God save the impoverished North, god help the fragile (mendicant) West, preserve some industry in Easter Ross and to hell with Fort William!'

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Council's Higland wide Development Plan again

Recently we reported on Thurday's joint community councils meeting. It seems however that not only are communities in the A96 corridor concerned that they will have to take so much development in the council's plan but other areas of the Highlands are demanding to know why they face being ignored as all the eggs go in the Inverness/Nairn basket. We'd like to draw your attention to a recent analysis posted on the APT blog. Closer to home Nairnbairn has contributed his latest tome (a comment on mynairn) on why we have to be vigilant if we wish to protect our community and its future and only allow development on our terms - 'a tough mountain to climb' according to Nairnbairn.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nairn County 2 Elgin City 4

Picture will enlarge
The Scottish Cup dream is over for another year. The said dream took a serious knock in the fourth minute as Frizell knocked in the first of what was to be his hat-trick. Nairn only really seemed to come totally to life after they were 3-0 down when Willy Barron took his reward after the visitors left him too much space. Willy's goal in the 64th was followed by a fine Campbell effort as the game entered it's 70th minute. Cruelly for Nairn however, Elgin were awarded their second penalty a minute later and Crooks blasted it home. There were seven bookings in this cup tie, the Provost was there and there were massive queues to get in and even bigger queues for the pies. The sun came out towards the end but Nairn were unable to jump on the Scottish Cup Rainbow that hung over the gleaming Station Park turf as the game came to an end.
Update: the morning after the afternoon before and the memories of two harsh penalty decisions and Nairn's disallowed goal are still kicking in. No co-incidence that one of Elgin's yellow cards was for a dive?
Here's Adam Hamilton's take on the game over at
Que sera, sera, the faithful will be back up at Station Park on Saturday for more mundane matters, the visit of Rothes in the league. Nairn are six points behind Inverurire Locos in fourth place, this season could still happen for the County! Obviously there's no real chance of catching the league leaders Deveronvale who are on 28 but we can still make a serious impact this year.

Cup-tie colour to hit town

Looks like the High Street could get a bit of a spin-off today as well, the Gurn's usual unreliable sources indicate that a bus load of the Black and Whites will be heading for the Vic. Que sera, sera, what ever will be will be...

The Glenurquart Road free dinner scandal - Could Sandy solve the problem in a flash?

Yesterday we reported on the breaking news in the Courier concerning the cost of free dinners for councillors at Glenurquart Road. Well just to prove that we're not simply a bunch of gurning eijits here at Gurn HQ we have, for once, come up with a practical solution to solve this crisis for Highland Council. It might mean Sandy nipping out half-an-hour before lunch and handing over to one of the two salaried semi-convenors but we're certain it would work

Friday, October 23, 2009

Everything about Nairn County is tidy!

Why not head up to Station Park tomorrow for the Scottish Cup tie between the Wee County and Elgin City. It promises to be quite an occasion, Elgin should bring a good crowd through and the Station Park faithful will be on parade too. You might be new to the town or just someone who supports football from the armchair - so why not do something different, go up and give it a go? NCFC run four youth teams and are an important part of the community's identity and deserve your support, even just once a year lol. Let's wait and see what happens with this tie, Nairn will be underdogs but it's a funny game football (as the report in the Inverurie paper quoted below demonstrates) and a place in the next round with the big boys awaits the winners of tomorrow's clash.
'Everything about Nairn County is tidy, from the carefully tended ground and facilities to their slick, high tempo passing game. Initially it looked as if this would be enough for them to get a result but grit, determination and a more directly robust approach from the North Lodgers dictated otherwise and in the end, rightly so. '
More from this report here.

Mosstodloch and Fochabers to get a by-pass but what about Nairn? Is it even in the HC draft Transport Strategy?

The fifty year wait is over for two communities and the Scotsman has the details. The Government's Stewart Stevenson also commented:
'He said: "We are currently working with Highland Council reviewing proposals for dualling the A96 Inverness to Nairn, a Nairn bypass and a bypass on the east of Inverness linking the A9 to the A96. Work is also progressing well with Moray Council to review ways of addressing congestion in and around Elgin." '
Reviewing proposals fair enough. Back in consultation land, just when you'd thought you'd got to grips with the HwLDP, news brakes about another consultation. As usual the APT Blog is on the case and quotes the Transport Strategy:
"The A96 corridor between Inverness and Nairn is recognised as a growth corridor, with new development established in the last few years, as well as provision for substantial growth over forthcoming years, expecting to increase the population by 30,000 by 2037. Access to Inverness Airport is also along the A96 approximately nine miles east of Inverness."
Just a minute there how do the authors of the Transport Strategy know this, are they using the same figures as the HwDLP? That is an interesting point and worth commenting over at APT if you so wish. The reason we are gurning this Strategy tonight however is that a council insider told the Gurn earlier today that although this was a good report there seems to be no mention of a Nairn by-pass. Now the Gurnmeister has had a quick search of the document and has come up with nothing although Nairn gets mentioned several times. It's getting late and the tins of Pear Cider are kicking in (4.99 for four at Haddows - Kopparberg is the name) and perhaps our informant and ourselves are under a delusion - we may be wrong and we sometimes offer an imperfect service. So please fellow Gurnites, if you have the time go and browse this document and see if the by-pass gets a mention because if it doesn't, then as it is a draft we will all have to make submissions demanding so by Friday the 11th of December.

Time for Sandy to take a piece to work?

'MORE than £350 of public money is being spent every working day on providing free food and drink for councillors and staff attending Highland Council meetings.' More on the Courier site:
The Gurn can reveal that Provost Liz believes it is time for councillors to pay their way. So when it comes to finding a spot at the mid-day trough it's time to get your wallets out folks!

Chuggers back on the street

They're back on the street, those annoying bouncy folk that want to get your bank details for charity. One of the Gurnmeister's neighbours complained of one of them standing in front of her as she exited a shop. Should they be banned?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Joint communty council meeting on Highland Council plan well attended.

It looked like almost 100 people were sitting in the main hall of the community centre this evening as the first historic joint meeting of the town's three community councils got under way. There were presentations from Malcolm MacLeod of Highland Council and John Hart of the NRCG and Iain Fairweather of and then much comment from the floor, most of it critical of aspects of the Highland Wide Local Development Plan. More details below.
Jimmy Ferguson greets Danny Alexander MP
Some of the Community councillors on the top table.

Sitting on the the top table representing the community councils were Mike Smerdon, Dr Alisdair Nobel, Graham Vine, Seonaid Armstrong, Jimmy Ferguson, Bill Murdoch, Margeret MacIntosh, John Dolan and mc Rosemary Machen-Young.

Before the plan was discussed there was a quick presentation by Louise Clark that outlined the ongoing consultation process on Community Council Boundaries. It is an ongoing process that will last 16 months, if you have any views on how you see the future of community councils (and plenty of folk have) in Nairn then the e-mail address for submissions is

There then began a presentation by Malcolm MacLeod of the Planning department. He outlined out this was a pilot project that the Highland Council had been volunteered to do by the Government, the idea was to replace the out of date local plan with something that was not a plan just by planners but something integrated with other agencies in an effort to come up with an integrated result. He insisted that this was just a first step and they hadn’t made up their mind on anything and they wanted to get all ideas on the table.
There will be a drop-in session in the courthouse on Saturday between 10-18.00 if you want to discuss the plan with officials.
Malcolm told the meeting how he had had a meeting the previous evening with the Nairn Residents Concern Group and how he had found it an incredibly useful exercise He then went on to show various information and maps and diagrams for the plan, you can see them all for yourself here, you want page 21 for the diagram that shows the proposals for Nairn. Basically Malcolm has set out the Highland Council’s stall and it is our responsibility to tell them what we like and what we don’t. It really is up to us, we have no reason not to take Malcolm at his word when he tells us that this is a genuine consultation process, we have to let the Council know what is our preferred strategy for the future development of Nairn if we are unhappy with what is now being presented to us by Highland Council.

John Hart then spoke for the NRCG. A large element in his presentation was a savage critique of the proposed 80% population increase in the Nairn area. Where would these people come from? Other parts of the Highlands? Inverness? John talked about the infrastructure and asked if this was a cart before the horse approach with no planning provision or timescale for a bypass for instance. He said that the local sewerage system was working over capacity and under stress. He outlined fears for the environment with such a rapid population rise and that there was no point in building houses without providing sustainable employment. Was this a ‘concrete coast scenario’? John sat down to applause.

Then it was Iain Fairweather’s turn to once again fight the corner for the important tourist industry in Nairn. Yes it was important to have a degree of development but not developer led, it all had to be agreed and negotiate with the community. He complained that tourism was barely mentioned in the council report. Left to its own devices it could quickly become an urban sprawl and what type of development would there be for the town centre? What steps would be taken to prevent Nairn becoming a dormitory town?
Applause too for Iain Fairweather and after that most participants were applauded too for their interventions.

Margaret MacIntosh started off by demanding to know if there was pressure from the Scottish Government or Westminster to increase the population in this area. Malcolm replied that they had been asked to look at the high migration scenario. Margaret stated that to increase the population to 500,000 in the Highlands and that the river Nairn had been an open sewer this summer, she wanted to know why there was no rail link to Dalcross and thought it foolish to build on agricultural land given the dangers to the country’s food supply in the future.

John Fyfe asked if the pressure was mainly from developers. He thought that the emphasis should be in protecting the environment and way of life in Nairn. .
By now Malcolm MacLeod was building up a concise picture of the meeting’s feelings. ‘ Issues will be around the scale of development, that’s an important message I’m taking back,’ he said.

Provost Liz mentioned the care of the elderly, the pressing need for allotments and the local transport strategy. Blogger Brian Turner spoke of the limited amenities in the town and the need for more options for small businesses to expand. He wanted to see some of the derelict buildings in the town centre used for this.

The Nairnshire Farming Society flagged up the future for the showfield and said that although they had moved out of the town they would like to see the field kept as a green field site and wondered if there was a way for the Common Good Fund to get involved here, otherwise they might one day have to consider commercial options for the field.

Members of the audience returned to the by-pass subject and there was criticism of the view that you would only get a by-pass if there was development proposed. Why can’t we simply just have a by-pass? Worries were expressed that Nairn was losing its identity. Why was a district shopping centre proposed on the field opposite Broadley Garden centre, wasn’t that to close to the High Street?

Malcolm MacLeod admitted that much of the development simply couldn’t happen without a by-pass, for example Brian Turner pointed out the Cawdor Road is already coming under increased pressure from traffic, including gridlock in the afternoons as the schools empty. More housing in this direction would simply worsen the traffic situation.

Doctor Noble mentioned that Nairn’s other big industry was retirement and to bring a vast number of elderly people would put even more stress on the health provision structures – provision that was already under great pressure. To build new houses and bring people in doesn’t always create wealth.

Sorry if I didn’t mention everyone who contributed and I hope I conveyed everyone’s opinions with a reasonable degree of accuracy. It is up to you now Gurnites, if you haven’t made your submission to the plan then you have until the 9th of September to do so.

Update: articles also on the APT blog (may become a show stopper) and myNairn. Nothing on the Council's own blog yet though.

Asbestos in Highland Schools

Remember the controversy recently when Nairn Academy had to be shut following an asbestos square. In this week's Highland News Donald Wilson takes a look at the current situation across the Highlands.

'HIGHLAND Council doesn't know where asbestos is lurking in 123 of its schools.
And this week the local authority refused to reveal schools involved, despite repeated requests from the Highland News.
The shock figure is revealed in documents being issued by the council to firms for "asbestos management" in 197 schools across the region and has worried politicians and a health campaigner.'
More from the article here and the paper also devotes its leader column to the issue.

Nairn population to grow by 80% by 2031 in Highland Council plan!

Research by the Nairn Residents Concern Group shows that the Highland wide development plan would allow the town's population to rise by a massive 80%, an increase in such a short period of time that most of us would still be around to see it. These projections have to be questioned and changed.
Does that potential population growth worry you? Would you like to live in a town twice as big as Nairn is at present in twenty years time or sooner? Development is necessary yes, but what about other parts of the Highlands, shouldn't they be getting their fair share? Why should Nairn and the corridor between here and Inverness be singled out for so much development?
Concerned? Will you be going to the meeting tonight?
It's time to get involved and have your say, this time it will be no good complaining afterwards. Let the Highland Council planners know your views.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New swan video

Thanks to the Doc for spotting this Utube video starring the Nairn swans.

Family walk against windmills

Well done Karina, Marc, Scott and Peter!
'Nairn Academy pupils Marc Woods, 15, and his brother, Peter, 12, were joined on their journey by their mother, Katrina, in a walk which took them from their front door in George Street, Nairn, to Lochindorb, near Grantown.'

More on the Press and Journal site. And more details on the Save our Dava campaign here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gaelic song at Brodie Castle this Sunday

Information from Bill, he's blogged about Fiona MacKenzie's forthcoming appearance this weekend at Brodie and also Fiona's new course for Gaelic Learners on Twitter. More here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nairn County 2 Formartine 3

Like the plot from a disaster movie. Well not really all down to two individual errors including a missed penalty. Really sad to see these 3 points slip us by, we deserve to be higher up the league.
Anyway this game has inspired the Gurn to start a new weekly feature.
The visiting manager's 'Wee Swearie' league This week's award is 9 out of 10 to Formartine Utd.
It's a man's game yes but in this new millennium women and children can be seen at Station Park so please tone it down folks.
The 'Wee Swearie' league points award will be decided every Sunday after a home game by an expert panel of Nairn County Fans.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rinn Coisir Ghàidhlig Inbhir Narann a' chùis aig a' Mhòid

Success for Nairn Gaelic Choir at the Mod
Meall ur naidheachd a chàirdean,

Here's some info from the Mod web site

Comp No: A302
Comp Title: Choral Area
Description: Margrat Duncan Trophy
Comp Date: Friday, October 16 2009
1st - Nairn Gaelic Choir The Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy

The Harris Tweed Authority Trophy & £100 (ACG)

Heading home

Refelctive jackets and hard hats compulsory this year

Pictures will enlarge.

Why don't horse owners have to bag it and bin it too?

A jobbie is a jobbie really isn't it? Just because you own a horse should you get away with it?

Woolies no more

Rickshaw trips along the prom?

Doc Grigor has suggested to a potential rickshaw operator in Inverness that they branch out and offer a service in Nairn, a town that is perhaps more suited to Rickshaws than Inverness? The Doc came across the Rickshaw application whilst browsing the Highland Council webcasts of planning meetings. Sounds a really cool idea, you'd have to watch what you wear though Doc, this from one of the council's research documents:
'Edinburgh City Council confirmed that only one incident/accident has been reported to them regarding cycles rickshaws and related to an incident where a woman was seriously injured when her scarf became entangled in the wheels of the rickshaw.'
What do Gurnites think, would you take a rickshaw along the prom, as long as no one proposes a 24 hour rickshaw service from Douglas Street it sounds a great idea.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those clouds

Another image of the sunset on the evening of 25th september from Charlie Black. Another picture from Charlie on Gurn Flickr.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The brae by twilight

Picture will enlarge.

An Invitation to all residents of Nairnshire

The Gurn has received a copy of the invitation and understands that it has also been sent to Nairn Councillors, Danny Alexander MP, Fergus Ewing MSP and local press and emailed to the other Highland MSPs. Here it is Gurnites, see you there?

The Future of Nairnshire is about to be Decided

The 3 Nairn Community Councils of River, Suburban and West invite all Nairnshire Residents to a Public Meeting to consider the implications and respond to the Consultation on the Highland Wide Development Plan and Community Councils Boundary Review.

This planning process is of vital importance as it will provide a Planners and Developers guidebook for the next 30 Years, whether you agree with some, all, or none of it; you have only until Monday the 9th November to register your formal input to the Consultation Process.
The Highland Council and the Nairn Concerned Residents Group have specifically been invited to give presentations.

Comments and questions are of course invited from all Nairnshire Residents and Business operators interested in the future development of Nairn

7.30 Pm Thursday 22nd October
Nairn Community Centre Main Hall

The Nairn Community Councillors do hope that you may be able to join us.

Gaelic witnesses at Nairn 1877

It really is astonishing the amount of material that is available out there on the net. Recently Gurn researchers came across an article stored on the National Library of New Zealand's 'Papers past' resource. More evidence of how Gaelic was once heard a lot more in Nairn in daily life, this article is from 1877.

Scarcely a week passes Says the ( 'Nairnshire Telegraph') without some witnesses before the Nairn Sheriff Court refusing to give evidence in English, alleging that they can only speak Gaelic. Recently an amusing case of this kind occurred. A woman on being put into the witness-box informed the bar-officer that she had no English — not a word.. The Sheriff — Sit down, my good woman. The Bar-Officer— " Gin sui," (sit down.) The Sheriff— Hasn't she got English ? The Bar-Officer— She says not, my lord. The Sheriff -r- Don't you understand any English at all ? Witness— Na, na. The Sheriff — I think you can now. Who served this woman with the summons ? Sergeant Fraser— l did, my lord. The Sheriff-— Did you speak to her in English ? Sergeant Eraser — I did, and she can speak very good English. The witness here protested-that this was not the case. The Sheriff — After what the officer has stated, I believe you can speak and understand English quite well. Now, if you persist in refusing fco speak English I will have to lead proof that you can speak it, and then I will have to send you to prison, as I had to do to a witness a short time ago who told the same story as you are doing. If you even give us broken English that will do. Witness — I can speak broad Scotch. (Laughter.) The Sheriff—Broad Scotch ! That will do. It is broad Scotch wr all sp eak here. When we attempt to speak fine English we only make fools of ourselves. (Laughter.) Witness then gave evidence in excellent English. Being°questioned whether she had heard a man ask another to fight, she answered that he invited him to fight. The Sheriff — Invited him to fight ! That is not only capital English, but an excellent law term. When you come back again never say, my good woman, that you don't speak English !
'Gin sui', spelt 'dèan suidhe' today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Douglas Street residents win Community Council backing against taxi office plans

A letter signed by 20 folk from Douglas street was presented to the River Community Council earlier this evening in a successful effort to win support against what the possibility of a 24 hour taxi service being established in their access only street. They do not wish anything other than a 9-5 business to be sited in the newly revamped building that was the former office of Frank Milne fuel supplies.
Joe Telfer won the unanimous backing of the community councillors as he outlined how the narrow road without footpaths would be affected by customers coming from licensed premises and seeking taxis in the early hours of the morning.
Here's a copy of a letter sent by Douglas Street protesters to the planning department.

'Chip and Professional' - It pays to advertise?

Delivered today in the Fishertown. Is the 'Chip and Professional' a deliberate subliminal technique to draw attention? Our Fishertown gurnite suggests it's a less than professional leaflet, is it just a ploy however to get people talking about their services?

Nightclub proposal for Social Club fails - Inverness Provost Jimmy Gray moved for the motion however!

In a move that will not only be welcomed by Church Street residents but by many others that live in the town centre the controversial proposal for a night club in the old Wee County Social Club fell at the Inverness and Nairn area planning committee this afternoon. It is indeed interesting and significant that Jimmy Gray tried so hard to poke is nose into Nairn affairs. Mr Gray we can decide for ourselves what we want or don't want in Nairn! We've got a Provost ourselves stick to big city affairs thank you!
We have a report from a Church Street resident and a suggestion:
'For info the nightclub proposal was dismissed at the committee today by 7 votes to 4.
Councillors Marsden and Fraser spoke up for local residents, pointing out how disruptive the club would be. Councillors Park and Macdonald seemed to be in favour but were looking to reduce the opening hours from 3am to 1am and headcount from 350 to 150.

Interestingly the unsuccessful proposal to approve planning was moved by Inverness provost Jimmy Gray who said there had been only a small number of objections and Merkinch councillor Donnie Kerr backed him saying Inverness has lots of nightclubs and they aren't a problem.
The decision is a good result for our great wee residential community and councillors Marsden and Fraser are to be thanked for their common sense.

Will the applicant try again? Here's a brave idea Nairnites: why don't we turn the building back into a cinema? It used to be the Playhouse in the 60s. Nairnites love their films, if Tilda's two festivals are anything to go by...
Jason Rose
Church Street'

'Speak to me'

One of the sounds of Nairn summertime is immortalised on a flickr video.

Construction News doesn't know where we are

Quite a lot of institutions don't know where we are maybe the Nairnshire Freedom Movement should do something about it? Morayshire, Inverness-Shire, Inverness, Moray and a few others end up on various pieces of mail coming to Gurn headquarters but one would expect the construction industry newspaper to know where we are? Maybe not. Here's how they picked up on the latest Tilda news:

'Donald Trump’s plans to build a £1 billion luxury golf resort in Aberdeenshire have met with hostility from a famous face - Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.
Ms Swinton, who owns a property in Nairn, in the neighbouring county of Moray, has joined a 14,000-strong petition to back four residents who face eviction if the golf complex goes ahead.
More from Construction News here. Anyway well done Tilda, these days whenever you get a mention so does Nairn.

Pictures from Hamish, Iright and Jingle Bangle

Pictures in from three Gurnites and now posted on the Gurn on Sunday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Social club application decision will be live on the web

Will Nairn County's former social club become a night club? There are eleven objections from nearby residents so a difficult decision looms for Nairn's councillors. According to the Council's website this committee meeting will be broadcast live. Here seems to be the page where it may appear. We've just tried to access the archived webcasts with no success, probably more to do with this clapped out Internet Exploder 7 browser than anything else, might try another browser later.

Canoeing in for fish and chips

...and some shopping. Bens by boat 2009.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cawdor Tavern gets reviewed

AA Gill in the Sunday Times. A quick tip, start the read half-way down from
'All of which has precious little to do with the Cawdor Tavern, except that I went there on a Sunday, for lunch. I have a middle-aged and middle-class prejudice about catered Sunday lunches. I think it’s the thin end of a wedge that leads to a year’s free interest on a three-piece leather suite, baseball caps worn in the house and a pitbull in the microwave....'

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Forres Mechanics 1 Nairn County 2

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Well done the Nairn punter who had £40 on Nairn to win at 15-8. Was it the 88th or the 89th minute that that wee bet came home?
Read Kenny MacLeod's match report here and see more pictures on the Gurn flickr file.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Future of Nairn - perhaps the most important public meeting in Nairn so far this millennium?

Please note newer posts below this article
Thursday 22nd October
7.30 p.m. Community Centre
Main Hall
'The town's three community councils are to hold a joint meeting, in an advert in the Nairnshire Telegraph they state:

'The future of Nairn for the next 30 years is about to be decided. The three Community Councils of River, Suburban and West invite all Nairnshire residents to a public meeting to consider the implications of the Highland Wide Development Pland and the Community Boundary Councils review. (followed by refreshments).'
It is significant that all Nairnshire residents are invited and it is excellent to see the three councils acting together, it bodes well for a future amalgamation. Meanwhile if you have been gurning about planning issues in the past then now is the time to get involved and get along to that meeting. Tell your friends and neighbours too. Together we can make a difference and ensure Nairn has the kind of future that its residents want and not one that others desire for us.
Meanwhile students of A96 over development issues may want to once again pop along to the APT blog and see the results of this group's latest research into how we got where we are now.
Please note this post will stay the top issue until after the meeting. New posts below from time to time.

Wrong place for night club

Hi Gurn,

It might interest you and your readers that the proposal for a 350 person nightclub in the old Nairn County Social Club in Church Street is recommended for approval at Tuesday's Highland Council planning committee meeting in Inverness.

I only discovered this when I bumped into a photographer from the P&J in Church Street this morning.

The papers are available on the council website.

I'm sure Nairn would love a nightspot but Church Street is precisely the wrong place.

Jason Rose.
Not the ideal place is it Jason? It will be interesting to see if our four councillors back the residents of Church Street that oppose this application. In an ideal world where people were quieter on their way home and law and order issues could be guaranteed then it might have been a good idea. No matter how well sound-proofed the interior is the problem is what noise might the clientele make on their way home?

Oor Tilda sets aboot Trump

Tilda's getting intae him. Maybe she'll soon be getting involved in Nairn Planning Matters?
Here's the relevant part of the story as the Gurn received it from a Tripping up Trump press release:
'Oscar winner Tilda Swinton and hundreds more join the opposition to Compulsory Purchase Orders Following Aberdeenshire Council's October 1st meeting, where Tripping Up Trump delivered a petition of over 15,000 signatures - the majority from Aberdeenshire - calling for local families to be protected from Donald Trump's planned housing and golf development for the elite, hundreds more people have now registered their opposition, including the North East's Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton, also a descendant of Robert the Bruce.
Tilda said, 'Surely this kind of industrial bullying has been discredited enough. I trust the Aberdeenshire Council to know its Highland history and to resist giving in to this attempt at a 21st century Clearance'.

Sneachd air na beantainn

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New Police Station takes shape

Picture will enlarge. Good job the new police station got the go ahead before the credit crunch.

Regal persepective

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Are we a Gullible community?

Jingle Bangle is sufficiently inspired by the possible Regal volunteer makeover to submit a photograph and some comment:

'A newly formed local group called the GULLIBALLS, spotted earlier today getting in a spot of ball handling, prior to their forthcoming fixture to paintball the Regal.'

Autumn snack

Another month of the season left for Parkdean

The season doesn't wind down quite so fast at Parkdean Lochloy, the holiday camp will be shutting on the 6th of November.

Midweek press review

The Nairnshire is full of some old chesnuts this week. An analysis of the latest situation with the co-op. 'Co-op' commits to Nairn...But?' is the banner headline. There's no secret about the 'but', quite a few folk feel they are hedging their bets to see which way the Scottish Government falls with the Sainsburys Public Inquiry result. The result should be due any day soon? Get hold of the Nairnshire to see the latest twists and turns, could Rosemary Machen-Young soon be climbing the exterior of the Regal with a pot of paint in one hand?
Concerns too over care of the elderly, Community Council boundaries and a double-barrelled broadside against the 'Incomprehensible 'Main Issues Report' and the Highland wide Local Development Plan. More interesting comment about that on the Nairn Matters blog. Lots more including an Obituary for Donald (Dan) Morrison.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Coddy says...

A comment received elsewhere but worthy of the Gurn front page late Tuesday night edition:

'Great t' see such a fine place fir Nernites t' hov a right gurn, righ' eenuf! Fir me an' other baarn n breed, exiled Nernites, we miss our wee toony. Y' only miss somethin whenit's gone - or so my bare scalp keeps tellin' may!My heart's on the shorline o the firth, jist beyond the Showes, like....and still waftin' a Yak's vinegar-injected poke o' chips, wrapped in a P an' J!'

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Just how much should Highland League referees have to put up with?

Deveronvale managment observe the game.
Rumour has it that Les Fridge is currently suspended from the dugout for 6 weeks after being reported by the referee following the match at Keith. If that is the case and the law is being zealously interpreted to the letter in the Highland league presumably Saturday's match officials (who had a good game incidently) will report the Deveronvale management team for their vociferous and extremely animated comments at the end of the game at Station Park. The Gurn has spoken to supporters who saw Nairn's Mike MacKintosh position himself between the Deveronvale management and the officials in an effort to calm things down as everyone headed for the tunnel. Will the officials consider the Deveronvale behaviour worthy of a report to the SFA? Management teams should set a standard for players and fans to follow and if they have serious points to raise with officials they should do it in the privacy of the dressing rooms and not make a spectacle of themselves on the field.
Update: this in from a regular at Station Park:
'It will be interesting to see if a report does go in about the conduct of the 'Vale officials. I have to say I left directly after the final whistle and didn't witness this confrontation. But heaven only knows what they had to complain about. I read Vale co-manager Scott Anderson's comments in today's P&J where he says: "I don't think we deserved to come away with just a point." he must have been at a different match from the rest of us because Nairn were well worth the draw and possibly even a win.
Nairn were much better in the second half and fought back well from 3-1 down. The only question on everyone's mind must be is why our top scorer Steve Mackay played most of this game at left back! He proved what damage he can do with the equaliser. Well done to the young lad Gillespie too. What a great second goal. '
The Vale fans seemed to go away with a similar attitude to the manager, towards the end one of them shouted: 'Come on it's only Nairn we're playing.' That's a dangerous attitude to come to Nairn with. Yes we can be accused of being inconsistent but on the day Nairn can give anyone a game.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Nairn 3 Deveronvale 3

(picture will enlarge) A pulsating 90 minutes up at the hallowed Station Park today, the faithfull fully entertained with the 3-3 draw. Some Vale fans were not amused and disappointed that the league leaders only came away with one point. They just don't know what the Wee County are capable of on a good day.
Pictures now available here on Gurn flickr
Match report now available here.

Nickel and Dime now recruiting staff in Nairn

It really would be nice to see some friendly faces from the former Woolies working in there, anyway good to see jobs coming to Nairn High Street. Let's hope this new venture brings a bit of life back into this part of the town.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sainsbury's report now with minsiters - oops sorry about that, we mean ministers

We're all minced with that startling vid from that Forres loon. (see post below)
The Inverness Courier states that the public inquiry reporter Janet McNair has handed her recommendations to ministers earlier this week.
No doubt we'll soon know if we'll be able to have the sort of retail food choice that many towns smaller than Nairn take for granted. Here's hoping for the right decision.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Nae mince in Moray

Evidence that the language that is spoken the other side of Auldearn is still alive and kicking. As the description on the facebook group page Wir Ain Leid so succintly explains:

'The desperate plight of a Moray man who, unable to locate a sufficient quantity of minced beef for his evening meal, finally loses the plot and takes vengeance with his frenzied rap. Lyrics: Six in the ...'


Respite care – you have to go to Inverness to get it now! Liz speaks out.

The Gurn has learned that another part of the fabric that is our community has been removed from us. Respite care provision will not be available in the town. If members of your family or friends go into respite care you will now have to go to Inverness if you want to visit them. There can be no excuse, this is a cruel move and an attack on community. A town the size of Nairn should be able to deal with this in its own right. This move is anathema to the spirit of the caring community that is Nairn.

Also it isn’t as if there are a lack of facilities to provide it here. Provost Liz told the Gurn:

‘When Corsee closed I lobbied hard to get a commitment for respite provision in Nairn and it was based at St Olaf, 2 weeks ago this was withdrawn and clients from Nairn will now have to go to Inverness for respite. Families have told me and it's clear this means when they are going away and an older person goes into respite it'll be far more difficult for friends to visit.

This happened because of the block tender contract for respite, which was about providing care closer to home so clients wouldn't have to travel so far for the service - doesn't apply to Nairn obviously.

As to the front page of the Nairnshire 117,000 additional hours of home care?! - so far no additional extra hours of care have been provided and all that has happened is In-house (Council) home care clients are being transferred to the private sector - no new clients or extra hours as far as I can see. The £1million a year extra for home care was agreed when SNP was in administration and was intended to be used to support and extend the council home care service.’

It doesn’t look good, more proof that everything in Nairn is being uprooted and taken to Inverness. If we are now considered part of Inverness why can't Highland Council at least have the decency to admit it? As the credit crunch bites into council funds and more cuts fall what else will be taken away from us? Maybe it really is time to start the Nairnshire Independence Party?

A picture from Hamish

Hamish sends us a picture from his collection. He reports to the Gurn that he is enjoying the lingering Indian summer in Wales. Here we still have reasonably good weather Hamish, but colder at night and the moisture from the heavy morning dew lingers almost all day on the lawns now. Leaves are falling but not in great numbers, yesterday the river rose a little and did look a bit like leaf soup however. The year moves on.