Friday, June 29, 2012

Swan dad sets aboot the white ducks

The tranquillity of the riverside jobbie walks was broken late this evening (Friday) as swan dad set aboot the three white ducks that have recently arrived on the river. He must think they are swans just like him or maybe he is just making an excuse for a bit of time off from family life and amusing himself with a bit of bullying. For around twenty minutes he pursued the ducks relentlessly. 
It must be pretty stressful trying to lead a duck's life with a huge beast like that coming along to give you a hard time just as you are settling down for a snooze. Maybe the three white ducks should be re-homed to a battered ducks sanctuary.

Nairn Riverside “jobbie walks” – 3 in a row as more turds flow onto footways!

This morning Scottish Water were on site and looked set to start cleaning up the residue left in the overnight Maggot Jobbie Loch, not before several people had walked through the sewage sludge however, this image taken around 09.45. Ironically, nearby a Fishertown was dutily picking up his pet's poo and made comment on  his bagged item and  Scottish Water's  sewage sludge warming up in the morning sun. 

And this afternoon almost one hour after a short downpour the Jobbie Loch was back and still being fed by the sewer. The third pollution incident this week. Should the Environmental Health authorities put up signs to say this area is contaminated with sewage?

Enough is enough, this part of tourist town Nairn is starting to look like an open sewer in a third world shanty town. Time for the authorities to come up with a permanent fix. If you are reading about these discharges for the first time here are images and comment on previous incidents in the last seven days.  

And the historical perspective - this is an ongoing problem as this video from July 2008 proves.

UPDATE: Thanks to Naomi there is now reaction from Scottish Water on twitter.

UPDATE: earlier this evening (Friday) the Gurn spoke to a source close to River Community Council. Our source told us that there were a total of nine Scottish Water employees down by today, inspecting the manholes and pipes and working out all the permutations and cleaning up the mess. Unfortuneately later on we had pollution incident 3. Our source went on to tell us that an informal meeting is planned between a Scottish Water representitive and CC members and other interested parties in the latter half of next week. Again this evening, this observer had a call from Scottish Water in relation to alerting them to the 2nd pollution incident. It seems a larger vehicle will be down by tomorrow in an attempt to see if there are any blockages that can be cleared. In the meantime mind your step if out on the Maggot side of the sewage bridge!

Update: another wee flashback to 2008, helpful perhaps for all those showing an interest in this matter.

Friday Morning in Nairn

Demand continues for High Street business premises as the former bookies finds a new life and the auld kirk demolition starts to get serious. Meanwhile a small amount of sunshine breaks through - will it last?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sewage Bridge - Manholes flow again - severe pollution of footpaths on both sides of the river!

The rain in Nairn tonight was persistent for a while but not as heavy or as extreme as it can be. Once again the (sealed) manhole covers on the Merryton/Sewage bridge gave up the ghost as thousands of gallons of water contaminated with sewage ran onto the pavements.

A question for Scottish Water.
Has this bridge become the de facto storm drain for the greater part of Nairn's sewage system?

Tonight a heavy stink of jobbies hangs over the entire area and one of the manhole covers is a dangerous obstacle on the path. Scottish Water what are you going to do to rectify this problem?

A question for Highland Council (Environmental Health Department).
What are the risks to human health from these continuing spillages?

Scottish Water have been alerted. We would urge all gurnites to report similar incidents of pollution to Scottish Water via this webpage. 

Some pictures: tomorrow hundreds of Nairnites, some with their children and pets will walk through these areas unaware of the extent of the sewage contamination.

Cuts are back - you decide once again?

The Highland News reports: "THE public is set to be asked again by Highland Council what services it should cut in a bid to make future savings of almost £30 million.
The local authority is poised to carry out another major consultation seeking the views of residents on a range of possible cash-saving measures as it sets out to save £29.7 million from next year up until 2015."

What could we possibly cut in Nairn? Street cleaning? Housing? Refuse collecting? Grass cutting? Social work? Education? Roads maintenance? There's more pain for citizens to share yet and once again the ball is being placed out our feet in the form of consultation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sewage/Merryton bridge discharges – update

Liz has told the Gurn that a representative of Scottish Water is willing to come and talk to any interested individual or community council concerning the recent discharge of raw sewage onto the riverside pavements at the Sewage/Merryton Bridge. If you haven't seen the pictures and video of this incident yet then click here. Liz also says a long term solution is required and will need further investment from Scottish Water to deal properly with this issue.

Scottish Water have had a team out cleaning up the area and admit that although the manhole covers were at one time sealed one of them had actually buckled with the force of the water and may need replacing, the other manhole was not sealed because it had broken free and blown upwards during another incident of heavy and persistent rain. Scottish Water told Liz: “The guys will be back on site on Friday of this week to check the pipes, manholes and outfall.  Our Regulation team have been in contact with SEPA and given them an update on the situation.”

Obviously a long term solution is needed but also a short term one to prevent anyone being injured by manhole covers flying upwards onto this popular footway.

Update: River CC on the case too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Armed Forces Week - Nairn 2012

Thanks to Murray MacRae for these pictures of the ceremony on the High Street today and the image of Angela and Gordon Veitch being presented with a cheque for £546 for the Chernobyl Children's fund on the behalf of the Royal British Legion Nairn Branch

Nairn from above

Thanks to two of our regular readers tonight who forwarded this link that takes you to a fascinating series of pictures of Nairn taken from the air in the twenties and thirties.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Showstopperz - Nairn Community Centre - Saturday 30th June

This information from one of our regular readers 

Showstopperz proudly presents a blockbuster programme of songs that were featured in movies from the 80's to present day. There will be a dynamic mix of genres featured in this concert, set to both song and dance. Let us take you on an emotional journey through some of the greatest cinematic music ever written.

Some of the songs featured in the show include:

Ashers old and new

Lots of interesting images can be found on the Ashers Bakery facebook pages. Including one of their new shop in Grantown plus a trip down memory lane for an image of their Bridge Street bakery in 2000.

Ironing going out of fashion?

Thanks to the regular reader who sent this image of the bin area at a well known hotel in the West End area of Nairn.

Nairn Riverside - Turds 'r Us - Jobbies still flow on the pavements after heavy rainfall despite improvements!

Looks like the recent improvement works to the sewage pipe along the bottom of Brocher's Brae have had no effect on a persistent problem at the Merryton/Sewage bridge. Pictures, video and commentary available on the swan blogger's pages.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Profitable Bike Shop In Vibrant Highland Seaside Town For Sale"

One of our regular readers sent us the link, more details on

UPDATE: Breaking News: David Brownless informs the Gurn that his business is sold subject to contract.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Duck's Life

Looks like a couple of strangers are in town. Thanks to Jingle Bangles for the picture.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nairnshire Challenge 2012

The Nairnshire Challenge was held today under dull and damp conditions. First home was Donnie  MacDonald of Team Cobra in a very good time of 2Hrs 13.41, 2nd Ross Nixon, also of Team Cobra in 2hrs 19.06 and 3rd was Harley  Davidson (Yes its real) in 2Hrs 20.36.The first lady in was Rhona Shepherd, 2nd Lorna Bemmie and 3rd Julie Wilson. I'm sorry I did not get their times. Perhaps another reader can supply them.

Dave Shillabeer

Also some images by Roy Largue - Big thanks to Dave and Roy from the Gurn team

UPDATE: Picture of Donnie MacDonald Crossing the line here (image from Murray MacRae)
Official Rotary Club pictures here

Nairn Allotment Society - Official opening of Sandown 2 - Pictures

Pictures from last week's opening ceremony at Sandown

Individual images here

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Notes from the West CC – Rosemary missing Graham

At the West CC meeting last week, the chair, Rosemary young expressed her regret that Graham Vine had not been re-elected in November 2011. Rosemary was giving her annual AGM address, she said:
“I sadly miss Graham Vine and as he so stoically pointed out to me at the time, “It was democracy at its best”.  
She continued: "It was really quite good to see the residents of Nairn turning out and voting because we weren’t elected so to speak originally - so we definitely are elected this time.”
Rosemary outlined her council’s wish for a single CC but expressed that it was unlikely to happen now, she said: “…but we are very pleased that we are working strongly with the other CCs. I think this is healthy working together.”
The chair then outlined some of the issues that the group are working on: “We’re still working very hard on issues such as the town centre, traffic flow, pavements, traffic lights, litter and seagulls – we have challenges ahead obviously.”

Later the watchdogs discussed a multitude of traffic issues, including the West End rat run. Top tier boys Colin MacAulay and Michael Green were present and both of them thought that a 20 limit in the rat run zone would be a good interim measure with Colin wishing to see the 20 m.p.h. limit elsewhere in Nairn too. River’s Tommy Hogg was also present and he responded to Cllr Graham Kerr (very prominent in traffic matters) when he said they should get feedback from other areas. Tommy said: “We’ve actually had the 20 m.p.h limit in the Fishertown for the last ten years and nobody takes any heed of it whatsoever!”

There was much more debate on traffic matters and, as the Westies welcome all comers, their meetings remain a good venue for anyone in the town with concerns to flag them up in front of Highland Councillors and the press who are usually in attendance. Gurnites will also be welcomed with such points at West and River too but the Westies really know how to talk traffic.

On this particular night Graham Vine was not to be missed and he told the meeting: “I would like to see somebody do an experiment where we put shrouds on every traffic light in Nairn and see if the traffic gets better or worse because I will lay money it gets better without the lights.”

Colin MacAulay pointed out that he and Liz would like to see the Community Centre site come off the market sooner rather than later. There are those that would like to see a permanent car park on the site, a change of policy by Highland Council would be most welcome here. The rush to sell the site is preventing the community coming up with its own long-term solution for this important town centre area. Good luck to Liz and Colin in their efforts to get the new administration in Glenurquhart Road to listen to Nairn on this one.

 Well done Rosemary and the Westies for once again providing a dynamic public arena for debate.  

RNLI Stall - 16th June

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Alan and Carol at the Seaman's Hall Saturday 16th June 2012

A rare occasion for the Fishertown as Alan Watts and Carol Barron hold their wedding reception in the Seaman's Hall. The hall was a popular venue for such events in the not too distant past. 

Individual pictures here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Free e-books from your local digital library

One of our regular readers points us in the direction of a Highland Council page about free e-books from the Highland Libraries Service. More information here

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Inbhir Narann a Deas – South Nairn – Nurn Sud – Consultation (again!)

The Allenby proposal contestants were the latest to inflict planning consultation shell-shock on Rosemary Young and her band of fellow councillors last night as the Westies and a sprinkling of reps from the other two CCs plus members of the public filed into the stifling atmosphere of the music (sauna?) room at the Community Centre.

If the opportunity were there to give a sort of “Strictly Planning Consultation” mark to the contestants at the end of the proceedings then this observer would be torn between giving a seven or an eight. They were a pretty smart crew and knew their stuff. Yes, the Major’s hired hands did him proud and presented a lower density plan compared to the Scotia one and there were lots of trees on the maps too and plenty of allotments in the top left corner. Mouth-watering stuff for this observer – trees and plots – more please, from all of the contestants! Seriously, if something has to happen then perhaps it should be this, the trouble was as planning matters were debated once the contestants had left then there was nobody in the room willing to put their hand up to say there should be development on this part of Inbhir Narann a deas.

There was a lot of detail, including the desire to put in a link road between Balblair Road and the Cawdor Road. Revealingly the Major’s planning platoon was dismissive of the recent “improvements” under the railway bridge and consider traffic lights as the only solution there. Also the spat between this project and the rival Scotia bid continues with peace and love now seemingly even further away. This is what the main PowerPoint presentation mannie had to say in response to a point by Alistair Noble about public mistrust in all things planning:

“To be quite candid with you, we have been encouraging Highland Council to sit down with all the parties and have one decent roll the sleeves up workshop about how to design this phase – it’s not happening and tomorrow we’re supposed to be meeting with Highland Council, with Scotia and with the sawmill to sit down and doing a master planning exercise. We’ve withdrawn from that because Highland Council are employing Scotia’s landscape architects to facilitate that workshop.”
There then followed laughter from many parts of the room.

The manoeuvres continue on the Balblair planning battlefield as the general staffs of the rival bids continue to consider their options. How many more times will the poor bloody infantry of West Community Council and their fellow CCs in the town have to polish their thinking cap boots and turn up for consultation PowerPoint parade?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moray for Markets!

It's turning into a bit of a Morayshire night on the Gurn tonight but this is in relation to an earlier article looking at Michael Green's plans to liven up the town centre with a street market. A regular reader points us in the direction of the Moray Council site which states: 

"The Moray Council is keen to support markets and recognises these are an important part of community life. We offer advice and assistance to assist you processing your application to hold a market in the following Moray towns: Elgin (Plainstones), Keith, Buckie, Lossiemouth, Forres". More here. 

Could such enlightenment soon move a little further west over the border into Nairnshire?

Forres is rubbish?

The Forres Gazette has a front page splash today entitled: “Waste plant to power 8,000 homes” The paper goes on to say: “The “Gazette” can exclusively reveal that the proposed state-of-the-art Forres Clean Power Energy Recovery Centre would provide 30 full-time jobs and have the capacity to turn up to 200,000 tonnes a year of the area’s non-hazardous domestic, commercial, industrial and organic waste – most of which currently goes to landfill sites nearing full capacity – into electricity.”

Many Gurnites who travel on the Inverness/Aberdeen line will know the proposed site beside Forres railway station where the former sidings have been slowly turning themselves into a woodland over the past twenty years or so. It seems a company called Clean Power Properties, in collaboration with Network Rail, are seeking to obtain detailed planning permission for a plant that will use Advanced Conversion Technology and Anerobic Digestion.  They have, so far, submitted a EIA Scoping Report which can be seen on the Moray Council Planning here (click on "scoping report" once on that page).  There are further details and a picture in this week’s Gazette for those who may like to know more.

A quick google comes up with this “Request for a scoping” opinion” document available on the web for what seems (at first glance) to be a very similar development proposed for land next to Micheldever railway station in Hampshire, again a proposal by Clean Power Properties and Network Rail. There seems to be opposition down there just north of Winchester, as detailed in the Hampshire Chronicle – there is mention of four, 100 foot, chimneys. The drawing on the front page of the Forres gazette does show two grey things sticking out of the roof of the proposed plant – would they be chimneys too?  On page 39 of the EIA Scoping Report there is a drawing which appears to show chimneys or stacks of approx 25m high. The company has great claims for their technology however, see the video below:

Perhaps a Clean Power Properties Ltd website like this one will soon pop up aimed at the Forresians.  The Forres area has a very active alternative/environmental community, will this development be “right up their street” or will things pan out the Micheldever way with a protest movement starting up. An interesting juncture for the Moray town 10 miles along the road. 

Street Markets in Nairn – Can we have some please?

In the Nairnshire Telegraph of June 5th Iain Bain wrote an editorial around Councillor Michael Green’s efforts to bring back some life into the town centre. He broadly wishes the newly elected councillor well but believes he will have a tough time bringing his ideas into fruition although street markets may be easier to achieve than resurrecting the Home Holiday Week according to Iain:

“Fourteen years ago the couple of series of Street Markets were highly successful and did a lot to bring people to Nairn. We could see them working now, to combat the Saturday afternoon malaise which overcomes the centre of Nairn when everybody has got into their car and gone somewhere else.”

Iain goes on to talk about the considerable effort involved and the changed context in which we now live and then continues: “Will an independent Councillor be supported in his campaign by political opponents and is there any interest in the town from a local authority officialdom, increasingly viewing Nairn from the standpoint of Inverness?”

It would be very hard not to see Liz and Colin supporting any initiative from Michael to bring some life back into the town centre. However, getting a committee together to give up time and effort to bring back the home holiday week would take some doing, with most of the regular volunteering types usually maxed out over the summer but maybe others might step forward who might be inclined to contribute to Nairn’s civic pride for a few hours in the summer months.

We have to look beyond the local authority to ourselves if we want to get anything done now. The authority can help with advice but might hit you with a hefty charge for boots and equipment on the ground – witness the charges for installing the stage in Viewfield for the Big Lunch. We have to get more done for ourselves in Nairn whether “local authority officialdom” is in favour or not. Here our councillors can be effective leaders in “thinking out of the box” to enable the community’s aspirations to go forward. It shouldn’t be about what the Highland Council wants or doesn’t want us to do, we have to do things ourselves in spite of Invercentralism. Hopefully a new administration is a new start however, with some room for the Highland periphery to swim freely in its own civic waters again, creating the ideal environment for initiatives from the community grass roots. 

The markets fourteen years ago that Iain Bain refers too were one off events, this observer believes he is correct when he says that sums of public money were involved in staging them. Such largesse is now a thing of the past, austerity Nairn might not see the like of that  for some time so perhaps we should be thinking of a different kind of market? A weekly market for residents of Nairnshire to buy and sell their produce and goods? There may be some opposition to this from some shopkeepers but bringing people into the town for markets would benefit them too. There are large pavement areas in the town where stalls could be physically put up with little difficulty and such an undertaking could even be tried later this summer. There would be other sorts of difficulties, someone would have to apply for a market licence under the Civic Government Act and planning permission may be involved as well but the support of local councillors might smooth those hurdles. Perhaps that sort of market is not what Michael has in mind though. We await developments with interest. 

Keeping Nairnshire Colourful - Childrens Spring Display

Info sent to the Gurn from KNC:
Following the judging of the Children’s  ‘Spring Display’ on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st April, we are pleased to announce the following:

 Schools section:
                1st  Millbank Primary School
                2nd   Cawdor Primary School
                3rd  Rosebank Primary School
Group container:
2nd Jane, Louise, Lorna & Helen Robertson
Individual Containers:
                1st   Emily Smith
                2nd  Eva Wiseman
                3rd Bethany Walker-Andrews  
Commended: Megan Grant & Mathew Mitchie
Individual Beds:
                 1st  Alasdair Beaton
                 2nd Steven Pears

Prizes are to be presented  on Saturday, 16th June at 12.00pm at the Court House. 
The Children’s ‘Edible’ Competition will be judged on Friday 22nd June.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau website

The Nairn CAB site is here.

A96 chaos in Nairn - Roadworks on St Ninian Road

One of our readers reports it took 40 minutes to get from Tradespark to the Waverley Road junction around 11.30 this morning. Our correspondent tells us that her destination was Broad Hill but she went and parked in Queens Park and walked over instead so as to get there today. 
Another gurnite tells us that,  since the pedestrian crossing lights at the bottom of the brae are covered up with a sign indicating that you should go to the crossing at the Merryton lights, he has concerns that children on their way home from school will ignore this and cross at the normal place regardless of the lights being temporarily out of use. A manual stop-go operation is in use on St Ninian Road but when the pictures were taken tailbacks from Merryton/Lochloy meant that nothing was moving through the stop/go signs for a while. Queues are also forming from Leopold Street back onto the High Street too as motorists try to take a short cut.
Take care out there today. The only rat run that maybe of use during the roadworks would be the Cawdor - Auldearn route. 

Individual images here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday miscellany.

Several Nairn women took part in the Babes in the Wood 2012 charity walk in aid of the Highland Hospice on the Brahan Estate in Ross-shire on Saturday evening. One of those taking part told the Gurn that the weather was kind to the walkers on the night and she had heard that £22,500 had been raised for charity. Well done girls.

The Gurn understands that there have been complaints about the finished wall which contains the sewage pipe at the bottom of Brochers Brae (image here). Some local residents feel that triangular coping should have been reinstalled as part of the job. Liz has investigated the issue and has been reassured by Scottish Water that the shrub area will be reinstated along the wall. There is also no necessity for Scottish Water to install a safety rail it appears, so the bairns had better take care in this area. 

Murd has consulted Tommy Hogg, chair of River CC re the pipe removal on the Firhall Bridge and the associated costs etc. The Gurn understands Tommy is to take forward his concerns with the appropriate authorities. More on this later in the week.

Food parcel issues have dipped down the agenda slightly in Nairn but here’s an interesting article about food parcels in another seaside town, Poole in Dorset. On the surface all looks Hunky Dory but, behind the mask of affluence, life is turning into a nightmare for many low waged families and individuals who are struggling to keep their financial affairs above water. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Victorious Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team 2012 - Pictures

Images from Morton Gillespie.  Individual pictures here.

Curtis Cup win for GB&I team

The cheers could be heard up at the Sandown allotments this afternoon as those cheerful women that descended from the the Scotrail Class 170 turbostar  a week ago onto the platform at Nairn railway station became stars in their own right as they lifted the silverware down at Nairn Golf Club today. Now a video of that winning moment has appeared on youtube.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sandra Ross Lights Olympic Cauldron (Nairn woman torches Inverness)

Pictures and report Dave Shillabeer

At 1850 tonight 62 year old Sandra Ross, Convenor of Nairn Highland Games was the last of 15 runners with the Olympic Torch in Inverness. She had the honour of taking the last stage into the arena at The Northern Meeting Park , mounting the stage to a wildly cheering crowd of an estimated 17 -19,000 and lighting the travelling Olympic Cauldron. Sandra’s nomination letter which got her the place in this National event reads:-

"For over 20 years Sandra has been the driving force behind Nairn Amateur Athletics Club, firstly as a coach and latterly as Chair-person of the club. She has always had a particular interest in youngsters and the development of their individual talents. For the last 10 years she has been Convenor of The Nairn Highland Games and she was instrumental in introducing the Junior Highland Games on the morning of the Games. Without Sandra's drive and enthusiasm neither the N.A.A.C. nor the Nairn Highland Games would have the effect on the local community that it undoubtedly has today. For 12 years Sandra was Chair-person of the Nairn Sports CounciI. I cannot think of anyone who has done more for athletics/sports in Nairn, who is more deserving of such an honour than Sandra Ross, to carry the 'Olympic Flame' in the North of Scotland."

The pictures show Sandra on the big screen as she entered The Northern Meeting Park, at the point of ignition of the cauldron and her triumphant stance before the cheering crowds. Well done Sandra. You did yourself and Nairn proud today.

Dave Shillabeer

Dave also told the Gurn: " If she is allowed, how many people would like to see her carrying the torch at the head of this year’s Highland Games."

Car Fire in Watson's Place

The above image from a Gurn reporter shows the aftermath of a blaze that looks as though it started under the bonnet of a car parked in Watsons Place this morning. Our correspondent reports that one unreliable witness suggested that the vehicle belonged to a visitor to Nairn.

Off the Radar - A Nairn Indie Music blog

Gurnites may be interested in Off the Radar, an Indie Music blog that makes good use of digital resources to showcase a number of Indie bands including Forres's Be like Pablo.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Pipe removed from Firhall Bridge

There's a bit more room for manoeuvre on the Firhall Bridge now after the contractors took away the asbestos pipe as this picture taken today by Murd illustrates. Hopefully it won't be too long before the Highland Council goes the whole way and makes this bridge accessible to all with the installation of ramps. 

Mallard murdered?

A picture from Murray of a dead duck, spotted in the water below the Sewage Bridge yesterday. Looks bad but probably just part of the cycle of nature, dead from old age or murdered and snacked on by a predator perhaps?

Spring Cleaning on the Moss-side Road Vodka trail

At a recent meeting of the Suburban Community Council, the Chairman Dick Youngson revealed that during his organisation's recent "spring clean" of the area a considerable amount of litter was picked up in the lay-bys along Moss-side Road including 30 empty vodka bottles

Dick told the meeting: " We over the years have spent a little bit of time devoting days to litter picking and cleaning up areas that the Council haven't got the resources or haven't got the time to do. Getting into the worst places, so we've been cleaning the Tradespark Wood up. Although we've also got a team of volunteers in Nairn and they collect daily a lot of the litter which is dumped at night, cans bottles you name it. And we also cleared up the Moss-side Road..."

John Mackie then added that "you wouldn't believe the amount of vodka bottles!"  The Community Council picked up 14 bags of rubbish in total, another clean-up earlier in the year in this area had seen another 16 bags of similar rubbish collected.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Community buy outs - Could they work in Nairn?

Newsnet Scotland gives interesting details this morning of a forthcoming Scottish Government Consultation:

"Ideas being explored in the consulation include extending a right to buy similar to the one enjoyed by rural communities in Scotland to larger towns and cities. This could allow people in urban Scotland to follow in the footsteps of recent successful community buyouts such as the former airbase at Machrihanish in Argyll.

The consultation also considers whether communities should have a right to ask to take on unused public sector assets such as school and health centres, and how communities can be more involved in making decisions on local budgets, helping public sector organisations identify the needs and priorities in an area and target budgets more effectively - an idea first piloted in Brazil and used in a number of European cities." More on the Newsnet Scotland site. 

This type of thinking is broadly along the lines of what NICE have talked about in the past and are (perhaps) still talking about although there has been very little information on their website recently. The problem we have in Nairn is that an organisation like NICE may not be able to receive the backing of the community, witness how they came down on one side of fence on the controversial bus station flats. A move that was divisive and angered some members of River CC. 

Could we move forward and influence budgets etc on the level of the community councils? This would be very hard given the different geographical make up of the Councils. If the three town CCs were given 2 seats on a decision making committee as one Community Councillor recently suggested then it would result in a democratic imbalance in the town. The West has around 1,000 voters while River CC has nearly 5,000. Such a move would mean that the West Enders would have five times more say in decisions then folk in the River CC area.

We are basically cursed with the bizzare lines drawn on the CC map by a civil servant over 35 years ago. The only way we can really move forward as a community would be with a Royal Burgh of Nairn Community Council. That option too wouldn't come easy, there would need to be a ballot for all Nairn voters with the question: "Do you want to see a single Community Council for the town of Nairn. Yes/No." 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Large Windmill Scheme that would be visible from Nairn

The Forres Gazette is reporting on its front page this week:
"MORAY Council is considering proposals for the construction of a controversial wind farm on the Logie Estate, south of Forres, which if it gets the goahead would be one of the biggest installations of its kind in Scotland, the biggest on the Moray coast and visible from as far away as Forres, Findhorn, Nairn and Elgin."

Nothing on the paper's website yet so you'll have to get the paper to find out more about the plans for the (64m tower) wind farm proposal. Laurie said at election time ""Nairnshire is not the place for rotating monuments." Well perhaps we are becoming the perfect place to look at them in the distance. Maybe we should have a nuclear power station or a coal fired conventional one down on the Links instead if we don't want any windmills ourselves?

Rat run goes one-way for the duration

For the duration of the Curtis Cup the rat runners will be out of luck as Sandown Farm Lane and Altonburn Road are a one-way circuit for visitors to the Curtis Cup. 

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nairn signal box - before and after - an example others could follow?



Back in January of this year we republished an image of one of the redundant signal boxes on Nairn railway station along with comments from Gurnites lamenting the sad state of the listed buildiing. Alerted by a comment from a reader elsewhere on the Gurn we went along this evening and took some pictures of a remarkable transformation. More images of the Nairn signal boxes here. 

Curtis Cupcakes

"The United States and Great Britain & Ireland will be adversaries beginning on Friday in the Curtis Cup Match at Nairn Golf Club in Nairn, Scotland. Today, however, the two squads teamed up to bake cupcakes at Asher's Bakery in Nairn."  More on this United States Golf Association facebook page.
Looks like they had fun, there's now a video up on Youtube.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Big Yellow Taxi (Office)

You can't miss the Taxi 24/7 office after the makeover. Regular Gurnite Shaun wrote in, the new colour scheme got him thinking.

"Hi Gurn, is it just me that has raised an eyebrow at the newly painted day-glo yellow taxi office in the High St, it brought to mind the Joni Mitchell song Big Yellow Taxi, you know the one about paving paradise to put up a parking lot. A lot of stuff in that song is quite pertinent to the current goings on  in the town centre. A 25 year wait to end up with about 25 parking spaces, thanks Nairn and Highland Council's visionary stuff."

Could the golfers attract some away from Sunday's Viewfield Celebrations?

The Nairn Golf Club are proudly announcing on their facebook page:

"The GB & I team arrives in Nairn tomorrow for next week's #CurtisCup.
 Let's give them a wam welcome at the station!
 Sunday 3 June at 2.51pm, Nairn Train station. Hope to see many of you there!"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Friday night blackening

Thanks to Donald for these pictures of a time honoured tradition. Images will enlarge.