Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ongoing issues for Rosemary and her West CC colleagues

Here's a copy of the minutes of the Nairn West Community Council meeting held  on the 13th of June. Seonaid Armstrong always prepares very detailed concise minutes that give a good snapshot of the issues facing the Westefarians and many others in the town too, as a lot of these problems know no boundaries. Although the meeting was in June, like a lot of difficulties facing Nairn, many of the problems discussed are not going away in a hurry. . 

Nimbies rule OK in Nairn?

In his editorial in this week's Nairnshire Telegraph Iain Bain, writing about the the Tornagrain "Demockery" states:

"Those that want to limit the growth of Nairn have won the day and planners run scared of them." 

Do you agree with Iain Bain? Is he a little off-beam there when you consider the massive areas around Nairn that are zoned for development in the Highland Wide Development Plan. Anyway interesting thoughts from Iain concerning Tornagrain in this week's paper. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Roundabout repairs

Thanks to Bratach for this image taken recently at the Sainsbury's roundabout on the A96. Gurnites will recall damage to the surfaces on this roundabout last autumn.  

Scottish Cup - Wee County away to Clyde on September 29th - Can-Cans get the Gers at home

Envious eyes along the road to Mosset Park this afternoon as the Scottish Cup draw was made at 2.p.m today. For the County faithful however a trip to Clyde and feet firmly back on the ground for Les and the squad as they prepare for league duty at home to Cove this weekend. 
Looks like Colin Barron will be on the phone to Maynes of Buckie before the afternoon is out. Que Sera, sera...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scottish Cup - Prestonpans 0 Nairn 2 - Pictures

Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson. Individual pictures here. Match report here.

UPDATE: more pictures here now - The Wee County's Prestonpans Experience


Scottish Cup Odyssey - Bournemouth Tartan Army follows the County!

TWO Tartan Army footsoldiers living in Bournemouth are on a footballing odyssey which is going to take them all the way to the Scottish Cup final at Hampden next May.
Football daft pals Ian Wright and Willie Johnston (no relation to those of Arsenal and Rangers fame) were inspired by the recent sell-out Saturday campaign and decided to do their bit to support Scottish football which faces uncertain times after Rangers’ fall from grace.

They turned up at Preston Athletic’s ground on Saturday to see Nairn County book their place in the second round draw and regardless where Nairn are playing they will be their to cheer them on.
Both men’s families are originally from Glasgow and they began their journey watching Preston beat Fort William at An Aird earlier this month.

On Saturday they undertook the 900-mile mile round trip to Prestonpans by car where they saw Nairn win comfortably 2-0 at Pennypit Park through goals from Robbie Duncanson and Conor Gethins.
“We love our football and love following Scotland,” said Ian, “and having heard of the plight the game is in after Rangers’ difficulties and their demotion to the Third Division we felt we just wanted to show our support for the game in Scotland.
“We came up with this madcap idea that we would go on the road to Hampden and started off at Fort William where Preston won 3-1 on August 4.
“That took us to Prestonpans on Saturday and wherever Nairn are playing in the next round we will be there to follow them.”

The pair got their photos taken with a number of the Nairn County stars on Saturday after the game including latest signing former St Mirren star Junior Mendes who was side-lined through injury.

Ian and Willie meet County's Junior Mendes

Willie said there were only two ties to choose from in the preliminary round. Fort William v Preston Athletic or Keith v St Cuthbert Wanderers.
“Fort William was the obvious choice for me because I have climbed Ben Nevis and that’s where I got married. We thoroughly enjoyed our day on Saturday and had a great time. But the drive was exhausting and if Nairn get a home draw in the next round we’ll fly up to Inverness. If we have to drive somewhere nearer the Borders would be nice!
“I attended my 50th Scotland game in Florida when Scotland lost to the US but we need to support the game at all levels and this Scottish Cup journey is already taking us to grounds we have never even heard of. It’s the beauty of the cup and we will be looking to see who Nairn pull out of the hat on Monday.”
Their verdict on Saturday’s match: “Nairn were deserved winners,” said Ian. “They were down to 10 men after just 25 minutes but always looked in control and never looked like losing.”

Preston Athletic 0 - Nairn County 2

In the FWP Scottish Cup fixture this afternoon both teams were down to 10 men by the end of the match but County are victorious with a 2 - 0 win.  More to follow later.

Nairn in 2013 – a lot more seagull unfriendly?

On Tuesday night in the Community Centre the West CC set out their stall at the head of a campaign for action on seagulls, particularly the more aggressive ones that have been recently asserting themselves in the town centre. Rosemary Young told the meeting:

“There’s been a big push from a lot people coming to me saying it’s gone beyond a joke in this town and we must do some sort of culling next spring, legally or whatever.”

Rosemary then produced a document containing information on the protected status of the Herring Gull or more specifically the lack of it, the document was headed “Scottish Natural Heritage General Licence 03/2012.” Rosemary continued:

”I don’t want to appear like a sort of mad murderer but I witnessed a young woman with her small child just by the Regal being attacked by a seagull. The child was being attacked in fact. She was beating it off and I stopped the car to help her. The seagulls have become a nuisance, there was another woman trying to get into her car. She had two seagulls on her car. She couldn’t get in, they were attacking her. There’s been three or four incidents of people reporting to me similar incidents.

 I we hadn’t had a wet summer we would be knee deep in seagull doobs because at one point the whole place was white and people were walking into shops, guests were coming back and saying ‘we’ve got to take our shoes off before we come in the house because they are covered in seagulls muck. I’m not saying you have to get rid of every seagull off the face of this earth but they have become beyond a joke in this town. They are now nesting and sitting in grass and that’s never the thing for Herring Gulls to do.”

Michael Green said he and his fellow councillors had spent a lot of time discussing the problem. He said according to information from studies in Dumfries it seemed that removal of nests was the most effective policy. He told those present: “There have been discussions, I don’t want to pre-judge our final discussions. We’re looking to put in place a range of measures to help or educate but what I would say is that next year Nairn will be a lot more seagull unfriendly than it is now.”

To this observer the reality of the situation is that there should have been action on removing nests should at least 20 years ago. It is left to today's councillors to do something at a time when local government funds  are evaporating. Some householders and property owners will continue to remove nests where they can or can afford to have someone else to do it. Others may not be so willing so it will be down to the Council in many instances, that will mean manpower and costs. Can suffiicent funds be found in 2013 to disprupt Salty's nesting season?

Friday, August 24, 2012

URC Nairn Flower Festival pictures

Dave Shilabeer has been to the URC Flower Festival and he is quite impressed. He sends us the following pictures. Dave told the Gurn: " A selection of the flower displays within the church each to a particular theme. Traffic Lights and Ministers bike each have their own accompanying poem."

The festival is also open tomorrow and Sunday, entry by donation, more details here.

Veg on the Edge

Sunday the 9th of September in the Community and Arts Centre when Caroline Beaton who co -wrote with Ken Cox , Fruit and Vegetables, a Scottish Guide, is talking about the book and giving a powerpoint presentation Veg on the Edge . Time 3.30 p.m.
Dick Youngson of the allotments society is introducing her Discount to £5 a head for 10 ten tickets. Further details through the Book and Arts Festival organisation.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nairn Town Centre – Step forward 1,000 people with £100?

It didn’t take long for West CC last night to back Liz and Colin’s proposal to take the Old Community Centre area off the market. Michael Green indicated that all the town’s four Highland Councillors support the proposal too. It’s now all about getting community support to convince the entire 80 member body through in Glenurquhart Road.

There was also discussion about what happens once the site comes off the market. Brian Stewart sees it as a two-step process. The second being getting our act together about what we want for that area and for joined up thinking on the whole town centre. Former Councillor Graham Vine was interested in public ownership either by public subscription, a charity, NICE or the Common Good. He said:

“It occurs to me if a thousand people in Nairn out of our ten thousand inhabitants were prepared to chip in a hundred pounds by gift aid, that’s a hundred thousand pounds. If that enables you to grab other money from the Davidson Trust of God knows where else, can’t the town of Nairn buy it forever, and the town of Nairn will decide what happens to it. ”

Michael Green declared himself open to public ownership of the site. He also wanted the housing feasibility study of the old Tourist Office made freely available to all concerned. He saw the forthcoming Ward Forum when the town centre will be discussed as a way of deciding what was wanted and then after that it would be about looking at ways to achieve that. He said:

”There might be competing bids coming in from NICE, from various groups, who knows what there will be. We don’t know what’s on the table, there’s what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it and I’ll help any groups that I think have got great ideas for the town centre.”

The Gurn hears that NICE have been busy in the background recently and will perhaps be coming forward with ideas for the town centre as Michael suggests. If this is the case it is a pity they don’t keep the public informed of their latest initiatives. The most recent post on their website was in late April and advertised their AGM and things are fairly quiet on their facebook pages too. In the early days of NICE the organisation made a commitment to putting the minutes of their meetings on line – so far no minutesof meetings have been posted for 2012. We often hear calls for transparency from Highland Council in matters concerning Nairn and the town centre in general so it would be appropriate if NICE too were to make more information available. It works both ways and if NICE soon come looking for public support it would help their case if they keep Nairn residents better informed. 

Flower Festival URC Church - Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 24th, 25th and 26th August

More details here. 

Work on the old convalescent home Tradespark

@GurnNurn Some work at the old Convalescent home in Tradespark. on Twitpic   Thanks to Donald for the picture. Click it and you'll see it full size on twitpics.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Michael Green joins the Polis

Down at the Games on Saturday it was announced on the tannoy that Michael Green was wanted by the Police. Now we know why, he has been recruited - just for a shift on Friday night to see what life is like on Nairn's law enforcement front line. 
Rosemary Young and her West CC colleagues were earlier tonight urging him to be severe with dog foulers, seagull feeders and litterbugs. Watch out if you fall into any of those categories and are out on Friday night.

Tonight the Westies also discussed the Bus Station application, town centre plans, traffic management and McLean Court along with Gulls and Dogs on the beach. They are more than willing to dispense tough love on all these subjects. Colin MacAulay and Michael Green were all ears although they, of course, took no part in the discussion of the Bus Station application. More on the Gurn soon from the proceedings tonight. 

In search of a Superfast Broadband answer

A regular Gurnite attended the Superfast Broadband – benefits and uses session at the Digital Showcase held in the Community Centre today, hoping to find out information on why some places in the town aren’t able to access the superfast broadband apparently available in Nairn.  Unfortunately, the person giving the presentation was standing in for someone who was unable to attend, she did well but wasn’t in the position to give any answers on the access issue.  A brief discussion took place amongst the attendees with some surprise over the lack of availability.  Someone from HIE outlined their Superfast Broadband Project, but it was clear that this would not supply a solution for Nairn in the short term and that their project was different to the current BT roll out.  A suggestion was made that it might be worth talking to the BT representatives in the main hall.  They were tracked down but, as they quickly ascertained, their department of BT had nothing to do with the issue and they pointed in the direction of the Bus Station car park where a BT OpenReach contingent was sitting in a van. 

BT Openreach is the subsidiary which deals with the management of local access networks, the infrastructure that delivers the service to homes and businesses.  The question was put to the contingent of why the High Street was not included in their much vaunted broadband improvement?  The reply centred around the fact that Nairn has 13 cabinets but only 9 have been upgraded at the moment as it is not viable to have all cabinets done at the same time, the areas which will give the best return of investment and likely demand for the offer,. So, although the exchange has been enabled and some parts of Nairn may now have access to Superfast broadband, other parts have missed out - including the High Street area which is yards away from the exchange.  It’s puzzling as two of the main places where business are located in Nairn, the High Street and Balmakeith Business Park, places where you would think would be of high priority from a commercial aspect, have no access to the new offering.  Still, it seems to be down to the cabinet rather than the exchange.

A suggestion was given by the BT Openreach representative that future upgrades might be included in the HIE project and it would be worth approaching the HIE people but, given that HIE are in the early stages of getting their separate project off the ground, is this a case of BT Openreach passing the buck onto another organisation?  Knowing the merry-go-round and timescales which result from multi agencies involvement there could be a long wait.

So, did the Gurnite get a useful answer to their question?  It would look like they got the standard corporate response and, having done a quick check on the Internet, it would appear that the situation happening in Nairn is not unusual and seems to be par for the course, in which case, the regular Gurnite will not be holding their breath that the much acclaimed Superfast broadband will cover the whole of Nairn any time soon.

East Nairnshire Community Concerns

Perhaps the downpours added to the list of apologies (11) but the there was still a good turn out in the Glenferness Hall last night (Tuesday), very good indeed compared to some of the low attendances that can be seen in Nairn where thousands of members of the public within walking distance of Community Council meetings. A cup of tea and a choice of cake and biscuits got everyone chatting before the event but the subject matter soon became serious as the meeting proper began. The chair, Debbie MacBean, began by asking the three Highland Councillors present (Liz, Laurie and Colin) how they saw Council rural policy developing over the next couple of years. 

Liz said that it would be important to work with the Community Council and listen to their concerns and take on board any ideas the council had for their community, she thought also that roads and transport issues were an important concern. Liz said there would be particular issues in the forthcoming cuts consultation that would have relevance for rural areas.

Colin said he thought it was about being responsive to individuals where ever they were in the Nairn ward and to individual community councils and that shouldn’t make a difference whether they were in the town or whether they were rural. If it was council specific and council action required then he saw it as his job. “Your agenda is our agenda,” said Colin.

For Laurie

Ongoing digital showcase in Nairn Community Centre today (Weds) - Community Centre

It seemed a bit suit heavy and perhaps intimidating in the display room to the non-business or low-key sort of business folk that might step in off the street but this observer persevered and went to a couple of talks in another room. You can win an i-pad if you want to tell a digital story. If you know someone who is not on the net send them over too, there's a wifie there that wants to get them online. Maybe there is something for you. Here's what's left today - Might go back for the Superfast Broadband Q&A

1130 Cloud Opportunities (Sian Jamieson)
Afternoon presentations

1300 Superfast Broadband - benefits and uses (Sian Jamieson)
1330 Q&A about superfast broadband and what it means in practice (Jane Beaton, Citizens Online)
1400 Cloud Opportunities (Sian Jamieson)
1430 Stormfront - iPad for Learning
1800 Close

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Changing Nairn town centre policy – An initiative begins at Glenferness Village Hall

Liz and Colin have indicated before that they wish to see the site of the Old Community Centre taken off the market by Highland Council and for full community consultation on what should in its place in the longer term. In the meantime there will be a 29 space car park once the tarring goes ahead. Up at the East Nairnshire Community Council Meeting tonight (Tuesday) however Liz began her campaign of obtaining community backing for a removal from sale of the site. This will help the case when a report on overturning the decision to put the site on the market goes before the Council. The East Nairnshire councillors agreed to write a letter of support to the Highland Council. Asking folk out there to comment you ask? Why not? They have as much need of a parking space in the town centre as the rest of us when they come into town. It seems sensible to make our town centre as accessible as possible otherwise it is just as easy for some Nairnshire folk to go down to Forres for their shopping or even Aviemore perhaps, for that matter.

There was quite a lot of other material on the agenda up at Glenferness tonight and this observer will return to some of the issues and perspectives debated by the rural folk later. It was interesting, after the macro level Tornagrain debacle in Inverness today that dented public confidence in the planning system, to hear from Community Councillors how they are totally scunnered with things at their wee micro rural level and how the effort they all put into it can sometimes be discarded in a brutal way – but more on that over the next few days on the Gurn. Also up at Glenferness tonight were Colin and Laurie.

Back to the subject. Liz said; “When you look at it now, it’s all opened up with the old Community Centre gone. We’ve got opportunities now to do something with the heart of our town that we never had before. So if all the Community Councils were supportive of it then that would be a very positive statement to make from Nairn and Nairnshire[…] So we’ve got to overturn that decision and take it off the market, and not rush into doing the wrong thing, we need to just take a breathing space and review what we’ve got.”

Next up for Liz, Nairn West Community Council tomorrow night (Weds) - can they better the free cupa and piece of cake that East Nairnshire offers to visitors? 

Tornagrain torment for Highland Council - a majority dissent but application has to go through

Today at Glenurquhart Road, talk about a cast iron leagacy Gurnites, there was no competent motion that could be found for those that spoke against the application for 4,500 houses at Tornagrain, a proposal  favoured by the former administration and enshrined in the Highland Wide Development plan. The application is also backed up by the findings of a Scottish Goverment Reporter. It looked bullet proof. Try as they might the combined efforts of Cllrs Roddy Balfour, Jim Crawford and Richard Laird could not come up with reasons that would be deemed competent for the formulation of a proposal for refusal. 

It was bizzare and at times the Circusmaster of this surreal event, Jimmy Gray, struggled to keep the proceedings on an even keel. Angry members wanted to know why, after a site visit and two hours of debate they were not allowed to vote yeah or nay on the matter. Why indeed were they there if the application could only be rubberstamped? Nine members (a majority to this observer including Michael Green) then asked to have their dissent recorded. Liz tried to buy some time for those wishing to dissent in asking for an adjournment for further consultation with officers, she was concerned that some new councillors would need more advice in such a situation. Perhaps Jim Crawford and Roddy Balfour, the more experienced hands on deck might have found a way to object with some digging beforehand but it did look as though it was extremely done and dusted no matter what. It was an unsettling experience that left a bad taste. 

If Tornagrain came along today it probably wouldn't go through, as it is everyone is stuck with it, including all the nearby community councils that don't want it and all the locals according to Roddy Balfour.  If time permits we'll examine some of the comments from the dissenters.

Bus Station Application deferred due to e-hitch

Jimmy Gray the convener of the planning committee reported that the e-planning system had been down for four days during the consultation period thus the officials had requested deferral until the next meeting. Liz then asked the committee if a site visit could be arranged so members could come to Nairn to see the proposed size and height of the building.
A wee while until this one will be done and dusted. Salty keeps his perch for another month or two. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nairn Games exploding beer tent goes into legend

The Sun, The Record and the P&J make the most of it. Lots of games pictures now up on the Gurn flickr pages - more to come over the next day or two, including a selection from Murray MacRae. 
Also pictures of the Games available here with Bratach and RG IV12.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's just a perfect day (at the Nairn Games 2012)

... and it still is out there (20.23) and even an exploding inflatable beer tent couldn' t dampen the event. Fantastic Games and the changes from Michael Green and the events committee added to the brilliant atmosphere.
Interestingly following the massed pipes and drums on the parade down to the links was the Brora Rangers bus (NCFC second team)? Images later. 

Early morning Nairn Games Day 2012 - pictures

Gurn correspondent Oor Vix has been out and about early again:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nairn Highland Games 2012 - the inflatable beer tent arrives - pictures

A controversy that has blown up out of all proportion? A good or a bad idea? - Poll in Gurn sidebar.
This observer intends to stop by for a half of shandy. Anyway, have a great time at the Games gurnites and may all businesses involved, on or off the Links, have a prosperous day too. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bus station flats - offiicial recommends granting planning permission

It'll be discussed next Tuesday (21st) in Inverness.  There's money available for affordable housing in Nairn but it seems this is the only site immediately available which was a big factor in the decision. You can read the reasoning behind the go-ahead recommendation here. This observer wonders what Nairn's councillors will have to say on Tuesday. Whatever happens this divisive application will upset quite a few people. 
Also up for debate on Tuesday is Tornagrain. Maybe they'll have a team in the Highland League in a few years time when the 4.960 houses get built. 

Wheeliemadbinladen update

Wheelie Mad is barking again, he tells us :"It pays to have a Gurn. I contacted local councillors and thank them for their assistance. Bin now emptied. But doesn’t answer the question why it wasn’t emptied in the first place. If rules have change the public have to be told though for the life of me I can’t see why bark was not accepted."

Demolition sites in town centre - a regular reader asks: "Am I right to be worried?"

"Am I right to be worried? The old Community Centre site has been nicely levelled and it has been suggested that until the site sells, it could be used as a car park. I see no sign of this taking place. Did the demolition budget include conversion to a car park or is this all we get? If it's down to Highland Council to finance then we may wait a long time for a car park. Not that I'm blaming them as they funded the demolition. More worrying is that work on the old service station appears to have stopped. The site has not been tidied or levelled. It would be nice to think that these open spaces could be used for parking - and it could yet happen. But in the case of the petrol station it looks as if the contractors have disappeared without completing the contract. Let's hope it's not left as just a different type of eyesore! Of course, perhaps there is joined-up thinking behind this and now that both sites have been levelled it's easier to tarmac both at the same time. We'll see."

Police appeal following man behaving indecently in Howford Bridge area of Nairn

POLICE in Nairn are appealing for witnesses following two reports from female walkers of a man acting in a suspicious manner on the path leading from the Jubillee Bridge to the Howford Bridge on Sunday morning (12th August 2012). More on the Northern Constabulary site

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tell a digital story - win an i-pad!

Late at night on the Gurn and it's copy and paste time again - where would the old and new media be without the like? The e-mail that sent the press release also stated: "We've included a competition for an iPad as we are keen to hear peoples 'Digital Story' as Nairn makes the transition to the Highlands and Islands first Superfast town."

Early Nairn

For those Nairn residents who think there is only one side of the clock, this morning the sun peeked above the horizon at 5.44 am. Our gallant band of council workers were up and about making the place clean for us to live in, washing the streets, clearing the rubbish.......unsung hero's.
The cold is getting better.

Vix Sinex

Seagull attack on 2yr old child

"As the parent of a 2 year old left shaken and bloody following a seagull attack this morning in Leopold Street can I say a big Thank You to all who came to the aid of my wife and son, especially the kind lady in Tradeaway.

To Laurie, Liz, et al, can I also say that it's time to up your game on this matter. Seagulls are now attacking toddlers in the centre of Nairn. Please don't wait until a child is blinded before you step up. If you keep hiding behind the "It's up to The Highland Council to decide" mantra and do nothing then the decline of the high street is inevitable, as more families simply choose to buy everything from Sainsbury's because it's safer than running the Seagull gauntlet...

Gary Ryan

Concerned of the West End"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Food and drink at the Nairn Games 2012 – Let’s raise a glass to the Common Good?

There will be a new look to the layout of the area between the bandstand and Cumming Street this year. Food and drink will be provided by local businesses such as Ashers Bakery and the Really Garlicky company, instead of out of town providers. Michael Green told the Gurn of some of the changes. Higher stance rents will be charged from now on to bring more funds into the Common Good. The aim is also to improve the experience of visitors and locals to the games. There will be a food and drink pavilion too (an inflatable tent and bar to be exact – sounds quite interesting). The pavilion will be stewarded and will also be open on the Sunday. Half of all the profits taken will be going to the Common Good. 

Another new addition to the games will be the Charity Challenge Avenue where you will be able to enjoy attractions such as the human fruit machine and other innovative fun ways of enjoying yourself whilst helping good causes. It all sounds worth a try to this observer and if we spend money on a snack or an ice-cream at the games why not keep that cash moving in local circulation by buying from a local business?

Michael has been quite busy behind the scenes working to bring about these changes and hopes that the Common Good fund and the games will benefit enormously from this fund raising opportunity. The new Councillor also told the Gurn of how he intends to do more to ensure the long term future and prosperity of the town centre and how he aims to work with others to realise the potential within the community to bring about positive changes here. 

So if you are going down to the Games next Saturday you might fancy a pint in aid of the Common Good?

Flashfred's sunset pictures

Thanks to Flashfred for his pictures of last night's sunset. At last we seem to be getting some spectacular scenes down by after a disappointing summer.

Here on the Gurn we've been updating a set of images with scenes taken this month down on the beach. You can see the images here. Billy was also down the beach last night, he sent us this image. He told the Gurn: "I saw the  mess last night as I was down getting some photos of the sunset, and I thought to myself what is this going to look like in the morning, what a shame it comes to this, does not not do Nairn  any favours, what must folk think, how long does this have to on HC? Please sort it out for all of us. My photo is more why folk come to Nairn's nice beach and this sunset."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"All it takes is one nice day"

One of our regular readers sends us the quote in the title of this post and reports bins overflowing in the harbour area with seagulls foraging and rubbish blowing onto the beach, he also included the picture above. 

Vix too  was complaining in his column about the gulls getting into poo bags etc from the bins along the seafront areas. There is a school of thought that the Council do not empty bins enough on warm sunny days. Most visitors try their best and try and dispose of their rubbish in a bin but what can they do if the bins are full? Does the Highland Council have a contingency for warm sunny days when more rubbish is generated?

Nairn 1 Huntly 3 - our turn for gloom on a sunny summer's day

The Highland League website is pointing out that Huntly hadn't won at Station Park since April 2009. More on highlandleague.net here.  The competent County that did so well at Inverurie and against Lossie was depleted by injuries and suspensions and only in the second half did the fans see a side that looked like it was in the game with a chance of winning. Pictures later.

Wheelie mad bin laden thinks it's barking!

Regular Gurn reader WHEELIEMADBINLADEN told us earlier today: "I can’t believe it. I found a sticker on my full brown bin this morning. Council recycling crew refused to empty it because it has BARK in it. Is bark no longer considered recyclable ! It’s on a par with the mad cap political thinking in Europe that it makes sense to throw good fish over the side when fishing boats land catches of a species that are not meant to be in their nets. Someone’s barking and it certainly isn’t me!"

This observer visited the scene of the incident and had the opportunity to handle some of the offending material, it was very thin and easily crumbled in my hands. It would have been ideal material for a well-managed compost heap. Our upset correspondent went on to show us the sticker on the bin that tells residents that "small branches" are OK. Now as a bit of an amateur horticulturist I would recommend thin bits of bark in a heap rather than small branches - there you go though. Rules is rules? 

Oor Vix's column - Flying rats and misty Nairn

Two articles complete with pictures in from Oor Vix, he sounds a right gurny b****** said someone in passing. Well judge for yourself. Here's two articles from Vix.  If you are a full time Nairn gow fan then please do not read any further you may be offended. A lot of gurning then from our correspondent including the old finance office roof, something that John U also contacted the Gurn about earlier this week. To see Vix's pix and thoughts click the read more tab.

Sewage - discharge is permitted but "Scottish Water and SEPA acknowledge that the discharge requires investment"

Earlier this week we uploaded a video of a sewage discharge into the River Nairn from the outlet below the car park in front of the new flats at the Maggot. There have been discharges from that pipe before but to this observer there seemed to be a marked increase in volume, I then wrote to SEPA to ask if what had happened was an authorised discharge. Here's the prompt reply I received:

Friday, August 10, 2012

William objects...

With the Bus Station (lighthouse?) polemic still in full swing and the tally of comments now at 36, one of our regular readers was obviously in the mood for a bit of satire. Here we go with Just William's comment:

"William and the gang were restless. It was the second week of their summer holidays and once again the sky was full of dark clouds, another day of rain was immanent.
Out of boredom Ginger was reading the local blog called The Gurn on his smartphone. ‘I say’ said Ginger, ‘the old bus garage is causing a bit of a stir’. William who was staring out of the window shifted his head from his elbow and looked at Ginger. He’d long held an interest in the old bus garage, as it seemed an ideal place for a new gang headquarters near the centre of town. ‘What’s that’ said William, trying not to show too much interest. “The old bus garage is going to be made into flats’ said Ginger, ‘I heard my father say he’d written a strong letter to the planners objecting’. William wondered as to what a strong letter could be; maybe it was covered in steel as an anti terrorist measure, yes that would be it. ‘Maybe we should object as well’ said Ginger, ‘after all William, didn’t you say that the garage was going to be our new headquarters’. Outside the rain had started which precluded activity for the morning so William was moved to enquire more from Ginger. ‘You say your father wrote a letter, should we write one as well’ Writing letters was not the Outlaws strongpoint, unless of course it was ransom notes in which they excelled. Just then Violet Elizabeth Bott wandered in. ‘Hello boys, what are you doing today then, it’s thraining you know’. The gang let out a collective sigh at her appearance. ‘Who said you could come in’ said Henry." To be continued said our correspondent...

And dear fellow Gurnshire comrades, what about a Nairn Housing Trust to make sure that folk that are here by "birth , choice or association" get any public sector accomodation that is going in Nairn? The following is an extract from another very interesting comment:

"Truth is that those who really want these new flats will be highly unlikely to get them & will be left in the clutches of an increasingly expensive private rental sector.

The answer, or rather a possible answer - how about a Nairn housing trust, formed to manage either existing or newly built housing stock in the town?

Why not pop over to the Bus Station Lighthouse thread for the full crash course, you might even want to have your pound's worth too. 

Gardening Club Show Saturday 11th of August

Gardening Club Show, It's this Sat, 11 Aug at the Community Centre, open to the public at 1pm (£2.00/children free) and open for entrants to stage exhibits from 4.30 to 8.30pm on Frid & from 8 to 9.45am on Sat morning. The prize-giving will be at 3.30pm (apologies to the Club for not having this ad up earlier, been  away for a day or two)

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A Gow for the Bus Station Lighthouse?

Jingle Bangles sends us a picture this evening and asks if this Gow is contemplating a new life up at the Bus Station "lighthouse" when it gets built. If you are slightly perplexed then read this thread. On that thread you will find a link to a list of detailed objections, former Westie Councillor Graham Vine has added his thoughts to the growing pile of dissent.

Nairn 4 Lossie 1 - Pictures from the North Cup tie

Pictures from Gurnnurn.com, Murray MacRae and official club photographer Donald Matheson. Individual pictures here. Full screen slide show here.

Ten goal Tuesday in Nairn - nothing but pain for Lossie sides

Saints 5 - RAF Lossiemouth 0    Nairn County 4 Lossiemouth 1
Saints were already 3-0 up at the Showfield against a lacklustre RAF Lossie side when County v Lossiemouth FC got underway over the other side of the tracks at Station Park. It was another grey evening in Nairn but the gloom was reserved for anyone through from Moray as both local sides stacked up the goals in their respective cup competitons. A few pictures from the Saints game here. 

County's Connor Gethins went home with a hat-trick and Wayne MacKintosh was on the score sheet. In the North Cup County will face either Forres or Strathspey but on Saturday will return to league action against Huntly. Pictures from the County game later. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Sewage Bridge environs - evening of 6th August 2012

The recent efforts of Scottish Water, after pollution incidents on the footpaths either side of the Merryton/Sewage bridge earlier this summer, seem to have prevented a reoccurrence  as heavy rainfall fell around 20.45 yesterday (6th August). A familiar stench of sewage hung over the river however, as the manhole cover below the Maggot Flats car park became the point where polluted water found its way into the river. The experts will know what is and isn't acceptable pollution in times of heavy rainfall (remember it has to go somewhere when the system is overloaded) and perhaps the video below might help them in their ongoing deliberations. 
So no jobbies on the footpath this time round but from the powerful odour in the darkening evening air it looked as though the swans, ducks and fish might be able to taste the difference on this occasion.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Preston Athletic v Nairn County - supporters bus down to Scottish Cup game on 25th August

Colin Barron now taking bookings. £20 a seat - if enough adults travel, kids can go half-price. First come first served. Contact Colin via the usual channels or on the County Facebook page  You can also give him the cash to assure your seat at the North Cup game v Lossie at Station Park tomorrow (Tuesday) night. 

All you need to know about the East Lothian side here.

Farmers Show 2012 - videos

Click below to see each video on the Gurn YouTube pages.

Pet parade and dog race
Horse carriages
Cattle and Horse Parade
Champion of Champions
Champion Cow

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Inverurie has a Poundland - why not Nairn?

Inverurie's Poundland pictured above. Wouldn't one like that look just perfect over at the Bus Station? Does Nairn need a Poundland? Poll over in the Gurn sidebar.
Speaking of the Bus Station, the polemic continues, demonstrating faultlines in the community on what should be done with site. If you haven't read the comments yet (there's over 30 of them now) you can do so on this article here.

Showies are here

Thanks to Gurn reporter Bratach for this image from the Links this evening.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Inverurie 0 Nairn 1 - the story in pictures of a sunny afternoon at Harlaw Park

First 24 pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson, the rest from gurnnurn.com. Individual pictures here, full screen slideshow here

For the first Locos home game of the season the attendance of 301 was perhaps a bit on the low side. The closer you got to Inverurie the more the skies cleared, the town was bathed in sunshine and there was hardly any wind to lift the flag trying to fly proudly above Harlaw Park. Highland League football was back and the scene was set for a spectacle.

It's a very tidy ground, as always, but there was something about the atmosphere. The Locos support seemed strangely quiet at times. It didn't seem to be the formidable fortress that it has been to the County in the past. Locos had plenty of possession in the first half and caused the Wee County a fair bit of anxiety but their moves lacked a clinical finish. It was to be County who scored, you could have said against the run of play but our defence had a solid look about it that seemed to be steadily gelling. The confidence grew and County moved forward looking the equal of and at times superior to Locos. There's a long hard way to go but three points  away to Locos is just about the best way you could possilbly start a Highland League campaign. 
There's details of the game here on Highland League.net. 

Inverurie Loco's 0 - Nairn County 1

A confident County claim 3 points in the Harlaw Park sunshine.  Gethins gets the goals (one allowed, one disallowed).  Great start to County's season.  Pictures to follow.

Nairn County will travel to Preston Athletic on 25th August 2012 for the next round of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Forres waste plant plans on view

Gurnites might remember the "Forres is Rubbish" article on the Gurn in June. Now the STV website reports:
"The plans will go on display on the town’s High Street at Forres House on Friday, August 3 from 2pm until 8pm and on Saturday, August 4 from 10am until 2pm."  More on the STV site here - Plan to build a 'clean' power station in Forres takes another step

Vix aig briseadh an latha

Gurny Gurn correpsondent Vix Sinex was up and about early this morning. It looks as though it could be a nice day but this was what it was like between 0530 & 0600.

Happy Birthday Sainsbury's Nairn

One year on and it is worth remembering the day Sainsbury's broke the Co-op stranglehold on Nairn. Click read more to see the video of how it was this time last year.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Cawdor goes to the polls

A resignation has taken the number of members on Cawdor and West Nairnshire Community Council down to critical levels and precipitates an election to fill five places on the council. Anyone interested in standing might be interested in the following information from Highland Council. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Junior Mendes signs for Nairn

"Junior Mendes (34) has signed a 1 year contract with Nairn County FC. Junior who hails from Montserrat and indeed is the Captain of that National side has an impressive background. He has played for Chelsea, St. Mirren and joins us from Ayr United. " 

Bus Station flats "will look like a lighthouse"

A regular gurnite contacts us tonight to say that he has been reading the objections received by the Highland Council e-planning site against the proposal for 16 flats on the site of the bus station garage. Our correspondent is a bit peeved with the attitude of some of the folk that have expressed their opinions. Joan Noble complains that the proposed development will look like a lighthouse. Our correspondent went on to tell the gurn that he could think of nothing more appropriate for Nairn than a lighthouse.

Other prominent complainers on the Highland Council e-planning pages include NICE folk, Iain Fairweather, Rupert Furze and the main mannie Michael Barnett. They will be, of course, raising objections in a personal capacity. You can see who is saying what here.

The Gurn also understands from an unreliable source close to River Community Council that a massive majority of their members support this new application. Are any gurnites familiar with Runrig's "Lighthouse"

"There's a lighthouse
Shining in the black
A lighthouse
Standing in the dark
All the world's a ship
Shipwrecked on the seas
Breaking up in pieces
We're clinging to the reef
There's a lighthouse"

AJG Parcels North Cup - Rothes 1 Nairn 4 - pictures

The temperature up in Rothes last night was several degrees cooler than down in Sunny Nairn. It soon started to drop even lower but it was still warm enough for the Moray midges to come out. Visiting Nairn fans who had installed themselves by the trees on the opposite side of the park from the stand retreated at half time to where the midges had trouble navigating the steady breeze flowing through the darkening night air. A bit gloomy then but not on the Park. For the first forty-five minutes County didn't manage to put the ball in the net despite several very good chances. In the second half the floodgates quickly opened with Gethins(2), Neil and Duncanson on the score sheet but there could have been more as County continued to rip through the Rothes defence. Rothes, to their credit, didn't let their heads go down too much and had some adventurous excursions into the Nairn half, culminating in a penalty kick. Match report here.
Pictures from club photographer Donald Matheson. Click read more to see pictures