Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday night disruption fever - energy and transport changes - does the mannie in this video nail it?

We go off topic a bit here but there are big changes on the way, bulk-data and technology will see that and a lot of certainties around employment and in fact entire professions may change beyond recognition or vanish and new ones emerge. So what could it all mean for Nairn, will the opportunities and dangers from change be greater here in Nairn? And if change is coming are there ways we in Nairn can adapt without having to go through the gatekeepers of the likes of the centralist high heid yins in Inverness? Will we remain virutally powerless in determining our community's future or will Scottish Government "community empowerment" legislation ever filter down into mechanisms that will allow this caring community's creativity and compassion to flower (providing we can all sing off the same hymn sheet of course once we know what we want beyond freedom from Highland Council - Saor Inbhir Narrann!) :-)

This video was recommended to us by one of our regular readers a few days ago. There can be no doubt that technology is bring many changes to the way we live. The guy in this video makes his case around economics - if it is cheaper to do things a different way then there will be change - big changes, in fact a "disruption" on the scale of moving from horses to the internal combustion engine.

Get a cuppa or a dram and give this vid a go... One of our regular readers said he thought it mind-blowing...

Football is fun and football is cruel - but the sun shined and we won

What a day at Station Park as County knocked Whitehill Welfare out of the Scottish Cup - Whitehill played in a strip similar to Saint Ninian's and meanwhile at the Showfield Saint Ninian were playing a team called Whitehills (no relation to the other team appearing across the other side of the tracks.

Results today were Nairn County 1 Whitehill Welfare 0 and over the way Nairn Saint Ninian 7 Whitehills 0. A great day for soccer in Nairn...and then came the Scottish Cup draw and Nairn will be at home to Cove...the team that beat us 8-0 last week but it is the cup and Sharpie and his boys will be up for it.

Anyway here's a bit of vid from both of the fixtures.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Weather maintenance plan for Nairn approved by Nairnshire Committee

The priorities with which The Highland Council will grit roads within the Nairn area this winter have been approved by local Councillors at the Nairnshire Committee held earlier today (Thursday 21 September).

The winter maintenance plan for the Nairn area includes priority road lists and maps showing the priority gritting routes.

The Committee discussed the priorities of gritting a network of 66km primary routes, 98km secondary routes and 169km of other routes in the Nairn area.

Primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and crews will only move on to treat other roads when the primary and secondary routes are all completed.

The routes have been set within the context of the Council’s current Winter Maintenance Policy which is in place to ensure a consistent level of service is applied across all areas of the Highlands. Each year local areas put in place their Winter Maintenance Plan to cover the operational details in order to deliver a service locally within existing budget and resources.

In the Nairn area 9 members of staff will be delivering winter maintenance supported by local Amenity, Streets and Wasteoperatives.Three front-line gritters and one footapath tractor will be available.

Chair of the Nairn-shire Committee, Cllr Tom Heggie said: “Across the Nairn area real time date is obtained from 3 sites on the local road network, as well as one on the trunk road. These sensors provide staff with key information on the surface temperature and road conditions and a rota system will be in place to ensure experienced staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Throughout the winter months we will monitor the agreed plan to make sure we provide the best possible service and use all the resources available most effectively.”

Details of the Nairn Area priority routes and winter services information can be viewed by visiting the council’s website at: (external link).

Finnie Slams HIE Arms Event

Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie has called on Highlands and Islands Enterprise to cancel an arms industry event it is organising in which, “Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being invited to a free workshop to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries.”

Mr Finnie has previously raised concerns with HIE about using public monies to support the defence industry.

The free workshop will be held in at An Lòchran, Inverness Campus on Tuesday 26 September and invites local businesses to find out how the region can benefit from opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space industries. It is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and ADS Scotland which is the Scottish branch of the aerospace, defence, security and space industry trade organisation, ADS.

Mr Finnie has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament condemning this event and the use of public monies to promote the an industry that produces weapons that can be used to maim and kill innocent civilians which also calls on the Scottish Government to review its agencies' policies on the promotion of such organisations and for HIE to cancel this event.

Mr Finnie said;

“Public money should not be used to support the design, manufacture and sale of arms.

“The arms industry around the world is obscenely wealthy and needs no encouragement, let alone public finance to support its sordid trade.

“When I’ve previously raised issued with HIE about their support I’ve been told it’s hard to separate the manufacture of items which could have an application for the defence industries.

“There’s precious little public money about and it certainly should not be used to advance this particular sector.

“I have contacted the Chief Executive of HIE asking that she cancel this event and hope the Scottish Government will be progressive and stop all public support to the arms sector.”

Meanwhile over on the Gurn twitter account

If there's not much being posted here it's worth having a look at the Gurn twitter account. Quite a lot happens in the Nairn twittersphere these days. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Green Hive community orchard plan for Viewfield

Click on the image to enlarge. Want to get involved? Have any fruit bushes or cuttings you might want to donate the project? Contact Green Hive here. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

All things County - a massive two games ahead!

Today the boys in yellow and black have a visit from the league leaders Cove - it will be a huge challenge for Ronnie Sharp's high-performing squad but against all expectations they still sit in the upper echelons of the Highland League Table.

Next week sees the visit of Whitehill Welfare in the Scottish Cup. This game will be the Cup's featured match and a free bus has been laid on for Whitehill supporters, expect to see quite a few visitors from the south on match day next Saturday.

For all the latest on the situation on and off the pitch at Station Park there's no better way to find out the latest information than to read the Chairman's (Donald Matheson's) autumn update that has just been published on the club site.

Here's some pictures from last week's victory against Keith. Individual pictures here.   More pictures from recent games here on the Gurn Flickr pages. Keep up to date with the youth team fixtures here and on the youth teams twitter feed here. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Book and Arts headliner mannie thanks Nairn for "love and generosity"

And the Book and Arts the main item on the Garlic news last night - warning some English in video!

Nairn Book and Arts festival incident reported to the Police

A statement published on the Nairn Book and Arts Festival Facebook page reads. 

"An incident which occurred during a Festival event last night has been reported to the Police. This involved a comment which was made to Hardeep Singh Kohli during his evening event. We are aware that this comment caused offence. We would like to make it clear that we felt that the incident was dealt with firmly and conclusively at the time it occurred. Having spoken to Hardeep Singh Kohli at length, it is clear that he felt that the incident was dealt with appropriately by all parties concerned.

Hardeep Singh Kohli commented - "I had the most amazing time in Nairn surrounded by the most welcoming people. One man's idiocy couldn't undo the warmth I felt and the support of my friends in Nairn." "

Earlier today on the popular Nairn Rocks Facebook page hundreds of Nairn folk had added their support to an article condemning the comments, the article had been posted on the Facebook page by an eye-witness who was disgusted and shocked by the behaviour of one of the audience at the previous night's festival event.  

Nairn CAB with tips on how to stop those unwanted phone calls

Nairn Highland Games Broadcast 2017

If you couldn't make it to the games the live broadcast that was put out on the popular Nairn when you were a bairn facebook pages is available here. 

The page's administrator Stephen Smerdon tells the Gurn the broadcast was very successful: "at one point 1800 viewers from Australia, new Zealand, USA, Canada, Malaysia and every country in between all watching live at the same time, including the housebound and indeed in some cases bedbound."

A ground breaking service obviously very much appreciated giving many folk far away a chance to see what was going on at home.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Partnership Dispute – “community empowerment” coming down the tracks for Nairn and Nairnshire or just another false dawn?

Before you read this we urge you to get yourself a copy of the Nairnshire Telegraph and digest the contents of the front page and this week's editorial and you can get an idea of the fall-out from the fall-out between the town's Community Council's and the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership. So what's the partnership then? Now there have been a lot of different entities over the years that have had some sort of “partnership” title and have met in the Courthouse – usually for death by Powerpoint sessions. This observer has seen a few of them come and go and usually they felt nothing more than talking shops but perhaps the odd crumb of comfort and achievement did come out of them from time to time. Have we moved on to something completely different thanks to Scottish Government legislation? The document we have received recently from the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership explains what it is and why it is there - “community empowerment” led to its birth. Some readers may have responded to their survey – a link to that survey appeared here and on many local social media meeting places. 

Of course we have often stated that the best form of community empowerment would be the recreation of the Nairn District Council and obviously we could never get back exactly what has gone but real power back in that chamber is the only way to go. In the meantime we have to make do with the Community Councils as the nearest thing to a local democratic forum but they are more or less toothless and often ignored as coverage of local planning issues has consistently shown. Now we have the Partnership as well and the community councils are not happy with the way the Partnership has been reacting to them – and from the content of Nairnshire Telegraph today it looks like the feeling is mutual. 

The Community Councils are holding a meeting to discuss their role in local decision taking, planning and Community Empowerment in the Community and Arts Centre on Wednesday the 20th September at 8 pm following a monthly meeting of Nairn River CC at 7 pm. 

And the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership have a meeting soon too. Their next meeting being scheduled for 1000 hours on Monday 25th September 2017 at the Nairn Community Centre. This is a meeting held in public according to the partnership. 

So serious students of these matters may wish to attend one or both of those meetings. 

Now the information we have received from the Nairn and Nairnshire Community Partnership


The Nairn & Nairnshire Community Partnership was established following the introduction of the Community Empowerment Act 2015. This legislation identified the five statutory partners to support this process as the Local Authority, NHS, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and Highlands & Islands Enterprise. 

Chief Inspector Brian Mackay is the partnership chair and a core group containing representatives from the five statutory partners has been established, Highlife Highland and the Voluntary Sector also provide valuable support and input. In addition, Nairn Area Inspector Mike Middlehurst has accepted the request to be deputy chair. 

The Nairn & Nairnshire Community Partnership replaces the Nairn District Partnership and this will be used as a structure for the partnership to cement relationships whist working together for the benefit of our communities. 

Partnership Responsibilities 

The Community Partnership has key areas to address in ensuring that it works together to progress the following plans for the Partnership area. 

Children’s plan (led by the local authority) 

Adults plan (led by the NHS) 

Locality plans (led by the partnership) 

Community learning and Development plans (led by Highlands & Islands Enterprise). 

The content of these plans although in draft format at this time will on completion be replicated on the Partnership Website. The direction of each plan has been agreed following considerable Community Consultation within the Partnership area where “The Place Wheel” survey was made available for completion and return to the Partnership. This has then enabled informed decisions to be made in respect of populating the respective plans for going forward. This process, along with information already known by all partners, ensured that the relevant areas of inequality being identified and that with additional support from other agencies improvements can be being made. 

Progress to Date 

The first partnership meeting took place on in October 2016. Where in attendance were the statutory partners, the voluntary sector and members of the public. Key priorities were discussed and plans were commenced for community engagement/consultation to take place as detailed above. 

Having received and analysed the data returned from the consultation period the partnership will now focus on what the local issues are for our communities and how we can all work effectively as a partnership to improve the quality of life for our communities. 

The initial analysis has identified a number of areas that require attention as these are the issues that directly affect our communities. In order to have control of these issues the undernoted categories are being developed for inclusion in the Locality Plan. These are 


Spaces and Places 

Employment and training 

which we as a Partnership will now prioritise. Although at a very early stage the Plans being developed by the Partnership will on being agreed, be shared in order that our communities are aware of the Partnership direction and how it is striving to improve life in our communities. 

Future meetings and Communications 

We will share the progress of the partnership, and any news stories, by means of the local media and social media. 

The partnership is working towards having a “Twitter” feed, an Instagram Page and if sufficient interest was evident a Facebook page. Design is also ongoing for an emblem to demonstrate commitment to Nairn and our surrounding communities, progress on its development will shared when available. 

The partnership will meet bi-monthly, with the date and venue of the meeting being shared on the Website The next meeting being scheduled for 1000hours on Monday 25th September 2017 at the Nairn Community Centre. This is a meeting held in public.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Gàidhlig aig Fèis Leabhraichean 's Ealain Inbhir Narainn 2017 Dihaoine 15 Sultain

Removal of Pedestrian Footbridge in Nairn

Work has commenced this week on the Bailey bridge over the River Nairn adjacent to the Harbour, which gives pedestrian access between the harbour and the holiday park.

This bridge was closed to traffic several years ago and pedestrians crossing the river now walk on the main part of the structure. The footpath extension, on the upstream elevation of the bridge, is closed and has been out of use for some considerable time. 

The works underway comprise of the removal of the out of use parts of footpath extension which forms a separate attachment to the main bridge. Its removal will not affect pedestrian usage as there will be no change to the main structure.

The redundant footpath components can be re-used and are suitable for installation on a similar structure in Lower Foyers where they will be fitted to provide safe pedestrian crossing.

The Nairn local Members are pleased to support this re-use and are glad that the footbridge will be used to great effect by another Highland community.

Area Chair Councillor Tom Heggie said: “I am delighted that this redundant part of the structure can be reused to the benefit off other citizens in a community our Council area with no detriment to its future use by our own citizens.”

Monday, September 04, 2017

MSP looks at parking problem at Raigmore

Snecky based news I know but it can be quite stressful not being able to find a parking space at Raigmore if you have an appointment or are visiting a patient. Here's what the Labour mannie has to say about it:

Speaking today David Stewart said “ I wrote to the Chief Executive of NHS Highland, Elaine Mead, on this issue, which is one the Board are very well aware of. On the 31st December 2008 the Scottish Government made the decision that parking was made free for patients, visitors and staff at hospitals where charges had previously applied. The then Health Secretary confirmed that the move would help to reaffirm the NHS's founding principle of healthcare free at the point of delivery. 

“The Board are aware of anecdotal stories of people using the car park at Raigmore as a park and ride, or for holiday parking, but have stated they can only act when people draw these issues to their attention. The Board ask that if anyone knows that this is happening they point it out to NHS Highland at the time, allowing them to not only identify the car, but also so we can take appropriate action.NHS Highland are currently taking action against the owner/driver of one vehicle which has been so parked within the Hospital parking area.

David Stewart continued “ Amongst options being looked at by the Board are to establish if alternative arrangements could be put in place for many appointments including telephone or video conferencing consultations. There is a Highland-wide programme of work looking into this option which if progressed could save many patients, particularly outpatients, coming into Raigmore Hospital.

“ Finally I would say to the drivers of cars who are misusing the car parking space at Raigmore when they don’t have hospital business, they are blocking a space which a patient or visitor could use. I am only too aware of the added stress for those attending the hospital when they can’t find a parking space, which is why I would ask anyone who is doing this to please stop, think and be more considerate.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Turriff 1 Nairn 2 - Pictures from County Chairman and spiritual leader Donald Matheson

Another impressive performance from the Wee County away at Turriff on Saturday. Individual images here. 

Some impressive football from Ronnie and his players this season so far and two home games coming up this Saturday 26th  and the week after too on Weds 30th - please get along if you can.

August 26, 2017 - Highland League

Nairn CountyvsLossiemouth
Kick-Off: 1500
Match Sponsor: Alec Johnston/Boys on the Hill
Ball Sponsor: Nairn Insurance Services/Jessica Cowie - mcinnes/The Havelock/Nairn Laundry

August 30, 2017 - Highland League

Nairn CountyvsWick Academy
Kick-Off: 2000

Duck, Swan and Pigeon news - good and bad stuff going down on the lower river

More here on the swan mannie's blog. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Young at Heart BBQ Whinnieknowe

This observer had the pleasure of being invited to the Young at Heart BBQ at Whinnieknowe earlier today. Burgers, cakes and a sing song as the weather stayed kind for an afternoon's activities. Individual images here.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Objections to high density housing scheme on Jac's former home stacking up

If you have a moment pop along to have a look at the Highland Council e-planning pages for the application for 31 affordable homes on the former Morganti plot just on the left there the other side of the railway bridge on the Forres Road.  Click on the Comments tab and then Public Comments on this e-planning page here to see the objections. 

Wonder what the result will be fellow Gurnites - 31 homes on a wee high density site with the destruction of all the trees or something a lot more sensible with the retention of the trees? Why should folk have to live on high density schemes just because they are tenants in social housing? 

Will the future layout of Nairn be decided on profit alone or will the community have a voice? 

Will Community Empowerment become real and tangible in Nairn or will it become  another centralised service scooped up by the Glenurquhart Road high heid yins and delivered by Death by Powerpoint presentations? People in Nairn need power and influence when it comes to planning for that to happen and for the democratic deficit in Nairn to start to be rectified. The track record is not good, good luck to Tom Heggie and those of his colleagues willing to fight on the town's behalf - we await with interest how this application goes. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Please have a read of the information on this fund raiser page.

First pink salmon has been caught on the Nairn

Charlie Black tells the Gurn that the first pink salmon has been caught on the River Nairn (see image below).

He went on to tell us: "if any angler catches one it must be killed , as they are already in the Spey, Findhorn and Ness. Also to report it to the NAA at Pat Frasers, or the Water Bailiff.

These fish are another invasive species and may interfere with our precious Atlantic Salmon that are in the river Nairn. The Fish was caught at Spindrift and others have been spotted there. 

There is currently a project to try and get them out of the river as they are now spawning."

More details about pink salmon in this Daily Telegraph article here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Aye "density" - a planning application that just packs them in a bit too much?

Readers here may have seen the article in the Leopold Street Thunderer this week on page 5 which has an Architect's impression of the type of houses that are proposed by Deveron Homes and Albyn Housing for the plot on the vacant ground just past the railway bridge on the Forres road - the former site of the Bungalow that Jacopo Morganti and his family used to live in. 

Get yourself a copy of the Nairnshire to see the drawings or go online and have a browse here on the Highland Council e-planning site. It will be remembered by many perhaps that Deveron Homes received a lot of grief over housing density with their plans for the Sandown Lands. A quick Google search will bring you up to speed with everything that happened there. There was a public inquiry and a lot of suits trooped in for the duration.  It all ended badly.

So here is what the Nairnshire Telegraph had to say in it's editorial this week:

"The old Morganti land's access directly onto  the A96, on  a bend, in between two major junctions, may have been adequate for the traffic from a bungalow. A development of 31 homes is something else. Does the developer remember his Sandown experience?" 

The Gurn would simply like to add that just because social housing is proposed why should it at such a density? Below is a drawing from a previous application that shows five bungalows. That application was successful but nothing ever happened. OK then how about a dozen "social houses" instead of 31 with a bit more room for the bairns and the mature trees and as many as possible of the ones that have grown up in recent years on the site retained. 

Just because these are not private houses it doesn't mean there shouldn't be a decent amount of space for everyone. Let's have space for folk in Nairn be it private or public. If you think 31 houses is a bit too much for this plot then please go along and make a comment on the e-planning site here - alternatively if you think the plans from Deveron and Albyn are cool then go online and support them if you wish but we hope most folk would think a reduction in density appropriate. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

County play Caley Tuesday night at Station Park and entry to the game is free.

Also  - don't forget tomorrow afternoons massive game against Clach though - come and see Ronnie's Revolution in action as the young heroes once again take to the scared Station Park turf. You'll have to pay for that one but children under 14 are allowed free entry if accompanied by an adult. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A very good win for Saint Ninian tonight - Saints 7 Spey Valley 0 - video of goal No 6

Collection for local foobank at Nairn County v Clach Station Park Saturday 12th of August 3 pm - please donate a couple of items if you can

Recent results for the County have put a bit of a buzz in the air and a glow on fans faces when they discuss the exciting style of football that Ronnie's Revolution has brought to the sacred Station Park turf. Please come and enjoy the atmosphere on Saturday and lend your support to the whole infrastructure that is the Station Park Club, the first team and the youth teams - "The County Family". Come and get the craic.

On your way up to the ground please pop into the Co-op or other local stores if you have some spare cash and bring up a couple of items for a local foodbank collection. Cheers. Here's a message from County stalwart, former player and committee man Ali Nicol:

Monday, August 07, 2017

Buckie 2 Nairn 3 Pictures Donald Matheson

Next up Clach on Saturday, get the County glow - come and see the action at Station Park at 3 pm Saturday. Bring a crazy hat if you have one :-)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Ronnie's Revolution: "Age is not a barrier here – if you are good enough, you are going to get chances."

There's a glow about County fans these days when they talk about what they are witnessing when their team take to the field. Come and get some yourself this Saturday at Station Park 3 pm when County take on Clach. 

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Ronnie's Revolution continues as County beat Champions Buckie next up Clach at Station Park this Sat (12th August) - it's building, it's exciting - be there 3 pm

Six points from the three opening games from the Wee County now. They debuted in the league this season at Mosset Park and went down to a narrow 1-0 home win by the Can-Cans and on Wednesday night Deveronvale came to Nairn and we won that one 3-0. And today a massive 2-3 away win at the Highland League Champions Buckie. 

So impressed with Nairn's performance, the Buckie fans awarded the man of the match award to Jordon Macrae - what an incredible accolade that is in itself and kudos  to the Buckie faithful for that gesture. 

County committee man Alastair Nicol said on social media tonight:

"Just received a text from Ronnie saying that the boys are all knackered but they're all naturally delighted with the scoreline. I would like to issue a rallying call to the supporters. 

Let's all get behind the team spread the word bring a brother, sister, cousin, second cousin, wife, husband, friend, neighbour...and bring them to future games starting with Clach at home next Saturday. 

A lot of hard work getting done on and off  the pitch by the board, manager, squad of players, groundsmen and the management committee.

Finally to see Max Ewan 16 Jack Maclean 18 and Jordan Macrae 18 all score today the future is bright. Let's all get on board Ronnie's revolution."

The Gurn supports Ali's call. Let's be there folks and support these young heroes doing their best for our club. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Missing cat - can you help find Toby? - Update returned home 5th August :-)

Update returned home 5th August :-)

Update: £50 reward for anyone that reunites Toby with owners. See comments.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Watch yourself on the River walks, wee sink hole at the bottom of Reg's Brae

Pictures from Riverside correspondent Murd Dunbar. Murd tells us that he has informed Liz MacDonald.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Another dose of sewage rain water mix for the River Nairn

The sewage system in the centre of Nairn and the storm drains are linked and when there is a downpour what you see in the image below can happen as it did today. 

Not good for the river and not good for the bathing water quality on the beaches too. Maybe one day the powers that be will resolve this problem. Thanks to the regular reader that sent us this image. 

Forres 1 Nairn 0 Pictures Donald Matheson

Individual images here. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Nairn Paddling pool, the alternative survey

There is a bit of an alternative survey on Paddling Pool affairs that has surfaced among the ranks of Nairn's twitterati. You have to be on twitter to vote though.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Paddling pool debate hots up on Social Media

What, if anything, should happen to the paddling pool remains controversial as ever - criticism of Highland Council and the modus operandi of their Paddling Pool survey grows. "Nairn Our Town - Our Views" Facebook page is debate central just now - you can have a read or comment yourself here.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Nairn Paddling Pool no more? - campaigners alarmed by Highland Council survey news release.

It did seem the future of the town's iconic Paddling Pool had been assured after protests during the last term of Highland Council now a message on the Save Nairn Paddling Pool facebook group states:

"The hawks are starting to circle again.... don't let them take it away...." There is also a link to a BBC article that quotes Tom Heggie:

"Tom Heggie, chairman of Highland Council's Nairnshire Committee, said: "We want to revitalise this area of the links and make sure that it can be a focus for families to enjoy the seafront.

"A major question is whether water play should be a central feature of any replacement, and if so whether it should be a traditional paddling pool like we have now or the kind of splash park being installed in many parts of the country.

"Alternatively the site could become the centre of an improved play area with a wider range of play equipment aimed at a variety of age groups - perhaps a toddler area within the current fenced area with equipment for older children surrounding it.

"Unlike a water play area this would be open all year round." "

There is also a Highland Council survey on the future of the paddling pool here. 

Update: we have received the following from Highland Council:

Nairn Paddling Pool and Play Area

The popular Paddling Pool at Nairn Links has been used and enjoyed by local people and visitors for many years. In recent years, though, the service has been disrupted with the pool closed for part of the summer. Due to its age the structure of the paddling pool has been deteriorating badly and repairs have become more difficult and more expensive. In 2016 repairs were made which will keep it in operation through this summer and, barring the unforeseen, another two or three years. For the future beyond that there is a need to make decisions now, and the Nairn Ward Councillors would like to get your views on the best way forward.

Tom Heggie, the chair of the Nairnshire Committee, says: "We want to revitalise this area of the Links and make sure that it can be a focus for families to enjoy the seafront. A major question is whether water play should be a central feature of any replacement, and if so whether it should be a traditional paddling pool like we have now or the kind of splash park being installed in many parts of the country. Alternatively the site could become the centre of an improved play area with a wider range of play equipment aimed at a variety of age groups – perhaps a toddler area within the current fenced area with equipment for older children surrounding it. Unlike a water play area this would be open all year round."

A short survey has been launched to gather views and we want to know what you - and especially parents and young people - would like to see on the site. Paper copies of the survey are available at the Nairn Service Point and the Nairn Leisure Centre, or you can access it online from the Leisure Centre website at or its Facebook page The survey will run through until 8th September.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Housing land in Nairn - River CC to hold emergency meeting on Highland Council Consultation Document next Weds night 2nd August

Regular readers may have seen this article here where we discussed whether it was appropriate for the Highland Council to hold their consultation on their Housing and Land Audit plans at the height of the holiday season. 

A map in the document shows details of the allocation capacity for South Nairn (520 houses), The Showfield (30 Houses), The Kingsteps land that made the front page of the Nairnshire recently (90 houses) and Sandown and Delnies. South Nairn, the Showfield and the 90 houses on the MacDonald Field at Kingsteps have been highly controversial with many worries expressed about the state of the road and sewage networks in Nairn to cope with these proposed future developments. 

Others take the view that houses have to be built and a housing crisis in Nairn usually means someone is trying to build a house and feel that there is too much obstruction to new development. This observer shares the view that Sandown would be a better site for social and private housing and bring much needed money into the Common Good Fund. Whatever your view it is a bit hard to focus on this consultation at this time of year, there are many other distractions for folk - the consultation closes on the 6th of August. 

River Community Council are to hold an emergency debate on Wednesday 2nd August, 7.30pm at the Nairn Community and Arts Centre. The Community Council's secretary, Stephen Fuller has extend an invitation to NW&SCC and the elected Highland Council Ward Members for this meeting.

The Gurn also understands that John Finnie MSP will be writing to Highland Council asking them to consider extending the time frame on this consultation. 

Rise or the Robot lawn mowers or dawn of the High-viz jackets? Highland Council test the "Spider"

One of our readers spotted the "Spider" in action today in Inverness. More in a Highland Council press release here. 

Our correspondent was struck by the number of High Viz folk in the vicinity and was prompted to ask: "How many Highland Council workers does it take to cut a blade of grass?" Looks like a huge squad was necessary today to oversee the process? 

We often hear or lack of "capacity" or "manpower" when stuff doesn't get done in Nairn but if those folk in the image above are indeed all Highland Council bodies wouldn't it be better to give them all a strimmer and a doggie jobbie collection apparatus and put them on a bus through to Nairn because I doubt if we will ever see "The Spider" in use here?

Find out more about this machine here at 

Opportunistic car theft on Cawdor Road on Wednesday July 26 - Highlands and Islands Police Division appeal for information

The Police are appealing for information after an opportunistic theft from a car in Nairn.

Entry was forced to a parked car in the Cawdor Road area some time between 12pm and 9.45pm on Wednesday, July 26.

Personal items worth a low value sum were subsequently removed from within.

Officers are investigating and urge anybody who saw anything suspicious in the area on Wednesday afternoon or evening to make contact.

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: "This is an unusual type of incident to happen in Nairn and I would like to offer assurance that police enquiries are ongoing.

"This theft appears to have been opportunistic in nature and it is important that people take steps to discourage criminals.

"Simple acts such as locking your car, not storing valuables in view or hiding them from view can help prevent you from becoming a victim of crime.

"Enquiries are ongoing in relation to the incident on Wednesday and I would urge anyone with information to contact Police on 101, quoting reference NM/5078/17, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Caledonian Ceilidh Trail - Launch Night Ceilidh Saturday 29th July 2017 @7.30 pm Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Transport related issues - public meeting of Nairnshire Partnership - Monday 14th August 1800 Nairn Community Centre

A spokesperson from the partnership told the Gurn:

"Thanks to the people of Nairn and Nairnshire for completing the surveys thus far. After review, the following topics feature as being important to the people of Nairn and Nairnshire - Transport, Employment and Training, Places and Spaces. In the future, there will be a final report on the consultation and this will be available on the website There will be a meeting held in public on 14 August 2017 at 1800 hours when the various Transport related issues will be discussed.

Meantime, we will be at the Nairn Show (29/08/217) at the Scottish Fire and Rescue stand between 1100 hours and 1230 hours, why not take a wander past and tell us what's important to you in Nairn and Nairnshire."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nairn Charity Shield pictures from Donald Matheson

Saints took on County in the annual game at the Showfield on Thursday night 20th July

Individual images here. 

Cinema Nairn film Friday 28th July. 7.30pm 'That Sinking Feeling' (PG) Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Cinema Nairn film
Friday 28th July. 7.30pm
'That Sinking Feeling' (PG)
Nairn Community and Arts Centre

Cinema Nairn's screening on Friday (28th) is writer and director Bill Forsyth's first comedy, but just as hilarious and quirky as Gregory's Girl or Local Hero.
Filmed in 1979 in Glasgow, it follows the fortunes of four bored teenagers who come up with an unlikely money making scheme involving sinks.
Needless to say, all does not go to plan!
Film starts at 7.30pm at Nairn Community and Arts Centre. Tickets at the door.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Skimming devices found on ATMs in Beauly and Nairn. Two arrested by Police Scotland

A Police Scotland Press Release:

Police Scotland is urging the public to be vigilant after skimming devices were reported on cash machines in the Beauly and Nairn areas.

Both incidents involved a device being fitted to the ATMs which "captured" the bank card of anyone who used it and refused to return the card after an attempted transaction.

Cameras were also fitted to film the user entering the PIN code for the stolen card.

Two men - aged 24 and 25-years-old - have been arrested in connection with these incidents and are due to appear at Inverness Sheriff Court in due course.

Both the Nairn and Beauly incidents we re reported to Police on Friday, July 21.

Police Scotland want to make anybody using a cash machine alert to this particular type of scam and urge anyone who sees anything suspicious around an ATM to report it immediately to Police, as well as the bank or shop where the cash machine is located.

Police Scotland offer the following advice:•Check the card reader and the front fascia for anything that appears to be out of the ordinary before inserting your card.•Check for any unusual attachments to the ATM.•Cover the PIN key pad as you enter your number by obscuring it with your free hand.•If anything looks out of place, they should not enter their card or PIN number but should immediately inform the authorities.•If you insert your card, and it appears to be retained or jammed, check the fascia and notify the bank or service provider immediately. Contact the police and service provider immediately should you discover a device attached to an ATM.•Check your account balance regularly and inform your bank immediately if your account shows any transactions you did not make.

Detective Inspector Richard Baird said: "We do not want to alarm people unduly about the use of cash machines but the public should be alert to this type of activity and take sensible precautions.

"Our enquiries are ongoing in relation to the recent incidents and anybody who has information should get in touch with us as soon as possible.

"Anyone who finds any suspicious device or has any information regarding suspicious activity around cash machines is urged to contact Police Scotland on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nairn Healthcare Newsletter July/August 2017


Nairn Healthcare would like to congratulate Practice Nurse, Nicola Thomson, who has just taken on the role of Lead Practice Nurse. Nicola has been with the Practice since 2012.

We will also be welcoming Foundation Year 2 doctor, Dr Rachel Armitage, to the team. Dr Armitage is due to start in the beginning of August.

Flu Vaccine Review

Nairn Healthcare held their annual flu review meeting recently. 6,046 of Nairn Healthcare patients qualified for the flu vaccine last Winter because of their age, clinical history, pregnancy or because they are a carer. 58% of these patients chose to receive the free flu vaccine.

Although, we have not yet received our flu vaccines for this year, please keep your eyes peeled on our website, newsletters, media screens and local shops and chemists around both Nairn and Ardersier for when this year’s campaign will commence. Patients aged over 65 will receive a letter from NHS Highland.

CAB Outreach

The Citizens Advice Office in the GPs surgery will be closed due to annual leave from Monday 17th July and will re-open on Monday 31st July.

If there are any urgent enquiries The High Street Bureau will be open and can be accessed by either dropping in or telephoning 01667 456677.

My Well Being and Me 

Find out about how to improve your health without the misery of dieting with new group, My Well-Being and Me. Their approach is your health for your size and to develop a healthy relationship with food. The next Well course will take place in the Conference Room (before GP Reception), Nairn Hospital on Tuesday 29th August at 4pm-6pm. Please contact Ann Grant on 01667 422719 or email to book a place

Sun Protection

Recently, the UK has been experiencing some of the hottest days of the year so far. Although it’s great to have some sun shining, we still need to protect our skin with suitable clothing, seeking shade and applying sunscreen.

Sunscreen should be suitable for your skin type and block both UVA and UVB radiation, at least SPF15 should be applied and the product shouldn’t be applied if after its expiry date.

Children and babies have more sensitive skin than adults so please take extra care to protect them. Children under 6 months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight. There are sunscreens available that are formulated for children and babies, these are less likely to irritate their skin.

If you do happen to get sunburnt, paracetamol and ibuprofen will ease the pain by helping to reduce inflammation. Sponge the sore skin with cool water and apply aftersun lotion. If you feel unwell or the skin swells or blisters, please seek medical help and stay out of the sun until all redness has gone.

For more information on sun protection, please visit


Hay fever is one of the most common allergic conditions affecting one in five people at some point in their life and unfortunately, it is during the Summer months that it surfaces. It is an allergy to pollen and the symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

There is currently no cure for hay fever but most people are able to relieve symptoms with treatment to a certain extent. Treatment options include antihistamines which can help prevent an allergic reaction from occurring. Steroids are sometimes recommended to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Most hay fever cases can be controlled with over-the-counter medication from the pharmacy, however if you feel your hay fever is more troublesome, it may be worth speaking to a GP as you may require prescribed medication.

Some self-help tips:

Wearing sunglasses outdoors to stop pollen reaching your eyes
Take a shower after being outdoors to remove unwanted pollen from your body
Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the nasal opening to trap pollen grains.

Art in Healthcare

Nairn Books and Arts festival goers are invited to attend an Exhibition and talk given by the chief executive of the Art in Healthcare charity Margaret O'Connor. The exhibition includes artwork from emerging and established Scottish artists such as TG McGill Duncan, David Michie, and also Christopher Gilvan Cartwright, whose paintings were inspired by recovery following illness.

Light refreshments will be available. Free event. Monday 11th September. 7.30pm. Nairn Healthcare Group.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Specsavers grand opening doubles as fundraiser for RNIB - bake sale and a live owl display plus more

Specsavers tell us:

"We are having our official grand opening event on Sat 22nd July from 12pm - 4pm, we will have activities in attendance for the public, including a magician, a face painter and a live owl display, and we will also be holding a bake sale and raffle and all proceeds raised from the event will be going to the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). It should be a great day for all the family!"

Monday, July 17, 2017

The height of the holiday season - not really the ideal time for Highland Council to launch a consultation on "Housing Land Audit" ?

Unless you were one of the lucky folk that have signed up to the Highland Council consultation portal then it is very unlikely that you will know about this consultation that closes on the 6th of August - of course even if you do know about it you might have one or two other things competing for your attention at this time of the year. It is hard to see how the town's two Community Councils will make a response as they traditionally take July off each year and have no meetings this month.

So this link here will take you to the Highland Council Consultation on the draft Housing Land Audit. You then have the opportunity to read and comment on a document. There is an interactive page here with a map  you can zoom into to find details of what housing the planners think should be added to Nairn. 

The map gives you details of the allocation capacity for South Nairn (520 houses), The Showfield (30 Houses), The Kingsteps land that made the front page of the Nairnshire recently (90 houses) and Sandown and Delnies. 

There have been complaints in the past that views submitted to these consultations have been ignored. But given the new mantras of Community Empowerment and Localism emitting from Holyrood and Glenurquhart Road perhaps this is crunch time - is it business as usual or will our community finally get to decide where things should get built and how the town should grow? Is it still about trying to attract large scale commercial developers or could we try something different and be a bit more holistic about it all?  Maybe some of our MSPs might want to stand up and say things need to change somewhat after all they must have heard some of the complaints too? 

Unless it is quickly proven otherwise though consultation is still a four letter word - It really is easy to be cynical and not give a shit given the way we've been treated in the past but should anyone still think it worthwhile the link is above...

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Buddies feel at home at friendly County

Testament to the town's Highland League football club from one of the visiting St Mirren fans.

Stuart McMillan told the Gurn:

"After a long drive from Paisley, I was tired but I was met by a cheery, good natured gate supervisor who was more than happy to take this photo for me. The girls in the food stall were a delight and the food was excellent. The stall itself was clean and well presented. Then there were your club officials, all immaculately turned out in club blazers and ties. To a man they welcomed us with a smile and asked how we were. They even handed out free team sheets. Nice touch. 

During the game we had a bit of banter with the ball boys who took it in good spirit too. Some of us being behind the goals were also enjoying some banter with both your goal keepers who also took it in the spirit it was intended. Station Park was a very smart wee ground. The area around the pitch was clean and clearly well looked after. The playing surface was better than some SPFL pitches I've seen. A real credit to your ground staff. 

After the game there was one committee man who thanked all the St Mirren supporters that walked past him for coming up, shook many hands, mine included and wished us a safe journey home. That was just one of many reasons a LOT of St Mirren fans left Nairn with a lasting impression of a well run club with a fantastic attitude. Many of us will be keeping an eye on County's form this coming season. I will most certainly be back when I'm next up north. Best wishes for the 2017/18 season. Regards from Paisley."

Sunday, July 02, 2017

It's rubbish on Nairn Beach

Well it was until the Green Hive and Nairn Sailing Club combined forces and set about cleaning it up. Over 50 people turned up to participate in the event and there will be a follow up Art is Rubbish exhibition from some of today's discoveries. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nairnshire Rising Street stall Sat 1st July, Leopold Street corner on Nairn High Street 11.30 am to 12.30

If you are in or near Nairn this Saturday (1st July) please pop along for a wee while. Bring a banner too if you  can. 

Nairn Police supporting #TeamHamish

Join the Nairn Connects BID Steering Group

The Nairn BID is looking for local business owners to join the BID Steering Group to help take forward the job of shaping the future ambitions of the Nairn BID.

There are now 32 BIDS up and running across Scotland, each having developed a Business Plan that is unique to its own area. Each BID has a Steering Group made up of local business people who form a committee to support the development their Business Plan.

BIDs operating in towns and areas like Nairn have focussed their efforts around the visitor and retail economy and visitor events. Others have focussed around improvements to streetscapes, parking, or employability issues with local businesses, schools and colleges.

Michael Boylan, Chair of the BID Steering Group said. “It’s important we have a good cross section of Nairn businesses on the Steering Group to ensure we build the Plan around what is important for Nairn. Being on the group will involve a commitment over the coming year but also represents a great opportunity to help shape the economic future for Nairn.”

Alan Rankin BID Project manager said. “There has been a great deal of work done in getting the idea of a BID for Nairn to this stage. The next step is to broaden that involvement to bring in a wider range of motivated people to help shape and make the BID a success.”

Alan added. “No two BIDs are the same with the business plan and activities decided upon and prioritised by the local business community. “

To get the process moving forward the BID is looking to local businesses people to step forward and join the Steering Group. Alan Rankin will, with the support of the Steering Group, develop through conversation and consultation a Business Plan that in turn will be put to a vote in 2018.

People whose business properties are non-domestic rated can notify the BID Project Manager Alan Rankin of their interest to join the group. Alan will in turn send on the brief for steering group members and then meet to discuss with interested parties the workings of the group. The Steering Group will meet on a regular monthly basis over the coming year and through a process of consultation with local businesses generate a Business Proposal and Business Plan. 

More information about BIDS and details on the other BIDs in Scotland can be found at the NairnConnects BID website

Alan Rankin can be contacted on or on 07785 722936

Monday, June 26, 2017

What is good about Nairn according to a community planning workshop

Here is what a recent Community Planning Partnership workshop made of what is good about Nairn. Consultation still a four letter word in Nairn or is this one going to be different? There is an ongoing survey here on the Partnership's website? 

"The Good—What is good about your community?

 Facebook pages for Nairnshire—Nairn Rocks; Nairn Cares; Nairn Recycle
 Excellent community facilities e.g. Community Arts Centre
 Community Spirit—sunniest place in Scotland!!
 Volunteers are active & willing to support
 Level of community support for events
 Friendly
 Community works together
 Recognition response & referral to statutory agencies
 Number of people involved in volunteering 
 Statutory agencies wanting to engage with community based organisations/third sector
 Engagement with local issues
 Volunteers are invaluable
 The support of good neighbours
 Friendly and welcoming
 High level of community involvement
 Safe and welcoming
 People are willing to step up and help each other
 Business which benefit the community eg. Restaurant in Ardersier which does Christmas meals for those on their own
 Safe Community 
Massive variety of activities
 Integrated adult services are co-located
 Great assets
 Good leisure facilities, lots of outdoor space or the community to use
 Tourism attraction not just Scotland

 Lots of Community groups t be involved with—for all tastes"