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.