Sunday, July 14, 2019

Street Markets - something we should have on a regular basis?

This observer was on the Golden Mile yesterday and noticed just how many Nairn folk were doing their shopping or dining or moving going through in that part of Snecky. As we sometimes do it prompted a tweet on our twitter account. That tweet generated an interesting response which you can also read below.

There has also been a bit of conversation on a Nairn social media page about the value of markets and the opportunities to trade etc and whether they are good for the town or not.  We, of course think they are, and market towns elsewhere seem to benefit from the extra folk the stall holders pull in. Witness Murray MacRae's image from July six years ago shows.

It's good to see Nairn High Street full of people at times like the Christmas Lights ceremony and the Fun Runs - maybe the powers that be and the new Nairn BID could bring back a street market or two? Could such a scenario make Nairn truly "more about the experience".

Friday, July 12, 2019

Highland Council survey becomes "mother of all complaints page" on Facebook

One of our regular readers sent us a link to a Highland Council Facebook page which links to a Survey site.

"We have set a vision for The Highland Council to be: - Ambitious, Sustainable and - Connected." They say but the entries on the wee embeded bittie below are a litany of what people across the Highlands think is wrong with the Council.   Click on the  "See more" link to see what Highlanders have to say 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Info on recent delays at Nairn traffic lights from MSP

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Meeting to set up Nairn Extinction Rebellion Group - 6.30 pm Tuesday July 23rd in the Nairn Community and Arts Centre

On Monday evening (1st July) there was a talk in the Community Centre about the group Extinction Rebellion. The organisers were delighted with a turnout of about 40 people who came along wanting to do something to stop the climate emergency destroying our world. There will be another meeting on Tuesday 23rd of July in the Community and Arts Centre at 6.30 pm to form a Nairn group. 

Time to do what we can folks, if you are concerned about what we are doing to this planet and want to change things then please come along to the meeting.  

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Thursday 18th July 7.30pm Mac McClure (piano), Juan Carlos Higuita (violin) Fort George Chapel, Ardersier Tickets at the door. £15 /2

On Thursday 18th July the exquisite and historic Garrison Chapel at Fort George will be a very special venue for the first concert of Music Nairn’s exciting and ambitious Outreach Programme which will provide the opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience top quality live music in wonderful atmospheric venues.

The chapel was added to the Fort in 1763-7 and is perfect for such a musical performance.
Both performers, Juan Pablo Higuita (violin) and Mac McClure (piano) specialise in Spanish and South American music and an exciting and colourful programme including Albeniz, Piazzolla, Ginastera, Sarasate and Turina should be ideal for a summer evening.

Juan Pablo trained at Bogota and Vienna Conservatoires, has performed to critical acclaim throughout South America, and is currently professor of violin and chamber music at the University of Colombia, while US born Mac, who has worked extensively with Alicia de Larrocha on the Spanish and classical repertoire teaches and tours in Spain, the USA and South America.

Nairn Community Transport minibus is available from Forres or Nairn for those who do not wish or are unable to travel there by car. Advance booking is required at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre on 01667 453476. Pickup time will be advised on booking, and a £2 contribution is requested.
Once at Fort George, the buses will operate a shuttle service between outside car park and Chapel for those who don’t wish to walk, so prompt arrival is requested.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Removing the Courthouse Steeple - Sunday 30th June 2019 video and images

All went well today and quite a few folk turned out to see the removal of the Courthouse steeple as the renovation works by the LTM Group continued assisted by a crane from the Stoddart company.

A picture below of the some of the team involved today and also images from Murray MacRae. More Gurn images of the operation coming soon.

Picture Murray MacRae - click to enlarge 

Picture Murray MacRae - click to enlarge 

Monday, June 24, 2019

A single Community Council representing Nairn just now

With River CC in abeyance then that is the case, if you wish to take your concerns to a public meeting and get an airing in a forum where Highland Councillors and the press will be present then you only have one option just now until the Community Council elections in November when sufficient candidates may come forward to allow Nairn River CC to be restored. Tonight at the regular meeting of West and Suburban CC however there was an invitation to all those remaining River members (left in limbo by the decision of Highland Council to shut them down) to join West and Suburban as non-voting associate members. A decision that, for now, effectively gives us a body that has representatives from most areas of the town. 

There was talk too of the future of Community Councils in Nairn and whether sufficient people could be attracted to the forthcoming elections this winter, particularly younger people who, it was mentioned, seem happy to comment on issues on social media but unwilling to take the further step of attending meetings, let alone stand for membership. One option for after the elections might be another attempt at a single council officially representing Nairn or a return to the idea of joint meetings.

There was a lot of stuff that folk might have found interesting tonight, perhaps the CC should experiment with a live Facebook broadcast to enlighten folk of how issues are discussed and how contributions can be made. Tom Heggie and Peter Saggers (two Highland Councillors) present were
Picture from Dec 2012 - concern expressed by Community
Councillors over the lack of action on flood prevention surveys
and works for Nairn although we are high on the list for action
asked about a number of issues such as car parking charges (nothing yet), the failure to come up with a new flood prevention scheme (nothing new yet). News emerged that Highland Council are talking with the BID about a deep-clean of the High Street and surrounding areas. The CC in conversation too with the BID about the nascent improvement organisation paying for £4,000 for the installation of the Christmas Lights this year (a price that Highland Council will be demanding). Talk too of the BID taking the fireworks cash from the CC in the future and then organising a display but that could be some way off.

And there was talk of the A96 bypass inquiry results being with Scottish Ministers by the summer (that'll be starting soon no doubt). The Courthouse works have gone over budget according to Tom Heggie but the Council will be paying out for that. There were one or two other things mentioned as well and no doubt the Leopold Street Thunderer will have some details for interested citizens to digest next week.

It was an hour and a half of the issues affecting the town, very interesting, it's all we have in the way of a democratic forum for the town – will sufficient people come forward in November to allow one or both of the town's Community Councils to continue?

PS only just seen some comments on previous articles, they have been published now - used to get an e-mail notification when they came through but that has stopped for some reason. Apologies for the delay.

Armed Forces Week 2019 ceremony at the Legion - Picture Murray MacRae

Car park closure for Nairn Courthouse Steeple removal

Highland Council Press Release:

Residents and visitors to Nairn are advised of forthcoming works involved with the ongoing refurbishment project to Nairn Courthouse.

On Sunday 30th June the top of the Courthouse steeple/viewing tower will be lifted off by crane and placed in the rear car park to allow repairs to be made to the wooden and lead structure. This operation will be weather dependant.

To allow crane access and carry out the lift, the full rear car park will be closed overnight at both entrances from the A96 from 10 pm on Saturday 29th June until 10 am on Sunday 30th June.

Crane set up will take approximately an hour and a half from 7 am on Sunday 30th with the actual lift likely to take half an hour from 8:30 am. For public safety, the High Street will be closed off in the immediate vicinity of the Courthouse for the duration of the lift. Areas adjacent to the Courthouse will also be cordoned off for safety reasons.

Once the steeple has been removed, it will be lowered into a secure compound in the rear car park for works to take place.

Replacement of the refurbished steeple is programmed for the end of July 2019. The construction works are currently on programme and the public are able to view the various stages of works required at Nairn Service Point.

The works are being carried out by Laing Traditional Masonry, and project managed by The Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure Service

Friday, June 21, 2019

Climate Emergency school strikers moving to alternate Saturdays on the High Street

Eric told the Gurn this morning that the Friday School Climate Emergency strikers will be coming to the High Street on alternate Saturdays. The first Saturday action will be on Saturday 29th between 1-2 pm on the High Street.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Armed Forces Day a Flag Raising Ceremony will be held at Nairn Royal British Legion on Monday 24th June 2019 at 10.45am

Friday, June 14, 2019

Quite a lot going on in the Nairn twittersphere these days folks, we'll post anything interesting we see here via the Gurn twitter page

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 and you can scroll down the wee twitter boxie on the right hand side as far as you like to see what the latest craic is. You don't have to have an account to look at tweets either. 

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Team Hamish event brings crowds, colour, joy, motion and much more to Nairn today - pictures

A fantastic event and the weather mainly held off as an amazing event took place with the Team Hamish 10K and fun runs getting underway. Click on the image below to browse or a several pages of Individual larger images here. 

Please note we have had to put the images into two flickr albums now due to a technical difficulty. The second album now added below. 

Sgioba Hamish 9 Og-mhios 2019

Individual larger images of second album here. 

Sgioba Hamish 9 Og-mhios 2019 - Duilleag 2

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Missing cat Rose Street - 1st June 2019

Update: 22/6/19 Sadly Sam was found deceased yesterday.

Julie Hatton's cat has been missing since Saturday, 1st June in the Rose Street area. This is her post on Nairn Rocks.  
"My poor cat got out last night as I had moved house. He is not well and on medication. His name is Sam and he is a very shy cat. No collar as he had a cut on his neck. Moved from Belivat Terrace town centre Nairn to Rose St if you see him please pm me."

If you live in or around the Rose Street, High Street, Belivat Terrace area, could you please take a moment to check your house, garages, sheds, greenhouses, conservatories, etc, in case Sam has got shut in.
If you see him please pm Julie on the Nairn Rocks post.

"The Scottish Government must deliver on its promise to the people of the Highlands to make railway travel to Inverness competitive with road travel"

"The Scottish Government must deliver on its promise to the people of the Highlands to make railway travel to Inverness competitive with road travel according to the Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP. 

Both the Welsh and Scottish Governments have recently declared climate emergencies and this week the Welsh Government announced it has scrapped plans to build a new motorway.

Mr Harvie highlighted this at First Minister’s Questions this afternoon, asking that since the FM insisted, “Everything is under review” whether the government would look again at the A9 and A96 dualling projects and instead redirect public expenditure from road building to a modern affordable and efficient rail network.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“More than ten years ago an SNP First Minister made a promise to the people of the Highlands that rail travel would become competitive with road. In the meantime, little has happened on the rail front, while huge investment has been committed to the A9 and A96 dualling projects.

“If these projects continue as planned this would mean that there were effectively four lanes of road heading to and from the Highland capital, but only one lane of rail. 

“This week we’ve seen a welcome u-turn from the Welsh Government, scrapping its plan to build a new motorway in the face of the climate emergency. If the Scottish Government’s climate commitments are to be taken seriously, it must too rethink its polluting road plans, and instead invest in reliable alternatives.

“Dualling and electrifying the Highland Mainline could be done at a fraction of the cost of the road projects, and would bring huge environmental and economic benefits to the region. It’s time for the Scottish Government to deliver on its promises and provide a modern, affordable and efficient rail network which is fit for the 21st century.”

D-Day 75th Anniversary - Memorial service on Nairn LInks

A good turnout today for the service organised by the Nairn Branch of the Royal British Legion despite the weather, as those that trained in this area during World War 2 and then went on to participate in the D-Day landings were remembered.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Nairn youngsters speaking at Climate Emergency demonstration they organised in Inverness - Saturday 25th of May 2019

They were also some adult speakers invited by the young people too and we'll put up a link to a longer video containing their contributions later. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Nairn voter receives polling card but still unable to vote on the day!

Worried about the Climate Emergency? - if you can get along to Falcon Square Inverness 12.00 midday tomorrow (25th May) to support a demonstration organised by 13 year old Eric and his friends

Nairn's youth continue their efforts to draw attention to Climate Emergency issues

Nairn Academy pupils held their regular Climate Emergency demonstration today in the High Street and then they went up to support a similar protest outside Rosebank. Tomorrow the Nairn pupils have organised a demonstration in Inverness which starts in Falcon Square at 12 midday (see image of poster on right of this article.

 If you get a chance speak to these youngsters about their hopes for the future and their worries about the growing dangerous situation that our world's climate is heading for - they are remarkable and inspirational people.

Larger images later on the Gurn flickr pages. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Some Rosebank pupils to join worldwide Climate Strike this Friday 8.45 – 9.45 am at Academical Square opposite St Ninian's Church

Inspired by both Greta Thunberg, and the actions of the Nairn Academy pupils, some of the Rosebank Primary pupils will be holding their own Climate Strike this Friday at Academical Square (square at the back of Rosebank School, opposite St Ninian’s) from 8.45 – 9.45 as part of the Global Climate Strike 2. All pupils and teachers from both Rosebank and Milbank are welcome to attend, but will need to be supervised by a Parent / carer and let their school know.

David a P4 pupil – who helped to instigate the event, says “I don’t want to sit around anymore, I want to do something”.

Details of the Global Strike for Climate in the embeded facebook article below.  Since the first Global strike, which say a very good turnout in Nairn despite heavy rain, picture here, Nairn Academy pupils have continued with a Friday morning demonstration on the High Street every week and will no doubt be turning out for the Global Strike too this week.

Last ever ‘Run for Hamish’ event - Sunday 9th of June

Run for Hamish 
Sunday 9th of June. 

Last ever ‘Run for Hamish’ event.

You can pick up entry forms from the library, community & arts centre, swimming pool and sports club.
Fun Run is 5k, you can walk, jog, run. We welcome ALL! Buggies/prams, dogs on leads.

For the more serious runners, sign up for the 10 mile road race. You can enter online via our website.

If Hamish could do it, so can you! Let’s make it the best one yet.
Team Hamish told the Gurn:

"3 weeks yesterday is ‘Run for Hamish’ This is the last time we plan to hold this event. Six months before he died Hamish stood proudly for a photo, he was delightedly wearing pants on his head. Affectionately then referred to as Captain Underpants 👌🏻😂🦸🏼‍♂️

We would like 🌈EVERYONE 🌈on the day to wear a pair of pants on their head! As plain or as fancy as you wish! We are demonstrating below how it can be done! No excuses 😂 everyone owns pants!! That and as bright colours as you can find to wear!! Even Indie joined in, Bella was not so keen.
Thank you SO much to everyone for your continued support!

See you on the 9th of June wearing your pants on your head! 😂👌🏻💙🌈👌🏻🌈"

Living better with a long term condition - Nairn Group - next event Wednesday 5th of June 2 pm Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Friday, May 17, 2019

Planet before Profit - Fridays for the Future - Nairn Academy Climate strikers continue their weekly action

Nairn Academy Climate Emergency demonstrators continue their weekly action. They were joined again this morning by mothers with pre-school age children. They told the Gurn that on Saturday the 25th the Nairn campaigners will be heading for Inverness and meeting up with others in Falcon Square at 12 noon.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Yes Politics for parents - interesting concept for parents who find it hard to get to meetings in the evenings etc - tomorrow 10.30 am Nairn Community and Arts Centre

The launch of a new political group in Nairn tomorrow. The idea is to give a chance to those parents who find it too difficult to get to meetings in the evenings etc. This is for Yes minded parents but  the concept could equally apply to those the other way inclined who find their political life curtailed somewhat by parenthood. This initiative was reported in the National. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Highland Council declaration of Climate and Ecological Emgergency - watch the debate

Here at the Gurn we believe Margaret Davidson showed remarkable leadership qualities yesterday at the regular monthly meeting of Highland Council at Glenurquhart Road in Invernessin changing her motion on climate change to include the words "Climate and Ecological Emergency". We would urge our readers to watch the section of the Highland Council webcast below where the motion was debated - it it a good insight into what has to be done and what we can do in the Highlands to help avoid the worst effects of accelerating climate change. 

Nairn Academy Climate strikers - Week 10 of their regular protest - further action planned for Saturday 25th of May in Inverness

The young people today were delighted with yesterday's decision of Highland Council to declare a Climate and Ecological emergency. They were joined by mothers with pre-school children who support their action. 
The Gurn understands that the Nairn youngsters are, with other young people in the Highlands, organising a march and rally in Inverness on Saturday the 25th of May. More details when we have them. 

More pictures here.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Significant objection to development of 3 houses at top end of Mill Road from Highland Council Forestry Officer "contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan"

Regular readers may recall a Gurn article from the 13th of March entitled "Trees and planning applications - another potential felling?  It's an article that looks at how perhaps we can ensure that as much of the fine environment we enjoy in and around Nairn can be preserved as future development of the town continues. We linked to the planning application and today we repost a picture of the site location below.

Anyway the Highland Council Forestry Officer has submitted his thoughts and they are against the development. Here's some of the content of his letter to the Planning Department:

"The applicant proposes separate accesses off Mill Road for each property with an almost fully paved frontage to each dwelling. The houses are proposed on the same build line as ‘Essbee’ and there are Side Elevations on drawing 18058.P02C which propose minimal cut and fill, but this is quite unrealistic when compared with the actual topography of the site which drops quite quickly down from Mill Road to the south-east.

Drawing 18058.P02C contains a Site Plan which shows trees with tag numbers and what appears to be root protection areas, but there is no tree schedule to accompany the application. In any case, it would appear that the majority of trees on site are proposed to be removed and some of those trees closest to Essbee appear to have already been removed. Drawing 18058.P02C identifies trees for removal and there is a suggestion that new trees would be planted, but there is no planting detail and no indication of where they would be planted. The drawing also identifies trees which are to be retained and a green line which appears to represent the line of a tree protection barrier, but it does not protect the roots of adjacent trees proposed for retention (904, 983 and 987). The Site Plan does not show any services nor indication of how surface water would be dealt with. I would be concerned that any requirement for surface water soakaway would need to be pushed into the woodland with additional adverse impact.

The Site Plan shows the houses in plot 1 and 2 around 8m away from retained trees 904 and 906 while in plot 3 there is less than 3m between retained trees 983 and 987 and the proposed house. This is inadequate separation which places the house in plot 3 in the root protection area of trees proposed for retention. This also leaves the properties with no amenity garden ground.


I am concerned that the level of tree felling proposed and the additional adverse impact on tree roots as a consequence of the significant infill that would be required to accommodate the access, car parking, three houses, amenity garden ground and site servicing would have a significant adverse impact on the existing woodland. The application does not promote significant protection to existing trees and woodlands on this site and does not provide adequate separation between established trees and any new development, so is contrary to Policy 51 of the Highland wide Local Development Plan."

Any readers wishing to see the full letter from the Forestry Officer and other documentation can head over to application file on the Highland Council e-planning site here. "

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Nairn Common Good Fund - easier community input and improved transparency coming it seems but lots of questions on Asset Register Content - anyone with info to add to debate?

The discussion at the NWSCC meeting on Monday night in the Community Centre on the issue of the Nairn Common Good and the issue of the register recently published by Highland Council was striking in the display of apparent willingness of the three local Highland Council members present to forge a new way forward that includes transparency and more input from the community. The bad old days of Nairn's relationship with Highland Council might indeed be slipping away into the past. 

There are questions being asked of the register however and here's some that emerged from the meeting: "how long has Sandown been a CG asset?", "who remembers the MacLaren Gardens?", "how many people were aware that the parking behind the Courthouse is CG land?", "should Viewfield be regarded as a Common Good asset because it was originally purchased for the benefit of the local community as a public park?" And a few other issues.

What do you think readers, have you got any historical info on Common Good property or issues that might help the debate. The register of interests is linked in this Gurn article. We'd like to add a paper below that was discussed at the meeting. It comes from Joan Noble and makes several comments, I'm sure that many Gurnites will find it interesting:

Common Good Draft RegisterAreas included but require clarification/correction

  1. Harbour area:
All part of Burgh lands, and used as common ground/ work premises from earliest records.
Boatyard, Sailing Clubhouse, Sundancer, all on CG register and leased.
Coastguard office pays rent to CG but not on the register. Shelter, Fisher girl Statue, Harbour Car park, Carwash site , toilets, flats on site of old Sea Scout Hut and Shore Street flats overlooking harbour
not mentioned.
All these areas should have been checked and added as appropriate.
Should some be paying rent to CG fund.

Action points: i. All areas and buildings must be specified in the register and mapped to ensure clarity.
ii. All leases need checked and ensure payments are being made to CGF.

  1. Nairn Dunbar Golf Course.
CG land extends significantly further north than the golf course boundary at the Eastern end.
Kingsteps car park is also part of this CG land although the road belongs to Brodie.

Action Points: i. Map drawn up in 1980 available and HC one needs revised.
ii. Kingsteps car park needs added to register.

  1. Marine Road Property. Which property is this? Old Toilets ?

4 Riverside Park
The extent of the park is inadequately described. It does not include the car park, playpark and Jubilee Bridge.
The extent of CG land previously owned by Whinnieknowe estate is not adequately delineated. 1 acre of this was purchased from the Church of Scotland in October 1974. (ROS SS 65)

Action Points: The former Whinnieknowe land must be accurately mapped. Does it extend to Firhall Bridge?
Description of park must be much more accurate and inclusive.

  1. Sandown Lands:
Part of the original Burgh lands of Nairn – there is proof of lease for agricultural use for over 150 years.
Very inaccurately described. North Field 1 is bordered by A96, Rear of properties on W side of Tradespark Road, South Boundary of Fort Reay, and Sandown Farm Lane. North field 2 is bounded by A96, the Old Burgh Boundary (Right of way from Moss-side road to the beach.), Altonburn Road and Sandown Farm Lane.
South Field is bounded by A96, Sandown Road, Wyvis Drive, Moss-side Drive and Old Burgh Boundary.

Action points: Needs accurate description and mapping.
Need clarity about whether the land is inalienable.

Sites not on register but queries have been raised.
Tradespark. Triangular wood.
Title registered by Tyrell Hastings Clarke 1903 as described in ROS (SS 358)
Present Owner: Highland Council
Purchased: 16 May 1988 from Cyril Wilson Clarke for £19,460. HC minutes (HRC 1/1/23 p 627) and ROS (SS 358)
Site of old Community Centre. Needs Clarification and full history. Free Church built 1843.
Site of Demolished Petrol Station in town centre. Still belongs to Co-op.

Common Good Draft Register Omissions:


  1. Parkland area south of Bridge street on east of river below Riverside Terrace.
  • John Wood map 1828 showing it as part of Burgh lands. No evidence of sale.
  • Continuous use as common/parkland.
  1. Prince of Wales Walk up east side of river from A96 Bridge to Howford Bridge and presumably the surrounding land outwith farm or property fencing.
OS name books Volume 07, Nairnshire. 1869
What is the status of the banks of the river as part of the fishings bought in 1923?

  1. Calfward Garden. Beside Mill Road Allotments. What is the extent of this area?
Evidence: In 1996 CG register
Who owns Old Church and Graveyard?

Town Centre:

Courthouse/ Falconer’s lane car park.
NDC minutes 1/1/2 pps. 55, 107,112, 183. Purchased 1975 with CG fund monies from SCWS and minuted as such.
21 year lease to Highland Regional Council at nominal rate.
This car park was included in 1996 CG Register.

Viewfield estate (minus the bus station section) was bought from Inverness Investment Trust Ltd. by the Burgh in Jan 1949 after it had been requisitioned in the war. It was in poorish condition after this and being used as a workshop.
The sale went through it appears using £4000 from the E. M. Fraser bequest for the poor of Nairn. The Estate was used as a security bond for the E M Fraser bequest. (ROS SS 526.)
Viewfield House was to be used as the library and Burgh Engineer’s Dept. The rest of the house was used as a caretakers flat, and rooms which the community could rent – Red Cross, guides, pipe band, room for Nairn Lit. Institute Archives. 44 Allotments were prepared at the A96 end and the adjoining land was cultivated by Grigor Davidson, tenant of Sandown. The lodge was leased to the cinema manager.
At a meeting of 23 Oct 1950 (BN 1/1/30) the Viewfield Committee of the Burgh came up with suggestion of uses for ‘Viewfield Public Park’ (para 2) and a landscape architect was in attendance to take the ideas forward. Suggestions of bowling green, hockey pitch, tennis courts and a public stage for entertainments were mooted.
It is abundantly clear that the Viewfield open space had been purchased with a bequest and was to be used for the behoof of the community. The house was also available for community use although primarily library/offices.
In August 1952 the remaining section (currently the bus station) which was leased as a Burgh car park and bus halt, was purchased and continued in use as a car park, with the bus company then leasing their stances and shed.
1968 Burgh sold 1 acre including Viewfield lodge to North Eastern Counties Police Board (ROS SS 526).
Trustees of EM Fraser bequest agreed to disburdening of the £4000 bond.

For all these reasons there is a very clear claim for Viewfield Park to be part of the CG assets of Nairn, and further evidence is that the Sports Club and Bowling Green pay annual rent to the Common Good Fund.
The MacLaren Gardens behind the bus station were also bequeathed to the Common Good.

Promenade. Purchased 1948
Clerk’s Acre
Pays rental to CG.

ATC/TA huts – were sited at the rear of Viewfield during war and were part of the sale. Previously in CG register.

Shaw’s Close Car Park
1975 NDC minutes 1/1/2 p 107. Parking bays in Shaw’s Close / Simpson St car park paid lease to Common Good.
This suggests that this car park is at least partly owned by CG.

Art and Artefacts
Previous registers included paintings and other burgh property such as the War Memorial, Straith’s Monument, Toorie Monument, Victoria Fountain and the Mercat Cross.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Nairn Provost declares his "splitter" credentials to the delight of the Nairn West and Suburban Community Council meeting.

At the end of a very interesting Nairn West and Suburban CC discussion on the Common Good Fund this evening in the Community and Arts Centre, Provost Laurie Fraser made a late intervention, he said:

"I just want to say I don't think any of you are really going to get what you want until Nairn opts out of the Highland Council and sets up its own Council." 

Applause followed and Laurie continued: "We want a referendum to take back control."

 There was also a cry of "Freedom!" from elsewhere on the table. 

More from a very interesting discussion on the Common Good Fund when time permits. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Highlands Extinction Rebellion activists calling for Highland Council to declare a climate emergency

An article published earlier today shows pupils from Nairn Academy calling for more action from the authorities on Climate Change at their regular Friday protest. At midday in Inverness Extinction Rebellion were protesting too - also a weekly action calling on Highland Council to declare a Climate Emergency. 

The Gurn understands that members of Highlands Extinction Rebellion have been lobbying some members of Highland Council and are hopeful that there will be discussion of climate change at the meeting of the Council on May 9th. The group are calling for the Council to declare a climate emergency. Details on other councils in the UK that have done so already in this i article "Councils in England and Wales declare ‘climate emergency’ following UN warnings of future ‘catastrophe."

After their weekly demonstration at the Town House the activists marched to Falcon Square where they engaged with members of the public for around half an hour. 

Climate Strike Action by Nairn Academy pupils - Regular Friday morning protest

The young demonstraters positioned themselves so the early morning queues of traffic in Leopold Street could see them. More pictures here. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Smoke from fires in Moray Countryside blanket the Firth

As firefighters continue to tackle a series of fires in the Moray Countryside the smoke was clearly visible from Nairn again today. More details of the fires in a Press and Journal article here. 

A few images here. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Nairn TSB to reduce hours to two days a week from July

Below is the information concerning the hew hours contained in a letter sent to a local customer of the TSB. It'll be Tuesdays and Fridays only from July.  The retreat of banking services from Nairn High Street continues! 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Charity Cricket Match Sunday 21st April 1pm the Links Nairn

Brian told the Gurn: "the story behind all this is of course the tragic loss of a long-time Nairn resident, NCCC member and regular cricket player Neil Gibson who sadly lost his life a year ago in a snowstorm while climbing in Wester Ross. The bodies of Neil and his brother Alan and their dog were found after many days of searching, by the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team.

So in memory of Neil, and to benefit the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team, the cricket club decided to organise this cricket match as a fund-raising event. We're playing against a visiting team from "The Forty Club", a group of cricket enthusiasts and veterans drawn from clubs around the country. We've got an assortment of sporting memorabilia to auction after the game including a bat signed by Ricky Ponting (Aussie test cricket captain and star batsman), a signed photo of the England T20 team, and also signed footy shirts from NCFC and Caley.... and various other items and raffle prizes."

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

As seen on twitter - a wedding on Nairn Beach

Nairn Coastguard busy on the beach with along with Navy Bomb Disposal Experts

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sandown Allotments phase 2 - seven years on from the first preparatory work onsite.

Nairn is still the envy of many other communities when it comes to allotment provision. At one time in the not too distant past two-thirds of all allotments in the Highlands were in Nairn. The waiting list for a plot in Nairn is not too long either compared with elsewhere with some applicants obtaining a plot within a year. A lot of folk have visited Nairn to get ideas for plots in their communities. The lower picture was taken this weekend. 

The first picture above is from about this time in 2012 and before any work was done on site an incredible amount of effort had gone into the funding application for European LEADER money by a dedicated team from the allotments committee. What has been achieved by plotters since then is remarkable 

As Nairn grows hopefully there will be more spaces like Sandown for people to grow their own fruit and vegetables. It is remarkable what individuals can achieve when they have access to land. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Team Hamish/NICE AGM Thurs 11th April 2019 - presentation including designs for Paddling Pool area and amphitheatre by Jame's Cafe

Here is a copy of the presentation as a Google document online.  You can also download the power point presentation from the NICE website here. 

Addition Support Needs cuts - information for parents and a draft e-mail to send to local councillors and Highland Council

This in from one of our regular readers who is a Highland Council employee:

"We are aware that many parents in Highland are concerned about the proposed cuts to Additional Support Needs and the loss of PSA posts. This will have an impact not only on the pupils supported by the ASN team, but on all pupils in a class.

Nairn Academy Parent Council have met with the local councillors and they are taking our concerns forward to Highland Council.

If you would also like to take action please see the Highland Parent Council Partnership website here where there is lots more information and a draft email to send to local councillors and Highland Council."

Whatever happened to the idea of a LIDL store for Nairn?

Recent conversations on social media about development at Balmakeith next to Sainsbury's got this observer thinking of way back when in 2014 when there was a consultation event in Nairn where we were shown pictures and plans of how a proposed Lidl store would look. Here's a Gurn article from the time.   And here are images we took at the consultation event that showed us what we might have been getting.

And it seems the consultation process was well received by Nairn residents. 

It's 2019 now though and nothing more has been heard from Lidl since. We decided to ask them on twitter if they were still interested. Here's what we said:

And a response came the next day
That's that then folks, doesn't look like we will see a Lidl in Nairn in the near future anyway. It is a pity because it is a cheaper shop and some families in Nairn do not have the ability to travel for bargains and so have less choice.

World Tattie Scone Championships and market - Taste of Nairn - 13th April 2019 - pictures

Individual images here. 

Random Saturday Picture - Tom Heggie speaking to some of Nairn's Green Hive environmental activists in Viewfield prior to the picnic in the park

Positive Team Hamish/NICE meeting on Thurs night

Very good too to see Donna Manson, Chief Executive of Highland Council, at the meeting. From what she had to say it looks like the new dawn has finally arrived with a team at Glenurquhart Road looking at ways to speed up Team Hamish initiatives. She obviously wishes to rebuild the relationship between this community and the Council. It might not be too long before the proposal for the paddling pool area goes forward for planning permission and that will be followed by the amphitheatre idea for the bank close to Jame's Cafe. Interesting times indeed for our community. 

Below is a link to a report of the evening from Andrew Randerson of the ever-popular Nairn - Our Town - Our Views Facebook page.  The Team Hamish designs should soon appear online too. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Interesting Pictures of the Courthouse work by Stuart Black

The Director of Development & Infrastructure, Highland Council, Stuart Black, has posted some interesting pictures of the ongoing work at the Courthouse on his twitter account.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"Battle lines drawn as Angus parking charges row continues" The latest from a parallel parking universe

 Here at the Gurn we have been following closely the impact of parking charges that were imposed on the Angus towns last November.  It's real time evidence of how similar charges could damage Nairn if they were to go ahead here.  Anyway here's the latest instalment:

"Battle lines have again been drawn over parking charges in Angus, as moves to remove the fees in some towns are set to go before elected members next week.

The opposition SNP group are demanding free parking in Kirriemuir, Brechin and Carnoustie, where they say the charges have brought “devastating effects on the fragile town centres”.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Nairn Academy Pupils Week 4 of Climate Change Action protests - video interview

Week four of the regular protest and we went up for a wee blether with the young activists at the railings on the Leopold Street/High Street corner.

A few images here. 

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Bhòt an t-sluaigh agus a h-uile cail eile - beachd a th' againn an seo

Bhòt an t-sluaigh. Nach e daoine a bhòt an turas mu dheireadh no an robh e bhòt na Gerbils a bh'ann? Cò aig a bheil fios dè an daineamaigs eile a thig às a ’bhogsa a dh'aithghearr leis an t-suidheachadh cunnartach a tha againn an-dràsta. A bheil am PNA a ’cluich cus de gheama Westminster? Taigh-cluiche Westminster agus bhòtaichean gun chiall le luchd-poilitigs is luchd-aithris a ’snàmh timcheall anns a' mhùn fantasachd aca-fhein gun stad air na sianalan 24/7. 

Tha e mar mheasgachadh de Yes Ministear agus Beatha Brian. Mas e dìreach taisbeanadh comadaidh a bh ’ann!

1068 Nairn Air Cadets Coffee Morning - The Legion Saturday 6th April 10-12

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Galileo's Fan rock the Legion with launch of their debut album "I won't be found"

A huge turn-out in the Legion last night as Fi and Martin launched their debut album "I won't be found." For details on how to buy the album and more about the band head over to the Galileo's Fan Facebook page. 

A slideshow of images below, Individual images here

Friday, March 29, 2019

NICE AGM Thursday 11th of April - reports on BID, Team Hamish and Links, path restoration at East Beach and future projects to be presented

The Agenda for the NICE AGM reads

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the sixth ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the above company will be held at 7.00 pm on Thursday 11 April 2019 at the Nairn Community & Arts Centre for the purpose of the following business:

Welcome & Introduction.
Apologies for Absence.
Chairman’s Report.
Report on establishment of Business Improvement District.
Report on East Beach Path Restoration.
Report on #TeamHamish and Plans for the Links.
Presentation of Possible Future Projects

More information here

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

BID to take on Salty the Seagull and his town centre pals

This time of the year seagulls are moving back to their regular spots in the town centre and there will also soon  be competition for every ledge-like nook and cranny from last years young seagulls that survived the many dangers or being raised in the town centre. Will the gulls get a bit of a knock-back this year though? The BID are going to have a removal program for nests and eggs on the roofs of businesses in their patch. 

The BID's recent leaflet details the specifics of their anti-Salty campaign. The campaign starts in May and will entail three visits for egg and nest removals, the visits will take place once every twenty-one days to businesses in the BID area.  More details here. 

Good luck to this initiative it will certainly be labour intensive and how successful it will be will depend on the numbers on neighbouring properties that are not businesses. This observer remembers moving a nest every day for a fortnight and finally thinking that Salty had been defeated when he finally gave up the daily rebuild - one week later he was back and his lady friend was sitting on her eggs. 

Highland councillors agreed to spend up to £15,000 with a recruitment agency to help them find a depute chief executive with a salary of £119,000.

We hear that there is no money but....

The Press and Journal reported yesterday: "Highland councillors agreed to spend up to £15,000 with a recruitment agency to help them find a depute chief executive with a salary of £119,000.

Councillors agreed to look for a depute chief executive with responsibility for corporate resources, at a special meeting held yesterday.

Some councillors expressed concerns about the recruitment process and the job description, as it did not include the remit for finance, that the previous director had responsibility for."

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

McDonalds reconsidering opening a restaurant and drive-thru in Nairn due to trading hours restrictions?

An application has appeared on the Highland Council e-planning pages listing a request for  amended opening hours for the proposed McDonalds restaurant and drive-thru. The application is from Sainsbury's but the documents available to the public include a letter from McDonalds (curiously dated 14th September 2018 but received by the Council on the 12th March). 

Screenshot of letter below - click to enlarge. Further details of application here. 

Pedestrian crossing - a fait accompli? Critical editorial in this week's Nairnshire Telegraph

"The announcement was accompanied by a statement from the Area Chairman that this new crossing was the result of consultation with the Nairn Access Panel. Everybody happy? We beg to differ."

More on the editorial page of this week's Leopold Street Thunderer.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Highland Council budget cuts – the impact on Additional Support Needs teachers and Pupil Support Assistants across Highland?

We would urge our readers to consider the articles and comments posted on the Facebook page “Highland Action Group for ASN & Education” Recent press coverage of the Highland Council's intentions has caused a degree of alarm among parents (BBC article here). 

A PSA who works in a Highland School told the Gurn: 

Highland Council hope to avoid redundancies as they ‘re-allocate’ resourcing of Pupil Support Assistants, these reductions are to be phased over the next three years. As a Pupil Support Assistant this is an extremely worrying time for our positions, the children and the parents who need these services. Hitting the most vulnerable group undermines civil society. The implications of these cuts are huge, these are the things that hold communities together. The Unions seem to be managing the process rather than fighting it. 

I don’t know what the Chief Executive’s vision is for the end of these three years, nor what schools in the Highlands and a new Nairn Academy will look like that do not address the needs of every child. 

The more I read the information we were given the more ‘doublespeak’ I find. Even the timing of the council's press release has given us little time to challenge or resist.” 

The Gurn understands that a meeting between our four local councillors and the Rector of Nairn Academy plus the primary heads from those schools in the Academy catchment area may take place this week to consider these issues. 

As we said in the first paragraph we would urge our readers to inform themselves on this topic, look at the worries and statement of the parents, the information provided by Highland Council, as reported by the BBC, and decide if something fundamentally unjust is about to be set in motion.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Keeping Nairnshire Colourful plant more snowdrops along the river

This weekend a hardy band of volunteers helped members of KNC to plant more snowdrops along the riverside and among the trees in the Cemetery field.