Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Nairn Academy pupils publish baking book

Pupils from Nairn Academy have cooked up a storm by creating their own recipe book which is set to go on sale next week.

Over 40 pupils have been involved in the creation of Book of Bakes which was inspired after a baking club was founded at the school

Pupils have been testing recipes, whilst others sought sponsorship towards publishing costs and senior pupils from the Technology department have worked on its design.

Jacky Davidson, Pupil Equity Fund Skills tutor who has been co-ordinating the project said: “I was helping in the hub during lockdown, and we were doing baking and really it just grew from there. Nairn Academy is brilliant at supporting its pupils and the staff go that extra mile for all the young people. The baking club has gone from strength to strength, and we now have over 30 pupils regularly involved.”

S2 pupil Tyler MacPherson (13) said being involved in the group as inspired him to consider a future in cooking or baking.

He said: “I really like the whole process of baking and it really cheers me up. I have been taking some of the baking home and have shared it with my neighbours. I think it has inspired me to go into baking when I leave school.” 

April Forbes and Tyler MacPherson


The final design of the 60-page book was create by S5 pupil April Forbes.

The Graphic Communication class all came up with design concepts, but it was April’s design that won the vote of staff and fellow pupils.

April said: “I researched other cooking and bakery books and took inspiration from that. I am really looking forward to seeing it in print.”

The foreword for the book has been written by S2 pupils Amber McClatchey. She said: “We spent a lot of time in the baking club trying to decide how best to share our recipes. One of the reasons we decided to do the book is that we held an afternoon tea for all the staff and lots of people were asking for the recipes.

“We have learned so much from producing the book, from costing it all out, to organising sponsors, to trialling the recipes and the design. My favourite bit though has been doing the baking, it’s been really fun.”

Money from the book will be used to fund the continuation of the baking club.

They cost £6 each or two for £10 and will be available from December 11 from the Co-op at Tradespark or by contacting the school on 01667 453700.


Monday, November 29, 2021

Highland MSPs comment on doubling of Scottish Child payment to £20 - potential to tackle poverty in the Highlands?

 Here at the Gurn we were saddened to see previous information recently  from MSP Ariane Burgess indicating that 23% of children in the Highlands were living in poverty. It brought back a memory of something Doctor Adrian Baker from Nairn Health Care had to say at this time of year almost exactly seven years ago: 

 “There was the End Child Poverty report which was reported quite widely showing that Nairn had 24% of children living in poverty. That’s ranked third in Highland. That may come as a bit of a surprise to some people but not to us delivering health care on the front line. The Highland average is 19%..."

 So the Highland average has gone the wrong way. This observer wonders what the current figure is in Nairn?  The Gurn understands that figures are only available for Council areas and constituencies. If anyone does know please let us know.

Here's what MSPs Ariane Burgess and Emmar Roddick had to say:

"Ariane Burgess MSP: Doubling payment will tackle child poverty across the Highlands

The Scottish Child Payment is to be doubled to £20 per week in the forthcoming Scottish Budget it has been announced, a move that Highlands and Islands Scottish Greens MSP Ariane Burgess said would be pivotal to tackling child poverty across the Highlands.

Commenting, Scottish Greens MSP Ariane Burgess said:

“With rising inflation, energy costs soaring, a Tory national insurance rise, and the recent cuts to Universal Credit, action to tackle child poverty has never been needed more. I’m therefore delighted that we will see the Scottish Child Payment doubled in the forthcoming Scottish budget.

“The Scottish Greens are continuing to deliver on key commitments made in the cooperation agreement with the Scottish Government that make a real difference to families across the Highlands. That is why we are introducing free bus travel for young people, extending free school meals, and have ensured government contracts pay the real living wage. We will continue to work towards a fairer, greener Scotland.” "

And comment from Emma Roddick MSP

“I am grateful to the First Minister and look forward to seeing all of the good that this will do”. "

Nairn West and Suburban Community Council this evening 7.30 pm via zoom

 Anyone wishing to attend can get the Zoom address via their contact page on the NWSCC website here. 

 The agenda is available here and the draft minutes ( a very good read for anyone with a minute or two to spare) here. 

Is a fruity Nairn possible?


Saturday, November 27, 2021

Sad to see this larch down along the riverside path, myself and Mrs Gurnmeister had a tradition of walking either side of it when it used to be in the centre of the path.

Gurnite riverside walkers new and old will be familiar with this larch just up past the playing field on the right bank of the river. Now sadly down after Storm Arwen. It used to stand in the middle of the path but the path was realigned a good view years ago. I remember there was a plan by officials to fell it a good 20 or 30 years plus ago? The late Chrissie Ellen in her role as Councillor put in a plea for it though I believe - she was a great campaigner for the Riverside and its wildlife in her own indomitable way.

The scene on the High Street at 7 am this morning as a few flakes of seasonal snow whizz past the stalls laid out for the Christmas Market.

 A lot of fingers crossed this morning for the Christmas market and the events planned for today. Will the weather be kinder later today?

Friday, November 26, 2021

"There are children living in poverty across every council area in Scotland, including 23% of children in the Highlands”

 That figure came to the Gurn in the following press release from the Scottish Greens. It's pretty grim isn't it that so many children are having their lives blighted by poverty?

"Children in the Highland Council area to receive attainment challenge funding for first time

Schools in the Highlands will receive Attainment Challenge funding for this first time, following a change to the way the cash is distributed.

£43million of ‘Challenge Authority’ funding was previously directed at nine council areas with high levels of child poverty but will now be distributed amongst all thirty two councils based on child poverty rates in their area. The fund is intended to provide additional support which will close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and least advantaged backgrounds.

The Scottish Greens have welcomed the change, pointing to the number of children living in poverty across every council area, not just the nine previously eligible.

Scottish Green MSP Ariane Burgess MSP said:

"There are children living in poverty across every council area in Scotland, including 23% of children in the Highlands”

This new way of distributing Attainment Challenge funding is a welcome recognition of that reality and means children in the Highlands can benefit for the first time.

“The majority of children experiencing poverty don't actually live in what we would recognise as deprived postcodes, so whilst geographically targeted approaches are sometimes useful, in this case the previous Challenge fund was missing a majority of the children it was set up to help. That will no longer be the case. This comes on top of £20 million in additional funding this year to help the most disadvantaged pupils recover from the effects of the pandemic."

Thursday, November 25, 2021

MSP Welcomes 10K funding boost for Nairn

MSP Emma Roddick in Nairn recently

“This kind of action reinforces the SNP’s determination to support Nairnshire as we recover from the pandemic – helping make sure we create a fairer, healthier, greener, inclusive and more sustainable economic recovery.”

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Lots of stuff in the Community Council Shop - including a proposal from Provost Laurie Fraser for a future Nairnshire Council - all on the High Street in the Democracy shop window

It's really worth a look citizens, especially the material from Laurie. Hopefully NRCC will put copies of the relevant documents on their website for those that can't get down the town. 

An NRCC spokesperson told the Gurn that the shop would be shared between Rotary, NICE and 2 Nairn CCs.

Infrastructure first before development is the key message and a Local Place Plan rather than the top down way that things are done at the moment. All in the window for your information. It's looking a bit revolutionary to this observer and all just in time for Christmas. 

Serious students of local issues may wish to see images showing the other information currently in the shop window - available on the Gurn Flickr pages here. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Ariane Burgess MSP: Highland Council should scrap plans for Longman incinerator

“I’m encouraged to see that additional funding from the Scottish Government has been assigned to Highland Council but I will always be pushing my Green colleagues and the Scottish Government to go further”


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Music Nairn - Daniel Ciobanu - Saturday 13 November 7.30 pm


"Size of Highland Council suits nobody" says MSP

MSP Emma Roddick

“Nobody can reasonably claim that the Highland Council is a genuinely “local” authority and I will continue to press for a solution.”

Latha a’ Chuimhneachaidh / Remembrance Day

"Chan fhàs iad aosd,
mar a dh’fhàsas sinn’ a th’ air ar fàgail aosd:
Cha bhi iad claoidhte agus a’ seargadh le aois.
Aig àm dol fodha na grèine agus anns a’ mhadainn,
Cuimhnichidh sinn orra."

"They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."


Tuesday, November 02, 2021

COP26 – Fancy “flagging up” your dreams for the future – this Saturday (6th November) on Nairn Beach for the Global Day of Action?

Folk that were involved in the Beach of Dreams flag installation for the Nairn Arts and Book Festival are getting the flags out again this Saturday to spell out the words COP26 on the Central Beach. They are then asking people to write out their dreams in the sand.

Here at the Gurn we would urge our regular readers to support this initiative – it is our chance to register our concern for the threat to the planet’s future that is climate change. We have to mobilise and demand change from leaders and this Saturday we have a chance to do something.

The organisers are looking for people to carry flags and march down from the square opposite the Classroom restaurant at 12 midday am this Saturday 6th November. You can find out more on this thread on the popular Nairn our Town Facebook page.

Hopefully there will be a good turnout. Nairn Beach is no stranger to enviromental protests. Perhaps some of you will remember the S2S protest back in December 2016 (images here). – we got results locally with that one. Let’s do what we can folks.

Climate Scotland - COP26 Message to Leaders - including a contribution from Nairn's Joe Telfer