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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 20th April 2002
Issue No 276

Scots Now Need Passport to Enter England

Arrogant airline bosses have insisted all Scots have a passport - to fly to England.

Stunned passengers have already been banned from flights by budget airline Go. And many travellers fear they will be stuck in England because the extraordinary new rules came into force after they left Scotland. Under EU regulations, no passport is needed between member countries, never mind between different parts of the UK. A jubilant SNP member claimed it as a first step towards independence. But the Labour Party hit back, saying that Go were being ridiculous. The airline claimed the move will help fight against terrorism. But travellers said that it was a step too far. Martin Stewart from Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, said: "I'm in London just now and don't have my passport so I've had to call home to get it sent down to me to make sure that I can get back. "London's OK for a week or so but I don't fancy being stranded here. I thought the whole point of being in the EU was that we could travel without passports. It's ridiculous." The ruling has also hit business people, who make up the majority of travellers on flights between England and Scotland. Businesswoman Penny Lansdown arrived at Stansted airport for her flight to Edinburgh which was booked before the new ID rule was made compulsory - and was not allowed to travel. Angry Mrs Lansdown, from Colchester, Essex, who works for a major insurance company said: "I was amazed when we were told that unless we had a passport we would not get on the plane. "There were several people like me hoping to get on the plane for meetings in Scotland yet we were turned away and told to come back with a passport." An SNP spokesman said: "It's nice to see that we are recognised as an independent country by Go and long may it continue. "Perhaps this is the first step towards recognition of independence." A Labour spokesman said: "This is shocking and ridiculous. "It shows that Go have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the UK works. This is a stupid move. "Scotland is part of the UK and is going to remain that way for the foreseeable future." But the budget airline defended the move. Its spokesman said: "Although this is not a Government requirement it is a measure we have been considering for some time. "In this period of increased security we feel that it is an appropriate policy. "If an airline does not request photo ID, it could be possible for passengers to travel on other customers' bookings, leading the airline to have incorrect details of who is travelling."

Armada Artefacts Recovered

Intricately designed artefacts have been recovered from a vessel believed to be one of six Armada ships which remain unaccounted for. The plates, bowls and goblets are being held at the conservation department at the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. Experts from the museum believe the find is the finest collection of the Italian renaissance ceramic known as "majolica" - which dates from 1570 to 1600 - to have been discovered in Britain. They were recognised by marine archaeologists from St Andrews University off the North West coast of Scotland. Mark Lawrence of the university's archaeological diving unit, was among the team which recovered the relics from the sea bed off Kinlochbervie. He said divers from RAF Lossiemouth came across the wreck during an expedition several years ago. Channel Four's Time Team were also involved and a film of the project was shown recently on TV. Mr Lawrence said they found Spanish and Italian tableware which was made for Spanish noblemen.

Copper Collar for Sheep

An ingenious copper collar designed for an elderly arthritic sheep could save Dolly, the cloned sheep, from the same crippling disease. Dolly, the world's first animal cloned from an adult cell, was struck down by arthritis recently, aged just five. Animal lover Liana Ballingall, of Beechwood, near Maryburgh, Easter Ross, claims her 19 year old ram, Hudson, believed to be one of the oldest sheep in Scotland, has been rejuvenated when all seemed lost by wearing the copper collar. She has now contacted the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, where scientists created the cloned ewe, telling them of the success of her discovery. Mrs Ballingall, a physics and chemistry teacher at Alness Academy, said: "I would be delighted if this could help ease the suffering of Dolly." Copper has long been believed to have therapeutic benefits for humans who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and many wear bracelets. The special animal collar is the invention of Perth businessman Colin Currah, who also informed the Roslin Institute of his invention. Colin, who is an arthritic sufferer himself, wears a copper bracelet to ease the pain. When one of his pet dogs was struck with the condition, he expanded the bracelet folk remedy hailed successful by humans and manufactured a copper collar for the animal. Mr Currah had the materials to hand as he operates a business placing copper ridging on roofs to prevent moss growing. He said it appeared to improve his dog's condition, and when a customer then mentioned her own dog, Nel, was suffering he produced another collar, with startling results. Mr Currah, who launched Freedom Collars three years ago as a result of the product's success, said: "Nel could hardly move before, but after a while was bounding up and down stairs." A spokeswoman for the Roslin Institute said: "Copper is a well known remedy for humans with arthritis. Whether our vets would consider it as a treatment for Dolly, we don't know yet."

Scots Join Europe on Website

A story telling website features traditional European tales, including some from Orkney and Aberdeenshire, was launched recently. The site, called A Europe of Tales, is aimed at 10 to 15 year olds and features retellings of traditional myths and legends from throughout Europe. The Scottish section of the website includes McCodrum's Seal Wife, a selkie story from Orkney about a magical race of seals which could take human form, and The Maiden Stone of Bennachie, a story about the famous standing stone. This section was created by staff at the National Museums of Scotland education department, who worked with storytellers and experts at the Netherbow Scottish Storytelling Centre, the School for Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University and local schools. The site also includes original artwork, music and photographs of places and historic objects featured in the stories. The website address is:
A Europe of Tales

Parents Go on the Web

Comann nam Parant, the national organisation for parents whose children are taught in Gaelic, launched a website recently. The website was created in response to requests from parents and carries news about the organisation and information on Gaelic medium education (GME). It also has a message board, which enables parents to communicate with each other. John Macleod, convener of Comann nam Parant, welcomed the launch. He said: "We hope that it will prove to be a useful means of consultation and exchange of views so that we are in a better position to represent parental interests in our continuing efforts to promote and develop GME at all levels. I encourage parents and all supporters of Gaelic to use these opportunities at what is a critical time in Gaelic development." The organisation consists of a network of 30 local groups, representing the interests of parents whose children are taught in Gaelic at various levels, from pre-school to secondary level. GME was started in 1985, after much effort by parents. It aims to make children equally fluent in English and Gaelic by the time they leave primary school. Last year , more than 2,600 pupils received GME. The organisers welcome parents' ideas for additions and improvements to the website.
Parents Gaelic Website

In the Picture

Past and present residents of Eigg have emptied their cupboards to create a photographic history of the island. Thanks to the efforts of the Eigg Historical Society, more than 2000 photographs are now on show in a joint exhibition in Inverness City Museum and Cleadale Day Care Centre. Project organiser Peter Wade Martins said: "Changes on Eigg have been so rapid it is easy to forget what life was like such a short time ago. "Almost the only sources we have are oral accounts and old photographs. For both of these we are now looking at a closing door. Recording this disappearing evidence is important for the island if it is to maintain its sense of tradition and understanding of the past." The images have been collected, arranged and labelled into collections named after the donors. Highland Council's social historian Jane Petrie said: "This project has been a successful model of how a community can work together to safeguard evidence of its heritage and it demonstrates how important it is to deposit duplicate sets of images in a recognised museum archive to ensure its longevity." Conservation officer Jeanette Petrie said: "It's great to have a new collection at the museum, especially as its ongoing and people can add to it at any time."

Hi-Tech First in Lochaber

Lochaber High School at Fort William has recently become the first in the Highlands to use special computer software which, it is claimed, helps bring out the best in pupils. The software, which originated in the US but has been adapted for schools in England and Scotland, is specifically targeted at pupils who need additional support to achieve their true potential in English and mathematics. But the software has additional elements that allow young people and adults to access training in science, social skills and adult literacy. Stephen Dowds, rector of the 1,100 pupil school, the second largest secondary unit in the Highlands, said the scheme's progress was being closely followed by other heads in the region. He says the school features in the top 10% of Scottish schools for achievement in mathematics. But it is not complacent about those youngsters who need additional support to be able to achieve their best results. The software teaches and sets assessments for individual pupils, using multimedia programmes in reading, writing and a wide range of mathematical skills.

Charity Event

Surgical ward nurses got together recently to assist in a very different operation - a facelift for the day room. The staff of ward 4C at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, raised over 1,800 for the much needed treatment with a silent auction. Prizes donated for the fundraiser ranged from a bottle of wine to golf at the Carnegie Club, near Skibo Castle, and a night at Tulloch Castle. The money raised will go towards refurbishing the day room, which is used by relatives of patients to sit and relax during visits.

Political Roundup

Political Praise Indeed

Highland communities have been praised for their commitment to volunteering by Councillor David Alston, chairman of The Highland Councils Renewing Democracy and Community Planning Select Committee. Councillor Alston said: "Voluntary action is one of the key ways, in which people are supported and services are delivered, especially in remote and rural areas. We should all celebrate the achievement of sustaining this level of commitment in the Highlands. The level of volunteering and involvement in local communities add to the quality of life in our distinct area." Referring to the statistics contained in the Scottish Household Survey, Councillor Alston noted that more than one third of school pupils volunteer and that many older people are very committed, spending up to 20 hours a week in voluntary activities.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Dry and sunny in the E. Cloud, rain spreading from the W. Winds fresh/strong S'ly. Temperature 11c to 16.
Saturday Night
Showers, mostly dying out in the E. Rain in the SW later. Winds fresh S'ly. Temperature 7c to 13c.
Overcast and windy with outbreaks of rain in most parts, easing by afternoon then turning to drizzle.
Unsettled with outbreaks of rain, some heavy am, easing to showers and some sunny spells later.

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This is Caledonia ( Caley for short ) A Ness-Scape family member and mascot. She is a White German Shepherd. Caley has decided to take over the editing of Nessie's Loch Ness Times, and she's sure she'll make a good job of it. What do you think?

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