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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 21st September 2002
Issue No 298

New Nessie Photos Leaves Experts Cold

Photographs appearing to show a baby monster playing in Loch Ness have had a sceptical response from experts.

The pictures, published in a tabloid newspaper recently, were taken by retired printer Roy Johnston of Loughton, Essex, who claimed to have taken them shortly after 9am on Wednesday 21st August, after he stopped in a layby near Inchnacardoch. They show what appears to be a snake like creature in the loch and it was suggested this could be the off spring of an adult monster. The pictures have come under intense scrutiny. Locals who examined them noticed that they appear to show construction work under way at Urquhart Castle which had been turfed over by the beginning of July. They also pointed out that no heather appeared to be in bloom. Photographic experts questioned why the third photograph in the sequence, which shows a splash of water, was noticably lighter than the previous frames and suggested it might have been taken at a different time. Mr Johnston's photographs have been compared to a sequence shot in May last year by former Fleet Street photographer James Gray who now lives near Loch Ness. These showed a longer and flatter creature in the loch. Mr Gray is understood to have been acting as agent for Mr Johnston in the sale of the photographs.

Clan Chief Opens Playground

A Chieftain of the Clan MacLean has officially opened a new adventure playground at a holiday centre for disadvantaged children at Ardgour in Lochaber. Robin MacLean, who is the nephew of the late Miss Catriona MacLean of Ardgour, was recently appointed to the management board of Hop Scotch, a Scottish charity which provides free holidays for youngsters between seven to eleven at its Ardvullin centre. Mr MacLean said: "It is a fantastic facility which will be well used by the children who come to stay. "The centre works well in the community and provides disadvantaged children with a Highland holiday." The playground, built with a substantial grant from Accenture's Employee Giving Scheme, combines traditional equipment with more challenging pieces, including a 30 metre aerial runway, scramble net and a tyre traverse ladder walk. From March to October, about 250 children will benefit from a holiday at Ardvullin. HopScotch relies on financial support from charitable trusts, companies and individuals.

Marriage Celebration

A childhood romance which started nearly 60 years ago led to five decades of marriage for an Inverness couple who celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary recently. When Flora and George Reid met at school in Aberdeenshire they soon discovered they had more in common than most couples by sharing the same birthday and being delivered by the same doctor. The couple, from Scorguie Road, moved to Inverness 18 years ago but rather than have a quiet retirement they both still enjoy a busy life. Mr Reid, a former engineer, is a dedicated volunteer at the Highlands and Islands Tape Service for the Blind and Disabled in Ardconnel Street, having given more than 10 years of service to the charity. He is also a keen bowler and regularly competes in competitions. Mrs Reid is kept busy with their two children Iris and David and three grandchildren Deborah, Paul and David. The couple were joined by friends and family for a celebratory meal at the Clachnaharry Inn.

Mod Hosting Progress

The drive to take the 2005 National Mod to Nairn moved forward recently when Highland Council's Nairnshire Committee approved the principle of giving the event financial support. The bid is being prepared by members of Nairn Gaelic Choir. Nairnshire Area Culture and Leisure Chairman Liz Macdonald said she hoped they would be successful. "Nairn proved with thew Walker cup golf tournament in 1999 that it is capable of staging a major event of this kind," she declared. "A lot of work has already been done by choir members Jim and Nina McKellar preparing the bid and we are right behind them." Nina McKellar is a former Mod Gold medallist and her husband Jim is the Nairn Mod co-ordinator. Organisers of the Mod have already been to the town and I am sure they would have been impressed by the facilities and accommodation we have here to stage the event," Mrs Macdonald said. "We believe a bid could also be going in from Dingwall but the Mod has been there before and it would be nice to get a new venue for a change because the Mod has never been to Nairn."

New Course

Golfers in Ballachulish who were forced to travel a round trip of 32 miles to tee off now have a 200,000 course and clubhouse on their doorstep. The nine hole Dragon's Tooth was officially opened recently by former rugby captain Rob Wainwright who unveiled a plaque and handed over prizes to the winners of the first local golf competition. The commercial pay and play course is the brainchild of the McLauchlan family of Home Farm, Ballachulish, who have developed the fairways on 50 acres of land at Glenchulish. Head of the family, farmer Ronnie McLauchlan has lived in the area for 40 years. At one time he managed 750 sheep and 40 cattle. His son Fraser, who was a farmer in Aberdeenshire, returned home two years ago to oversee the project. He said: "Dad wanted to retire and wondered what to do with the land. Over the years folk had suggested it would be ideal for a golf course and, when the local plan was discussed, we put the idea forward. "At the start we were unsure whether to do the job ourselves or rent out the land." Mr McLauchlin Jnr added: "It is our aim to encourage teenagers to take up the sport. It's better for them to be out in the fresh air than sitting indoors in front of a computer screen." Named after a peak which overlooks the greens, the privately owned course was designed by Robin Hiseman of Laurencekirk, who has assisted with golfing projects at Royal Dornoch and Royal Deeside.

Song to Victory

A primary school choir from Moray has beaten off stiff competition to win a coveted national award. Hopeman Primary took the prestigious Saltire Society Scottish Song Competition for young people back to their seaside school. Competitors including the National Youth Choir of Scotland were up against the Moray group. Choirs from across country took part in the event held in Edinburgh. Hopeman competed against 13 other choirs to win the glass trophy engraved with a song bird. Glynis Hopes, deputy head teacher at the school said: "I'm absolutely delighted, they sang beautifully. "We have had an overwhelming response from the local community, everybody has been behind us." The choir secured their place in the national competition after winning the primary school choirs Scots section during the Moray Music Festival in March.

Honour For Seer

Four standing stones recalling the prophecies of the Brahan Seer could be placed at three key locations relating to the 17th century Highland folk hero. The Brahan Seer Action Group has applied for planning permission to place two standing stones at the Brahan Estate, Maryburgh, and one each at Craig Wood, Avoch and Knockbain Hill near Dingwall. It follows last September's successful Brahan Seer Festival which marked the life and prophecies of Kenneth Mackenzie - also known as Coinneach Odhar - who became the Seer of Brahan in 1625. He lived at Loch Ussie and worked as a labourer on the Brahan Estate, seat of the Seaforth chieftains. He made so many prophecies that usually only those relating to the distant future were written down. It is claimed he foretold the discovery of North Sea oil and the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

Check Out Our Brahan Seer Pages

Charity Event

It's hats off to blind Alexander Morton who helped raise 200 for other visually impaired people in the Highlands. Alexander of Inverness raised the funds by being the first to walk the recently opened Great Glen Way between Fort William and the Highland Capital. Joined by wife Anne, who is also visually impaired, they were aided along the 73 miles by sighted guides Constable Louis Hamilton of Northern Constabulary and Mairi Loughead an assistant at Telford Street Co-op. They also received sponsorship from friends and workmates to help make up the 200 which went to the Highland Society for Blind People.

Political Roundup

Ministers Support Euro Capital Bid

Scottish ministers joined national agencies in their support for Inverness's bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2008. First Minister Jack McConnell and Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Mike Watson gave their support of the bid in Edinburgh. Inverness is the only Scottish entry and competing against a host of other British areas for the prestigious event.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Cloudy or overcast. Rain at times. Winds mod/fresh W-NW'ly. Temperature 12c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Cloud gradually breaking. Rain confined to E. Winds light/mod N-NW'ly. Temperature 5c to 9c.
A dry settled day. Mainly cloudy with a few brighter or sunny intervals.
Dry with sunny spells for most of the time though it will be misty at first.

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