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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 7th October 2000
Issue No 200

Row Over Flying Scottish Flags

The right to fly the Scottish flag came under discussion recently as Highland councillors decided not to take action over a shop owner flying the Saltire and the Lion Rampant outside his shop.

Councillors have the right to take enforcement action over the flying of the national flag, but at a recent meeting of Highland Council's Badenoch and Strathspey area committee, members decided against such a move. It followed a dispute between the owner of Kingussie's hardware shop, The Trading Post, and the occupant of the flat above. Shop owner Stewart Ovens raises the two flags outside his High Street shop at 9am and lowers them again at 5pm. He believes they draw attention to his store and have brought him more business. He said: "We are not over populated with shops this end of town, so we were trying to brighten it up to attract customers. "I did not want to offend anyone but unfortunately it must have. "I am Scottish and I am proud of my national flag. When I go to other countries like Scandinavia, people have their own flags flying in their gardens and I think we should be more patriotic here." However, neighbour, Irvine Nagy, an engineer, is not impressed with the flags. He said: "It's not the flags per se that I am objecting to, it is that they are flapping right outside my window and I was not even asked about them." Mr Nagy is concerned that the presence of Mr Ovens every morning and evening standing up a ladder outside his flat could give burglars ideas. At the council meeting, despite a recommendation by planning officials to enforce the removal of the flags under regulations covering unauthorised advertisements, councillors decided not to get involved. Councillor Bob Severn, said: "I cannot understand how national flags could be considered as an advertisement . It's a neighbourhood dispute and I think it's totally ludicrous and I would not be seen to support an enforcement order." Councillor Stuart Black said: "The Saltire is Scotland's national flag, although the Lion Rampant means that Her Royal Highness is present in the shop! "However I have nothing against the flying of the flag."

Clan Link to Spain Discovered

Scotland's youngest clan chief has discovered a branch of his family in Spain. Ruaridh MacLennan, 23, of Dores, maintains regular contact with his clan members through the Internet and recently he was thrilled to receive an e-mail from a branch of about 100 clan members in Madrid. The large Spanish family originated from a John MacLennan who went over to Spain to build railways in the 1920's. Clan Chief Ruaridh, who graduated in July in geography from Aberdeen University, was pleased to be invited to a clan gathering in Madrid in August. He said: "It makes me proud to know ancestors so far away from home are celebrating the history of their forefathers."

Highlands All Steamed up

The glory days of steam returned recently with a special train from Fort William to Crianlarich and Oban pulled by two steam locomotives. Over a 10 day period steam pulled trains visited different parts of Scotland from Perth and Stirling to Inverness, Kyle and Aberdeen. This is the third year of the Scottish Highlands Rail Festival run by Highland Railway Heritage at Glenfinnan Station Museum, and draws steam enthusiasts from all over the country. Linda Rickett of Glenfinnan Station Museum said: "We were using two locos as it was a nice way to get them out." The locos and rolling stock are operated by the West Coast Railway Company based in Carnforth, and the company's James Shuttleworth said: "It has been a very successful season for us despite the drop in tourist numbers."

Mary Queen of Scots Recalled

The latest in a series of historical re-enactments involving figures from Scottish history took place in Nairn recently. "Mary Queen of Scots", accompanied by her four ladies-in-waiting and two troopers from the Royal Army, went on procession through the town. The historical event, which mirrored the 16th century monarch's visit to Nairn in 1562, formed part of Highland Council's drive to provide a summer programme of events for adults and children. The visit included a procession from the courthouse and along the town's High Street to Castle Square, where the group gave a talk and display of the military techniques of the time. Members of Nairn Drama Club played the part of Mary and the ladies-in-waiting, and those involved with the Gaddgedlar historical re-enactment society were the Queen's troopers. Previous to this event, a crowd of almost 300 watched a re-enactment of the Battle of Harlaw, which was fought in 1411 between the Lord of the Isles and the Stewarts. Both laid claim to the Earldom of Ross. Other events have included Pictish warriors, a 12th century Celtic Thane, and a portrayal of Andrew de Moray, William Wallace's trusted lieutenant, who died after the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

Rob Roy Letter Sold

A letter signed by the legendary Rob Roy MacGregor fetched 14.000 at auction in Edinburgh recently. The manuscript , in which MacGregor requests payment of a bond, is dated October 20, 1724 - a time when the famous rebel was outlawed. The bidding exceeded expectations, and the letter was sold to an anonymous Scottish industrialist. It will be kept in Scotland. A spokesman for the auctioneers said he understood the letter might be given to a museum to be put on display, but said no plans had been confirmed. At the same sale a copy of the Act of Union of 1707, which created the British state out of Scotland and England, fetched 3400 from a collector.

Monumental Blunder

The 255th anniversary of the raising of the standard at Glenfinnan was celebrated recently. And now the National Trust for Scotland may accept Bonnie Prince Charlie's monument, marking the event, may be in the wrong place. Ten years ago Highland historian Iain Thornber uncovered a series of carved stones on a knoll overlooking Loch Shiel, a quarter of a mile from the monument on the loch's shoreline. Since then he has been calling on the trust to acknowledge that the hillside location is the precise spot where the standard was unfurled in 1745. Incised into the stones are the Latin numerals and words "1745. Here in the name of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Raising of the Standard was finally celebrated". Experts now accept it would have been entirely logical for the standard to have been raised on a highly placed focal point. Mr Thornber said: "I have had long discussions with trust director Trevor Croft. "He is keen to have my thoughts on how the incised stones location could be interpreted by the trust."

Skye Bridge Blamed for Erosion

The Skye Bridge has been blamed for the erosion of the foreshore in the south of Skye. Concern over the rapidly crumbling foreshore at Kyleakin was raised by Kyleakin Community Council, and the Scottish Executive is now being asked to investigate the problem. Highland councillor Andrew Millar said: "The people who are making a gross profit from the bridge - The Bank of America - should be held responsible for the erosion." He suggested that environmental studies should be done by the Scottish Executive. Kyleakin and Kylerhea community council chairman William Reid said: "People are saying the bridge is causing the erosion but I do not know if that's fact or not. There is about 30ft of grass between the road and the foreshore but it would be a bit sad if we have to wait until all of this area is eroded before they spent any money."

Charity Event

Cycling cousins Fraser Riach and Andrew MacGregor made their own contribution to fight cancer when their grandfather was diagnosed with the disease. They organised a 11 mile cycle run and raised a total of 1857.92 which they donated to Inverness Raigmore Hospitals Oncology Unit.

Political Roundup

SNP Leadership Winner

John Swinney was elected leader of the Scottish National Party in Inverness recently with an overwhelming majority over his opponent Alex Neil. Mr Swinney, who succeeds Alex Salmond as the party convener, won by a crushing margin of more than two to one. Perth MSP Roseanna Cunningham was elected deputy leader with a narrow victory over Kenny MacAskill.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Bright in E at first. Cloud and rain spreading. Winds fresh/strong SW. Temperature 13c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Cloudy. Rain. Dry in central parts later. Winds mod/fresh SW. Temperature 3c to 9c.
Showers, heaviest in western parts. Generally dry in E with bright or sunny spells. Windy.
Cloud and rain moving E am, clearing to sunny spells and showers. Some heavy showers overnight.


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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