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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 23rd December 2000
Issue No 211

Inverness - Millennium City

Inverness on Monday night celebrated its new status as Scotland's City of the Millennium. It became the first new city in Scotland for more than 100 years in an honour conferred by the Queen.

The award of city status is expected to boost the area's economy and was welcomed by politicians, Highland councillors and business leaders. Campaigners for the reinstatement of air links between Inverness and Heathrow airports said it would also boost their cause. Scotland Secretary John Reid announced the honour at a press conference in Inverness. He said: "I hope that the efforts Inverness has been making bring in jobs, new industry and commerce will be assisted by the recognition as a city. "After around 1,500 years as a city without being called a city, the capital of the Highlands has now become Scotland's newest city and I am very pleased for the people of Inverness. "It should give a sense of pride to the people of Inverness. It is an historic town central to the Highland region, which is finally recognised in the Millennium year Her Majesty." David Stewart, the Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber Labour MP, who campaigned for 10 years for city staus, said: "This decision is an enormous vote of confidence in Inverness and a mark of the tremendous progress we have made as a town in recent years." Inverness is the first new city in Scotland since Dundee in 1889. It was established as a royal burgh by King David in 1158 and legend has it that Macbeth built his stronghold there in 1040. Now it is one of Europe's fastest growing areas with a population of more than 65,000 - double that of 1971. It serves more than 200,000 people in an area the size of Belgium. It is estimated that up to 10,000 new houses will be required in the area by 2011. Inverness has an advanced telecommunications system to rival any UK city, and Inverness College will play a key role in the University of the Highlands and Islands. Inverness Provost Bill Smith said: "It is very important that we have people coming back to the town and coming back to the Highlands. For so long they have been going south and away from the Highlands and perhaps this is an opportunity for us to help the people who have lived here to perhaps re-settle in Inverness and the Highlands."

Nessie   Nessie says..."You can now call me a citizen of Loch Ness, that's soooo cool don't you think?"
                          I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Dew of Ben Nevis

One of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland celebrated its 175th anniversary recently with the issue of a deluxe brand "bottled" in a ceramic flagon. The Ben Nevis Distillery founded in 1825, has produced a limited edition, labelled "John Macdonald's Dew of Ben Nevis". Fittingly, 2000 flagons of the 20 year old deluxe blend have been filled to mark the Millennium and the birthday. "Long John" Macdonald was selected by the overlords of the Fort William and Lochaber area to set up a legal distillery in the shadow of Ben Nevis, with the water supply from the Red Burn cascading down the mountain and right past the door. After half a century, Ben Nevis Distillery employed 50 men. Now, in the year 2000, the distillery holds the gold medal, awarded in a worldwide selection of deluxe whiskies. Managing director, Colin Ross, says, "The flagons look like historical items, and we are very pleased with the overall result - both inside and out."

Cromwell Edict Sold

A document signed by Oliver Cromwell and appointing Colonel Mathew Alured commander in chief of forces on Mull and Skye surfaced recently at auction. The order, dated 1656, ordered Alured, as "commander in Chiefe of the Forces designed for ye Islands of Moola and Skye in or neere Scotland" to go to Ireland and collect troops for transportation to the islands. It also empowered Alured to take prisoners and send them to Ireland, requisition quartering for troops and horses and to offer rewards. The documents also ordered him to gather intelligence and report daily to Cromwell. Part of the document reads: "Upon yor arrival there you are to dispose of the said fforces into the said Islands for the security and peace thereof and for the annoyance & prejudice of the Rebells. "You are to invade & enter upon with the said forces.... any of the Estates or Lands belonging to any of the Rebells in Scotland. And to seize upon, assault and kill any person or persons in armes. And also to seize and take away any horses, Cattle or other goods belonging to the said ebells, and persons in Armes which you are to imploy for the use of this Common Wealth."

US Honour for Sir Sean

The US will honour Sir Sean Connery next year when he will be presented with US's William Wallace award in recognition of his Scottish contribution to American life. The award, which will be presented on April 6, the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, will be the highlight of Tartan Day, the annual American public holiday that marks Scotland's contribution to the US. Sir Sean, who is the sole nominee for the honour, will be presented with the award on the steps of Washington's Capitol Hill and rub shoulders with influential politicians. Senate majority leader Trent Lott will present the award which Sir Sean's publicist, Nancy Selzer, described as a great honour. She said: "Any acknowledgement of his Scottish heritage means more to him than any possible award he could receive elsewhere. He's a very proud Scotsman." Scottish First Minister Henry McLeish has been invited to the ceremony. Connery's nomination for the award has been welcomed by SNP leader John Swinney. He said: "This is a very significant honour from the US to Scotland's favourite son which, the SNP warmly applauds."

A Staggering Success

Hebridean sheep brought in to control the growth of heather and scrub on Culloden battlefield near Inverness have been a staggering success - literally - since they were let loose among the foliage on the moor earlier this year. The 70 strong flock acquired by the site's owner, the National Trust for Scotland, are getting a kick from their task as they enthusiastically gnaw their way through almost every unwanted plant on the badly overgrown field. They enjoy birch, rowan and gorse, but have developed a particular addiction for the juicy broom shoots that abound on Culloden Moor. Staff and visitors were amazed at first to see the animals stagger about as if drunk after gorging on the broom. It took an experienced shepherd's knowledge to bring home the truth - they were. The sheep were becoming tipsy after eating the plant. The effects were first noticed by groundsmen Jim McMurray and Drew Young who cut down tall broom bushes and fed them to the beasts. Some of the sheep began to stumble and battlefield staff thought they might be suffering from footrot that had earlier affected a small number. Culloden curator Ross MacKenzie said: "We were a bit concerned until a part time shepherd who looks after the flock told us the reason. "It seems broom ferments in their stomachs and the effect is the same as a human being swallowing five or six pints of beer. "Now when people tell us they've seen the sheep staggering, we can tell them there's nothing to worry about."

Secret of Long Life

It's official, a nightcap of whisky, "the water of life" - helps people live longer. A dram a day was the reason given by Britain's oldest man and woman for their longevity. Ironically, however, both of them died recently. But, with Bill Lee, from Stoke, having passed away at 108, and Eva Morris, from the same county, at 115, both had been living proof of the efficiency of a nightly drop or two of whisky. Bill's family all agreed his "nightly dram" was the secret of his long life. And friends of Eva, who was the world's oldest woman, confirmed she had attributed her long life to hard work, exercise, boiled onions - and a daily tot of whisky with her tea. Now 106 year old Sandy Gail, from Banchory, is officially Britain's oldest man. "An occasional tipple of malt whisky keeps him going", say his son and daughters.

Jervis Bay Heroics

One of the most gallant naval actions of World War 2 was commemorated in Canada recently, on the 60th anniversary of the sinking of the armed liner Jervis Bay as she escorted a convoy from Canada to Great Britain. Around 30 relatives of the 260 crewmen on board travelled to Halifax in New Brunswick. A third of them were from Caithness. Largely crewed by members of the Royal Naval Reserve, only nine of the 18 strong complement from Caithness survived the encounter with the Admiral Scheer. A total of 198 crew died in the one sided encounter with the heavily armed German battleship. Although hammered by the vastly superior guns of the raider, the Jervis Bay held the German at bay for the best part of an hour before the order was given to abandon ship. Her captain, Fogarty Fegen, received a posthumous Victoria Cross for his gallant stand.

Charity Event

Youngsters from Carrbridge raised 400 for charity by selling painted horseshoes which are now trekking their way over the world. They donated the cash to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after painting hundreds of shoes all the colours of the rainbow then charged 1 to any visitor who wished to take a lucky charm home. Japan, Germany and Canada are just some of the destinations for the lucky horseshoes.

Political Roundup

"No Meeting"

Shadow Highlands & Islands Minister Fergus Ewing MSP received a letter from the Environment Minister, Sarah Boyack, in which she rules out holding meetings to explain why people in the North of Scotland have to pay increases in their water bills. Mr Ewing said: "The Minister is already under heavy criticism for her lack of action during this current rail crisis. It is therefore no surprise that she is being criticised since she hasn't got the courage to meet the people she has imposed these massive increases upon."

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Cloudy. Light rain then wintry showers moving S. Winds becoming moderate NE. Temperature 4c to 7c.
Saturday Night
Showers in the N and E turning to snow. Mainly dry in the S and W. Winds mod/fresh NE. Temperature -2c to 2c.
Wintry showers in parts of the N and E. Quite cloudy with some bright spells. Becoming colder.
Wintry showers in places. Some sunny spells towards the S. Mainly dry in the W p.m.


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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