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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 12th February 2000
Issue No166

Scotland Reclaims Berwick

(With just a little help from an English pub chain)

It has changed hands between Scotland and England 13 times through the centuries. But, according to pub giants JD Wetherspoon, Berwick-upon-Tweed is back in Scottish control. Their official directory and menu, distributed the length and breadth of the UK at 400 outlets, lists their new 850,000 Berwick "superpub" as being north of the Border. A glance at any atlas or the history books would have told them that Berwick fell to the English for the last time in 1482. And it has remained there ever since, despite Berwick Rangers playing in the Scottish Football League and the local rugby team being attached to the Scottish Rugby Union. Red faced bosses of The Salmon Leap pub, which only opened in December, confessed to their gaffe. Wetherspoon's spokesman Eddie Gershin said: "We have to hold our hands up and face the music. "Although the football team play in the Scottish league, we do know that Berwick is firmly ensconced in England. "It is a mistake which hopefully will not cause offence." And, according to locals, Wetherspoon are off the hook because Berwick residents do not regard themselves as either Scottish or English. One pensioner said: "We prefer to call ourselves Borderers and are proud of our unique identity" Indeed Berwick - which was a thriving Scots international port until it was taken over by Edward I and fell into decline - was once better known for being at war with Russia. Due to its unique location, Berwick used to get a separate mention in treaties and Acts of Parliament as part of the monarch's realm. It was included in the declaration of hostilities at the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854. But it was forgotten and omitted from the peace treaty two years later. However, a Russian diplomat arrived in Berwick to smooth over things in 1976. Berwick MP Alan Beith said: "People in Berwick do not really get excited about the Scotland/England thing anymore. "We are happy to be called a Borders town. "Sometimes, people think it would be better being in Scotland because there seems to be a higher level of public spending there. "However, I think it would be very difficult to change things now. "As for Wetherspoon, I suppose it can be an easy error for people living in London to regard Berwick as being in Scotland. "Sometimes, there are advantages to being thought of as being in Scotland."
The latest threat to the England/Scotland boundary came last summer. England grabbed 6000 square miles of prime fishing territory in the North Sea which had belonged to Scotland for centuries. The old boundary was drawn east of Berwick but Ministers pushed through rules moving the line 60 miles into Scottish waters.

Thirsty Workers

An organic beer brewed in Scotland is being delivered to work places in the Highlands out of the back of a van. Instead of travelling around pubs and clubs, the Black Isle Brewery is targeting offices and factories for orders. Its employees pack up the lager called Black Isle Organic Beer and offer it to workers in 12 bottle boxes. The scheme is proving a success with thousands of bottles of the green beer being snapped up. David Gladwyn, of Taeblair, near Tore, proprietor of the brewery said: "People are always glad to see us when we arrive at their work. We are selling lots of the beer. "It is brewed totally naturally and no pesticides are used on the hops or the barley. "I hope this sends out a message to other brewers that it is possible to produce beer without using pesticides or artificial fertilisers." The two employee brewery is situated in an old farm steading on the Black Isle and started production in 1998. Mr Gladwyn and his wife are also selling their popular brand of Red Kite ale in casks to several Highland pubs.

Queen's Admiration

A young printer with family roots in Inverness made a big impression with the Queen when he met her to pick up an award recently. Stephen Main joined workmate Jessica Bell at a reception at Holyrood Palace designed to honour young achievers. Diestamp printer Stephen said of the Queen: "She's a very normal person and so easy to talk to." The pair, who work for Nairn based specialist printer, Piccolo Press, were amazed at the amount of time the Queen devoted to chatting with them. Added Stephen: "She asked me what I did and when I replied that I was the only diestamper printer in Scotland, she said: "How nice to meet a unique person."" The Queen also quizzed Jessica about aspects of her job. The pair were put forward for the honour by delighted boss Tim Honnor who in turn had been asked for nominations by the Inverness and District Chamber of Commerce.

Lawyers Head for Highland Capital

Inverness is set for a mini pre-summer tourist boost in April when up to 250 lawyers and their families will visit the town for the Law Society of Scotland's first annual general meeting of the new millennium. The delegates will converge on the town from across Scotland for the three day conference at Eden Court Theatre and they are being encouraged to take advantage of the area's tourist attractions and shopping facilities while they are here. The Law Society's conference manager Iona Ritchie said that this is the furthest north the AGM has been held and expects the venue to be particularly popular with families. "We want to get across that Inverness is accessible with cheap rail tickets, a good road from the south and an airport with links to London for guest speakers," she said. "We wanted to make this year's conference one for families and partners, and Inverness has so much to offer children and wives."

Footpath Improvements

Improvements to another section of the well used footpath between the Sugar Bowl car park at Glenmore and the Chalamain Gap in the Cairngorms have been completed by Forest Enterprise. This leaves only one small section of this three kilometre path, which leads out to the Lairg Ghru and beyond, to be repaired. It is hoped that this final piece of the jigsaw will be completed this year. Forest Enterprise inherited this project from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise when 930 hectares of land above the forest at Glenmore transferred back to their ownership last May.

Gaelic in Hospital

A campaign to persuade Raigmore Hospital in Inverness to include the BBC's Gaelic radio service in its transmissions to patients looks to have paid off. The board of Highland Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is to be asked to agree a proposal to provide a Gaelic Radio station. A trust spokeswoman said: "The board will consider replacing Channel 1, used by Radio 5 Live with Radio nan Gaidheal. During the hours which Gaelic is not broadcast, the station would revert to Radio Scotland." The Celtic Congress was told in March 1998 by Raigmore Hospital general manager that a survey was being carried out to assess demand. The campaigners heard nothing until October last year, when a hospital spokeswoman said there was no demand for the service, but that some Gaelic was included in the radio service. But the trust were coming under pressure to give patients an essential link with relatives and their home area when they are in Inverness for treatment. Margaret Maciver of the Celtic Congress, was among the campaigners for a Gaelic service. She claimed the radio service could even contribute to a patient's recovery. She said: "Obviously we hope that the board will agree to the proposal because it's important that there is a Gaelic radio service at the hospital.

New Jobs

A Scottish environmental organisation is to establish new regional offices in Inverness and Perth. The Scottish Wildlife Trust is to make the expansion following the results of an independent management review. The move means new jobs for the towns. The new offices will act as regional headquarters for the trust's newly defined regions - Inverness for northern, Perth for eastern and Glasgow for western. SWT chairman John Arnott said: "This is an exciting time for the trust. "It has now developed into a significant force in caring for the welfare of Scotland's wildlife, and these new developments are needed to keep up the momentum of our work, and to make the trust worthy of even greater support from the people of Scotland."

Charity Event

Workers at Inverness Medical Limited literally drew blood in a bid to raise over 1000 for two Highland causes. The company, who make diabetic kits for the market, pay internal volunteers 5 for every fingerstick, or sample of blood given to test against their products. However, for five days everyone gave away their fivers, raising 530 for Munlochy Animal Aid on the Black Isle and 500 to the Moray Firth Kids Appeal.

Political Roundup

First Minister is Questioned

Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar was asked to reaffirm his support for taking civil service jobs out of the central belt and into other areas including the Highlands. A full meeting recently of the Highland Council discussed a report by chief executive Arthur McCourt on the debate surrounding decentralisation of public service jobs. He says the creation of a Scottish Parliament is recognised as a "key opportunity" for such a policy.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Some rain in the West a.m. Bright in the East. Locally heavy rain later. Wind light to moderate South Easterly. Temperature 12c to 16c.
Saturday Night
Locally heavy rain. Misty. Winds moderate to strong Easterly. Temperature 8c to 12c.
Bands of showers across the region. Bright with sunny spells. Moderate North Westerly winds. Fairly mild.
Mainly dry. Fairly cloudy with limited sunshine. Light Southerly breeze. Mild temperatures.

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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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