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Nessie's Loch Ness Times

The Friendliest NewsPaper on the WWW

Established December 3rd, 1996
         Saturday 30th September 2000
Issue No199

Kicked Out for Wearing the Kilt

Two top marksmen have been banned from the Scottish international clay pigeon team - for wearing the kilt.

Shooters Drew Christie - the youngest ever captain of the team - and Derek Stewart wore the Braveheart Warrior tartan at a prize giving banquet in Belfast in August, after a home international competition. But the sport's stuffy bosses say they broke a strict dress code by not putting on team uniforms for the function. They were banned after that from shooting for Scotlands for a year. But both men have vowed never to shoot for their country again until the tartan ban is lifted. Drew, who works at Auchterhouse Country Sports, a complex near Dundee owned and run by his parents, said: "My feelings are a mixture of anger and scorn. I suppose you can only laugh at such stupidity. "Women are asked to wear tartan skirts and if you represent Scotland at the Olympics or Commonwealth Games you wear the kilt." Derek, a welder from Forfar, was top gun for the Scots,notching 98 out of 100 at the Ulster competition. He said: "I can't believe that you shoot for Scotland and practise hard all year to be banned just for wearing a kilt." Ossie McLean, president of the Scottish Clay Target Association, insisted the punishment would stand. He said: "These chaps decided not to abide by the rules."

Mecca For Bikers

Plans are afoot to promote Dingwall as a mecca for Harley Davidson motor cycle enthusiasts, after a hint that the Davidson element of the world beating combination may have come originally from the Easter Ross town. The idea follows a successful classic car and motor cycle show organised recently as part of Dingwall Gala Week, which 15 Harley Davidson owners accepted invitations to attend. Before leaving the town, the bikers all lined up in front of the town's Tulloch Castle, ancient seat of Clan Davidson, in homage to the three Davidson brothers who founded the company with William Harley. The castle is now a hotel, and owner Ken MacAulay is trying to trace the brothers background for the last surviving Davidson involved with the company, Willie G. Davidson, who believes his ancestral roots lie in Dingwall. Classic show co-organiser Murdo Sutherland, a Harley Davidson owner, said: "We think William Harley was of English ancestry, and Arthur, Walter and William Davidson from Scotland. We believe there could well be some connection with Tulloch Castle."

New Isles Ferry Launched

The Queen recently launched a new ferry to serve remote communities in the Western Isles. The vessel, the MV Hebrides, was built at the Ferguson Yard at Port Glasgow after the company beat off stiff competition from other firms around Europe to win the contract. Arriving at the Clydeside yard, the Queen was greeted by hundreds of well wishers and shipbuilders and their families. After a blessing in both Gaelic and English, the Queen stepped forward and spoke of her delight at being able to launch the ferry. She said: "It's good to know that she will sail to and around the Western Isles, whose people and beauty have meant so much to me for so long." The Queen then struck the launch button with a small hammer, sending a bottle of champagne smashing into the hull of the ship which slowly slid down the slipway to rousing cheers from the assembled crowd. Lone piper Russell Young, who served his apprenticeship in the yard, played the Jacobite lament The Skye Boat Song as the vessel went into the water.

The Bridesmaid was a Dog

When Daz and Jaqui Carroll got married they chose their best pal to be bridesmaid - their pet dog. And the couple didn't stop there - their bizarre big day included a greenrobed bride, an ancient stone circle for their ceremony and the wedding party leaving on motorbikes. Daz, of Nairn, near Inverness, said: "It never entered our minds to have a traditional wedding." The marriage was held near Clava Stone Circle close to Culloden Battlefield - chosen because the couple are keen on Scots history and standing stones. And as Daz and Jaqui said their vows before a kilted preacher, their 11 year old collie George sat obediently behind his owners wearing a fluffy white collar. Daz said: "It seemed an obvious choice to include George. We wanted to involve him as much as we could." Following the ceremony, the motorcycle mad couple sped off for a knees-up at their home accompanied by friends from the local Jacobite Motorcycle Club. Friend of the couple, Margaret McDonald, said: "Nothing surprises me with Daz and Jaqui. They're both unique and animals are a big part of their life. The wedding was beautiful."

Crest of a Wave

One of the country's leading dolphin charities is back riding high, a year after being sunk by saboteurs. The Friends of the Moray Firth Dolphins group was left high and dry last summer after its research vessel was targeted by vandals. But the group - which has 165 members throughout the country - has risen above this setback to enjoy a successful dolphin spotting season. Committee member Peter MacDonald said that the group was determined not to let those behind the malicious incident gain the upper hand. Its 15ft boat, Delphis, was cut free from its moorings at Findochty Harbour and left to drift out to sea. It was holed in three places and subsequently sank - with the loss of all the group's equipment. The vandals struck during the height of the dolphin monitoring season, delivering a blow to the research work of the Friends. "We decided right away that we had to get back out on the water and start checking the dolphins again. "The group bought a new boat while we waited to find out if the Delphis could be salvaged. We were able to repair her at quite a considerable cost and continue to work with the two boats for a few months. "But the practicalities of keeping the Delphis over in Burghead and the new boat here in Findochty were just too complex. "The group decided to sell the Delphis and recoup some of the 2000 that was lost," said Mr MacDonald. The callous sinking stunned animal lovers all over the country, and donations to help the Friends buy a new vessel soon flooded in.

Irish Links Vital for Gaels

There is massive potential for Scotland and Ireland, particularly the Gaelic speaking areas, to learn from each other to mutual benefit through increased personal contacts at all levels, said Scottish Office Minister Brian Wilson recently. Mr Wilson was hosting a lunch in honour of the visit to the Isle of Lewis by Eamon O Cuiv TD, Minister in the Irish Government with responsibility for Heritage, Islands and Irish language issues. The Irish Minister was on a visit to Lewis under the auspices of Iomairt Chaluim Chille (the Columba Initiative). Mr Wilson said: "While a great deal of lip service is paid to links with Ireland, there is sometimes a reluctance to put into practice the most obvious lessons. I believe that one of these is the emphasis placed by the Irish on cultural identity as a statement of where they stand in the world. "In Scotland, and particularly in the Highlands and Islands, we should be proud to proclaim the existence of a minority language and the wealth of cultural identity which depends upon it."

Salute to Last Cameron of WW1

The last surviving World War 1 veteran of a Highland regiment was guest of honour recently at an emotional parade in Inverness. Robert Burns, 104, wiped away a tear as the ex-servicemen of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders' Regimental Association marched by - the first time by the Camerons in the Highland capital for 40 years. Mr Burns, who had a seat of honour in front of the Town House, was flown from his home in Wokingham Berkshire, for the event. Asked what he thought of the parade of honour, he said: "I just cannot express what it means - it is the most wonderful day of my life to come back here." The veteran from Gourock recalled joining up at the age of 19 in Inverness and fought in some of the bloodiest battles of The Great War. Mr Burns was wounded in the leg on the Somme and became the confidential clerk to his commanding officer, Cameron of Lochiel. He later carried out the same duties for MacKintosh of MacKintosh.

Charity Event

Hilary Kirkby, local fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Care recently received a cheque for 500 from customers and staff of Dows Diner, Inverness who raised the cash with a sponsored slim.

Political Roundup

Gaelic Bill Takes First Steps

A members bill to give Gaelic legal status has cleared its first hurdle in the Scottish Parliament. SNP spokesman Michael Russell's Gaelic Language Bill has received the required signatures of 12 MSPs, giving him formal permission to introduce it in the next session of the parliament. The first MSP to sign was Liberal Democrat spokesman, John Farquhar Munro, MSP for Ross, Skye and Inverness West. Mr Russell, MSP for south Scotland, revealed his bill's progress at the recent Blasket Island Centre in West Kerry Ireland.

Highland Weather Forecast

Saturday Afternoon
Mainly dry/sunny. Cloud/rain/drizzle in the NE later. Winds light variable. Temperature 13c to 18c.
Saturday Night
Cloudy/drizzle in the NE at first. Mainly clear/dry in NW. Winds light/mod. Temperature 6c to 11c.
A mixed day with showers and sunny spells. Drier in the evening.
A day of sunny spells and showers. Early rain on E coast. Drier in the E in the evening.


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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