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Cromarty News

27 March 2017New 'old' faces at the Cromarty Stores

After five years in charge of the Cromarty Stores, Billy and Lorraine Brown have handed over management to former Cromarty residents, Kitty and Marcel Gommers. Marcel was Cromarty subpostmaster for four years before the couple moved south in 2010. "It's as if we've never been away", says Kitty as they see familiar faces in the town.

Kitty and Marcel have many ideas for expanding and updating the store. Branding will change as it becomes a Premier store (part of the Booker Group PLC). Customers will see a new floor layout, an extended stock range including gluten-free and dairy-free items, and longer opening hours until 7.00pm in the summer. 

19 March 2017Crowd view Cromba launch

A crowd of about 200 residents and visitors watched the launch of the Cromarty Community Rowing Club's new skiff Cromba (Gaelic for Cromarty) on Saturday. The St Ayles skiff represents a year's work by a group of Cromarty boat-builders under the leadership of club chairman Robert Hogg with the encouragement of Bill Campbell who provided the space at Navity for the construction.

New members are invited to join the club and take part in forthcoming events, including a regatta and fun day on 22 July. Fees are £20 (single) and £35 (family). Application forms can be obtained from Archie Mactaggart.

Photo: Pam Thompson

15 March 2017Cromarty Medical Practice partnership to cease in June

Statement from Cromarty Practice Partners 2017

Cromarty Practice has for several years had difficulty in recruiting medical staff. We have tried to link up with neighbouring Practices with regard to working together in a larger grouping, but unfortunately this was not possible at the time, and so was unsuccessful. This means that it has been impossible for any of the current clinical staff to move on to new jobs or retire, as the Practice has been unable to replace them.

Therefore as the current model of care is no longer sustainable, the only alternative left to us is to hand the Practice over to NHS Highland and allow them to seek a solution regarding the forward planning of Cromarty Surgery.

The date the existing Partnership ceases is on the 30th June 2017.

General Practice patient care will continue for Cromarty patients, and NHS Highland will be in touch with you in due course regarding ongoing arrangements. If you have any queries please direct them to either Stewart MacPherson, Clinical Director (stewart.macpherson@nhs.net) or Ros Philip, Primary Care manager (ros.philip@nhs.net) at Highland Health Board.

From Susan Wilson, Gail Haddock and Isobel Graizer
Cromarty Medical Practice

08 March 2017Petition goal of 100,000 signatures reached

Following a highly successful visit to Holyrood in January, Cromarty Rising and 38 Degrees have arranged a petition hand-in event to highlight the ever increasing number of people who fundamentally oppose ship to ship transfers of crude oil in the Moray Firth.

On 9th March 2017 at 07:30 /08:00 members of the public plan to gather to greet Highland Council elected members as they arrive for the last full meeting before Councillor elections are held on 4th May 2017. This will send a peaceful, visible message showing the strength of feeling of communities and businesses against ship to ship crude oil transfer operations.

38 Degrees Scotland will arrange to hand-in the list of signatures, which now stands at over 100,000 . This is an important part of community involvement in decision-making and will be another major milestone for the campaign which has already seen the first licence application rejected.

Press release: 9 March 2017
38 Degrees petition: Sign here

Update right: At HC headquarters, 9 March

27 February 2017New CofS minister for Cromarty

Today the Rev Terry Burns accepted a call to become minister of the Church of Scotland charge of Cromarty linked with Resolis and Urquhart. After preaching as sole nominee at the two morning services, members of each congregation voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the nominating committee. Originally from the United States, Mr Burns and his wife Cindy served at the Nicosia Community Church in Cyprus before he became locum minister of the Scots Kirk in Paris. He will be inducted to his new charge within the next few months.

After the retirement of the Rev John Tallach six years ago, Cromarty was linked with Resolis and Urquhart. The Rev Dr Willis Jones served as locum minister throughout the vacancy until his death in December 2016.

17 February 2017Surprise announcement made at History Society meeting

An unexpected visitor joined speakers Simon Gunn and Mary Peteranna at the monthly meeting of the Cromarty History Society yesterday evening — bringing exciting new information on the Rosemarkie Caves Project (RCP).

After the scheduled speakers recapped the early exploration of the series of caves extending along the shore from Rosemarkie towards Cromarty and the formation of the RCP partnership with the North of Scotland Archaeology Society (NOSAS), Professor Sue Black of the University of Dundee's Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (Cahid) brought news of the latest discovery.

A human skeleton, discovered in a back cave recess and buried in an unusual cross-legged position, has been radiocarbon dated to have lived 1500 years ago. When sent to Prof Black's Cahid, her team was able to detail the terrible injuries that led to his murder and to produce a facial reconstruction.

For details of the discovery and images of the reconstruction, see the Highland News and BBC News. For a 3D model of the burial site, see this website.

29 January 2017Still time to count wildlife in this week’s ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’

For a weekend every January, the RSPB invites wildlife-lovers across the UK to count birds and other wildlife as part of the long-running ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’. This weekend, we’ve been taking stock of Cromarty’s birdlife and here, we give a taste of just what the town has to offer.

Big Garden Birdwatch is the UK’s biggest ever ‘citizen science’ project and yields important information on the abundance of some of our familiar, best-loved species and also our rarer ones. It’s been going for 38 years and last year around half a million people took part.
Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, you can choose a park or public space near you and count the species that you see. (Just take a note of the postcode so you can log your findings accurately in the website: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch)

In one large Cromarty garden where the owners have been feeding the birds regularly all winter, the seed and suet ball feeders attracted a profusion of garden birds this weekend: we counted blackbirds, coal tits, chaffinches, great tits, house sparrows, dunnocks, and Scotland’s favourite bird, the robin, during our hour-long watch. Our tally swelled with the arrival of eight blue tits in a small flock — although we may have lost count! — and we spotted wood pigeons on the gables and chimney pots.

That makes for a fine list for submission to the RSPB — but we’re following the rules and only counting the birds that alit in our garden during the hour. We’ve spotted other familiar avian visitors around Cromarty this weekend and wonder if any readers will add them to their birdwatch list? In the woods above Cromarty, we saw flocks of long-tailed tits; on the fields were numerous oystercatchers and a large flock of curlew. There were jackdaws and song thrushes hopping along Shore Street. The shore itself was home to usual lone herons, herring gulls, black-backed gulls and wrens bobbing among the rocks; let’s hope you also catch the elegant but elusive red-breasted mergansers we saw gliding over the Firth.

Even when the Big Garden Birdwatch is over, Cromarty is a great destination for wildlife so do keep it on your list to visit throughout the year! 

Text: Mairi Dupar
Photo of long-tailed tit: Tony Sutton

03 January 2017Welcome to 2017!

The Hogmanay Ceilidh attracted a sell-out crowd of revellers in the Victoria Hall on Saturday night and raised £1201 for community causes (Cromarty Care Project, Cromarty Courthouse and Cromarty Rising).

The organising committee of Estelle and Steve Ellwood and Mary and Duncan Bowers thank all those who contributed to making it such an enjoyable evening. Special thanks go to the Cromarty Ceilidh Band for providing entertainment free of charge, the Emporium for selling tickets, Ingrid and children for making the New Year banner and providing table lights, Mary for hall and table decorations, Fraser for providing play lists.

Photo: Estelle Ellwood

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