Work has begun to bring the Kishorn drydock, previously used to build the largest manmade moveable object in world, back to working life.
Things have progressed quickly since I wrote my last blog. In 2013, Kishorn Port Ltd were given the go-ahead to turn the drydock and surrounding area into a renewable energy hub. The plans also detailed the potential for oilrigs to be de-commissioned on the site.
This year, the port was given half a million pounds to start work on the drydock. The gates will be undergo an overhaul and the water in the dry dock will be pumped out to test the new water seals on the gates. The gates will then be removed and re-instated to test how well the system works; the gates have sat idle for many years! It will be the first time the drydock has been operational (and dry!) since 1992 when the support 'cassions' for the legs of the Skye Bridge were built there.
It is almost 40 years since the Ninian Central Oil Platform was constructed there in 1978. The 600,000 tonne platform was, and still is, one of the largest man-made moveable objects ever created. She is still being used today. She is anchored at the Ninian Oil Field, around 144km North East of Shetland. The oil is transported from the platforms to the Sullom Voe Terminal in Shetland via the Ninian Pipeline System.
It is with some disappointment to report that, after speculation for many months, the playpark at Achintraid has now been removed. Plans are afoot for the now un-used land which could involve a community project to re-instate new play equipment. Watch this space..!
Resurfacing work between Kishorn and Lochcarron has now been completed. The stretch of single track road between Kishorn and the Glenmor cattle grid has been resurfaced and the verges have been cleared. The work to improve this stretch of road is welcome, it's a shame that the machines didn't stay to do the whole Lochcarron road! I wonder how long it will before it is all double-track. It was only around 15 years ago that the A896 Kishorn - Lochcarron route received its first section of double-track when major works on the Kishorn Hill were completed; the end of pulling into the tight passing places teetering on the edge of the hill! Slowly over the years more sections have been upgraded.
I'm working to get the Selfie Box out of 'Winter Mode' and ready for the season ahead! I've started to clear the mud, grass and rocks from around the Selfie Box too and hope that, once the ground dries, I can improve the surrounding ground to make the Selfie Box stand out even more. As well as the Facebook page you can now post your selfie onto the new Instagram page: @kishornselfiebox .
Patterns of Light is now open on summer hours, and the Kishorn Seafood Bar is just a few weeks off opening for the season. The Bealach Cafe remains on winter hours, but will soon welcome customers for the whole week once the season gets underway. In my next blog, I will update you on all the opening hours for our fantastic local establishments!
The warmer weather also means that lambs and young animals will soon start to appear in the local fields. Can I politely remind dog owners in particular to keep your dogs under supervision if out and about, and please do not let your pet(s) wander freely into areas where young livestock may be grazing. Thank you.
The Highland Council elections will be held on the 4th May. The polling station (for Kishorn residents) is at Lochcarron Village Hall. Can I encourage you all to go to the polling stations and use your vote. A spoilt paper is so much better than no paper at all. You will be able to follow information about the elections and our local candidates in my next blog, on the Kishorn Online website and also on the Kishorn Facebook page.
It has been interesting to note the continued installation of the Superfast broadband cable in the village. However, Achintraid looks set to miss out. I haven't heard any official report from BT, but apparently the 'outputs' (ie the signal to your house) only reach to a certain distance of the green box stations (that have now been erected). Achintraid is not in the allocated distance, which from what I have heard is less than a mile. Doing it all on the cheap it seems. While all the machines and workforce are in the area they might as well install these green box stations at Achintraid too.
Achintraid isn't having the best of luck in terms of improving broadband and phone signal. The EE mobile phone mast has now been granted planning permission, but its position means that most of the village will see no difference in coverage!
People moan and go on about how dependant we are now on phones and internet. But times are changing, the world as a whole is now dependent on it. It is so important that the remoter areas of the Highlands and Islands are kept up to date with the new technology. We must not be forgotten.