Highlands and Islands Community Newspaper of the Year 2023, 2019 and 2016, runner-up 2017

Avoch turned out in force when postman David McKenzie – known to all as Ginge – made his final delivery. We find out all about him in our Spring edition, where he stars on the cover.

Also from Avoch and making news are firefighter Richard Franklin, who’s received a long service award after 20 years with the Fortrose station, and nurse Lesley Patience, whose side project – providing first aid cover at sporting and music events – is going from strength to strength.

A former Black Isler, now settled in Dundee, is making a name for herself as the world’s first forensic jeweller. We meet Maria Maclennan and learn how her work is helping identify the bodies of migrants making the perilous crossing from Turkey to Greece.

Verity Walker Eley and husband Philip are well known in the area but their role as Airbnb hosts maybe not so much. She tells us about the highs and lows of establishing The Chanonry Bolthole in Fortrose as a welcoming place to stay.

Cromarty is preparing for two popular events. We learn all about ‘New Realities’ at the Film Festival, and meet the authors who’ll take part in April’s Crime & Thrillers Weekend.

Still in Cromarty, the Courthouse Museum is celebrating the building’s 250th anniversary. We look at its plans as it prepares for the new season – work mirrored in Rosemarkie where Groam House is similarly engaged.

Out of doors, we take a look at the new map for cyclists and walkers produced by Black Isle Tourism and Transition Black Isle, and delve into the mystery of who is responsible for maintaining the Fortrose to Avoch footpath along the old railway line.

Culbokie Green is taking shape at the heart of a growing village. We take a look at what’s happening – and what’s still to come.

Three of the Black Isle’s four community markets are now fully back in action after the pandemic, and it’s all systems go at our libraries in Fortrose and Cromarty. We discover what can be found there.

And there’s more, in a bumper 44-page Chatterbox – the Highlands and Islands Community Newspaper of the Year – and still only £2. Don’t miss yours.

Russell Turner


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