A new studio created by Duncan and Yuriko Ross at Poyntzfield Nursery near Jemimaville is now available for hire to anyone involved with herbs and healing. Traditional music sessions are held there too.

Duncan tells us all about it in the Summer edition of Chatterbox, and about the nursery which has been in business since 1976.

A more recent business is the new Eilean Dubh Care Home built in Fortrose by Parklands and now welcoming its first residents. We meet Parklands managing director Ron Taylor and take a look inside an establishment which could easily be mistaken for an upmarket hotel.

The figures in the courtroom tableau at Cromarty Courthouse, familiar to generations of Black Islers, have been spruced up during lockdown and given new voices. Vee Walker describes what’s been going on.

Over in Newhall, the Smith brothers have retired almost 70 years after their father took over the Smiddy there. We discover what’s changed over the years and how a Polish connection will keep the business going.

When Sheena Mcleman died, her friends at Macmillan Cancer Support, which she helped for many years, were determined to honour her memory, which they did during the annual Kiltwalk. Avoch and Fortrose were the centres of the fundraising event. We learn all about it.

Lockdown has been hard on many people’s pockets so the network of Sharing Sheds created across the Black Isle has been a huge help. Julian Paren tells us how it all began with a fridge.

Travel may still be a risky business so there’s never been a better time to explore locally. Sandy Mitchell highlights the beauty of Rosemarkie Beach – and finds some fossils too.

And there’s much more inside the latest Chatterbox – out now, and still only £1.50.

Russell Turner

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