The editor of the newspaper is the head of the Assynt Highland Games

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Assynt Highland Games has appointed its leader for 2022 as well-known local newspaper editor Jess Thomas.

Jess will chair the popular games, which will take place on Friday August 12 at Culag Park.

Jesse Thomas.

She was due to take on the role in 2020, but the coronavirus lockdown then led to the cancellation of events across the county.

Assynt Community Council Chairman Liam Taylor said: “Jess was thrilled when asked to be Chief and is looking forward to Games Day.

“We all hope it will draw a big crowd to enjoy all the usual great day out events and shows.”

Jess (65) grew up in Cardigan, West Wales, then Cheltenham. His father Peter, an airplane enthusiast, first ran a chicken farm, but later founded the Skyfame Aircraft Museum.

The family, including Jess’s daughter Emma, ​​moved north to Badnaban, just outside Lochinver in 1976 following the sale of the museum.

Very quickly, Jess became an integral part of the tight-knit community, devoting her time to charity work and fundraising.

She joined Assynt News in December 1980 and eventually became its editor in the mid-1980s, succeeding newspaper founder Paul Phipps and Simon Macleod.

Mr Taylor said: ‘The Assynt News is still published fortnightly and Jess is doing what she can to keep that going despite a growing reliance on social media and the digital world.’

She served three times on the Assynt Community Council and was a member of a committee formed to bring the Red Arrows to Lochinver on three occasions, using her father’s connections to the RAF.

When the Red Arrows first visited in 1982, Assynt Pipe Band was formed with Jess helping out behind the scenes.

She was president of the Inver and Baddidarroch Residents Association for several years in the late 1980s, and it was her idea to have a play park built in this part of the village. She managed to get land from the late Edmund Vestey.

Lately, Jess has formed a new group to raise money for new equipment for the play park.

She has worked at the Assynt Center since 1986 and has held various positions there, starting as an office assistant. She now works part-time for Trust Housing Association as a co-ordinator and part-time for Community Care Assynt as a support worker.

Assynt Highland Games would welcome volunteers with a wide variety of opportunities available both on and off the playing field.


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