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Ferness (Fer Nis in Gaelic) is known to most Scots and film buffs as the seaside village that was the film location for the classic Bill Forsyth film Local Hero (based on local celebrity Denis Lawson Wedge Antilles). It is a remote township somewhere in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland and alongside Drunkenness, it forms a small number of uncharted townships in the area although it is thought to be somewhere near Lochaber, Fort William or Mallaig as the isles of Eigg and Rum can both be seen in the film.
Ferness has never been seen since the release of this film although it does bear a striking resemblance to the village of Pennan close to Fraserburgh in the northeast of Aberdeenshire. For this reason, it is twinned with Pennan (and also Cumbernauld). One sighting of a Ferness was reported recently (2001) although it turned out that this was a Ferness-wannabe close to the Inverness-shire / Moray border on the A939 instead. Close inspection of this village shows no evidence of either a phone box, harbour or big beach with a shack on it and so claims could not be upheld.
Once a booming centre for the seaweed chemical industry, the village was later bought over by an American oil and gas tycoon Knox Oil & Gas (now thought to be a subsidiary of Chevron) for the construction of a North Sea oil base terminal. This has always confused the locals as the North Sea coast is on the east side of Scotland, not the west where Ferness and the valuable Gulf Stream is found.
After Mac Macintosh and Felix Happer realised this after the purchase of the local land (not depicted in Local Hero as Americans have to look smart on film), Happer (Head Chieftain of Knox Oil & Gas) decided to turn the village into an astronomical research centre. The centre has been since relocated however as he never realised that the west coast of Scotland only sees clear skies on average 13 days a year. A marine research centre is still in the pipeline although it will always be lagging behind the menacing Oban Sealife Centre.
edit Local Hero
The Local Hero of the village (hence the name of the movie filmed in Ferness) is retired, former Rebel Alliance starship pilot Wedge Antilles who now owns the local hotel with his wife Stella. Wedge is best known to the locals for flying against the Death Star in Red Squadron at the Battle of Yavin. Here he played a key role, destroying a TIE fighter that was shadowing Luke Skywalker. Wedge (alias Gordon Urquhart after a nasty flood of fan mail requiring the emplyment of an extra full-time postman) also works as a part-time accountant for locals and possibly secret bungs given to the Rebel Alliance as once revealed by Highland Constabulary and the Press and Journal.
edit The Big Ferness Hunt
The British Ordnance Survey are currently appealing to all uncyclopedia users for any information regarding the location of Ferness. Distinctive features of the village are as follows;
- An annoying watch beeping in a nearby rockpool.
- Rolls Royce with with several boxes of mackerel in backseat / boot.
- Maniac on a moped (possibly drink-driving, thought to be a necessity in these parts)
- Several multi-millionaires over the age of 80.
- Red BT phonebox with number 261 (possibly with resident drunk or new extended phone chord)
- A large beach with a beachcomber (Mr Mackay from the TV series Porridge) living in a wooden shack.
- Hotel with rabbit on the specials menu.
- Woman with bushy 70s perm pinning up sexy lingerie and doing a lot of washline rearranging.
- Local shops with mattresses out of stock.
- A possible mermaid lurking around the waters (or really annoying know-it-all in a wetsuit)
- Northern Lights (or Aurora Sexualis) - a dead give away!
- Eastern European guy on a fishing boat - not such a give away!!
- It's one of the few places in the world where the listening of Runrig is still legal.