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UK & World

Jail for transgender beautician who assaulted police constable

April 24 2018

A transgender beautician has been locked up for attacking a constable weeks after she avoided jail for pushing an off-duty police officer onto the Tube track.On February 20, Paris Bregazzi, 30, was handed a six-month jail term suspended for two years over an incident at Hanger Lane Station in Ealing, west London.But she landed in the dock again for kneeing a constable in the chest and spraying perfume at a security guard at Waterloo Station.Old Bailey Judge Rebecca Poulet QC noted Bregazzi had been treated “compassionately” over the Tube incident in light of her “considerable personal problems”.But she jailed her for 10 months for the “protection of the public”.Last July, Bregazzi had drunk four bottles of Prosecco and was arguing with a friend on the platform of Hanger Lane Station in Ealing, west London when Pc Sam Chegwin intervened.Pc Chegwin pushed her in the chest in a defensive manner, ignorant of the fact she had recently had extensive breast surgery.Bregazzi reacted by shoving him with force, sending him toppling onto the track, just inches from the line with a fast train seven minutes away.Sentencing on February 20, Recorder Jeremy Dein QC told her it was lucky Pc Chegwin was not seriously hurt.He said: “The fact is he could have been killed by falling and hitting his head, electrocuted or hit by an on-coming train but mercifully he maintained his consciousness and composure and managed to clamber back onto the platform.”The suspended sentence was referred to the Attorney General, who decided against any further action having read transcripts of the case.On March 5, Bregazzi was seen on Stockwell Road, south London, acting “aggressively” to two elderly ladies at a bus stop and throwing wheelie bins in the street.She lobbed a brick into the road, smashing the window of a parked Ford Fiesta, before walking in front of a bus, which swerved to avoid her, the court heard.She went on to knee arresting officer Pc Florina Russ in the chest before being restrained by colleagues.In interview, she explained she was “not in a good mood”.Bregazzi was on bail when she sprayed Lady Million perfume by Paco Rabanne at security officer Rashpal Mudahar at Waterloo Station on March 10.She went on to cause £200 damage to a cell at Brixton police station by throwing food at the walls, covering them in tomato ketchup.Crystal meth was found stuffed inside her bra, but she was not charged over it, the court heard. Bregazzi admitted assault and criminal damage and was brought from custody at Thameside men’s jail to be sentenced.The defendant, who wore a leopard print dress, was also dealt with for breaching her suspended sentence.Mitigating, James Kelly described her as a “very damaged individual who is in emotional pain” and has a “problem with people in uniform”.He said transitioning from one sex to another was “difficult enough” without having to deal with others’ attitudes.He told the court that Bregazzi was due to be transferred to Belmarsh prison from Thameside.Bregazzi has 64 previous convictions and has been diagnosed with a histrionic personality disorder.Judge Poulet activated the suspended sentence and added four more months in prison for the assaults.The defendant was also given eight weeks for criminal damage to run concurrently.

UK & World

Case against Canadian pilots ‘under the influence’ collapses

April 26 2018

The case against two Canadian pilots accused of preparing to fly a passenger plane while under the influence of alcohol has collapsed after their blood samples were destroyed at a prison.It came after the Appeal Court ruled the Crown had not met its duty to supply Jean-Francois Perreault and Imran Syed with their part of the blood sample used to test for alcohol levels.Prosecutors said that after “full and careful consideration” of the facts and circumstances there would be no further proceedings in the case. Mr Perreault, 41, and Mr Syed, 39, were arrested on July 18 2016 before they were due to take off on the Air Transat flight from Glasgow to Toronto.Syed, from Toronto, was accused of performing “an activity ancillary to an aviation function” when he allegedly had 49 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, more than double the legal limit of 20.Perreault, from the province of Ontario, faced the same charge with an alleged 32 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.They had denied the charge.The delayed Airbus flight eventually set off with a different crew the next morning, with about 250 passengers having spent the night at hotels close to Glasgow Airport.At a previous hearing, which could not be reported until now, Paisley Sheriff Court heard that both men requested part of their blood samples when they were taken in July 2016 so that they could have them independently analysed.The samples were among their belongings when they arrived at HMP Low Moss on July 19 2016, however prison staff did not know what to do with them.Paul Scoular, security manager at the prison, working for the Scottish Prison Service, said he was concerned the blood samples might no longer be of any worth because they had not been in cold storage.He discussed his concerns with the pilots and said both men gave him their consent for the samples, known as B, to be destroyed.Mr Scoular passed the samples to the prison nurse who put them in a locked drawer and later destroyed them when she heard the two pilots had been released from the prison.Giving evidence himself, Mr Perreault said he did not give permission for his blood sample to be destroyed.He told the court: “I wanted to have my blood sample analysed.”Following a hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court in September, Sheriff James Spy ruled that the samples were available for independent analysis at the time and that police and the Crown were not responsible for what happened to them later, and that the case could proceed.However the defence appealed against his decision, arguing that the blood samples should be inadmissible as evidence.In February the Sheriff rejected the appeal, however the case then went to the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh where the defence won their appeal, with judges saying the Sheriff ought to have ruled that sample B was not admissible.On Thursday it was confirmed that the case has fallen.A Crown Office spokesman said: “It is the duty of the Crown to keep cases under review. After full and careful consideration of the facts and circumstances, including the recent decision of the Court of Appeal, Crown Counsel instructed there should be no further proceedings at this time.“We are working with Police Scotland to ensure there are proper processes and guidance in place covering the retention and storage of samples when an accused person is remanded in custody.”Both men were suspended by Air Transat after their arrests.A spokesman for the airline said: “We note that all charges against our pilots have been dropped. The pilots were indeed suspended pending the outcome of the court proceedings. They have now been declared innocent.“The safety of our passengers and flight crews is our number one priority. We have always taken, and will continue to take, all necessary measures to ensure that applicable regulations, as well as our internal rules are followed to the letter. We can count on the unfailing co-operation of our personnel in that respect.“We will be meeting with them in the next few days to plan their reinstatement since there is no charge against them and we have no evidence that they have broken any law nor our internal rules.“They will need to undergo retraining and requalification as per applicable legislation, and we will put in place measures to ensure that their behaviour is exemplary.”

Perth & Kinross

Tributes to Perthshire theatre favourite and High Road star Edith MacArthur

April 28 2018

Theatre bosses in Highland Perthshire have led tributes to star-of-stage-and-screen Edith MacArthur, who died aged 92. Ms MacArthur was best known for her role as Elizabeth Cunningham in top Scottish soap opera Take the High Road. She appeared in the show's debut episode in 1980 and proved a hit with viewers before her character was killed in a car crash six years later. After the show, she became a regular at Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT), appearing in a run of shows from 1988 including Pygmalion, On Golden Pond and Queen of Spades. The venue's latest season director Richard Baron said: "I was fortunate enough to direct Edith in four productions at PFT including her memorable Mary Tyrone in Long Day's Journey into Night and Miss Havisham in Great Exceptions. "Popular on TV for her roles in Take the High Road and Sutherland's Law, she will be remembered by Pitlochry audiences for her superb performance as Ranevskaya in the Cherry Orchard, and the title role in Bridie's Daphne Laureola. "Famously elegant and gracious but extremely practical, and possessed of an infectious sense of humour, she was widely regarded as the finest Scottish actress of her generation." In 2001, Edith wrote about her time at the popular Perthshire venue: "Where but in Pitlochry could one play so many wonderful and contrasting roles, with such directors, casts, sets, costumes, stage-crews and audiences? "This theatre sparkles during the day as brightly as the water it stands beside, and at night it dazzles." Following her 1999 performance in The Summertime Is Come, director Clive Perry said that audiences would never see her like again. Local MSP and Deputy First Minister John Swinney has also paid tribute. He tweeted: "Very sorry to hear the news of the death of Edith MacArthur. She make such a contribution to acting in Scotland and particularly at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. It was always such a pleasure to meet her there." Born in Ardrossan, Ms MacArthur attended Ardrossan Academy where she begin her life-long interest in acting. She went on to play at theatres across Scotland and did seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford in the early 60s. On TV, she also appeared in Dr Findlay's Casebook and in Hamish Macbeth (1996) opposite Robert Carlyle. Ms Macarthur, who never married, was made an MBE in 2000 and received an honorary degree from Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University the following year.

Dundee

Council to investigate sites for possible contamination

April 27 2018

Dundee City Council is set to spend £100,000 this year investigating land which could have been contaminated by former petrol stations. In addition former quarries, industrial estates, infilled lands and sites close to where large fuel containers sit will all be periodically inspected over the coming 12 months. Community safety and public protection committee convener Alan Ross said it was important these tests are conducted periodically and will give confidence not just to construction firms looking to build on vacated land, but to residents living in the investigated areas too. The site of the former petrol station on Queen Street in Broughty Ferry is to be studied, with experts set to take soil samples from the land between where the garage used to be located and the railway line. Loftus petrol station was demolished in 2006 and and the site was converted into seven flats, planning permission for which was granted in 2005. It had existed in some form as a fuelling site on Queen Street for at least forty years prior to its demolition. Alongside the petrol station site, the former Downfield quarry is to undergo gas and groundwater inspection. Mr Ross said: "These works will be undertaken as a matter of national policy and are required by law to be carried out. "If we look at cases like the former petrol station site, these premises had underground pipes which were full of fuel so it is important for public protection regular investigations are done. "Bringing this work before the committee helps us keep up to date on the work being carried out to investigate possible contaminated land and allows us to keep tabs on how much it is costing. "There is no need for public concern regarding these investigations, they are regularly carried out." Last year, soil sampling conducted by contaminated land experts discovered there were no risks to public health at the former gravel pits in Happy Hillock and Rowantree Crescent. Similar investigations on the site of the former Ashton works in Hawkhill have certified it safe as an available public open space.

Scottish League 1

Forfar 1 Queen’s Park 1: Frustrated Loons boss pledges changes before next season

April 23 2018

Forfar brought the curtain down on their home campaign with an all-too familiar performance that left manager Jim Weir frustrated and promising changes for next season. The Loons drew 1-1 with Queen’s Park, a result that leaves the Spiders’ fate out of their own hands as they trail relegation rivals Albion Rovers by two points ahead of next weekend’s final fixture. Despite patches of good play after taking the lead through Ross MacIver, Forfar never looked like putting the game beyond Gus McWilliam’s side and it was only thanks to the utter brilliance of keeper Marc McCallum in goal that they took anything at all from the game. “We got the goal through the young lad showing a bit of desire to chase a lost cause and I was delighted for him because he has travelled up and down from Dingwall,” said Weir. “But I just felt we didn’t get enough of that in certain areas. “Big players that are important to me and have played in my team all year will have pressure put on them by me over the summer. “At times they get you there but I need more from the players I showed faith in. We achieved what we set out to achieve and I am grateful for that. But I am not happy at finishing third bottom and not winning at home. “My goalkeeper had to pull off incredible saves.” Forfar took the lead after 13 minutes in fortuitous fashion but credit has to go to MacIver for his determination to chase down a pass back to Queen’s keeper Michael White. The stopper smashed his clearance off the Forfar player who was left with a simple tap-in from inside the six yard box. Queen’s tried to reply through David Galt and he strung the fingers of McCallum with a fierce 20-yard drive. McCallum again saved Forfar, blocking with his feet as Aidan Keena looked odds-on to equalise. The Forfar keeper pulled off an even more spectacular save moments later, tipping a close-range header on to his crossbar to again deny Keena. The inevitable equaliser came in the 67th minute when Luke Donnelly pounced on a lose ball in the crowded Forfar box and took his time to slot past the stranded keeper. With eight minutes left, Forfar’s Andy Munro was sent off for a last man challenge on Keena but Donnelly curled the free kick just over the crossbar.

Readers' letters

READERS’ LETTERS: Nuisance calls? Time to ring the changes

April 28 2018

Sir, – When your house phone rings you probably, like me, think it could be something important and rush to answer it. However, also like me, you may very well find out that in many instances it is in fact a complete waste of your time. I am sure that everybody is completely and utterly fed up with the continual phone calls regarding PPI (can the August 2019 deadline come quickly enough?). However, surely even more annoying are those pre-recorded calls, supposedly from the government initiative scheme, advising you of the benefits of replacing your windows, replacing your boiler, or installing solar panels. According to the tape, all you have to do to opt out of these phone messages is to press nine. Sadly, as most people will all too soon realise, this doesn’t actually make a blind bit of difference. As a result you will most likely still be continuously bombarded with a variety of calls at dinner and tea time (or, if you’re posh, lunch and dinner.) Various companies advertise that they can screen these calls, although this service comes at a considerable cost. In theory, of course, this should prevent us from being continually contacted, but it would appear none of them are even close to being 100% successful. Surely there should be something put in law that can stop these companies, especially as when they can’t reach you at home they’ll start pestering you on your mobiles. Everybody has the right to contact OFCOM if they feel they are being harassed. I believe that far more people should be encouraged to do so. Eric Travers. 38 Gellatly Road, Dunfermline.   Obscuring a Dundee jewel Sir, – Having recently moved into Dundee from the scenically wonderful countryside of Angus, I was so impressed by the newly constructed V&A building, and especially enchanted by the beautiful area of grass in the foreground. I thought, what vision by the city planners to use that wonderful clear area to such advantage. Now, we see the whole area being dug up and lost and plans for a vast hotel block, dwarfing and obscuring the new V&A building, which was designed specially to put Dundee at the forefront of architecture worldwide. Even already, it is hidden into obscurity in a corner, along with the ship, the Discovery, which lent its name to the City of Discovery and is now also hidden away like an old moulding fishing boat. All this for a monstrous towering hotel with not even car parking space. With friends like these Dundee does not need an enemy. W Gregor MacGregor. Sidlaw Gardens, Dundee.   Reminder to ‘think bike’ Sir, – I am delighted by reports suggesting that the police are backing a new training initiative for motorcyclists (Motorcyclists offered chance to improve their riding and safety, April 26). I wholeheartedly welcome ‘Rider Refinement North’ which was launched this week. The number of deaths on our roads is shocking and all such safety programmes are to be applauded. This one-day course will hopefully encourage more motorcyclists to participate in advanced training. In the past, initiatives like BikeSafe and Operation Zenith have been well received, plus the IAM continue to focus on improving motorcyclists’ riding skills using a system called IPSGA (Information Position Speed Gear Acceleration) which is at the core of advanced riding. However, isn’t there something missing? Where is the further instruction and training for motorists to help prevent these fatalities? Cases include collisions where cars have veered into the paths of experienced motorcyclists. Let’s see initiatives that challenge how driver actions and behaviour on the road makes them more aware of motorcyclists. As motorcyclists, we can do courses to improve our skills and awareness but, if drivers don’t ‘think bike,’ we often don’t stand a chance anyway. Brenda Mitchell. 1 Berry Street, Aberdeen.   Please change the record Sir, – For years now (although it seems longer) Jenny Hjul has provided a column entitled “As I See It”. Week in, week out; some 600 words approximately. Of course, Jenny only needed one column and it would only have required four words: “I hate the SNP.” This simple solution would have saved DC Thomson paying her a wage and stopped inflicting your readership with her tiresome repeated diatribes. Without fail, this week is again a personal attack on an SNP cabinet member. Ms Hjul’s views on our First Minister are well known and this week she attacks Shona Robison MSP as “hapless”. Not too long ago Ms Hjul described another female minister as “promoted beyond her ability.” I wonder what it is about strong female role models in politics that so offends Ms Hjul? However, even the BBC recently concluded that out of all the four nations, hospitals in Scotland seem to have fared the best and that spending per head in Scotland was higher than that in Wales, England and Northern Ireland. The continuing popularity of the SNP in government is clearly galling to Ms Hjul but no matter how much mud she slings, people’s everyday experiences show they are correct to trust the SNP and their support for its ministers is justified. Henry Malcolm. 331 Clepington Road, Dundee.   A truly shocking state of affairs Sir, – It was with admiration that I read your article about the brave Angus woman who fought off two attackers with karate moves after they pounced as she walked home. However, as I continued to read the article I was amazed and extremely concerned that the wicked, cowardly attackers were both illegal immigrants. They were, it seems, allowed to come and go as they please. Why had they not been deported already? I fear that this situation may be symptomatic of the soft touch approach by the authorities responsible. Mike Rogalski. 82 Feus Road, Perth.   Rethinking old attitudes Sir, – A major survey has found almost a quarter of hospitals across the UK routinely refuse to perform caesarean sections on expectant mothers unless they or their child are in serious danger. Such refusals are a direct contradiction of NICE guidelines which state that “maternal requests” on the grounds of anxiety or personal factors must be granted. It is the inevitable outcome of the deadly turf-war between midwives and obstetricians and such vile slogans as “too posh to push”. But women usually have good reasons for requesting a planned caesarean. Often they or a family member has experienced a traumatic birth and they want a safer and less frightening experience. Above all it is their right. Today’s mothers are older, heavier, have fewer babies and their babies are larger. Parish priests and those involved in pastoral work are aware of nightmare situations created by obstinate mid-wives. The fact is most female obstetricians choose a c-section for their own births so perhaps it’s not so much being “too posh to push” as being “too smart to push”. Rev Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews.   We must train our own doctors Sir, – The NHS is short of doctors and they say it is because of us voting to leave Europe? Balderdash. I served my time in Burntisland shipyard and we were never short of tradesmen because the yard trained them. Can’t our politicians or their army of managers do the maths? Are we to believe people from working class backgrounds with the correct qualification are not prepared to train as doctors if given the chance? Money should be spent on educating people who will use there skills for the good of the country. John G Phimister. 63 St Clair Street, Kirkcaldy.

UK & World

Former police officer accused of being serial killer charged

April 26 2018

A former police officer accused of being one of California’s most feared serial killers and rapists in the 1970s and 80s has been charged with eight counts of murder.Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested at his home on Tuesday after DNA linked him to crimes attributed to the so-called Golden State Killer.Authorities say he could face dozens more charges.The culprit also known as the East Area Rapist, among other names, is suspected of at least 12 killings and 50 rapes in 10 counties from Northern to Southern California. The armed and masked prowler sneaked in through windows at night and surprised sleeping victims who ranged in age from 13 to 41.When encountering a couple, he was known to tie up the man and pile dishes on his back. He threatened to kill both victims if he heard plates crash to the floor while he raped the woman. He then ransacked the house, taking souvenirs, notably coins and jewellery before fleeing on foot or bicycle.Despite an outpouring of thousands of tips over the years, DeAngelo’s name had not been on the radar of law enforcement before last week, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.“We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we also knew that needle was there,” she said. “It was right here in Sacramento.”A break in the case and the arrest came together in “light speed” during the past six days, Ms Schubert said, though authorities refused to reveal what led to DeAngelo.Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones said detectives with “dogged determination” were able to get a sample of DNA from something DeAngelo discarded, though he would not say what the item was. The genetic material was not a match, but there were enough similarities for investigators to return for more and they said they were able to get a conclusive match.After watching DeAngelo for several days, deputies took him by surprise on Tuesday.“It looked as though he might have been searching his mind to execute a particular plan he may have had,” but never had time to act, Mr Jones said.DeAngelo was arrested on suspicion of committing double-killings in Sacramento and Ventura counties and later charged with four counts of murder in Orange County, officials said.Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten said that before prosecutors decide whether to seek the death penalty, there will be a “solemn and formal death review process that typically takes many months before a decision is made”.DeAngelo, who served in the Navy, was a police officer in Exeter, in the San Joaquin Valley, from 1973 to 1976, at a time a burglar known as the Visalia Ransacker was active, Mr Jones said.He transferred to the force in Auburn in the Sierra foothills near where he grew up outside Sacramento. About 50 crimes, including two killings, were attributed to the East Area Rapist during the three years DeAngelo worked in Auburn, but Mr Jones said it was not clear if any were committed while on duty.DeAngelo was fired from the Auburn department in 1979 after being arrested for stealing a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drug store, according to Auburn Journal articles from the time. He was convicted of the theft and fined 100 US dollars.Ten killings occurred after he was fired and all took place in Southern California.

UK & World

North and South Korea bring different unity visions to summit table

April 26 2018

The desire for unity is common for North and South Koreans although the visions to achieve it differ ahead of this week’s summit.For some, especially young people in the South, it may not be a burning issue.Details like the costs, the risks and what specifically both sides stand to gain are rarely given much thought by anyone who is not an academic, politician or activist.But when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet on Friday, the prospect of unification, even if only in the abstract, will loom large around them.Merging Mr Kim’s nuclear-armed North and the K-pop capitalism of Mr Moon’s South into one Korea is no simple task.Both leaders come to the table with distinct visions of what that would look like and they are very different.North Korea’s founder and “eternal president” Kim Il Sung formulated plans for what he called a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo in 1980.Koryo was an ancient Korean kingdom from which the word Korea is derived.The plan was for an arrangement something along the lines of what Hong Kong has with China, a unified nation with two separate systems of government.Under his plan, the North and South would respect each other’s ideology, social system and autonomy.Both sides would have an equal number of representatives in a supreme national assembly with equal rights and responsibilities.The assembly would also have representatives of Koreans overseas.It would have a standing committee that would administer state affairs.Kim Il Sung stressed the need for this new federation to remain neutral and independent, avoiding in particular military alliances with others.Not surprisingly, that looks a lot like North Korea in the 21st Century, with its Supreme People’s Assembly, and the party’s Politburo and Central Committee overseeing day-to-day policies.Even the name smacks of the North, which is officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.An equal number of assembly seats would be a good deal for the North, which has half the South’s population.The inclusion of Koreans overseas would boost that advantage even further since, for historical reasons, more often than not they have at least nominal allegiance to Pyongyang, not Seoul.With so many devils lurking in the details, Kim Il Sung’s grand plan has never got much traction.South Korea’s three-step proposal ends in a similarly predictable place, its own system writ large across the Korean Peninsula.The first priority, according to South Korea’s Unification Ministry, is to develop a sustainable relationship and resolve the issue of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.Seoul wants to substitute the unstable armistice that ended the fighting of the 1950-53 Korean War with a permanent peace treaty, a goal Pyongyang shares.This step could get a boost on Friday, it will almost certainly be taken up then and probably again at the summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in May or early June.South Korea wants to then develop trust and cooperation to the point where a sort of national consensus has been achieved.After a transitional commonwealth period, the next step would be the formation of a single market on the Korean Peninsula “to create new growth engines and create an inter-Korean economic community of coexistence and co-prosperity”.“We will build a new economic order that will bring peace and prosperity to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia,” the ministry concludes.The essentials of this plan were announced in September 1989 by South Korea’s president at the time, Roh Tae-woo.The succession of administrations that have taken office in the South since Mr Roh have adhered fairly predictably to the principle of gradual, peaceful progress, while calibrating their willingness to engage with Pyongyang based on their assessment of its level of vulnerability or hostility.In the long run, however, it makes no provision for a one-state, two-system future.Ultimately, Seoul believes, the North Korean system has to go.

Dundee United

Premiership play-off dates announced

April 24 2018

The SPFL have confirmed the dates, kick-off times and live broadcast information for the upcoming Ladbrokes Premiership Play-Offs. Dundee United are definitely in the quarter-finals and could be joined by Dunfermline. It will be a big ask for either, though, with the road to the top flight taking in six games in 20 days. The quarter-final ties will be played as follows: Leg 1: Fourth v Third – Tuesday May 1, 7.45pm. Leg 2: Third v Fourth – Friday May 4, 7.45pm. The semi-final ties will be played as follows: Leg 1: QF Winner v Livingston – Monday May 7, 7.45pm – Live on BT Sport. Leg 2: Livingston v QF Winner – Friday May 11, 7.45pm – Live on BT Sport. The final ties will be played as follows: Leg 1: SF Winner v Premiership 11th-placed side – Thursday May 17, 7.45pm – Live on BT Sport. Leg 2: Premiership 11th-placed side v SF Winner – Sunday May 20, 3.30pm – Live on BT Sport. United are in discussions with Dunfermline and their other possible quarter-final opponents, Inverness Caley Thistle, regarding admission prices and dates for ticket sales. The club said: “The likelihood is that tickets for both legs of the quarter-final will go on sale to season ticket holders(17/18 and 18/19 seasons) directly after Saturday's home match versus Livingston and remain exclusively on sale to season ticket holders during Sunday. Monday 30 April will then see tickets for both legs be made available to the general public. “As soon as we have more information regarding ticket prices, we will update this information.”

Angus & The Mearns

Grocer’s boy Robert serves up slice of life in 1950s Angus

April 29 2018

Tayside author and playwright Robert Murray reflects on his career which began as a delivery boy for Wm Low’s in Carnoustie, in a new book to be released next month. The Grocer’s Boy: A Slice of His Life in 1950s Scotland, relates Robert’s account of an eventful childhood in post-war Carnoustie, drawing on his memories of family, friends, and the many inspirational people who influenced him and shaped his early life. It touches on his early romances, a passion for stage performance, and a long running battle of wits with his temperamental delivery bike. Born in Barry, near Carnoustie, in 1940, and educated locally, Mr Murray became an apprentice grocer with William Low, and qualified as a member of The Grocers’ Institute, before his appointment as manager of a Dundee branch of Lows at just 19, making him the company’s youngest ever manager. Following a transfer to manage a larger store, Mr Murray became a lecturer in distributive trades subjects at Dundee Commercial College – a post he held for five years. A period of working as a training development officer covering London and east England for the Grocers’ Institute, advising companies and colleges on training in the retail grocery trade. A return to Dundee followed, which saw the author rise to the post of group personnel manager with Watson and Philip, a role that carried responsibility for three thousand people. Made redundant at 62, Mr Murray again became actively involved in amateur theatre, and his stage presentation on the life of Robert Burns has been performed several times by amateurs in Tayside. Stirling based Extremis Publishing said: “The book is set in a time that can never return, seen through the eyes of a boy on the cusp of becoming a young man, and follows the fortunes of his family, friends and young love. “The book is a story of charm and nostalgia – the celebration of a happy youth in a distinctive bygone age which also saw rapid social and technological advancements during one of the fastest moving periods of cultural change in recent British history.” The book also features illustrations by Robert's brother James 'Peem' Murray, who for thirty years was an illustrator for DC Thomson.

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