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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Delve into the beautiful past of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

May 5 2016

Charles Rennie Mackintosh worked to try and mix art and design with architecture and nowhere was his influence demonstrated more than his hometown. The Courier Travel looks at the man’s finest masterpieces… Hill House, which sits high above the River Clyde, is Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s finest domestic creation. Commissioned in 1902 by the Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie, the house still makes a striking statement today. Blackie asked Mackintosh to design not only the house and gardens, but much of the furniture and interiors too. Mackintosh duly obliged and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, contributed fabric designs and a unique panel over the fireplace in the drawing room. The result is a daring design with an air of restrained elegance, which still appeals to modern-day tastes. Glasgow School of Art is considered to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece. Completed in 1909 the building heralded a new style in 20th century architecture, while fulfilling its original purpose as a working art school, housing the fine art students and staff, at the heart of GSA's campus on Garnethill. On 23 May 2014 a fire damaged the west wing of the Mackintosh building including some studios, the Library and some archival stores and as a result there will be no visitor access to the interiors of the Mackintosh building whilst restoration gets underway. If visiting, make sure to look around the 'Window on Mackintosh' Visitor Centre to discover more about the Schools rich history and browse designs by students, staff and alumni in the GSA Shop. It’s difficult to think about Mackintosh without thinking of the Willow Tea Room in Sauchiehall Street, which was the only tea room building where Mackintosh had complete control over every aspect of the design. He modelled the exterior as well as the interior of the building and even designed the cutlery and waitresses' dresses. The Willow name comes from Sauchiehall, the street where it is situated, which in Scottish Gaelic means alley of the willows and the theme of willows are featured throughout the building. We recommend visiting and enjoying an Afternoon Tea with traditional selection of sandwiches, scone with strawberry jam & clotted cream, delicious shortbread and choice of cake from the cake trolley, accompanied by your choice of loose leaf tea or freshly ground coffee. The holiday Join our Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour to Glasgow, available in June & September – departing by coach from Aberdeen, Montrose, Arbroath, Dundee, Perth, Kinross, Dunfermline or Edinburgh. For more information, or to request a brochure, click here.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus man Gary Mackintosh dies suddenly in Dubai

December 27 2014

The family of a man from Angus who died of a suspected heart attack in Dubai are working towards bringing his body back to Scotland. Gary Mackintosh, 48, was a mechanical superintendent at Paragon Offshore, the offshore drilling contracting firm that he had worked with for about five months. The oil worker’s dad, Ian Mackintosh, from Forfar, wrote on Facebook: “It is with deep sadness that I have to inform you all that our son Gary suddenly passed away on Friday December 19 in Dubai. “We are working towards getting Gary home to be laid to rest. Thank you to everyone for the support that we have received.” Mr Mackintosh, who was a former pupil of Montrose Academy, previously worked for Noble Drilling, a firm with offices around the world, including Dubai. His friends and family members paid their condolences on Facebook. One former colleague, Tom Milne, said: “I just cannot imagine what you are all going through. “Gary was one of the nicest lads I have known in the oil patch.” One of Mr Mackintosh’s Dubai friends, Ally Riddoch, posted: “So sorry to hear this sad news, we were with him only couple of weeks ago at the Dubai rugby 7s. RIP Gary.” Another friend, Zoey Georgina O’Toole, said: “I was so very shocked.” Mr Mackintosh was married to Paula and is also survived by son James and daughter Ann-Marie.

Perth & Kinross

Lost Charles Rennie Mackintosh cabinet rediscovered in Perthshire on display

June 20 2013

A long lost music cabinet designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and rediscovered in Perthshire has gone on display in Glasgow. John Cowie and Jonathan Conkey, owners of the Glasgow Guild, discovered it on one of their country auction trips. “We happened to be viewing a sale in Perthshire when we came across the cabinet, which we initially thought must be of the Glasgow School,” said Mr Cowie. “We both felt it was something special and after some research we were pleased to find it was designed by the great man himself.” The cabinet, which had been consigned to Robertson’s of Kinbuck by a local lady who had stored it in her garage, sold for £36,000 this year. The cabinet is to be displayed for public viewing at Mackintosh’s The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, for a year.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

Angus & The Mearns

Warm tribute to Ann on 100th birthday

December 10 2014

There was little need for face time or emails as friends and family gathered around Arbroath centenarian Ann Mackintosh to wish her a happy 100th birthday. We recently told how Mrs Mackintosh was an ace with the iPad and even tunes in to watch the Sunday service at her local church. But there was no need to check the wifi as her house filled with wellwishers. Mrs Mackintosh and her children Ronald, Douglas and Margaret, along with younger generations of her family, were joined by Angus Provost Helen Oswald and Lady Fraser of Carmyllie, and her daughter Katie, who both cherish a long friendship with Mrs Mackintosh. Lady Fraser said: “She is a lady who has played a very important part in my family’s life. When my late husband Peter became the prospective Conservative candidate for South Angus back in 1974, Mrs Mackintosh was chairman of the local Conservative branch and we got to know her and her late husband, Willie, well. Mrs Mackintosh, or Mack as the Frasers affectionately call her, offered to help with the children as the family settled in the area and Peter Fraser was elected as an MP. Lady Fraser added: “We had moved our family home from Edinburgh to Carmyllie and didn’t have any relatives to stand in. “I shall always be grateful to her for making sure that my children led a very normal and happy life, while we carried on with what was sometimes a frantic schedule.” Mrs Mackintosh later attended Lord and Lady Fraser’s son and daughter’s weddings, as well as the christenings of grandchildren in the House of Lords one of them when she was in her 90s. Born in Forfar in 1914, Ann married Arbroath solicitor William Mackintosh, of W&J Mackintosh, in 1944. The couple lived in Carnoustie before moving to Arbroath about 60 years ago. As befits an extra-special birthday, the celebrations for Mrs Mackintosh’s centenary began early with a family gathering at the Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen, with some of her relatives flying in from England and Norway. She has six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Angus & The Mearns

Fleeing teen driver caught ‘red-booted’ by police after crash

July 22 2015

A Tayside stonemason who fled the scene of a crash was caught red-booted by police due to the “distinctive” colour of his car, a court heard. Novice driver Macauley Holgate from Kirriemuir “panicked” after colliding with a Toyota pickup in the nearby village of Dykehead on July 31 last year. Forfar Sheriff Court heard the 18-year-old, who had already lost his licence after accumulating six penalty points early in his driving career, sped away from the scene after he indicated to the other driver he was going to park up. Police later saw the apprentice mason on the A90 dual carriageway after noticing a poor paint job on the red boot of his black Ford Fiesta. Depute fiscal Hannah Kennedy said: “Witness Mr Mackintosh was driving his Toyota pickup truck through the village of Dykehead, and the accused was in a little car park nearby. “The accused could be heard revving his engine in the car park for some time. “As Mr Mackintosh became adjacent, the accused came out of the car park at speed and collided with the pickup. “This was witnessed by two people behind Mr Mackintosh’s vehicle, and the accused also had a passenger in his car, a friend. He said he was going to reverse back into the car park instead he reversed and drove away at speed.” On being found by police, Ms Kennedy added: “There was evidence that an attempt had been made to spray-paint the boot of the car to hide its colour, but a good job was not made of it.” Holgate, of West Inch Farm, admitted driving carelessly on the B955 Kirriemuir to Clova road at Dykehead, failing to stop and give his name and address, and failing to notify police of the incident within 24 hours. Solicitor Bob Bruce said his client had bought the car while he did not have a licence, with the intention of taking lessons, but was “tempted” into taking a friend out for a trip. He added: “He left by the entry point of the car park, which was an error of judgment on his part, and he did panic after the accident.” Visiting Sheriff Simon Collins said: “I’m conscious you appear here effectively as a first offender, but the circumstances are serious because of the nature of your driving, and you failed to stop and report the accident to police.” Holgate was disqualified from driving for 10 months and fined £400.

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk