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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...

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

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

Rocktalk

Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival  for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing  when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.

UK & World

Stocks tumble as investors fear escalating US and China trade conflict

March 23 2018

Stocks around the world have plunged as investors feared that a trade conflict between the US and China would escalate.A second day of big losses pushed US stocks to their worst week in two years.As of Friday afternoon, China’s only response to the tariffs President Donald Trump announced this week was to say it would defend itself.But investors are concerned tensions will keep rising, and that a round of sanctions and retaliation will affect the global economy and corporate profits.The Chinese government said it might place tariffs on a $3 billion list of US goods such as pork, apples and steel pipes. That was a response to the tariffs on steel and aluminium imports that Mr Trump announced earlier this month.The losses were widespread and technology companies were pummelled. They have made enormous gains over the last year, but since they do so much business outside the US, investors see them as particularly vulnerable to the effects of a trade dispute.Stocks sagged at the start of this month after the tariffs on aluminium and steel were announced, but they quickly recovered as the administration said the tariffs would not be as severe as they first looked. The losses this week were worse, and investors are hoping for hints the sanctions on China are more of a negotiating tactic.“There could be a possibility of a bounce back if, as this progresses, both sides look like they’re negotiating,” said Lisa Erickson, chief investment officer at US Bank Wealth Management. “There could be further decline if people get a sense there could be more trade restrictions in place.”The S&P 500 index dropped 55.43 points, or 2.1%, to 2,588.26. The index skidded 6% this week, its worst since January 2016.The Dow Jones industrial average lost 424.69 points, or 1.8%, to 23,533.20. The Nasdaq composite fell 174.01 points, or 2.4%, to 6,992.67.Banks also took steep losses as interest rates decreased. They had climbed earlier this week after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, but then tumbled after the tariffs were proposed.If the tariffs and counter-tariffs reduce economic growth in the US, the Fed is likely to raise rates at a slower pace.The sanctions Mr Trump proposed on Thursday could affect as much as $60 billion in imports and are a response to allegations Beijing steals or forces foreign companies to hand over technology.Big US companies tend to get more of their revenue from foreign customers than small companies do, and that makes them more vulnerable to damage from a trade war. With nearly 1.4 billion people, China is a big market for the largest US businesses.Not every company set out how much of its revenue comes from abroad, but FactSet estimates that 30.5% of revenue at big companies in the S&P 500 comes from outside the United States.For the smaller companies in the S&P 600 index, it’s just 19.5%. Smaller companies are also getting a bigger benefit from the recent cut in corporate tax rates.

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.

Readers' letters

Turnout will be key in EU referendum

April 6 2016

Sir, - On March 30 the House of Lords EU Committee called for a “positive, inclusive vision” of our membership of the EU and insisted that the UK Government should “articulate the positive benefits of EU membership”. This echoes the report by the European and External Relations Committee of the Scottish Parliament, which called for a “positive case to be made for EU membership in Scotland”. Recent polls have indicated the gap between those in Scotland wanting to remain and those wanting to leave is narrowing. This should act as a wake-up call to those who favour our continued membership. As an organisation we will continue to sell a positive message on the benefits our membership brings and urge others to do likewise. We need to capture some of the energy that existed during the Scottish independence referendum and motivate people to turn out and vote for Europe. Turnout will be key and we know those in favour of Brexit are more likely to vote. It is vital all who support our membership, but especially young people for whom the outcome of the referendum will have a major impact, use their vote. A vote to remain should not be taken for granted. Those in favour of our membership must not be complacent, otherwise we could end up sleepwalking to Brexit. The peace, stability and prosperity that the EU has brought to Scotland should be cherished. We will continue to put forward an unashamedly positive case for our continued EU membership. We intend to do our best to ensure that everyone can see the advantages our membership brings. Lord Campbell of Pittenweem. President, The European Movement in Scotland, 2 Walker Street, Edinburgh. Step up to the plate, Andy Sir, - Having just watched yet another tantrum packed, bag-bashing foul-mouthed tennis match involving Andy Murray, I am left wondering when, if ever, he is going to mature into the professional sportsman he is supposed to be. He had a great chance to endear himself to the public when he was given a ladies’ tennis ball by mistake. Instead of making light of it he went on and on about it to the umpire claiming it was totally unacceptable. He is now apparently having difficulty in adjusting to fatherhood as well as playing tennis. It doesn’t appear to have affected Novak Djokovic too much. Come on , Andy, you are a professional sportsman, start acting like one. James Grahame. 2 Panmure Street, Monifieth. Scrap pay to fund parking Sir, - Your April 4 issue carried a story relating to Perth and Kinross Council’s action, or inaction, on parking in Perth. Iam old enough to remember when councillors were interested in the good of the community they represented, before they were paid. We now seem to have a generation of councillors who are more interested in fulfilling their own needs rather than working for the good of the community. If the bill for their wages was deleted it would go a long way to giving everyone free parking in Perth. Willie Robertson. Grianan, Lynton, Stanley. MSP pops up for election Sir, - Like your correspondent Tommy Stewart, I have noted how, come election time, seldom-heard-of politicians seek publicity. Our North East Fife MSP Roderick Campbell of the SNP has been given more coverage in the past few weeks than in his five years at Holyrood. With an election pending he is now publicly supporting a number of local causes, duly reported by The Courier and with an accompanying photograph. He is reported as giving encouragement for the reopening of the station at Newburgh. With that as a precedent, can we now expect him to campaign for the reopening of Cupar’s Sheriff Court? It was Mr Campbell’s casting vote as chairman of the relevant committee and his implementing of SNP policy that tolled the bell for the Cupar court, despite the outcry of his constituents. So, Newburgh, don’t hold your breath. I would also like to comment on Kieran Andrews, The Courier’s political editor and his analysis of the STV leaders’ debate. As in nearly everything he writes, he shows an undisguised bias against the Conservatives, leaning towards any other party as suits his purpose to belittle the Tories. According to his analysis, Ruth Davidson had a torrid time over the UK Budget. The others had a go at her, but torrid? Mr Andrews made no comment at all in his assessment of Ms Sturgeon’s performance about trying to defend herself when accused by Ruth Davidson of planning another “once in a lifetime” referendum. Forced into admitting it would be in the SNP manifesto, she was rounded on by Willie Rennie and Kezia Dugdale in support of Ms Davidson. Now that was a torrid attack. It left Ms Sturgeon decidedly rattled. As for his claim that the three women continually interrupted each other, I will admit that Ruth Davidson interrupted a few times but she could not compete with Ms Sturgeon and Ms Dugdale who behaved as if they were on a stairheid. Luckily Bernard Ponsonby could control the situation better than Glenn Campbell did on the BBC Scotland version. Thankfully ,The Courier’s coverage of the debate by Gareth McPherson was reassuringly more balanced. Jeanette Guy. Crawley House, Springfield, Cupar. Simple steps to boost industry Sir, - Aluminium smelting has gone from the UK, and now steel looks like following. Both industries are big energy users. If electricity was half the price it is, that is to say the price it should be if generated by conventional means, and also not priced to subsidise the green agenda, is it possible that these industries, along with many others, would still be with us? The sensible answer is yes. If capital allowances for plant and machinery were 100% in the first year, is it possible that industry might look favourably on the UK as a manufacturing base? Again, the answer is yes. These are two simple steps both with a proven track record to improve our economy and provide jobs. Yet all our leaders do is talk about day nurseries and state guardians as though these were matters that had any actual impact on us. We must be the laughing stock of the industrialised world. Malcolm Parkin. 15 Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross. Subsidise UK steel makers Sir, - The demise of Tata Steel has been long and protracted, but highly predictable. Just focus on the steel used in the current construction of the new Queensferry crossing as an example. Chinese steel is being used because it is cheaper. Money seems to be more important than people’s livelihoods. Again, in Port Talbot thousands of jobs seem doomed, a situation which may see that area becoming derelict of hope and ambition In all 45,000 jobs look at serious risk. Of course, we are witnessing so-called government intervention, confined to discussion and wholly without teeth, and which will end with the usual “we have done our utmost” response. Instead, how about a partnership, at least on a temporary basis, in order to find new outlets for steel and to subsidise Tata, which I believe could cost £1million a day. Where would we find the money? Well reduce the foreign aid payments, some of which seem destined for the coffers of despots and the financing of functions such as radio soap operas and gay-rights festivals in Turkey. Or vote to leave the EU and save £16billion a year. David L Thomson. 24 Laurence Park, Kinglassie. EU rules harm UK business Sir, - As a participant in global economy and global trade treaties, the UK Government has limited scope for immediate action to save our steel industry. Imposing tariffs on commodity imports simply invites “tit-for-tat” tariffs. Likewise, as a member of the EU, national governments are not allowed to support indigenous industries. So long as this state of affairs continues, the future for UK steel looks bleak, as has been the case in the past for UK coal and UK shipbuilding, all priced out of the international and domestic markets by cheaper alternatives available from countries enjoying a combination of cheap labour costs and government subsidies. Tata has reportedly been trying to find a buyer for its UK steel operation for more than 18 months. It is surprising that the Government was seemingly unaware of the likely consequences if a buyer was not found. Much better strategic planning is required at Government level for our key industries. Derek Farmer. Knightsward Farm, Anstruther.

Parliamentarians plan appeal as they seek European court ruling on Brexit

February 9 2018

A group of parliamentarians plans to lodge a legal appeal in an attempt to secure a European court ruling on Brexit.The politicians believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally stop the UK leaving the EU if the final Brexit deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons.They want a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 can be halted by the UK on its own, without prior consent of the other 27 EU member states.The group took its fight to the Court of Session in Edinburgh but on Tuesday Judge Lord Doherty turned down a bid to have a full hearing on whether to refer the question to the Luxembourg Court, ruling the issue is  “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”.Now campaigners have announced plans to appeal against his ruling to the Inner House of the Court of Session.Two of the original group of seven have withdrawn – the SNP’s Joanna Cherry QC and Liberal Democrat Christine Jardine – while director of the Good Law Project, Jo Maugham QC, which has backed the crowdfunded legal action, has been added.The remaining five members are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, SNP MEP Alyn Smith and Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler.In a statement, Mr Maugham said they believe the judge’s decision was “flawed”.He added: “Establishing that, alongside the political route to revocability there is a legal route, is vital in the national interest.“If Parliament chooses not to withdraw the Article 50 notice then no harm is done by asking now the question whether it has that right.“But if Parliament does come to want to withdraw the notice, knowing it has the right to do so serves the national interest.“It improves the bargaining position of the UK, it ensures we retain the opt-outs and rebates that we presently enjoy, and it places the decision entirely in the hands of the UK’s Parliament and – if it chooses – its people.”Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve.David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address.The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said.Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic.“In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.”

Cross-party group loses bid to secure legal ruling on Brexit

February 6 2018

A cross-party group of parliamentarians has lost an early-stage bid to secure a European court ruling on Brexit.Seven politicians from four parties, not including the Conservatives, believe the UK Parliament could unilaterally halt the Brexit process if the final deal is deemed unacceptable by the Commons.They claim this offers a third option instead of Britain having to choose between a bad deal on the UK’s future relationship with Europe or crashing out of the EU with no deal.The group is ultimately seeking a definitive ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU) on whether the withdrawal process triggered under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union can be revoked by the UK on its own, without first securing the consent of the other 27 EU member states.Their legal team went to the Court of Session in Edinburgh last week to ask a judge to refer the question to the Luxembourg court.On Tuesday, judge Lord Doherty refused to move the case to a full hearing at Scotland’s highest civil court, saying the issue is “hypothetical and academic”, and that he is “not satisfied the application has a real prospect of success”.The politicians have a right to appeal against the decision to the Inner House of the Court of Session.The seven elected representatives who launched the case are Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, MEP Alyn Smith and Joanna Cherry QC MP of the SNP, Labour MEPs David Martin and Catherine Stihler and Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine. None were present in court as the judge issued his decision.Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the politicians, previously asked for the case to proceed through the Scottish court, arguing there was a genuine dispute between the two sides as to the proper interpretation of Article 50 which the court required to resolve.David Johnston QC, for the UK Government, insisted the application has no real prospect of success and that there was “no live issue” for the court to address.The policy of the UK Government is that the notification under Article 50 will not be withdrawn, he said.Finding in favour of the Government, Lord Doherty said: “I am mindful that demonstrating a real prospect of success is a low hurdle for an applicant to overcome.“However, I am satisfied that that hurdle has not been surmounted. Indeed, in my opinion, the application’s prospect of success falls very far short of being a real prospect.“In my view, the Government’s stated policy is very clear. It is that the notification under Article 50(2) will not be withdrawn.”He went on: “Given that neither Parliament nor the Government has any wish to withdraw the notification, the central issue which the petitioners ask the court to decide – whether the UK could unilaterally withdraw the Article 50(2) notification – is hypothetical and academic.“In those circumstances it is not a matter which this court, or the CJEU, require to adjudicate upon.”The judge concluded: “I am not satisfied that the application has a real prospect of success … Permission to proceed is refused.”The legal action was launched following a crowdfunding campaign and is backed by the Good Law Project.Project director Jo Maugham QC tweeted after the hearing: “It’s plainly in the national interest that MPs, MEPs and MSPs, who face a choice whether to approve Theresa May’s deal, know what options are open to them if they don’t.“I will support an appeal against this decision – to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

Angus & The Mearns

Angus councillor inspired by great-granny’s essay on the suffragists

February 9 2018

An Angus councillor has unearthed a fascinating insight into men’s views on the suffragists as the nation commemorated the centenary of some women winning the right to vote. Brenda Durno, SNP member for Arbroath and East Lunan, has been so inspired by an essay written by her great-grandmother in 1904, she is hoping to donate it to a museum in the north east. The amusing reflection was written in the Doric language by Isabella Moir, a 12-year-old pupil at Belhelvie School in Aberdeenshire. She was the eldest of 10 children and had two sisters and seven brothers. Councillor Durno said: “The celebration for the 100 years since women won the right to vote made me think of the essay. “My great grandmother was born in September 1892 and died in May 1992. “She latterly lived in Potterton with my aunt and uncle who ran the shop there and I found the essay when she died.” Mrs Durno chose to enter local politics in the footstep of her father, the SNP councillor Alex Shand, but admitted her great-grandmother was a Liberal supporter. “She was right into politics and was a great friend of Lord Tweedsmuir - the SNP wasn’t around then.” The essay relates to a conversation between a brother and sister as he reads a newspaper article on ‘The Suffragists’. As he works his way through the article, his views become apparent. He berates the efforts of the “limmers of suffragists” claiming “weemans place is at hame” It reads: “They canna mak an men their men’s sarks, keep a clean fireside an have a vote. “Gie then an inch an they wid tak an ill (mile).” The essay goes on to say there a was a time when women were happy “tae tak the chance o’ the first man that socht them, an thankful tae leave the voting an the rulin o the nation tae him”. It was on February 6, 1918 that women aged over 30, those who owned property or had a university education were granted the right to vote through the Representation of the People Act. Mrs Durno is hoping to donate the essay to a museum which specialises in the Doric and would welcome suggestions as to who to contact.

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