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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...


Broughty Ferry takeaway latest to be hit by thieves

March 1 2016

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at businesses throughout Dundee. The Courier was contacted by the owner of Broughty Ferry takeaway Hannah’s to report that thieves had forced their way into his premises and stolen £500. Businessman Mohamed Reza revealed that during the incident, which took place on Sunday morning, crooks ransacked the inside of his restaurant. Mr Reza believes this is the latest in a spate of attacks on local premises. In a separate robbery, thieves last week raided a Greggs bakery in a busy shopping precinct before making off with a safe containing £5,000. Shoppers reacted with shock following the crime, which took place at the Strathmartine Road Shopping Centre some time between midnight and 6am last Thursday. Police believe more than one person and a vehicle were involved in the theft. An investigation is under way and police are looking at CCTV and appealing to members of the public for information. Officers refused to rule out a link between the incidents. A police spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland is appealing for information after thieves made off with a three-figure sum of money from a business premises in Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, sometime between 8am and 5pm on Sunday February 28. “Anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101. Inquiries are continuing.”

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

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.


Fundraiser taking on Great North Run to thank “amazing” Tayside charity

August 19 2015

A Tyneside mother-of-two is getting ready to don her running shoes and take on the Great North Run in honour of a Tayside charity that helped care for her terminally-ill mother-in-law. Hannah Tait, 39, is bracing herself for the half marathon after being inspired by the Tayside MS Therapy Centre, a charity run for and by multiple sclerosis sufferers. The amateur runner said she felt the need to “give something back” after the charity was there for her husband’s mum Judy, who was from Dundee and suffered from MS before developing terminal cancer. “Everyone at the charity was amazing,” Hannah said. “They helped Stephen’s mum Judy so much and I felt the need to give something back. “When Stephen’s mum eventually developed cancer and was in a hospice, her friends from the centre would come and speak with and bring her food. They all helped so much.” Hannah was due to take part in the run in both 2012 and 2013 but fell pregnant in the build-up to both events. Now, with 19-month-old and three-month-old children, Hannah is determined to finally complete the race in memory of Judy. “I’m not a natural-born runner but I will make it round,” she said. “I’m determined to do that. “I’m a little apprehensive but I will do this and get it completed before I reach 40 in September. I’m excited more than anything else.” Hannah’s husband Stephen said: “What she’s doing makes me very proud. But as well as running in memory of my mum, others will benefit as well.” Anyone looking to donate to Hannah’s fundraising run can do so at www.justgiving.com/HannahTaitGNR.

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

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

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Bride-to-be’s dream wedding car trip saved as bridge set to open

June 22 2017

A bride-to-be’s dream of being driven to her Mearns wedding in a vintage car has been given the go-ahead. Hannah Turner’s mum Sarah has thanked The Courier and North East Scotland Conservative MSP Liam Kerr for saving the day. The impending five-week closure of the Gannochy Bridge in Edzell from July 3 for essential repairs was set to put the brakes on Glasgow-based couple Hannnah Turner and Sam Doig’s transport arrangements. The five-minute journey to and from the church from Hannah’s Edzell family home in vintage wedding cars would have involved a nine-mile detour if the bridge was closed - something deemed too big a risk to be allowed to happen. Mum Sarah took the fight to get the bridge opened on the big day to Mr Kerr and The Courier, and she’s now been given the news she hoped for. “Thank you so much for your help and support,” she said. “I’m delighted at this decision. “Now that we know that the bridge will definitely be open on the day of the wedding we can confirm all our travel arrangements for the bridal party and guests, and know that we will be able to use the beautiful, vintage cars.” She said Hannah and Sam were similarly over the moon following the council’s decision. It is understood that traffic lights will be set up where practicable to allow the road to be open to vehicles outwith working hours and at weekends. This includes the weekend of Hannah and Sam’s big day. Mr Kerr said: “This is fantastic news for the family involved and I hope that the wedding will now go off without a hitch. “Angus Council deserves credit for showing some much-needed flexibility in the plan for vehicle restrictions. “I said previously that there would be a negative impact on local businesses if the closure was not managed properly. “There is never going to be a perfect time, but with these changes, there will still be weekend and evening access for vehicles, which will make a considerable difference to residents and visitors alike.” The bridge closure will still impact on local businesses at the height of the summer season when footfall is at its highest in the village. Sheila Martin, owner of the Tuck Inn, previously questioned the timing of the closure which she fears could lead to poor summer sales and ultimately job losses. Angus Council chief executive Margo Williamson has said the risks were too high to carry out the work before the summer period, but they will seek to minimise the duration of the works period.

Angus & The Mearns

Rumour has it Team Scotland will do well in canine choreography Euros

August 8 2016

Angus dog handler Hannah Paterson and her clever collie are preparing to step out for Team Scotland in a European championship canine choreography first. The Montrose trainer and border collie Rumour have been selected for an Austrian adventure in the fast-growing sport of Heelwork to Music (HTM) and are now brushing up on their routines in advance of next month’s showdown. The skills of dog and handler teams at Crufts and on the nation’s television screens through the Britain’s Got Talent performances of acts such as 2012 series winners Ashley and Pudsey has led to an explosion in interest for owners and spectators. Until now top teams have been part of a Great Britain HTM team, but for the first time Scotland will go it alone at the Euros, with Laurencekirk’s Ann Murdoch also part of the six-strong squad. Hannah’s love of the sport began with her rescue dog, Jack, who she lost last year, but now has three-year-old Jack Russell, Pixel and two-year-old Rumour. Both will be going to Austria with her, but it is Rumour who will be performing after a great spell in the show ring. The competition will involve both HTM choreography and freestyle sections, with Hannah and Rumour winning Scotland selection after the pair enjoyed a clean sweep at the recent Scottish border collie show. “Rumour is an exceptional dog, really special so our routine is currently in the making – but Pixel will be going along too as the mascot,” said 32-year-old Hannah. “It’s the first time Scotland has been as a team to the European championship so it’s quite exciting, and after that we’re hoping to make it to the worlds in Germany next year." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDnByKfUug Team Scotland depart on September 20 to take on the canine cream of the crop from 16 nations, and from now to then the pairings will be finessing their technical routines. “As well as our team manager Heather Smith, who has won Crufts a number of times, we have a team choreographer who has a very impressive CV in the world of dance and attends all our training days so we can see if the ideas are going to work with the dogs. "Team Scotland is self funded, we are paying for everything from travel to accommodation to entry fees to uniforms through fundraising and sponsorship so if there were any companies or individuals out there that would like to sponsor the team it would be gratefully received," added Hannah, who can be reached by email at hannah@sodogs.co.uk.