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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...

Angus & The Mearns

Skills swap proves a cut above

April 20 2016

D&A College training joiner Chris Anderson, Arbroath, had never seen nails like that in the workshops before Ashley Elder, Carnoustie, hammered out her hairdressing credentials D&A College students were going at it hammer and tongs in Arbroath but managed to keep smiling when some trainee hairdressers swapped skills with intro to joinery students. The second year hairdressers proved model students after they watched a demonstration in the joinery workshop before building a wooden model with the help of the guys on the joinery course.

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

UK & World

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.


John Alexander Edwards

July 7 2010

Monifieth master joiner John Alexander Edwards has died at the age of 83. Born in Forfar, Mr Edwards was educated at Forfar Academy before he worked with Coventry Tool and Gauge in 1942. Unable to secure an apprenticeship with them, he joined a local joinery firm becoming a master of his trade. He opened his own firm J. A. Edwards Joiners Contractors and Funeral Undertakers in Monifieth's North Union Street in 1956 and worked there till he retired in 1991. His wife Jean, who he met in 1955 and married in 1957, sadly passed away in 2002. Mr Edwards was a keen pursuer of outdoor activities such as shooting, fishing and gardening. He also continued the family tradition of bee keeping. Mr Edwards is survived by children John, Sheena, Gillian and Calum, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.


Trainee joiner nails down national competition

May 21 2016

A Dundee and Angus College apprentice joiner hammered home his talent at a national competition. Liam Polden, 25, a first year apprentice with Angus company Rob Ogston Joinery Ltd, entered the construction industry training board’s SkillBuild contest. The Kirriemuir resident took home the bronze medal in the ‘new entrant’ class of the contest and was joined on the winners’ podium by fellow D&A trainees, Andrew Paterson Ryan Ramsay.

Angus & The Mearns

Gable Endies fan ‘Douie’ Anderson

March 10 2015

Montrose man Douglas “Douie” Anderson has died at the age of 88. Mr Anderson was for many years a well-known face at the Links Park turnstiles at Montrose FC. He was also one of the first male callers when the bingo hall opened on Hume Street and to some he was playfully regarded as the “oldest paperboy in town” courtesy of his years as a delivery driver with DC Thomson & Co Ltd. Born and educated in Montrose, Mr Anderson had many jobs during his life, but they were almost always in and around his home town. At first a joiner’s mate, he tried to join the armed services at the outbreak of the Second World War, but was too young. When he did enlist, he served in Egypt, a country he returned to many years later and narrowly avoided falling victim to a terrorist attack. Mr Anderson and his wife Betty had just entered a pyramid on a sightseeing tour when the bus they had been on was blown up. He was also a labourer, a fireman at RAF Edzell and worked at oilfield services firm Petrofac. He is survived by daughters Julia and Rhonda, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Firms pick up Angus work after collapse of Ward Building Services

November 30 2011

Angus Council members will hear about the impact a major contractor's liquidation has had on its repair works. Ward Building Services went into liquidation on July 15. The firm had been a contractor for building and joinery work in Forfar, Monifieth and Montrose over the last four years and had a year left on the urgent repairs and jobbing contract. Members of the corporate services committee will hear about the effect the liquidation has had on its services, and those companies that will stand to gain. Firms that have taken on Ward's emergency building repairs contracts are Milnbank Developments in Forfar, and Thomson and Douglas in Monifieth and Carnoustie. PE Kilbane have been confirmed as emergency joiners in Forfar, with Derek McNulty Joiners taking over responsibilities in the other towns. The mood among the businesses is that they are grateful for the extra work, but that it is unfortunate another firm has succumbed to the financial affecting the construction and services industry. It is understood council officers have secured materials and machinery at unfinished sites, with eight orders left incomplete, 15 issued but not begun and 11 orders complete but with a dispute over the invoice. Corporate services director Colin McMahon's report before Thursday's committee states there is no anticipated increase in costs to the council as a result of the liquidation. Those costs will be met by money set aside for payment to Ward's but withheld. Charlie Ward said the demise of Ward Building Services which he set up with brother Stephen 28 years ago had been a terrible experience. He said the business had ''unravelled'' due to a combination of factors. ''Myself and my brother are just devastated this has happened as we have had the business for 28 years and it was a good going family business,'' Mr Ward said. ''It was just heartbreaking to let these people go who have built the business up with us. A lot are family members as well.''

Angus & The Mearns

Angus funeral director David Mackay

April 16 2014

The funeral has taken place of former Angus funeral director and publican David Mackay. He was 78. Mr Mackay was born on January 3 1936 to Dorothy and Robert Mackay, and lived in Hannah Street, Arbroath with his two sisters. He operated the business his father had started, David Mackay Funeral Directors. Mr Mackay attended Ladyloan and then Arbroath High School, and left at around 15 to serve as an apprentice with Sievwright’s the Joiners, a large employer in the town at that time. He took over the family business in 1967, during the remodelling of the Millgate to make way for new roads, and was behind construction of its Gowan Street premises. His joinery skills went hand in hand with a keen business sense, as he worked with tradesmen during the shop fitting. As well as the funeral directors, Mr Mackay ran several pubs including branches of Breakers in Arbroath and Montrose, and the Stag Bar, Dorwards and Tropics, and the Tryst Caf and pool hall in his home town. He entered National Service with the RAF after leaving Sievwright’s, and was sent to help with administration at Pitreavie Castle, learning skills that would be of good use in business. A hard-working man who only set down his tools six months ago, Mr Mackay was known for his honesty and humour. As a young man, he raised pigeons and played darts, enjoyed taking his family on holiday, travelling widely in later years. He was a member of the Royal British Legion (Scotland) in Helen Street. Mr Mackay married Vera in 1961 and the couple had three children. After they were divorced, Mr Mackay met Anne in 1972 and the couple were married in 1975 at St Andrew’s Church. The Mackays moved to Cyprus after the sale of the business to Co-operative Funeralcare in 1992, and returned recently to be with family. Mr Mackay is survived by his wife Anne, children and step-children David, Jennifer, Christine and Amanda, and seven grandchildren among a large family.