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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...

Dundee

Cases of ‘insane’ Dundee patients from 20th century to be examined in exhibition

March 21 2018

The lives of a group of Dundee patients certified as insane more than a century ago will be examined in a new exhibition tackling today's mental health issues. The University of St Andrews exhibition Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum, will assess the unusual diagnoses' of nine people admitted to Dundee Royal Lunatic Asylum at the turn of the 20th century. Hosted by Dundee University, it forms part of a project by the University of St Andrews called "Promoting mental health through the lessons of history". Through the study, researchers are exploring how mental disorders have been understood and treated over the past 500 years. They hope knowledge of these ideas can help shape awareness of mental ill-health and its modern treatment. PhD student Morag Allan Campbell, who researched the patients’ stories and designed the exhibition, said the purpose was to understand more about the lives of those deemed insane at the time. She said: “The exhibition is not about the rights and wrongs of institutional care, or about the conditions in the asylum. “Neither is it about trying to judge how much psychiatry may have improved since then – it is about making connections between the stories of these patients and our own thoughts and experiences today. “Our understanding of the Victorian lunatic asylum, and our perception of the history of psychiatry, is often fed by myth and fiction. "The 19th century saw a massive rise in the building of asylums, as institutional care became the dominant means of caring for the insane, but we know little of the lives of those who entered them as patients and how they experienced mental illness. “Times may have changed, but the ways in which these patients were vulnerable to life's stresses, strains and hardships were not so very different.” The asylum officially opened in April 1820, on a site to the north of the town, before moving further west in 1882 to a new site at Westgreen Farm, near the parish of Liff and Benvie. The NHS took over control in 1948, and the buildings at Liff finally closed in 2001 following the opening of a psychiatric unit at Ninewells Hospital. Dundee University's Archive Services houses the NHS Tayside archive and the Dundee asylum records with those behind the exhibition using information and photographs from the patients’ case notes. They will be used to examine the circumstances which led to their committal to the asylum, the dilemmas faced by their families, and the nature of their mental illness. The project's lead, professor Rab Houston of St Andrews’ School of History, added: “We hope the exhibition will prompt viewers to think about the continuities between the experiences of people in the past and in the present day, as well as the very different material environment in which they lived. "It is about Dundee people, but it speaks for those with mental disorders anywhere in the world.” The free exhibition will open this Friday March 23 at the Tower Foyer Gallery on Perth Road, Dundee from Friday March 23 at 9.30am. It will run Monday to Saturday until June 9. More information can be found at https://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/facetoface/

Angus & The Mearns

Design vision needed to save Sunnyside Hospital from threat of decay

August 11 2015

Scotland’s first purpose-built asylum must be saved from the same fate as Strathmartine Hospital, it has been demanded. Sunnyside Hospital at Hillside closed in 2011 after serving as a mental health unit in rural Angus for 153 years. Notable patients included Arthur Conan Doyle’s father and outsider artist Adam Christie. Landowner NHS Tayside wants to see the site redeveloped for residential, commercial and community use, and commissioned Jones Lang LaSalle to develop a master plan. The health body has now applied for listed building consent to demolish the hospital’s former chapel and Angus House building, along with outbuildings and the nearby Laurel Cottage. The proposed local development plan stated that regeneration of the estate is a “priority” of the council, and provides an opportunity for a “significant number” of homes alongside employment, community and recreational facilities. Local councillor David May said the massive buildings will be a challenge to redevelop. But be believes something must be done to avoid a fate like Strathmartine Hospital, which has fallen prey to vandals and fireraisers since it closed in 2003. “It is a great pity to see any of the buildings on the site being demolished as most of them are beautiful and superbly built,” he said. “However, it would also be a great pity for them to fall into total disrepair due to neglect, as this has occurred on other hospital sites. “Something must be done to keep it in use. It would be great news if a developer with grand design vision takes it on and saves some wonderful buildings.” Consultant Simpson & Brown said the main building and hospital block represent “some of the finest hospital architecture in Scotland” but a number of buildings “are now at risk”. The Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Infirmary and Dispensary was founded in 1781 by Susan Carnegie of Charleton. Originally situated on Montrose Links, an improved asylum at Sunnyside Farm was designed by William Moffat in 1857 and became operational in 1858. With the introduction of the NHS, the asylum was renamed the Royal Mental Hospital of Montrose, and again as Sunnyside Royal Hospital in 1962.

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.

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

Fife

VIDEO: Luna seals deal at St Andrews Aquarium

May 30 2015

A new deal has been sealed between Scotland and Denmark. And the net result is a cute new arrival in Fife. After the sudden deaths of visitor favourite Laurel and young harbour seal Leif earlier this year, St Andrews Aquarium have welcomed a new common seal pup to its family. Luna, who is 10 months old, travelled 1,286 miles across Europe by car to his new home after Kattegatcentret Aquarium in Grena in Denmark contacted the Fife aquarium to see if it would like to rehome the young pup. Luna is now settling into his new surroundings overlooking the West Sands where he is getting to know his new aquarium buddies, Nelly and Togo. Luna’s arrival is the latest in a wave of new additions to the aquarium’s growing family. It recently welcomed a massive albino Burmese python, the largest known snake in Scotland, measuring 15 feet long. Manager John Mace said: “After tragically losing Laurel and Leif earlier this year, everyone here is delighted to be welcoming Luna to St Andrews Aquarium. “I am sure Luna will love his new home and he is bound to be a hit with our many visitors.” The aquarium was left devastated when Laurel died of liver failure last January and Leif passed away suddenly a few weeks later. Laurel, who was at St Andrews for more than 20 years, was a hit around the world. After their loss, Luna’s arrival is the start of a happier chapter for the aquarium’s family of harbour seals. John added: “We are looking forward to visitors meeting Luna and our other new additions.”

Business news

Prestigious BP oil contract for Dundee project management training company

June 7 2017

Dundee-headquartered training provider 20/20 Business Insight has won a prestigious contract with one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies. The Broughty Ferry-based company, which also has offices in Aberdeen, London and the USA, has been awarded preferred supplier status under a master contract by BP for providing project management training globally. Ironically, the prestigious account has been won after 20/20 stepped away from its previous focus almost entirely on the oil and gas sector – adding BP to a diverse client portfolio that now includes Wood Group, Centrica, Balfour Beatty, British Aerospace, Hinckley Point, Network Rail, Diageo and Wm Grant. Chief executive officer Tony Marks, who said the new status came off the back of recent big contract wins within the nuclear power industry, added: “20|20 are delighted to have been awarded preferred supplier status under a master contract by BP for providing project management training globally. “It’s a great team performance in demonstrating our international capability and upstream oil industry experience to win this prestigious account.” 20|20 Business Insight, which employs 26 staff and had revenues of £2.84 million last year, is a full service, project management, business and leadership training and consulting company who deliver training courses and consulting services throughout the world. It is the largest independent provider of project management training courses in the UK. The consulting team work with companies to analyse competence baselines and deliver maturity assessments, design bespoke and accredited training programmes, create handbooks and manuals, implement project management procedures and protocols and then measure and report effectiveness. Mr Marks said that crucially, they had the ability to deliver internationally-accredited training and consulting anywhere in the world, primarily in oil and gas, engineering and construction, utilities, nuclear, food and drink However, despite an international outlook, they remained proud to be rooted in Dundee. “We are big fans of Dundee and supporters of the Tay Cities Deal to bring jobs, including de-commissioning, to Dundee,” he added. “When we started in 2003, we were almost exclusively in the oil and gas sector before diversifying into other sectors. We were lucky because two years ago the oil and gas sector started to decline, and accounts for around 10% of the work we do now.” Mr Marks has been involved in business for 27 years and has seen four or five cycles based on the oil barrel price changing. During that period, the level of business has come back smaller each time. “So it’s quite interesting we are back in the oil and gas sector now,” he added. He said the BP deal had been going on behind the scenes for nine months and “should mean quite a jump in business for us.” He added: “It’s not a guarantee of any level of work. But the revenue should be significant and comes off the back of other big contract wins.”

UK & World

Man bailed in M20 murder probe

February 23 2018

A man who was arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a woman was found on the M20 has been released on bail.The body was discovered by police on the London-bound carriageway near Ashford at 6.05pm on Tuesday. The road was closed between junctions 9 and 10 for nearly 24 hours while the scene was investigated.Officers appealed for the driver of a silver Nissan Qashqai to come forward and a man handed himself in at a police station on Wednesday evening, Kent Police said.On Friday morning the force said the man had been released on bail until March 15.The circumstances surrounding the death of the 32-year-old from Kent remain a mystery and detectives are continuing to investigate.A post-mortem is expected to take place at midday on Friday.Police are still appealing for drivers who were on the road at the time to check their vehicles for signs of a collision, and for anyone with dash cam footage or who saw a Nissan Qashqai with the registration KY15 WWX at the time of the incident to come forward.

UK & World

M20 body identified as man arrested in murder probe

February 22 2018

Police have identified the body found on the M20 as a 32-year-old woman from Kent.A man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in custody, Kent Police said on Thursday afternoon.Officers discovered the body on the London-bound carriageway near Ashford at 6.05pm on Tuesday. The road was closed between junctions 9 and 10 for nearly 24 hours while the scene was investigated.Officers initially appealed for the driver of a silver Nissan Qashqai to come forward and a man handed himself in at a police station on Wednesday evening.The incident caused hours of delays with between six and seven miles of queues stretching back to junction 11 and a diversion was in place.The road reopened shortly before 3pm on Wednesday.An accountant from Ashford told Press Association of his shock at the scene he saw while driving on to the coastbound stretch of motorway at about 6.20pm on Tuesday while emergency services were on the opposite side of the road.The 21-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: “As I entered the motorway I expected to see a crash, when I suddenly realised that it wasn’t and unfortunately it appeared to be a body lying in the central lane with police and ambulance staff around it.“Because of the torches being shone by police (I could see) it appeared that the body had been struck by vehicles.“It was very shocking. It is not a sight I would want anyone to witness.“My condolences are with the family of the deceased.”Police are still appealing for drivers who were on the road at the time to check their vehicles for signs of a collision, and for anyone with dash cam footage or who saw the Nissan Qashqai with the registration KY15 WWX at the time of the incident to come forward.

Angus & The Mearns

Hands off! — Calls for historic artwork to be retained in Montrose

March 8 2018

Hands off our artwork! That is the message to NHS Tayside after it emerged a historic bust of Montrose benefactor Susan Carnegie was suddenly removed from the town's Royal Infirmary. For years it sat proudly on the second stairwell of the infirmary. News of its removal was posted on the Montrose Memories Old and New Facebook page with many calling for the work, and any others from the infirmary, to be retained in the town. One post branded NHS Tayside “vultures”. The removal of the bust has sparked fears this is another step in a gradual process of preparing Montrose Royal Infirmary for closure, following the loss of the maternity unit and GP beds. Local author and historian Forbes Inglis likened its removal to that of the grandfather clock which was rescued from going under the auctioneer’s hammer some years ago and which is now on display in the health centre. He said: “The precedence was almost set when it was to be put to auction. “It turned out it never belonged to NHS Tayside in the first place – it was given to the patients of the infirmary therefore it never legally belonged to NHS Tayside. If you don’t own it you can’t sell it so it was presented to the health centre. “Not everything in the infirmary belongs to NHS Tayside. This bust is part of the history of the town and it should either be donated to the museum or the health centre.” Susan Carnegie, aided by Provost Christie, started a subscription to raise funds to build the Montrose Lunatic Asylum, Dispensary and Infirmary, the first such establishment to be built in Scotland. Forbes continued: “She was the driving force behind the first asylum. She was forward looking back in the day, more so because she was a woman. “It is a real concern in the town that this bust has been removed. “It is a piece of local history and it should remain in the town." Kirstene Hair, Scottish Conservative MP for Angus, said: "Many people locally will fear this is just another step in a gradual process of preparing Montrose Royal Infirmary for closure. "This type of historical artefact should be treated as an asset for the community. "If the bust does not hold pride of place at the hospital, then it should be kept at a museum. It cannot simply be left to gather dust. "The contribution of Susan Carnegie - particularly in changing attitudes towards mental health - was immense and should be treasured. "The bust should remain on display so that people are reminded of all that she did for the local community." Gail Smith, head of community health and care services for Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “The bust of Susan Carnegie, which is a valuable sculpture, was on display in an area of Montrose Infirmary which is no longer being used and which was cordoned off for safety reasons. “The bust was removed from the area for safekeeping and we are in discussion with Signal Tower Museum in Arbroath who have asked if they can borrow the bust for their Pioneering Women in Angus exhibition to mark the 100-year anniversary of female suffrage. “We have a very clear policy to follow when we leave any premises and this includes cataloguing all assets and donated items to ensure that they are appropriately re-homed locally or returned to the donator.”

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