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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...


Former St Johnstone footballer Martin Hardie spared jail for stalking ex-girlfriend

May 11 2015

A former St Johnstone and Dunfermline midfielder who admitted climbing up a drainpipe to spy on his ex-partner has been spared jail. Martin Hardie admitted at Glasgow Sheriff Court that he spent more than two years stalking Kirsty MacLeod, from September 2012 to November 2014. As well as climbing up the drainpipe of Ms MacLeod’s home, Hardie also repeatedly turned up at her work in the Braehead Shopping Centre in Renfrewshire. The 38-year-old, of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, was given a community payback order with the condition he must carry out 150 hours unpaid work. Sheriff Sean Murphy QC also imposed a non-harassment order that prevents Hardie from contacting Ms MacLeod for two years. Passing sentence on Monday, he told Hardie: “You must understand your actions over a considerable period of time must have been both frightening and alarming to your former partner.” He said Hardie’s attempt to spy on his former partner by climbing up drainpipe must have been “extremely intimidating”. The court was told Hardie and Ms MacLeod were in a relationship from January 2011 to September 2012, when Ms MacLeod ended it. Hardie admitted he “engaged in conduct” which left Ms MacLeod in “fear or alarm”. He pled guilty to a charge that included turning up as Ms MacLeod’s house in the Mansewood area of Glasgow, clambering up the drainpipe and that he “did watch of spy on her through a window”. Procurator fiscal depute Dorothy Roy said Hardie had appeared at Ms MacLeod’s home in April 2013. She told the court that she had recognised Hardie from the “outline of his figure” at the door. Hardie then climbed up the drainpipe and Ms MacLeod called a friend, who then phoned Hardie and told him to leave. Hardie also repeatedly phoned and texted Ms MacLeod. After she bought a new car he sent her two text messages about the vehicle, one of which included a photograph of it. The court was also told Hardie appeared at Ms MacLeod’s work and “attempted to engage her in conversation”. Ms Roy said: “The complainer didn’t respond to any text messages and didn’t answer the phone.” In November 2014, Hardie had appeared at Ms MacLeod’s work and attempted to get her attention. She refused to serve him and another member of staff had to intervene. As he left the story, Hardie told Ms MacLeod to “call him”. Hardie’s stalking campaign ended in November last year when he sent and “abusive and offensive text message” and Ms MacLeod called the police. The former midfield began his career at Queen’s Park before joining Partick Thistle. He went on to play for Dunfermline Athletic, St Johnstone, Morton and Kilmarnock and Airdrie but has been without a club since last year.


Rev Norman MacLeod

May 7 2010

The Rev Norman Macleod,who was the first parish minister at St Ninian"s Church in Glenrothes, has died aged 82. Born in 1928 in Prestonpans, Mr Macleod was educated at Musselburgh Grammar School and the Royal High School, Edinburgh. He started work as an apprentice with a medical x-ray company before completing his national service in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. On returning to civilian life he was employed by the Legal and General Insurance Company and then the County Fire Office. At the age of 25 Mr Macleod joined the ministry, studying both Arts and Divinity at Edinburgh University Faculty of Arts and New College. During his time at New College he was appointed assistant minister to St Nicholas' Church, Sighthill, Edinburgh, where he learned the practicalities of ministerial life from the Rev Robert Dick and went on to run a successful Youth Fellowship. He was ordained in 1960 and appointed to the parish of Armadale East, West Lothian. Mr Macleod met Margaret at London Road Youth Fellowship, Edinburgh, and they were married in London Road Church in 1960. In October 1965 he was appointed to the newly established St Ninian's Church in Glenrothes where he served for 13 years. There, he helped set up a worship committee, and a pastoral group and introduced the role of assistant elders. He served as chaplain to primary schools in Glenrothes and to Glenwood High School. Mr Macleod was also a respected member of Glenrothes Rotary Club. He was also well known for his Voice from Earth broadcasts for Radio Forth and various TV quiz appearances over the years, such as Bullseye and Fifteen to One. In 1978, Mr Macleod was called to the linked parish of Orwell and Portmoak until 1988 when he retired due to ill health. Other posts he held during his lifetime included chaplain at Glenlomond Hospital, Presbytery Clerk and Moderator at Perth Presbytery and General Assembly Convenor of the Diaconate Board. A music lover, Mr Macleod played the cello and was an avid fan of military bands and traditional jazz. He is survived by his wife, son Ken, daughter Gill, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Former head teacher Norman Macleod

August 3 2011

Former Dundee head teacher Norman Macleod has passed away at the age of 91. Born in Garenin on the Isle of Lewis in 1919, Mr Macleod was a graduate of Glasgow University in 1939 before beginning his teacher training at Jordanhill College of Education. However, his training was disrupted by the onset of war where he experienced spells in both the British army and Indian navy. Returning to Scotland after the conflict, Mr Macleod completed his teaching qualification before moving to Dundee where he met Elizabeth (Betty), his wife of 58 years. He first taught at Ancrum Road primary in 1946 and was named depute head of Mitchell Street primary in 1957 before moving on to similar posts at Rockwell Primary and MacAlpine Primary. In 1969, he became head teacher at Rosebank, leaving a year later to take over at Mid Craigie Primary where he would stay for eight years before finishing his career at Blackness Primary. Mr Macleod was a teachers representative on the Dundee Education Committee for six years and was chairman of the Dundee branch of the Educational Institute Scotland, who had honoured him with a fellowship in 1971. A keen athlete and secretary of Dundee Thistle Harriers as well as a member of Scotscraig Golf Club for 43 years, Mr Macleod was also a champion for the Gaelic language and was chief and honorary chief of the Dundee Highland Society. Mr Macleod is survived by his wife, sons Colin, Alasdair and Iain, and three grandchildren.

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.


Former St Johnstone star Martin Hardie star faces jail over stalking

April 2 2015

A former St Johnstone footballer could be facing jail after a two-year stalking campaign against his ex-partner. Martin Hardie terrorised Kirsty MacLeod, including climbing up a drainpipe to spy on her. The ex-St Johnstone and Dunfermline midfielder also repeatedly turned up at Miss MacLeod’s work at Braehead shopping centre. Shamed Hardie admitted at Glasgow Sheriff Court to a stalking charge spanning September 2012 to November last year. The 38-year-old, of Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, was bailed and will learn his fate this month. Prosecutors state Hardie “engaged in conduct” which left Miss MacLeod in “fear or alarm”. The charge he pleaded guilty to included him turning up at Miss MacLeod’s flat in Mansewood, Glasgow, clambering up a drainpipe and “did watch or spy on her through a window”. Hardie repeatedly telephoned and texted Miss MacLeod. It is also stated he showed up at her work and “attempted to engage in conversation”. Hardie took a photo of Miss MacLeod’s vehicle and sent it to her. He had previously denied the allegations before admitting his guilt. Former midfielder Hardie was a fans’ favourite at Partick Thistle before joining Kilmarnock in 2003. The midfielder played for Dunfermline, Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and Morton during his career. He also had two spells playing for Airdrie.

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


A cut above – ‘The manager of the pit used to say there’s mair coal stripped in Jimmy Nevay’s shop than in the Glencraig Colliery!’

December 17 2015

For most of his 95 years, Arthur Nevay has lived at only two addresses remarkably just a few yards apart, in the west Fife former mining village of Glencraig. Yet despite his down-to-earth nature, former internationally-renowned hairdresser Arthur is a cut above when it comes to his in-depth knowledge and passion for social history. Arthur has recently published an anthology of poems by Cowdenbeath miner poet Robert MacLeod (1876-1958), who turned to entertaining after being injured in a mining accident. And when The Courier visited Arthur at his home, it quickly emerged it’s just one aspect of his passionate research with stacks of bound volumes he has produced on local mining history carefully filed in his living room. “MacLeod was a remarkable character, and I was always impressed by the quality of his work,” Arthur said. “When a horrific accident hospitalised him for a year, MacLeod became an entertainer, and in the hey-day of the music-hall, performed at the Tivoli in Cowdenbeath as well as in pubs and clubs. “He sold broadsheets to earn a few coppers, and in times of strife to help soup kitchens, disaster funds, war wounded and other needy causes. “MacLeod lived through two world wars, the 1926 Strike, the Great Depression, eight decades of colliery disasters, and he wrote ‘lest we forget’. “He also raised the moral and spirits of the community, with his droll, witty, ‘one-liners’ that made folk laugh. “His work inspired the late John Watt, whose songs, such as ‘Fife’s Got Everything’ and ‘The Kelty Clippie’ share MacLeod’s irreverent wit.” Among Arthur’s papers, collected from local sources including MacLeod’s relatives, is a letter from MacLeod stating that “lines like these should not be forgotten”. And thanks to Arthur, folk can now enjoy this legacy. The book ‘Robert MacLeod: An Anthology by Arthur Nevay’ was recently published by Grace Note Publications after Arthur’s work came to the attention of Margaret Bennett, an honorary research fellow at St Andrews University and part-time lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She was working on an oral history project, ‘The End of the Shift’, about Fife’s industrial past, when she first met Arthur. They embarked upon a shared personal goal to get the work published as a proper book. Born in Kinross in July 1920, Arthur moved to Glencraig at the age of five months when his Dundonian father bought a hairdressing business there in 1921, purchased from a Raith Rovers footballer named Dawson. Arthur had a twinkle in his eye when he revealed his stonemason grandfather helped build the foundations of the Tay Rail Bridge. As a teenager, Arthur wanted to be a compositor in the printing trade, but after being told there were no vacancies at the Lochgelly Times, he devoted his time to the family business. He attended hairdressing classes at Dunfermline’s former Lauder College and after serving with the RAF Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, he took over the family firm following the death of his father just weeks after returning from the war. With a lifelong association to the Scouting movement, Arthur built up a business of five salons, 75 hairdressers and established a factory in Dalgety Bay producing bulk products for hairdressing salons, and an aerosol plant. He then became a director of a group of 17 companies but decided to move on to a more “suitable occupation”. “I came back to what I had known and became involved in organisation through the National Hairdressers Association, becoming president in the early 1970s,” he added. He was then appointed chairman of the Hairdressing Training Board of Great Britain. “I was the person who signed the NVQ Levels one, two and three certificates,” he laughed. “That was the first time structured hairdresser courses were introduced into Britain. I also sat on the European Union Hairdressers Federation board in Brussels." Growing up among mining families, Arthur recalled hundreds of miners who relied upon his father for a haircut: “The manager of the pit used to say there’s mair coal stripped in Jimmy Nevay’s shop than in the Glencraig Colliery!” * Robert MacLeod: Cowdenbeath Miner Poet - An anthology by Arthur Nevay, is published by Grace Note Publications.

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.