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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

Record roll for Angus sports awards

February 14 2015

A record-breaking Roll of Honour will line up in the chase for glory at the 2014 Angus Sports Awards. From a year which saw the area takes its place in the global spotlight as the shooting venue for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Angus Sports Development Team has secured a 105-strong list of nominees across the competition’s eight categories. Glasgow 2014 bowling gold medallist and former Angus Sports Personality Sports Personality of the Year Darren Burnett will be one of the front runners in the field and he said Angus had enjoyed another year with plenty to shout about. Launching the Roll of Honour with Angus provost helen Oswald, the bowling bobby said: “The Angus Sports Awards are a special night which allow the local sporting community to come together to celebrate the achievements in the county. “I have always enjoyed the ceremony evening and have been blown away with the range of local talent we have in Angus and the amount of people who give up their own time to help run sports clubs.” This year’s honour roll takes in everything from fly-fishing to powerwheelchair football and includes sportpeople and coaches who have tasted success all the way to world level. One of the most hotly-contested categories will be the school sports volunteer of the year award, where no fewer than 30 nominees will battle for the accolade recognising the contribution made to extra-curricular sport in 2014. The awards ceremony, in association with Angus Ahead, will take place at Forfar’s Reid Hall on Thursday March 12. The awards selection panel will now finalise short lists and winners for each award category. Roll of honour: Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Auchterhouse Country Sports): Charles Clark, cricket; Lynn Calder, boxing; Gillian Sangster, running; Andrew Woodroffe, triathlon; Darren Burnett, lawn bowls; Michael Downie, athletics; Drew Christie, clay target shooting; Ryan Burnett, lawn bowls; Robyn Hart-Winks, rowing; Kathleen Shepherd, fly-fishing; Katie Phillips, swimming. Young Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Radio Tay Cash for Kids): Matthew Crighton, water polo; Rachel Broadfoot,athletics; Jessica Baillie, highland dancing; Heather Wilson, mountain biking; Olivia Waddell, highland dancing; Andrew Liddell, karate; Cara Black, basketball; Ellie Callon, basketball; Taylor Smith, basketball; Kelsey McFarlane, basketball; Sarah McKenzie, gymnastics; Rebecca Graham, darts; Curtis Hirst, archery; Joel McFarlane, athletics; Gregor Stevenson, archery; Hamish Brunton, sailing; James Wilson, mountain biking; Brennan Somers, air rifle shooting; Hannah Robb, basketball; Niamh Feighan, athletics; Anna Sturrock, sailing; Sophie Smith, swimming. Coach of the Year sponsored by KLM partnership chartered surveyors: Colin Gillan, football; Lynsey Stewart, badminton; Garry Johnstone, powerwheelchair football; Colin Christie, athletics; Liz Martin, athletics; Scott Nicoll, football; Connor Blackmore, rugby; Iain Lyons, lawn bowls; Kim Dalgarno, ten pin bowling; Kevin Scott, karate; Gary Porter, powerlifting; Scott Haxton, swimming. Team of the Year (sponsored by Angus Community Sports Hubs): Brechin Bruce Rugby Team, Tayside Dynamos Powerwheelchair Football Club, Tayside Musketeers Basketball Club – Junior Women Team, Monifieth High School – S2 Giant Heptathlon School Sport Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Angus Council Active Schools): Andrew McLaren, Ron MacDonald, both Monifieth / Carnoustie cluster; Caroline Kerr, Strathmore PS; James Paton-Carstairs, Woodlands PS; Lorraine Murray, Lochside PS; Brian Johnston, David Nicholson, both Arbroath primary cluster; Ashlea MacDonald, Muirfield PS; Jill Cassidy, Christopher Heenan, both Timmergreens PS; Bob Donnan, Scott Chalmers, both Warddykes PS; Stuart Donaldson, Jackie Barrack, botht St Thomas PS; Lisa Newlands, Warddykes PS; Kimberly Walker, Arbroath cluster; Lorna Small, Sarah Warden, Kerry Wilson, Val Wilson, all Arbroath High; Pauline Gibb, Paul Harrison, both Forfar Academy; Laura Sturrock, Monifieth High; Denise Buchan, Hayshead PS; Marian Morison, Lesley Geekie, David Robertson, Donnie Smith, all Friockheim PS; Bob Christie, Maisondieu and Andover primary schools; Derek Mitchell, Brechin schools. Sports Personality of the Year Award for People with a Disability (sponsored by Angus Disability Sport in partnership with National Oilwell Varco): Kevin Trebilcock, badminton; Maria Orsi, swimming; Kerry Duncan, badminton; George Gibson, table tennis; Murran MacKay, wheelchair basketball; Stephanie Carnegie, athletics; Linda Glen, boccia. Service to Sport Award sponsored by Dundee & Angus College: Roy Gill, football; Derek Nisbet, swimming; Laura Smith, disability sport; Andy Robbie, football; Jim Keillor, curling; Muriel Blake, athletics; Eddie Wilmott, swimming; Diane Reid, gymnastics. Club Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by Special Olympics Great Britain): Robert Cassidy, boccia; Helen Bean, disability sport; Dorothea Jackson, rugby; Martin Cassidy, boccia; Grant Hutchison, cricket; Colin Tinsley, rugby; Andrew McLaren, golf; Heather Reid, disability sport; Murray Duguid, rugby; Bob Bell, wheeled sports; Pierre Bernard, swimming.

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.

Farming news

Aberdeen-Angus DNA test hailed by Victor Wallace

February 13 2015

The adoption of a new DNA test to authenticate the pedigree of all Aberdeen-Angus calves will put the breed in the vanguard of genomic technology, retiring Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president, Victor Wallace, told a packed annual at Stirling. The society has decided to collect blood samples using special ear tags which incorporate a small uniquely identified receptacle. As the tag is inserted soon after birth the small amount of displaced tissue and blood is captured ready for future DNA testing. Responding to criticism of the society’s decision to use only one company, Caisley, for the collection of samples, Mr Wallace insisted Caisley was the only ear tag company which had the technology to meet the society’s required specification. “We invited a number of ear tag companies to tender and some didn’t bother to reply while others couldn’t meet the spec,” said Mr Wallace. “It is a simple and inexpensive system which most breeders are finding easy to use.” The aim is to collect blood samples from all bull calves to enable the sire of all calves to be verified in the case of any uncertainty or dispute and to authenticate beef being sold as Aberdeen-Angus.” The move by the society has been welcomed by major supermarkets selling Aberdeen-Angus beef. Mr Wallace added: “This process was extensively and rigorously tested with management and council visits to the manufacturers in Germany and the completion of field trials. After this process it was brought back to council and unanimously approved. “Like all changes, there has been some resistance but I am convinced that putting the society in a position to be leading in genomic testing can only be a good one. “We should be leaders, not followers.” Mr Wallace admitted that a £34,000 re-branding exercise carried out over the past year, which included the dropping of the society’s long-established black, green and yellow colours, left room for “significant improvement”. The issue, particularly improvement to the website, would, he said, be addressed in the coming year. The decision to prop up the pension fund of chief executive, Ron McHattie, by £120,000 in four tranches was defended by new president, David Evans, who explained that it was a “catching up” operation as the funding of the pension had not been addressed for 11 years and annuity rates had halved in that time. Mr Evans, who works as a financial adviser, runs a 60-cow pedigree herd in Cleveland with his wife, Penny, and has been chairman of the society’s breed promotion committee. He is planning a series of open days throughout the country this year to promote the commercial attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. “There is a huge and growing demand for certified Aberdeen-Angus beef with the active involvement of most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and registrations in the Herd Book are at a record level and continuing to increase,” said Mr Evans. “But we can’t stand still and it is important that the breed adopts all the latest technology to take the breed forward in the future.” New senior vice-president is Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, while Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose, was appointed junior vice-president.

Perth & Kinross

Baby bargains galore at charity’s nearly new sale in Perth

October 20 2017

Baby bargains will be bought and sold at an event coming to Perth next weekend. The National Childbirth Trust’s nearly new sale will offer parents-to-be the chance to pick up pre-loved toys, clothes, equipment and maternity clothes at a big discount from shop prices. New parents will also have the chance to offload baby goods their little ones have outgrown by registering as sellers at the event. The sale is at the Bell’s sport centre between 11.30am and 1.30pm on Sunday October 29 and is being organised by the trust’s Perth and District Branch. Sellers keep 70% of the money raised, with the other 30% going to the charity’s work to support local families. NCT Perth and District volunteer Vicki Anyon said: “Coming to one of our nearly new sales is a double whammy – you can get pre-loved baby bargains and you help to fund the branch’s services for other parents too.” For more information and to register as a seller before the October 27 deadline, email NNS.Perth@nct.org.uk. You can also find out more at the local branch’s Facebook page. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); As it's less than a month to go to our next Nearly New Sale we thought we'd show you what to expect! All sellers drop their items off to us and then our lovely volunteers sort them out into categories and age/size to make it easy for you, the buyer, to find what you're looking for and to get the best bargains! Register here as a seller or turn up to Bell's Sports Centre on the 29th October at 11.30am to bag some brilliant bargains! And pick up a FREE goody bag packed with lovely samples for you and your family to enjoy. Seller registration – https://nct.intrabiz.co.uk/cgi-bin/sys.cgi?action=NCT-product-client_view&id=29940395 Posted by NCT Perth & District Branch on Friday, 30 September 2016

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Woman hits out at ‘lazy’ gym users who use disabled spaces at Arbroath Sports Centre

April 18 2014

A disabled woman has hit out at “lazy” gym goers who park in disabled spaces at Arbroath Sports Centre. Joyce Fox, 57, from Arbirlot, claims able-bodied people parking in disabled bays is a daily occurrence despite the best efforts of staff working at the Keptie Road centre. In recent weeks, staff have left notices on cars, stopped people in the car park and made tannoy announcements, but Ms Fox claims the problem persists. Ms Fox, who suffers from intraventricular cists, chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) and carpal tunnel syndrome, has raised the problem with the manager of the sports centre. “Carpal tunnel syndrome makes it difficult for me to carry my bag with my kit but I am not raising the issue just for my benefit,” she said. “Quite severely disabled children use the pool for their therapy but if their carers can’t get parked, they can’t use the pool. “The other day I saw a young lad in his early twenties, dressed in his gym gear parking in a disabled bay and then sprinting into the gym. This is a daily occurrence. “It’s not that there aren’t enough car park spaces at the centre, it’s just that people are too lazy to walk from the main car park.” Ms Fox, who said she has even seen drivers park on the zebra crossing at the council-run centre. “I have been on to the manager and the council about this issue,” she added. “I think the staff at the centre are doing everything they can but it really winds me up.” Angus Council confirmed staff at were trying various methods to stop people parking without badges in the disabled bays. A spokesman said: “All disabled car park spaces are clearly labelled and staff do regular checks throughout the day. “Staff attach parking slips to window screens advising the owner that their car is illegally parked. We also take note of the registration number to then be transferred over the Tannoy. “In instances where the car is not moved at this point, staff also search for the owner at the centre and ask them to move their car. “We do, however, also rely on the honesty of our customers to only use the disabled spaces if they are entitled.

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


Wannabe Dundee broadcasters given opportunity to make their mark

April 4 2018

Budding broadcasters in Dundee have been given tips on how to carve out a career in the media industry. Around 100 people attended sessions led by Channel 4 and My Kinda Future at the Space in Dundee and Angus College's Kingsway Campus yesterday. The event — part of a series of gatherings being held across the UK — was aimed at people who do not have a degree and are looking for their first step into the industry. Participants were given lessons in video production then handed microphones, tablets and other equipment and challenged to create their own short documentary films on the themes of inclusiveness and equality. At the end of the day, 15 of the participants were granted "rising star" status, which means they will be alerted when vacancies arise and taken down to Channel 4 HQ in London for a day. The event was hosted by Channel 4 presenter Jodie McCallum, who got her big break at a similar event. She said: "It gets quite emotional when we see the films because they work hard to make them in quite a short time. The day can have an impact on their lives like it did to mine. "A lot of people think they can't get into the industry but it is not like that any more." The broadcaster's industry talent specialist Laura Boswell and coordinator Yasmin Mehment joined Miriam Kidane, campaign manager for My Kinda Future, to help out on the day. Ms Boswell managed the Rio Production Training Scheme which helped 24 disabled people get their first roles in television production and 18 trainees join the production team that covered the 2016 Paralympic Games for Channel 4. TayScreen, the screen office for Dundee, Angus, Perth and Kinross, and Fife councils, praised the initiative. Julie Craik, TayScreen project manager, said: "It's vitally important for people from the region to get involved with media production and tell not only their own stories but all kinds of stories on all kinds of platforms." Courier Country has produced its share of broadcasting talent, including Oscar-nominated director David Mackenzie, Bafta-winning camera specialist Keith Partridge and BBC diving camera expert Lindsay Brown.