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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...

Scotland

“An immortal story of courage, sacrifice, endurance and faith”: Here’s how The Courier covered the Battle of Dunkirk

July 22 2017

The Battle of Dunkirk was one of the most pivotal turning points of World War II - and is the subject of a new film by Christopher Nolan now out in cinemas. The story of the fighting and ensuing evacuation remains one of the most incredible stories of modern British history. After being forced to retreat by the Germans from the Netherlands and Belgium, the Allied forces were cut off from counterparts in the south and pushed back towards the northern corner of France. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF), along with French troops, were eventually encircled around the Port of Dunkirk - the only place left possible for an Allied evacuation. A total of 338,000 men were trapped and left open to attack on the French coast. Due to the sloping nature of Dunkirk Beach, no large ships could get near to the spot, and so smaller boats had to be used to transport troops. Admiral Ramsey drew up Operaton Dynamo, a plan to evacuate as many men as possible from the beach - a plan which would come to be known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk". Starting on May 26, 1940, smaller boats began moving soldiers back to larger vessels and off to safety. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UrQ4VvFO-c The "little ships" of Dunkirk have since passed into legend. Non-military civilian vessels, including fishing boats, the length and breadth of the UK were called up to help bring the soldiers to safety. Between 800 and 1,200 boats are said to have taken part in the evacuation. A full-scale German assault was never launched on Dunkirk, despite a series of smaller attacks from fighter and bomber planes. The German Army's inability to act at Dunkirk is viewed as a major tactical failure of Hitler's. Had no evacuation taken place, historians say the Allies may have been forced to surrender to the Germans. Only several thousand men were expected to be rescued from Dunkirk. However between May 26 and June 3 1940, 338,000 were saved. We've compiled how the "Dunkirk Spirit" found its way into the pages of The Courier from May 30 until June 7 1940.   Thursday, May 30 1940 The Courier carries a story of an Arbroath soldier who was evacuated from Dunkirk under heavy gunfire, en  route to marry his partner HOME FOR LEAVE AND WEDDING Angus Captain Tells of Ten-Hour Air Attack Captain David Chapel, second son of Provost Sir William Chapel and Lady Chapel, Arbroath, who is attached to GHQ in France, is home for a short leave. Captain Chapel, who is in the Royal Artillery, left Dunkirk at the weekend and arrived home yesterday morning. Seven hundred men, he said, left Dunkirk at the same time. They were due to sail at eight o’clock in the morning, but the troopship was unable to take off until six at night. During the ten-hour wait the enemy kept up a continuous air bombardment. It was estimated there was a squadron coming over every quarter of an hour, dropping high explosive and incendiary bombs. During this time the soldiers sheltered in and under trucks. At six o’clock they succeeded in getting aboard the troopship. Captain Chapel’s engagement to Miss Mary Paterson, youngest daughter of the late Mr James Craig Paterson, Mains of Letham, and of Mrs Craig Paterson, Redcraig, Viewfield Road, Arbroath, was announced early this month. The wedding will take place quietly at the bride’s home at the end of the month.   Another headline reads "A Murderous Enemy" The article says: "The eyes of the British people have been opened slowly to a full realisation of the character of the enemy they are fighting, and they know today that no sacrifice is too great to master the horrible menace it presents. “Entirely reliable observers on the war front tell us that the men comprising the British Expeditionary Force are animated by a fierce indignation against the enemy they are fighting – a new thing in the psychology of the British soldier....We are facing an entire nation mad with the lusts of dominance and cruelty, and can put no limit to the effort, financial and otherwise, required to vanquish such an upsurge of devilry."   THE PERIL IN FLANDERS This article says the retreat to the French coast was one of the “consequences of the Belgian King’s treachery”. It reads: “The British Expeditionary Force and the French divisions joined with it are intact and are fighting desperately. "But they are surrounded on three sides by numerically heavier German forces and subject to incessant attack from the air. "Behind them, it seems, Dunkirk is the only Channel port not controlled by the enemy, and for the purposes of a port it has almost ceased to exist. "In the limited area still controlled by the British and French great numbers of refugees are massed, and are not less ruthlessly assailed than the enemy. "Speculation regarding the outcome would be idle guesswork, but nothing can now surprise."   BEF’s EPIC FIGHT TO REACH COAST Dunkirk firmly held: Allied units still in Calais The B.E.F, hard pressed, but with unshaken morale, is fiercely battling its way to the coast. In the words of a message from the King to the Commander-in-Chief, it is fighting with a gallantry “that has never been surpassed in the annals in the British Army”. French naval forces firmly hold the fortified area of Dunkirk open for the retreating troops. Here land and naval planes are performing magnificent service.   Strain Tells on Germans This article states Dunkirk “has been transformed into an entrenched camp, and is firmly held by French marines”. It adds: “Reasonable hope is expressed that the situation of the northern army, so gravely compromised by the Belgian defection, may yet be partly saved by measures now being taken in the most difficult circumstances and the remarkable valour of the British and French troops concerned. “What is certain is that German troops are subjected to heavy losses and are showing definite signs of exhaustion.” Friday, May 31 1940 Under the headline "Bombed and Gunned For Hours" is the tale of a Dundee missionary who volunteered in Dunkirk Y.M.C.A Worker’s Escape Mr Arthur Brown, Dundee missionary, whose home is at 1 Glenogill Avenue, has reached Glasgow after a nerve-racking two months during which he was frequently under shell and bomb fire. Mr Brown had been attached to Y.M.C.A huts and mobile canteens serving our troops in France and Belgium. He embarked at Dunkirk on a warship after having to wait four hours on the quay. Nazi bombers were swooping down, unloading their bombs, and machine-gunning the quay. He had just stepped aboard the warship when he was blown through a doorway. “We had only been half an hour out when the Nazis attacked again,” he said. “Two bombers swooped over the warship. Our anti-aircraft guns went into action, and British fighters appeared. “One of the German machines was brought down and the other fled. Though we were followed and attacked, no damage was done. “But when I was in a London bus a woman who had been talking to a sailor came over and asked if I’d heard that such and such a warship had been sunk. I could assure her heartily that is was not true.” For the first six weeks Mr Brown was in France. In one village Nazi bombers unloaded a salvo, one of which fell just behind the house where Y.M.C.A men were billeted. This bomb and seven others were found embedded in the ground. None had exploded. “I have been right up at the front lines in Belgium,” said Mr Brown, “and I can tell you the morale of the British troops is wonderful. And the stories about the air force aren’t exaggerated.”   B.E.F Withdrawal, Many Men Home Night and day battle raging on French coast. Three destroyers lost. The great battle of the withdrawal from northern France is now raging on the coast, back to which the B.E.F and the French were forced to fall yesterday by increased German pressure on both flanks. Troops not immediately engaged in the fighting have been evacuated – the evacuation is still successfully proceeding – and numbers have already reached Britain. Ministry of Information said withdrawal had been handled with “great skill and daring”. “The withdrawal and evacuation have been screened by the R.A.F, who have been constantly engaged with the enemy.”   Many Ships, Few Lost According to the French Admiralty, the number of Allied sips damaged or sunk by German air attack off Dunkirk is relatively small.   Two other headlines proclaim: Tireless Fight By the R.A.F 75 NAZI PLANES DOWN AT DUNKIRK Saturday, June 1 1940 FRENCH RETAKE PART OF ABBEVILLE THOUSANDS MORE B.E.F MEN REACH HOME Crowds Cheer From Cliff-Tops And Beaches French troops, it was announced in Paris last night, have recaptured the western part of Abbeville. Meanwhile, in face of fierce German opposition, men of the Allied navies were carrying on with their stupendous and successful task of withdrawing the B.E.F and French armies from Dunkirk, still held and now almost ringed by protective flooding. Thousands more B.E.F men continued to arrive safely in Britain last night. The article also commends the “superhuman work of the Royal navy”.   FLOODS FOIL GERMANS The German Army, foiled in its attack on Dunkirk by rising flood waters which Allied engineers have loosed over the Flanders plain, redoubled its efforts yesterday to cut off the French rear-guard fighting its way to the coast.   B.E.F Men Embarked Under Nazi Shell Fire Many more thousands of B.E.F men were brought home last night. Hungry, tired, but smiling, they were carried across the Channel by a motley “armada” of vessels of every conceivable type. As the “fleet” grew in numbers so, too, rose the spirits of the crowds that lined the beaches and cliff tops of the South-East Coast of England to give the gallant army of battle-weary men a rousing welcome home.   Another headline reads: FOG HELPS R.A.F WITHDRAWAL Monday, June 3 1940 On this day, The Courier featured a story about a Fifer who arrived home from Dunkirk and got straight back into village life. BACK FROM FLANDERS, HE PLAYS IN TOWN BAND Private Robert Swan, of Kirkland Road, Methil who went from “fighting every inch of the way” to Dunkirk, two days after arriving home took his place in the Leven British Legion Pipe Band and paraded through the town. He was quoted saying: “Two days ago in Dunkirk I wasn’t thinking I would be playing with the band at Leven on Saturday.” It mentions other locals who arrived home safe from Dunkirk: Robert Simpson of Leven and Pte W W Somerville of Methil. OVER FOUR-FIFTHS OF B.E.F SAVED OUR NINE DIVISIONS HELD ENEMY ON 80-MILE FRONT MR EDEN’S REVELATIONS OF BATTLE FOR CHANNEL PORTS More than four-fifths of the B.E.F has been saved. Mr Eden, War Minister, announced this last night, broadcasting an account of the magnificent conduct and achievements of the British troops in Flanders. At one time, he said, the nine divisions of the British force had to hold the enemy on an eighty miles front. Every brigade stood firm. “The spirit of our fighting men must be our banner and our spur. We need more planes, more tanks, more gun. The people of this country must work as never before.”   “They never once gave way” – Brigadier’s Tribute to B.E.F men At 5.a.m yesterday a British infantry brigade was embarked from the beach north of Dunkirk. It has been in the midst of the fighting in Flanders from start to finish, for it was among the troops which led the advance into Belgium, and it fought in the rear-guard from the furthest front reached by the B.E.F to the gates of Dunkirk. “My men,” said the brigadier on stepping ashore in England, “never once gave way. They beat back every German attack, and every time they retreated it was when ordered and only as far as ordered.”   Station Crowds Cheer B.E.F Women and children crowded station platforms in outer London yesterday to give a rousing welcome to British and French troops back from the Flanders battlefields as their trains steamed through stations.   113 NAZI PLANES DOWN OR “OUT” Following Saturday’s record 78 bombers and fighters destroyed or severely damaged between dawn and seven o’clock- British fighters, from reports so far received, destroyed 35 enemy planes, and probably a further six, in the Dunkirk area yesterday.   DUNKIRK DOG-FIGHTS At Dunkirk huge formations of Nazi bombers, escorted by fighters, attempted to sink the ships, craft of all kinds, which were thick on the sea, but our fighters attacked and drove them off, most of the bombs falling into the sea.   UNARMED, HE WON A British fighter pilot who found himself out of ammunition as he neared an enemy bomber, and “worried the enemy with such a succession of stunts”  that the Nazi pilot made a “fatal error”. Tuesday, June 4 1940 Under the day's war casualties is the sad story of a young Dundee soldier who fought at Dunkirk. Private William M Paterson died from wounds sustained in Dunkirk after being transported to an English hospital. Under the headline “Father Gave Blood In Vain”, this article tells of how the apprentice joiner was drafted into the RAMC one week after his 20th birthday, only to suffer a leg wound in Dunkirk. His father gave blood in a bid to save his son. Another story tells the tale of a Dundonian father and son, both soldiers, whose paths crossed in northern France SOLDIER FATHER AND SON MEET IN FRANCE Linlathen Man’s Perilous Journey The story of how he met his son two days after he arrived in France was told to a “Courier and Advertiser” reporter yesterday by Pte Alexander S Lindsay, member of a salvage unit, who lives at 28 Alloway Terrace, Linlathen, Dundee. Pte Lindsay, having reached France, heard that the Black Watch were stationed four miles from Bethune. He went there and asked a staff-sergeant if he had a Pte Alexander Lindsay in the battalion. Men were on parade for pay. Someone took two paces from the ranks and greet him. “Hullo, dad! What are you doing here?” Fishers, Yachtsmen, Helped Navy Save B.E.F Fleet of 887, Six Destroyers, 24 Small Ships Lost A total of 887 British ships - 222 naval vessels and 665 other British craft – brought off the evacuation of the B.E.F from Dunkirk, it was revealed last night by the Admiralty. Paying tribute to the services of the “other craft”, which were essential to the success, the communique states they were the means of saving thousands of lives. Six destroyers were lost as well as 24 minor war vessels. “This most extensive and difficult combined operation in naval history has been carried out during the past week,” stated the Admiralty communique. “British, French, and Belgian troops have been brought safely to this country from Belgium and Northern France in numbers which, when the full story can be told, will surprise the world.”   UNDER CONSTANT FIRE The withdrawal was carried out “in face of intense and almost continuous air attack and increasing artillery and machinegun fire” the report states.   FURIOUS FIGHTING The evacuation of men of the B.E.F and the French Army from northern France is still going on. Many men are going direct back to France with their French Navy rescuers. “The epic of Dunkirk still goes on” declared the French military spokesman. Another headline reads: PARIS RAIDED; 200 CASUALTIES Wednesday, June 5 1940 This edition includes the story of two Dundee soldiers who were wounded in Dunkirk HEROIC PART IN DUNKIRK BATTLE Two City Bombardiers Wounded Two Dundee members of the artillery battery which played a heroic part in the rear-guard battle at Dunkirk have been wounded and are in hospital in England. They are bombardier John AC Fraser, son of Mr and Mrs George Fraser, 193 Strathmartine Road, and Lance-Bombardier Alexander Petrie, whose wife lives at 6 Paradise Road, and who is the eldest son of Mr and Mrs James Petrie, Lilac Cottage, Birkhill. Called up on the outbreak of war, both went to France in January. Bombardier Fraser, who is 21, was an inspector with Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Ltd. Before joining up Lance-Bombardier Petrie was gardener to Mr Harold Sharp, Balruddery. Mr James Petrie served in the artillery in the last war, and was wounded. LAST TROOPS LEAVE DUNKIRK PORT MADE USELESS TO THE GERMANS Rearguards Heroic Resistance: House To-House Fighting The evacuation of the Allied forces from the Dunkirk area has now been successfully completed, the last troops being withdrawn during the night of 3rd- 4th June. This was announced in a communique issued from the War Office last night, which added: - “The outstanding success of this operation, which must rank as one of the most difficult operations of war ever undertaken, as been due to the magnificent fighting qualities of the Allied troops, to their calmness and discipline in the worst of conditions, to the devotion to duty of the Allied Navies, and to the gallantry and exertions of the Royal Air Force."   NAVY SAVED 335,000 MEN - PREMIER B.E.F CASUALTIES TOTAL 30,000 The story of the battle of the ports – an immortal story of courage, sacrifice, endurance, and faith – was told by the Premier in the Commons yesterday. He disclosed that British losses exceeded 30,000 killed, wounded, or missing, but confessed that he feared only a week ago that “the whole root and core and brain of the British Army” was doomed. The Navy, however, using nearly a thousand ships, had carried 335,000 men – British and French – out of the jaws of death, back to their native land.   NAZIS CLAIM 40,000 PRISONERS German High Command announcement: “The fortress of Dunkirk has been taken after fierce fighting. Forty thousand prisoners and booty which cannot yet be estimated have fallen into our hands. “Thus the whole Belgian and French Channel coast up to the mouth of the Somme is now occupied by German troops.”   Thursday, June 7 1940 Though the evacuation was over, the war continued... HIGHLAND TROOPS PUT UP FIERCE RESISTANCE Surrounded, They Fought On Highland regiments of a famous division fiercely resisted the Germans attacking along the Somme front yesterday. “THOSE DEVILS OF THE R.A.F” German prisoners Say Their Air Force Failed Them Germany praises her air force without restraint, but German prisoners taken in the fighting retreat of the B.E.F in Dunkirk have a different story to tell.

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

Readers' letters

March 27: We should put ‘faith’ in scientific advances and professional healthcare

March 27 2012

Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, - John Miller's article on Friday, March 23 ('The whole nation united in prayer') suggests the tragic collapse of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba has "thrust the concept of prayer and its effectiveness on the minds of the British people". I do, of course, wish Mr Muamba a full and speedy recovery, but I think that if this happens then it will be down to his underlying fitness, the timely, professional treatment he received on the pitch, and the care he has been receiving in hospital. Credit should be given to the good men and women who dedicate themselves to helping people who have suffered such unfortunate accidents and to those who determine the best methods of assisting their recovery. Whilst I am sure some people may attain some level of personal comfort from the act of praying, or even that it may help some people to know that they are being prayed for, I am not persuaded prayer is effective in achieving physical outcomes through the intercession of a deity. Mr Millar suggests some historical events have been influenced by prayer, but it is easy to find examples, even quite recently, where prayer has been publicly invoked and the desired result has not been achieved. For example, in Texas last year there were a huge number of wildfires (some might say of biblical proportions) and the Governor of Texas invoked a prayer rally to ask for rain, then prayed, publicly and often. There followed a rainless spring and summer. July was the hottest month in recorded Texas history and most of Texas suffered "extreme or exceptional" drought. Later in office he asked 30,000 evangelical followers to pray for an economic recovery. This didn't happen either. Perhaps Governor Perry wasn't doing it right, or perhaps there is a much simpler explanation. I suggest we should put our "faith" in scientific advances and professional healthcare. Norry Passway.29 Albany Road,Dundee. Choose prayer over CPR? Sir, - How the likes of John Miller's article commands column space is beyond me. No one should be in any doubt that the reason a young footballer is showing encouraging signs of recovery is down in part (a very large part) to the skill, knowledge and professionalism of the medical professionals who have attended him since those horrific scenes the other evening. To suggest any thing else is, frankly, offensive. Imagine if those attending in the very first moments of his collapse had chosen prayer over CPR! I doubt if Mr Miller would be enlightening us then on the power of prayer. N. Austin.10 Shepherd Lane,Arbroath. Real miracle of Dunkirk Sir, - I would like to make a few comments concerning John Miller's article on prayer. I certainly have no wish to make light of belief in prayer, but the miracle of Dunkirk was most definitely down to the men of 51st Highland Division, who held back the German forces. Many paid with their lives and many more were marched into prison camps to be starved and worked to death. That any men survived was a miracle. And to think they are almost airbrushed from history each time the British public are reminded of the miracle of Dunkirk. Margaret Borland.57 Rodd Road,Dundee. A question of principle Sir, - The Rev John Cameron targets his ironic barbs superbly (Letters, March 24), but the 'granny tax' raises a separate question of principle. Why, purely due to our age, should pensioners like me enjoy a higher tax-free allowance than the working population, many with young families and on average incomes little more than mine? Churchill's original justification for age allowances in 1925 surely no longer exists. Pensioners do not pay NIC (effectively another income tax of about 10%), or their previous pension contributions, or travel-to-work costs; and many will no longer be in the 40% tax bracket. The combined effect for those in some final-salary schemes can leave them with net disposable incomes almost unchanged from their employment. Many pensioners much wealthier than he or I can limit their taxable income to £25,000 for example if they have substantial ISAs to draw down, while others choose to work. Why should these groups benefit even more than younger workers? The coalition should have announced in June 2010 an early move to incorporating tax-free cash benefits like the fuel allowance into the taxable state pension; linking or even equalising that pension and a single tax-free allowance with the minimum wage for 18-20 year-olds (£10,000); amalgamating income tax and NIC; and improving the progressive tax structure. John Birkett.12 Horseleys Park,St Andrews. Bridging gap in knowledge Sir, - Reading Ken Guild's remarks about "another bridge falling down" I presumed he was referring to the Tay Bridge disaster, implying it was caused by the use of Scottish steel. In that case, may I inform him that the bridge was constructed from cast and wrought iron rather than from steel? The first major bridge to be constructed from Scottish (and Welsh) steel was the Forth Bridge which, as far as I know, is still standing. (Mrs) JE McFarlane.41 Highfield Place,Birkhill. Closures will be a nightmare Sir, - On the subject of public toilet closures in Fife, my daughter took my granddaughter to the West Sands play area in St Andrews recently. Soon after they arrived, my granddaughter needed the toilet. The toilets there were closed. My daughter had to drive up to South Street in order to use the toilet there. It cost her £1 to park and 30p to use the toilet. Luckily she found a parking place, but that might not be possible in the holiday season. Public toilet closures will be a nightmare for the elderly and people with children. Mrs Margaret Duncan.32 Pickford Crescent,Cellardyke. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to letters@thecourier.co.uk or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.

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

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.

Rocktalk

Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival  for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing  when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.

Perth & Kinross

Culinary dimension added to Perth Show

July 28 2016

For more than 150 years Perth Show has been a popular, once a year meeting point for the people of the city and the farming community. The show - now the third largest of its type in Scotland – remains as always a showcase for champion livestock but this year holds a much wider appeal for visitors. To be held on Friday and Saturday August 5 and 6 on the South Inch, throughout the two days, trade stands, sideshows, entertainment, activities, music and parades all add to the vibrancy of the show along with a new culinary direction. “For the first time, Perth Show is set to feature a cookery theatre and food and drink marquee,” said show secretary Neil Forbes. “This will bring a new and popular dimension to the visitor attraction. “Perth Show 2016 is also delighted to welcome Perthshire On A Plate (POAP) - a major food festival, celebrating the very best in local produce and culinary talent. “Organised by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, the two-day festival will run as part of the show and feature celebrity and local chefs, demonstrations and tastings, book signings, food and drink related trade stands, fun-filled activities for ‘kitchen kids’ and a large dining area and pop-up restaurants in a double celebration of food and farming.” Heading the celebrity chef line-up are television favourite Rosemary Shrager (Friday) and spice king Tony Singh (Saturday), backed by a host of talented local chefs including Graeme Pallister (63 Tay Street) and Grant MacNicol (Fonab Castle). The cookery theatre, supported by Quality Meat Scotland, will also stage a fun cookery challenge between students from Perth College and the ladies of the SWI. A range of pop-up restaurants featuring taster dishes from some of the area’s best known eating places will allow visitors to sample local produce as they relax in the show’s new POAP dining area. “We’re trying to create a wide and varied programme of entertainment,” said Mr Forbes. “Late afternoon on Friday will see the It’s A Knockout  challenge with teams from businesses throughout Perth and Perthshire competing against each other. “And the first day’s programme will end with a beer, wine and spirit festival where teams can celebrate their achievements and visitors can sample a wide range of locally produced drinks.” This year will also see the reintroduction of showjumping at Perth Show on the Saturday afternoon.

Fife

How the Dunkirk movie rekindled a Fife man’s memories of his father’s spirited adventures

August 9 2017

The recently released Dunkirk movie has inspired former journalist Ian Nimmo, of Fife, to write down his late father’s first-hand account of being evacuated from the beaches. Michael Alexander reports. It has been described as one of the greatest war films ever made by some, and been blasted for its historical inaccuracies by others. But for Fife man Ian Nimmo, Christopher Nolan’s recently released movie, Dunkirk, has proved to be a timely reminder of how his own father became one of the last soldiers to be evacuated off the French beach when a fleet of small ships went to the aid of the British Army between May 26 and June 4 1940. Ian, a former newspaper editor who now lives in Freuchie, was just four-years-old when his father, Sergeant Joe Nimmo, was yanked back into service with the Royal Scots Fusiliers just before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRtZUkAR2u4 The youngster and his family had been picnicking close to their home at Rumbling Bridge, Perthshire, when a policeman on his bike stopped them on the Amulree Road outside Dunkeld and asked his father if his name was Nimmo. It was an instruction for the regular soldier to re-join his regiment in Ayr and when young Ian awoke the next morning, his father was gone. The family later discovered he was “somewhere in France or it could be Belgium” with the British Expeditionary Force. But by the time of Dunkirk in May 1940, he was one of the last men standing on the beaches under enemy fire. “It all came flooding back after watching the graphic new Dunkirk film, and I have been reliving my father’s own dramatic tale as he and his detachment of Fusiliers made a fighting withdrawal to those same shelled, bombed and air-straffed beaches,” explained Ian, now 83. “My dad was a veteran of the Fusiliers in the First World War, the White Russian Revolution of 1919, the Sean Fein problems in Ireland, and then a seven-year tour of duty on the North West Frontier of India. “What happened at Dunkirk, however, seemed to have eclipsed many of his other war experiences.” After the war, Joe, who died in 1983 aged 82, would share some of his experiences. But only as time has gone on does Ian wish he had listened more carefully to his stories, to dates, and to names of towns and villages they fought through to reach the Dunkirk beach. The lack of detail, however, has not stopped Ian from writing down what he does know after seeing the Dunkirk movie in Edinburgh. And now the author of 10 other books, who himself served with the Fusiliers during his National Service days, is considering writing his father’s experiences up as a book. “The Fusiliers had set themselves up in a deserted farmhouse, but supplies were running short, communications breaking down, and shells falling,” explained Ian. “My dad commandeered an ambulance and, with Fusiliers Grieves and O’Neill for support, scavenged food from abandoned villages for the men. “The three were piling tins into the ambulance, when German infantry entered the other end of the street and opened fire. “They sped down a narrow road, turned a sharp bend and a tank barred their way. A long skid of clamped brakes before they recognised it was British. “It was from the tank commander he learned Belgium was out of the war and the French were struggling. “The word is head for the coast. A place called Dunkirk. They’ll lift you back to Blighty from there. Our orders are to slow up the German advance as best we can.” The Fusiliers put up a roadblock to manage refugees but the task was hopeless. It was being swamped by the harrowing sight of the very young, the elderly, the ill, the exhausted trudging with what belongings they could carry, discarding some as they went. “Dunkirk was well ablaze when they arrived, “ explained Ian, “with exposed troops on the open beach waiting evacuation with shells falling, screaming stukas bombing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdAaZFpxdLM Joe was reported missing when he went searching for two missing colleagues. The building where he had been standing was destroyed in a stuka raid. But he and his comrades survived, only to find that when they reached the beach the Fusiliers had gone. Wading into the sea, they were picked up by a small boat, taken out to a destroyer, and clambered aboard. Joe and the exhausted survivors were whisked off to Lyme Regis in Dorset, where they joined thousands of troops from many different regiments already sprawled in deep sleep. Meanwhile, back in Dunkeld, Ian’s mother received a telegram to say her husband – his dad- was safe and armed with a week’s leave. He returned by bus to a heroes’ welcome. “My father’s Dunkirk story will be similar to thousands of others who were in that historic rescue from the jaws of a military disaster,” added Ian, who still has his dad’s Dunkirk glengarry and keeps it next to his own from 16 years later. “Like me, the new film will have stirred memories of those few who still have links to those dire days. Like me, they will recognise heroes and be proud.”

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