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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...

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.

Angus & The Mearns

Calls to repair damaged Barry Road in Carnoustie before it “collapses”

August 5 2011

Calls have been made to repair an Angus road that is near a "state of collapse". Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd has contacted Angus Council officers to express concerns on the state of the town's Barry Road, after being alerted to its poor condition. Eddie Wilmott of the town's community council brought the matter to the elected member's attention, after becoming fed up with work being done to put temporary patches on problem areas. He claimed there were increasing "depressions" in the surface on the road, which sits between Victoria Street and Pitskelly Road. Mr Wilmott said, "Undoubtedly only a matter of time before it reaches the state of collapse, with the main sewer beneath no doubt. "In the interest of safety and general maintenance, let alone upgrade, I would like to know when we can best expect that this area of the arterial roadway will be properly resurfaced instead of continuing with the current arrangement of continual hotch-potch splurges of patchwork tarmac." Mr Boyd said he was well aware of the state of the road, adding that the matter had been reported already this summer.'Dreadful'He said, "I have noticed the dreadful state of this road and emailed the head of the roads division in early July about timescales, and had a meeting with a roads engineer and a roads manager on July 21 to discuss this matter on site. "Scottish Water have now finally completed their works and I am learning fast that they, along with Network Rail, are a law unto themselves. There will be a complete resurface between Victoria Street and James Street by the end of the year. "I have tried to bring this date forward but, as other arteries into other towns are being dealt with first, I have had limited success. "I have also tried to get a further area up to the first roundabout to the artery totally resurfaced, but have been informed budgets will not stretch to this. "We are all aware of the under-investment Carnoustie has received in the past and Carnoustie residents can be assured I am doing my utmost to see a reversal in this situation. On a more positive note, the area of Dundee Street will be started this month."

Angus & The Mearns

Calls for Carnoustie’s Barry Road to be repaired before it collapses

August 5 2011

Calls were made for the repair of an Angus road that is near a "state of collapse." Carnoustie councillor Brian Boyd has contacted Angus Council officers to express concerns on the state of the town's Barry Road, after being alerted to its poor condition. Eddie Wilmott of the town's community council brought the matter to the councillor's attention after becoming fed up with work being done to put temporary patches on problem areas. He claimed there were increasing "depressions" in the surface on the road, which sits between Victoria Street and Pitskelly Road. "Undoubtedly (it's) only a matter of time before it reaches the state of collapse, with the main sewer beneath no doubt," said Mr Wilmott. "In the interest of safety and general maintenance, let alone upgrade, I would like to know when we can best expect that this area of the arterial roadway will be properly resurfaced instead of continuing with the current arrangement of continual hotch-potch splurges of patchwork tarmac." Mr Boyd said he was well aware of the state of the road, adding that the matter had been reported already this summer. He said, "I have noticed the dreadful state of this road and emailed the head of the roads division in early July about timescales, and had a meeting with a roads engineer and a roads manager on July 21 to discuss this matter on site. "Scottish Water have now finally completed their works and I am learning fast that they, along with Network Rail, are a law unto themselves. "There will be a complete resurface between Victoria Street and James Street by the end of the year. "I have tried to bring this date forward but, as other arteries into other towns are being dealt with first, I have had limited success. "I have also tried to get a further area up to the first roundabout to the artery totally resurfaced, but have been informed budgets will not stretch to this. "We are all aware of the under-investment Carnoustie has received in the past and Carnoustie residents can be assured I am doing my utmost to see a reversal in this situation. "On a more positive note, the area of Dundee Street will be started this month."

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

Dundee

First man to drive across the Tay Road Bridge is immortalised in song by Tayside songwriter

February 14 2017

A former Dundee student who made history by becoming the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge when it opened in 1966 has been immortalised in song by an award-winning Tayside song writer. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called Tay Road Bridge which features a song dedicated to Welshman Hugh Pincott, now of Plymouth. The song ‘A dragon ow’r the Tay’, tells how Hugh, then a chemistry student at Queen’s College, Dundee, draped  a Welsh dragon flag over his car when he made the crossing from Dundee to Fife on the day of the bridge’s official opening on August 18, 1966. Eddie, who was inspired by Hugh’s visit to Dundee during the Tay Road Bridge’s 50th anniversary celebrations last summer, said: “When I read the story of Hugh being the first person over the bridge, I thought it was a great subject for a song. “ Hugh, who was awarded the first Phd from the new Dundee University, which also celebrates its 50th birthday this August, said of the song: “It’s unbelievable. I feel both humbled and honoured to be featured in verse and music by such a talented, well-known Scots artiste like Eddie. I am already collecting his albums!" Eddie, 64, says his Tay Road Bridge album should have been out “ages ago”. But he is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. Last year 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. Other songs on Eddie’s Tay Road Bridge album include:  A' doonhill tae Dundee -  a comical look at the outcome of Tay FM's poll to find a slogan to promote Dundee in 2002. It refers to the slope of the bridge from the Fife to Dundee side;  A right royal landfill  - which takes a swipe at the decision of the city fathers to destroy the city’s famous  Royal Arch; Beautiful road bridge of the River Tay -  pays tribute to William Topas McGonagall and speculates that if had still been around in 1966, he wouldn't have missed a trick; Fifies -  a nostalgic look at the former Tay ferries, and  Hanfaes  o' notes – which is all about the alleged corruption at Dundee city council in the 1970s. The songs are available via iTunes - https://soundcloud.com/albdemec/sets/tay-road-bridge or via Eddie’s website www.eddiecairney.com A dragon ow’r the Tay Verse 1 On the seventeenth of August in the year o’ 1966 A car drove awa fae the Blackie tae be the first ane in the que Verse 2 He gambled on a day’n a half jist tae keep on the safe side And settled doon wi’ the books an’ the spam’n the juice But the polis moved him on Verse 3 But Hugh was not to be undone so he set his sights on 7 o’clock So he went hame an’e dreamt o’ fame then he timed it tae a tee Chorus Then ou’r the bridge went the wee black car Wi a dragon tae the fore fur abudy tae see As it gaed ou’r the Firth o’ Tay joinin’ Fife, Wales and Dundee Verse 4 Sergeant Noble said “you’re first to go” And Hugh said “oh I know it is the shortest route” But it turned oot someone had just tossed a coin Verse 5 Place was right but the reason wrong And Hugh had been right all along And the press jumped in and aff they went And the car started first time Chorus x 3

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

‘Just had the best kebab in my life’ charity walker enjoying taste of Angus

January 6 2014

An ex-serviceman who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) passed through Angus at the weekend as part of a mammoth fundraising walk. Eddie Craven is working his way up the east coast of Scotland after setting off from Exeter on August 26 in a bid to walk around the UK. After crossing the Tay Bridge on Friday, the 39-year-old made his way through the city and on to Monifieth, where he sampled the town’s culinary delights. In a Facebook post he said: “Just had the best kebab in my life; better than good it was outstanding. I’ve never seen anything like it, it was the size of a car tyre!” Eddie arrived in Arbroath on Saturday and continued up the coast towards Montrose and the Mearns over the weekend. He aims to boost awareness of PTSD while raising funds for Veterans Aid. He suffered from the condition after completing service in Bosnia and Northern Ireland. His ultimate goal is to set up a sanctuary for ex-service personnel. The walk is Eddie’s second attempt at the challenge after being forced to abandon a previous effort through injury. To follow his progress or make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Eddie-Coast.

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.

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