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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…

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

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.

Perth & Kinross

Sausages are far from bo(a)ring

December 16 2012

A PERTHSHIRE farmer is claiming a world first for a new product he will launch at the last Perth farmers’ market of the year today. Browsers at the popular event staged in King Edward Street will be able to sample Scottish wild boar salami. Hilton Wild Boar, based at Hilton Farm by Bridge of Earn, has notched up nearly 1,000 market attendances since they took their first tentative steps almost 14 years ago into the world of farmers’ markets. “Looking back, it was a very simple affair,” said Andrew Johnston, who farms with his father Douglas and cousin Willie. In the intervening years they have developed many different products from their free range European Wild Boar, with their biggest seller being the range of speciality sausages. Today sees a new product being introduced to his loyal customers. “A world first, I believe, a trio of 100% Scottish wild boar salamis. “A decade or so ago, I promised some of my customers that I would be making a continental salami for them. “I didn’t realise that it was going to be such a slow burn,” Andrew added. Today he will have a spicy Spanish-type choritzo, a red wine with fennel and a ginger spiced Milano.

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

Dundee

2018 Burgess Short Story Competition — read all the winning entries

March 22 2018

The winner of the fifth Dundee Burgess charity short story competition is St John’s RC High School pupil Lewis Neilson. Third-year pupil Lewis was picked unanimously by judges for his short story Gold Digger. Shortlisted competition entrants attended a special prizegiving ceremony in the City Chambers, hosted by the Lord Provost Ian Borthwick. Participants from all of the schools in the city boundaries were eligible to take part and had to write a short piece of prose, 650-800 words in length focused on a particular theme. This year the competition entries had to involve a character born into a close-knit family living in abject poverty. As part of the plot, a part of the family suddenly comes into a fortune, with the youngsters then having to explore how the fortune was acquired and whether the dynamic within the family changed. Competition judge Catriona MacInnes, acting editor of The Courier, said Lewis and his fellow contestants produced stories of a very high quality. She said: “This year’s competition was of an exceptional standard. The pupils really got to grips with the storyline and they are all to be congratulated. “It was so tight that my fellow judges and I had a tough time deciding the order of the top three – there was a great deal of debate and discussion, but in the end it was a unanimous decision. “The winning entry stood out because it really painted a vivid picture and the ending was perfect. Lewis should be really proud.” Lewis and runners-up Emily Crawford and Lucy Johnston will all enjoy a tour of The Courier offices at Meadowside, as well as having their stories published on our website (see below). Mr Borthwick, who handed over the prizes at Wednesday’s celebration, said the city should be proud to have so many talented youngsters. He said: “Congratulations to all the winners who have done such an impressive job. “Some of the stories were quite moving and you could tell they had all put a tremendous amount of effort into their work. “Thanks are due of course to their parents, carers and teachers who have supported them in their endeavours. “Each story was written to a very impressive standard and it was good to see they had such a good grasp of language and history.” The Burgess charity was established in 2011 by former Lord Provost John Letford and a number of business people from across the city.   The winning essays   First place — Gold Digger, by Lewis Neilson (St John’s RC High School) The bitter breeze whistled and hissed as it crept through the derelict cracks in our wall, awakening my two brothers and me from our uneasy slumber. Every morning was the same, battling against the sheer coldness. Helpless. Left to curl up next to each other under our rough jackets as the wind jabbed away at our numb skin like a thousand needles at once. Yet, although money was certainly an issue for us, it seemed to bring us closer together as a family. We’d spend our evenings together, cosying up around our only source of light, a dim candle. Nothing could separate us; at least that’s what I thought… I remember it perfectly… every detail, the turning point in my life. We were congregated on the damp floor, telling our stories of the day’s harsh struggles, unable to feel much of our bodies as we nibbled on the remaining rations of bread. My mother and I spoke of our day at the local jute mill, Verdant Works. Each day was the same for us: a prolonged depressing walk to the factory, the towering chimneys towering high above the surrounding buildings as thick black smoke coughed from them, choking the air. Inside, everything seemed so vast. The machines groaned and whined from years of use; nothing ever fell still. Each day we tackled the deafening cacophony that shattered our ears and the thick dust which clogged our airways. Our coughing became relentless. I was a small, scrawny child, perfect for crawling under the working machines to recover any bits of jute which had fallen through. Sweat would pore like rivers down my forehead as I’d anxiously try to keep all my limbs attached to my body and all for a ‘generous’ few shillings a week. My father and two brothers didn’t have it any easier. They slaved away at the grimy coalmines over the Tay in Fife. They would work ridiculous hours in ridiculous conditions under ridiculous circumstances, all for a very ridiculous pay. Nevertheless, my father would never complain. He was a caring, considerate and commendable man always putting others first no matter what. His smile was infectious. He was our hero, a role model whom we were so very proud of, bringing light to our faces on the darkest of days and his inviting, gentle voice always warmed up the room in the coldest of hours. He deserved so much more than this. He told us about the claustrophobic tunnels he’d be trapped in for eight hours at a time and we listened in awe. He’d emerge from the hell hole unrecognisable, covered from top to toe in thick black soot and although seeing him stumble through the door from work brought me relief, I could never contain a chuckle. Just when we all seemed to be dozing off and the light was slowly dying as the candle flickered vulnerably from the passing breeze, I could tell my father had news. His face was beaming and masked with excitement when he finally told us, “Th'day wis different, ah fun something doon th' coal mines, tis worth a lot 'n' wull dae this fowk a hail load o' guid.” Our eyes widened and we all eagerly leaned forward in anticipation as good news was certainly not a common occurrence in our household. He reached for his ripped jacket and revealed a handkerchief. Resting it in the palm of his hand, he delicately unfolded it, corner by corner revealing the contents inside. I couldn’t make out what I was faced with, but my brother broke the silence, stuttering as he spoke, “Na wey is that whit ah thinks it is?” “Tis gold, real gold, we're aff tae be th' richest fowk in Dundee,” my father replied frantically. We all slept like babies that night knowing it could quite possibly be the last night in this derelict, dehumanising space. We woke like we always did, although the bitter breeze seemed to be gentler on us this morning and the wind’s needles seemed to be nonexistent. The three of us bolted into the room where mother and father had slept, expecting to join an enthusiastic conversation of what we planned to do with our newly found fortune. We were stopped in our tracks. Instead, we were faced with mother helplessly bawling her eyes out as she held a letter in her withered, shaking hands. The letter read: “I’m sorry bit i’ve gaen, gaen wi' th' fortuin in search fur a freish oncom, a freish life… tis whit ah wantit”. All of a sudden, the needles were back, worse than ever. My heart sunk. Crushed, I faced reality. Bitter betrayal.  My beloved father had broken us; left us stranded and hung us out to dry. I learned a very important lesson that day, “All that glitters is not gold…..”   Second place — Cardboard Tables, by Emily Mary Crawford (Grove Academy) Joshua lay wide-awake with his baby brother beside him. His stomach was rumbling like thunder. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten a hot meal. He lay staring at the bare, depressing room that surrounded them with its single stained-mattress, an upside down cardboard box they used as a table, and a bin bag overflowing with rusty pots and torn clothing. The wallpaper was peeling off, mouldy spots dotted the ceiling, and the carpet was too revolting for bare feet. Joshua turned onto his side. When his foot exited the cocoon of warmth beneath the patched-up blanket, it made contact with the unrelenting cold. His foot jerked sideways. For a minute he panicked and spun around to check behind him. Thankfully George was still in a deep sleep. He let out a sigh of relief. His mother hadn’t paid the gas bills yet. He hadn’t seen her in days. This was unfortunately a common occurrence. Suddenly, the noise of the front door lock caused Joshua to bolt upright. George was still sleeping soundly. He could sleep through Armageddon, he thought to himself. He turned his attention to the bedroom door creaking open, only to be greeted by the sight of his mother carrying a white polybag. The strong scent of fish and chips wafted around the room. Does she have a chipper? His stomach roared at the thought. 'Joshua,' his mother whispered cheerily, ‘Wake George. I've got food.' This was odd. They couldn’t afford takeaways. Joshua was about to ask her how, when the growling of his stomach interrupted him. It would be better to eat first, then ask questions later. The three of them sat crouched over the cardboard box with the polystyrene container ceremoniously placed in the centre. Joshua was salivating at the sensational smell of malt vinegar fish and chips. ‘Mum, how’d you ge-’ ‘Joshua,’ his mother interrupted in a threatening tone. He stopped talking, not asking her again.  Despite the awkward atmosphere, and eating in silence, the taste was breath taking. The secrecy of this new supply of money continued for weeks. In that time, they were given new clothes, regular meals, new furniture and a television even appeared! But the question still lingered. Where was the money coming from? One night after dinner, George had been sent to bed early, his mother wanted to speak with him. ‘We’re moving to the ferry.’ ‘What, how?!’ ‘Shh, you’ll wake George.’ ‘Are you borrowing money again?!” Joshua asked, indignantly. “Joshua!” his mother gasped. She was embarrassed, she hated it when he mentioned loans. But he wanted answers. The arguing continued for several more minutes until she blurted, ‘Fine!’ she snapped, ‘It's from your father.’ Joshua paused. His mother never talked their father who hadn’t visited them in years. They had almost forgotten about him. His mother noticed his hesitation, and her scowl softened, ‘Your father passed away a couple of weeks ago. He left his money to us, along with a small company he owned. But there’s one condition: that you two must go to boarding school.’ It wasn’t what he’d expected. The inheritance was one thing but he had to go to a boarding school. Eventually, George would have to go too. Their mother would be alone. He was at a loss of words. He nodded and went to bed, struggling to absorb all this information. Joshua lay wide-awake staring at the now-cosy room that surrounded him. The cardboard box was gone, replaced with a birchwood table. Cupboards filled with clothes and toys lined the walls, and instead of one shared mattress, bunk beds took its place. He couldn’t picture going to boarding school. He couldn't picture being separated from his mother or George. But eventually, he would have to go. How could he refuse this condition? If he didn’t follow the will word for word, they would lose everything. If he stayed, the will would be null and void. He would never allow that to happen. He would go. With his decision made, he surrendered to a restless sleep. Three months passed and Joshua was about to board a flight for boarding school in London. Nervously, he approached security. His knees turned to mush, and his hands were clammy. He felt extremely anxious. He wouldn’t fit in; he accepted that. What worried him was George. When he looked back at George, he looked so small and appeared as if he was about to burst into tears. Joshua felt a jab at his chest. He wanted to run back and tell him that he’d stay there with him. But instead, he waved goodbye to them both and proceeded through security.     Third place — A Catastrophic Fortune, by Lucy Johnston (St Paul’s Academy) The wind was bitter and crisp. Each surface, more glacial than the last. The rain, battering against the roof, producing a sound that can only be described as the rolling, rumble of waves against the sea shore. The air forced it’s way through the cracks in the windows, through the slit in the base of the door, surrounding each room with a blanket of wintery frost. The wooden floorboards were damp from a leak in the ceiling and the stench had made it’s way into every single piece of furniture they owned. The accommodation had a sombre feel; the presence of nothingness would even unease the dangerous beings of the dark. A snarl radiated from a dingy corner, reverberating throughout the house. A mess of a man emerged from a heap of torn rags (of which he called ‘a bed’) on the splintering boards. “Shut up Bert, you old mutt!” The mongrel stared at it’s owner. “It’s only rain!” A feeble figure of a twenty-four-year-old looked at the beast. His hair, dishevelled and dense, blanketed his head and his once-fitting clothes now baggier than the eyes of an insomniac. His bones as visible as a solitary lantern in a dark forest. He shuffled towards a cracked window pane, behind his so-called bed, and peered out to the almost deserted street, to see the horse and cart of the rag and bone man, then he noticed his brother, Samuel, delivering newspapers. Samuel was a young, healthy teen, small for his age, but with a heart too big for his chest. He had always been the tidiest of his brothers, caring about his looks more than his physical health. The spectator shakily lifted a bottle of cheap gin to his pale, cracked lips. The door swung open. “Edward! Are you drinking again!?” Samuel bellowed. “Why would it matter to you?” Edward grunted. Samuel looked down in disappointment. “Is there any money for dinner?” “No, we used it to sole your shoes, remember?” Edward replied. “But we had some left...” “And I was tired of being sober.” Samuel stormed out in disbelief, slamming the door so forcefully that the entire house shook. Edward sighed, “More for me, I guess.” He took another swig of the alcoholic beverage. Edward had always admired his brother, Samuel, so hardworking, so determined, so caring but sometimes his temper would get the best of him. Victor, on the other hand, had always been led by his aspirations: singing in the local church choir. Victor would regularly participate in singing competitions. In fact, he was doing one right now, in which the grand prize was a bursary placement in London Royal National Theatre. Edward gulped down another mouthful of the burning liquid. After their father, William, died of the drink, their mother, Margaret, took her own life, unable to bear the agonising grief. Although Samuel and Victor were coping as best as they could, Edward was suffering from low mood and his nerves. He too had now taken to the drink. Edward looked at the calendar,  ’28 December 1879.’ He had almost forgotten that Christmas had been three days ago, not that he would have celebrated anyway. He took another shot of gin. Edward remembered the last time he felt any sort of happiness. He took a train across the Tay Bridge to Fife, with his brothers, to have a nice family day out. It was a lovely summer’s afternoon, if he tried hard enough he could almost feel that gentle sun on his face. They visited Balmerino and the Abbey ruins. But, since then, everything had gone downhill. He had just stopped caring about life and started to wish death upon himself. Edward looked at the almost empty bottle of gin. He laughed, as he had even impressed himself by the amount of alcohol he had consumed. Edward crawled over to his ‘bed’, covering himself in the rags, he heard a familiar monotone voice. “You’ve disappointed me, Edward. You’ve disappointed your entire family. Just given up, already!” “Dad! You’re not real!” Edward screamed, as he realised he was hallucinating. Edward opened one last bottle of the intoxicating solvent, and downed it entirely. He stared at the clock, which read ‘7:15pm.’ He closed his eyes, as his life slowly began to ebb away. ****** Samuel burst through the door, almost snapping the hinges “THE TAY BRIDGE COLLA…” Samuel stared at Edward’s inanimate body. “Edward…? Edward…EDWARD!” Samuel was standing over Edward’s body, deprived of all life. His skin was blue and colder than ice. His eyes, no longer a window to the soul, but rather a window to nothingness. This was the only time that Edward had seemed so…’alive.’ Bert lay still in the corner, unaware of all the events that had just unfolded. Victor barged through the doorway. “I’VE WON!” Click here for more on the Burgess Short Story Competition

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. © SuppliedTayside musician Eddie Cairney 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. “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. “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!” © PAQueensferry Crossing Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. 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.”   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. “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. 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.” © SuppliedEddie Cairney 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. 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

Rare Edward I silver penny discovered in field

January 16 2014

A coin has been uncovered in the Mearns which may have been carried by one of King Edward’s army during the Scottish Wars of Independence. Former Stonehaven man Keith Knight, who has been metal detecting for more than 20 years, recently found his oldest coin to date in fields close to the harbour. The coin was a long cross silver penny of the reign of Edward I, king of England (1272-1307), which was minted in Bristol during the period of 1272-1304. Many of Mr Knight’s finds, including his latest penny, are on show at the Tolbooth Museum in Stonehaven. A museum spokesman said: “Edward I, king of England from 1272 to 1307 and nicknamed Hammer of the Scots and Edward Longshanks, campaigned in Scotland in the 1290s to capture William Wallace and get control over Scotland. “He is known to have invaded Scotland with an army of around 40-60,000 men, and allegedly crossed the Causy Mounth road and camped at Durris Castle and at Kincardine O’Neil. “It is possible that this particular coin may have been carried by one of Edward’s soldiers. “Keith has also found a similar Edward I long cross penny in the Banchory area, which further suggests that Edward’s army reached the north-east of Scotland.” The long cross silver penny was known as such because the cross went the full diameter of the coin. This was done so clipping was prevented or reduced to a minimum. People could be hanged if they were caught taking chunks out of the king’s coins. Mr Knight, who now lives in Banchory, has found other coins in the same fields around Stonehaven, including an Elizabeth I silver sixpence dated 1597, a James VI silver groat dated 1605 and many Charles I and II copper coins, including Turners and Bodles (half groats), and also Cartwheel two and one penny pieces dated 1795. He has also found many personal items such as Dandy Buttons, thimbles, and Georgian and Victorian costume jewellery. The coin finds have been registered with Treasure Trove Scotland and assessed by archaeologist Natasha Ferguson. Mr Knight also has a possible bronze spear head or sword fragment found in the same fields around Stonehaven. It is believed to be more than 1,500 years old, and is being assessed by Treasure Trove Scotland. Over the years, Mr Knight has detected all over the UK with finds as early as Roman coins and brooches from the 1st and 2nd Century AD. The Tolbooth Museum is now on its winter hours, opening only on Saturday and Sunday afternoons until the beginning of April.

Perth & Kinross

Harlow Edwards tragedy: Driver who killed tot had been calling, texting and using Facetime at the wheel before crash

September 15 2017

A man has admitted killing a two-year-old girl in Perthshire after his car mounted the pavement. Harlow Edwards was walking along the pavement with two other children – aged six and 17 at the time – when two cars crashed on the road close to them in Coupar Angus on October 13 last year. A Ford Focus driven by Luke Pirie mounted the pavement hitting all three, instantly killing Harlow and throwing the others over a roadside wall. At the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday, 23-year-old Pirie pled guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He had passed his driving test just a year before and was said to be “worked up” and angry as he left his work at Scone Airport in Perth to travel to his partner’s house in Montrose. Advocate Depute Iain McSporran QC told the court Pirie was seen speeding through Coupar Angus and had used his mobile for calls, texts and a Facetime before the crash. CCTV showed the Ford Focus speeding behind a line of traffic moments before the crash, prompting sighs from the Edwards family in court. The cars in front had slowed as a Citroen signalled to turn right but Pirie pulled out and tried to overtake the traffic, colliding with the Citreon at around 50mph as it began to turn. Mr McSporran said the accused lost control of his car which spun and mounted the pavement where the children were walking after getting off a bus from Dundee. Harlow suffered “multiple severe injuries” while the 17-year-old suffered bleeding on the brain and a spinal fracture which left her in a wheel chair for three months. The other child suffered a skull fracture and permanent scarring in the crash. Defence lawyer Mark Stewart QC said his client “wrongly believed it was a stationary line of traffic” when he tried to overtake. A victim impact statement from Harlow’s mother, Sara, was read to the court in which she said she had been “robbed of a lifetime of memories”. Mrs Edwards said she cries herself to sleep every night and now expects bad news every time the phone rings. Pirie was remanded in custody with the case adjourned to October 4 for sentencing. Judge Lord Ericht told him: “Because of what you did Harlow will never return home.”

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