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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Angus & The Mearns

Organisers promise Arbroath Sea Fest will be bigger and better this year

April 10 2014

Arbroath Sea Fest is heading back to the town for another year, with this August’s event promising to be even bigger and better. The event will take place on August 9 and 10, and gives people a chance to sample the coastal town’s rich maritime heritage. “After the breathtaking success of last year’s weekend-long event, we’re pulling out all the stops to ensure this year’s two-day programme of seaside celebrations is packed full of even more fun, even more live music and even more things to see and do,” said chairman Marco Macari. “We have a few surprises planned for this year’s event and we’re always looking for new ideas. “If anyone has any thoughts about activities or events we could include in Sea Fest 2014, please contact our event manager, Eleanor Whitby, by emailing Eleanor@redpepperevents.com.” More than 25,000 people flocked to the 2013 Sea Fest, ensuring a large tourism boost for the area. Councillor Alex King, a member of the Sea Fest committee said: “Sea Fest has well and truly established itself as a super day out for all the family and attracts visitors from near and far. “Last year’s record-breaking crowds were great news for Arbroath and the surrounding area, not only because so many people came along and had a great time, but because many of them used their visit as an excuse to see more of Arbroath, boosting the local economy and further enhancing our town’s reputation as a must-visit destination.”

Angus & The Mearns

Record attendance expected for 2011 Arbroath Sea Fest

July 2 2011

Organisers of the Arbroath Sea Fest have revealed that more than 30,000 visitors are expected at this summer's event. Angus traders looking to take up a stall have been urged to book in early for the festival, held on August 13 and 14. An array of local food, produce and specialist seafood will be on offer, in addition to music and entertainment in a number of the town's pubs. Event director Eleanor Whitby said, "The Sea Fest cookery demonstrations are always very popular. "Demonstrations take place from lunchtime onwards on Saturday and Sunday and offer chefs from across Angus and Dundee an excellent chance to show off their cooking skills." Fish trader Ian Spink will take up his usual pitch, selling fresh Arbroath smokies, while Sharon Teviotdale of Arbroath Quality Fish will provide a variety of options. She said, "At Sea Fest, we focus on cooked seafood which visitors can sample there and then. This is our third time at Sea Fest. "Having a stall is a great way of telling people who we are and what we do, which, in turn, boosts sales." Several groups have signed up to perform, including Arbroath Instrumental Band, Angus Folk Group and Thomson Leng Productions. In addition, a swashbuckling band of pirates will be on walk-about duty to entertain the crowds and provide a re-enactment on the Sunday. "Arbroath's pirate links go back to medieval days," said Bill Smith of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes. "According to legend, Ralph the Rover cut the original bell from the Bell Rock so he could salvage the cargoes of the ships that would then be smashed against the reef and there are also historical accounts of a pirate attack on Arbroath." Councillor Donald Morrison said, "At a time when people are increasingly holidaying at home, Sea Fest is an excellent way of encouraging people across the United Kingdom to discover for themselves how much there is to do and see in Arbroath."

Angus & The Mearns

Sun shines on another successful Sea Fest spectacular in Arbroath

August 6 2012

Scotland's summer finally put a smile on the faces of outdoor event organisers including the team behind the successful Sea Fest in Abroath. A fine weekend drew thousands of visitors to the harbour area, with no shortage of events and attractions for locals and tourists to enjoy. With blue skies and another good crowd, the Sea Fest committee were delighted their hard work pulling together an event which has now been running for 16 years was rewarded. Event director Eleanor Whitby, of Red Pepper Events, said Saturday in particular had been a hit, with an estimated 15,000 flocking to the marina and Beacon Green area. Many Sea Fest favourites made their regular appearance but there were also new attractions, including Kimber's Men from West Yorkshire, whose skilled singing performance captivated the crowds. As well as taking to the Beacon Green stage, the men gave impromptu performances around the Sea Fest on both days, with songs including their own poignant tribute to the RNLI, Don't Take the Heroes. Written in the wake of the 1981 Penlee lifeboat disaster when eight volunteer lifeboatmen were among 16 people who perished in heavy Cornish seas after the coaster Union Star's engines failed, the song and its sentiments made a strong impact on the Arbroath crowd. Ms Whitby said: ''Kimber's Men were a big hit and hopefully we will have them back at Sea Fest. All of the bands we had went down very well over the two days.'' Maritime and military history also featured strongly in displays and performances by groups including the Royal Observer Corps and Arbroath Time Themes, with the town's own lifeboat staging a launch on both days. Stallholders said they were delighted to finally see the sun put in an appearance to allow families the chance to enjoy a day out without having to keep umbrellas at the ready. Angus depute provost and Sea Fest committee member Alex King said: ''I'm very pleased with the way the weather turned out and that helped make things very busy.''

Angus & The Mearns

Crowds come out for 20th Arbroath Seafest

August 14 2016

An Angus town welcomed thousands of people to a weekend of events celebrating its maritime heritage. Arbroath Seafest marked its 20th year of drawing crowds with a mixture of demonstrations, stalls, competitive pie-eating, strong men and women, fairground attractions, raft racing, and a re-enacted fisher wedding. More than 30,000 people were expected to attended the event with organisers hopeful of eclipsing last year's total. A packed programme included a performance by local youth dance group Showcase the Street, a demonstration rescue by Arbroath’s RNLI lifeboat crew, live music from several of the area’s top bands, and a charity It’s a Knockout competition. In addition, there was the annual raft race across the harbour, and a cookery demonstration from Arbroath’s former MasterChef Professionals champion, Jamie Scott. Mr Scott, who runs The Newport in Newport-on-Tay, prepared an array of scallops, clams from Tentsmuir in Fife, and hake in front of an appreciative audience. He said: “In the kitchen, seasonality is key. “Whatever the time of year, we have so many great ingredients in the local area that are fresh and great for cooking now.” Eleanor Whitby, of management team Red Pepper Events, said: “I’d like to thank the volunteers who are on the festival committee. "It wouldn’t be possible to do this without them. “This is the 10th year we’ve been managing the Seafest and it’s now 20 years old. “Its popularity has always been down to the people of Arbroath and all of our visitors who come to see all the great things that the town has to offer.” The early sun drew huge crowds for Saturday’s day events, with mild Sunday’s programme drawing more attention as the day progressed. This included the return of one of the most fondly remembered activities from early Seafests – the Fishers’ Wedding, re-enacted by members of Thomson Leng Musical Society and Youth Musical Theatre.

Angus & The Mearns

Fisher wedding to return for 20th year of celebrated festival

May 13 2016

Plans have been announced for the 20th anniversary celebrations of Arbroath Sea Fest. There will be a full weekend of fun, music, boats and memories on August 13 and 14. “To mark our 20th anniversary, we’re delighted to be bringing back one of the most popular attractions from the early days of Arbroath Sea Fest — the fisher wedding,” said Marco Macari, chairman of the volunteer Arbroath Sea Fest Committee. “After the success of last year’s contest in the marina, Arbroath Sea Fest’s raft race will be taking place again this year, along with a new event — a fundraising ‘It’s a Knockout’. “This will enable local charities and organisations to raise much-needed funds by being sponsored to take part in some crazy challenges and activities, with a £100 prize for the winning team.” Other events taking place at and around Arbroath Harbour will include live music, cookery demos, children’s activities and daily opportunities to watch Arbroath’s RNLI lifeboat power down the slipway into the sea for a rescue re-enactment. Eleanor Whitby of Red Pepper Events has been managing Arbroath Sea Fest for 10 years. She said: “Last year, 30,000 people attended Arbroath Sea Fest and in our 20th anniversary year, we expect many people to make a special trip to Arbroath to join in with our celebrations.” Eleanor added that the Sea Fest Committee is keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in the two-day festival. Organisations who would like to help out behind the scenes or participate in the entertainment can email info@redpepperevents.com.


Four generations come together for Fife veteran’s 100th birthday charity celebration

April 7 2017

Four family generations will celebrate a D-Day veteran's  100th birthday year by raising money for charity. Dedicated Christian Aid supporter, the Reverend Douglas Tucker will be turning 100 this year. So to mark the occasion, three generations of his family are going to join him when he takes part in the charity’s annual sponsored walk across the Tay Bridge on April 29. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpLXZ1zaAQI The D-Day landings veteran, who lives in St Andrews and is a member of Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, has taken part in the Tay Bridge Cross for the past 16 years, raising thousands of pounds for Christian Aid. However, in recent years he has only been able to complete the sponsored cross in a wheelchair, so a member of his family has always been on hand to help. This year, however, he will be joined not only by his son Peter, 55, who lives in Edinburgh, but by granddaughter Katherine Chilvers, 47, and eldest great granddaughter Eleanor Chilvers, 17. They will be travelling up from Worcestershire to lend their support to ensure the day is a memorable one. The retired minister, originally from Swansea, is one of Christian Aid’s oldest and longest serving supporters, having been involved with the charity since its beginnings in 1945 when it was created to help refugees in Europe after the war. He collected for the charity during the very first Christian Aid week. Eleanor, who is currently studying for her A levels, said: “This year will be very special for my family, celebrating our great-grandpa turning 100. “Christian Aid means so much to him having been involved with the charity for an incredible 72 years. “In one way or another, he has dedicated his life to helping others so it will be a great honour for me to help him take part in the sponsored cross raising funds for those less privileged than ourselves”. Christian Aid’s events coordinator Amy Menzies added: “It has been fantastic to see Douglas take part in the sponsored bridge cross for the past 16 years and what an achievement to still be taking part just short of his 100th birthday. “It will be great to see four generations of the Tucker family crossing the bridge this year, it will make the event that extra bit special”. Douglas’s and Eleanor’s sponsorship page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GreatgrandpaandEllie. To sign up for the walk, which runs from 2pm, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk/scotland/whats-happening-near-you/events.aspx for more information.

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

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.


Hundreds come to learn about their past in Dundee

April 6 2013

Hundreds of people found out how to trace their ancestors after taking part in a free family history event held in Dundee. The Tayroots Family History Day, part of the Tartan Day Scotland Festival 2013, attracted around 300 people to the Discovery Point Antarctic Museum. Speakers included genealogist Chris Paton and Malcolm Valentine, a descendant of one of Dundee’s publishing families, who revealed the part photographs can play in tracing family. The Courier’s antiques columnist Norman Watson, local historian John Irvine and ancestral consultant Marie Dougan also shared their expertise. Everyone went away with the knowledge to dig deeper according to event organiser Eleanor Whitby. She said: “The day went incredibly well and we are all really pleased with its success. “We had around 300 people through the door over the course of the day and the feedback has been phenomenal. We had a real mixture of people from all ages and stages of research. “A lot of beginners who came first thing in the morning were still there at the end, having taken part in every workshop and spoken to every expert. “Quite a few people had been doing their own research at home and gone quite far back but hit a stumbling block. The professionals were able to help those people by telling them where to go next so they can go further in their quest.” “People seemed very excited to find so much information in one place.” She added it was great to be able to give people the opportunity for free thanks to funding provided through the Tartan Day Festival. Festival events will continue today with a Tartan Day parade and fair in the centre of Carnoustie from 10.30am and a Highland dancing competition in the community centre in Arbroath from 10am to 4pm.