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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...

UK & World

Are Oasis reforming for Manchester tribute gig?

June 1 2017

Rumours are circulating that Britpop legends Oasis are re-forming for a benefit gig in their home city of Manchester this weekend. The speculation was kick-started by a member of The Black Eyed Peas, who tagged the group in a post about Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester show on Sunday. The concert was organised in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack last week, which left 22 dead and a further 64 injured. Free tickets have been offered for Grande fans who attended the concert which was targeted by an alleged suicide bomber. Katy Perry, Take That, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Miley Cyrus and Usher will all play alongside the US pop star at the concert. Taboo Nawasha, a member of the Black Eyed Peas, tweeted about the gig; tagging all the musicians and bands that will play at the Old Trafford Cricket Grounds. Oasis were included in the original tweet, which was quickly deleted. https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869907050691608579 https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869906670436007937?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fmetro.co.uk%2F2017%2F05%2F31%2Fwhen-and-how-to-watch-ariana-grandes-one-love-manchester-concert-6675547%2F https://twitter.com/TabBep/status/869907050691608579 Nawasha then posted that he had made a mistake and put the mention of the rock group down to "human error". Classic Oasis single Don't Look Back in Anger rose up the charts last week after the people of Manchester adopted it in the wake of the terror attack. Oasis are among Manchester’s most famous and cherished musical exports, though the band split up in 2009. They are one of the most symbolic groups of the 1990s and the Britpop era. The band was fronted by brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher, who have been at loggerheads since the split. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/uk-world/434338/video-beautiful-moment-people-manchester-turn-silent-tribute-oasis-dont-look-back-anger-articleisfree/ However commenting on the rumours on Radio 1, Liam said though he is "up for it" - it wouldn't be possible due to his solo commitments in Germany this weekend.  

Perth & Kinross

Cricket club to rise from the ashes

January 11 2013

A PERTHSHIRE cricket club which was in doubt after its pavilion was burnt down is almost halfway to reaching the financial target which should allow it to continue playing next season. Breadalbane Cricket Club, which was formed in 1869, suffered a devastating fire on November 27 at Victoria Park, Aberfeldy, when the building was reduced to a pile of ashes. The pavilion stored much of the cricket club’s playing and training equipment, including some members’ own gear. Following the fire, committee members met and decided to carry on and yesterday the Highland Perthshire club confirmed that its members hope still to be playing in Strathmore and Perthshire District Union Division 1. Club members embarked on a fundraising drive, with Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh independent global managers, contributing financial help. The historic cricket club is hoping to raise around £5,000 and, if all promised donations come in, it has already reached £2,100. Yesterday, Mark Bridgeman (47), junior coordinator at Breadalbane Cricket Club, said he is optimistic that cricket will take place next season, but emphasised that financial backing is vital to preserve the club’s future. “Thanks to some generous donations and much local support, the playing of cricket should now be able to start in April,” he told The Courier. “Everyone at Breadalbane Cricket Club is thrilled with the support and good wishes we’ve received.” He continued: “The initial deadline is for the end of February. “That’s to give us enough time to source and purchase equipment before the season starts. “Perth and Kinross Council have generously cleared and cleaned the site of the fire, which helps the club greatly. “All that remains now is a badly-scorched metal container and a scar on the ground, where the pavilion had stood for 100 years. “A new building will probably be a longer-term objective. “However, we would at least like some sort of temporary structure in place by April.” Mr Bridgeman emphasised the importance of the fundraising efforts after a worrying period for everyone concerned, not knowing if Breadalbane Cricket Club would be able to continue. “Following the fire, the future of this 143-year-old cricket club literally went up in smoke,” he added. “A selfish act of vandalism saw the club’s small pavilion transformed to ashes in a matter of hours.” A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council confirmed that council staff cleared the site of the former pavilion. “We can confirm that we arranged for the removal of the remains of the pavilion from the park in Aberfeldy,” she said. A spokesperson for Tayside Police confirmed that three youths will be reported to the Children’s Reporter in relation to the incident. Breadalbane Cricket Club won the Strathmore District Cricket Union Division 1 championship in 2006 and 2008, and won the Perthshire Cup in both 2007 and 2008. Anyone who is interested in keeping up to date with the club’s fundraising campaign should visit its Facebook page Breadalbane Cricket Club Appeal or visit bailliegifford.com preoch@thecourier.co.uk


Premier League apologises for Jose Mourinho error

June 3 2013

The Premier League has apologised to Chelsea after an article which appeared to confirm Jose Mourinho as the club’s new manager was published on its official website. The article, headlined ‘Jose Mourinho makes Chelsea return’, was published with Monday’s date on it and has since been removed from the premierleague.com website. A spokesman for the Premier League confirmed the article had been published in error. Mourinho, who managed Chelsea between 2004 and 2007 and led them to back-to-back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, is widely expected to return to Stamford Bridge and on Saturday night took charge of his final match as Real Madrid boss. A Premier League spokesman said: “It was a publishing error. We took it down as soon as we were notified of it, and we’ve spoken to and apologised to Chelsea. We have no prior knowledge of any movement or any announcement (regarding Mourinho).” The Mourinho era at Real ended on Saturday night with a 4-2 win over Osasuna in the Primera Division, with the Portuguese having already confirmed he would leave the Spanish giants at the end of the season. Mourinho had two seasons in charge of Inter Milan before moving to Madrid.

Perth & Kinross

Cricket club not out, but knocked for six by blaze

December 8 2012

A HIGHLAND Perthshire cricket club that dates back to 1869 has vowed to carry on despite suffering a devastating fire to its pavilion. Members of the Breadalbane Cricket Club met this week to decide the historic club’s future after it was put in jeopardy following the blaze, which completely wrecked their clubhouse in Victoria Park, Aberfeldy, on November 27. The club’s old wooden hut, which was believed to have been built after the Second World War, was left in a “pile of ashes” after the blaze. The pavilion contained nearly all the team’s playing and training equipment, including some members’ own cricket gear. Tayside Police have confirmed that they are still making inquiries into the matter, but Mark Bridgeman (47), junior coordinator at Breadalbane Cricket Club, is in no doubt that it was an act of “selfish vandalism” that cast doubts on the club’s future. However, an emergency general committee meeting has led to a concerted effort to raise sufficient money to enable the club to continue playing in the Strathmore and Perthshire District Union Division 1 next season. Members estimate that it will cost around £5,000 to build a new clubhouse. Last night, Mr Bridgeman told The Courier that it is important to let people know how much damage acts like this can cause. “We reckon we need to raise a couple of thousand pounds straight away so we will be ready to start the new season,” he said. “This would need to be followed by anything up to £5,000 for a suitable building.” He continued: “Following the fire, the future of this 143-year-old cricket club literally went up in smoke. “A selfish act of vandalism saw the club’s small pavilion transformed to ashes in a matter of hours. “Despite the best efforts of the local fire brigade, the building was completely destroyed and, with it, the possible future of the club. “An emergency general meeting of the committee soon followed, with many people worried that the club would have to withdraw from the league unable to compete when the new season starts, in less than five months’ time.” Mr Bridgeman said that the club decided to carry on due to various factors. “With so many players wanting to ensure cricket continues and with so many juniors enjoying the game, the right decision was to carry on as a club and launch an urgent appeal for support to save this club from extinction,” he added. “The club urgently needs donations of funds and equipment in order to be able to begin the season in April next year.” The club has also posted an appeal on Facebook, entitled Breadalbane Cricket Club Appeal, and state that it has already had encouraging signs of support. Breadalbane Cricket Club won the Strathmore Cricket Union Division 1 championship in 2008 and won the Perthshire Cup in 2007 and 2008. preoch@thecourier.co.uk

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


Fife cricket club ‘fed up’ with dog fouling on pitch

January 16 2018

They may have conquered the world of cricket 33 years ago but a Fife club is now facing one of its biggest battles as it takes on local dog owners. Robbie Birrell, president of Freuchie Cricket Club, says members are at the end of their tether over the abundance of dog fouling taking place on their pitch. He is now calling on owners to play the game and pick up after their pets. It follows an incident at the weekend when a player for a local football team, which had leased the pitch from the cricket club, slid through a deposit of dog muck and was left with a splattered face. Mr Birrell said the mishap was embarrassing for the club and the latest frustration in an ongoing battle with local pet owners. “It’s a big problem and it is steadily getting worse,” he said. “The owners are to blame - it’s not the dogs’ fault - and it’s not just happening at the park, but all around Freuchie. “This has been happening for a long time now and it has come to the point where we are having to do a recce before we can cut the grass.” The dirty business is a far cry from Freuchie Cricket Club’s finest hour, when in 1985 the side, supported by almost the entire population of the village, was crowned National Village Champions at the famous Lord’s ground in London. The club remains at the centre of local life, operating two teams and a junior section from its premises at Muir Road. Given its prominence in the community, Mr Birrell said he had hoped members of the public would step up to prevent dog fouling at its pitch. “It seems people are getting to the park and immediately letting their dogs off the lead,” he added. “They’re going off and doing their business and because it’s dark the owners are not able to see where they’re going. “Umpteen times we’ve put notices up on Facebook but it just keeps on happening. “We’re fed up with this.” The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 makes it illegal to fail to pick up after a pet. In 2016 the fixed penalty was increased to £80.


Former accountant Bob Bridgeford

May 22 2010

A well-known figure in Perthshire sporting and business circles has died. Bob Bridgeford, Buchan Drive, Perth, died after a short illness at Perth Royal Infirmary at the age of 76. Born in Portlethen, he moved to Perthshire in his youth when his father took over station master duties at Glencarse and Dunkeld. A former pupil of Perth Academy, Mr Bridgeford served his national service with the RAF before pursuing a career in accountancy. After leaving the services, he joined Perth accountants J. and R. Morison, where he met his wife Betty, and worked with several firms in the building industry. He also had a brief spell with the Perthshire Advertiser, worked with Perth garage SNT and spent time in Saudi Arabia in the late seventies. Before retiring in 1996, Mr Bridgeford worked for 13 years with weights and measures specialists John White and Sons in Auchtermuchty. A keen sportsman, he was a long-time member of Craigie Hill and Blairgowrie Golf Clubs, played off a handicap of four and bagged four holes-in-one. He was a member of St Martins Curling Club, Errol Cricket Club and played football for Jeanfield Swifts before a knee injury forced him out of action. He turned to refereeing in the junior ranks. Mr Bridgeford bowled with Perth Probus Club and was an elder at St Matthew's Church. He and his wife Betty, a former director of social work with Perth and Kinross Council who was awarded an OBE, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary earlier this year. Mr Bridgeford is survived by his wife, their children Grant and Alison and three grandchildren, Arran, Emma and Katie.


“We can only hold our breath” — Glenrothes desperate to land Indian cricket star Sreesanth

February 21 2017

Bringing one of India’s biggest cricket stars to Glenrothes would revolutionise the game in Scotland, it has been claimed. Kenny Crichton, a bowler for Glenrothes Cricket Club, said that everyone at the club was holding their breath as it attempts to sign former test match star Shanthakumaran Sreesanth. Considered one of the world’s top bowlers, the audacious bid to bring Sreesanth to Fife has been delayed as efforts to overturn a playing ban continue in his homeland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb_CkXyDrNU Hopeful that a resolution can be found, Mr Crichton says that bringing one of the world’s top players to Scotland could help to attract more people to the game. “It would be great news for Glenrothes but also great for Scottish cricket if we could bring someone like Sreesanth here. “You’re not going to get any better than having a double World Cup winner playing with you. “I had the luxury of being in India for the last T20 and you can really see the passion for cricket over there. It’s like football in this country. “For our kids hear to have somebody with the experience of Sreesanth to learn from would be fantastic.” A legendary bowler who has represented his country in 27 test matches, Sreesanth recently stated that he is preparing to drop his millionaire lifestyle in India and uproot to the Kingdom. However, to do this the 34-year-old needs to have his ban from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) overturned for an alleged role in a 2013 spot-fixing scandal. Although he was exonerated by a Delhi court and the charges dropped, his playing ban remains in place. “I know there has been some issues that are taking time to resolve,” said Mr Crichton. “The BCCI is going through its own changes so we can only hold our breath and hope it gets sorted soon. “I would be really happy to have him here.”

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.