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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…

Dundee

High Court to review release of man found with drugs and air rifle at Broughty Ferry crash scene

October 29 2014

A man involved in a collision near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in Broughty Ferry was found in possession of heroin and diazepam and was unfit to drive through drink or drugs, a court has heard. An air rifle was also found in the Audi TT belonging to Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, who admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so. After hearing that Ramsay was out on licence from a previous High Court jail sentence at the time of the offences, Sheriff Charles Macnair remitted him back to the High Court for consideration of the release order. He also deferred sentence on the new offences until December 2 and remanded him in custody. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900 was recovered. Solicitor Ross Bennett said he would keep his plea in mitigation for Ramsay’s next appearance. Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

Angus & The Mearns

18th century art masterpiece discovered in Montrose after being neglected in store room

October 7 2016

A torn and unloved 18th century painting, long-relegated to the store room of Montrose Museum has now been heralded as a true art treasure. The painting of Dr Richard Mead, who is believed to have been King George II’s physician and a patron of acclaimed 18th century artist Allan Ramsay, had been hidden from the public eye for years. It was believed that the painting was a copy of a Ramsay portrait which is in the custody of the National Portrait Gallery in London. With its canvas horribly ripped, it was put away out of sight. However, a listing on the Art UK website, which catalogues public art, attracted the attention of art historian and writer Dr Bendor Grosvenor, who is a presenter on BBC4 programme Britain’s Lost Masterpieces. Suspecting the painting had greater significance, he was keen to take a closer look and contacted ANGUSalive, who operate the museum and care for the Angus Council collections, to arrange an viewing. © Paul ReidRamsay, Allan; Dr Mead The programme makers Tern TV took care of the much-needed restoration of the Dr Mead, which was carried out by Simon Gillespie at his studios in New Bond Street at the heart of the London’s art district. Dr Grosvenor observed the painting style, tell-tale clues offered by long-since brushed strokes of paint so typical of the great old master Ramsay and concluded the Montrose piece, and not its elevated counterpart in London, was the genuine article. His suspicions were confirmed by art historian Dr Duncan Thomson. He said: “It wasn’t known where the original was. It was thought that the original was probably the one in the National Portrait Gallery. “However, I’m very pleased to say that this (the Montrose painting) is in fact that lost original portrait and the restoration and the cleaning of the picture has revealed actually a work of extreme brilliance. “It’s very nice to have it back and be able to put it on public display again. “I feel fantastically privileged to be able to rescue works like this picture and see the pleasure it brings to a small institution like Montrose Museum.” © Paul ReidThe painting of Dr Mead now it has been restored. Quite how the original and its copy came to be confused is a mystery that remains to be solved. John Johnston, ANGUSalive’s collections officer, said: “We were amazed by the news and fascinated to learn about the detective work that went into establishing the truth about the painting’s origin. “The results of the restoration work are superb. It is wonderful that a painting by the esteemed Allan Ramsay, perhaps the greatest portrait painter in Britain in the 18th century has been so expertly restored.” Edinburgh-born Ramsay’s painting of Dr Mead languishes in the shade no more. It takes pride of place in Montrose Museum’s public display.

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

News

Buzz about Castle Huntly as beekeeping is to be introduced

March 1 2014

A new project is creating a buzz among prisoners at Castle Huntly with beekeeping to be introduced as an activity at the open prison near Dundee. Just like the inmates, the bees will be allowed a certain degree of freedom flying outwith the prison walls. The jail approached East of Scotland Beekeepers’ Association (ESBA) for advice, and the group is currently helping to set up the project. President Gavin Ramsay said: “They’re keen to learn a bit about beekeeping and try it out and we’ve agreed to help them. “They will be having bees within the grounds of Castle Huntly. It is different, but we do spend quite a bit of time helping people get into beekeeping. “It’s usually individuals, but sometimes groups of people from a company club together and share their resources to start them off.” The club has already visited the prisoners and Mr Ramsay said they are keen to get involved. “There’s certainly an enthusiasm,” he said. “One of the issues is continuity. You need people around that have enough interest to develop their knowledge over a period of time. “We’ll just have to see how it goes. It depends how quickly they learn things.” Mr Ramsay said beginners generally need help for about two years before they know what they are doing. Head of offender outcomes Mary Stewart said: “The prisoners had read an article that bees were dying out, and what a huge global impact that could have. “We have some land available in the open estate so we looked at developing the prisoners’ interest as a learning opportunity. “Hopefully, as the project progresses, our Castle Huntly hives will start to increase the number of bees in the Scottish countryside and especially the Carse of Gowrie. “We hope the prisoners who take part will benefit by returning to their communities and families with new learning and skills which assist them in finding employment.”

Dundee

Driver caught with air rifle and drugs after crash at Royal Tay Yacht Club jailed

December 3 2014

A man found in possession of drugs and an air rifle while unfit to drive through drink or drugs, after smashing his car near the Royal Tay Yacht Club in July, has been jailed for more than two years. Ross James Ramsay, 32, of Ballumbie Gardens, Dundee, was sent to prison for 26 months and 80 days by Sheriff Charles Macnair at Dundee Sheriff Court on TUesday after the High Court confirmed the unexpired portion of a previous sentence. Ramsay had admitted possessing the rifle while not permitted to do so, and also admitted possessing 462 diazepam tablets, with a street value of £462, and heroin worth around £900. Depute fiscal Donna Brown told the court Ramsay was seen driving erratically at noon on July 28 in West Queen Street and Dundee Road when an incident took place outside the Royal Tay Yacht Club and he was seen to be staggering on the road there. She said he was also seen to dispose of a plastic bag from his car in nearby bushes. Ms Brown told the court a search was carried out and the drugs were recovered while the air rifle was found in his high-powered Audi. At a previous hearing, Sheriff Macnair told Ramsay: “I will remit this to the High Court for consideration of the Section 16 order (release from prison on licence) and sentence in this court will be deferred until after that.” The sheriff also imposed interim disqualification from driving and the Crown moved an application for forfeiture of the air rifle. When he returned for sentence Sheriff Macnair imposed a new sentence and returned him to prison for the unexpired portion. He also disqualified him from driving for three years. Ramsay was released early from his previous jail sentence of three years and nine months, imposed in July 2012, after admitting seriously assaulting Alexander McLennan, of Longtown Place. Mr McLennan, 56, died after being stabbed through the heart in a street brawl on Kingsway on January 7 that year. Ramsay and co-accused John Cassidy and Steven Batchelor, both 33, were originally accused of murdering Mr McLennan, who was also punched and kicked in the attack and hit on the head with an iron bar.

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.

Dundee

Former Rialto cinema building in Lochee faces demolition

June 10 2014

The derelict Rialto cinema in Gray’s Lane, Lochee, could soon be demolished to make way for 12 flats, if a planning application by Ramsay’s Properties is successful. Site owner Ramsay McBain said: “I’m Lochee born and bred so it is good to do something for my home town, as it were. “I remember when the Rialto was a bingo hall. It was a local institution.” The demolition plan calls for the trees along the western boundary of the site to be retained, while those to the south will be removed and replaced by at least two new trees for each old one. The Rialto Cinema opened in 1928 and was the first in the city to show “talkies”. It closed in 1962 and was converted to a bingo hall. The building was given B-listed listed status in 1993, but many of its important architectural features were lost in a fire.

Golf

Ramsay stays positive to stay in touch at Wentworth

May 26 2017

His brand new bag has “too many Rangers colours” and his name spelled wrongly, but nothing is spoiling Richie Ramsay’s mood going into the weekend at Wentworth. It took until the 15th until the Aberdonian noticed it was “Ramsey” instead of the proper spelling, and he seemed to have every right to be annoyed at four-over for the day having seen his opening three-under 69 having been whittled away. Instead Richie – who is a changed man these days with fatherhood – had a sunny disposition to match the 80 degree heat. “I’d made bogey at 15 but I said to (caddie) Jules, this is brilliant,” he said. “We looked down the crowds on 16 packed along the ropes, the way the course and weather was, and what a great challenge it is out there. “I wouldn’t say it was defining moment of the season quite yet but the great thing was my attitude over the last couple of holes, I wasn’t playing to make the cut – I was playing to make birdies.” He did just that, birdies at both the closing par fives, and finished at one-under at the halfway stage. “I just feel if I can keep playing that way, especially the way the course is set up, I can move up on the weekend,” he said. “The first part of the job is done. I thought anything par or better today was good plus the wind was up early. I think it is a great test of golf.” He’ll be on the course today when his home town team are playing in the Scottish Cup Final, and he didn’t sound that optimistic. “We need all our best players, Hayes, McGinn, Rooney, Jack and a couple of other guys to be at the top of their game, and they need to be slightly off,” he said. “I think we’ve got a chance.  I’ll probably be on the golf course tomorrow afternoon, but I’ll keep an eye out on what’s going on. “It would be great if they could because I think unfortunately one or two guys are going to leave.” Celtic fan Stephen Gallacher may be done in time to see the final after making the cut on the mark, while David Drysdale dropped three strokes in the last four holes but held on at two-over. However three-over was a shot too many for Paul Lawrie, for a disappointed Russell Knox, and for Marc Warren, despite birdies for him at the last two holes.

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

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