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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…

Perth & Kinross

Aussie girls’ Hullachan during highland fling at granny’s goes viral online

August 23 2016

A Perthshire grandmother has told of her pride after a video of her Australian grandaughters’ first Scottish performance went viral. More than 15,000 people have viewed the footage of the Blundell sisters dancing at Pitlochry’s Highland Night. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = 'https://connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12'; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Australian sisters at Pitlochry Highland Night Perthshire Scot… A special Highland Night last night in #Pitlochry with the three Australian Blundell sisters taking part – they had come over to see their granny who lives in Pitlochry. It was great to have them taking part – they danced extremely well including Leah Slane from Stanley #Perthshire #Scotland who accompanied them. Posted by Pitlochry Perthshire Scotland on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 Twelve-year-old Holly and her 11-year-old twin sisters Erin and Hannah were joined by Leah Slane from Stanley for a performance of the Hullichan. The girls are currently on a five week visit to their grandmother’s home in Pitlochry and have since competed at the Kinross and Perth Highland Games, and plan to dance at the Strathardle and Granton on Spey events. Dorothy Thomson – whose daughter Lynne emigrated to Grafton in New South Wales, Australia, in 1999 – said the trio had packed an entire suitcase with highland dancing kit for the trip. She said: “They compete in Australia but this was the first time on Scottish soil – the last time they were here was four years ago and they weren’t dancing then. “They brought over a suitcase full of dance stuff – because they do different dances and have a sailors suit for the hornpipe and jig as well as the kilts. “It’s quite a lot of stuff for three of them, so it’s just as well they all have their own baggage allowance on the plane or they would have been stuck.” She said the girls were prevented from competing at the Pitlochry Highland games as they have yet to reach a high enough level. “They were hoping to dance at Pitlochry games but they are only Intermediate and you need to be Premier,” she said. “So Jean Swanson, who is the dance teacher here said they could do the Highland Night instead. “I don’t know who took the video but it’s great that folk are wanting to watch it. The girls are fair chuffed about it as well.” She added: “It’s lovely that they have taken it (highland dancing) up. Their mother Lynne danced when she was here but she didn’t do it for long. In Australia there was someone in their town teaching highland dancing and the girls went along and that was it. “Holly has been doing it the longest, about three years, and the twins have been doing it about two years – they haven’t been doing it that long but they are very good.”

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


Strictly Come Dancing star Matt Baker’s Highland Perthshire trip

October 15 2010

A star of Strictly Come Dancing has fox-trotted his way to Highland Perthshire to sample some of its wildlife spectacles. Matt Baker (32) swapped his dancing shoes for a sturdy pair of walking boots for a visit to Highland Safaris in Aberfeldy. The Countryfile presenter was filming for an episode of the show to be screened later in the month, but didn’t expect to witness a deer rut at first hand. Baker, who made his name on Blue Peter, went on an Autumn Watch Mountain Safari in a 4×4. “It was fabulous to have Matt visit us with his crew,” said Highland Safaris director Julie Riddell. “It’s a great time of year to visit Highland Perthshire and I’m sure viewers will be impressed by the scenery and the wildlife.” Autumn safaris run until November 17. Included are tea, coffee, shortbread and a dram in the mountain bothy. Julie said, “Matt certainly enjoyed it and we are delighted to have been selected for filming. “We have had TV coverage before and it is a great way of raising profile.”

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

Strathardle Highland Gathering attracts international competitors

August 29 2016

A large contingent of visitors from Winnipeg, Canada, on a tour of Scotland enlivened Strathardle Highland Gathering at Bannerfield, Kirkmichael, on Saturday. The young visitors entered the Highland dancing competitions and featured in the prize list. The adults took part in other events, bringing their welcome enthusiasm and sense of fun to the tug o’ war contests. They also entered teams in the ladies’ tug o’ war. A spokesperson for the Winnipeg group gave her assessment as: ”Awesome, It was all just awesome!” One or two dark clouds flirted with the area but the rain stayed away and conditions for the morning agricultural show and afternoon games were almost perfect. Games Chieftain Sir Michael Nairn described the event as an outstanding success. ”Throughout the afternoon the active participation of local people and visitors showed their great enthusiasm for sports and this greatly contributed to a great day,” he said. Local heavyweight games were held before the traditional march over the bridge to Bannerfield led by Sir Michael, and Coupar Angus Pipe Band led by Pipe Major Kevin Douglas. The Bannerfield Standard was carried by Alec Rattray, vice-president. The Robertson Cup local tug o’ war contest between teams representing Blackwater and Strathardle was not held this year due to differences in the interpretation of residential qualifications, it is understood. The afternoon programme of competitions and entertainment continued with Highland dancing, heavyweight and piping events, and races for children and young adults. Trophies and awards won in the agricultural and industrial sections were handed over by Mrs Morag Lang who was presented with a floral arrangement by Holly Webster. The extra numbers taking part meant the gathering lasted much longer than planned but it was an indication of the success of this year’s event that there were still several hundred spectators at the ground when the gathering was brought to a close at 6.15pm with musical cars for the Robert Sample Trophy. Results – Heavyweights, Local: 16 lb Shot – 1 Pete Hart (31ft 2 in.); 2 Andrew Richardson; 3 Christian Ramsay. 16 lb hammer – 1 Pete Hart (106 ft 4 in.); 2 Andrew Richardson; 3 Christian Ramsay. 28 lb weight for distance (Jock Ritchie Trophy) – 1 Pete Hart (55 ft 3 in.); 2 Andrew Richardson; 3 Christian Ramsay. Caber (Jim Petrie Memorial Trophy) – 1 equal Pete Hart and Andrew Richardson (12 o’clock); 3 equal Oliver Ramsay and Christian Ramsay. Best local heavyweight (Geordie Rodger Trophy) – 1 Pete Hart; 2 Andrew Richardson; 3 Christian Ramsay; 4 Oliver Ramsay. Heavyweights, Open: 16 lb hammer – 1 Sinclair Patience, Tain (128 ft 8 in.); 2 Roy Valentine, Auchenblae; 3 Jamie Gunn, Halkirk. 22 lb hammer (Clark’s Agricultural Contractors Trophy) – 1 Sinclair Patience (102 ft); 2 Roy Valentine; 3 Pete Hart. 22 lb shot – 1 Sinclair Patience (41 ft 6 in.); 2 Jamie Gunn; 3 Dale Walker, Fettercairn. 28 lb weight for distance – 1 Sinclair Patience (75 ft 10 in.); 2 Jamie Gunn; 3 Scott Clark. 56 lb weight for distance – 1 Sinclair Patience (43 ft 5 in.); 2 Jamie Gunn; 3 Pete Hart. 56 lb weight over the bar – 1 Sinclair Patience (15 ft 1 in.); 2 equal Pete Hart and Jamie Gunn. Caber – 1 equal Jamie Gunn, Sinclair Patience, Pete Hart (all 12 o’clock). Best open heavyweight (Aldchlappie Cup) – 1 Sinclair Patience (49 points); 2 Jamie Gunn (37 pts); 3 Pete Hart (31 pts). Tug o’ war (open) – Mount Blair A beat Strathardle 2-0. Ladies’ tug o’ war (Ivy Bailey Trophy) – Strathmore Girls; 2 Strathardle; 3 Dream Team; 4 Winnipeg Girls. Races. 100 yards boys, 7 years and under – 1 Cameron Galloway, Glenshee; 2 Lochlan Stewart, Glenshee 3 Arrian Pine, Balnald. 100 yards, boys, 8-11 years – 1 Archie Dayman, Dover; 2 Angus Robertson, Pittenweem; 3 Jack Milne, Perth. 100 yards, boys 12-15 years – 1 Rupert Halford, London; 2 Archie Crawford, Blairgowrie; 3 Alasdair McNay, Glenshee. 100 yards, girls, 7 years and under – 1 Bella Dunphie, Cloquhat; 2 Lottie Dunphie, Cloquhat; 3 Kate Robertson, Pittenweem. 100 yards, girls, 8-11 years – 1 Molly Robertson, Pittenweem; 2 Anna, Czech Republic; 3 Hannah Haddow, Australia. 100 yards, girls 12 years and over – 1 Maria McNay, Glenshee; 2 Polly Goodman, Kirkmichael; 3 Ann Kerr, Auchtermuchty. 100 yards open – 1 Dr Niku Dhillon, Dundee; 2 Paul Dearie, Shotts; Magin Swaltz, Germany. 440 yards open – 1 Hugo Halford, London; 2 Paul Dearie; 3 Dr Niku Dhillon. 880 yards open (Jim Thomson Cup) – 1 Dr Niku Dhillon; 2 Sam Houis, France; 3 Alistair Dean, Persie. Best light athlete (Dan Webster Trophy) – Dr Niku Dhillon. Obstacle race, teams of four – 1 Ninjas; 2 Fab Four; 3 Balnald Bunch. Pillow fight, 12 years and under – 1 Angus Robertson, Pittenweem; 2 Molly Robertson, Pittenweem; 3 Mason McLeod. Pillow fight, 13 years and over – 1 Victor Mills; 2 Sam Houis, France; 3 Flo Brooke. Dog race – 1 Marra; 2 Coco; 3 Piza. Highland dash, heavyweights – 1 Paul Dearie; 2 Jamie Gunn; 3 Sinclair Patience. Round Bale Rolling – 1 Stephen Bradley and son, Durham. Tilt the bucket – 1 Niku and Mia Dhillon, Dundee; 2 Robert Winton and Riff Gaskell, Kirkmichael; 3 equal Archie and Ian Crawford, Blairgowrie; and Rollo Granger and Alistair Dean, Persie. Vintage tractors: Restored- 1 Robert Wilkinson, Bridge of Cally (Massey Ferguson 35); 2 Garry West, Ballintuim (International B419); 3 Greig Wilkinson, Bridge of Cally (Ford 4000). Working tractors – 1 Asty Hynd, Hillfoot (Massey Ferguson 65); 2 Fraser Wilson, Ashintully (Grey Ferguson petrol/paraffin); 3 David Croal, Parkhead (Ford 4610). Vintage car – 1 Dave Paterson, Middle Mause (1935 AC). Musical cars (Robert Sample Cup) – 1 Jamie Gray (runner) and Luke Hayfield (driver); 2 Gordon Duncan (runner) and Jo Rattray (driver); 3 Rhuairidh Duncan (runner) and Mathew Michie (driver). Piping. Open. March – 1 Craig Muirhead, Stirling; 2 Kevin Douglas, Coupar Angus. Strathspey and reel – 1 Craig Muirhead; 2 Kevin Douglas. Jig – 1 Craig Muirhead; 2 Kevin Douglas. Senior piper with most points (Tayside Grain Cup) – Craig Muirhead. Junior. March – 1 Luke Kennedy, Strathaven; 2 Robbie Smith, Blairgowrie. Strathspey and reel – 1 Luke Kennedy. Jig – 1 Luke Kennedy. Junior piper with most points (Robert Wallace Shield) – Luke Kennedy. HIGHLAND DANCING Highland dancing competitions are always popular at Strathardle and provide the perfect backdrop throughout the day. This year there was a large contingent of dancers in a touring group from Winnipeg, Manitoba, as dancers from Australia and America, as well as many from throughout Tayside. The judge was Marian Lawson. The convener was Linda Tosh, and the steward was Linda Grant. The winner of the Isobel Ferrier Trophy for the overall premier winner was Alanna Soutar from Kirriemuir. Trophy-winners: Beginners – E Crookston, Edinburgh. Novice – C Cairns, Perth. Overall Intermediate winner (Piob Mhor Trophy) – TL Motion, Edinburgh. Overall Premier winner (Isobel Ferrier Trophy) – H McCole, Airlie. Victor Wesley Rosebowl – I Crichton, Winnipeg, Canada. Primary: Pas de Basques – 1 O Buchan, Glenrothes; 2 E Rockett, Edinburgh; 3 L Taylor, Buckhaven. Pas de Basques and High Cuts – 1 E Rockett; 2 O Buchan; 3 L Taylor. Highland Fling – 1 E Rockett. Sword Dance – 1 E Rockett; 2 O Buchan. Beginners: Nine years and under. Highland Fling – 1 E Crookston, Edinburgh; 2 S Campbell, Gilmartin; 3 G Nixon, Alyth. Sword Dance – 1 M Mitchell, Crieff; 2 E Crookston; 3 C Ferguson, Leven. Seann Truibhas – 1 E Crookston; 2 M Mitchell; 3 C Ferguson. Reel – 1 S Campbell; 2 E Crookston; 3 G Ferguson, Leven. Flora Macdonald – 1 G Ferguson; 2 A Macklin, Winnipeg; 3 S Campbell. Lilt – 1 G Ferguson; 2 M Mitchell; 3 E Crookston. Age group winner – E Crookston, Edinburgh. Beginners: 10 years and over. Highland Fling – 1 K Lamond, Alyth; 2 G McClement, Blairgowrie; 3 S Lamond, Alyth. Sword Dance – 1 K Lamond; 2 L Tosh, Blairgowrie; 3 M Forster, Pitlochry. Seann Truibhas – 1 L Tosh; 2 K Lamond; 3 M Forster. Reel – 1 E McClement, Blairgowrie; 2 K Lamond; 3 M Forster. Flora Macdonald – 1 M Forster; 2 K Lamond; 3 L Tosh. Lilt – 1 L Tosh; 2 M Forster; 3 K Lamond. Age group winner – K Lamond, Alyth. Novice: 10 years and under. Highland Fling – 1 C Mackie, Banchory; 2 L Leck, Pitlochry; 3 C Guild, Forfar. Sword Dance – 1 C Guild; 2 P Taylor, Buckhaven; 3 L Leck. Seann Truibhas – 1 J Chablin, Winnipeg; 2 S Stubbard, Winnipeg; 3 R Tracey, Blairgowrie. Reel – 1 C Mackie; 2 P Taylor; 3 R Tracey. Flora Macdonald – 1 L Leck; 2 S Stubbard; 3 C Guild. Lilt – 1 C Guild; 2 J Chablin; 3 R McLeod, Winnipeg. Age group winner – C Guild. Novice: 11 years and over. Highland Fling – 1 C Cairns, Perth; 2 K Nixon, Alyth; 3 A Munro, Pitlochry. Sword Dance – 1 L Tolmie, Alyth; 2 A Munro; 3 P Fotheringham, Alyth. Seann Truibhas – 1 L Tolmie; 2 K Nixon; 3 A Scott, Cumnock. Reel – 1 C Cairns; 2 L Tolmie; 3 A Scott. Flora Macdonald – 1 I Reid, Alyth; 2 C Cairns; 3 K Nixon. Lilt – 1 A Munro; 2 C Cairns; 3 A Scott. Age group winner – C Cairns, Perth. Intermediate: Highland Fling – 1 C McLean, Forfar; 2 TL Motion, Edinburgh; 3 H Blundell, Australia. Sword Dance – 1 TL Motion, 2 F McGregor, Blairgowrie; 3 L Tracey, Blairgowrie. Seann Truibhas – 1 TL Motion; 2 C McGregor; 3 C McLean. Reel – 1 T Motion; 2 L Tracey; 3 C McLean. Jig – 1 TL Motion; 2 F McGregor; 3 E McDonald. Hornpipe – 1 H Blundell; 2 F McGregor; 3 E McDonald. Age group winner – TL Motion, Edinburgh. Premier: 12 years and under. Highland Fling – 1 F DeGernier, Forfar; 2 L Laird, Forfar; 3 E Closs, Methven. Sword Dance – 1 E Closs; 2 J Laird; 3 C Roy, Winnipeg. Seann Truibhas – 1 J Laird; 2 E Closs; 3 F DeGernier. Reel – 1 E Closs; 2 F DeGernier; 3 J Laird. Jig – 1 F DeGernier; 2 E Closs; 3 A Wilson. Hornpipe – 1 E Closs; 2 J Laird; 3 F DeGernier. Age group winner – E Closs, Methven. Premier: 15 years and under. Highland Fling – 1 H McCole, Airlie; 2 B Laird, Forfar; 3 C Meager, Blairgowrie. Sword Dance – 1 H McCole; 2 C Watson, Winnipeg; 3 C Meager. Seann Truibhas – 1 H McCole; 2 B Laird; 3 C Meager. Jig – 1 H McCole; 2 C Meager; 3 T Wood. Hornpipe – 1 C Meager; 2 H McCole; 3 C Watson. Age group winner – H McCole, Airlie. Adults: Highland Fling – 1 D Bagshaw, Winnipeg; 2 T Scott, Lochgelly; 3 E Lind, Winnipeg. Sword Dance – 1 O Crichton, Winnipeg; 2 A Kasjiw, Winnipeg; 3 E Lind. Seann Truibhas – 1 O Crichton; 2 A Kaskiw; 3 D Bagshaw. Reel – 1 T Scott; 2 O Crichton; 3 G Foster, Winnipeg. Jig – 1 E Lind; 2 O Crichton; 3 D Bagshaw. Hornpipe – 1 A Kaskiw; 2 T Scott 3 T Watson, Winnipeg. Age group winner – O Crichton, Winnipeg.

Angus & The Mearns

Britain’s Got Talent dream dashed for Angus Highland dancers

March 4 2013

The Britain’s Got Talent dream is over for a group of Angus Highland dancers. Despite lavish praise led by show judge Simon Cowell, and a standing ovation from a 3,000-strong Clyde Auditorium audience, the girls of Strictly Alba learned at the weekend that they will not be in the final stages of the ITV hit show. Naturally disappointed not to have been given the chance to shine in the live rounds of the competition after making such a big impression on the BGT judging panel in Glasgow, the dancers from Forfar and Kirriemuir are now looking forward in the hope that their choreography will make it to the nation’s TV screens when the show is broadcast later this year. They are hopeful Highland dancing will get a lift if the comments of chief judge Cowell are aired. https://youtube.com/watch?v=t84vbZ86dQc%3Frel%3D0 After watching the Strictly Alba team shown above in rehearsals he said: “I don’t normally like that sort of thing, but that was very, very good.” Fellow judges Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams were similarly enthusiastic as the Angus group Linzi Elms, Leanne Wood, Robyn Hart-Winks, Emma Stewart, Holly Milne, Kirstin Stewart, Airlie McIntyre and Sophie Brown easily grabbed four yes votes. The girls’ teachers, Delma Wilson from Forfar and Nicola Grant from Kirriemuir, said they were hugely proud of what the group had achieved. Nicola said: “The girls had a blast on their BGT journey and we’re delighted they were able to show a really different side of Highland Dancing to a huge audience who absolutely loved what they did.” Delma added: “The audition day was a whirlwind of filming so hopefully Strictly Alba will make it on to the programme and we’ll be able to relive some of the excitement of that day.”

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

Perth & Kinross

Sponsored: A mix of tradition and modern attractions at Crieff Highland Gathering

July 1 2016

It’s one of the biggest events in Strathearn – and this year’s Crieff Highland Gathering looks set to be one of the best yet. The gathering will be held on Sunday August 21 in the Market Park, which has been home to the event for over 130 years. The chieftain for this year’s gathering will be PGA chairman David Murchie, who will be bringing the Ryder Cup for visitors to see. On the day’s schedule is the heavyweights competitions (native and open), Highland dancing, athletics and cycling competitions (including the local schools’ relay race), tug of war and pipe bands. Over the years, the games have developed from traditional competitions – heavyweights, Highland dancing and field events – to a mix of the old and the new, including the Glenturret Music Tent (with Skipinnish and Breabach on the bill this year) and Taste of Tartan, a mini food festival showcasing of some of the local food and drink businesses – complete with samples to try. There will also be a selection of trade stands and a funfair for kids young and old to enjoy. The day will culminate with a spectacular massed pipe bands finale – not to be missed. But it’s not just the Market Park that hosts the games. The Chieftain’s Parade, featuring a number of pipe bands, starts at the Royal British Legion Clubrooms on Perth Road at 11.00am and makes it way to James Square, then down King Street to the park. Crieff Highland Gathering is supported by a number of patrons and sponsors, including MAM Contracting, The Glenturret Distillery, Highland Spring, Irving Geddes, Accolade Wines, Binn Skips & Miller Hendry, who are critical to ensuring the future of the games. Crieff Highland Gathering starts at 9.30am on August 21. For more information, visit the Crieff Highland Gathering website.

Perth & Kinross

Plea from Birnam Games chieftain after loss of cherished heirloom

February 24 2017

The chieftain of Birnam Highland Games has made a passionate plea for help after misplacing a cherished family heirloom. Regular visitors to the popular games will be familiar with Thomas Steuart Fothringham’s bonnet and distinctive silver cap badge. It represents the ‘Dancing Beastie’, which is the crest of the Fothringham name, and has been passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately the badge came loose after Mr Fothringham, of Murthly Castle, attended a funeral service at the Kirk in Little Dunkeld in January. He has offered a small reward for its safe return. “Every year I wear the badge in my capacity as Chieftain of the Birnam Highland Games,” he said. “It was also worn by my father and probably by my great-grandfather when they were Chieftain. “My great-grandfather became Chieftain of the Games in 1891 and served as Chieftain for 45 years. “It is of great sentimental value to me and I am offering a reward of £100 to anyone who finds and returns the badge.” © SuppliedThe cap badge, representing the family’s ‘Dancing Beastie’ crest. Mr Fothringham believes the badge was lost either near Little Dunkeld Kirk, near the Birnam Hotel, in the car park of Perth Royal Infirmary or in the car park of Gloagburn Farm Shop. The silver badge is about two inches high and has a simple clasp at the back.