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...
A Fife man who is researching why early reports of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster listed 75 dead instead of the now recognised 59 known to have died has found new evidence which “explodes the myth”. Ian Nimmo White, secretary of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, has discovered that on December 30 1879, two days after the disaster, an article was printed in the Courier and Argus headed The Numbers on the Train which he says included 16 “fictitious” deaths. Years later, he said, the article became an iconic artefact of the tragedy, unintentionally giving birth to the long-standing belief that 75 people had perished in the tragedy. He said: “It has a crucial clip which refers to the tickets which were taken from the ill-fated passengers at St Fort station 15 minutes before the tragedy.” One entry on the list is “6 Broughty Ferry” but, explained Mr Nimmo White, that was impossible as “none of the passengers on the Burntisland to Dundee train who handed over their tickets at St Fort in Fife could have previously joined the train at Broughty Ferry”. Another entry on the list is “5 Newport”. Again, this is impossible because Newport was not on the train’s route. An earlier entry on the list is “5 Newburgh”, so Mr Nimmo White has deduced that this is a repetition of the Newburgh entry. “A third curious entry is about three company servants’ tickets,” he said. “This was needless. Three off-duty employees are known to have been on the train, but they would have been included in passenger entries earlier on the list. “The above three entries combine to make 14 cases of duplication, and therefore 14 fictitious victims of the Tay Bridge Disaster. “A further two fictitious victims can be accounted for with the non ticket-carrying crew amounting to six on the list. “We now know there were only four crew on duty in the disaster train driver, fireman, railguard and mailguard. “And so, we have a total of 16 fictitious fatalities, the difference between the iconic myth of 75 and the finally proven death toll of 59 55 passengers plus four crew.”
A Fife writer has told of his quest to pay poetic tribute to the driver of the train involved in the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster more than 130 years after the event. Ian Nimmo White (63), from Glenrothes, hopes for a memorial to David Mitchell after he traced the descendants of the Leslie-born locomotive driver, whose train plunged into the Tay on December 28, 1879. Mr Mitchell was one of 75 people killed when the bridge collapsed during a violent storm that night. While plans for a tribute on the site at the side of the Tay continue, Mr Nimmo White is keen to see the Leslie community commemorate a key figure in the story. After a great deal of work delving into the past, Mr Nimmo White said he had learned members of Mr Mitchell's family are living in Edinburgh and hopes to meet them soon, although he is keen to protect their identity for now. "It's a remarkable story and I'm elated to find the family," he told The Courier yesterday. "I'm looking forward to meeting them and it is of great sadness that at no stage were the family ever able to afford a headstone. "It's been a bit of a revelation to everybody that he was from Leslie and I'm hoping that some public body or the people in Leslie will erect a headstone for the family. "David will be just one name on the national memorial but the Leslie thing is separate and whatever would be on the headstone would be up to whoever is behind it." Mr Mitchell was buried in an unmarked grave in Leslie Cemetery, but a small plaque marking his final resting place has since been put up.Tracing descendantsMr Nimmo White's search began by tracing one of Mr Mitchell's children, Isabella, who died a spinster at the age of 95 in Leslie. He then learned of a Beatrice Taylor, a granddaughter of Mr Mitchell, and has now been able to track down living descendants he hopes will get involved in the project. "I looked into the Mitchells that still lived in Leslie and none of them were related to David Mitchell, but you have to come at this from different angles," he said. "A lot of the information is limited but nevertheless you can get quite a lot from on the internet and I've had a lot of help from other sources as well." Mr Nimmo White also traced a David Mitchell III, who is 90 and lives in England, while his sister is understood to be living in a nursing home in Edinburgh. "He's the eldest living descendant I've found and apparently he still has his grandfather's pocket watch, recovered from his body when he was washed up nine weeks after the disaster," he said. Meanwhile, Mr Nimmo White unveiled a poem to be inscribed on the new memorial in Dundee. A public appeal to raise money for a permanent monument was launched last month and spearheaded by Stuart Morris, of Balgonie Castle, who is a descendant of Elizabeth Mann who was killed when the bridge collapsed. Mr Morris established the Tay Rail Bridge Memorial Disaster Trust year to create a lasting memorial and hopes to collect more than £50,000 towards the project. William McGonagall's poem The Tay Bridge Disaster has long been associated with the disaster but Mr Nimmo White, who writes in English and Scots, feels McGonagall's poem is "disrespectful" to those who lost their lives and their families. "McGonagall wrote that poem for his own kudos and self gratification so I'm assuming they (those behind the planned new memorial) asked me to do this because it will have some gravitas," he said. His poem, likely to be on a large memorial on the Dundee side of the river, reads, "Deep waters can't erase the love of those whose lives were once so cruelly blighted. "Let them stand again, on this spot reclaimed, cherished and united."
Fifers have been encouraged to make any donation they can towards a memorial honouring those who died in the Tay Bridge disaster in 1879. The Courier told yesterday how Glenrothes poet Ian Nimmo White has been looking into the tragic events in great detail and has even traced the descendants of the fateful train's driver, David Mitchell, who was born and brought up in nearby Leslie. Now Mr Nimmo White hopes the generous Fife public will be able to make the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust's dreams of creating a lasting tribute to those who perished come to fruition. "I can't assume that everybody's going to be interested and some people think that history is best left behind," he said. "But some historians talk about the advancing knowledge of history and we're finding out things about this disaster that we didn't know before. "We've got a local man, David Mitchell, who went over this precipice and into a void with countless tonnes of steel falling in on top of him, and his boiler man was apparently dead before he hit the water. "Lots of women and children were involved and then of course you had a lot of widows after the disaster, and that was in a time of no social security, when the relief fund was pretty abysmal and the rail companies were not particularly generous. "If you think about that, then maybe people would stop griping about their bank accounts and maybe realise what life was like for people like David Mitchell's family." The trust is hoping to raise £50,000 for the project and anyone who can help can write to the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, Ian Rae, TRBDMT treasurer, 11 Wilmington Drive, Glenrothes, Fife, KY7 6US. Further information is also available from Stuart Morris, of Balgonie Castle, on 01592 750119. Mr Nimmo White's poem is expected to be inscribed on the memorial on the Dundee side of the Tay when it is commissioned. Copyright Stewart Lloyd-Jones.
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
A Fife man has spoken of his joy after raising enough money to mark the grave of the train driver killed in the Tay Bridge Disaster. Leslie poet Ian Nimmo White has confirmed that a headstone to mark the resting place of David Mitchell will be installed next month at a village cemetery, after the grave had gone without a memorial for over a century. Mr Mitchell, a Leslie man, was at the controls of the train that plunged into the Tay on the night of December 28, 1879, following the collapse of a section of the bridge in high winds. His was just one of an estimated 75 lives lost, his body eventually being found nine weeks after the tragedy on a nearby beach. Although he was eventually buried in his home village, the grave was never formally marked, prompting Mr Nimmo White, who has studied the events on that fateful night, to launch a campaign to raise funds for a headstone at the plot. Having successfully traced the descendants of the father of five and received donations from various parties, Mr Nimmo White hopes to have the headstone in place within weeks. He told The Courier, "It's been quite amazing and I found that 99% of the time people were quite supportive. "I understand that there are present-day charities for people who are not well at this time and some think that heritage should take a back seat. But history is who we are and if people were to look at their genealogy then they would see that there was a lot of suffering back then." The Courier has reported Mr Nimmo White's efforts to hunt down the family of Mr Mitchell to seek permission to erect a headstone at the burial plot in Leslie. His search resulted in him contacting family members across Britain, bringing in further financial support for the appeal as well as permission to install a marker. Although an arduous task, Mr Nimmo White admits he was surprised at the ease with which he was able to locate relatives as far as four or five generations on from his subject. "There was a rumour that there was a headstone and that it had been vandalised but I don't know about that," he said. "I had to follow cemetery law and find his living descendants as they automatically inherit the site. "That was tough but after three weeks I eventually found them. I don't have a lot of experience in genealogy but the internet is amazing. If you follow a few rules then it doesn't take long to pick up a few tricks." With permission and funding now in place for the headstone, Mr Nimmo White hopes that a small ceremony next month will conclude his personal mission to have a memorial for Mr Mitchell erected. He added, "I was a community worker all my life and I had a lot of pleasurable experiences doing that. But, apart from my family, this has been the best experience that I have ever had. It's just been a privilege."
Another story of someone who perished in the Tay Bridge Disaster has surfaced as campaigners continue their fund-raising towards a permanent memorial for the victims. Ian Nimmo White, who is vice-chairman of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, has been uncovering various tales of those associated with the 1879 disaster and is hoping they will prompt local people to dig deep and help the trust meet the £50,000 cost of a proper tribute at Riverside Drive, Dundee. He has already spoken of Elizabeth Milne, born in Abernethy, and Annie Spence, born in Newburgh, whose bodies were never recovered. There is no record of them on any headstone. Since then, Mr Nimmo White has had a letter from a lady called Christine Cheape, who lives in Perthshire. She wrote on behalf of her aunt Mima Cheape, who is the great-granddaughter of Euphemia Cheape. He said Euphemia Cheape was also born in Kilmany, Fife, and has never been formally named on a family headstone after losing her life on that terrible December night more than 130 years ago. Mrs Cheape (51), who was married to a shoemaker called James Cheape, worked as a domestic servant in Lochee and, as fate would have it, ended up on the train which plunged into the Tay. "From what I can glean she got on the train at Wormit, which was the last stop before the bridge," Mr Nimmo White noted. "Like a lot of people I think she'd gone off for a day out from her duties, as just after the bridge was built a lot of people enjoyed a day trip over the river and back again. "It was a great novelty at that time. It's unfortunate that the ones that I've highlighted are the ones whose bodies were never found and they've never had a proper headstone, because they literally seemed to drop into oblivion. "It is a real pity." Donations to the campaign can be made at www.thetaymemorial.com.
Limousin bulls sold to 10,500gns on Tuesday evening at the Stirling Bull Sales. The top price went to the second-prize bull Maraiscote Idol from Ian Nimmo, Bogside, Wishaw. By Goldies Comet and out of Maraiscote Bop, it has excellent EBV figures for growth, muscle depth and beef value. The buyer was H Mackay & Son, Wester Tomloan, Nairn. The day’s overall champion Spittalton Ionesco, from Ian Burnett, Upper Spittalton, Blair Drummond made the next top price of 9,000gns. An AI son of Mereside herd’s Bolide and out of Spittalton Unison, he is off to JP Carr Farms Ltd at Riddinghoe, East Sussex. The second-prize Elrick Inca from Michael Massie, Mains of Elrick, Ellon, made 8,000gns, selling to RW Cameron, of Wester Bonhard, Scone. This one is by Craigatoke Dundee and out of Elrick Flash. There was another 8,000gns transaction, with Ian Nimmo selling to father and son James and John Thomson, Hilton of Beath, Kelty. Fifth-prize bull Maraiscote Iggypop is by Goldies Comet and out of Maraiscote Allie. It has high performance figures. The reserve overall champion, Elrick Icon from Michael Massie, was another Craigatoke Dundee son. This one sold to J Lyon, Little Kilchattan, Isle of Bute, for 7,500gns. Dougie McBeath and Sarah-Jane Jessop, Lower Greenyards, Bannockburn, fetched 6,800gns for their reserve junior champion Springsett Islander. He is by the 11,000gns Hafodlas Garnedd, and out of Blairpark Utopia. The buyer was Mr Cadzow. Ian Nimmo’s Maraiscote Ike, by Macschoice Chris, sold for 6,500gns to Brian Buchan, of Clinterty, Fraserburgh. Ashley McInnes, Cowick Farm, Goole, received 6,500gns for her senior bull McInnes Igolo, selling to BG & J Abbott, Duich, Isle of Islay. By the end of the sale 62 Limousin bulls sold to average £4,625. This was down £622 on the year with a clearance rate of 64%. Last year 70 sold for £5,247 but the clearance rate was 80%. Unlike the Aberdeen-Angus and Shorthorn sales the junior classes proved harder to clear, but this may have been due to a thinner ringside, with buyers heading home before the weather closed in. It may lead United Auctions to ponder the wisdom of using all of Monday for the pre-sale shows and then fitting three breed sales into Tuesday’s schedule.
A piper's lament played as the final resting place of the train driver who perished in the Tay Bridge Disaster more than 130 years ago was finally marked in Fife on Wednesday. David Mitchell, from Leslie, was one of 59 who died in the tragedy on the night of December 28, 1879, when the 5.20pm train from Edinburgh plunged into the Tay after the bridge collapsed in a violent storm. Mr Mitchell's body was washed up nine weeks later and he was placed in a grave at Leslie Cemetery which had remained unmarked ever since. Thanks to the efforts of locals, spearheaded by Leslie writer Ian Nimmo White, a headstone has been created and was officially dedicated at a ceremony at Mr Mitchell's graveside. Mr Nimmo White, who has composed a poem to be etched on a memorial to the disaster's victims planned for the Dundee side of the Tay, has spent many months poring over records trying to identify Mr Mitchell's descendants, and has done so with great success, uncovering the life and legacy of a man who is forever part of Tayside and Fife's history. So extensive was the work that Mr Mitchell's great-grandson David Leighton and great-great-grandson Murray were able to take part in the service. Mr Nimmo White said, "Obviously in people's minds the train driver sticks out not because he was in any way responsible, but because he has been given a reluctant place in history." He added, "For me personally it was a great experience and I've had nothing but steadfast support from the Mitchell family." Mr Mitchell's body lies in the grave at Leslie along with his wife Janet Moyes, his son Thomas and his daughters Isabella and Margaret. Mr Nimmo White reckons one of the most satisfying things about his work is that Margaret, originally listed as an unnamed child, is one of the names included on the headstone. Another two children moved away Mr Mitchell's son Andrew, who moved to Glasgow and is buried in Govan cemetery, and David Mitchell jun, who married a woman called Annie Sweeting and had two children, Beatrice and David John.Pocket watchBeatrice is 92 and lives in a nursing home in Edinburgh, while David John lives in England and still has his grandfather's pocket watch. David John's living descendants couldn't attend. David Leighton, Beatrice's son, said he was delighted to be involved on Wednesday. "I'm the sort of middleman because I'm here representing the senior members of my family, but also the younger members as well," he said. "I received a phone call a while back and it all started out in a rather strange way because the caller asked me what my name was and if I could prove it. "It was Ian, and he then went on to explain in great detail what he hoped would happen today and as you can see he's been very successful. "I now have a family tree which I didn't know about, and I'm very honoured that the people of Leslie have taken an interest in today's events." The dedication service was conducted by the Rev Mel Griffiths, from Trinity Church Leslie, who said blessings and prayers, while local councillor Fiona Grant also paid tribute to all those involved in the project. Wreaths were laid on behalf of various local groups, with Leslie Primary School pupils also in attendance to highlight Mr Mitchell's importance to future generations. Mr Nimmo White admits his research has become something of a labour of love and that he was glad to see the latest milestone in his story marked. "Some say history is a thing of the past with no relevance to our present day lives," he said.Personal"In its defence, I would say that each one of us has our own personal history a part of us being made up of our parents, our grandparents and great-grandparents. "And if we care about our ancestors, then we care about their lives, which more often than not were a sight harder than our own. "To deny history a part in our present day lives is to turn our backs on where we came from and who we are." The accident remains the most catastrophic structural failure in Britain's history and the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust (TRBDMT) was set up to try to ensure a proper memorial to the victims is created. Stuart Morris, Laird of Balgonie, has been heavily involved with the TRBDMT and hopes a fitting tribute will come to fruition soon at Riverside Drive in Dundee, overlooking the Tay and the site where the tragedy happened. "The victims are not just names or statistics they were people," he concluded. "We owe it to these people, not only to commemorate the fact that they were caught up in this disaster, but to commemorate their lives."
When memorials to the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster were officially unveiled at Wormit and Dundee last year to coincide with the 134th anniversary of the tragedy, it was to honour the 59 souls “known to have died” in the disaster of December 28, 1879. Now, the secretary of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust, Ian Nimmo White, is controversially hoping to finally lay to rest any suggestion that there were more than 59 victims. Over the years there have been many diverse claims as to the final death toll. The most popular figure is 75, promoted most notably by author John Prebble in the High Girders. There are museums that display literature to support the claim and, following the erection of the giant granite blocks carrying the 59 names in December, there are some who still dispute this figure. In the months since the memorial ceremonies, Mr Nimmo White has been continuing to investigate and has now challenged anyone to disprove his theory that there were indeed only 59 dead. He believes the figure of 75 may have come about because, when an inquiry was held in Dundee after the disaster, it emerged that Robert Morris, the station master at St Fort had 75 tickets in his drawer but Mr Nimmo White believes these may have been an accumulation of the ill-fated train and a train that crossed safely earlier. He told The Courier: “There was good reason why that figure of 75 was quoted. It was not just gobbledygook. But I believe it was an oversight.” Mr Nimmo White said Mr Morris took the tickets to the inquiry in Dundee but these were returned afterwards. Mr Morris emigrated to New Zealand after the disaster and, in the 1980s, a collage of the stubs was donated to the Barrack Street Museum in Dundee by the family. Mr Nimmo White said he had investigated these tickets and it was clear that no differentiation could be made between tickets from different trains as there was no time or date stamp on them. He added: “Of the 59 known to have died, 46 bodies were found. A further 13 mainly women were placed on the train by their families but the bodies were never found. Their Victorian dresses probably took them straight to the bottom. “It’s ridiculous to suggest there were a further 16 people lost on the train because there were never reports of 16 other missing people. “I can’t prove this but I challenge anyone to prove there was a 60th fatality let alone a 75th.”