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Angus & The Mearns

Angus estate for sale at £29 million

September 12 2013

One of the finest estates in Scotland has gone on the market with the eye-watering price tag of £29 million. Kinpurnie Estate at Newtyle, Angus, has a castle and a substantial private home, 5,400 acres of farmland and woodland, six privately owned lochs, a pheasant shoot and 26 estate dwellings. The castle was the home of the late Sir James Cayzer, a businessman and philanthropist, who died in February last year. The estate has come on the market for the first time in almost 100 years, since the Cayzer family bought the land in 1905. The eight-bedroom Kinpurnie Castle was built shortly afterwards. Nigel Cayzer, the nephew of Sir James, said: “It is with considerable sadness that we are placing Kinpurnie on the market. “While it will be a great wrench for me and for my family, the estate has never looked better, and I very much hope that a new owner will derive as much pleasure from it in the future as it has given us.” The estate also includes Thriepley House, a nine-bedroom home that was originally a farmhouse, as well as eight luxury holiday cottages. Kinpurnie is renowned as an outstanding high pheasant shoot, including Quarry Drive which is considered by many to be one of the most challenging in Scotland. The property is being jointly marketed by Savills and CKD Galbraith, with the eight-figure “offers over” price. Luke French from Savills said: “Kinpurnie Estate presents a rare combination of residential, agricultural, commercial and leisure enterprises. “An estate with any one of these assets would be special but to find one with all of them including exceptional sporting facilities is almost unheard of.” The Cayzer’s family wealth derived from the shipping business founded by Sir Charles, the great-grandfather of Sir James, with the family owning the Clan and Union Castle lines. Sir James inherited the title of fifth Baronet of Gartmore at the age of 12 from his brother Nigel, who was killed at Salerno in 1943 while serving with the Scots Guards. He completed his education at Eton and had substantial business interests, including his directorship of Caledonia Investments. He was also known for his generosity, pledging millions to charities including the Red Cross and the Scots Guards Association.

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

Kinpurnie Castle contents reveal life upstairs, downstairs

October 10 2015

A fascinating glimpse into the privileged life led by a wealthy shipping family in their Angus castle has been revealed as the end of an era draws to a close. For over 100 years Kinpurnie Castle near Newtyle was owned by the Cayzers, whose massive fortune was founded by Sir Charles William Cayzer, a Victorian schoolmaster’s son who went to sea as a teenager and later founded a shipping company. With the death of his great-grandson, Sir James Cayzer, the estate and castle was put on the market by his heirs and the castle’s contents are now being auctioned in Perth to allow the new owners to move in. Despite his multi-millionaire status, collection of Rolls Royces, and friends including the Queen Mother, the bachelor Sir James was said to have lived a surprisingly simple life at Kinpurnie but this family had managed to acquire a great many things over the past century. Auctioneer Nick Burns and his team from Lindsay Burns and Company removed seven furniture lorry loads from the castle which are now being sold over two sales. Mr Burns has considerable experience of clearing castles and country house estates including Drumfork, Bridge of Cally, and Kinmonth, Bridge of Earn, and Kinpurnie was another time capsule of a bygone era. “The castle is arts and crafts period in the Scottish baronial taste with all the features you would expect turrets, towers, grand views and set in mature grounds,” said Mr Burns. His team packed the lorries with everything from old butler’s trays “still covered in dust and harking back to the days of service” to vintage luggage, croquet sets, children’s toys, picnic baskets, stag’s heads, silver, furniture and paintings. “You can tell a lot of the items have been there for the best part of the last century,” said Mr Burns. He said that once he got behind the formal rooms into the corridors, servants wing and attics many “hidden gems” came to light. “It was very evocative, light was streaming through the coloured glass panels striking the dust created by the removal and it was thought provoking to think of the same scene 100 years ago when items were coming into the castle to make it a home,” said Mr Burns. The first sale of general items is at the King Street auction house on Thursday October 15 with viewing the day before while antiques, fine art and specialist items from the castle will be auctioned on December 8 and 9.

Perth & Kinross

Global interest in auction of Sir James Cayzer’s treasure trove

December 5 2015

As heir to a shipping company fortune, the late Sir James Cayzer really did have it all a castle, a collection of Rolls-Royces and some of the most expensive “boys’ toys” that money could buy. Now his most treasured possessions, including a remote controlled 8ft long battleship and a sound system housed in an Asprey walnut trunk, are coming up for auction. Following his death, Kinpurnie Castle at Newtyle which was the home of the Cayzers for 100 years was sold. The contents were removed by Nick Burns and his team from Lindsay Burns Auctioneers in seven furniture lorry loads to be sold in Perth. Items from “below stairs” at the castle have already been auctioned off and on Tuesday and Wednesday the cream of the contents will be sold at the King Street auction house. “Sir James was a man of wealth, taste and style,” said Mr Burns. “It has been a privilege to handle the contents of the castle.” The model of HMS Hood which has a motor to power the vessel and move the gun turrets and a smoke generator to belch fumes from the funnels was sailed on a loch on the estate. The castle contained a number of items of naval interest, including watercolours of battleships and a small cannon in the hall. Interest in HMS Hood however seemed to have waned as it was found tucked away by Mr Burns. “It was languishing in the old kitchen quarter covered in dust,” said Mr Burns of the vessel which has a pre-sale estimate of £300 to £500.” The Asprey sound system has a modest estimate of £500 to £1,000 considering that it is believed to have cost upwards of £15,000 when bought new around 20 years ago. The two-day auction reflects every aspect of the life of the Cayzer family home from furniture, clocks, mirrors, paintings, works of art and unique oriental rugs. Items from the castle nursery, including a Victorian dolls’ house and a rocking chair, are up for sale alongside everyday items such as wines and spirits from the cellar. “In the castle the paintings looked smaller because of the size of the rooms but when removed it became apparent how big they were,” said Mr Burns. The sale takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday and is on view on Sunday (1pm to 3pm) and Monday (9am to 5pm). Bidding is expected from around the globe via the internet.

Angus & The Mearns

Have a spare £29 million? Angus estate is still on the market

November 2 2013

Major interest from home and abroad is being shown in a £29 million Angus estate but it remains on the market. Despite rumours circulating locally that the Kinpurnie Estate, home of the late Sir James Cayzer, had been snapped up by an English buyer, selling agents said no deal had been done. The estate, with the Kinpurnie Castle home of businessman and philanthropist Sir James at its heart, was placed on the market last month. Sir James died in February last year and his nephew, Nigel Cayzer, said the decision to market Kinpurnie had been taken with “considerable sadness”. It is being marketed jointly by Savills and CKD Galbraith as presenting “a rare combination of residential, agricultural, commercial and leisure enterprises”. The Cayzer family bought the land in 1905, with the eight-bedroomed castle built soon afterwards. The estate also includes Thriepley House as well as eight luxury holiday cottages and renowned pheasant shooting. Luke French of Savills said: “We are dealing with an encouraging number of potential buyers, both in respect of the entire estate and also those enquiring about individual lots.”

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

Angus & The Mearns

Pupils find a way of saying thanks to benefactor Sir James Cayzer

May 19 2012

The life and work of an Angus philanthropist was marked this week with a tree planting ceremony. Sir James Cayzer died in February at the age of 81, having been a good friend to the people around his home of Kinpurnie Castle for most of his life. In a ceremony attended by his nephew Nigel and his wife, Newtyle Primary School children planted a tree and dedicated it to Sir James, the fifth Baronet of Gartmore and a supporter of many charitable causes. Primary seven pupil Rebecca Quirie gave a dedication to Sir James at the planting ceremony. She said: ''Sir James Cayzer was a supporter of many charitable causes including Newtyle School. He attended many drama shows and supported them generously. ''The school has benefited greatly from his contributions and he was always interested in what the children were doing. ''After he visited the school, Sir James always took time to write to the children to tell them how well they had done and how much he had enjoyed their drama show. ''Today, we are planting this tree in his memory and in recognition of his kindness.'' Mr Cayzer said he was honoured to attend on behalf of his family, and added: ''He was very keen on the spring, so the fact that it's a cherry tree would make him extremely pleased. ''He was a great supporter of the Newtyle School, and very much liked visiting, especially the drama class. He gave a cup here many, many years ago and the cup was given for good behaviour.'' Mrs Cayzer said: ''He was a great supporter of the village.'' Eco Group member Anne Steel, a retired teacher at the school, recalled many years of good relations between Sir James and the people of the area. ''Whenever he asked is there anything you need, we would get it the next day,'' she said. ''It got to the stage where we didn't admit to it because we were embarrassed.'' Referring to Sir James' tendency to write in thick, blue pen, Mrs Steel added: ''There was always a letter the day after the drama production, which we sometimes had a job reading.'' Mr Cayzer added: ''He'd have been very touched at the thought of school children planting the tree. He loved everything to do with this part of the world.'' Sir James was a patron of the Red Cross in Tayside, and a supporter of the Scots Guards Association and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. Maggie's Centres also enjoyed his support.


Sir James Cayzer, fifth Baronet of Gartmore

February 29 2012

Sir James Cayzer, the fifth Baronet of Gartmore and a generous supporter of many charitable causes, has died at his home in Kinpurnie Castle north of Dundee. He was 81. Sir James inherited the title at the age of 12 from his brother Nigel, who was killed at Salerno in 1943 while serving with the Scots Guards. He completed his education at Eton and came north to run the Kinpurnie Estate at Newtyle in Angus, dominated by the castle which became his lifetime home. Sir James, who never married, had substantial business interests including his directorship of Caledonia Investments. His family's business empire was founded by his great-grandfather, the first Sir Charles Cayzer, and was based in shipping with the family owning the Clan and Union Castle lines. Sir James led a full life in business and spent two months each year based in London, often staying in Claridge's, and was a regular foreign traveller. Nephew Nigel Cayzer said his uncle was always happiest back home at Kinpurnie and in the Newtyle area, for which he had a passion. ''He always loved being here and took a great interest in the area and its people,'' said Mr Cayzer. ''My uncle was a very generous person to causes both local and national. He was very supportive of causes to do with young people and went out of his way to be kind if he could help them at all. "He had great difficulty saying no to anyone. He talked about this to me and he said he was very lucky to have a lot and he felt it was his duty to be helpful to other people.'' The Red Cross was an organisation for which he had a strong affection, developing an interest from his mother, Lady Cayzer, who was patron of the national charity for 28 years. A patron of the Red Cross in Tayside, Sir James was also a supporter of the Scots Guards Association and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association. Locally, he gave generous backing to maritime organisations including HMS Camperdown and HMS Unicorn. He would often entertain visiting naval crew, hosting dinners in their honour at local hotels. Maggie's Centres, the cancer care network of which his nephew, Nigel, is national chairman, also enjoyed his support. In his spare time Sir James, who never learned to drive, had a great interest in Rolls-Royces and was often seen being driven around Dundee and South Angus in his 1930s model. Nigel recalled: ''He even used it to go shopping. He was delighted to take it to places like Tesco in Riverside Drive, where it would be parked alongside other cars whose drivers would turn their heads in amazement at a vintage Rolls-Royce appearing alongside them. ''He knew everything about that car and had a wonderful knowledge of Rolls-Royces in general their history, who owned them and how they operated.'' Sir James relaxed by listening to classical music and was especially fond of the work of the Strauss brothers. A regular traveller to Vienna for concerts and operas, he gave financial support to musical organisations and was decorated by the Austrian Government for his services to the music of that country. He had an extensive collection of music and listened almost constantly to Strauss pieces towards the end of his life. When he died at Kinpurnie Castlle on Monday, the music of Joseph Strauss, brother of Johann, was playing in the background. The Kinpurnie estate and its many farms, a substantial undertaking stretching over much of the Sidlaws, will now be run by Nigel, who is 57. With no children to survive Sir James, the Baronetcy of Gartmore will now pass to a distant cousin, Lord Rotherwick.TributesThe funeral of Sir James Cayzer will be private at his request but his family said there will be a memorial service for his many friends to pay their respects. Dundee Lord Provost John Letford said: ''I have known Sir James for many years and have seen first hand his generosity, both of spirit and in the way he supported many local and wider causes that were close to his heart. I will miss his energy and flamboyance, and without it the world has become a slightly more colourless place.'' Angus Provost Ruth Leslie Melville said: ''With the death of Sir James, Angus loses a very dear friend. He was a hugely generous philanthropist and benefactor, not only to organisations and charities but he never turned his back on the needs of individuals and friends. ''He was a man of huge wealth who could very easily have concentrated only on the things which gave him pleasure but his soft heart and generous spirit was such that he was easily moved to help his community. ''His generosity is responsible for the development and progress of many ambitious schemes throughout Britain and in Europe. I shall miss him on a personal level as a dear friend and see his passing as untimely.'' The Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Georgiana Osborne, added: ''I was so sad to learn of Sir James' death and feel the county of Angus has lost not only a great benefactor but a very dear friend. ''Throughout his life, Sir James gave so generously to causes big and small and was a hugely supportive patron of countless local organisations. I know the Red Cross, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and the Scots Guards were particularly close to his heart. ''He will be remembered with great affection and much missed.''


Games jam played out well in Dundee

September 25 2016

Dundee  developers have come up with new virtual reality games in just 24 hours as part of a competition. A games jam took place from 4pm on Thursday until 4pm on Friday at Tag Games, resulting in games prototypes with names like Spider Spider, Mouse of Horrors and Terminal Station. The developers also created their own answer to the famous Boaty McBoatface, with a game titled Vanny McVanFace. Virtual reality, a form of technology that simulates a player's presence in a replica of a real environment, is said to be the future of games with some VR versions already present in many living rooms. Tag's marketing executive Gavin Moffat said: "At the games jam, staff split into four teams of four people - a designer, an artist and programmers. "They then had 24 hours to design a game prototype. "You would struggle to design a full game in that time, although it could be done if you're extremely good and the game is simple. "But with a prototype, you could then spend months perfecting and polishing it into a full game. "Some really great ideas can come out of these jam - you have to be creative and work fast. It was a great event. "This time the theme was virtual reality. Virtual reality headsets are already being used but it's difficult to say whether they'll become the default in gaming. "It could be the case that it's popular for a few years and then people get bored of it, or it could remain popular. "However, it certainly has great potential." Over the past 20 years Dundee has become an international hub for games developers with the world's biggest-selling video game - Grand Theft Auto - starting life in the city. Games jam are popular events where games developers get together to brainstorm ideas and create new prototypes within a short space of time.

Business news

Cayzer firm doubles money in major deal

December 20 2016

Caledonia Investments,  a company with strong Tayside connections, has sold its controlling stake in a major English holiday park operator for £362 million - technically more than doubling its original investment. The fee for Park Holidays UK, Britain's third largest holiday park group, is its headline enterprise value - its entire economic worth. Caledonia will receive £197m in cash, net of fees, for its 81.5% stake. The net proceeds will be held on deposit for future investment. It acquired Park Holidays three years ago for a headline valuation of £172m, and supported its growth from 23 to 26 parks across the south of England from Devon to Suffolk. Caledonia was acquired by the Cayzer family in 1951 as a holding company for their shipping interests. The Cayzers were best known in Angus through the late Sir James Cayzer, the businessman and benefactor, of Kinpurnie Castle. Caledonia came into its own as an investment company in 1987, and is still backed by some members the Cayzer family, who collectively own 48.5% of the share capital. Park Holidays' new owner is Tiger Bidco, a special purpose vehicle incorporated by Intermediate Capital Group. The new owner aims to continue the success of Park Holidays through investment in existing parks and in new acquisitions. Park Holidays caters for private owners of holiday lodges and caravans and offers rental and touring pitch accommodation. Its commercial director Tony Clish, said: "Park Holidays UK has played a very significant role in raising the bar for the UK parks industry, both in terms of the quality standards and value provided to customers," he stated. "We will remain focussed on these vitally important elements as we make plans to invest in our existing operations, and to acquire new parks which are a fit to our business model." The chief finance officer of Park Holidays UK is Al Loch, a graduate of Dundee University who trained as a chartered accountant with Arthur Young (now Ernst and Young) in their practice at Dundee's Overgate Centre. Park Holidays' business base has historically been in the south of England, but it does not rule out any other part of the UK for expansion in the future.  Will Wyatt, chief executive of Caledonia, stated: "Park Holidays has been an outstanding investment for Caledonia and we are delighted with the progress it has made since we became involved in 2013." Completion of the transaction is likely to take place early in the new year once official approval has been received from the Financial Conduct Authority.