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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...

Motoring news

Form an orderly Q for Audi SUV

August 10 2016

First there was the Q7. Then the Q5 and Q3. All have been a phenomenal success for Audi. I’d be surprised if that script changes when the Q2 arrives in November. Audi’s baby SUV is available to order now with prices starting at £22,380. Can’t quite stretch to that? Don’t worry, an entry level three-cylinder 1.0 litre version will be available later this year with a cover tag of £20,230. From launch, there are three trim levels available for the Q2 called SE, Sport and S Line. The range-topping Edition #1 model will be available to order from next month priced from £31,170. While the entry-level 113bhp 1.0-litre unit isn’t available right away, engines you can order now include a 113bhp 1.6-litre diesel and 148bhp 1.4-litre petrol unit, both with manual or S tronic automatic transmissions. Also joining the Q2 line-up from September is the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 148bhp or 187bhp. This unit comes with optional Quattro all-wheel drive. A 2.0 litre petrol with Quattro and S tronic joins the range next year. Standard equipment for the new Audi Q2 includes a multimedia infotainment system with rotary/push-button controls, supported with sat-nav. Audi’s smartphone-friendly interface, 16in alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity and heated and electric mirrors are all also standard for the Audi. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the Audi pre sense front with pedestrian recognition that is standard. The system recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds. Other systems in the line-up include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lane-departure warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.

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

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.


A quick course in coracle making…and paddling

April 23 2016

In 1974, fisherman Bernard Thomas paddled a coracle across the English Channel in less than 14 hours. I’m pondering this amazing feat as I spin frustratingly round and round in circles in a coracle on Clunie Loch, near Blairgowrie. My aim is to paddle forwards but it’s just not happening. The trick, coracle maker Jane Wilkinson, tells me, is to wrap your arm around the paddle and make a figure-of-eight movement, also known as sculling. If you try paddling as if you’re in a kayak, you’ll go nowhere. Coracles (or currachs as they’re called in Scotland) are “skin-on-frame” boats which along with dug out canoes, were the earliest boats ever constructed, dating back to Neolithic times. Small, oval-shaped and lightweight, they are an effective fishing vessel; when powered by a skilled person (that won’t be me then), they hardly disturb the water or the fish, and can be easily manoeuvred with one arm. They were used as recently as the 1960s on the Tay to catch river mussels. Jane, who is one of Scotland’s leading willow artisans, runs coracle building courses with participants guaranteed to take away their very own boat at the end. She teaches you how to paddle it, too, so you’ll be able to while away the summer evenings fishing or simply enjoying floating in your very own little boat. The best thing? A coracle can be constructed in a couple of days and you don’t need to come armed with any special skills. Jane, who runs Special Branch Basketry, sources willow for the gunwale from Somerset and harvests the bigger willow for the coracle’s framework herself in winter. “I was originally drawn to working with willow out of a love for trees and woodlands and also from a desire to do something sustainable,” she says. “Basketry was the perfect solution. I now grow and harvest an increasing proportion of my own willow, and then have the pleasure of weaving it into a basket, sculptural piece, creels or coracles. “I chap on doors of people who grow it in their gardens and ask if they would like it pruned. And if it is the right species of willow, I can use it for weaving big structures.” The main framework consists of a number of large stakes which are pushed into the ground. You then weave around these stakes to form the structure of a coracle. “The next step is to drop the seat plate into position and then finish off weaving the rest of the gunwale (top edge or rim),” explains Jane, showing me how it’s done. “You then bend all the uprights over to make the bottom of the coracle.” One you’ve got the basic shape, you weave other strips of willow into the frame, adding strength. It’s at this point that I get involved, “lashing” together the points at which the large rods intersect with cord. The boat is then pulled out of the ground, allowed to dry (willow shrinks) and the cover is added to the frame. At one time, the skin would have been cow or bull hide, but Jane uses heavy duty cotton painted with bitumen paint to make it waterproof. “They are a 'skin-on-frame' construction, the frame usually being made of woven sticks or split laths,” Jane explains. “The skin has to be stretched across the frame.” It takes a few days for the coracle to dry out, but luckily, Jane has a selection of “here’s some I made earlier” for me to try out. With the help of Piotr Gudan from Blairgowrie-based Outdoor Explore, we head to Clunie Loch for a paddle. Jane gets in first and gives a demo. It looks deceptively easy. Stepping into the dinky craft, I’m thrown off balance and almost end up head first in the water. I hadn’t expected it to be quite so unstable. A degree of balance is required. Once I’ve planted my feet firmly and am sitting upright, I feel more secure. Piotr and Jane offer advice to stop me from spinning uselessly. “Imagine a figure of eight on its side, drawn with the blade of the paddle,” says Jane. “This stroke – a sculling stroke – pulls you forwards. If you try a straightforward stroke at the side of the boat, you will just spin in a circle.” It takes a fair bit of getting used to but the very fact Bernard Thomas manoeuvred one of these crafts across the channel is testimony to the seaworthiness of the coracle. If you get the chance to take part in one of Jane’s courses, go for it. It’s a physically demanding project, but it’s great fun and you achieve a huge amount of satisfaction completing your boat and launching it for the first time. info Jane’s next coracle course runs from June 3 to 5 in Alyth. It’s running as an Alyth Craft Tourism event. specialbranchbaskets.com        

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

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

Readers' letters

July 4: Howff gravestone appeal fell on deaf ears

July 4 2011

Today's letters to The Courier. Howff gravestone appeal fell on deaf earsSir,-One could almost feel the pride throughout J.J. Marshall's column about Morgan Academy, Dundee. What a pity he, and all the other former pupils, are not prepared to do something about the Morgan gravestone in the Howff. Some nine years ago The Nine Trades found it in a disgraceful state. They spent a great deal of money having new pillars cut and the stone repaired and replaced. The stone, however, needs the inscription re-cut. We obtained a quote of some £1300 for the work and committed the sum of £300 to start things off. Despite repeated pleas, often in your paper, for money to make up the balance, we have only had one response, a cheque from one grateful past pupil for £40. So much for the great pride Morgan pupils have in their old school. Work that out at a cost per proud pupil and it is less than a loaf of bread. Some pride. Innes A. Duffus.Dundee.Law Society stayed quietSir,-It must be really demoralising for law students, especially graduates trying to complete their articles and many still seeking employment, to see their profession being further denigrated. I would have thought that, even with its blemishes, the Scottish Law Society would be more than capable of dealing with any criminal case or human rights issue without any outside intervention. Whether politics were involved or not, I remember in 2009 the lord chancellor was one of the main instigators of the Supreme Court. At that time only three High Court judges from Scotland were appointed. With an issue proving so important to our nation, was there even a murmur at any level from the Scottish Law Society? In a constantly changing world perhaps now is the time for a re-appraisal of the Law Society and its role. James M. Fraser.39 High Street,Leven.Pension grumbles overstatedSir,-This morning's editorial (June 29) was spot on when it claimed the public-sector pension issue should have been addressed by the Labour government in 2005 when they memorably funked it. Increased longevity makes impossible continuance of an unreformed system. A 3% increase in contributions and a retirement age of 66 is not the end of the world. The professions tend to overestimate the income they will need in retirement and my kirk pension of £12,000 after 35 years, plus my state pension, has proved fine. My medical brothers received over four times that amount and retirement at 60 but I found the closing years before retirement at just past 65 the most rewarding of my entire career. As long as the poorer-paid public sector workers are protected, I think the better-off professionals with school fees and mortgages long past should keep a grip on reality. (Dr) John Cameron.10 Howard Place,St Andrews. Not the saviours they pretendSir,-The SNP's Alex Orr (June 27) is right to highlight Scotland's marginally better public spending deficit as compared to the UK generally, but at least the Westminster government has acknowledged the need to get it under control. However, the SNP wants to see a Scotland with fiscal policies like slashed corporation tax, significantly reduced fuel duty and tax breaks for favoured sectors such as computer games. The SNP is clearly reluctant to raise income tax or council taxes, or to impose a windfall tax on oil companies. But it makes lavish spending commitments. It surely ill behoves the Nationalists to favourably compare Scotland's deficit to that of the UK. No wonder the SNP is so keen for Scotland to have borrowing powers. Mr Orr highlights the role of oil revenues in an independent Scotland. But this merely underlines yet another future drain on Scotland's public purse, namely the subsidy-hungry renewables industry. There would also be a stealth tax in the form of rocketing energy bills. The SNP's attempts to depict themselves as the planet's environmental saviours, while at the same time portraying oil as the key to Scotland's future, shows that the party wants to have its renewables cake and eat it. Stuart Winton.Hilltown,Dundee. Fairtrade status undermined Sir,-I note with interest your article (June 28) about Scotland being on course to become the world's second Fair Trade nation. Having been on the original working group which helped set up the Scottish Fair Trade Forum back in 2006, I think it would be wonderful to see this goal being achieved. Dundee became a Fairtrade City in March 2004, the first in Scotland, but this status needs to be renewed. That is currently under threat because, unlike other local authorities, Dundee City Council does not automatically provide Fairtrade catering for meetings. It would be a great shame if Scotland's Fair Trade nation accolade were denied because its first Fairtrade city lost its status. Sally Romilly.4 Westwood Terrace,Newport-on-Tay. Leuchars still at riskSir,-The fact that the MoD has spent millions on RAF Leuchars is no guarantee of saviour. Remember that a new hangar complex was built for rescue helicopters of 22 Squadron, only for the RAF to disband the flight. Stephen Pickering.19 Abbey Court,St Andrews.


JK Rowling has fans reading between the byline

July 16 2013

JK Rowling’s outing, this week, as the author of a new crime novel under the name Robert Galbraith, has propelled his/her book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, to the top of the best-seller lists. So what’s in a name? Quite a lot, as Helen Brown discovered... Writing about what you know is all very well, but making it up as you go along is what most writers of fiction aspire to do, so starting with your own name seems like an obvious ploy. Ms Rowling, of course, became JK in the first place, rather than Joanne, because savvy publishers reckoned that her target audience of young males might not accept a female name on the cover. Now, The Cuckoo’s Calling, from a respectable (and very well-reviewed) 1,500 hardback sales, has shot to the top of the book charts. Before the deception was discovered, critics like Val McDermid and Peter James hailed its style and “a major new talent”, which must have been very gratifying for Ms Rowling, who did it because she wanted the book to be judged for itself alone after the hype surrounding her first non-Harry novel, A Casual Vacancy. She’s not the first, of course. In the early 80s, Doris Lessing wrote as Jane Somers, to show how hard it was for unknown writers to get published at all. Famously, Stephen King created an alter ego, Richard Bachman, with a detailed back story, family and career. He started off, according to King, as: “a sheltered place where I could publish a few early books which I felt readers might like. Then he began to grow and come alive. When his cover was blown, he died.” Rowling’s Robert Galbraith, by contrast, looks set to continue, the real creator having found it “such a liberating experience” and “pure pleasure” to get genuine feedback. There is, of course, a bit of a difference between choosing a version of your name that will go down well with potential readers or broaden your appeal and actually hiding behind a nom de plume because you genuinely don’t want anyone to know who you are. George Orwell chose that name to get away from his privileged background when he was choosing to write about social injustice and gritty everyday life and also because it sounded “solidly British”. The late Iain Banks wasn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes when he added an M to his science fiction novels, just signalling that he was aiming at a different audience. PD James was encouraged to use initials for her first books, although she never pretended to be anyone else, male or female, once she was on the way to becoming the doyenne of detective fiction. 50 Shades of Grey’s EL James also added an air of non-gender specific mystery to her tale of bad-boy bondage. By historic contrast, Jane Austen’s acerbic romances first surfaced as the creation of simply, A Lady, and Anne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte’s words appeared via Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell. As they commented: “We had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice.” Smart cookies, these Brontes... It’s not a habit confined to the sensitive novelist, either. Ronnie Barker wrote under the name Gerald Wiley precisely because he felt his work wouldn’t be judged purely on its merits. He apparently even rejected one of his own efforts in a bid to maintain anonymity, although not the now legendary “fork handles” skit. Actors and actresses are well known for adopting stage names and pop stars aren’t immune although it’s easier to hide a literary voice than a literal one but not usually from motives of shyness or craving for privacy. You don’t call yourself Marilyn Manson, channelling both glamour and gore, if you fancy strolling down the High Street in blissful anonymity to pick up the morning paper and a year’s supply of Horlicks. The continually reinvented David Bowie (born David Jones, not to be confused with the Mancunian Monkee of almost the same name) may have disported himself as Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke and Aladdin Sane but also performed, without much fanfare, as part of the Tao Jones Index and Tin Machine. So simple or flamboyant? Minimalist or memorable? Maggie Smith (real) or Engelbert Humperdinck (assumed)? Me, I’ll never make it as a writer with a name like mine. Not of fiction, anyway, in spite of what you might think about the veracity of what you read under my byline in The Courier. Although not so very long ago, an American lady called Helen Gurley added her married name (Brown) to her given one and made a mint out of inventing Cosmopolitan magazine. Following that example I’d be Brown Mudie and I’m not risking morphing into a Muddy Brown for anyone. So thus far, dear reader, the only major way HB has made its mark in the world of words is stamped on a pencil.


Award-winning Tayside song writer Eddie Cairney immortalises Queensferry Crossing in tune

October 25 2017

An award-winning Tayside song writer who immortalised the 50th anniversary of the Tay Road Bridge in music last year has released an EP which pays tribute to the newly opened Queensferry Crossing over the Forth. Perth-born Eddie Cairney, 65, who now lives in Arbroath, has released an album called ‘Sketches o' the QC’ which includes songs dedicated to the “isolated” workers who were employed during construction and contrasts the old Forth Road Bridge to the new crossing with its wind shields designed to keep traffic flowing during storms. Eddie, who delayed the release of the album due to family illness and bereavement, said: “It's just another quirky album like I did for the Tay Road Bridge. https://youtu.be/Z6BblA_Zev4 “As you can probably imagine, how do you write six songs about a bridge? “I usually end up using a process of creative journalism. I get a few facts or even just a single fact and then I let my imagination take over. “With each album early on in the writing process I draw a blank and think there's nothing here I can write about but there's always something to write about. “You just have to hang around long enough and it comes eventually. https://youtu.be/a9NyQAFjDsY “I just took threads from here and there. I was going to call the album The Queensferry Crossing but thought that was a bit boring so I went for Sketches o' the Q.C. “It introduces a bit of ambiguity. If you Google the name you get lots of drawings of court scenes!” Eddie was inspired to write Columba Cannon after reading an article about the general foreman for the foundations and towers. https://youtu.be/y_y1y8oV7vo Eddie said: “It was the name that got me and that gave me the first line of the song "He is a bridge builder wi a missionary zeal" Has to be with a name like Columba!” Fishnet bridge was set in a meditative light, describing the bridge as a “thing of beauty that looks like a big fish net glistening high above the Forth but it is a symbolic fishnet with the song taking the form of an imaginary conversation with the bridge.” https://youtu.be/dJgsl2WQ5G0   “Midday starvation came from an article which highlighted the isolation of the workers working high up on the bridge,” he added. https://youtu.be/Dme-bfCXHRI “If you forget your piece you've had it and you starve for there's no nipping round to the corner shop for a pie. The article also said that a local pizza delivery firm regularly delivered a pallet load of warm pizzas to the bridge so that was "midday salvation"! Meanwhile, The boys frae the cheese is a play on words. https://youtu.be/phtQ2-Xx1I0 He added: “I read an article that said The Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) could have acted sooner and avoided the costly closure of the bridge at the end of 2015.” Eddie is no stranger to music and song influenced by Dundee and wider Scottish history. In 2015 he featured in The Courier for his efforts to put the complete works of Robert Burns to music. With a piano style influenced by Albert Ammons, Champion Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim, and a song-writing style influenced by Matt McGinn, Michael Marra and Randy Newman, the former Perth High School pupil, who wrote the 1984 New Zealand Olympic anthem, has organised a number of projects over the years including the McGonagall Centenary Festival  for Dundee City Council in 2002. Last year’s Tay Road Bridge album included a tribute to 19th century poet William Topas McGonagall and also honoured Hugh Pincott – the first member of the public to cross the Tay Road Bridge in 1966. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51tixl9GEs Thanks to The Courier, he also became one of the first to cross the Queensferry Crossing  when it opened to the public in the early hours of August 30.