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...
When we learned this week that the brutal murder of a Perthshire woman nearly 150 years ago is Scotland's oldest unsolved killing, it got The Courier's online team wondering -- just how did our papers report the crime all those years ago? As Kirsten Johnson reported on Thursday, Tayside Police have revealed that -- at least officially -- the file on Janet Henderson's mysterious death at Mount Stewart Farm, near Forgandenny, on March 30, 1866, has never been closed. The 50-year-old's mutilated body was discovered lying in a pool of blood in the kitchen of her brother William Henderson's home, sparking a nationwide murder hunt. The wife of Airntully labourer James Rodgers, Janet had been helping out at the farm while her brother sought new servants in Perth. But as The Dundee Advertiser revealed in its edition of April 3, 1866, neither James nor William would ever again see her alive. In an article headlined "MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF A WOMAN NEAR BRIDGE OF EARN" The Advertiser warns the reader: "It is our painful duty to record one of the most atrocious and mysterious murders that has ever come within the range of criminal jurisprudence." In the colourful writing characteristic of 19th century journalism, it continues: "The scene of the tragedy is so peaceful, the motives that prompted it so inscrutable, and the victim so amiable and respected, that a feeling of intense interest cannot but be awakened by the narration of the circumstances that followed the discovery of the crime which we proceed to give..." We learn that "at half-past ten o'clock on Friday night" the assistant procurator fiscal of Perthshire, John Young, receives at his home in Perth a letter from William Henderson. In a strikingly polite manner considering the circumstances, Henderson writes: "Dear Sir, -- Please come out here immediately, as my sister has been murdered whilst I was in Perth. Your obediant servant WILLIAM HENDERSON." Young rounds up a Superintendent McDonald and a constable of the County Police and, after establishing the exact location of the crime: "Thither they at once proceeded, where a terrible spectacle presented itself." Sparing no detail, the report reveals that Janet: "...lay on her back on the kitchen floor, a murdered corpse. A fearful contusion of the right ear, and a large wound on the top of the head by which the skull had been crushed in, and a heavy axe close by, showed too clearly how the foul act had been perpetrated. The head of the body weltered in blood, and lay towards the door, while the feet were extended in the direction of the fire. A great portion of the floor was covered with blood, which also bespattered many articles around. The house had a confused and disordered appearance, as if it has been ransacked for plunder." Now, at this point, we, and perhaps you, are starting to have suspicions about William Henderson. The first to find the body... The first to report the murder... That oddly calm letter to the assistant procurator... His claim to have been in Perth when it happened... Could he have been responsible for this "horrid crime"? Once again, The Advertiser leaves no stone unturned and no angle ignored. "For a considerable time back Mr Henderson has lived alone, without any servant or attendant; but on Wednesday last his sister ... took up residence with him at his request, for the purpose of cleaning his house and attending a cow that was daily expected to calve. On the forenoon of the day in question, Mr Henderson states he left home for Perth with a horse and cart at eleven o'clock, leaving his sister alive and well. On his return home, between six and seven in the evening, he was surprised to find both the back and front doors of the house locked, and also the shutters of the windows secured. Having knocked in vain for admittance, he had recourse to entering the house by a ladder at one of the windows of the second storey, when he was horrified to find that his sister had been foully deprived of life during his absence." But, for The Advertiser, any suspicion surrounding Henderson stops there. Referring to his account, it declares: "This statement, it is of consequence to mention, has received material corroboration. It has been proved beyond all doubt that Mr Henderson was in Perth in the course of Friday, and also, that on his way home he made business calls on two tradesmen at Bridge of Earn, between six and seven in the evening." There are no such assurances given for Henderson's foreman James Crichton, however. In a sentence dripping with innuendo, the article states: "The man Crichton was ploughing in the neighbourhood at the time, but can give no information on the subject." Newspapers across the UK initially carried descriptions of a "tramp" reportedly seen leaving the scene around the time of the murder and a £100 reward was offered to anyone who could offer information that might lead to a conviction. Crichton was subsequently charged with murder -- but following a trial at Perth the following year the case was found not proven and Crichton was released. And so a crime that shocked 19th century Scotland gradually faded to memory. The Advertiser and its successor The Courier & Advertiser will have made reference from time to time. But as the years passed and any possible witnesses died, the "atrocious and mysterious" murder near Forgandenny was to become what it is today -- Scotland's oldest unsolved killing. Police forces across Scotland are currently investigating 77 unsolved murders -- 53 in the Strathclyde region, 10 in Tayside, six in Lothian and Borders, four in Grampian, three in the Northern Constabulary area and one in Fife. Most forces only have records dating back to 1975, when the current force structure was established. But Scotland's newspapers, in their various guises, have been around much, much longer. So perhaps the answers to these crimes lie waiting to be discovered in the dusty files that fill the shelves of publishers like D. C. Thomson. It would be a fitting legacy to the generations of journalists, printers and readers who have helped investigate and document our nation's affairs and lay down a priceless historical archive for future generations to explore. To read the full Advertiser article, click here (link will open in a new tab or window. Zoom in to read).
Two Tayside marquee hire firms have merged in a move that creates a new £1 million-plus turnover company. Dundee headquartered DP&L Group confirmed it had acquired Blairgowrie-based AJ Henderson Ltd for an undisclosed sum. The business is to be merged with DP&L’s existing subsidiary, Allison & Stiven Marquee Hire, and the new combined business will trade under the new brand of Henderson Gray. The ‘Gray’ in the new name reflects Allison & Stiven’s own heritage as it traded as Allison Gray prior to a merger with RC Stiven in 2011. The new unit will stand alone within the wider DP&L Group and its formation and premises at Blairgowrie will allow the separate Allison & Stiven workwear business the room it needs to expand at Dunsinane Industrial Estate. DP&L group managing director Alick Bisset said he was delighted to bring Henderson’s into the fold. “This is a quality business which will enhance our offering especially in the wedding and private hire sector, an area in which we have seen significant growth since taking control three year ago,” Mr Bisset said. “I am also pleased that the move will result in the immediate creation of four new jobs in the local area.” The combined business will have a turnover in excess of £1m and will employ 10 full-time staff. The workforce is expected to double during the busy summer months. Henderson’s was formed by Alistair and Jane Henderson in 1999 and primarily focuses on weddings and private functions. Mr Henderson will remain as a consultant to the business during the 2018 season to assist with the integration of the two enterprises. “We are delighted that the company will continue to move forward and expand as part of the DP&L Group and I am looking forward to assisting with the integration of the new business and ensuring our successful business philosophy is embedded into the expanded business,” Mr Henderson said. John Lucas, managing director of Allison & Stiven, said the expansion was a logical step. “As a result of the increase in business over the last three years we had run out of space at our existing premises in Dundee,” Mr Lucas said. “The acquisition, in addition to adding the benefits of increased scale into the business, solves this issue as there is room for expansion on Henderson’s existing site. “In addition, they have equipment - especially steel subframe - which significantly improves our offering to both existing and prospective customers.” Mr Bisset said DP&L Group had grown strongly in recently years to become a circa £15m turnover business. He added: “Since acquiring the DP&L Group in 2014 we have made significant progress with the primary focus on improving profitability through organic growth and strengthening the balance sheet by paying down debt. “This has put us in a position where we are now able to make investments in businesses, like Henderson Marquee Hire, which are excellent strategic fits for the group.”
A nurse who worked at a care home in Forfar has been struck off after being found mixing medicines that should have been administered separately. Victoria Henderson, who worked at Lochbank Manor Care Home in Graham Crescent, was found guilty of five charges at a hearing at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Edinburgh. It was found that on three occasions on August 27 2011 she gave a resident two doses of drugs at the same time through a tube instead of administering each independently and flushing in between. The panel found Ms Henderson guilty of falsifying the patient’s MAR (medication administration record) chart on that date and that, on numerous occasions between May 21 and September 6 in 2011, she did not carry the nurse’s phone with her at all times. Additional charges that she took additional breaks to which she was not entitled on seven occasions in 2011 and failed to update care plans for four patients at the end of her shift between June 1 2011 and July 21 2011 were not proved. The misconduct came to light when a new nurse started working at the home on August 27 2011 and was asked to shadow Ms Henderson as part of her induction week. Giving evidence, the nurse said during the morning, lunch and tea time drug rounds she observed Ms Henderson mixing and administering medicines that were meant to be given independently. She claimed Ms Henderson told her: “It’s easy to pick up bad habits but we all end up having them. “It just saves time but if you’re ever seen doing this by senior members of staff, don’t mention that I showed you this or that you’d seen me do it.” According to the resident’s MAR chart, they were meant to be given perindopril at 7.30pm. The nurse claimed Ms Henderson administered this drug at 5.30pm but stated on the MAR chart it was given at the correct time. The nurse said Ms Henderson explained: “The perindopril gets administered early. It’s the practice at the home because it gets really busy in the evening at handover time. “Because no other residents are given medications at 7.30pm it’s easy to forget to give it to her. Just sign the MAR sheet as if it was given to her at 7.30pm.” The nurse reported these incidents to an operations director at RDS Healthcare Ltd, which runs Lochbank Manor, on August 30. Ms Henderson’s employment at the home, which provides care to 40 elderly residents, was terminated by RDS on September 6 2011. Defending her actions, Ms Henderson told the panel she had referred to the British National Formulary to check what medicines could be taken together. She claimed she had performed a flush before and after giving the medicine to the resident and a pharmacist had confirmed the drugs given to the resident could be combined. Ms Henderson said her quotes had been taken out of context and also claimed the nurse who gave evidence against her had administered the tea time round of drugs. The panel took the view the nurse who started employment at the home in August 2011 was a credible witness, due to her consistent evidence and preferred her version of events. The written judgement stated: “The panel considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct and the nature of her dishonesty to be a serious departure from professional standards. “It noted her misconduct involved the deliberate concealment of poor practice. Further, the panel found Ms Henderson did not accept personal responsibility and attempted to shift the blame on to others. “The panel has considered Ms Henderson’s misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Register. “The panel therefore decided the only appropriate and proportionate sanction in this case is a striking-off order.”
Fancy making your very own hedgerow basket? Gayle Ritchie gets crafty... It may lean at a slightly jaunty angle but as far as I’m concerned, the basket’s rusticity is what boosts its appeal. Taking pride of place in front of my wood-burning stove, it’s a rainbow of colours thanks to the bright shoots of dogwood, larch and willow that have been woven in. Right now, I use it to store twigs and fireproof gloves, but I’ve also thought it would make a great holder of dog toys, of which there are many scattered round the house. Anyone who knows me will be amazed to learn that the basket is my very own handiwork. “You seriously made that?” asked my friend, Harry, incredulous. Yes indeed I did, although admittedly with a little help from Jane Wilkinson of Alyth-based Special Branch Baskets. Jane, who is one of Scotland’s leading willow artisans, offers courses in creative basket-weaving and coracle-making. She also weaves decorative fencing, sculptures, wreaths, kindling baskets, shoppers and creels – basically, arm her with willow and she’s unstoppable. When I meet up with Jane for a basketry lesson, the first thing we do is go for a walk in the woods to collect materials. Alyth Hill boasts an abundance of trees of all types and within minutes, we’re pruning shoots of dogwood, willow, larch, hazel, ivy and broom and bundling them under our arms. The best time to collect materials is between October and March, when maximum growth has been reached and the sappy new wood has hardened. But when it comes to willow, it needs to be soaked for a week or sometimes longer, to soften. Jane sources willow both locally and from Somerset and grows and harvests an increasing proportion of her own willow herself. She 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 tells me. “I knock on doors of people who grow it in their gardens and ask if they would like it pruned,” she says. Back at Jane’s workshop, she shows me her stock of ‘buff willow’ (willow which has been boiled and stripped of its bark) and then begins to form a round base, crossing sticks at right angles and binding them together. Next, my classmate Paula McGuire and I learn to cut the willow ends so they’re sharp enough to be driven into the base. Then we use a common weaving technique called the ‘three-rod wale’ to knit lengths of willow into place. It looks tricky but it’s actually fairly simple and once you get into it, it’s almost meditative. We use a couple of other simple weaving techniques, but Jane is always on hand to help (and unpick any erroneously placed shoots), and the basket walls climb ever higher. During multiple coffee breaks, Jane picks up our creations and drops them into wheelie bins filled with water to soak them. This helps keep the wood pliable and makes it easier to work with. Then it’s on to trimming off the stalks and twisting them into a border. It’s up to us whether we want to tidy up the sprawling larch twigs, with their pine cones and soft needles, but I prefer to leave it ‘real’. Once finished, we step back and gaze at our baskets with pride. They truly are objects of beauty, and Paula and I can’t stop smiling. These works of art need time to dry out, so Jane’s advice is to keep them away from direct heat for a few days. As (whisper it) the festive season approaches, a hedgerow basket seems like an ideal gift, especially if you can jazz it up with cones and Christmas colours. And with Jane running a series of Christmas craft courses across Fife and Perthshire, what better excuse to get crafty? info Special Branch Baskets is part of the Alyth Craft Tourism project which is helping to bring holidaymakers to the area to sample new and traditional crafts from Scottish practitioners. With courses in basket-weaving and coracle-making among her contributions, Jane, along with fellow organiser Clare Cooper, hopes to encourage crafters and beginners into the town. They have teamed up with local accommodation providers to offer visitors somewhere to stay. specialbranchbaskets.com For more details about craft trips in Alyth, see Alyth Craft Tourism on Facebook and Twitter.
Retired Cupar publican John Henderson has died aged 83. Mr Henderson ran the Cupar Arms Hotel from 1958 until 1984. He went on to run the Victoria Bar in Perth for four years before retiring in 1992. Born in Methil in 1931, he attended Dollar Academy before going on to study at the Royal College of Agriculture. In 1958 he gave up his chosen career when his mother Elizabeth Sleigh Thomson Henderson bought the Cupar Arms, and he jointly ran it with her. Married to Janette in 1954, the couple raised two daughters, Margaret and Janet, and a son William. William told The Courier that growing up around a pub was “fun and at times difficult”. He said: “It was fun in that we had access to the hotel, the bar and the cellar but it was equally hard work for my father who worked long hours, morning noon and night, six days a week.” William said work took up most of his father’s time but he was also a keen and very good darts player. The Cupar Arms team won countless Fife league competition. He was also a founder member of Cupar Round Table and a member of Cupar Burns Club. He did not miss a Burns supper in around 50 years. William added: “He was a very committed man. A very strong character. If he said he would do something for you, he would do it. “He was always on time. He was very popular with his customers and very well known in the town. “His customers were tremendously loyal to the business and he was loyal to them.” In those days, Cupar was still a busy market town and many of the hotel guests were connected with the former Ministry of Defence listening station at Hawklaw and with the former Cupar agricultural market on Station Road. Mr Henderson, who was a grandfather and great-grandfather, is survived by his wife, sister Christine and family. His funeral takes place at St John’s Church, Cupar, at 2.15pm on Wednesday.
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 Dundee beautician-turned-drug dealer was caught with nearly 900 grams of high-purity amphetamine. The sheriff court heard Cally Henderson, who works at a city centre beauty salon, was also found with enough bulking agent to make the drug up to 6,294 grams of street-strength powder with a value of £62,940. The court heard police had been watching Henderson, 33, of Sandeman Street, for weeks before they searched her home. Depute fiscal Vicky Bell said: “Officers rang the doorbell and were let in to the house by the accused. “They were led into the kitchen where she voluntarily said, ‘that’s it there’ and pointed to a carrier bag. “The bag was seized and within it was a plastic and duct tape wrap containing 888.1 grams of amphetamine, which was found to be of 14% purity when tested.” Henderson admitted that, between January 3 and 16, she was concerned in the supply of amphetamine. She was given bail but warned by Sheriff Elizabeth Munro she could face jail. Henderson’s sentence was deferred to October 27.
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.
Ahead of its screening in Courier Country cinemas, Michael Alexander speaks to Robbie Fraser, the director of Hamish - a movie which charts the life of Perthshire-born war hero, poet and songwriter Hamish Henderson Like many people in Scotland, film-maker Robbie Fraser had dim memories of who Perthshire-born Scottish cultural colossus Hamish Henderson was. But he had never fully engaged with his material or found out anything about the man himself. That all changed, however, when he was working on a documentary in Mali about a gold miner with a Scottish wife from Fife. At a time when music was banned by Islamic terrorists, Robbie’s sister sent him a copy of Henderson’s famed Scottish ballad ‘Freedom Come All Ye’ – a folk song that some say should be Scotland’s real national anthem. “I listened to it over and over again,” Robbie, 43, tells The Courier. “It’s a real anti-imperial anthem. It’s the opposite of Scotland the Brave. I think it’s even more relevant in the world we live in today. To paraphrase another Scottish legend, ‘We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns’.” Following its sold-out premiere at the 2016 Glasgow Film Festival, Hamish, Robbie’s much-anticipated documentary about Hamish Henderson, will tour cinemas across Scotland from June 3. Blairgowrie-born Henderson (1919-2002) was a hugely influential part of Scotland’s cultural scene. Hamish pays tribute to the many contrary forces and diverse facets of Henderson’s life as a poet, soldier, intellectual, activist, songwriter and leading force of the revival of Scottish folk music. From an English orphanage and the draughty corridors of Cambridge to overseeing the capitulation of the Italian army in the Second World War, this is Henderson’s life told by those who knew him best and loved him most. “The way it’s been done is a wee bit unusual in that there’s no voice-over, “explains Robbie. “It’s been a privilege to work on the film because he’s a wee bit lost right now, faded from view. But he needs to be re-cemented into the Scottish imagination as a poet, a maker and an inspirer of people.” Robbie says it has been a “very emotional film” to work on, and that comes in part because the story is told only through the words of people who knew him personally over many years. “I’m pretty much the only person on the production who didn’t know him, “adds Robbie, “and I wish I had. He was clearly a benevolent, adored and empowering cultural force.” It was a particular coup to hear from Hamish’s widow and daughters. He also got on board writer, film-maker and art historian Timothy Neat of Wormit. He wrote Henderson’s biography and gave the film maker exclusive access to stills and video footage. “It was a steep learning curve, and a daunting responsibility trying to carry on the spirit of who he was, “adds Robbie. “But we’ve given it our best shot and I hope we’ve captured the spirit of the man.” Born to a single mother on November 11, 1919, in Blairgowrie, Hamish Henderson attended Blairgowrie High School before moving to England with his mother who died before he started school at Dulwich College, London. Living in an orphanage, Hamish managed to secure a place at Cambridge where he would study modern languages. While a student visiting Germany he acted as a courier for a Quaker network which helped refugees escape the Nazi regime, later serving with Intelligence Corp in Europe and North Africa as a translator. His experience of war acted as a catalyst for his poem sequence Elegies For The Dead In Cyrenaica for which he received the Somerset Maugham Award in 1949. He used his prize money to fund his journey to Italy where he translated The Prison Letters Of Antonio Gramsci; given the sensitivity of the subject, it wasn’t published until years later and he was asked to leave the country. Henderson became an integral part of the Scottish folk movement when he accompanied the American folklorist Alan Lomax on a collection tour of Scotland. His career as a collector not only established his place as a permanent member of staff at the School of Scottish Studies but also led him to return to his native Blairgowrie, making the travellers who berry-picked in the summer his particular area of activity. He beautifully described this time as “like sitting under Niagara Falls with a tin can” Henderson helped establish the Edinburgh People’s Festival in 1951. It put traditional Scottish folk music on a public stage for the first time and arguably evolved into the internationally celebrated Edinburgh Festival Fringe as we know it today. As folk clubs sprung up and modern folk songs bled into the mainstream, often these songs contained political themes and Henderson’s own compositions Freedom Come Aa Ye and The John MacLean March were written in to the fabric of Scottish culture. In 1983 he turned down an OBE in protest of the nuclear arms policy under the Thatcher government and as a result was voted Scot Of The Year by BBC Radio Scotland listeners. He was openly bisexual and campaigned for equal rights, Scottish independence and was a strong supporter of the release of Nelson Mandela. *Hamish is screened at Perth Playhouse from June 3 to 7 and at DCA Dundee on June 5 email@example.com