103618 Search results for ‘rf/sample/qs/Jeff Clarke/qt/article_slideshow/qc/tag’

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…

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

Business news

Jelf moves for Perth broker Clark Thomson

April 12 2018

Insurance broker Clark Thomson has been bought out by national group Jelf in a deal that secures the jobs of all 200 staff at the Perth headquartered group. The move, completed for an undisclosed fee, gives Jelf a strong foothold into the main Scottish territories in which it did not previously have a physical presence. Clark Thomson was founded in 1965 and has since grown to be Scotland’s largest independent operator, with nine offices throughout the country including Perth and Dundee. Jelf, which is itself part of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), is focused on the mid-size and SME market and has more than 3,000 staff in 75 locations across the UK. Jelf chief executive Phil Barton said the origins of the deal extended back almost two years to informal conversations between himself and Clark Thomson managing director Ben Bailey. He said it quickly became clear the two companies had similar outlooks and cultures and their respective geographic footprints were complementary to one another. He said: “When we were looking at Scotland we found we were under represented in what is a really important market,” Mr Barton said. “When Ben and I started talking about our respective businesses, it became evident the culture of the the firms was incredibly similar and there was a great geographic fit.” Mr Barton added: “We are a growth business and our ambition is to be the largest and best player in our marketplace.” The new combined business will be led by Mr Bailey and it is expected to trade as Jelf Clark Thomson. Mr Bailey said there would be no change to existing client relationships, other than the new business being able to offer more options to its customers. He added that staff had been informed during morning sessions today and were upbeat at the prospect. He said: “Through Jelf, our clients will have access to a wider range of services and solutions, while colleagues will benefit from being part of Marsh’s wider global network. I look forward to bringing Jelf and Clark Thomson’s operations together, and building the leading advisory business in Scotland.”

Perth & Kinross

Tributes paid to tragic Perth pensioner Billy Clark

July 25 2016

Tributes have been paid to a Perth pensioner, with some describing him as “a gentleman” and others saying he “always had a hello for you.” Although a body found in Perth on Sunday afternoon has to be formally identified, police have contacted the family of 71-year-old Billy Clark following the grim find. The sad news came after an extensive search was carried out for Mr Clark, who had been reported missing from the Muirhall Road area of Perth around 7.30pm on Saturday. Seven fire units arrived at Tay Street, Perth, on Sunday morning and spent nearly six hours searching the river for signs of Mr Clark. Police later confirmed a body had been found in the Perth area and that officers had told Mr Clark’s family of the find. As a result, scores of people have posted messages of condolence to his family on social media. Louise Smith, Mr Clark’s niece, said: “Heartbreaking. RIP Uncle Billy. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.” And Kenny Tunn posted: “RIP Bill. Lovely man. Always had a hello for you.” And similar sentiments were expressed by Jamie Fairlie, who posted: “RIP. Thoughts are with his family – what a gentleman.” Other Perth residents expressed their sadness, with Debbie Smith commenting: “Thoughts are with the family and friends.” And Margaret Latto added: “So sad. Thoughts are with his family.” Jackie Unsworth posted: “So sorry to hear this sad news. My condolences to his family. RIP Billy.” * During the search of the Tay, firefighters identified a piece of metal they had concerns for and the bomb disposal squad were called. However, it turned out to be a simple metal pole.

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.

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

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.


Dundee man acquitted of £30,000 benefit fraud

February 6 2013

A Dundee man has been acquitted of an alleged £30,000 benefit fraud, despite investigators telling the court the claimant had admitted to them that he had lied on claim forms. Dundee Sheriff Court had also heard that much of the evidence against him had previously been agreed between the Crown and the defence. Robert Robertson Folan Clark (67), of St Clement Place, was cleared by Sheriff Anwar of claiming a total of £30,964.23 after his defence agent argued he had not been identified in court as the same person who was interviewed by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and council staff. In addition, there was only evidence from one witness that Clark’s identity had been established at the time he was interviewed by him in relation to his claims. Upholding the submission by solicitor David Duncan on Tuesday, Sheriff Anwar said she had no alternative but to acquit Clark. Clark had denied that on various dates between March 31 2005 and March 31 2010, at 58 Clement Park Place, he obtained benefit of £1,951.62 to which he was not entitled, obtained pension credit amounting to £25,445.41 by fraud and £3,567.20 in council tax benefit, which he was not entitled to. Fraud investigator Bruce Walker of DWP told the court Clark had confirmed to him that he had lied on his claim forms. The court heard it was a matter of agreement that Clark had an excess of capital in his bank account that he had not declared. Mr Walker said: “He said it was money for his two sons from his late wife.” The witness also agreed a suggestion by depute fiscal, Laura Bruce, that the money had been in his account before Clark’s wife had died in 2006. The court heard Clark told them that £40,000 had been laid aside for his sons. Asked why excess funds were in his account, Mr Walker said Clark “couldn’t answer other than to say the information was false initially.” Dundee City Council benefits investigations officer Michelle Fleming told the court that, along with Mr Walker, they interviewed Clark on December 13 2010. The court heard he claimed he had just returned from working in Germany in 1999 and various documents relating to council tax benefit, housing benefit and pension credit claims had been signed by Clark. Ms Fleming told the court: “Mr Clark confirmed that he signed the forms. He provided the answers for the questions he was asked when filling out the forms.” The court heard Clark had told the investigators he wasn’t sure about his late wife’s finances when they came back from Germany and was “surprised” by the amount of money she had. Ms Fleming agreed Clark had savings “in excess of proscribed limits” and said he had told Mr Walker he had no extra income coming in, but later in the conversation he admitted he had pension coming in from NCR and Germany. “He said he had done wrong,” she added. At the conclusion of the Crown case, Mr Duncan submitted that the only evidence in the case that could be relied on was the joint agreement as Clark had not been identified in court as the person who had been interviewed by the investigating officers. Sheriff Anward upheld the submission, saying: “There is no evidence that the person before me was the same person who was interviewed. With the greatest of regret, given the seriousness of the charges faced by Mr Clark, I find him not guilty of all three charges.” awilson@thecourier.co.uk


Glasgow bin lorry crash inquiry hears of driver blackout ‘disparity’

August 4 2015

The inquiry into the Glasgow bin lorry crash which claimed the lives of six people has heard there was a “clear disparity” between two accounts of a brief blackout suffered by the driver in 2010. Glasgow Sheriff Court heard Harry Clarke told his GP the episode on April 7 five years ago happened in a work canteen. But a letter from his then employer stated that the loss of consciousness took place on a stationary bus, the inquiry heard. Mr Clarke, 58, was driving the council truck in Glasgow city centre on December 22 last year when he appeared to lose consciousness at the wheel and the lorry veered out of control. A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the tragedy has heard he suffered from previous blackouts and dizziness dating back to the 1970s, but failed to notify the local authority when he applied for his post with them. The FAI, now in its 10th day, has been hearing from Baillieston-based Dr Gerald McKaig, 50, who was Mr Clarke’s GP in 2010. The inquiry has heard how his medical notes for the driver recorded he had a “five-second loss of consciousness” on April 7 2010. It happened at work in the “hot environment” of the canteen, the notes recorded. They added that there had been no warning signs of the incident, that Mr Clarke had felt “slightly disorientated” during the episode and that paramedics attended. Dr McKaig, who said he had no clear recollection of the appointment, said his view at the time was that the incident was a “simple faint” and did not need to be reported to DVLA. But the inquiry was also told of a letter dated April 8 2010 from Mr Clarke’s then employer, FirstBus, to another GP at the same medical practice. It stated that the driver had had “an episode of loss of or impaired consciousness while on a stationary bus” the previous day. The letter sought advice and said: “I understand he has been advised he does not need to inform the DVLA of the incident.” Dr McKaig confirmed the information in the letter appeared to be different to the account he had received in relation to the location of the incident. “There is a clear disparity between the descriptions,” the GP told the inquiry. Questioned by Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC, leading the inquiry, Dr McKaig confirmed the information in his notes would have come from one source, Mr Clarke. Ms Thomson asked whether there was any room for the GP having got his notes wrong. “No, not at all,” he replied. Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack Sweeney, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, died from multiple injuries after being hit by the truck. Stephenie Tait, 29, and Jacqueline Morton, 51, both from Glasgow, and Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh, were also killed as the lorry travelled out of control along Queen Street and towards George Square before crashing in to the side of the Millennium Hotel. The Crown Office ordered an FAI into the crash after prosecutors ruled there was no evidence to warrant criminal proceedings.