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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...


Murder by tormented Dundee actor was no stage play

July 17 2015

Actor William Terriss was a superstar of his day, a giant of the London stage who was mobbed by fans. He was loved by women and admired by men. Terriss was also benevolent. So the nation was shocked when Terriss was murdered as he entered London’s Adelphi Theatre in December 1897. His killer was struggling Dundee actor Richard Millar Archer, 30, also known as Richard Price. The Dundonian believed Terriss was preventing him from getting work but in reality, Terriss was supporting Archer financially. The murder was carefully planned. Archer had been hanging about the theatre for days asking about Terriss’ movements. On the night of the killing, he dressed in a long cloak, stepped in front of waiting fans and plunged a stiletto blade into Terriss’ left side. As Archer made a second attempt, fans restrained him and he was arrested. Within hours of the slaying, reporters from this newspaper had interviewed Archer’s mother and uncovered the story of an unstable, violent fantasist. Archer was born at Balmydown Farm near Strathmartine before moving to the Clepington district with his parents. His mother, Margaret, described him as a little bad tempered and said he preferred girl playmates. Archer developed a love of the theatre at a young age and dreamed of the London stage. In Dundee he worked as a theatre extra but accused the manager Robert Arthur of keeping him out of work. At the age of 22 he achieved his London dream when he joined the Adelphi Theatre. During periods of unemployment he returned to Dundee but accused his family of poisoning his food. Archer’s ego was enormous and despite possessing little talent, he believed he should have been given lead roles. His behaviour became increasingly erratic and after a row with Terriss he was sacked. Terriss, however, channelled money to him and tried to find him work. Archer was found guilty of murder but deemed insane. He was sent to Broadmoor where he died in 1937. The case still resonates in London, where the ghost of Terriss is said to wander Covent Garden underground station.

Perth & Kinross

Town targets good time as Rattray Silver Arrow forms centrepiece of fun day

August 6 2012

There was fun in the sun in Rattray as locals gathered to see the return of a precious historical artefact. The main event of the Loon Braes Fun Day was the presentation of the fabled Rattray Silver Arrow to the winner of the day"s archery competition. The arrow, which dates from the 17th century, was once presented to the winning bowman in the town"s annual archery contest but has been at the centre of a tortuous ownership battle in recent years. Current holder, the Mercer-Nairne family of Meikleour Estate, agreed to put it on show for the fun day, organised by the Silver Arrow Group, the Strathmore Centre for Youth Development and the local festivals committee. The sun-kissed event included traditional cookery masterclasses, bird of prey demonstrations, nature and art workshops, theatrical and musical performances, face painting, a bouncy castle and even a sock-wrestling contest. However, the archery competition and a warbow re-enactment celebrating the 400th anniversary of the parish"s first grand archery tournament were the biggest draws for the large and enthusiastic crowds. Silver Arrow Group honorary secretary Neil Kennedy thanked Lord Robert Mercer-Nairne for returning the arrow to Rattray for the first time since it was won by his Jacobite ancestor John Nairne in 1727. He said: "We are grateful that Lord Robert has agreed to allow the arrow to return for this important anniversary. He has been very accommodating and understands the importance of the day. "It is remarkable that this artefact was not melted down when his ancestor was in exile, which was common practice. It has been well preserved." The day started with a gathering of combatants at Rattray Church and the "Rowdy Procession of Archers" to Davie Park. The archery was opened officially by Lachie Rattray, descendant of the person believed to have had the silver arrow made in 1612, making it the world"s second-oldest sporting trophy. Local MSP John Swinney said: "This is an excellent community event which is a great attraction for both locals and visitors from further afield as well. "There is an unmistakable link with the past in this gathering and this only adds to its attraction. I would like to thank the organisers for their effort in the run-up to this event and in making sure that a valuable tradition such as this keeps going into the future."

UK & World

Pilot pleads not guilty over Shoreham Airshow manslaughter charges

May 15 2018

A pilot whose plane crashed during the 2015 Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 men, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.Andrew Hill, 54, faces trial on 11 charges of manslaughter by gross negligence and one of recklessly or negligently endangering an aircraft under air navigation laws.The defendant, who is on bail, pleaded not guilty to all the charges relating to the crash on August 22, 2015.He wore a grey suit and blue tie for his appearance at the Old Bailey before Judge Richard Marks QC.The judge set a trial for January 14 2019 and confirmed the case would be heard by a High Court judge.The trial is expected to go on for up to seven weeks.The victims were Maurice Rex Abrahams, Dylan Archer, Anthony David Brightwell, Matthew James Grimstone, Matthew Wesley Jones, James Graham Mallinson, Mark Alexander Reeves, Jacob Henry Schilt, Richard Jonathan Smith, Mark James Trussler and Daniele Gaetano Polito.Hill, of Sandon, Hertfordshire, is accused of “recklessly or negligently” endangering a Hawker Hunter G-BXFI or any person on that aircraft contrary to Article 137 of the Air Navigation Order 2009.Judge Marks ordered a pre-trial review at the Old Bailey on a date to be arranged at the end of October.Hill remains on unconditional bail.

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.

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

Team Kate on hand to help the Duchess with Lindo Wing appearance

April 23 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge faces having to appear in front of the world’s media just hours after giving birth to her third child.Kate and the Duke of Cambridge have traditionally introduced their newborns to the public with a brief photocall on the steps of the Lindo Wing.Here’s a look at who from “Team Kate” will be on hand to help Kate prepare for the appearance with the duke and their son.Natasha ArcherKate’s PA turned style adviser Natasha Archer has already been spotted leaving the Lindo Wing, possibly having delivered Kate’s carefully selected outfit.She was seen entering the Lindo Wing after the arrival of Prince George in 2013, carrying a car seat for the newborn future king and a dress bag.Ms Archer has been credited with revamping the Duchess’s look, and is said to be tasked with ordering clothes and ensuring any necessary bespoke adjustments are made.She  joins the Cambridges on their overseas tours and is believed to have previously worked for the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.Amanda Cook TuckerAmanda Cook Tucker is responsible for caring for what the Duke of Cambridge once joked was Kate’s “nightmare” hair.She was called to the Lindo Wing to help prepare the Duchess’s brunette locks after the birth of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.This trusted member of Team Kate was said have been on standby for a month ahead of George’s arrival.She is well used to working with the royals – she has been cutting the hair of William and Harry for years.Maria Teresa Turrion BorralloGeorge and Charlotte’s full-time live-in nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo will be tasked with caring for the prince and princess, and preparing them for any possible visit to the hospital.The indispensable Norland nanny has been with the family since 2014, joining them when George was eight months old.Private secretariesKate’s private secretary is Catherine Quinn –  the head of Oxford University’s business school, while William’s is Miguel Head.The pair of top aides will be tasked with keeping the royal offices running smoothly, rescheduling meetings and acting as gatekeepers to the royal couple.Mr Head has been a trusted member of the Kensington Palace team and is leaving his post as private secretary in July.A warm tribute was paid to Mr Head when his departure was announced, with William described as feeling “incredibly lucky to have benefited from Miguel’s advice and support over the last decade”.Ms Quinn took over in October from Kate’s former private secretary Rebecca Priestley, nee Deacon.Communications SecretaryJason Knauf, William and Kate’s press spokesman, has visited the hospital, ready to arrange the photocall outside the Lindo Wing.


England U21 6 Scotland U21 0: Sheffield shocker for young Scots

August 14 2013

Scotland’s under-21s were swept aside as they were hit for six in the friendly clash at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane. Billy Stark’s side never recovered from an early blow and were buried by a four-goal burst after half-time in the match arranged as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The nations had not met at under-21 level for 20 years and the Scots went into the game boosted by a winning start to their bid to reach the next UEFA Under-21 Championship with a comfortable defeat of Luxembourg in March. Stark had said Tuesday night’s game would be a perfect test ahead of next month’s trip to Holland followed by back-to-back games against Slovakia and Georgia in October. However, he will have learned little from the mauling as the hosts playing for the first time since their disappointing European Championship finals campaign in June that cost manager Stuart Pearce his job cruised to victory. The only real positives for the Scots were the chances to experiment, with Stark using five substitutes, including St Johnstone’s Stevie May. England, overseen by senior squad boss Roy Hodgson, went at their opponents from the off and were ahead within three minutes. Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey sent a ball over the top and winger Nathan Redmond got there first to slot past Scotland goalkeeper Jordan Archer. England continued to control proceedings and Raheem Sterling added the second goal in the 38th minute, collecting the ball from Shelvey via a Redmond flick, steadying himself and then rifling it beyond Archer. Conor Wickham made it 3-0 five minutes after the restart, hooking the ball in nicely when a botched attempted clearance by Archer came his way. And England then put themselves well and truly out of sight with two goals in two minutes, substitute Ross Barkley finishing after combining with Wickham in the 55th and Shelvey looping a delightful long-distance effort over the goalkeeper in the 56th. A rising shot from another substitute, Tom Carroll, took England to six in the 61st minute, reflecting an utterly dominant performance against a Scotland side who appeared incapable of putting up any resistance. The only real negative for the hosts came shortly before the interval when midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah sustained an injury from a Tony Watt tackle. In front of 26,942 at Bramall Lane, Wickham fired an early warning with a shot on the turn into Archer’s arms in the second minute as Scotland struggled from the whistle. The young Scots, captained by Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong, created little though they did go close to snatching an equaliser just after the half-hour mark. Home goalkeeper Jack Butland failed to claim a corner, but when the ball came to Clark Robertson, the Scotland defender headed wide. England doubled their lead before the break and things did not let up for Scotland after the interval as they finished a well beaten side. Att: 26,942. England U21: Butland, Stones, Wisdom (Thorpe 72), Keane, Robinson, Shelvey (Carroll 58), Chalobah (Barkley 44), Hughes (Dier 72), Redmond (Lingard 65),Wickham (Harry Kane 57), Sterling (Ameobi 65). Subs not used: Johnstone, Todd Kane, Garbutt, Berahino, Long, Bond. Scotland U21: Archer, Jack (Duffie 46), McHattie, Robertson, McKay, Fyvie, McGeouch, Bannigan (Macleod 78), Armstrong (Smith 62), Feruz (May 62), Watt (Holt 72). Subs not used: Kettings, Findlay, Walker, Hamilton. Ref: Danny Makkelie (Netherlands).

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.