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...
Kinghorn honoured its First World War Victoria Cross hero on Sunday. Sergeant John McAulay received Britain's highest gallantry award for his remarkable bravery at the Battle of Cambrai, on November 27 1917. The City of Glasgow policeman took command of his company after all his officers had become casualties, and repelled a German attack. To mark the centenary, a commemorative service was held at Kinghorn Parish Church, attended by members of the regiment and McAulay’s descendants. A piper from the Scots Guards led 200 people to the town’s war memorial, where his proud family unveiled a stone bearing his name and medal. The Rev James Reid said: “We honour the extraordinary courage of an ordinary man, Sergeant John McAulay.” The event was attended by more than 40 of his descendants, from as far as Australia and America. John McAulay, from Wembley, is the hero’s first cousin, once removed. He said: “I never met him, but we are all very proud. “It’s important that he and all the other heroes are remembered today.” Douglas McAulay, who travelled from Perth in Australia, to honour his relative, said: “When you read his story, it’s quite amazing. To have done all that and come out unscathed is a miracle.” Alan McIlravie, provost of the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council, said: "We are intensely proud that a son of Kinghorn distinguished himself so well in the horror of the First World War.” Major James Kelly, Regimental Adjutant, Scots Guards, said McAulay's VC was "for conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack", showing "utter disregard of danger". He added: “Throughout the day this very gallant non commissioned officer displayed the highest courage, tactical skill and coolness under exceptionally trying circumstances.” Laying a wreath was Fife Provost Jim Leishman, who added: “It was an amazing feat, to show so much bravery in one action with no consideration for himself.” After the war, McAulay went back to the City of Glasgow Police and became an Inspector. He retired in 1946 and died in Glasgow in 1956, aged 67. Alastair Dinsmor, curator of the Glasgow Police Museum, said: "John McAulay was the only Scottish policeman to win the VC, so that makes him very special to us. We tell his story every day to visitors from across the world."
A leading voice for the elderly in Dundee has claimed that the failure of successive governments to raise the state pension has left many older people living below the poverty line. Jim McAulay, of the Dundee Pensioners' Forum, believes that politicians must do more to help the elderly at a time when the cost of living is continuing to increase. With political parties campaigning in earnest in Scotland ahead of next month's Scottish Parliamentary elections, Mr McAulay is adamant that improving the standard of living for the nation's elderly must be a top priority for those who find themselves in power. Although proposals to reform the pension service have been raised at Westminster, it is unlikely that these would be in place before 2015, excluding those about to enter their retirement years. Mr McAulay told The Courier, "When the pension was instated in 1909, it was meant to be 25% of a person's average earnings. "That's now 15%, which means that many pensioners are now living below the poverty line. "The Tories have said they will introduce a state pension of £155 for new pensioners. But people that are pensioners now cannot get into that scheme." Ahead of the May 5 vote, Mr McAulay has also appealed for honesty from Scotland's political parties, urging them to be up front about cuts to the public sector and the impact these will have on pensioners. Also highlighting the need to tackle rising energy prices, he asked that the arrival of the spring weather does not allow politicians to forget the plight of the elderly during the particularly harsh winter. "Gas and electricity is still going up and this is causing concern that pensioners are suffering badly," Mr McAulay added. "In Scotland we're being shielded just now, as politicians are saying what they will do. "But after May they all have plans to make cuts at the councils and pensioners are the biggest victims as they rely on those services most." Photo used under Creative Commons licence courtesy of Flickr user Andy Welsher.
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.
The plight of many pensioners failing to heat their homes properly is the legacy of government failings, it has been claimed. Jim McAulay, chairman of Dundee Pensioners Forum, said those surviving on basic state pensions would have endured a bleak winter. Featuring some of the coldest temperatures recorded in the area, services in the city and surrounding areas took a battering from the elements almost right through from November to January. With many people, regardless of age, unable to leave their homes, staying warm was an imperative, so heating was switched on for long periods. Admitting many pensioners will have been counting the pennies over the winter, Mr McAulay warned that many modern problems are rooted in the past. He said, "If the Thatcher government hadn't broken the pension link in the 80s then the pension would be about £173 today and not £97. But both Conservative and Labour governments have battered pensioners. "It's been a long, cold winter and pensioners who have an employer's pension or settlement will probably be fine. But for the people who only have the basic state pension then they will be struggling." The main problem this year appears to have been the sheer ferocity of the weather. Despite pensioners receiving a Winter Fuel Allowance to help cover bills, Mr McAulay argues that it hasn't been enough, given the sustained freezing temperatures. With many still living in older homes, he points the finger at gas and electricity suppliers that he believes are happy to maximise profit at every opportunity. Mr McAulay added, "The older the building is, the more it costs to heat. They have big rooms and high ceilings and they always cost more to warm up. I live in a council house with wall insulation and you just can't get that on these old stone buildings. "Pensioners get £250 from the Winter Fuel Allowance but with the kind of winter that we've had then most pensioners will be really struggling. Companies are quick to put prices up but are very slow when they come down."
Michael Alexander meets Perth-born stand-up comedian Fred MacAulay as he embarks upon a 30th anniversary tour. Fred MacAulay doesn’t get heckled very often. He certainly doesn’t expect it to happen at black tie dinners. But as the Perth-born comedian talks candidly about the highlights – and occasional lowlights - of his 30-year stand-up career, he reveals that during a corporate event in York last year, he faced his most challenging audience in a decade. “I hadn’t (had a set that) died quite so badly for nearly10 years,” laughs the Perth-born funny man, over coffee at the recently revamped Perth Theatre. “But through the art of negative thinking I just knew this wasn’t going to be a good gig – until I redeemed myself in the last few minutes! “It was in the National Railway Museum in York: a fantastic place - but not a venue for stand-up. “There were 30 tables of 10 - some 300 people. A number of people didn’t make it because they were drunk. I ploughed on and got to about 20 minutes – you get to the point of ‘have I done enough to justify sending an invoice?’ “And I was just about at that stage when an obese bloke stood up and in broad Glaswegian shouted ‘Fred is there any cheese?’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yumPjLHZVaA “I just stopped and said ‘what?’ He replied, ‘Is there any cheese?’ I said ‘mate, I’ve been doing stand up for 30 years and I’ve never been heckled by ‘is there any cheese’. “And I said ‘to be honest the last thing you need is cheese’! The rest of the audience gelled and I was able to finish off the gig.” Fred hasn’t done a full tour of England since autumn 2014. Describing it as a “chore”, he says “dark nights in Norwich are no good for anyone” and he has no plans to tour south of the border anytime soon. But as he prepares to embark upon a 21-date tour of Scotland to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his initiation into the world of stand-up comedy, he’s looking forward to visiting some of his favourite Scottish venues – including his ‘home coming’ gig at Perth Theatre on June 9, and a recently arranged ‘Audience With’ type event he is hosting with Kirkcaldy-born crime author Val McDermid as part of Perth Festival of the Arts on May 26. “This is the first time I’ve been in Perth Theatre since the (£16.6 million) revamp and my first impressions are it’s very spacious,” says the 61-year-old on a whistle stop tour of the auditorium. “It’s very modern on the outside, and the auditorium is a very traditional theatre on the inside - just as I remember Perth Theatre from coming as a boy to the pantomime, to performing in it in the past.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4tCti8Zpqg Nowadays, Fred is acknowledged as one of the country’s finest and most recognisable stand-ups. He presented a daily BBC Scotland radio programme MacAulay and Co for 18 years and has appeared on numerous satirical panel TV shows including Have I Got News For You, QI and Mock the Week. In the late 1990s he hosted a series of the talk show McCoist and MacAulay (with retired Rangers footballer Ally McCoist). He’s also been a regular at the Edinburgh Fringe – including his topical ‘Frederendum’ in 2014 – and served a term as Dundee University rector from 2001. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Arpj_KpM8rY But he wasn’t always a household name! Fred was in his 30s before he took the plunge and decided to give up his steady work as a financial accountant to pursue full-time comedy. Born in Perth and brought up in the “idyllic surroundings” of Killin, Rattray/Blairgowrie and Perth where his father was a police officer, rural Perthshire might not seem the most obvious place to inspire a stand-up career. But Fred recalls having an interest in comedy as far back as primary school. “I can remember wanting to do it from a very early age,” he says reflectively. “I was a very small boy - a late developer. “It’s a classic case of if I made people laugh I got a bit of attention. “I wasn’t getting attention for sporting prowess or anything like that. “I always enjoyed humour as a way of communicating. “I certainly remember at primary school in Rattray for some reason being in front of the class doing some kind of sketch. “But that’s about as much as I can remember. That was my first experience of adrenalin.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFD2chS2IBo Fred flirted with the debating society at Blairgowrie High School, adding that he was “never really a leading light.” While studying accountancy at Dundee University, around the time of his 20th birthday, he enjoyed “mucking about with the lads” mimicking people and wondered, in the back of his mind, if it was a talent he might develop. Pressure to get a “real job”, a young family and bills to pay saw him go on to work as accountant for the Cairngorm Chairlift Company in Aviemore. At 31 years old, however, Fred looked at how his life was going and decided he wanted to do something more fulfilling than number crunching. He entered a ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ competition at Glasgow’s Mayfest and with scarcely five minutes of his own material walked on stage as a stand-up comedian for the very first time. Within a couple of years, the young father-of-three was MC’ing The Comedy Store in London and decided that he should hang up his accountancy calculators for good – doing just that on February 1, 1993. “Anyone who’s seen my work will know it’s a mix of satire and observational comedy,” he says. “Family, current affairs - whatever is happening in the world of politics. “But it’s not always as simple as people think. People say ‘this must be the best time in the world for stand-up comedy because there’s Brexit, the independence question and Trump’. “I always say ‘no it’s not because the job of a stand-up comedian is to point out the nuances in a story that people have maybe missed’. “I can’t stand out on a stage and say ‘wait til you hear this, Donald Trump is a bit of an a**e!’ - because they already know!” Fred’s ‘30 years on’ tour runs over five months and, as well as Perth, includes Courier Country visits to the Byre Theatre, St Andrews (May 5); Webster Theatre, Arbroath (June17); Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline (July 14) and Pitlochry Festival Theatre (Sep 23). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5pRiXtrdGk It will feature anecdotes about his career and aims to stay fresh with an injection of topical material along the way. But Fred still can't quite believe it's been three decades. “The mid-point of those 30 years is 2003 – 15 years ago – and I can remember 2003 like that!” he says. “That was when I did my one and only group entertainment trip to Iraq. The second Gulf War. “Fighting stopped April/May and we were out there in September. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CHgm8Bc0_Q “British troops were still there. It was still pretty feisty. A couple of the gigs got cancelled because of fire fights. “There was a band, a singer, a ventriloquist, the dancers – and Fred MacAuley. I was the MC - an open air gig with 1500 squaddies - it was a tremendous experience.” Away from stand-up, Fred’s main existence these days is after-dinner events. With more Radio Four projects coming up, the keen golfer also supports charities close to his heart. These include Diabetes UK inspired by his son Jack having Type 1 diabetes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFVh_R5seU4 But he admits he’s probably “had his time” when it comes to TV panel shows. “I’ll joke about it on stage on my 30th anniversary tour – television has a way of letting you know how your career is going,” he says. “Twenty years ago I did McCoist and MacAuley. My name was attached to the title. “The last thing I did was called Pointless Celebrities!” he laughs. “Perhaps they are trying to tell me something!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c3ub7m4feI Fred is conscious that the style of comedy he does and the subjects he talks about resonate with a certain populace. “I’m never going to get the millennials coming to see a Fred MacAulay show,” he smiles. “I speak a different language - more Facebook and less Snapchat!” But one of the things that he’s most pleased about regarding his now grown up family is that they have “all developed an acute sense of humour”. “Sometimes you’ll get a joke wrong because you’ll form the words wrongly in your mind between brain and mouth - something happens and you’ll get the sentence round the wrong way, “ he says. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qnrFGSMcUE “But you’ll never quite know how good a line is until you’ve said it out loud in front of a room of people. “Even after 30 years I’ll still come up with things I have to run by people. “I’m delighted to say that all my children have got acute senses of humour. I’m as likely to try lines with them as my wife Aileen or another comic. “As I told Steve Wright on the radio the other day, I started with three children and I’ve now got three adults. They’ve become pals. You don’t bollock them. I enjoy their company as much as pals. That’s a great thing.” www.fredmacaulay.com
Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km
Angus Council's use of biometric systems continues to provoke a backlash, with one parent revealing the council asked to collect DNA samples from her child. Alliance councillor and education convener Peter Nield last week said there had been no opt-outs by parents unhappy about their children being fingerprinted for the library books and school meals systems. But the councillor's claim sparked an angry reaction from parents. Many families contacted The Courier to insist they had indeed opted out, and a Kirriemuir dad said the programme was tantamount to "brainwashing". Now, another local mum has revealed her opposition to the systems being used in Angus. "In 2001, my child arrived home from an Angus primary school with a package of letters concerning 'research' that the council had sanctioned to take place within their schools," said the mum, adding that the proposals included DNA sample collections. "Naturally I was concerned and had a number of questions about the ethics of this practice. I wrote to Angus Council's then director of education, Jim Anderson, about my concerns and his response did not allay those concerns. "The introduction of biometric technology in Angus schools is of great interest and concern to me," added the mum. "Article 8 of the Human Rights Act states that we all have the right to privacy. "It appears to me that Angus Council does not recognise that there are important ethical issues surrounding the collection of DNA and biometric data from children attending school. "Providing people living in Angus with information about the introduction biometric technology and listening to their views would surely have been possible. "For ethical reasons I did not give consent for my child's DNA to be collected; it was entirely inappropriate for that approach to have been made through a primary school by Angus Council." Photo by Flickr user micahb37.
Today's letters to The Courier. Sir, - I never thought I would find myself in the same camp as the awesome and awful Donald Trump, but he has got one thing right it is worrying that Scotland is depending more and more on tourism as the saviour of the economy. There is nothing wrong with tourism it has led to an enormous upsurge in the quality of restaurants, hotels, etc but it is manufacturing that is going to pay the bills, and that is going down rather than up. Westminster and Edinburgh plug green power for all it is worth, resulting in the ruination of many magnificent landscapes with pylons and windfarms in direct contrast to what is desired by the tourist industry. Many of your readers have put far better than I am able how inefficient wind power is. Much more worrying is how likely it is that we are going to run out of power altogether and become reliant on European neighbours, who have more sense than we do, for necessary imported power. Nobody in Britain is investing in new and proper power stations. We have under Scotland about a 500-year supply of coal. We also have the technology to extract cleanly electric power from this coal. Why are we not doing the sensible thing and creating thousands of jobs in extracting and using this coal and becoming a massive exporter of power? Political obstinacy? Flexible thinking, it seems, is highly regarded in every area, except where it involves a politician doing a u-turn. Robert Lightband.Clepington Court,Dundee. Rugby club finances are in robust health Sir, - I refer to the article published in The Courier on February 6, reporting Cupar Community Council's support of Howe of Fife RFC's efforts to explore the possibility of it creating clubhouse facilities at Duffus Park, Cupar. The club welcomes the community council's support of this venture. However, the comments in the article attributed to its chairman, Canon Pat McInally, as regards the club's financial integrity were wholly inaccurate. Howe of Fife RFC is not, and never has been "...just about bankrupt..." as Canon McInally was quoted as saying. To the contrary, the finances of the rugby club are in robust health with its clubhouse operation trading profitably. I am sure that neither Canon McInally, nor any of the members of the community council, would have intended to cast doubt on the club's financial well-being, but, that, unfortunately, is what the article has achieved. In these circumstances, it is important that the record be set straight in order to allay any unfounded concerns that may have been raised amongst both the club's membership and the general public. Over many years Howe of Fife RFC has built a deserved reputation as a force in developing youth rugby. The project currently under consideration is driven by the club's ambition to build on that reputation and, ultimately, if possible, to provide improved facilities for all its members, but, in particular, the youth of the club. David Harley.President,Howe of Fife RFC. Where is the evidence? Sir, - Isn't living in Scotland interesting? Despite 75% of the electorate declining to vote SNP last May and the referendum being at least two years away, Ian Angus claims in his letter (February 8) that Mr Salmond has a "mandate for independence"! As if that's not enough he has decided that those who choose not to vote in the referendum must be opposed to the union, so a vote of less than 50% for independence will give the "green light" to go ahead with negotiations. Where on earth does he get the evidence for these statements? Kenn McLeod.70 Ralston Drive,Kirkcaldy. Memories of Willie Logan Sir, - The article on the 50th anniversary of Loganair brought back memories of founder, Willie Logan. In the early 1960s my parents lived in Magdalen Yard Road, overlooking the Riverside Drive airstrip. Blazing oil drums lining the grass runway often announced the early morning arrival of Willie to inspect work on the Tay Road Bridge. I worked for a spell then at Caird's in Reform Street, and on occasions there would be a hammering on the door before opening time, as he came post-haste from Riverside looking for a quick haircut! John Crichton.6 Northampton Place,Forfar. The road is not to blame Sir, - I refer to an article you ran on the front page quite recently, Shock at speeders on the A9. As an ex-driving examiner and member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, I know the A9 having used it for years and have experienced some dreadful acts of overtaking at speeds over the limit. I certainly do not blame the road. All roads are safe without traffic. Neil G. Sinclair.St Martins, Balbeggie,Perthshire. Poor response Sir, - Further to your recent article, Windfarm response is positive, which referred to a proposal to erect a windfarm alongside the A822 tourist route between Crieff and Aberfeldy at a site above Connachan Farm, it may be illuminating to point out that the conclusions were based on only 50 responses a 1% return of the 5,000 survey questionnaires! A totally insignificant response. John Hughes.Crieff. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL. Letters should be accompanied by an address and a daytime telephone number.
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.