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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...

Perth & Kinross

Colourful displays at the Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI spring show

March 22 2017

The Perth and Kinross Federation of the SWI held its annual spring show at the Bankfoot Church Centre. The event had displays and competitions on various themes including handcrafts, bulbs and floral art. Federation chairman, Ursula Stewart, said: “We are celebrating the centenary of the SWI and this show in particular has a record number of entries and we have the grand tea party being held in July at Perth Racecourse still to look forward to." Trophy winners - Margaret Anderson Trophy,  Best entry in Housewives Section, 1  Alison Harrison, Glenfarg. Chariman’s choice from the whole Show, Caithness Glass Bowl donated by Kathleen Scott – 1 Christine Wood  (Drimmieburn and Meikleour) Napkin from Community. Imlay Quacih for most points in the Floral Art Section – 1 Linda Retson, Rattray. Margaret Mackay Trophy, Education Competition – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo. Heather Hallum Trophy, runner-up in Margaret Mackay Education Competition - Susan McGhie, Institute  Kinglands. Charlotte MacLean Trophy, best embroidered article overall – 1 Christine McConnell, Institute  Strathallan. Margaret McLean Salver, best knitted article in handcraft section – 1 Edith Lennon, Institute   Kinglands. Margaret Nisbet Trophy, most points in bulb section Nos. 1-7 – 1 Sandra Batty      , Institute   Dull and District. Greta Scott Shield - winning institute in the community competition – 1 Blackford,  points 64 Isobel Robertson Salver, most points overall – 1 Sandra Batty, Institute ,  Dull and District. Margaret Folan Novice Quaich, novice classes – 1 Hayley Cassells, Institute Cleish. The Retson Junior Trophy, ages 10 – 14 class – 1 Ella Balanowski, Institute  Scone. Results - Handcrafts, Clock Cushion (any craft)  - 1 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 P. Stewart, Dunning. Alice Band – 1 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 2 Margot Moran, Glenfarg; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Needle Felted Doormouse - 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 3 Sarah Urie, Burrelton and Woodside. Crocheted Coasters – 1 Edith Christie, Drimmieburn and Meikleour; 2 Margo Murray, Rattray and District; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Article in Stumpwork – 1 Maureen Jones, Kinglands; 2 Marie Abott, Butterstone; 3 Sheila Brugees, Butterstone. Knitted Cakes – 1 Edith Lennon, Kinglands; 2 Linda Thomson, Kinglands; 3 Dorothy Morris, Cleish. Sewn Waistcoat 1 Hazel Ward, Birnam and Dunkeld; 2 Julia Robertson, Burrelton and Woodside; 3 Alice Nairn, Dunning. Painting- Alice’s Garden, any medium – 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; Muriel Bell, Glenfarg Knitted tweedled muff- Centenary Competition- to be donated – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Edith Lennon, Kinglands. Housewives, Chocolate Brownies – 1 Irene McWilliam, Midatholl and Southtayside; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Geraldine Miller, Muthill. Chelsea Buns – 1 Lynda Stuart, Glenfarg; 2 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Sausage Rolls  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Christine Strathie, Collace and Kinrossie; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. Cake Incorporating a vegetable – 1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Lesley Buchan; 3 Anne Mailler, Scone. Potato Scones  - 1 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Janet Shanks, Strathallan. Small jar of jam, marmalade and chutney – 1 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder; 2 Elspeth Campbell, Kinloch; 3 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. Viennese Fingers – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Frances Drysdale, Carnbo. Spray of Flowers in sugar craft – 1 Alison Harrison, Glenfarg; 2 Mary Webster, Clunie; 3 Ursula Stewart, Glenfarg. Children’s Section, Up to age 5 – 1 Iris Balanowski, Scone      ; 2 Hannah Cullen, Scone; 3 Alesha Murison, Glenfarg. Age 6-9 – 1 Lucy Moran, Glenfarg; 2 Adam Balanowski, Scone; 3 Charlie Mailer, Scone. Age 10-14 – 1 Ella Balanowski, Scone; 2 Rebecca Hogg, Butterstone; 3 Michela Hogg, Butterstone. Education Competition, Margaret MacKay Trophy  - 1 Jay Hutchison, Carnbo; 2 Susan McGhie, Kinglands. One Bowl of 3 Hyacinths – 1 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. Single Hyacinth-  1 Susan McGhie, Kinglands; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Lelsey Buchan, Strathallan. One Bowl daffodils-  1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands; 3 Sandra Batty, Dull and District. One Bowl Tulips – 1 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 2 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan; 3 H W Reid, Stanley. One Bowl Crocus-  1 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 2 Sandra Batty, Dull and District; 3 Margot Moran, Glenfarg. One Amaryllis Bulb – 1 Margaret Cummings, Kinglands; 2 Dorothy Morris, Cleish; 3 Janet Chalmers, Kinglands. Flowering Pot Plant – 1 C, Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Christine Taylor, Strathallan; 3 Lilias Ferguson, Kinglands. Floral Art, Exhibit incorporating pocket watch-  1 Linda Retson, Rattray and District; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Beth Pringle, Cleish. Exhibit “Alice in Wonderland” – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Margaret Folan, Bridge of Earn; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Arrangement in a teacup and saucer – 1 C. Stewart, Kinglands; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Lesley Buchan, Strathallan. Arrangement on a mirror – 1 Beth Pringle, Cleish; 2 Linda Retson, Rattray; 3 Mary McGraw, Auchterarder. Novice, Decorated Gingerbread People – 1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Margaret McArthur,Auchterarder. Crocheted Bag – 1 Muriel Anderson, Longforgan; 2 Margaret McArthur, Aucterarder; 3 Hayley Cassells, Cleish. Photograph with caption-  1 Hayley Cassells, Cleish; 2 Kim Stretch, Amulree; 3 Margaret McArthur, Auchterarder. Community Section – 1 Blackford, Points 64; 2 Madderty, Points 63.5; 3 Glenfarg, Points 62.5.

Dundee

Family lead tributes to ‘absolutely irreplaceable’ teacher Linda Mowat

April 15 2015

Family, friends and former school colleagues have paid tribute to a Dundee PE teacher who has died aged just 59. Linda Mowat, from Broughty Ferry, had been fighting bowel cancer since last year but is believed to have died from pneumonia. She taught at Harris and Braeview Academy during her career and was affectionately known by her pupils as “Miss Mac” after her maiden name, McIntosh. Tributes have flooded in for a woman who influenced the lives of thousands of local youngsters. Her husband, Grant, said: “She changed so many people’s lives. “We took the papers to the bank to close her accounts, and the teller knew who she was and said she would miss ‘Miss Mac’.” Sister-in-law Lindsay Mowat said Linda would be much missed. She said: “She’s left a huge hole in the centre of the family. We’re a close family and she is absolutely irreplaceable. “I can’t emphasise how often she’d be out in town and grown adults would stop her to speak. She was a person of great regard. “It’s been incredible to see the support and condolences that have come in, and we have been touched by the good wishes and care from so many people. “Her passing was unexpected and came as a great shock, and I think even the medical people were surprised that she passed away so quickly.” Linda’s sporting career began at Morgan Academy, where she became house captain before attending Dunfermline College to study PE. That is where she developed her love of dance and fencing and she held a place on the Scotland Volleyball squad. Her career began at Harris Academy, teaching PE as well as choreographing all the school’s productions. She became an assistant principal teacher at Braeview Academy, then Whitfield High School, for more than 10 years. After having children Sarah, 18, and Harry, 15, she returned to Braeview. She was working as a part-time teacher at St Luke’s and St Matthew’s primary schools in Dundee at the time she took ill. In her spare time she enjoyed keeping fit and taking part in a skiing club. She was a playmaker for volleyball club the Tay Pearls. The family enjoyed skiing holidays and hillwalking in the Highlands. The funeral service is at Dundee crematorium on Monday April 20 at 11am to which all family and friends are invited. Family flowers only, but donations can be made at the crematorium in aid of the Ninewells Hospital ward 32 comfort fund.

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

Dundee

Man appears in court charged with attempted Templeton murder

August 9 2017

A 31-year-old man, Robbie McIntosh appeared at Dundee Sheriff Court accused of attempting to murder a woman in a vicious woodland attack. McIntosh appeared in private from custody before Sheriff Simon Collins QC on Wednesday afternoon, accused of the attempted murder of Dundee woman Linda McDonald. Ms McDonald is currently in a serious condition in Ninewells hospital, where she is being treated for a head injury after apparently being struck repeatedly with a dumbbell. McIntosh, of Rowan Place, Bridgefoot, made no plea and no declaration to two charges levelled against him. He was remanded in custody and committed for further examination. McIntosh was charged with attempted murder in Templeton woods on Monday August 7. The attempted murder charge alleges McIntosh repeatedly struck Linda McDonald, 52, on the head and body with a dumbbell, rendering her unconscious before dragging her along a path – to her permanent impairment and disfigurement, to the danger of her life and did attempt to murder her. The second charge alleges McIntosh attempted to defeat the ends of justice –  having allegedly committed the crime in charge one – by washing his clothes to conceal and destroy any evidence. McIntosh was remanded in custody and ordained to appear back before the court in Dundee within the next eight days. A heavy police presence was witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the alleged crime, both in Templeton woods, Clatto park and Bridgefoot. Officers continued to scour the area and maintained a cordon 24 hours after the incident is said to have occurred. Locals in the area reported seeing scores of police vans and cars lining the road toward Clatto reservoir, with dog walkers continuing to use the remaining open paths. Templeton woods has an infamous and uneasy history of murder, with the bodies of Carol Lannen and Elizabeth McCabe being discovered their in 1979 and 1980. Nobody has ever been convicted of killing the young women, but a cold case investigator and former police intelligence officer Chris Clark believes they may have been killed by World's End murderer Angus Sinclair.

Theatre

A Play, A Peh and A Pint at Dundee Rep

April 5 2011

It's surprising the phenomenon of a play, a pie and a pint didn't originate in Dundee given the city's historic association with the crusty delicacy. Nevertheless, Glasgow's Oran Mor cultural centre got there first in 2004, to be precise and the premise is simple: you get a short play, a pie and a drink all for the price of a theatre ticket. In a two-week collaboration with Oran Mor, Dundee Rep is presenting A Play, A Peh and A Pint, the first of which ran its course last week. What Love Is is a newly-commissioned work by Scottish playwright Linda McLean, focusing on the relationship between two ageing parents and their daughter. It is directed by Dundee Rep's graduate trainee Emma Faulkner. Inspired by an article in the news about euthanasia, McLean's short play sees Gene and Jean (Peter Kelly and Rep Ensemble member Irene Macdougall) attempting to make sense of the world inside their own four walls. After a playful beginning, when the pair appear to be enjoying themselves and staying young, a more serious and sinister plot involving ill-health begins to develop. Both Kelly and Macdougall portray the confused, paranoid and slightly maniacal characters with convincing ease, but the surprise arrival of their daughter (Lesley Hart) breaks their reminiscence and reverie. It is unclear how old, or mature, their daughter is, as she marches into the house in a bit of a tantrum wearing high wedge shoes. Hart presents the character as stressed and huffy, but her back story isn't certain is she a young woman struggling to cope with this harrowing situation, or is she older, her life on hold as her parents' mental health deteriorates? A powerful and thought-provoking piece, What Love Is transfers to Oran Mor in Glasgow's Byres Road this week. The production swaps places with St Catherine's Day, a delicate and humorous work written and narrated by Dundee's Michael Marra, which runs from tonight through until Saturday.Visit www.dundeereptheatre.co.uk for more information.

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.

Rocktalk

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

October 25 2017

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

Fife

Fife Council election results — Ward 8: Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty split between SNP and Labour

May 5 2017

It was honours even for Labour and the SNP in Lochgelly, Cardenden and Benarty as the result largely followed expectations. There was a strong Labour vote in the area before the newly-renamed ward came into force for this election, with the old Lochgelly and Cardenden ward effectively merging with The Lochs. In the end, Mary Lockhart and Linda Erskine both retained their seats for Labour, while the SNP’s two new faces in Lea McLelland and Rosemary Liewald were also elected. Ms McLelland said: “I’ll be honest - I’m a big character in the community and I think the community pulled together, so I can’t thank them enough for that. “It’s great to be elected and I think we’ve got a good balance in the area.” Ms Liewald echoed those sentiments and said she and Ms McLelland had worked tirelessly together to secure their first spots on the council. And she added: “I’ve actually known Linda for quite a while, and Mary is lovely as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to do a lot for the ward because it deserves it.” Ms Erskine was equally as conciliatory to her SNP counterparts. “I expected two strong candidates from Labour and two strong candidates from the SNP, and that’s exactly what we got,” she added. “Lea for instance was a hard working person in the ward before she became a candidate, so I think the ward has got four strong councillors to move forward with.” And on the Tory vote across Fife, Ms Erskine said: “I think the Conservatives might have been a bit surprised with it as well – they put up a number of paper candidates in wards and now they are councillors. “It’s going to be very interesting.”         Result Mary Bain Lockhart (Lab) – 1,257 Scott Campbell (Cons) – 497 Linda Erskine (Lab) – 1,033 James Glen (Ind) – 263 Rosemary Liewald (SNP) – 990 Ronnie Mackie (Greens) – 70 Lea McLelland (SNP) - 994 Turnout: 38.2% Elected:  Mary Lockhart and Linda Erskine for Labour, Rosemary Liewald and Lea McLelland for the SNP.

Angus & The Mearns

Amazing fundraising drive realises £11,500 for cancer care

February 2 2016

Angus fundraisers who bought almost 600 hours of nursing care for local terminally-ill people have been hailed as “an inspiration”. Linda Merilees from Carnoustie helped raise more than £11,500 with friends in a new fundraising group for Marie Curie, following a resolution she made last year. The charity provides care at home for people with a range of terminal conditions. The team reached its total with events such as an abseil down Dundee University’s Tower building in June, a tea party in July, a fancy dress event at the Station Hotel in November, and collections throughout the year. Linda, a hairdresser with Regency Hair and Beauty on Queen Street, said she is thrilled at what the group has achieved since it was launched last March. “It has just been brilliant,” she said. “I started last year determined to give something back and now, as a group, we’ve managed to make a real difference to families in our community fighting terminal illness. “It has been hard work but it’s also been so much fun and we’re all hugely grateful to every friend, family member, local business and generous member of the public who has helped us get this far. “This is their success as much as ours.” Linda’s fellow Carnoustie volunteers included her husband Andrew Brown, Pam Cruickshank, Laura Ramsay, Jenny Paterson and Hilary Brown. Marie Curie patron Petra McMillan, also from Carnoustie, applauded the group’s work and praised Linda for having the initiative to contact her at the start of last year. “Quite simply, the world needs more Lindas,” she said. “She is an inspiration and the perfect example of what any one of us can do once we put our minds to it. “We hope Courier readers will be inspired by Linda and her friends and consider donating a little of their own time to Marie Curie in 2016. “Just donating an hour or two a month can make a big difference in your own community.” Next month the charity launches its biggest annual fundraising drive, the Great Daffodil Appeal, which involves the sale of millions of the bright yellow daffodil pins. Visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/daffodil for more information.

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