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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…

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

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.

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

Fife

Following in the footsteps of a saint at Dunfermline pilgrimage

May 11 2016

Modern-day pilgrims can walk in the footsteps of St Margaret in Dunfermline next month. An ancient pilgrimage was resurrected last year to honour the saint, who was Scotland’s Queen. Such was the success, with visitors far exceeding expectations, that it has been decided to hold the event again. Archbishop Leo Cushley was joined by St Margaret of Scotland to unveil the poster being sent to every Catholic parish in the country to advertise this year’s St Margaret’s Summer Pilgrimage in Dunfermline on Sunday June 12. “The summer pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret should be a fantastic family day – that’s why we want to extend the invitation to take part as far and wide as possible,” said Archbishop Cushley, at St Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh. Joining the Archbishop to launch the event was 30-year-old Fife actress Katie Milne dressed as St Margaret. “St Margaret is such a remarkable historical figure in Scotland’s story as well as a fabulous role model for young Scots today – especially young women – it’s an honour to represent her here today.” The roots of the summer pilgrimage dates back to June 1250 when the relics of Saint Margaret were translated to a new shrine in Dunfermline Abbey following her canonisation that year by Pope Innocent IV. An annual summer pilgrimage to Dunfermline soon emerged becoming a celebrated fixture within Scottish national life until the late 16th Century. It was then re-established in 1899 and continued again until 1974. Last year saw the pilgrimage revived after an absence 41 years. “Last year’s event was a tremendous success with numbers attending far in excess to expectations and everybody having an enormously enjoyable day – this year should prove to be even better,” added the Archbishop. The revived summer pilgrimage is the initiative of the local Catholic parish in Dunfermline, St Margaret’s Memorial Church. In 2015, they invited parishes within the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh to attend. Following the success they are extending the invitation to all the Catholic parishes in Scotland – 452 in total – in co-operation with the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. “This will be a real family event to which everybody in Scotland – not just Catholics – are invited given that St Margaret is an inspirational figure for all Scots as well as a heavenly protectress of the people of our land,” said Father Chris Heenan, parish priest of St Margaret’s Memorial Church.

Angus & The Mearns

Rosina Ballentine MBE

April 20 2016

An Angus woman who was made an MBE for outstanding contributions to her home town has died peacefully. She was 96. Rosina Ballentine, nee Giacopazzi, was born to John and Margaret in Murray Street, Montrose on November 4 1919. Following education at Montrose Academy, Mrs Ballentine trained as a nurse in Shropshire in 1938 and married RAF corporal John, known as Paddy, on March 25 1940 at St Margaret’s RC Church. Mrs Ballentine worked in nursing and devoted much of her life to the care of others in Montrose, and was a founding volunteer of the Day Care Centre, now the Adam Centre, serving on its management committee. Mrs Ballentine was made an MBE for charity work in 2009 and was also recognised by Rotary as the town’s citizen of the year. Her other voluntary roles included the post of membership secretary of the Friends of Sunnyside Royal Hospital and Montrose Royal Infirmary, along with organising events for charitable causes including Christmas shoebox appeals for the Blytheswood Trust, coffee mornings and lunches for Macmillan Cancer Care, and Rachel House. Mrs Ballentine was a member and past secretary of Montrose Churches Together, and Eucharistic Minister at St Margaret’s. Mrs Ballentine is survived by son John, daughters Sister Rosemary Catherine and Carol, eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She was being cared for by her daughter Carol and family in Gloucestershire, and passed away on April 12. A Reception of Remains will be held at St Margaret’s on Thursday at 4pm, a Requiem Mass on Friday at 1pm, and interment thereafter at Sleepyhillock Cemetery, to which friends and family are invited. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Adam Centre.

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.

Obituaries

Barnhill teacher and church elder Margaret Wilson

August 16 2013

Many family and friends of the late Margaret Hamilton Wilson gathered to celebrate her long and eventful life and lay her to rest in Barnhill Cemetery. Margaret was a well-known face around Barnhill and Broughty Ferry for more than eight decades. She was a member and elder of St Margaret’s Church in Barnhill and as a former colleague and friend put it: “To know her was to love her.” Born on March 22 1921, Margaret was the third of four children. She grew up in Barnhill with her sister Elsie and brothers James and Ian. Summers were often spent in Kirriemuir and throughout her life, North Muir and the Glens, in particular, held very special memories for Margaret. Her professional career began with DC Thomson in the 1930s, where she worked on Red Letter until war broke out. She left to help with the war effort and eventually joined the Land Army from 1943-46. It was at this time that Margaret met her fianc Harry, who was tragically killed in an accident. Post-war, Margaret trained as a primary teacher and enjoyed many years teaching at Blackness, Charleston and Fintry Schools in Dundee. Margaret then took up the position of infant mistress at the Eastern school in Broughty Ferry, where she remained until her retirement. Margaret’s interests naturally drew young people to her, whether at school, Sunday school, as a Guide leader or during the many extracurricular camps and activities she helped to organise. An enthusiastic traveller, Margaret’s excursions included New York and North River in 1953 and New Zealand in 2001, with many foreign holidays and “staycations” in her beloved Scotland and Skye in between. She loved people and animals and was greatly inspired by the natural beauty of the world around her. Margaret also thoroughly enjoyed zipping around the countryside in her many cars. In short, she lived life to the full. In her final years, Margaret’s health deteriorated and she lived at Riverside View Care Home and her family have thanked the carers at Riverside for her treatment and care there.

Couple and family permanently swap houses in ‘UK first’

December 19 2017

A couple and a family have swapped their houses permanently in what is said to be a UK first. David West and his wife Margaret were thinking of down-sizing and have swapped houses with a young family who were looking for a bigger home. Mr West, a duty manager at a student residence, listed his three-bedroom, detached family home in Kinross on the HouseSimple website in May of this year. John and Kelly Davie and their daughter Lucy, two, in their new home (Sandy Young/PA) John Davie found Mr West’s house online and put in a home viewing request to visit the property, as he was looking for a larger house for his wife, Kelly, and their two-year-old daughter, Lucy, to live in. While he was looking round the house Mr West mentioned that he and his wife Margaret were thinking of down-sizing as their two adult daughters were leaving the family nest. When Mr Davie, a data analyst, mentioned he had a two-bedroom semi-detached house they had not put on the market yet, Mr West suggested the idea of a home swap. He and his wife then viewed Mr Davie’s house in Kinross and both parties confirmed a home swap and put in offers on each other’s properties. David and Margaret West in the Davies’ former home (Sandy Young/PA) They swapped homes on October 12. Mr West said: “We put our house up on HouseSimple as it was the cheapest way to list our home, and had used the site previously for renting so knew the interface well. “The house swap allowed us flexibility on the move date and enabled us to solve moving-in issues such as finding the stop cock when I needed to isolate the water in the bathroom, and the knack to locking the patio door.” Mr Davie added: “The house swap made perfect sense as both our properties had what the other wanted. “The process of finding David’s house online made it convenient to find the property we wanted.” HouseSimple said the two families had made UK house purchasing history. Sophie Gosling, co-founder of HouseSimple, said: “David and John have provided a glimpse into the future of home buying. “Our service has meant that John could easily find David online, and we’re really happy for them and their families that they have found their dream homes in time for Christmas.” (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'}); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By PA Reporters'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', '065ef887-6102-48a7-bc69-6c6f456d6da4'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:news,paservice:news:uk'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story-enriched'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite'); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null); ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', null); ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Couple and family permanently swap houses in u2018UK firstu2019'});

Angus & The Mearns

Forfar kirk seeking committee intervention to overturn refusal for 21st century community centre

February 10 2018

A Forfar church is preparing for a final throw of the dice in its bid to raze a local landmark and replace it with a 21st century community centre. St Margaret’s on the town’s West High Street is facing a near £1.5 million pound bill for repairs and refurbishment of the former West Church following decades of decay. © DC ThomsonSt Margaret’s minister the Rev Maggie Hunt in the historic church The building dates back to the 1880s, but is not listed, and more than 20 years after options for the future first came under scrutiny, the church remains committed to the idea of replacement rather than repair of the main kirk. However, plans for a new church within a multiple-use facility which would be available for wider community use failed to find favour with Angus planners and were rejected by development standards committee councillors last year. The imposing stone and slate towered church, sitting in Forfar’s conservation area, would be replaced with a circular-fronted modern facility incorporating a café, multipurpose hall, kitchen, storage and toilet facilities, as well as a vestry, oratory and office. Feasibility studies for the new plan have delivered a cost estimate of just over £1m against a projected £1.4 million for refurbishment of the existing building. The church hopes approval of a new-build facility would be the key to unlocking potentially vital funding support from major trusts and sources including the national lottery . Forfar Community Council has backed the proposal, encouraging the church to re-used downtakings from the historic building, but Historic Environment Scotland objected in respect of an associated Conservation Area Consent (CAC) application, expressing concerns of the loss of St Margaret’s Church. The plan also drew almost 150 letters of support, but in September the proposals were rejected on grounds including the detrimental impact its demolition would have on the character of the town’s conservation area. On Tuesday, members of Angus Council’s development management review committee will be presented with a raft of material in an effort to convince councillors to overturn the September decision. In its submission, St Margaret’s has said:  “The church needs to adapt to meet the needs of not only its existing users but also to meet the needs of the future generations. “Amongst other things this means, as a minimum, providing a warm, light, energy-efficient and welcoming environment with easily adaptable size of meeting spaces that can readily meet the needs of the groups who wish to use them.”

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