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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...


Discovery sails on to lottery award shortlist

May 26 2014

The RRS Discovery has been shortlisted for the Lottery’s National Treasure award. Scott’s ship is one of 12 sites across Scotland that have been nominated for the award. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly has also made the shortlist for a separate award for celebrity National Treasure, facing competition from the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and actor James McAvoy. The winners in both categories will be chosen by the public, who can vote for their choice online. Mark Munsie, operations director for Discovery Point, said: “It is a tremendous honour that our work has been recognised when so many projects have been funded by the National Lottery. “We’re urging our supporters to vote for us; we’d love to be crowned the nation’s best National Lottery project.” Restored with £300,000 of National Lottery funding, the Discovery recreates the voyage of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic expedition. The ship was the last of its kind to be built in Britain before it embarked on its famous journey. Votes can be cast at Facebook.com/LotteryGoodCauses.


RSS Discovery confirmed as one of Scotland’s favourite landmarks

November 19 2014

It stands as a memorial to a remarkable expedition by Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Now the RRS Discovery in Dundee has been unveiled as one of Scotland’s top landmarks. The ship came third in a National Treasures poll to find the public’s favourite places, in an event marking 20 years of the lottery. Restored with £300,000 of National Lottery funding, the Discovery recreates the voyage of Captain Scott’s Antarctic expedition. The ship was the last of its kind to be built in Britain before it embarked on its famous journey. Operations director for Discovery Point, Mark Munsie said: “It is a tremendous honour that our work has been recognised when so many projects have been funded by the National Lottery. “We’re thrilled that the nation has taken us to its collective heart and we are very grateful to everyone who voted for us.” More than 66,000 people took part in the survey, which was won by the Kelpies in Falkirk.


Photos of Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition sold in New Zealand

January 27 2015

A rare collection of photographs taken during Captain Scott’s doomed South Pole expedition have fetched hundreds of pounds at auction in New Zealand. The series of nine black and white pictures went under the hammer at Cordy’s Auctioneers in Auckland, going for almost double their reserve of 850 New Zealand dollars approximately £750. The lead stoker on the Terra Nova, teenager Edward ‘Mac’ McKenzie, lied about his age to enter the navy. He took the photos during the 1910-13 voyage to the white continent, the New Zealand Herald reported. The collection includes several dramatic shots of the Terra Nova trapped in ice, a crew member on skis surrounded by penguins, and a view of the deck complete with dogs, supplies and an unidentified man. A receipt included in the collection comes from the Canterbury Museum, which is dated 1972 and acknowledges, “Collection of Glass Negatives taken on the Terra Nova Expedition (1910-12) by E.D. McKenzie, leading stoker”. The Terra Nova expedition has links to New Zealand, with the ship sailing from Lyttelton, bound for Antarctica, on December 15 1911. On board was Captain Robert Falcon Scott who was bidding to be the first man to reach the South Pole. Having been beaten to the accolade by Roald Amundsen, he and his party died returning to base. The world was informed of the tragedy when Terra Nova reached Oamaru on February 10 1913. During the voyage McKenzie documented everything he saw through his journal and camera. In his journal which was not included in the sale McKenzie wrote of hearing the fateful news that the crew had all perished. The note said: “Jan 18th. Ship enters McMurdo Sound arriving off Cape Evans at 2pm cheese was exchanged between ships and shore parties. “Commander Evans hailed Lieut Campbell and asked if all was well, we were completely horrified to hear in answer that the southern Party consisting of Capt Scott, Capt Oates, Dr Wilson, and Lieut Bowers, also Petty Officer Evans, had been lost on their return from the pole.” On his return to Britain, McKenzie made a 3m working model of the Terra Nova that was used in shots in John Mills’ 1948 film about the expedition, Scott of the Antarctic. A REMINDER OF DUNDEE’S SHIPBUILDING PAST Terra Nova was a whaler and polar expedition ship best known for carrying the ill-fated 1910 British Antarctic Expedition, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s last voyage. Built in 1884 by Dundee shipbuilders Alexander Stephen and Sons for the local whaling and sealing fleet, Terra Nova was ideally suited to the polar regions. The vessel worked for 10 years in the seal fishery in the Labrador Sea, proving its worth for many years before it was called upon for expedition work. In 1903, it was sailed in company with fellow ex-whaler SY Morning to assist in freeing Scott’s RRS Discovery from the frozen ocean at McMurdo Sound. In 1909, Terra Nova was bought by Captain Scott for the sum of £12,500, for the upcoming British Antarctic Expedition. Reinforced from bow to stern with seven feet of oak to protect against the Antarctic ice pack, it sailed from Cardiff Docks on June 15 1910. After returning from the Antarctic in 1913, Terra Nova was purchased by her former owners and resumed work in the Newfoundland seal fishery. In July 2012, the wreck of Terra Nova was discovered by the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s flagship RV Falkor.

UK & World

British adventurers set off in Captain Scott’s footsteps

October 4 2013

A British team have bid farewell to London before setting off to Antarctica to try to complete Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition. Polar explorers Ben Saunders, 36, and Tarka L’Herpiniere, 32, hope to complete Captain Scott’s ill-fated 1910-12 expedition, taking them on an unsupported 1,800-mile return journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole. If successful, they will be the first people to complete the return journey Captain Scott died attempting more than 100 years ago. No-one has walked further unsupported than the 1,600 miles Captain Scott and his team managed, before perishing 150 miles from their final destination. Mr Saunders said: “Completing Scott’s Terra Nova expedition is a life-long dream of mine and I’m so excited to be standing here today about to embark on the journey with Tarka.” They will walk on average nine and a half hours each day and are expected to take 110 days to complete the expedition.


RRS Discovery celebrated in second Dundee University 50th anniversary podcast

January 20 2017

Dundee’s links with the Antarctic region remain strong more than 100 years after Captain Robert Falcon Scott sailed there aboard the Dundee-built RRS Discovery, it has been revealed. In the second of a series of weekly podcasts launched by Dundee University as part of its year-long celebrations to commemorate the institution’s  50th anniversary, the focus is on the voyage of the RRS Discovery with the podcast read by Libby Findlay - a member of the International Engagement Team at the university and great-granddaughter of the Discovery’s chief engineer. RRS Discovery was built by the Dundee Shipbuilders Company as a specialist research vessel designed for work in Antarctic waters. The expedition was jointly organized by the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society, and was created to research and explore this largely untouched continent. Several leading figures of the Age of Antarctic Exploration launched their careers on this expedition, including Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. The chief engineer, who was to supervise the fitting out of the engines on board Discovery, was a man named Reginald Skelton. Skelton spent many months in Dundee overseeing the operation. He had served with Scott in the Navy and was hand-picked, by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, for this voyage. Reginald Skelton was not only the chief engineer on board but also, for the purposes of this trip, the official photographer - and Libby’s great grandfather. Dundee’s links continue today. In 2005, The South Georgia Heritage Trust was established by the late Brigadier David Nicholls and Prof Elaine Shemilt of Dundee University. The trust aims to preserve the island’s natural and historical heritage for future generations and Dundee University works closely to support and develop on-going projects in the area including eradicating non-native rodents, which prey upon the birds.


Polar explorer given special access to legend’s RRS Discovery cabin

December 5 2017

A cabin inhabited by one of the country's most intrepid explorers on his way to the South Pole opened its doors to a modern day Antarctic adventurer on Monday. Wendy Searle is preparing to set off on an exploratory mission to the bottom of the planet, following in the footsteps of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton and the crew of Dundee's most famous ship RRS Discovery. The brave adventurer and her team will drag all of their supplies, food and equipment by sled across 400 miles of frozen plains toward the South Pole, just as the Discovery's plucky crew did more than a century ago. And as if that wasn't daunting enough, Wendy and her modern crew will cross uncharted territory in the tundra, climbing an as-yet-unconquered Transantarctic mountain glacier on their journey to the pole. Her journey will begin at the Ross ice shelf, before ascending the previously unclimbed peak and crossing the Titan Dome along the way. Wendy hopped aboard Scott's historic vessel on Monday, where she was invited to view Shackleton's quarters as well as producing her own edition of the South Polar Times - the magazine created by the crew of the Discovery to help the men while away the stormy winter months spent locked in the ice. Its pages were filled with letters, articles and illustrations which kept the crew amused in the harsh climes of the antarctic continent. Wendy said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to write my own South Polar Times entry and I’m delighted to be working with Dundee Heritage Trust on this project. "I’m especially interested in what the experience of sailing to the bottom of the world and overwintering in a tiny hut would have been like as a woman." Ali Gellatly, education officer at Dundee Heritage Trust, said: "Wendy will be adding her own lines to polar history and this is a very special way for her to start that journey. "We opened Shackleton’s cabin especially for this visit."


‘Do it’ wife’s plea to Captain Scott revealed in letter

February 14 2013

A letter from Captain Scott’s wife urging him to reach the South Pole or die trying was found on the explorer’s corpse. In the handwritten note Kathleen Scott tells her husband he could sacrifice his life in the pursuit of his goal. She writes: “Because man dear, we can do without you please know for sure we can.” She goes on to advise him: “If there is a danger for you or another man to face, it will be you who face it.” Today, The Courier is the first newspaper to publish a transcript of the letter in full. The letter concludes by saying: “If there’s anything you think worth doing at the cost of your life Do it. We shall only be glad. Do you understand me? How awful if you don’t.” The letter was discovered by Kari Herbert (42), the daughter of Wally Herbert, who in 1969 became the first man to walk to the North Pole. Captain Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole on January 17 1912, only to discover the Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him. He died with Edward Wilson and Henry Bowers on the return journey just 11 miles from a supply cache. For the full story, see Thursday’s Courier or try our new digital edition.


Dundee voted one of UK’s most creative places ‘to live, work and play’

August 26 2015

Only days after being named the ‘coolest little city in Britain’ by famous men’s magazine GQ, the city of Dundee has made an appearance in the top ten of the “UK’s most creative towns and cities to live, work and play”. Art and design blog ‘Creative Boom’ praised the city for its creative and passionate people, historic background, and accessibility to local talent. The blog attracts roughly half a million readers each month and shared an array of artwork in the form of graphic design, illustration, photography, film and advertising. As well as visual culture, it also inspires their readers through presenting cultural and travel ideas. The blog regularly commends the people of Dundee, deeming them as ‘hard-working’ and recognising their eagerness to boost their own city. As ‘home’ to famous bands such as The View and Snow Patrol, the blog also admires Dundee’s “wealth of local creative talent”. After discussing the creative edge of Dundee, ‘Creative Boom’ reminds readers of the cities scientific and historic background by referring to Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic exploration vessel the RRS Discovery.


Chance to walk in Captain Scott’s footsteps at Festival of Museums

May 4 2015

The polar explorers that helped to make Dundee famous around the world will play a starring role in Scotland’s Festival of Museums this month. In 1901, Captain Robert Falcon Scott set sail in the tall ship RRS Discovery on a scientific mission to the uncharted wilderness of the South Pole. He and his crew spent two long and harsh winters frozen into the crushing Antarctic ice, but once freed, Discovery returned home in 1904 to a hero’s welcome and a place in maritime history. The opportunity to walk in Captain Scott’s footsteps and meet a polar explorer at Dundee’s RRS Discovery will be one of the festival highlights, from May 15 to 17. The McManus, meanwhile, will explore some of the city’s most famous names and life in a Victorian city in an exhibition entitled From Shackleton to the Suffragettes: Dundee 1901-1919. It will enable visitors to mingle with historical characters such as entrepreneur James Caird, artist Stewart Carmichael and leading suffragette, teacher and city councillor Lila Clunas. There will also be the chance to “meet” legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton, who will discuss his ill-fated 1914-17 Trans-Antarctic expedition and a First World War soldier who will talk of a very different set of hardships. Elsewhere, The Black Watch Museum and Castle in Perth will host a living history event looking at the history of the regiment from Waterloo to the world wars. Visitors will find a troop of Waterloo soldiers encamped in the castle grounds, ready to relive their experiences of the famous battle. RAF Leuchars will host a family-friendly 1940s-themed gala to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, while an evening of music and entertainment will help Glenesk Folk Museum celebrate “Hearth and Home”. “Festival of Museums is about igniting imaginations while celebrating Scotland’s wealth of culture,” said Joanne Orr, who is chief executive of festival organiser Museums Galleries Scotland. “There is a packed programme this year with lots of extraordinary, surprising and exciting events over three fun-filled days.”