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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...

Angus & The Mearns

Passchendaele heroes added to Dundee war roll

August 10 2017

Three members of a Dundee family who survived the Battle of Passchendaele have been added to the city’s roll of honour. The Great War Dundee Project is the story of the 30,490 men that left the city to fight in the first world war and of the people left at home. Dundee gave 63% of its eligible men to the armed forces and the directory was updated following Saturday’s Courier article about the role the city’s Johnston brothers played in the war. Of the five Johnston brothers, Frank, Walter, David and Peachy were artillerymen, and the fifth, John, was an army doctor. Frank and Walter’s entries have now been updated while David, Peachy and John have now had entries created in the returnee section of the honour roll. Gary Thomson from the Great War Dundee Project said: “Following Saturday’s Courier article on the five Johnston brothers who served in the war, with both Frank and Walter paying the ultimate sacrifice and the fact that Frank, for reasons unknown is not recognised as a casualty of war, the Great War Dundee Project has updated the entries for both Frank and Walter on the new roll of honour. “Dundee paid a high price for her war efforts. By the armistice, over 4,000 men had made the ultimate sacrifice. “Their names are recorded in the city’s original roll of honour, a simple alphabetical list of names, ranks and regiments. “Over the years mistakes and omissions have been discovered by families viewing the list resulting in handwritten corrections to the record.” Mr Thomson said one of Great War Dundee’s main objectives is to produce an “inclusive, fully searchable online roll of Dundonians who contributed to the war effort” and in doing so honour the men and women who lost their lives and those who survived. He added: “Due to the fact that Frank was not recognised as a casualty his entry on the original Dundee Roll of Honour was very sparse with only his name and regiment listed. “Saturday’s article allowed us to contact Frank’s relative who provided us with a fantastic amount on information about Frank and Walter which have been added to their entry. “Not only that but the three brothers who survived, David, John and Peachy have now have entries created, in the returnee section of the honour roll. “It is thanks to people like Douglas that these entries now have added information and photos.” Frank is believed to have been wounded in Flanders in 1917 and he endured a prolonged and difficult death in November 1919 in a private nursing home in Dundee as a result of his injuries. The family have been unable to provide sufficient independent corroboration that he died directly of his war wounds as his army records have not survived. Frank’s great nephew Douglas Norrie from near Arbroath is trying to find documentary evidence to correct this. David and Frank were both with the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) and their batteries of large long range howitzers were deployed at Corps level and primarily used to attack specific enemy targets, particularly enemy artillery. Walter and Peachy served with the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) with their respective brigades being attached to infantry divisions and their smaller, highly portable field guns being used in support of infantry. The fifth of the brothers, Captain (Dr) John McPherson Johnston was a doctor and served with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and was awarded the Silver War Badge after being discharged with TB.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus gunner ‘greatly honoured’ by certificate of merit

June 8 2015

A Tayside man has been given a national honour marking almost five decades of service to the UK armed forces. Tony Edney from Arbroath joined the Royal Artillery in 1953 and began a 47-year career with the Royal Regiment and the Territorial Army, and was the catalyst for the formation of the Royal Artillery Association’s Tayside branch. The 79-year-old said he was “greatly honoured” to receive the Royal Artillery Certificate of Merit at the weekend, which was presented by branch chairman Major Dave Findlay. He said: “Tony Edney is a lifelong gunner who embraces the regimental motto ‘ubique’ everywhere. “His selfless fundraising has helped the Tayside Branch of the Royal Artillery Association not only to grow but remain firmly in the hearts and minds of the local community.” The citation for the award stated: “When the idea of a local Tayside branch of the RAA was mooted, Tony was instrumental in its conception and its formation. “It was his drive and determination that saw it succeed in such a short time frame. “For the last 25 years, Tony has been one of the most stalwart branch members in Tayside.” Mr Edney joined the Royal Artillery (RA) in 1953 and started a 22-year regular career with 73 Heavy Regiment RA, 26 Regiment RA, where he saw service in Cyprus, Borneo, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Germany and the UK. He ultimately came to 102 (Ulster & Scottish) Regiment RA (Volunteers) as permanent staff instructor, based in Arbroath with 212 (Highland) Battery RA (Volunteers), a position he held for nine years before ending his regular service with 105 (Scottish & Ulster) Regiment RA (Volunteers). Having completed his regular service he set down his roots in Arbroath, devoting a further 16 years to the Territorial Army as the battery quartermaster sergeant and at the same time being employed in the civilian post of senior storeman. Mr Edney also devoted a large part of his free time as an adult instructor with the local RA Army Cadet Force detachment in Arbroath imparting his knowledge and wisdom to the local youngsters.

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

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.

UK & World

Queen could mark double celebration

April 20 2015

The Queen could enjoy a double celebration on Tuesday if her new great-grandchild arrives on her birthday. Royal fans are hoping the Duchess of Cambridge's second child - the Queen's fifth great-grandchild - will make an appearance to coincidence with the monarch's 89th birthday. The Queen will spend the day privately at Windsor Castle where she has been staying for the past month for Easter Court. Neither she nor the Duke of Edinburgh has any official engagements listed for tomorrow. Bookmakers Coral have cut the odds on the royal baby being delivered on the Queen's birthday to 10 to 1 - now joint favourite with Saturday April 25, the reported due date. The arrival of a girl on the Queen's birthday would undoubtedly lead to speculation the baby would be called Elizabeth - the third favourite name at 6 to 1, after Alice at 4 to 7 and Charlotte at 5 to 1. Coral's Nicola McGeady said: "The royal baby could steal the Queen's thunder tomorrow judging by the latest rush of bets and if the Duchess does give birth on Her Majesty's birthday, it's very likely that the royal couple choose Elizabeth if they have a baby princess." In honour of the Queen, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, in full dress uniform, will ride their horses and gun carriages past Buckingham Palace at midday tomorrow en route to Hyde Park to stage a 41 gun royal salute using six First World War-era 13-pounder Field Guns. Before the King's Troop arrives in Hyde Park, the Band of the Royal Artillery will play a selection of celebratory music close to the firing position. An hour later, the Honourable Artillery Company will fire a 62 gun royal salute from the riverbank at the Tower of London, overlooking HMS Belfast. Three L118 Ceremonial Light Guns, similar to those used operationally in recent years in Afghanistan, will be used to fire the salute across the River Thames. Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born at 2.40am on April 21 1926 - the first child of the then Duke and Duchess of York - at 17 Bruton Street, the Mayfair home of her mother's parents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. Elizabeth II is Head of State, the Armed Forces, the Commonwealth and the Church of England, has been married to the Duke of Edinburgh for more than 67 years, has four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with her fifth great-grandchild due any day. She has been on the throne for more than 63 years and on September 9, she will overtake Victoria to become the longest reigning monarch in British history. The Queen has two birthdays - her actual one on April 21 and her official one in June, which is celebrated with the Trooping the Colour parade.

Angus & The Mearns

Commandos to leave RM Condor after 41 years in army shake-up

April 23 2016

Army commandos from Arbroath are set to move down south following a Ministry of Defence restructuring review. The Courier understands that 7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery Royal Artillery will be relocating from RM Condor to The Royal Citadel, Plymouth, after more than 40 years serving alongside 45 Commando. However, the Army denied a decision has yet been reached despite a “Farewell to Condor Reunion Weekend” taking place in Arbroath next week to “send the battery off in style”. The news comes just a month after it was confirmed that a gliding squadron based at Condor is to be disbanded after 61 years. An Army spokesperson said: “The MOD is considering a wide range of options for how it might achieve a smaller but better Defence estate to support our Armed Forces and the important role they play. “The future basing of 7 Commando Battery Royal Artillery stationed at Royal Marine Base Condor in Arbroath is currently under review. “An announcement will be made later in the year once further detailed work on unit moves has been undertaken.” The move to Plymouth was due to take place next month but has been put on hold as it is understood there were difficulties with married quarters. That means that the battery of 70-80 personnel will remain in Arbroath for a further six months pending what has been described as a “wider estate and structures review”. Next week’s reunion will still be going ahead at the Royal British Legion with serving and past members despite the relocation being paused until later in the year. The battery consists of six L118 guns and three Fire Support Teams. Although perhaps not as well-known as the Royal Marines whose base they share at RM Condor, the gunners of 7 (Sphinx) Battery, 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery, have an equally distinguished record of service and, wherever 45 Commando are deployed operationally or for training, they and their 105mm guns are rarely far behind. The soldiers of the battery have all passed the arduous Royal Marine all-arms commando course and wear the RA cap badge on the coveted green beret. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io-pdS4apbg As army commandos, they are spearhead combat troops trained as amphibious, mountain and arctic warfare specialists and their firepower has provided reassuring cover for the marines on operational deployments from the Falkland Islands to Iraq and Afghanistan. As fire support specialists, the gunners are also trained to co-ordinate ordnance delivered from a wide variety of weapons platforms including mortars, fast jets, attack helicopters and the guns from Royal Navy ships. 7 (Sphinx) Commando Battery Royal Artillery was formed in India on June 17 1748 as Number 1 Company Bombay Artillery. The ‘Sphinx’ honour title came from fighting the French in Egypt in the early 19th Century and Sphinx Day is celebrated by the Battery on June 17 each year. The moves are part of ‘Army 2020’ – the Army’s response to the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The SDSR, published in 2010, resulted in wide-ranging cuts to all of the UK’s armed forces. The review was set up to decide how to bring home the 16,000 troops from Germany by 2020 and save £240m a year. Last month it emerged that 662 Volunteer Gliding Squadron (VGS) is among 14 of 27 across the UK to be scrapped following a restructure.


Serviceman’s girlfriend says marathon death left a ‘devastatingly large hole in our lives’

April 27 2016

The girlfriend of an Afghanistan veteran who died after collapsing during the London Marathon said he has left a "devastatingly large hole in our lives". Gaby Schoenberger paid tribute to Captain David Seath, 31, on Facebook, thanking the public for their support. The Green Beret, who is originally from Cowdenbeath, fell ill at the 23-mile (37km) mark while taking part in the race on Sunday. Posting on Tuesday, Ms Schoenberger wrote: "I wanted to thank you all for your kind messages and support during this heartbreaking time. I am reading every single one of them and they give so much more comfort than you know. "I cannot begin to describe the pain that I, his family and friends are feeling right now. It doesn't make sense, and a character like his being taken away so viciously leaves such a devastatingly large hole in our lives. "I don't know how we are going to fill that hole, get through it or even come to terms with it but your support is so appreciated and like a blanket for us during these dark times. Thank you x" More than £155,000 has been raised in memory of Capt Seath since his death. The fire support team commander in 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery suffered a suspected cardiac arrest while running the 26.2-mile course, and died later in hospital. Following his death, his friends and colleagues vowed to finish the marathon course for him and continue to raise money for his chosen charity, Help For Heroes. More than £88,000 has been donated to a JustGiving page in memory of Capt Seath, while £67,000 has been raised for the charity on his own page. The fundraising page in memory of Capt Seath was set up by Capt James Walker-McClimens of the 7th Parachute Royal Horse Artillery. Having served with Capt Seath in the 19th Regiment The Royal Artillery The Highland Gunners in Tidworth, they went on tour together to Afghanistan in 2012, returning at the same time. "In the Army we don't like unfinished business, it was something he wanted to do - he wanted to do the full marathon, so we are going to complete it for him," he said. "He was raising money for Help For Heroes so we just want to carry on that theme."

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

Over 100 to attend Dundee veteran’s funeral after appeal for mourners

July 22 2016

When a Dundee-born war veteran died in a nursing home, he was set to have a “lonely funeral” with only two people attending. But today, Stewart Cooney, who fought in the Second World War, is due to be buried with over 100 mourners after a social media appeal to give him a good send-off was launched. Cooney was 95 when he died in a Leeds home, having outlived his wife and their adoptive son.   Dougie Eastwood, a trainer for the care service running the nursing home, was upset at the thought of the veteran having no one but a carer and a social worker to mourn him. He told the BBC: "We're in the world for such a short time, no-one deserves to go to the grave without being recognised." "I asked one of the nurses about Stewart and she told me he had been in World War Two. “He was in the Royal Artillery and served in Egypt and Sicily. It didn't feel right someone who served his country should pass by unnoticed." Dougie got in touch with the local military barracks to see if they could provide any soldiers for the service and appealed for people to attend the funeral via social media and through the local press. He was amazed by the response, with 40 phone calls offering support and assistance. He added: "Shops have rung up asking if they can send flowers. “The Royal Legion, Royal Artillery among others have offered escorts. I'm humbled by how the army family and local community have come together." Stewart Cooney was born in Dundee in 1921 and trained to be a jute weaver at 16, before enlisting in the Royal Artillery in 1943. He married Betty, a telephonist in the Royal Artillery in Midlothian in 1944 and the couple adopted a son, Niall, in 1953. Later the family moved to Farsley, near Leeds, where the former soldier worked at a mill, looking after weaving machines. His wife passed away in 2008 and their adopted son died in 2014. Cooney was described by carers as "lovely" and "cheeky”, a “pleasant” man who loved to sing Frank Sinatra songs. At the funeral, the coffin will be piped into the crematorium and soldiers from a number of regiments will be present, with the Last Post being played. The coffin will then be escorted for burial in Pudsey, West Yorkshire.