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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...


Courier proves Seville’s claim as Spain’s oldest football club

February 7 2013

A 123-year-old page of The Courier is to hang in the offices of the Spanish Football Association after it was revealed that, thanks to an article in the paper that day, Sevilla FC can officially claim to be Spain’s oldest club. The Courier revealed in September that the discovery of the club being founded 15 years earlier than previously thought was due to the story on page four of the paper from March 17 1890, which details how a group of young British, mainly Scottish, men met in a pub in Seville on January 25 that year to celebrate Burns Night. Along with some Spanish friends, they decided to form the country’s first official football club, and, word having reached back to Dundee, The Courier carried an article documenting the club’s act of constitution. As a result, current members of the club say the article can be considered the founding document of Sevilla FC. The president of Sevilla FC, Jos Mara del Nido, was presented with a copy of the page, certified by the British Newspaper Archive, by the club’s history department on January 25, 123 years after the club’s formation. Another print of the page will be presented by the club to the Spanish FA. Grant Millar, marketing executive of Dundee online company brightsolid, which hosts the online version of the British Newspaper Archive, was told of the presentations by Spanish researcher Javier Terenti. Javier said: “The page in question contains a treasure for the history of Spanish football, since it is an article that describes in detail how the club was founded 15 years earlier than it was thought, thus being Spain’s oldest football club. “The article that is extremely rich in detail shows how the club’s founding date was not a coincidence. “Everything suggests that that Saturday 25 January, 123 years ago, a group of young British, mainly Scots, along with other young men of Spanish origin, met at one of the cafes in the city and celebrated Burns Night with the excuse of founding the first football club in Spain. “Among the most prominent Scots was the club’s first president, EF Johnston, and first captain, Hugo MacColl, who later, upon returning to the UK, became chairman of Sunderland Burns Club. “The discovery of the club’s Act of Constitution within an old edition of the Dundee Courier has been published not only in Spain but also in several important newspapers outside the country.” Mr Carlos Romero, director of the club’s history department, said: “It’s a beautiful article that chronicles the adventures of those first ‘Sevillistas’, in which the following paragraph appears: ‘Some six weeks ago a few enthusiastic young residents of British origin met in one of the cafs for the purpose of considering a proposal that we should start an athletic association, the want of exercise being greatly felt by the majority of us, who are chiefly engaged in mercantile pursuits. After a deal of talk and a limited consumption of small beer, the “Club de Football de Sevilla” was duly formed and office bearers elected.” Mr Miller added: “The reason why this important report was published in the Dundee Courier is probably due to the fact that, at that time, tonnes and tonnes of Seville oranges were loaded on steamships, travelling from Seville to Dundee for the manufacture of the city’s famous marmalade. “However, this connection between Seville and Dundee could even go further if we take into account that two of the members of the Sevilla Football Club at that time, D Thomson and Robert Thomson, could have been related to DC Thomson, founders of the Dundee Courier.”

Scottish Championship

Raith Rovers ask SFA to investigate Rangers player’s recall

September 3 2015

Raith Rovers have requested that the SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan investigates whether Rangers broke the governing body’s rules by bringing Ryan Hardie back early from Scotland Under-19 duty ahead of Saturday’s clash between the two Championship sides at Ibrox. The Kirkcaldy club say that Rangers assistant manager David Weir helped secure the player’s release before the Under-19s face Bulgaria tomorrow night. While Hardie will now be available to play at Ibrox, Raith will be without on-loan Dundee striker Craig Wighton who has remained with the squad. In a statement, the club said: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA Articles and Rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers. “Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same Under-19 squad, 1st team regular Craig Wighton. Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. “He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon. We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain. “Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of Article 82.1 and Rules 56 & 57, this would in these circumstances result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.” Scottish FA Article 82.1 states: “If any player selected to attend any international or other match arranged by the Scottish FA refuses without good and sufficient cause to comply with the arrangements for playing in such match or fails to attend such match, the Judicial Panel may find him to have been in breach of this Article 82.1, and any club or official or Team Official or other member of Team Staff who may be found to have encouraged or instigated or caused such player so to refuse shall likewise be deemed to be in breach of this Article 82.1 and the provisions of Article 95 shall apply.”

Angus & The Mearns

Tayside and Fife dodges Arctic blast which brought chaos to Scottish roads

December 1 2017

Tayside and Fife dodged a blast of Arctic weather which brought chaos to roads across Scotland yesterday. The mercury dropped to as low as -4.6C in parts of the country with several inches of snow landing across the north-east, closing schools and causing a spate of crashes. The coldest place in the UK was Benson, Oxfordshire, where conditions plunged to -5.3C , while Roxburghshire was the chilliest location north of the border at -4.6C. Locally, Leuchars dropped to 0.9C. Flurries of the white stuff reached the Angus Glens, Kirriemuir and briefly as far south as Arbroath, Forfar and Broughty Ferry. However residents in Dundee and Perth avoided the worst of the weather. Slopes at Glenshee Ski Centre continued to fill in nicely with the resort taking to social media to announce the possibility of its Sunnyside run opening on a limited basis on Friday "if the wind dies down". Temperatures in Courier Country were expected to plummet to freezing this morning, with locals warned of the likelihood of ice on roads and pathways. Lying snow was expected to cause the mercury to drop to -8C, or possibly lower in Scotland's most remote areas. A Met Office yellow warning for snow and ice was put in place for Tayside and Grampian at 11am yesterday and will remain enforced until 10am today, with parts of Perthshire, Angus and the Mearns likely to be affected. Met Office spokeswoman Emma Sharples said Courier Country would remain "dry but cold" throughout Friday, with temperatures due to get slightly warmer across the weekend. She said: "It will be cold and frosty overnight (into Friday) with maybe some ice. Across the weekend it becomes less cold, temperatures are on the rise. "Maximum temperatures (for Tayside) were about 2C - 3C on Thursday. The max on Friday might be 4C maybe 5C, and throughout the course of the weekend 8C or 9C. "Snow lying on Thursday night could mean it ends up being cold for some places. I think some areas across Scotland could be -8C, maybe a bit colder. Over snow flats you don't get any warmth coming up from the ground, you lose that benefit." She added that an "airflow coming off the Atlantic" would cause spells of rain across Courier Country come Saturday. Ms Sharples said: "There could be outbreaks of rain throughout the course of Saturday, enough to make things damp and a bit grey for a time. That frontal system clears away southwards. "Sunday is probably mostly dry with breaks developing. That is how we start next week really, with things perhaps turning cold again."


Pies stay on football menu

February 28 2013

TAYSIDE’S top football clubs have vowed to continue serving meat pies, despite Aberdeen FC dropping the matchday favourites after being caught up in the horsemeat scandal. Supporters at the Aberdeen v Ross County match last night were to told there were no mince pies available after the caterer for Pittodrie found traces of horse in its products. French firm Sodexo has withdrawn all of its frozen beef products from the UK as a precaution after three of them tested positive for horse DNA. The caterer is one of the latest suppliers to be named as a victim of a suspected scam allowing horsemeat into the British food chain. However, Dundee FC and St Johnstone FC have both confirmed they are confident in their club pies. It is understood Dundee United use the same supplier as Dundee. Jim Thomson, operations manager at Dundee FC, said the club gets its pies from caterers The Lindley Group, which has assured the club testing has been done and there is no horse meat in its pies. A spokesperson from St Johnstone said: “We do not get our pies from the same source as Aberdeen FC. “We do our own catering it is not contracted out, so we will continue to serve beef pies.” Caterers for Dunfermline Athletic confirmed their beef products were horse-free. The Pars source their stadium savouries from Edinburgh-based Saltire Hospitality, which said its beef products were 100% bovine. David Peters, managing director of Saltire Hospitality, said: “We use a local butcher for our pie meat, both for our hearty pie and Scotch pie, made in-house by our sister company Saltire Patisserie Ltd.” The Courier was shown a copy of correspondence from Saltire’s meat supplier Shaws Fine Meats, stating its product labels already included slaughter information and had now been updated to show country of origin. Andrew Deans from Shaws said: “I confirm that all beef products supplied by Shaws Fine Meats are sourced 100% from the bovine species. “In addition to purchasing livestock from local farms, we only source from EC approved suppliers who process bovine, ovine and porcine (beef, lamb and pork) species only. We have never processed any equine material and are not linked in any way to the current issue. We have complete traceability on all products.” Catering at Raith Rovers is taken care of by club director Mario Caira, who was on holiday abroad yesterday. Turnbull Hutton, chairman of the club, said: “As far as I know, I haven’t heard anything about it being an issue.” Additional supplies of chicken and macaroni pies were on sale at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie stadium. A Dons spokesman apologised for any inconvenience but said the ban was part of the club’s commitment to food safety. He said: “Sodexo, AFC’s catering partner, took the decision to withdraw all frozen and processed beef products for which they do not have evidence of DNA testing.” arobertson@thecourier.co.uk

Angus & The Mearns

Snow showers possible across east coast as temperatures expected to plummet to -9C in Scotland

November 10 2017

Temperatures are expected to plummet to as low as -9C in parts of Scotland next week, with snow showers possible at lower levels across the east coast. The Met Office said the freezing weather expected from Sunday night into Monday morning could end up being the coldest spell of the 2017 autumn season. The forecaster warned that Tayside and Fife may see the "odd flake" of snow on Sunday with flurries expected at lower levels across the east coast. https://www.facebook.com/GlencoeMountain/posts/1936302036397568 However the white stuff is more likely to fall on higher ground, remote glens and in parts of inland Aberdeenshire across Saturday and Sunday. Snowsports resorts across Scotland have been experiencing their first snowfalls of the season in the past week, with Glenshee Ski Centre getting its first "sprinkling" in recent days. https://www.facebook.com/GlensheeSkiCentre/posts/1289657301138455 Daytime temperatures across much of Tayside and Fife will be between 7C and 8C across the weekend - with some sun expected on Saturday. However in rural areas temperatures will plummet overnight, particularly moving into Monday morning. A "wind chill" and "blustery showers" coming in from the north will make conditions feel even colder than they are. Met Office meteorologist Emma Sharples said: "It is going to get generally colder. We'll see the winds go from westerly to more northerly. Sunday in particular will feel particularly cold. "Not only that there will be some showers as well (and) blustery showers."   Ms Sharples said "wintry" showers will continue across Scotland overnight tonight into Saturday morning in areas "above 100m or so". She added there may well be "the odd one or two" flurries at lower levels in eastern Scotland at the weekend, with rain also likely. "There could be rain, sleet, hail, snow to lower levels in some parts of Scotland", she said. "In more eastern parts we'll see some showers because of the direction of the wind. "(Parts of) Aberdeenshire will see many of the showers. You'll be likely to see the tops of hills or mountains with a white dusting. "Sunday into Monday, it seems stuck in this pattern. "Temperatures quite widely in rural areas will be down to -3C or -5C. Sheltered glens across Scotland could be down to -8C or -9C. It will probably be the coldest night of the autumn. "tt is likely there could be a frost Sunday into Monday (in Tayside and Fife) as winds ease." The Met Office's long range forecast states there is "an increased risk of snow at times, more especially in the north" from now until the first week of December.

Perth & Kinross

St Johnstone chairman describes road scheme opponent’s claims as ‘ill-informed speculation’

November 1 2011

St Johnstone chairman Geoff Brown has hit back at criticism of his purported role in a planned £13 million roads improvement scheme in Perth. The transport scheme will link the A85 Crieff Road at Perth Crematorium with a grade-separated junction on the A9, but the Saints supremo claims he and other club directors will not ''get a penny'' from the plan. Saints' North Stand may be demolished to allow the new transport scheme, but Mr Brown said any ''benefits'' from the development will be ploughed back into St Johnstone FC, which he regards as a ''community facility''. Halcrow Group Ltd, acting as the local authority's consultants, have lodged the plans with Perth and Kinross Council. The move could spell the end of the North Stand at McDiarmid Park, but could result in around 4,000 homes being built. Mr Brown, who also owns GS Brown Construction Ltd, has stated that even if the stand does get demolished it will not pose a problem for the Perth club. Several people who live near McDiarmid Park and Perth Crematorium are unhappy with the proposals, claiming the only person to benefit from them would be chairman Mr Brown. Yvonne Kildae (43), of Greig Place, said the application should be rejected on legal grounds, lack of information, inaccurate data and incomplete environmental assessments. She has been instrumental in setting up a Facebook page on which opponents of the proposal can voice their thoughts. A total of 29 objections have been lodged with the local authority opposing the move. However, Mr Brown contacted The Courier as he feels the assertions raised by Ms Kildae are ''absurd,'' and said he wanted to set the record straight. ''The £13 million road scheme to which Mrs Kildae refers is being promoted by Perth and Kinross Council not by me to facilitate development adjacent to the Crieff Road and in the Almond Valley beyond the bypass in a way that is most compatible with the existing road infrastructure,'' he said. ''The proposal which is the subject of the planning application is one of several options being drawn up by the council and their consultants, Halcrow, and in their judgment it is the one that best serves the council's planning objectives for the area.'' He summarised the involvement of St Johnstone FC in the proposal. ''St Johnstone FC own only a very small part of the area under construction, but we are co-operating to the extent necessary to enable a section of the proposed road to pass through our land, and this will involve sacrificing some of it for the solum of the road and the North Stand part of which may be reconstructed once the land requirements are more accurately known.'' ''None of the club's land will be developed in the sense of providing housing or any other use 'on-site', and any benefit to the club will arise from the normal payments due from the uplift in value of adjacent land as it is developed. ''Any financial benefits will flow directly, and only, to the football club, which is in my view a community facility. Neither I nor any of the club directors will receive a single penny from any benefits which accrue. All the receipts will be used purely to improve the club and its facilities. ''Neither I, nor GS Brown Construction Ltd, have a stake in any of the proposed development land outwith the boundaries I have referred to and we are not, as Ms Kildae puts it, 'guaranteed an interest in the proposed new development.' ''Her comments are, in short, nothing more than ill-informed speculation, which I hope is dispelled by my statement.''


We’re on your side: football-themed fund-raiser is further proof of city’s support for Japan

April 6 2011

Members of the Japanese community are hoping the combined generosity of Dundee FC fans and Courier readers will help boost their funds for the rebuilding effort in their home country. A 20-strong group will be auctioning off a signed Dundee FC shirt and two signed footballs which were presented to them at the game against Cowdenbeath, where they were guests of the DFC Supporters' Society. The items are to be auctioned on eBay to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross and other voluntary organisations dealing with the chaos caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami. The group has already raised a significant sum through bake sales and donations and is hoping the Dundee merchandise will help to boost the funds. Dr Kei Sakamoto from the college of life sciences at Dundee University is co-ordinating the effort and said Tayside's Japanese community have been overwhelmed by the generosity of residents, in particular Courier readers. "There have been a few articles in The Courier about the bake sale we were holding and that helped quite a bit we raised over £3000 from that," he said. He said individuals and community groups who could not come to the bake sale but read about it in The Courier have sent donations. He added, "So far, we have raised over £5000 and Dundee FC has been very kind in donating the signed shirt and footballs." Bids can also be made by emailing k.sakamoto@dundee.ac.uk or by calling 01382 386378.

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

Winter is coming 10 days of snow forecast to descend on Tayside and Fife

December 4 2012

Weather experts have predicted Tayside and Fife could be hit by several days of almost non-stop snow. As many people awoke yesterday morning to the first snowfall of the season, residents are being urged to brace themselves for much, much more of the white stuff. Weather-predicting website MetCheck is forecasting up to 10 days of snowfall from next Tuesday. The site says some areas are likely to have sleety showers on some days, and Perth and central Fife may get brief respite courtesy of a small amount of sunshine on December 15. The temperature is likely to reach a ''high'' of around 3C. Lows will be around -3C, although with wind chill it is likely to feel more like -8C on some days. In the shorter-term, the Met Office has issued a weather warning for snow and ice until at least midday on Wednesday. A spokesman for the service said temperatures could dip as low as -4C for the rest of this week. Meanwhile, yesterday's snowfall has made bookies more confident that Scotland will have a white Christmas, with Ladbrokes ''slashing the odds across the country''. They are convinced that Courier Country will see snow on December 25, offering a price of just 4/5. They are offering evens on both Dundee and Angus witnessing a blizzard following Santa's visit, while Fife has been priced as 6/4 and Perthshire at 6/5. By comparison, William Hill is offering 4/1 that Glasgow or Edinburgh will have snow, while the odds of a flurry at Aberdeen FC's Pittodrie Stadium have been slashed to 3/1. Tayside Police are warning drivers to take care as temperatures plummet. A spokeswoman said officers attended a number of incidents yesterday, with no reports of any significant injury. She said: ''Motorists are reminded to alter their driving according to the conditions around them and to drive with the utmost care and attention. ''People should also be aware of local television and radio bulletins for the latest weather and travel.'' ktopping@dcthomson.co.uk