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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


Sheriff rules there is ‘no alternative’ to destroying dangerous Japanese akita dog

December 20 2013

A dangerous Japanese akita that scarred three victims, including a seven-year-old child, has been ordered to be put down. The dog’s tearful owner was banned from owning dogs for seven years by Sheriff Richard Davidson at Dundee Sheriff Court on Thursday and told she was “within one inch of being sent to prison”. Sharon Lindsay, 40, of Larch Street, was also placed on a nine-month curfew. Lindsay admitted three charges of her dog being dangerously out of control and biting three separate victims all of whom received permanent scarring at her home in the West End. The court heard the nine-month-old dog, Bo, attacked its first victim on October 16 last year. A former friend of Lindsay’s, Michelle Rossi, found Bo chewing on a handbag and went to remove the bag. Depute fiscal Lisa Marshall told the court: “Without warning the dog bit Ms Rossi on the wrist, puncturing the skin.” Bo’s second victim was a child on February 5. The dog lunged towards the child and bit it on the face. A Dundee City Council dog officer attended and gave Lindsay an official warning, advising she keep the dog in a separate room when she has guests. Lindsay ignored these warnings, however, and on March 17 Bo bit a friend of Lindsay’s, Pauline Getty, on the face. Bo then took a second bite out of Ms Getty’s cheek, leaving her face pouring with blood. Ms Getty was taken to hospital where she received eight stitches to her left cheek and 14 stitches to her chin, resulting in her receiving plastic surgery and an unknown number of internal stitches. Even after these incidents Lindsay refused to have the dog put down, with the court told she even tried to blame one of her friends for “goading” the dog. Sheriff Davidson ordered the dog be destroyed, saying: “I’ve thought about this long and hard, but the fact that there were three repeat incidents leaves me no alternative.” Acting on behalf of the accused, solicitor George Donnelly told the court Lindsay was struggling with a number of personal issues in her life, including the death of her father and child, and was abusing alcohol. Sheriff Davidson added: “I accept you have had a lot of difficulties in your life, but turning to alcohol is not the answer. I’m encouraged to see you are getting support with that. “But given your denial to take responsibility you are within one inch of being sent to prison.” Japanese akitas have been involved in several mauling incidents, but they are not banned in the UK.

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

Angus & The Mearns

Declaration of intent – battling to keep alive the history of Arbroath

June 21 2016

Michael Alexander speaks to American business owner turned author Robert Nock who has set an historical novel against the 15th century Battle of Arbroath. Retired North American insurance business owner Robert Nock has been visiting friends in Arbroath for the past 14 years. During that time the lifelong resident of Ocean City, Maryland, has developed a keen interest in Scottish history, especially military history. Now the 66-year-old has utilised all those years of research to write an historical novel set during one of the bloodiest real-life chapters of Angus history – the Battle of Arbroath. On Sunday January 23 1445, more than 1000 men from Clan Ogilvy along with their supporters including Clan Oliphant, Clan Seton, Clan Gordon and Clan Forbes assembled at the west gate of Arbroath Abbey. A larger force composed of about 2000 men from Clans Lindsay and Douglas along with their supporters was arrayed against them. The ensuing battle, centred upon rival claims to the powerful post of Baillie of the Regality, went in Clan Lindsay’s favour. But not before it claimed the lives of hundreds of local men, including Clan Lindsay’s Earl of Crawford himself, and changed the course of history. “Not much has been written about the Battle of Arbroath,“ says Mr Nock, who started his research using the invaluable resources at the Arbroath Library". “Most historians, if they mention it at all, dismiss it as an example of feudal violence between clans that was all too prevalent in those days. “However, the Battle of Arbroath was much more than a simple feud between clans. It was actually part of the on-going power struggle between the powerful house of Clan Douglas and the Scottish kingdom which was controlled by the royal House of Stuart.” Mr Nock explained that the wars with England had weakened the authority of the Crown. The Scottish king during this period, James II, was only a child of six when he became monarch. The age of the king, along with the weakened authority of the monarchy, made for a society that was unstable with a great deal of unlawfulness. It was during this period of uncertainty and upheaval that the Douglas’s became nearly as powerful as the Scottish Crown. It was against this backdrop that Clan Lindsay and Clan Ogilvy became bitter enemies over the appointment of Alexander Ogilvy to the position of Justicar. The position of Justicar, or Baillie of Regality, gave the person who held that the office the authority to dispense law and justice as well as to levy and collect taxes throughout the country. Mr Nock says that although the characters of Campbell Ogilvy and his friends are fictitious, he has tried to make the backdrop of his book as historically accurate as possible, with the other major characters very real people. He adds: “Alexander Lindsay and his father David Lindsay were, respectively, the Third and Fourth Earls of Crawford. Historical accounts of Alexander Lindsay paint him as a fierce and lawless individual although I doubt he was as bad a person as I’ve made him appear, nor I doubt that his father, David, was as good an individual as he is in this book. In fact at the time of his death, David Lindsay had been excommunicated from the church by James Kennedy, archbishop of St Andrews.” Mr Nock said the start of the Battle of Arbroath happened as depicted in his book. David Lindsay was struck down by a spear thrown by one of the Ogilvy supporters as he rode between the two armies in a valiant, but vain attempt to prevent the fighting. “The Battle of Arbroath is reported to have started at the west gate of Arbroath Abbey and evolved into a running battle that finally ended at the Loan of the Leys, about three miles from the abbey,” adds Mr Nock. “The loss of life on both sides was quite substantial but the death of Alexander Ogilvy along with Alexander Lindsay’s father made Lindsay the victor of the battle since he now had no one to oppose or control him. The aftermath of the battle saw a great deal of reprisals and atrocities committed against the Ogilvy’s and their supporters. “The power struggle between Clan Douglas and the Scottish Crown continued for a number of years and two more battles before being settled at the Battle of Arkinholm in 1455.” Mr Nock will feature the exploits of his fictional character Campbell Ogilvy in two subsequent books set against the Battle of Brechin and the Battle of Arkinholm. malexander@thecourier.co.uk Campbell Ogilvy at the Battle of Arbroath by Robert Nock is published by Salt Water Media, priced £8.99. It is currently available at Henry Hoggs bookstore in Montrose and can also be purchased via paypal - me/battleofarbroath ; Copies of the book can also be obtained from Sandra Wilbourn in Arbroath  -  01241 874631


Missing teen Josh Lindsay traced

March 1 2018

UPDATE: Police Scotland have confirmed that Josh Lindsay has been traced safe and well. Family members and police officers are appealing for information on the whereabouts of 14-year-old Dundee boy Josh Lindsay. Josh was last seen on Clepington Road at around 9am on Wednesday morning. He is of a stocky build, wears glasses and has short, dark hair. Josh was wearing a black adidas jacket, grey joggers and a grey hooded top when he was last spotted. A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: "Police are becoming increasingly concerned as to the welfare and whereabouts of 14 year old Josh Lindsay who has been reported missing in Dundee. "We would also encourage Josh to make contact with a family member or police to advise of his whereabouts in order that we can establish his safety and wellbeing. "Anyone with any information as to Josh’s whereabouts can contact police on 101 quoting incident number 1362 28/02/2018 or alternatively contact crime stoppers on 0800 555 111."    

Angus & The Mearns

Gingerbread tribute to the Wee Red Town

October 14 2013

When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.

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.


Pair found guilty of brutally beating innocent man in Fife

November 25 2016

An Irish thug previously jailed for his part in a reign of terror faces a new jail term after he was convicted of a brutal beating. Edward Lindsay served a 10-year jail term for his part in what was claimed to be an Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) cell operating a drugs ring in Edinburgh. They used horrendous paramiltary-style violence to operate their syndicate and Lindsay was convicted of his part in a horrific abduction in which the victim was grabbed, hooded, bundled into a car and subjected to severe violence. He was released in 2009 and set up home in Anstruther. But last December his violent streak returned to the fore when a pub row ended in friends of his calling on the Belfast-born criminal to mete out summary justice. Jeffrey Fry had had an altercation in a pub with Shane Pender and went home and told Lee Johnston of the incident, the pair then summoning Lindsay and Scott Murray to go to Mr Pender’s home. Once there, the living room window was smashed with a brick before Lindsay – who had either a balaclava or a scarf over his face – and Murray started battering the door. It was opened and Shane Pender’s father, Paul Pender, 43, was dragged from the property and laid out by the pair. They then inflicted a brutal beating on Mr Pender Snr. He told a jury at Dundee Sheriff Court that the sustained attack only stopped when a witness claimed to have seen a meat cleaver in Lindsay’s possession and said they were calling the police. A charge that Lindsay was in possession of the knife was found not proven. Mr Pender, a Fife Council caretaker, said: “After that all four all of them jumped over the fence and were trying to apologise to me. It was actually my son they were after, not me. “I was shaken up. I had to go on sleeping tablets because I couldn’t get to sleep after that and I was off work for a month and a half.” Jeffrey Fry, 53, of Venus Place, Anstruther, Edward Lindsay, 36, of Mayview Avenue, Anstruther, Scott Murray, 40, of St Abbs Crescent, Pittenweem, and Lee Johnston, 28, of George Street, Cellardyke, denied assaulting Paul Pender. Fry had his not guilty plea accepted at the close of the Crown case. Johnston was found not guilty by the jury. After deliberating for just over an hour, the jury of eight men and seven women found Lindsay and Murray guilty of the assault by a majority. Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson then revealed: “Accused Lindsay had a number of previous High Court convictions, including one from 2003 where he received 10 years for convictions including an abduction.” Defence solicitor John Boyle, for Lindsay, said: “Given his record, he knows prison is inevitable.” Sheriff Simon Collins QC deferred sentence until next month and remanded both men in custody.