Pentland Jaguar, Glasgow Road, Edinburgh were “shocked” to discover their totem had been blown onto their most popular model of car this morning (Thurs).
The Jaguar XJ worth £68,000 brand new had been proudly parked opposite the showroom doors when at 8.10am 80mph gusts blew the sign into the side of the car.
A popular choice with the Royal Family, staff described the scene as an “oh my god moment” as they were helpless to do anything.
The dealership, which sells used Jaguars, said they had never seen anything like it before.
Business Manager Dave Cargill, 53 said: “It happened at about 8.10am this morning (Thurs).
“The cleaners saw it happen and it was one of those ‘oh my god moments.
“I came in around 8.15am and one of my staff told me the totem had collapsed onto one of our demo cars.
“What can you say, I looked at it and thought oh my god.
“It was a shock to see that it had left the ground.
“It had to have been one hell of a gust to blow that over.
“This is the first time we’ve had something like this happen.”
Mr Cargill called the company who maintains the totem for the store and workers arrived to access the damage.
He said they will be returning later in the day with a mini crane to move the sign back in place.
“We’ve got lots of other used car on the lot for sale that haven’t been damaged thankfully.
“The model that was damaged is one of the most popular models, the Royal Family and the Pope have all used the Jaguar XJ.
“If you want a sturdy car that can handle anything that’s thrown at it then this is the car for you.”]]>
Cheryl Rennie and Kevin Soutar, from Dundee, tied the knot on Tuesday after being forced to plan their wedding in a matter of days following a shock prognosis.
Cheryl’s mother, Michelle, has been battling advanced lung cancer for several months but was told just two weeks ago that she wouldn’t live until Christmas.
And after a desperate appeal, kindhearted strangers soon got involved, donating and funding almost every part of the wedding including flowers, the venue and even Michelle’s dress to fulfill the dying woman’s wish.
The venue, the food and even the dress were all donated by those touched by Cheryl’s plight and after five years of being engaged the young couple tied the knot in an afternoon ceremony this week.
The 26-year-old bride says she “feels blessed” and is still completely “overwhelmed” by the kindness of everyone involved.
Speaking before the ceremony, Cheryl said: “I’ve been up all night feeling sick because I’m so nervous but hopefully it will pass by the time I go down the aisle. “I can’t believe how generous and kind everyone has been. “It’s so important to me and my mum that she’s here and I can’t thank everyone enough for making it happen.”
She added: “I don’t think there will be a dry eye in the house considering the circumstances.”
Chief bridesmaid, Ann Dodds, who coordinated the day, said it was just “magical”.
The 46-year-old said: “It was just such a brilliant day and it all went without a single hitch.
“Cheryl looked absolutely stunning and Michelle had the most amazing time.
“It was actually the first day Michelle had been up and about since she got out of hospital and I think she was mentally preparing herself for it because she knew it was going to be a fun but long, tiring day.
“But she even managed a wee go on the dance floor.”
She added: “Towards the end it all got a bit sad to be honest and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
“So sad but happy at the same time. It means the world to us that they got to spend such a special day together.”
After hearing of Cheryl’s mission, thousands of well-wishes and donations flooded in from all over the country with a free wedding dress being offered from as far away as Essex.
One caring person even donated £500 so that the guest of honour could get a new outfit for the special day.
In August this year the family were shocked to discover that 47-year-old Michelle had advanced lung cancer.
Her initial prognosis was that she had months left to live but after suffering a pain in her side doctors soon discovered the disease had spread to her spleen.
On the day before her 47th birthday, doctors told her she was not going to make it to Christmas and had just a couple of weeks left to live.
Cheryl made a desperate plea on Facebook to ask for help. On November 17, she wrote: “Ideas or suggestions, we don’t have a big budget either.
“We’ve thought of maybe doing in hospital but I’d think she rather get out for it.”
And just three days later almost everything thing had fallen into place.
Flowers for the day were donated by a local florist Forget Me Not, perfectly decorating the function room at The Mirage, which was also donated.
The dress itself and those for her bridesmaids were sent up from Essex by CurvesandCouture Bridal.
Michelle will now spend her remaining time at home surrounded by her friends and family.]]>
The man had to be rescued by firemen after an old beech tree fell onto the roof of his silver Skoda just after 10am today (Thurs), eyewitnesses said.
Police blocked both entrances to Quality Street, as workmen began the gruelling task of cutting up the tree.
The incident wrecked havoc on commuters as residents were unable to access Queensferry Road.
Over 6 men armed with power tools were cutting branches off and attempting to clear the road.
One local resident said: “I was enjoying a lie-in when the entire house shook.
“My husband shouted the tree’s fallen.
“We rushed outside and could see headlights on in the car.
“But we couldn’t see properly as there was so much tree in the road.
“My husband called the emergency services who arrived quickly.
“The fire brigade helped the man out of his car and he was given medical attention by the ambulance crew.
“I’m told he had minor injuries and is okay.
“My neighbour said it had missed her downstairs window by a hair.
“This weather is dangerous and were been worried about that tree for a while.”]]>
Annah the Shetland Sheepdog – who is so well-bred her pups are worth £800 – was secured outside her country home near Cupar, Fife, when thieves crept in through a broken fence and took her.
The six-year-old’s owner, Leanda Loosemore, launched a desperate appeal to reunite the pet with her young family and word quickly spread across the country.
But just as the 25-year-old was beginning to give up hope of ever seeing the dog she received a shock phone call.
A bedraggled and overweight Annah had been found wandering the streets in Kent by council workers and is now being looked after by a breeder until she makes the long journey home.
Miss Loosemore said she “never thought I’d see her again” and she “can’t wait to bring her home to the kids in time for Christmas”.
A beloved former show dog who was taken from her home more than seven months ago has been found an astonishing 521 miles away in Kent.
After being dumped by the thieves that took her, Annah was picked up by council workers and taken to the local pound where she was traced back to Scotland through her microchip.
Leanda, a mother of two, said: “I can’t believe she’s turned up and I honestly have no idea exactly how she ended up that far away.
“The fact she turned up after almost seven months makes me think two things though. She’s either escaped or after trying to breed her they’ve given up because she’s a tricky one.
“After we stopped showing her we let her breed and she’s produced pups that have been shown at Crufts and are sold for around £800 so that could explain why they took her.
“But she was always more a member of the family and we decided to keep her as a pet because the kids love her.”
She added: “Annah was in a bit of a state when she found with her matted fur and she had gotten really quite fat but she seems as healthy as I can hope for.
“I’m definitely never letting her go again and the kids are so chuffed she’s home. She’ll make the full journey back home in a couple of weeks, just in time for Christmas.”
Annah was taken from her home in May this year, gaining access to the kennels through a broken wall.
Leanda said: “We usually keep all our show dogs in the house but a car had crashed into the side of it and it was being rebuilt so they were housed outside.
“My gran left four in there at night and when she went back in the morning there were only three.
“No one had seen her for months but then we go that call at the end of last month saying she had been found wandering the streets.
“It’s now a waiting game until she gets home for good but we’re all so excited.”]]>
More than 60 schools will gather in the capital in March for the 2014 Scottish School Pipe Band Championships in a bid to be crowned the best.
But the organisers are hoping that following the success of their first competition, next year’s event will be “astounding” enough to change officials minds.
Outrage was expressed this week over funding policies by Edinburgh City Council which mean high school students can learn other instruments but not the pipes or the chanter.
Piping championship chairman, David Johnston, has labelled the policy a “disgrace” but is hopeful the event will “prove the bagpipes are a viable and worthwhile option for all school children.”
Council chiefs have defended the controversial policy however saying that due to the current financial climate there is no funding available.
David Johnston says the interest in school piping is “gaining momentum” and that councils need to recognise this when budgeting.
He said: “I think it’s an absolute disgrace that some councils are not providing any funding for secondary pupils to learn the bagpipes.
“Why can they learn the glockenspiel or the recorder but not the bagpipes which are Scotland’s national instrument?
“Interest in school piping has been gaining great momentum in the past 10 years, partly because piping has gradually become quite fashionable.
“Our aim is to encourage as many young people as possible to get into piping and drumming.
He added: “Many pupils are trying out pipes and drums for the first time and we hope the Championships plays its part in ensuring this interest in our musical heritage continues to grow and thrive in all Scottish schools.”
The first ever Championships took place in March this year and saw 40 primary and secondary schools enter.
And although the deadline for entries closes in January, 64 have already registered so far.
It will be judged by some of the biggest names in the piping world including Craig Munro from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
Council chiefs have defended the cost cutting policy however.
Education convener Paul Godzik said: ““Music is an important part of the curriculum and unlike many local authorities Edinburgh continues to offer free tuition in all our schools.
“However, due to the financial climate facing all local authorities, there is no funding available to expand the service.
“To include drumming and the chanter to the city’s Instrumental Music Service without additional resources, as suggested by the Greens, would have an effect on current provision and could mean significantly cutting tuition currently available in other instruments.”
He added: “Discussions on this matter are well advanced and we are seeking to bring a report to Committee in the New Year outlining our plans in this area.”
Schools expected to take part this year include Boroughmuir High School and Craigmount High were pupils have had to pay private tutors to learn the skill.
Some of the schools that have already confirmed their attendance include George Watson’s College, George Heriot’s School and Merchiston Castle School.]]>
Molly, a seven-year-old Labrador, is no longer allowed to interact with patients amid hygiene concerns at Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway.
A previous HEI report in May this year had demanded the health board implement a policy for animal therapy visits which had “sufficient control measures to reduce the risk of infection to patients.”
Molly was brought to the hospital’s Clisham ward so elderly dementia sufferers could have the chance to pet her to reduce feelings of anxiety.
An HEI report published Mon Monday said inspectors had discussed the animal policy with staff at the hospital during an unannounced inspection on 8 October this year.
The report said: “The dog that currently visits the hospital is not registered with an approved scheme, such as ‘Pets as Therapy’ or ‘Therapet’.
“Some of the staff we spoke with were concerned about the current dog that visits the hospital as it had been overeager with staff when they offered it treats.
“As a result, staff had stopped all patient interaction with the dog.”
The report recommended future visiting pets be part of the “Therapet” or “Pets as Therapy” schemes to ensure the animals had the proper health checks.
It also recommended NHS Western Isles discuss the use of therapy pets with other health boards.
The HEI also issued a “high priority” requirement for the health board to implement a new policy for decontaminating nasendoscopes – probes inserted into patients’ noses.
NHS Western Isles last year announced they were introducing a “visiting therapy dog” at the 116-bed hospital in the hope she would boost “calm and wellbeing” among patients.
A spokeswoman for the health board said: “In light of the HEI visit, NHSWI reviewed its arrangements for the introduction and use of therapy pets, and only pets registered with approved schemes will be used as therapy pets.
“Molly was not owned by NHSWI and was a personal pet of a member of the local community.”
Zedd and Saffire, otherwise known as Craig and Debbie Stephens, thought they were going to die when their Edinburgh home was engulfed by smoke.
Three fires broke out within the Portobello area of the city within an hour of each other on Sunday night.
The singing duo, known for their appearances on TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent, were at home in Bath Street, Portobello with their two children on Sunday evening and were just settling down to watch X Factor.
The couple noticed a smokey smell in their third-floor flat, and initially thought it was coming from another fire.
After being alerted by a neighbour the family of four tried to leave escape from their third floor flat but were forced back inside by “thick, chocking black smoke”.
After screaming for help from their living room window, firefighters lifted the couple’s 16 and 18-year-old sons to safety using a cherry picker, saving the two family cats at the same time.
Two fire fighters then broke through the couple’s front door before carrying them out down the stairwell.
Ten people were evacuated from the block in the Portobello area on Sunday evening and although no one required hospital treatment all were given oxygen at the scene.
Speaking from his home today, Zedd, 44, said: “It was absolutely terrifying and we are just so thankful that the fire service was already nearby.
“Time was really of the essence and things could have turned out much worse.
“It’s a mixed block of flats with a fair few families with young children so whoever did this must be caught for endangering people’s lives.”
Saffire, who firefighters say took the brunt of the smoke inhalation, said she thought they were going to die.
The 49-year-old said: “When we realised we were trapped I really started to panic. We all ran into the living room and we shouting out the window to the fire brigade to help us.
“Our youngest was screaming ‘please help us, I don’t want to die’ and he even tried to climb out the window.
“The two boys went down first with one of the cats while we ran around looking for the other one.
“We found her in the back room and zipped her up inside a suitcase before she was hoisted down too.”
Saffire added: “The smoke has destroyed everything, there’s soot everywhere.
“When I looked down the stairwell during the fire I couldn’t see anything at all. It was pitch black and terrifying.”
Investigators are still trying to determine if the fires were started delibarately, but the couple blamed the blaze on “mindless thugs.”
The flat’s hallway was left in darkness today with a strong smell of smoke still lingering in the air.
Walls and doors throughout the block have been left with a thick layer of soot and shocked residents were still attempting to scrub their properties clean.
The lush cream carpet inside the musical duo’s flat was left blackend by the smoke damage and the walls were tinged black.
Saffire was left with soot covered hair and skin after opening the properties front door to investigate and had to be treated with oxygen for an hour by emergency crews.
Zedd, 44 and Saffire rocketed to fame as a celebrity couple after appearing on several reality TV shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and Got To Dance.
They live in their Portobello home with their two sons Kurt, 16, and Craig, 18.]]>
The bookshop chain released a video in which their “Press Manager”, a Mr Jon Owls, lays out plans for their new cost-effective system.
The suspiciously named Mr Owls says that the Harry Potter-esque idea will see a fleet of owls work individually or as an “adorable fleet” to deliver books to customers within 30 minutes.
Waterstones website has a small Frequently Asked Questions section on the idea which compares their ideas to JK Rowling’s boy wizard novels and Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The Birds.
Amazon revealed on Sunday that they are planning to introduce a drone delivery service which could be in place as early as 2015.
Now Waterstones have revealed their tongue-in-cheek plans to rival their competitor’s idea.
In a video posted to their YouTube page night which has been viewed around 10,000 times so far, Mr Owls reveals a ‘sketch’ of their latest plan.
However, he says that the new fleet known as the Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service (O.W.L.S) will not be available for a while as it “takes ages to train owls to do anything and we only just thought of it this morning.”
On the chains website, an FAQ section has been set up to deal with customers enquiries about the service.
One question asks: “Isn’t this just what they did in Harry Potter?” To which the company reply: “Yes, this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You’re asking that as if this is a bad thing.”
While another says: “Will the owls be treated humanely?” The reply reads: “Yes! Our owls will be loved by specially trained booksellers who will regularly feed the owls with love, affection and mice.”
One of the FAQ’s asks about the cost of the service, to which Waterstones say will be “cheaper” than standard delivery and say that they will only charge £2.75 depending on inflation.
Customers obviously expressed fears over the idea, as one question asks “Isn’t this how Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds began?” before going on to talk about “sky-based revenge” by the owls.
However, Waterstones were able to settle this by saying that “The Birds is fiction, this is the real world” and that the owls are “incapable of harming a human” due to the “laws of robotics,” before quickly ending the FAQ.]]>
Bosses at Eagle Couriers, one of the country’s biggest delivery companies, have pledged the support of their 100 plus staff saying the bird is a symbol of “strength and pride”.
Further attempts to help campaign leaders, RSPB Scotland and wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan, have also been made by the firm who have donated £200 to help achieve their goal.
Despite Scots voting the animal their favourite just last month, there are now only 431 pairs of the mighty creatures left in Scotland as their numbers continue to dwindle.
Hunting and changing land-use over the years has meant the bird tends to be found in the most remote parts of the country including the mountains and glens on the west coast.
Scotland’s current national animal is a fictional unicorn but campaigners hope that their petition, which closes on Friday, will urge politicians to designate the species as a national symbol.
The petition to make the bird – otherwise known as Aquila chrysaetos – has 1,666 signatures so far.
Jerry Stewart, director of Eagle Couriers said that over the last 25 years he has regularly seen the birds on his journeys.
He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to see the golden eagle soaring above the Scottish hillsides, so I understand what a truly magnificent sight it is.
“It is a real shame that these birds are not more common and we at Eagle Couriers would like to support the RSPB’s campaign to help raise its profile.
The businessman added:“It represents a symbol of strength and pride which is the very reason why we included the eagle in our company name.”
Mr Stewart is hopeful that the companies investment will help fund future conservation of the species, cementing its future across Scotland.
Chris Fancy of RSPB Scotland has welcomed the petition support and donation.
He said: “We’re extremely grateful to Eagle Couriers for this generous donation in light of our recent campaign to have the golden eagle designated as Scotland’s national bird.
“RSPB Scotland has submitted this petition, helping to raise the golden eagle’s profile, turn around its fortunes and see it return once again to its former range, thus increasing the chances of sightings for visitors and local people.
“We thank Eagle Couriers for its support and urge people across the country to show theirs by signing the petition and telling the Scottish Government that the country’s national bird should be the golden eagle.”
Leighanne Easton traveled to Liverpool and Blackpool last weekend where she watched a live episode of the BBC show and saw the famous illuminations – both items on the list.
The 26-year-old, from Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, was first diagnosed with a brain tumour earlier this year but doctors delivered the devastating news in October that the disease was terminal.
Friends, family and kind-hearted strangers have rallied around the brave former barmaid to raise funds to help fulfill the list as well as to raise awareness of the disease.
In just two months Leighanne has already been to Murrayfield to watch Scotland play South Africa and visited Easter Road to watch her favourite team, Hibernian FC.
Other items still to be ticketed off include wearing a wedding dress and a weekend spa trip away.
The brave woman’s mother, Gail Easton, updated her daughters loyal supporters of her latest activities.
In a support Facebook group, Mrs Easton wrote: “We actually did 2 and a bit of the list this weekend – Mrs Browns Boys, Blackpool illuminations and she met up with one of her Tenerife mates.”
And Leighanne’s grandmother, Sheila Henderson, wrote: “We had a wonderful weekend in Liverpool and blackpool with lily one more off the bucket list thanks to all the great fund raiser.”
Pictures of the the dying woman show her meeting Mrs Brown’s Boys star and creator Brendan O’Carroll.
Snaps of the illuminations were also uploaded as well as one with Leighanne holding a Scottish flag that says “Bleastons Bucket List on tour.”
Leighanne was suffering from headaches last year and went for an eye test but no one picked up the tumour which was directly behind her eye.
Months later doctors discovered a tumour in her brain and operated to remove some of the lump before realising they were dealing with cancer.
The brave Scot was initially given one to four years to live but in October doctors delivered some devastating news.
Despite undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she was told she had just months left to live which sparked fundraisers into action.
On hearing the news of Leighanne’s new diagnosis, best friend Stacey Wylie said: “We want to make the last few months of her life truly amazing and so we want to help her complete that bucket list.
“She’s been hit with the worst possible diagnosis straight away but has been so strong and brave. She really is an inspiration for us all and has been a rock for her family and friends.”
Another loyal friend sat and handmade thousands of pink ribbons with an ‘L’ on them for people to wear in an attempt to raise awareness of brain cancer.]]>