Rail staff walk-out on rugby’s Calcutta Cup

By Michael MacLeod

RUGBY fans could be in for travel chaos after rail workers voted to strike on the same day as England and Scotland’s Calcutta Cup showdown.

Over 550 First Scotrail guards, drivers and sleeper-train managers will strike on the Murrayfield match-day over staff cuts on the new Airdie to Bathgate line.

The 24-hour walk-outs will affect trains on three occasions over the next four weeks.

The final strike on March 13 lands on the same day that over 65,000 rugby fans descend on Edinburgh’s West End for the biggest game in the RBS Six Nations tournament.

Angry Scotrail bosses hit out at the RMT union’s “cynical and incomprehensible” decision to take industrial action on one of Scotland’s major sporting days.
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Son stole and pawned his own mum’s jewellery

By Michael MacLeod

A MAN pawned his elderly mother’s jewellery after she asked him to look after it.

David Wright, 40, was arrested for theft after his 65 year-old mum, Helen, reported him to the police.

She had asked him to look after the keepsakes – worth £500 – but he was “evasive” when she asked for them back.

Wright denied any wrongdoing during a police interview, but today (Tuesday) admitted stealing the jewellery on 27 June 2008 from their home in Edinburgh’s Wester Drylaw Row.
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Tiny meerkats threaten Aleksandr’s ‘seemples’ life

By Rory Reynolds

CULT meerkat Aleksandr Orlov’s life could be a lot less ‘seemples’ if rumours of the patter of tiny paws are to be believed.

Speculation is rife after a film crew shooting a new advert for Compare the Market in Edinburgh tried to buy an antique pram from a charity shop.

When the Royal Mile shop said that the Victorian-style pram was not for sale, the film crew insisted and gave them £25 to borrow it for their two days of filming.

Now fans of the wacky ad are convinced that the meer-cart has signalled the arrival of mini meerkats.

Andy Moody, a manager Mary’s Living and Giving shop, said: “It was a woman who asked us and seemed quite embarrassed when she said it was for the new advert. Continue reading

Details of Boyle and Pebbles eight-month separation revealed

By Rory Reynolds

THEY were once inseparable and shot to stardom together, but Susan Boyle and her beloved cat Pebbles have been living apart for eight months.

The Britain’s Got Talent sensation – whose debut album topped the charts around the world – has visited her 11-year-old cat just three times since last July, it has been revealed.

Pebbles now lives with the elderly friend of one of Boyle’s management team in Wanstead, East London, after Simon Cowell said that travelling with a cat was a problem.

Retired accountant Pamela Eaton-Browne, who has been looking after Peebles for around eight months, said she is given just £4 per day to fund the cat’s lavish tastes.

The 76-year-old said: “One day Simon Cowell said to my friend, ‘do you know anyone who will look after this cat, because Susan’s flying all over the world and what do you do with the cat?’ Continue reading

Documents reveal £2million bonus to Scots government bosses

By Rory Reynolds

THE Scottish Government paid senior managers more than £2m in bonuses last year, it has been revealed.

Top civil servants and consultants from nearly all of the government departments have raked in bonuses of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The office of the Director General for Justice topped the list, being awarded £324,200 last year.

A total of £2,050,510 was paid to 1112 workers across 16 departments as well as other “miscellaneous” staff – an average of around £1,800 each.

The money could have paid for about 105 newly-qualified nurses, 93 new police recruits or 97 trainee teachers. Continue reading

Botched tram works leave phone box sitting in main road

By Rory Reynolds

A PHONE box has been left in the middle of a busy road after tram works moved the pavement five feet further back.

The road has already been resurfaced around the smashed-up BT box, bizarrely leaving it sitting on an island on the road.

Furious locals have branded the situation “preposterous” after being told that it will cost £20,000 to remove the monstrosity.

Workers on the Edinburgh Tram Link resurfaced the road at Leith Walk but instead of removing the box, they simply laid around it.

The road has had to be closed off by barriers, pushing a bus stop into a bus lane and slowing traffic. Continue reading

Woman escapes injury after careering off road into field

By Rory Reynolds

A YOUNG woman has escaped injury after her car careered off the road and landed in a field.

The 19-year-old was travelling along Leven Road in Kennoway, Fife, when she lost control of her black Vauxhall Corsa while turning a corner.

The car landed upside down in the field next to the road at around 8.30am yesterday.

Crews from Fife Fire and Rescue had to pull the windscreen off the front of the car with a suction device to rescue the girl, who was miraculously unharmed.

A spokesman for Fife Fire and Rescue said: “We attended a road traffic accident, with one patient trapped on Leven Road in Kennoway. Continue reading