A talented young Burns performer from Hawick has been hailed as a credit to the town after picking up a national award at the weekend.
Euan Welsh, 14, was named national winner of the S3-S4 spoken verse competition at the World Burns Federation’s final in Carluke on Saturday.
The delighted third-year Hawick High School pupil was praised for his stirring recital of Tae a Louse.
He had previously qualified for the final after his success at the regional competition at Hawick Burns Club last month.
Euan took up reciting Burns at primary school, and after taking third place in a primary schools’ national competition four years ago he progressed under the tutelage of Katherine Scoular.
Since then, he has again consistently reached the national finals, but this win was his first at national level.
“I’m very chuffed,” he said. “The quality of performances was a very high standard.
“I was third last on, so I had seen how good the ones on before me were.
“I started learning Burns in primary seven as part of the curriculum, but after I won the primary competition I just stuck at it.”
He is now in consistent demand for appearances at Burns suppers around Hawick and for recitals at the town’s annual common riding.
Singing his praises at the weekend was David Scott, a Burns stalwart and honorary life member of Hawick Burns Club at Carluke in a judging capacity.
He said: “Euan delivered Tae a Louse just as all imagined Robert Burns himself would have recited it. It was tough judging because the standards were incredibly, but delightfully, high.
“Euan is a star in the making and, on top of that, he is a really likeable laddie.
“I got a buzz watching the lad with his big beaming smile picking up his trophy.
“Hawick has another national winner to its credit.”
Euan’s younger brother Robbie is performing in the national finals of the primary schools’ competition on Friday, May 6.
Jedburgh fiddlers Eryn Rae and Hannah Wyness also both took home awards as winners of the instrumentalist categories for S5-S6 and S4-S5 respectfully with Eryn also named young Burnsian of the year.
The annual competition draws together finalists from across Scotland who have previously won regional heats in verse speaking, singing, instrumental and bagpiping categories.
A spokesperson for the competition added: “Once again, a fantastic group of talented youngsters participated on competition day.
“Those in attendance were thoroughly entertained by a fabulous group of pupils competing in the four disciplines.”