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Locals urged to pen Doric verse

By Staff Reporter

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A NEW competition is challenging people to see how well versed they are in their local Scots dialect.

Open to adults and secondary school pupils, the contest is being launched on the back of a long-running one for primary children, as part of the Keith Traditional Music and Song Festival in June.

People from across the north-east are urged to get writing and have their entries in by Sunday, May 19.

Organiser Joyce Dawson said it was a wonderful chance for “fowk” to express themselves in their own Doric language.

"It is one way to help keep our traditional North-east words, phrases and culture alive, and to have some fun because the verses and poems can often be in a light-hearted vein," she said.

The competition for primary pupils, aged 12 and under, has become established over 19 years, having been launched in memory of a legendary festival performer Ian Middleton, from Arradoul, near Buckie.

He was a prolific writer of often hilarious Doric verse. "Ian did so much to encourage the use of the local Scots language, and this competition is a tribute to him," said Joyce.

Its success has prompted a new contest for adults and secondary pupils, for the Aultgowrie Trophy, along the same lines.

She added: "We want to reach out to teenagers and certainly adults, because there is a great interest in poetry writing in adults."

Poems of one or more verses can be written on any subject and must be the entrant's own work. Entries, listed for the Middleton Trophy or the Aultgowrie Trophy, should be sent by May 19 to Joyce Dawson, 124 Moss Street, Keith, AB55 5EZ.

The two trophy winners will be invited to recite their poems at a special evening concert on Saturday, June 15, one of many events during the festival weekend.

Mrs Dawson is also appealing for help in overcoming a mishap last year when the crystal Middleton bowl was damaged and is having to be replaced.

She said: "We are trying to obtain all the 18 winners' names but are still missing the ones for 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008. If anyone can help with these can they email me on joyousmd@aol.com."

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