A FALSTONE folk singer took a top spot at a Scottish festival.

Singer/songwriter Maggie Feeney, 70, saw off competition with an original song at Newcastleton Traditional Music Festival.

Far Horizons explores the history of Northumberland and the borders from Roman times to the present day.

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“I’m very interested in writing songs that evoke the past and history of the area because it’s so fascinating”, said the former teacher.

“Because of where I live I decided to write for the 50th anniversary of the national park and the year it was recognised as a dark skies park.

"I was thinking about how beautiful the area is now, how amazing those nights are when it’s a clear sky and you see all the millions of stars because there’s no light pollution, and how peaceful the area is.

“Then I thought back over the centuries when the Romans were here, how different life would be. Then I thought about the Reivers and the Battle of Otterburn. It was a pretty rough place to live I imagined.”

Maggie, who formerly worked for the Northumberland Schools Music Service, has also written a song about the Black House near Catcleugh Reservoir. She has been singing most of her life, but only started writing more recently.

A panel of judges praised her song, saying: “It really caught the atmosphere and the feeling of that time. Someone even said it made the hairs on their neck stand up. They also loved the tune and they thought the accompaniment (guitar) was fitting and subtle.

“My motto is one life, live it. I’ll have a go at anything – life is short, you’ve got to pack in as much as you can.”

Maggie, who also makes and sells tote bags, has played Saltburn Folk Festival, Music on the Moor, Redefest and Costa del Folk.