PETROLEUM geology student Harry Fletcher has been unveiled as Melrosian-Elect for 2018.

His official announcement was made at the Ex Melrosians' Burns Supper last weekend at the Greenyards.

A former pupil at Melrose Primary and Earlston High School, Harry is currently studying in his final year at Aberdeen University.

Harry told the Border Telegraph: "It was a real surprise and a huge honour to be chosen to represent Melrose at the upcoming festivals.

"I'm really looking forward to all the challenges ahead of me and sure it will be a great summer."

The 21-year-old also expressed his relief after keeping the announcement a secret for the past four months.

"I found out news of selection in October, so its nice to get it out in the open after keeping quiet about it for so long."

And he's no stranger to the festival either.

"I've been along to many of the Melrose Festival weeks in the past to watch the ride out.

"Plus, my little sister was a Trainbearer in 2008 when I was at Melrose Primary School, so I've experienced some of the events then."

However the Melrosian-Elect admitted there's one thing he needs to brush up on, ahead of the big week in the summer.

"I've never been on a horse before in my life, so I'll be starting from scratch. I have an intense series of lessons organised up in Aberdeen, so I hope to be fully prepared to carry out my duties as the 2018 Melrosian later this year."

Harry will succeed Russell Mackay who served as the town's Melrosian in 2017.

This year's week-long festival, which celebrates the history of Melrose, is expected to take place between June 17 to 23.

Before that, the Festival and Queen and Court for 2018 will be appointed in May.