A WEE COUNTY teenager caught the eye of thousands of viewers across the world as he piped in the New Year at Menstrie Castle.

Maxwell Smith has been playing the bagpipes for around six years – starting at just eight years old – and has become well known around Clacks.

He played for the residents of Menstrie House back in 2020 during the first Covid-19 lockdown and also helped to make Hogmanay a little bit special.

The Dollar Academy pupil performed at Menstrie Castle Stay, a set of new holiday apartments which recently opened its doors, with an online video of his performance being shared far and wide.

It has been viewed on Facebook more than 25,000 times, with people from all over the world – including America, Australia and Portugal – enjoying the show.

Maxwell's mum Tracey told the Advertiser: "I was super-super proud of him. Everyone was gobsmacked, he done really, really well."

She added: "He plays within the school but because of Covid they haven't had the opportunity to do that any more.

"His first performance was at a wedding at the end of November and he piped the bride down the aisle to Highland Cathedral in front of all the guests.

"He piped the guests arriving at the church and then he piped the bride and groom to the table in the marquee to Scotland the Brave."

Not only has the 14-year-old's piping brought joy to all who have heard it, it's also helped him personally too.

Tracey continued: "He wasn't confident but it's definitely brought his confidence out more."

Maxwell is said to be pursuing a career as a veterinary but for the time being he'll be on hand to welcome guests to the castle.

Tracey said: "He'll pipe for guests coming over from America, if they want to hear a piper he'll be there.

"He'll pipe on Burns Night at the castle, too."

The opening of Menstrie Castle Stay has been fairly eventful, indeed, as a couple got engaged while enjoying their recent break there.

For more information visit menstriecastlestay.co.uk/or search Menstrie Castle Stay on Facebook.