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Blog: Dalbeattie shedders carve Age Scotland award trophies from fallen beech tree

Dalbeattie Men's Sheds - Awards trophies 2023

17 January 2024

The winners of Age Scotland's 2023 awards received trophies that are extra special.

The beautiful wooden awards were hand carved from a fallen beech tree by the talented Rolf Buwert, with help from some of his friends at the Dalbeattie Men’s Shed in Dumfries and Galloway.

The idea came from the shed secretary, Geoff Allison, who asked Rolf if he’d be interested in making the trophies as he had enjoyed recent success carving a trophy for the UK Men’s Shed of the Year.

Geoff produced a drawing of what he thought the trophy should look like and Rolf, who was also receiving treatment for prostate cancer, set about trying to create a prototype using different materials, none of which bent into the shapes he wanted.

Eventually Rolf turned to the remains of a fallen beech tree which he acquired in 2014 when he worked at the nearby Drumlanrig Castle. The giant tree had fallen during a storm, taking down a zip wire in the castle’s adventure playground.

Wood from the tree had been cut into planks, air dried by Rolf in his father’s garage. After his father died, Rolf kept the wood in a neighbour’s garage and then finally his own garage. He’d begun to use pieces of beech wood to create products including mugs, chopping boards, napkin rings in his work as a self-employed wood turner.

On each item, Rolf stamped his own mark on the wood, naming the location or the map reference where the timber fell and the stump remains. In the case of the Age Scotland trophies the mark is 55.272-3.806.

“I made all the trophies in the shape not of a bowl or a plate but inspired by them as well as a Scottish targe shield and large medal,” says Rolf. “Geoff printed the central disc and I used my router/carver to engrave the specific titles on the rim.”

Other shedders played their part too – making the plywood stands for the trophies to rest on. Rolf also made wooden pegs to hold the two parts together, using ash wood from his own little forest near his home.

Rolf says he enjoyed making the trophies, despite his self-imposed rule of never making more than two of the same thing.

The results are certainly worth the effort – unique carved wooden trophies that will be treasured by the proud winners of the 2023 Age Scotland awards.