Bespoke trophy cabinet handcrafted for Aboyne Highland Games

A bespoke piece of furniture has been created by a Deeside craftsman to house historic trophies that are competed for annually at Aboyne Highland Games.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:24 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 8:24 am
Lewis Lilburn and Alistair Grant beside the new Aboyne Highland Games trophy cabinet.

The new trophy cabinet has been produced by Aboyne-born furniture maker Lewis Lilburn, who is also a member of the Aboyne Highland Games committee.

Its creation promotes traditional cabinet making and was made possible thanks to funding Aboyne Highland Games received from the Marr Area Partnership.

Organisers of the 154-year-old event hope the piece, which is on public display in the village, will be cherished by future generations.

Craftsman Lewis Lilburn working on the trophy cabinet.

It provides another permanent link between the annual August event and the village, which already includes the Millennium Gates that stand on the edge of Aboyne Green, the venue for the Highland Games.

Made of Scottish oak, the trophy cabinet measures 4ft 3in wide and stands 7ft 10in tall.

The Gordon family tartan lines the interior, acknowledging the event’s chieftain, Granville Gordon, the 13th Marquis of Huntly and his family’s connection to the games.

It took Lewis over 300 manhours to design and craft; sawing, chiselling, planing sanding, gluing and finishing the wood to transform it into the substantial piece of furniture.

Aboyne Highland Games commissioned Lewis to design and build the cabinet owing to his, and his family’s, connection to the event.

The experienced craftsman spent five years studying furniture making and product design, before working in the sector for the past decade.

Lewis is currently working as a self-employed carpenter and cabinet maker in Inverness-shire, supporting the restoration of old buildings on Belladrum Estate near Beauly into a creative hub.

Alongside this, he works on private commissions during evenings and weekends.

Alistair Grant, chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said: “Our new trophy cabinet is an impressive item of furniture which has been beautifully crafted by Lewis using traditional techniques and Scottish suppliers.

"The effort and attention to detail that he has put in to creating it is very evident. Using the Gordon tartan for the interior is lovely touch and recognises the role of our chieftain and his family.

"It is a splendid home for some of our historic trophies and will be an heirloom piece of furniture that future generations can enjoy.”

Lewis added: “It was a privilege to be asked to create the trophy cabinet for Aboyne Highland Games, cementing my family’s connection with the event which stretches back decades. I hope that my ancestors would find it a fitting contribution to the story of the games.

"I’m grateful to several people for their support and guidance as I’ve brought the initial sketches to life.

"Particular thanks must go to my mother, Irene Lilburn, who helped to get the cabinet installed and looking its best.”

Aboyne Highland Games is scheduled to take place on August 6, 2022.

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