Belfast Telegraph

Trees from Dark Hedges carved into golf trophies

A felled tree at the Dark Hedges in January
A felled tree at the Dark Hedges in January
The Dark Hedges in Co Antrim
Stephanie Meadow and Jack Senior are joined by singer Niall Horan and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny as they receive their trophies at the ISPS Handa World Invitational tournament

By Mark McConville

Fallen trees from Northern Ireland's Dark Hedges have been carved into trophies for an international golf event.

Co Antrim fit-out firm Abbey Upholsterers made the trophies for the ISPS Handa World Invitational tournament, which took place at the Galgorm resort earlier this month.

Abbey Upholsterers was responsible for creating the trophies from the wood, working to the precise design of Cheah Rothe based in Belfast.

The metalwork element was made by Smiths Engineering works (NI) Ltd.

George Devlin from Abbey Upholsterers said that they were "delighted and slightly nervous" when Cheah asked them to undertake the creation of the trophies.

He said: "Given our focus is mainly on larger bespoke fit-out and upholstery projects, this was a rather unique commission which required the precision and technical skills of our expert carpentry teams.

"It was wonderful to be entrusted with the wood from the Dark Hedges and really satisfying to see it being used for something local with a global following.

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"Naturally we were thrilled to see local woman Stephanie Meadow lift one of the trophies too, that was the icing on the cake."

Stephanie earned an emotional home win at the World Invitational in Galgorm Castle after holding off England's Charley Hull by one shot. Playing in her first pro event in Northern Ireland, Meadow's level-par 73 on the final day gave her a 10-under-par total.

Jack Senior beat Matthew Baldwin in a play-off to win the men's event.

Meadow and Senior were presented with their trophies on the 18th green before being joined by singer Niall Horan and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

A tree was felled by strong winds in January at the Dark Hedges, made famous by HBO hit TV series Game Of Thrones.

Branches were ripped off the trees by similar gusts during Storm Hector last June.

Fans from all over the world flock to 'Kings Road' on the Bregagh Road to be pictured in front of the haunting backdrop.

Less than two-thirds of the 150 trees planted along the entrance to the Stuart family's Gracehill House mansion more than two centuries ago remain standing.

The famous tunnel of trees - which provided Arya Stark with her escape route from King's Landing - is counted among the top 10 most-Instagrammed locations here, ranking even higher than the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

Abbey Upholsterers Specialist Joinery and Fit-out is a 100% family owned company which has been providing "high quality" bespoke furniture, specialist joinery and fit-out solutions for more than 90 years.

The company counts some of the world's leading five-star hotel properties, including Galgorm Resort, Claridge's Hotel, London, and the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin among its clients.

According to the latest available accounts, the company had a turnover of around £7.3m in 2017 with pre-tax profits of just over £1m.

The turnover was up 22% from the previous year of around £6m while the pre-tax profits rose by 200% from around £342,000.

Belfast Telegraph

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