Even in the realm of quirky gifts, a wooden French horn is a bit of a weird one.

But for Esher's Princess Alice Hospice, it was a present with a special meaning behind it.

The horn's journey all started a couple of years ago it was given to the 'man shed', which operates out of the hospice.

Peter Prowse is a man shed volunteer who runs a wood carving group there on Friday mornings.

One of his fellow carvers, Ric Vidler, had been planning to join the carving group and train as a hospice volunteer when he was suddenly taken ill and sadly died a few days later.

Knowing of Ric’s interest in the hospice, his family invited Peter to visit the Vidler family home and take away any carving tools and pieces of wood that could be useful for the shed.

“There among the tools, shavings and sawdust in Ric’s shed was a marvellous, half-finished French horn,” Peter said.

“Ric’s family were keen for me to bring it back to the man shed in the hope that one of us would finish it off over the following couple of weeks and bring it back for Ric’s wife Carole to enjoy."

But before the horn was finished, tragedy struck once more.

“Sadly, before I’d had time to finish it, I learned that Carole Vidler had also died while in the care of the hospice, so she never got to see the finished article," Peter said.

"Once I’d finished shaping and polishing it, I contacted Ric’s family again to suggest that as both Ric and Carole had been involved with the Hospice in different ways, it would be fitting to donate the finished French horn to Man Shed management team at the Hospice.”

So after hours and hours hours of carving, rubbing down and polishing, the wooden instrument was passed over to the hospice.