Various technical problems delayed the official opening ceremony until the Spring of 2013, which to most would suggest a cool but pleasant day with plants and trees bursting into life after the long cold days of winter. Indeed, the first couple of weeks of March were dry and mild and most of us thought that, at last, the cold and wet was behind us. As we all now know mid March saw a dramatic change as the winds from Arctic Russia dominated our weather. On the preceeding day some speculated that the opening ceremony could be marred by a covering of snow on White Horse Hill as snowfalls were widespread across the country on 11th March.

The morning of 12th March dawned and the day was bright and sunny. But as the attendees opened their car doors on arrival they were rudely reminded of just how exposed the site of the viewing point is. The wind was biting cold and without shelter it was almost too difficult to stand up straight. Geoff had pre-empted the conditions by comandeering three mini buses to shelter the  participants while awaiting the arrival of the Guest of Honour, Mrs Anthony Pitt Rivers, The Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, who would perform the ceremony.

Mercifully, Geoff curtailed his speech, made inaudible to most by the wind, and Mrs Pitt Rivers gamely performed her duties before everybody hurriedly made their way back to Geoff and Christine’s house for refreshments and warmth.

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About 40 frozen souls stepped thankfully into the warmth of Geoff and Christine’s beautiful home and gratefully devoured champagne and canapes, all of which had been lovingly crafted by Christine. Geoff provided a winding up speech which summarised the task undertaken and thanked all of those who had been instrumental in its successful culmination, particularly Jan and Paul Critchell who donated the land. A c ongratulatory response followed from Mrs Pitt Rivers.

Pictorial mugs commemorating the White Horse project, were presented to Geoff and Christine for all their hard work and persistence. There was also one for Chris Bird for his brilliant photo journalism and John Hayes, County Council Ranger. Finally mug was presented to Paul Critchell, in his absense,  for his hard work and donation of the land.

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