Wiltshire Publications

Issue 503 – Plans afoot for White Horse Diamond Jubilee clean-up

WESTBURY’S iconic White Horse could be cleaned in time for the town’s 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
A charitable organisation, which wishes to remain anonymous at this stage, and the military, could join forces to clean the White Horse.

Another possibility is that a joint effort between the town council and area board could address the problem.
English Heritage treated the horse to a facelift back in 2006 but since then, the state of the horse has deteriorated.
In October the White Horse News highlighted the grubby state of the town’s icon as local residents and councillors expressed their dismay that the horse has lost its bright white colour and is better described as a grey mare once again.
In November, the town council agreed to speak with English Heritage on the possibilities for cleaning the horse. Since then, the town council’s tourism working group has been discussing possible solutions.
The group reports, “There are tentative plans for a local branch of a national charitable organisation, in conjunction with the local military, to cleanse the White Horse in time for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. These plans may be costed from either the MACC (Military Aid to Civil Communities) or training budgets within military resources in conjunction with charitable pledges and a minimal costing to this council and the area board. These plans are very much still in the infant stage of discussion and the charitable organisation does not wish to be publically named at this stage.”
However, plans could falter if the military unit is deployed and so a “plan B” has been discussed by the tourism working group. They report, “The following plan B was discussed by the Tourism Working Group; that this council, in partnership part funding with the area board and in consultation and co-operation of English Heritage and English Nature, cleanse the White Horse for the Diamond Jubilee. It was agreed that this council’s contribution would be no more than £5,000.”