ONE of Pewsey’s proudest monuments has undergone a fabulous summertime revamp.

A group of dedicated volunteers got together at the weekend to re-chalk the famous Pewsey White Horse and to mark 80 years since the horse was first cut.

The horse, originally designed to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI, receives a re-chalking once every eight or 10 years and this year, being its 80th birthday, was a very special year.

One of the organisers, Richard Giles, 72, said: “We wanted to use this opportunity to celebrate 80 years of the White Horse, so got a group of people together to do a bit of a re-chalk.”

Explaining the process, Richard, who is something of a dab-hand at the art of re-chalking, said: “We cleaned the surface off first and then went over it with very sharp hoes, removing any weeds and moss and scraping it clean. Then we put a layer of fresh chalk on and used hand-held rammers to try to consolidate it.

“Unfortunately, because we have had quite dry weather this year, the chalk was hard and it was difficult to get it to bind together. But we are hoping the rain will consolidate it.”

Around 15 people worked on the horse and were rewarded with a glass of Prosecco afterwards, courtesy of the Pewsey Parish Council.

The north-facing horse took around two hours to re-chalk and everybody was thrilled with how it looked afterwards.

Richard said: “They all really enjoyed it. By midday we had finished and were able to relax a bit and celebrate the 80 year anniversary.

“The horse is looking very bright at the moment and we have to make sure we keep the weeds down. With a little horse like this it’s important that the grass is kept short.”

Speaking about the importance of engaging in community activities such as this, Richard said: “All in all, it was a very happy occasion indeed.

“Anything that brings the community together is a good thing. It’s great that people can look at something like this and put a tag of ownership on it – they look at it and say, that’s our horse and we will look after it.”