Charity holds fundraiser at place where it all began
THE clocks were wound back to the 1950s when HorseWorld returned to Temple Meads station – the place where it started life 60 years ago.
In a re-creation of the charity's early days, supporters wore campaign sandwich boards to raise awareness of the work of the organisation, first launched as the Friends of Bristol Horses Society to save working animals from slaughter.
Set up in 1952, its work involved finding safe retirement homes for the horses that had been a familiar sight at the station until motor transport took their place and made them redundant – as the old photographs and former Postcartoons show.
Over the years it has developed into a major rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing operation based in Whitchurch, where there are 60 staff, 140 volunteer helpers, 100 horses, ponies and donkeys on site and some 300 out on loan.
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Its visitor centre also attracts many families, with more than 100,000 people enjoying a day out there last year.
The event at the station was just one of a series planned to mark the diamond jubilee of HorseWorld, as well as raising money for the work it does. Volunteers, with the help of a four-legged friend, handed out literature to explain the charity's core work and accepted donations from rail travellers.
James Hutchinson, HorseWorld's fundraising manager, said: "Our diamond jubilee anniversary is a time to reflect on 60 successful years for the charity. But more importantly it's a time to look ahead to the next 60.
"We're grateful to the volunteers who spent the day with us at Temple Meads raising vital funds.
"Every pound we raise will go towards safeguarding the future of the animals in our care – and those we'll be helping in the years to come."
One of the major events planned for the anniversary will be a public art trail of 60 painted ponies through Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars during the summer.
Designs submitted by the public through a competition will feature in the trail and the deadline for entries has just been extended by a further weekend, closing on Tuesday, May 22.
Details of how to enter the competition, with templates of the ponies, are available on the charity's website, where donations can also be accepted.